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Florida home to almost 1 in 5 ‘best place to retire’ cities

HOUSTON – Jan. 24, 2019 – Eighteen Florida cities were selected as top retirement destinations in the sixth edition of “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire,” a comprehensive guidebook of the country’s most appealing retirement towns.

Editors and staff say that they spent 11 months researching more than 800 cities. The final selection represents 35 states and, in Florida, includes:

  • Amelia Island
  • Boynton Beach
  • Cape Coral
  • Dade City
  • Destin
  • Dunedin
  • Jacksonville
  • Leesburg
  • Melbourne
  • Naples
  • Northern Palm Beach County
  • Ocala
  • Orlando
  • Port St. Lucie
  • Punta Gorda
  • St. Augustine
  • Sarasota
  • Winter Haven

“This book allows readers to tap into the wisdom of hundreds of relocated retirees, including those who moved to Florida,” says Where to Retire Editor Annette Fuller. “But the stories also bring you past wistful dreams and into the realm of real research, including information on weather, taxes, downtown attractions and even the caveats of each city.”

The chosen cities vary in size, climate, amenities and lifestyle, and each falls into one of 10 categories that focuses on the city’s defining feature, such as beaches, mountains, low costs, four seasons and appealing downtowns.

Some Florida cities also were considered top destinations based on defining features.

Best arts towns: Durango, CO; Greater Phoenix, AZ; Portland, OR; Richmond, VA; Santa Fe, NM; Sarasota, FL; Savannah, GA; Southwestern Oregon; Taos, NM; Verde Valley, AZ.

Best beach towns: Brunswick/Golden Isles, GA; Cape Cod, MA; Gulfport/Biloxi, MS; Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, AL; Hilton Head Island, SC; Myrtle Beach, SC; Northern Palm Beach County, FL; Port St. Lucie, FL; Southern Delaware; Wilmington, NC.

Best college towns: Auburn, AL; Baton Rouge, LA; Blacksburg, VA; Bloomington, IN; Boulder, CO; Knoxville, TN; Lawrence, KS; State College, PA; Tucson, AZ; Virginia College Trio.

Best four-season towns: Aiken, SC; Boise, ID; Door County, WI; Grand Junction, CO; Louisville, KY; Northwestern Arkansas; St. George, UT; Springfield, MO; Winston-Salem, NC; Yakima, WA.

Best lake towns: Branson, MO; Edmonds, WA; Gainesville, GA; Leesburg, FL; Ogden, UT; St. Tammany Parish, LA; Sandpoint, ID; Waco, TX; Walla Walla, WA; Winter Haven, FL.

Best low-cost towns: Albuquerque, NM; Charlotte, NC; Durham, NC; Jacksonville, FL; Kerrville, TX; Melbourne, FL; Mobile, AL; Ocala, FL; Orlando, FL; Tupelo, MS.

Best main street towns: Annapolis, MD; Cape Coral, FL; Charleston, SC; Dade City, FL; Frederick, MD; Glenwood Springs, CO; Greenville, SC; Lexington, KY; Naples, FL; St. Augustine, FL.

Best mountain towns: Boone/Blowing Rock, NC; Greater Denver, CO; Gatlinburg, TN; Henderson, NV; Hendersonville, NC; Jackson Hole, WY; Missoula, MT; Nevada City/Grass Valley, CA; Prescott, AZ; Sylva, NC.

Best small townsAmelia Island, FL; Beaufort, SC; Boynton Beach, FL; Cape May, NJ; Destin, FL; New Bern, NC; Punta Gorda, FL; Redmond, OR; Sierra Vista, AZ; Traverse City, MI.

Best undiscovered towns: Black Hills, SD; Carson City, NV; Cookeville, TN; Dunedin, FL; Florence/Muscle Shoals, AL; Pocatello, ID; Portland, ME; Sheridan, WY; Tyler, TX; Vicksburg, MS.

©Florida Realtors® 
Reprinted with permission Florida Realtors. All rights reserved.

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Allen Thompson

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