In this Gulf Coast locale, the first celebration of Mardi Gras took place -- a tradition that still engages the residents. This busy port city is gaining attention with its businesses, such as a new $600 million Airbus plant, and its lively downtown. Festivals such as SouthSounds, a music extravaganza, enliven and enrich. And locals seem to have written the book on friendliness. One retiree from New York says, “Southern hospitality is pretty much what it’s cracked up to be.”
The Virginia capital city is rooted in American history, but its revitalization as a flourishing, cultured city is unmistakable. Its opera, symphony and theaters have healthy ticket sales, and trips to the beach, the mountains and Colonial Williamsburg are easy jaunts. The University of Richmond hosts lifelong-learning classes and trips, and the American Civil War Museum interprets the conflict with sensitivity for both sides. Retirees kayak on the James River and bicycle on nearby paths.
Widely known for its arts and culture, Sarasota welcomes retirees who volunteer with the symphony orchestra, ballet company and opera house -- as well as attend the soul-stirring concerts and performances. On Florida’s western coast, 60 miles south of Tampa, the city has varied restaurants from Amish to Cuban. Its nearby beaches, including Siesta Key, consistently win kudos for their beauty. Active-adult communities are here, building camaraderie.
Even 1,000 years ago, Taos was breaking the mold. Its Taos Pueblo, a multistory adobe structure, is the oldest continuously inhabited building in the Western Hemisphere. Nurturing creativity is in Taos’ DNA, as artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and authors such as D.H. Lawrence found inspiration here. Diversity and even quirkiness are welcome in this part of northern New Mexico. Hiking the trails along the Rio Grande and on Wheeler Peak exhilarate the mind and body.
8 Cities to Park the Car and Walk
Bring on the comfortable walking shoes! Foot transportation is healthy, since it increases stamina and reduces pollution and traffic congestion. It also is wonderfully free. These eight cities make walking easy and convenient: Annapolis, MD; Ashland, OR; Charlottesville, VA; Flagstaff, AZ; Fort Collins, CO; Greenville, SC; Santa Fe, NM; and Tallahassee, FL.
Sampling Retirement Lifestyles
“But what is the master-planned community really like, beyond the sales pitches and brochures?” Retirees set out to answer this question by staying a few days and meeting some residents. Many neighborhoods offer programs in which a minimal fee is paid to experience the development -- its amenities, its food, its people -- in real life.
Financial Consultant: Selling Your Home With an Agent or by Owner
Some relocating retirees wouldn’t dream of selling their house without a real estate agent, and others wouldn’t dream of paying that commission and choose to sell it themselves. No question that each option has pros and cons, but more help than ever is available to those who want to put in the time and effort to list their house on the market on their own.
Roads to Retirement: Oregon Wine Trail: Albany, Corvallis, Eugene
Best Neighborhood: Compass Pointe in Leland, NC