8. Charlottesville, VA
From its collection of historic buildings to the University of Virginia and proximity to beautiful mountains, Charlottesville, Va., has much to offer as a retirement destination. Beyond the city’s aesthetic appeal, Charlottesville is packed with attractions and amenities that rival those found in much larger cities. The city’s proximity to Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway along with a true four-seasons climate make it a top choice for outdoor lovers. The low health-care costs, high concentration of recreational activities, good weather and walkable areas found in Charlottesville make it one of the Best Places to Retire.
During the school year, Charlottesville fills with more than 20,000 college students who bring a youthful, creative energy to the city, and make it one of the Best College Towns in America. The university provides many educational and entertainment experiences for residents, including art shows, theatrical performances, concerts and sporting events. Downtown Charlottesville contains an assortment of restaurants and shops, many of which can be found at the Downtown Mall, one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls in the country. Paramount Theater, which was recently renovated, hosts Broadway shows and other performances, while smaller theaters in and around Charlottesville offer more community-level experiences. Charlottesville’s 20-plus bookstores provide book lovers with plenty of shelves to browse and places to discuss plot points.
See where Charlottesville ranks on our 2016 list of 100 Best Places to Live
Home prices are in line with most of the nation, and living expenses tend to be on the lower end of East Coast cities. In addition to a few retirement communities and assisted living centers, Charlottesville offers homes set amongst quiet rolling hills, suburban areas and more urban environments. City parks and recreation centers provide places to participate in many sports like tennis, soccer, basketball, disc golf and swimming. Nearby mountain ranges offer excellent hiking in summer months and snow skiing in the winter. In addition, golfers will find four suitable courses in and around Charlottesville. Did we also mention the Monticello wine trail?