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Why Jacksonville, NC is a Great Place to Retire

There are some great reasons to pick Jacksonville as the place to spend your leisure years.

By Marc Acton on November 8, 2016

Jacksonville, NC
Jacksonville / Courtesy of the City of Jacksonville

Every retiree has their own priorities. If your favorite grandkids are in San Diego, you’re probably not going to settle anywhere east of the Mississippi. But there are some places that are better than others to hang your retirement hat. You could go the big city, suburb route, which have their advantages, but can also come with crazy traffic and a high cost of living. You need a place that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, but still gives you the quality of life you want. And here’s why we think Jacksonville, NC is just that place.

Things to Do in Jacksonville, NC

It’s a Military Town

If you’re a military retiree, this is a no-brainer. Military towns give you access to benefits that you earned through your service, like on-post shopping, entertainment and health care. But even if you’re not a veteran retiree, military towns generally punch above their weight class when it comes to dining, shopping and activity options. Jacksonville is no exception.

It Has Tons of Free Entertainment

Just about every outdoor activity is available to you in Jacksonville, many at little or no cost. Sunrise strolls on the beach, or boating on the nearly endless intercoastal and inland waterways, you’re never far from a great time on or near the water. And with a national forest (Croatan) just a short drive away, and plenty of private and public land between here and there, it’s never hard to find a place to hunt, camp or fish.

It Has Great, Affordable Housing Options

With a median home price of $155,400 as of 2016, the housing market in Jacksonville is very welcoming to newcomers. Affordable housing is available and plentiful, but there are also plenty of high-end neighborhoods around for buyers looking for a little more.

Best Places to Eat in Jacksonville


It’s a Small Town with Big Dining Options

A lot of things go into making a city a great place to live, but dining options, namely delicious dining options, are on the more important side of things. Fortunately, Jacksonville has a wonderfully diverse food scene, with everything from down-home Southern cooking to authentic Korean or Moroccan. 

The Sun, the Sand & the Ocean

Living the coastal life isn’t just about having things to do. It’s also a mindset—a frame of mind. Retirement means your life doesn’t have to be about the hustle and bustle of work life anymore, and life on the coast of Carolina fits that mentality perfectly. It also helps that the climate here stays pretty mild. You'll still have a winter, but it'll be shorter and almost without snow. (Jacksonville averages 1.5" of snow per year.) Be ready for a warm summer, though, with temperatures averaging between 80-90 degrees F from May-September.

Coastal Living Has its Perks

It’s a Family Town

Jacksonville combines the down-home living you find in great small towns across the country, with the special mix of Southern hospitality only found in North Carolina. And like every military town, residents are used to newcomers coming in and out, so you won’t ever feel like an outsider.

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