Best Cities for Active Seniors in 2018

Some cities and regions seem to attract seniors more than others — Florida, for instance, is one of the best-known retirement destinations for older adults and snowbirds (seniors who prefer to avoid the bitter cold winters of the north and head down south for the winter months). Tons of cities are awesome for retirement, but let’s take a closer look.

For those entering their golden years and wanting to embark on a new adventure in a new city, here are the 12 of the best cities for older adults in 2018, all with plenty of downsize-worthy rental housing. (For help with that, check our downsizing checklist.)

Wilmington, Delaware

Not only is the effective tax rate for seniors incredibly low in this area, but it also boasts a high walkability score. There are property tax exemptions and assistance programs for seniors, as well as a number of other assistance programs. There is a lively entertainment scene, plus an active bicycle transportation initiative throughout the city.

West Palm Beach, Florida

With no shortage of golf courses and doctors, this city is an ideal choice for active seniors. There are many shopping, dining, and cultural activities to keep you plenty busy, as well as numerous parks and a stunning, family-friendly waterfront.

Portland, Maine

Portland is a great choice for active seniors who love the outdoors, thanks to its extensive cycling and hiking trails. There’s plenty to do out on the water as well, and it scores high for walkability. Retirees will also enjoy that there is no sales tax in this quirky city.

San Francisco, California

There’s plenty for active seniors to enjoy in this bustling city. From iconic cable car rides to strolls along the many outdoor paths, the Golden Gates offer something for everyone. The pier, aquarium, and many gardens and museums are all excellent ways to spend your days.

Madison, Wisconsin

Madison not only has a low violent crime rate, but it also boasts a high number of doctors per capita. There are plenty of cycling trails, parks, transit, gardens, and museums to explore. Winter weather here means you can also enjoy skiing, skating, and snowshoeing.

Boulder, Colorado

Another excellent choice for those who enjoy winter activities, Boulder boasts a low violent crime rate and high volunteer numbers. From the iconic Flatirons to the snow-capped mountain peaks, there’s no shortage of hiking, climbing, and other physical activities to keep you busy.

Seattle, Washington

Situated right on the water, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy in Seattle. Fishing and sailing are two popular pastimes, and walking and bicycle trails abound. Major sports teams and a thriving arts culture provide plenty of excitement when the weather is dreary.

Santa Barbara, California

Gorgeous beaches and golf courses are just two of the things that make this city a top choice for active seniors. There are plenty of bike and walking trails, not to mention world-class wineries to explore.

Missoula, Montana

There’s plenty of opportunity in Missoula for hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, and cycling. Numerous museums, annual festivals, and unique eateries are sure to keep you busy. The City of Water is also home to Lolo National Forest, as well as a lively farmer’s market.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

With plenty of doctors per capita, as well as an active sporting culture, Ann Arbor is a safe yet welcoming city for seniors. Eateries boast a wide variety of cuisines to explore, and there are ample farmer’s markets and orchards to shop at. There are numerous historic sites and heritage museums to explore, as well.

Pompano Beach, Florida

Known as the “Heart of the Gold Coast,” this beachfront city offers plenty of dining, shopping, and boating activities to support an active lifestyle. An offshore coral reef, several parks, and annual festivals are just some of the reasons to love this city. Florida also doesn’t have a state income tax, which is appealing for those who still plan on working part-time in their retirement.

New York City, New York

It might be the city that never sleeps, but that’s a good thing for active retirees. Museums, theater, multiple professional sports teams, and ample festivals and markets make New York City an active senior’s paradise. While it’s a walking- and bicycling-friendly city, New York City also has a comprehensive transit system for when your legs need a break. World-class hospitals and a low violent crime rate round out this top pick.

Seniors thinking about starting a new adventure in a city that supports their desire for a vibrant, active lifestyle won’t be hard-pressed to find a city they’ll love to call home in this list. Whether you’re looking for the hustle and bustle of big city-living or an area with ample outdoor recreational opportunities, there are plenty of areas in the U.S. with all the perks today’s active seniors are looking for.