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100 Best Places to Retire for 2015 Announced at

February 21, 2015 – When Topretirements members and visitors dream about their best places to retire, warm places in Florida are usually featured. The Sunshine State dominates our 2015 list of the best places to retire, with 25 of its cities and towns making the cut (2 more than in 2014). Florida was followed by North Carolina (11 towns), South Carolina (10 – up from 8 last year), and Arizona and Washington with 6 each. Tennessee had 5 cities in the top 100.

The Sunbelt Rules
The Sunbelt, with 78 towns on’s 9th annual list of the 100 most popular retirement spots, continues to be the target of most of our visitor’s retirement dreams. After that the American northwest and mountain states attract a lot of attention – 16 destinations made the list from Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Just 3 states in the Northeast made the cut: Virginia (Charlottesville, Williamsburg, and Winchester), Delaware (Lewes and Rehoboth Beach), and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh). The Midwest failed to garner an entry on the list. The highest ranking non-Sun Belt city on our list was Charlottesville (VA) at #19. Note: To make sure you don’t miss new lists like this, sign up for our free weekly “Best Places to Retire” newsletter. See also “The Worst States for Retirement – 2014“.

10 New Towns Join as Popular Places to Retire
Ten new towns moved onto the 2015 list, one fewer in 2014. Eight of the 10 newcomers were from the Sunbelt, mostly Florida. The 8 Sunbelt towns new to the list this year were: 5 from Florida (Port St. Lucie, Cape Coral, Dunedin, Boynton Beach, and Fernandina Beach); Las Vegas (NV); and Gulf Shores (AL). The 2 non Sunbelt cities joining the list this yearwere both from the West – Boise City (ID) and Whitefish (MT).

100 Best (Most Popular) Places to Retire for 2015

1. Asheville, NC
2. Sarasota, FL
3. Venice, FL
4. Green Valley, AZ
5. Beaufort, SC
6. Charleston, SC
7. Myrtle Beach, SC

The Grand Strand at Myrtle Beach

8. Prescott, AZ
9. Ft. Myers, FL
10. Naples, FL
11. Paris, TN
12. Austin, TX
13. Clearwater, FL
14. St. Petersburg, FL
15. Bluffton, SC
16. New Bern, NC
17. Tampa, FL
18. Pensacola, FL
19. Charlottesville, VA
20. Summerville, SC
21. Las Cruces, NM

Southwestern archictecture in Las Cruces

22. Brevard, NC
23. San Antonio, TX
24. San Diego, CA
25. Colorado Springs, CO
26. Knoxville, TN
27. Greenville, NC
28. Tucson, AZ
29. Chapel Hill, NC
30. Savannah, GA
31. Eugene, OR
32. Chattanooga, TN
33. Portland, OR
34. Aiken, SC
35. St. Augustine, FL
36. Fairhope, AL
37. Athens, GA
38. Williamsburg, VA
39. Beaufort, NC
40. Jacksonville, FL
41. Vero Beach, FL
42. St. George, UT

St. George moved from #97 to #42 this year

43. Bend, OR
44. Lewes, DE
45. Blue Ridge, GA
46. Clemson, SC
47. Maryville, TN
48. Hendersonville, NC
49. Crossville, TN
50. Greenville, SC
51. Sequim, WA
52. Port Charlotte, FL
53. Grand Junction, CO
54. Sedona, AZ
55. Southport, NC
56. Denver, CO
57. San Luis Obispo, CA
58. Bellingham, WA
59. Rehoboth Beach, DE
60. Stuart, FL
61. Charlotte, NC
62. Flagstaff, AZ
63. Ft. Collins, CO
64. Delray Beach, FL
65. Orlando, FL
66. Murphy, NC *

Murphy is new to the list this year

67. Gulfport, FL
68. Albuquerque, NM
69. Hilton Head, SC
70. Reno, NV
71. Winchester, VA
72. Port Townsend, WA
73. Winter Park, FL
74. Eureka, CA
75. Henderson, NV
76. San Juan Islands, WA
77. Port St. Lucie, FL *

Port St. Lucie, a 2015 newcomer to our list, has many active communities to choose from

78. Pittsburgh, PA
79. St. Simons Island, GA
80. Spokane, WA
81. Mt. Airy, NC
82. Key West, FL
83. Durango, CO
84. Las Vegas, NV *
85. Santa Barbara, CA
86. Corpus Christi, TX
87. Cape Coral, FL *

In Cape Coral just about anyone can live on a canal

88. Dunedin, FL *
89. Palm Springs, CA
90. Gainesville, FL
91. Mesquite, NV
92. Seattle, WA
93. Boynton Beach, FL *
94. Santa Fe, NM
95. Gulf Shores, AL *
96. Whitefish, MT *
97. Leesburg, FL
98. Phoenix, AZ
99. Fernandina Beach, FL *
100. Boise, ID *

*New to the List in 2015

Criteria, “Where Baby Boomers Go to Find Their Best Place to Retire”, has published its 100 most popular list annually since 2007. While most of the “Best Places” lists are either the subjective opinions of the authors or a ranking from various criteria, our list is different. Ours is essentially a popularity contest that reflects the opinions of our visitors. It was compiled by calculating the 100 towns that receive the most online visits of the 1000+ cities reviewed at during the last 6 months of 2014. Some probably made the list this year because they were featured in one of our weekly newsletters. Note that we consider the states from North Carolina and Tennessee to Florida, plus the Southwest, as being in the Sunbelt (so Virginia and Kentucky are not Sunbelt states by our definition).


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