When thinking of your retirement plans, are you drawn towards huge hustling cities, but deterred by the crowds, chaos and high-living-costs? If this sounds like you, you may want to consider buying a home in a smaller city. Oftentimes these cities are a nice combination of the excitement that city-life has to offer, but with the charm and friendliness of a small town. To help you finalize your retirement plans, we have compiled a list of the top 5 small cities with a neighborly vibe. Be sure to click on the name of the town to view any properties CASTLES UNLIMITED™ may have in that area.
Burlington offers their residents world-class urban planning, a thriving, artsy economy, and easy access to both summer and winter outdoor activities, including excellent skiing and sailing. This beautiful town, located 180 miles northwest of Boston, has a great blend of businesses, residences, public transportation and recreational spaces. Burlington is home to countless Casual and fine dining, coffee shops and bars, galleries and shops. More famously, Burlington is known for the first Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Lake Champlain, and the numerous ski resorts, including Stowe, Sugarbush, Mad River Glen, and Jay Peak.
Athens, located 70 miles east of Atlanta, is centered around the historic architecture of Antebellum-era buildings and Victorian-era homes. Athens is also a hub for all of the fine arts, specifically their music scene. Athens is the home to UGA's Performing and Visual Arts Complex, Hodgson School of Music, the Performing Arts Center, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Georgia Museum of Art, 40 Watt Club and Georgia Theatre. For more active and sporty retirees, golf is huge in Athens and the Athens Bicycling group welcomes riders of all ages and speeds.
In Bellingham there are countless activities that would interest many of their older residents, such as world-class sailing, hiking and scenery, a manageably sized city, and a cool and unique arts scene. For retirees who still want more citylife, the town is also conveniently located 80 miles north of Seattle, which is easily accessible by amtrak. The involved and extensive arts scene of this town will definitely keep art-loving retirees’ calendars full. The fanciest arts venue in Bellingham is the Mount Baker Theatre, a restored Moorish movie palace built in 1927, which draws a lot of high-profile touring acts.
Portsmouth has actually been named as "one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This town is chock full of historic buildings, sidewalk cafes, galleries, boutiques and jazz clubs. University of New Hampshire’s art museum showcases over 1,500 works and also supports exhibitions, concerts and poetry readings. At the Memorial Union Building, movies, plays and lectures are always on the bill. Nearby, Exeter is packed with Victorian architecture, bell towers, stone walls and a charming downtown. For more active retirees, there are countless golf courses, 66 miles of coastline for sailing, and several marshes and rivers that are perfect for canoeing and kayaking. Mountain bikers also enjoy the Rockingham Recreational Trail, which runs for 26 miles.
For art-lovers, there are countless museums, including the Quadrangle, a cluster of five world-class museums on Chestnut Street, which surrounds the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. There is also the Springfield Symphony Hall, built in 1911-1913, hosts classical music and traveling Broadway shows while its sister venue, CityStage features a wider range of performances. Springfield is also home to many historic sites, which includes the home of Emily Dickinson and Deerfield, a pioneer village that has been preserved intact and is open for tourists. There are also abundant outdoor recreational activities. Boating and fishing are popular on the Connecticut River and other nearby waterways. Mount Holyoke Range State Park offers hiking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. For alpine skiing, the valley is an easy day trip to numerous small ski resorts. Golfers have numerous quality courses to choose from as well.