#3. Scottsdale, AZ
It may not come as a surprise that this Arizona city landed near the top of the list. With its year-round sunshine, warm days and cool nights and (mostly) low humidity, Scottsdale makes it effortless for retirees to relax and spend time outdoors.
If you settle down in Scottsdale in retirement, you’ll be in good company, as roughly 23 percent of the city’s 250,000 residents are over the age of 65.
This northeast suburb of Phoenix offers quick access to Tonto National Forest, where you can explore nearly 3 million acres of diverse terrain by hiking, bicycling, fishing, picnicking or just by taking a scenic drive. There are also more than 30 parks in Scottsdale, plus an impressive municipal tennis facility where you can play tennis, racquetball, squash, sand volleyball, basketball and baseball to your heart’s content. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a Scottsdale gem, offering more than 120 miles of hiking, biking and horse trails (and dogs are welcome!).
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention all the truly incredible places to hit the links in Scottsdale, which is home to dozens of golf courses that people from all over the world travel to play.
If arts and culture are top priorities, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts has you covered with tons of performances and events ranging from film festivals to comedians to music. There are also lectures, films and regularly changing exhibits at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. The city also has a robust public art program, which makes the entire city feel like one big art gallery.