15 Non-Beach Towns Retirees Are Flocking To

Many places that lack surf and sand can still be exciting retirement destinations.
Updated May 14, 2024
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What’s not to like about spending your golden years by the beach? Still, you don’t need to be by a lake or the ocean to enjoy a stress-free retirement.

Many people would love to retire in the mountains, wandering through fall foliage or enjoying the dry desert air.

If this sounds like you, here are some non-beach cities to consider for your retirement. All real estate prices come from the real estate website Redfin.

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Fredericksburg, Texas

ANDRESFELIPE/Adobe Street in Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg is located in the middle of Texas. You'll find wineries and restaurants nearby and plenty of opportunities to travel to the other great cities the Lone Star State has to offer.

Housing can be a bit pricey for retirees, with a median sale price of $475,000. That is higher than the $420,321 national median sale price for the same time period.

So make sure you have enough cash put away to afford the cost of housing before you retire.


ifoodijourney/Adobe piedmont park in midtown

Atlanta is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country, and it offers plenty of things for retirees to do. Enjoy parks in the city or attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium or the World of Coca-Cola.

Housing costs are also in line with the national median sale price, with homes selling for a median of $414,320.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Jacob/Adobe ann arbor michigan large state university

Ann Arbor is a great college town that is home to the University of Michigan. This place might appeal to retirees who want to continue to learn after retiring: The university has the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for older residents.

Prepare for a little sticker shock when it comes to housing, however. The median sale price for a home in Ann Arbor is $500,000.

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Greenville, South Carolina

Kevin Ruck/Adobe Downtown Greenville skyline

Greenville is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It offers plenty of new restaurants and shops. Or, you can wander Falls Park on the Reedy.

You can also head into the mountains for outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.

The median sale price for a home in Greenville is $420,000.

Madison, Wisconsin

nejdetduzen/Adobe madison city street view

Madison is another great college town. It's home to the University of Wisconsin and also serves as the state’s capital. Wander the quaint downtown in search of restaurants, coffee shops, and microbreweries. Or, take in a performance in the city.

Housing is relatively affordable, with a median sale price of $407,500.

Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Alizada Studios/Adobe east stroudsburg pennsylvania

Stroudsburg is located in the Pocono Mountains and offers everything from hiking to gambling at a casino. There are also many courses for golfers to try.

Stroudsburg also has affordable housing, with homes selling for a median of $313,000.

Huntsville, Alabama

Robert Hainer/Adobe river in huntsville

You'll have plenty of fun exploring Huntsville, which features the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The city also offers tours that explore the history of the civil rights movement.

Housing is also affordable in the city, with a median sale price of $327,865.


dbvirago/Adobe Denver Skyline and Mountains Beyond Lake

Colorado is known for its endless variety of outdoor activities, from skiing in the winter to hiking and golfing in the summer. Denver also has a world-class international airport for those who love to travel.

However, housing is expensive here. The median sale price is a whopping $600,000.


SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Indianapolis downtown cityscape

Slow down during your retirement years in speedy Indianapolis. The city is home to the Indianapolis 500 automobile race that takes place each May. However, you can take a more leisurely pace when you enjoy shops, theaters, and restaurants in the city’s walkable downtown area.

Homes in Indianapolis sell for a median price of $240,000, making it an affordable option for retirees.

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Las Vegas

f11photo/Adobe cityscape of Las Vegas from top view in Nevada, USA

There is plenty to do in Las Vegas. From exciting casinos to beautiful natural wonders just outside the city limits, you will never be bored here. Take in a delicious dinner at one of the many restaurants in the city’s casinos. Many offer great buffets.

Housing prices are reasonable, with a median sale price of $425,283.

Tucson, Arizona

Jacob/Adobe tucson cityscape with mountains during day

Tucson is another popular destination for retirees in the Southwest. Explore nearby mountain ranges or take in desert landscapes. You can also check out museums in Tucson, including the Arizona State Museum on the University of Arizona campus.

Tucson has affordable housing, with a median sale price of $335,500. Compare that to Phoenix, which has a much higher median sale price of $459,495.

Sacramento, California

belyay/Adobe Sacramento Walks, California shots

California can be a warm, inviting destination for retirement, but coastal cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco can be expensive. Instead, try Sacramento, with its outdoor activities and more than 800 murals for art lovers to see.

The city’s housing costs are higher than the national median sale price, but $502,500 is a much cheaper price than what you'll find in other cities in the state.

Kansas City, Missouri

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe kansas city missouri usa

Kansas City is home to several art and historical museums, including the American Jazz Museum. Sports fans can also check out professional sports teams regularly or go to a race at nearby Kansas Speedway.

The city is also affordable for retirees, with a median sale price of $261,000.

Memphis, Tennessee

Kevin Ruck/Adobe memphis tennessee skyline at sunrise

Head to Memphis to check out Graceland — the home of Elvis Presley — and the National Civil Rights Museum. After a day in the city, grab a bite of some famous Memphis barbecue.

The median sale price for a home in Memphis was $172,500 in March, making it a true bargain.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hove Photography/Adobe Downtown Tulsa Oklahoma Skyline Route 66

Enjoy the outdoor life in Tulsa, where you'll find plenty of trails and parks to explore. You can also get a tee time at one of the local golf courses.

The city is also a good place to buy a home, with a median sale price of $229,900 in March.

Bottom line

peopleimages.com/Adobe senior friends posing while hiking

When planning for retirement, you might dream of endless days relaxing on the beach. But living near the water can be expensive. And for some retirees, beach life is simply not their cup of tea.

Fortunately, there are many great non-beach towns that you can retire to and still spend your golden years in a state of bliss.

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Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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