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Best Places for Retirement by Lifestyle

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 27, 2011 — A few years ago one of our members suggested that we expand our lists of “best places” for more lifestyles. We thought that was a great suggestion and our members seemed to agree. This article updates and expands those lists. We are always looking for new things to profile, so if you have suggestions, please let us know in the Comments section below:

Best Places to Retire by Lifestyle:
Top 10 Golf Towns

15 Great Biking Towns
(and don’t overlook the exciting stuff Portland, OR is doing to be bike friendly)

Great Towns for Bookstores

Best Retirement Towns for the Arts

Should You Be Applying to a College Town for Retirement?

Best Retirement Towns for Gardens

Adventurous Lifestyles for Baby Boomers

Brainiest Places to Retire

Best Outdoor Towns

Ship ‘n Shore: Retiring on a Cruise Ship

Best Places for Stargazers

10 Great Boating Towns

Seven Wonderful Small Towns

Great Mountain Towns for Living

Best Towns for the Singles Lifestyle

Great Towns for 19 Different Lifestyles – Our Sister Site –

Comments: What are some of your top places to live for your preferred lifestyle? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Posted by John Brady on September 27th, 2011


  1. Though the list of biking-friendly towns/cities is helpful, what we would LOVE to find is a Villages-like retirement community (large, diverse activities, age-restricted to 55+) that instead of golf courses devoted that acreage to forests, fields, marshes, etc. with hiking and biking trails. It would still be great to have the main roads reserved for golf carts; we actually like the idea of taking one to shopping and entertainment rather than a car. We have read that the entry of the boomers into retirement is causing some changes to the design of new communities (retirement ones and others … and not merely in the design of the homes but the whole community). We hope that biking and walking trails grow to predominate in at least some.
    Keep the great information coming. There are a LOT of us out here seeking unbiased guidance.

    by Mad Monk — September 28, 2011

  2. Enjoy your reviews!! It gives one a lot to think about when choosing a place to retire. lifestyle is an important criteria. How about a “list” focused on playing tennis?

    Keep the great information coming. Lots of us are thinking about these critical decisions.

    by Tennis Nut — September 28, 2011

  3. I would like to see best BEACH LIFESTYLE.

    by Becky — September 28, 2011

  4. Love your website. Any towns that are Dog friendly with activities like dog agility etc? I have heard that Portland Or is dog friendly but has problems gang activity?? Any thoughts ?

    by Fran — September 28, 2011

  5. What about an “intellectual” lifestyle: high % of > 55 y.o. with college degrees, High % with PhDs, large selection of nearby college-level classes, frequent speakers and lectures, active local performance community, well stocked local ibraries, bookstores (loved your partial list of places with bookstores!), diverse religious/spiritual community, yoga and meditation studios, lots of locally organized short day and overnight trips, etc. I cannot imagine myself settling into a golf community and taking basket weaving crafts classes!! What I seek is lots of intellectual stimulation. Where I live in the DC suburbs, I have fantastic access to all of the above and don’t want to settle for less in my future retirement locale.

    by Mary Anne — September 28, 2011

  6. So many great questions!
    Mad Monk: There are some communities with high golf cart usage not related to golf courses. Peachtree City in Ga comes to mind. We’ll look for others, i like the idea of open spaces.
    TennisNut: We’ll research the tennis idea, particularly since that’s a favorite pastime for me too. A lot of cities do good things with their tennis programs. Venice FL has courts right downtown.
    Becky: For Beach Lifestyle go to our site
    Fran: I love agility events. Too bad our dog isn’t very competitive. I find just about every place is dog-friendly. I wouldnt worry about gangs in Portland. Where you are going to live they will be a non-factor. Search online for dog-friendly and see what you come up with.
    Mary Anne: For the intellectual life it is hard to beat places like where you live now. Obviously almost any city will be good for that, so are the larger college towns, as are cultural festival towns like Santa Fe, Ashland (OR), Marfa (TX). See this link

    Good luck, all of you. And thanks for questions!

    by John Brady — September 28, 2011

  7. We would like a duplicate bridge community. I also like Mad Monk’s idea of a community with walking nature trails. Now combine the two and I’ll be there!

    by Caroline — September 28, 2011

  8. I’m with Mad Monk! I would love to be in a community where I could use off-road biking and walking/hiking trails for my day to day travels. Save the car for occasional trips out of town.

    by Scott — September 28, 2011

  9. Am interested in places with a community of former American ex-pats.

    by Donna — September 29, 2011

  10. I’m looking for a retirement community with focus on horses. Mostly trail riding gaited horse. Reasonably priced.

    by Liz — September 29, 2011

  11. Your community is out there if you search for it. You can use our Advanced Search (from the Search tab in our top navigation) to select various attributes in a city or community such as “Equestrian”. Or you can use Google and find just about any combination. Almost every town has at least 1 duplicate bridge game – also easily found on the Internet. Good luck!

    by John Brady — September 30, 2011

  12. John (Brady): I just did cursory look (online) at Peachtree City. The trail system seems GREAT, and seems that intentions are to expand it. However (always a gotcha!), some comments I saw were that very few people walk the trails, and that they are full of teenagers driving golf carts to school and other events (sometimes on drugs because they are bored from having little to do in a community “planned” more for adults and retirees many years ago). This is an open, general community (e.g., Celebration) rather than retiree community (Villages, OTOW, etc.). If there are readers from Peachtree City (or have visited), please chim in. What were/are your experiences in Peachtree City? Are cyclists/walkers using those trails? Are they safe doing so?

    by Mad Monk — October 2, 2011

  13. We received this question from Herb. In looking for an answer we used our Advanced Search and found that in Florida alone there are 220 communities in our database that offer tennis. That doesnt include towns and cities with active tennis programs. Of course there is a difference between having a tennis court and a place where there are multiple courts, an easy way to find a game, and an active tennis lifestyle. If you happen to know of such a place, please let us all know. We do know that all over there are many communities that offer this. Certainly the Villages is one of them.

    I am looking for a 55+ retirement community on the east coast (but not necessarily)
    Tennis facilties very important
    Can you make any suggestions?

    by Admin — July 16, 2014

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