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10 More Great Places to Retire You Never Heard of

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

May 15, 2020 — Since the reaction to our first “10 Great Places to Retire You Never Heard of” was so positive, here are 10 more to consider. This exercise has been fun and a great way to prove the point that there are so many interesting places to retire that never get the consideration they deserve. One of these just might be the perfect place for you to retire!

To try to spread things around, this time we have looked for best retirement towns that are geographically diverse and add towns from states not represented in the first 10. Most are fairly affordable, while some of the towns in prime locations reflect the cost of living in a very desirable community. Most of these “undiscovered” towns have fairly small populations.

Here we go:

Swamp Rabbit Trail is popular

Travelers Rest, SC. This small town near Greenville with interesting little shops got its name from its days as a stopover for weary travelers during the early 1800’s. The Swamp Rabbit Trail is a 20 mile multi-use greenway system that follows the old railway system between Greenville and Travelers Rest.

Screwpile lighthouse in Edenton

Edenton, NC. This beautiful small town on the Carolina coastline is known for its many lovely homes and pre-Civil War mansions on tree-lined streets. The waterfront and the wide main shopping street are exceptional. Edenton is proud of its history as the first permanent settlement in North Carolina. Residential and the commercial district lead to a picturesque, grassy waterfront that is a favorite spot for residents and tourists alike

Museum in Millsboro

Millsboro, DE. Located in southeast Delaware, Millsboro is an affordable place to retire not far from Rehoboth Beach and other Delaware beaches. It is a small and pretty historical town, the market center for the outlying area because of its river location. The town and area is loaded with active communities to choose from.


Galena, IL. One of the most beautiful towns in Illinois, this small community is located in northwestern Illinois near the Mississippi River and the Wisconsin and Iowa borders. The town is named for galena, an ore of lead sulfide. It features many beautiful homes and buildings with French Colonial and Victorian architecture.

Scene near Driggs

Driggs, Idaho. This very small town on the southeastern border of Idaho has a lot going for it. Located in the Teton Valley, it is home to many artists who come here to paint the scenery. Some see Driggs as a less expensive alternative to nearby Jackson, Wyoming. The Grand Targhee Ski Resort is just 12 miles distant. According to Zillow, the median home value in early 2020, was $366,541.

Jacksonville near the Rogue Valley

Jacksonsville, OR. As one of the first gold mining towns in the state of Oregon, it retains the legacy great beauty and history.  The Jacksonville Historic District is now a U.S. National Historic Landmark.  It is a few miles west of Medford in the Rogue Valley. Real estate prices are above the national median with the Zillow Home Value Index at $460,000.


Waitsfield and Warren, Vermont. Often thought of together with the small adjacent town of Warren, Waitsfield is just a few miles from 2 top Vermont ski resorts, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen. The town itself is cute and exudes a New England feeling. The college town of Burlington and Lake Champlain are not far away.

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Libary

Staunton, VA. Maybe if you are history buff you know about Staunton, but this college town in western Virginia generally has a pretty low profile. The Presidential Library of Woodrow Wilson is here, along with Mary Baldwin University on a hill overlooking the town.

The Library in Westerly

Westerly, RI. The downtown is especially beautiful with classic buildings and churches. It includes a number of lovely little villages including Watch Hill, a watering hole for New York’s elite. Misquamicut State Beach is one of the finest public beaches anywhere. The Zillow Home Value Index was recently $368,000.

Oxford in winter

Oxford, OH.  With its 16,000 Miami University students, this college town is an undiscovered treasure. Oxford is famous for the small town feel of its historic Mile Square, the pre-World War II residential area of Oxford. Residents can enjoy a pleasant walk to the Miami University campus or the charming Uptown area for the weekly Summer Music Festival.

Bottom line. Once you start exploring we think you will be pleasantly surprised by how many lovely retirement towns exist that you might not have considered. Is your town an undiscovered treasure? Please add your suggestions for ones we should include in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on May 20th, 2020


  1. Westerly, RI – we lived there in the 2001 – 2006. We loved it. Schools were terrific and they really made a fuss over the kids in the community. First time we went to the open house at the high school we were amazed to see it FULL of parents! (In Nevada, we were lucky to see a dozen parents at any given function) Westerly is a great location – easy to get to New London CT or Warwick/Providence for events and shopping. Boston & New York City, both about 2-hrs away. Lots of coastal activities. Worth a serious look.

    We enjoyed the village life and there was plenty to do. When Pfizer closed in CT, we ended up moving south for work but knew we would consider going back there to retire. However, when the time came, we found we couldn’t afford to return and we had some misgivings about the health care. DH now had Parkinsons and we felt it would be better to find a place where we had access to a Specialist. (We did come back to New England and settled in Maine)

    by HEF — May 21, 2020

  2. Hef, I know Westerly very well and I look forward to a trip to Watch Hill as soon as things open up. My sister has just moved there. You forgot to mention that Westerly is very close to beautiful beaches, Mystic Connecticut, and the train runs to Boston and NYC. It is also close to the University of RI, which has lots of activities for seniors. You are right about the health care in RI. Most go to Boston or CT for major treatments. Also, taxes are high, but it is a beautiful part of the country.

    by Maimi — May 22, 2020

  3. Please subscribe me to this newsletter.

    by Cvito — May 30, 2020

  4. Thanks for sharing this blog and waiting for next update.. It’s very helpful to know such crucial information in advance.Thank you very much for such an informative post on 10 More Great Places to Retire You Never Heard of. It’s very helpful to know such crucial information in advance.

    by Lauren Dawson — June 2, 2020

  5. Edenton is indeed a charming town where the Chowan River flows into a body of water called the North Atlantic Ocean but is really more like a bay extended west from the Atlantic. For those looking for an active community in the area, I have visited two that seemed quite nice. One is Albemarle Plantation in Hertford which has some nice wide views of the North Atlantic Ocean; its Sound Links golf course was excellent when I played it 10 years ago. The other golf community is Scotch Hall Preserve in Merry Hill, where the Chowan River meets the North Atlantic. It is a relatively young community with more modern housing stock than most Southern golf communities and a sleek Arnold Palmer golf course with some commanding views of the water. I see mostly lots for sale in Scotch Hall listings, many in the mid $100s, some with water views. I would estimate construction prices around $175 per square foot. Quite a few resale homes are available in Albemarle Plantation, some at bargain prices. Hertford, for old timer baseball fans, especially Yankee fans, is the birthplace of former pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter. I would assume that catfishing in the area is pretty good.

    by Larry Gavrich — June 3, 2020

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