Abingdon, VA is a Top Retirement Destination

By Kevin Litwin and Tiffany Williams on April 20, 2012 at 3:15 am EST
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PHOTO CREDIT: Ian Curcio

Rest easy: Abingdon continues to grow in status as a retirement destination.

In fact, Where to Retire magazine has praised Abingdon for being an undiscovered haven. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal featured the town as an ideal retirement community, pointing out its stunning vistas, thriving arts community and charming downtown. The Wall Street Journal also pointed out that the city has abundant natural resources and a mild climate.

For recreation, the community features the Abingdon Senior Center, a nonprofit agency that offers activities, education, social events and volunteer opportunities for seniors. Some popular activities include ballroom dancing‚ exercise classes‚ crafts and a monthly game night and covered-dish supper. The senior center also provides health screening‚ walking paths‚ day trips and a self-service library with books‚ games‚ puzzles and music.

Another spot designated just for seniors is the College for Older Adults at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center. For persons aged 50 and older, the college offers classes on a variety of subjects, ranging from historical and cultural topics to the practical and contemporary. Students also have the option to suggest classes, teach and network with other students.

Meanwhile, housing options are also attractive for seniors. The non-denominational ElderSpirit Community is open to people of any faith. Offering 29 mixed-income, co-housing homes, the community gives residents a choice to live in a duplex, townhouse or apartment. There is also a common house where they all can eat together and discuss topics such as spirituality and the role of elderly people in the world. Pledging to help care for one another in their later years, each resident at ElderSpirit also donates four hours per week for the good of the community. Those volunteering opportunities can include landscaping, teaching an art class or giving a fellow resident a ride to the doctor.

Westhaven Retirement Living is a 24-hour-a-day assistance center that offers its residents three balanced meals, laundry services and daily housekeeping and trash removal. The center also provides residents with activities emphasizing physical strengthening and emotional well-being. Westhaven also makes sure that there's something to do for everyone. Crafts, bingo, exercise, air hockey, movies, birthday parties, dances, bands and karaoke are some of the available activities. If that's not enough, the center also offers a breathtaking view of the Appalachian Mountains.

Abingdon also has several cultural venues that can pique the interest of residents of all ages. The William King Regional Arts Center houses galleries of regional and international art, while the Barter Theatre is one of the longest-running professional regional theaters in the United States. The city also is listed as a Virginia Historic Landmark and includes a 20-square-block historic district highlighted by the Fields-Penn 1860 House Museum.

Find more on living in Abingdon, VA.

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People have described this as some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere, with farmlands, mountains, forest. We’ve had people come to hike and decide to move here.

Joyce Ferratt, Abingdon resident