America’s Top 10 Places for Active Retirees

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active senior couple – Yuri A /

Everyone wants to find the right spot to retire. For some people, that means easy access to theaters and sports arenas while others want a house surrounded by warm air and water views.

There are thousands of cities across the U.S. that offer what you want, but WalletHub has narrowed it down for you. The personal finance company compared the retirement-friendliness of 182 cities across four key categories using 45 different metrics.

Within the “Activities” category, WalletHub assessed the number of recreation and senior centers per capita as well as the number of museums, theaters, municipal golf courses, music venues and more.

Based on their scores, here are the top cities if you’re looking for activity and excitement in retirement.

10. San Diego

San Diego
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On WalletHub’s list, San Diego also ranked among the top 10 cities with the best quality of life. This may be in part because of its mild weather, which is perfect for golfing year round.

In fact, the Southern California coastal city is home to one of the nation’s premier golf courses, Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course. In addition to beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, San Diego residents can enjoy discounted course fees – even on weekends and holidays.

9. Minneapolis

Minneapolis bridge with bikers, runners.
James Kirkikis /

Dubbed the “City of Lakes,” it’s no surprise that the Minneapolis park system offers 22 lakes, 12 gardens and 55 miles of biking and walking paths. In addition to its 180 parks, the biggest city in Minnesota maintains seven golf courses.

Worried about the cold winters? According to the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, there are several cross-country skiing trails, ice rinks and tubing hills to keep you active. Or stay inside and explore the city’s rich cultural history at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

8. Atlanta

The Little Five Points district in Atlanta, Georgia
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While Atlanta didn’t rank high in any of WalletHub’s other major categories, Georgia’s capital city still a hot market for active retirees. Real estate company Redfin credits Atlanta for its vibrant nightlife and endless social events, including October Pride.

After hours of dancing and parading, you’ll work up an appetite. Go ahead and indulge in Southern comforts, like chicken and waffles. Redfin says, “Atlanta’s food scene is a delectable melting pot of flavors and cultures.”

7. Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada
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Las Vegas has long been known for glitzy casinos, fine dining and world-renowned stage performances. But as Canyon Tours points out, there’s a lot more to do in Vegas than gamble and party the night away.

From Sin City, you’re about a three-hour drive from the Grand Canyon, less than an hour northwest of the Hoover Dam and only 17 miles away from Red Rock Canyon. If you’re still looking for dinner and a show, check out First Friday. It’s where you’ll find locals soaking up homegrown arts and entertainment.

6. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida
Sean Pavone /

Fort Lauderdale residents enjoy more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, which you can fully soak up along its 165 miles of inland waterways.

When you’re ready for a break from the sun, head to the Riverwalk. This path is the heart and soul of Fort Lauderdale, where you’ll find the Broward Center for Performing Arts and the Museum of Discovery and Science.

5. Tampa, Florida

Tampa waterfront homes with boats.
Peter Titmuss /

Sports fans and families will love Tampa the most. Tampa Bay is home to four professional sports teams plus a spring training baseball facility at Charlotte Sports Park. College-level athletics are played here too with both the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa calling this city home.

For all the retirees running for “best grandparents of the year” award, Disney World is just a one-hour drive away. Best of all, Tampa ranks 40th in WalletHub’s “affordability” category, which means you can actually shell out for all these games and parks.

4. Cincinnati, Ohio

Street scene in Cincinnati, Ohio
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Creative minds will thrive in Cincinnati. The Midwest city features several art museums and performing arts centers including the Taft Museum of Art and the Ensemble Theatre.

And with the Ohio River running right through the city, you can expect a lot of picturesque parks, bike paths and hiking trails — perfect for exercise and inspiration.

3. Miami

Miami Beach
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Retirees will feel young and invigorated living in a city like Miami. Whether you head to Brickell for dinner or South Beach for some sun, there is always somewhere to go and something to do.

If you’re looking for activities specifically for adults 55 and older, Miami-Dade’s Park Services have you covered with fitness classes, sewing workshops and organized field trips. But beware, though. Rising sea levels in Miami are a serious concern, as experts project the city will be 6 to 10 inches above 1992 average sea levels by the year 2030.

2. San Francisco

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San Francisco does not get high marks for affordability, but the hilly city does offer breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay at its highest points. Not to mention, San Francisco is home to numerous landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Zoo, Oracle Park and Alcatraz Island.

There’s not much San Francisco doesn’t offer, which explains why the city ranks so high in three of the major categories evaluated by WalletHub: Activities, Quality of Life and Health Care.

1. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.
Sean Pavone /

The top-ranking city for active retirees is none other than the nation’s capital. With countless museums, memorials and monuments in and around Washington, D.C., you will never run out of things to do.

Even though the cost of living here is sky-high, many of the national parks and attractions are free of charge. Washington, D.C. is also known to have some of the nation’s best public transportation, so maybe you can eliminate the expense of owning and parking a car every day.

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