12 Best Retirement Cities for Physically Active Residents

David Bolton


November 24, 2020

Retirement Communities
12 Best Retirement Cities for Physically Active Residents | Retire Fearless

Are you planning to spend your golden years sleeping most of the time? Well, we strongly believe that it might not be a good idea and that's why you need to look for the best retirement city for physically active residents.

Even though nearly 50 million United States residents are currently aged 65 years or older, this figure is expected to rise to about 80 million by 2050. Well, this is at least according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If you're in this age bracket, you're most likely looking for a safe and healthy community retirement. In most cases, you're probably looking for the best retirement city for physically active residents as it can enhance the quality of your life in your golden years. As such, knowing the cities and counties that are most suitable for retirees looking to remain active in their golden years can be of great help to many senior citizens.

Many retirees are unaware that all the things they've always been waiting to do in their retirement won't necessarily make them happy. As a retiring senior citizen, the most important thing is to remain healthy and this requires you to remain physically active. That being said, it's of great importance to consider the best retirement cities for the physically active. You certainly want a place where you can exercise your body, mind, and soul while also staying healthy. Well, such places are spread throughout the United States.

In this article, we'll look at the best retirement cities for physically active residents. To make it a lot easier for you, we'll categorize the best east of the Mississippi River and west of the Mississippi River.


Table of contents

Things to Consider when Choosing the Best Place to Retire and Remain Physically Active

While many senior citizens consider many factors such as the quality of life, tax issues, and security when choosing the best place to retire, it certainly goes beyond that. Whether you love a laidback rural area or want to retire in a city or a sunshine state, the most important thing during your golden years is your overall health and wellbeing. So no matter where you choose, it's of great importance to consider a place that can enhance your quality of life in terms of being healthy and this calls for the need to remain physically active.

With that in mind, you should consider a place where you can indulge in lots of physical activities of your interest including golfing, going to the gym, hiking, volunteering, and all these physical activities that would ensure that you remain and stay active. This, of course, doesn't mean that you shouldn't consider other factors such as tax, costs of living, and such but you should always give your overall health and wellbeing a priority.

The Most Popular Physical Activities for Retirees

You're probably wondering about the type of physical activities that you can perform in your retirement, especially if you're not so passionate about a particular activity. With that in mind, here are a few of the most popular physical activities for retirees. We'll categorize them in terms of physical exercises and volunteering.

Physical Exercises

  • Dance classes including ballroom dancing, swing, salsa, and line dancing
  • Walking and hiking
  • Golf, tennis, racquetball, snooker, and pickleball
  • Gym membership with activities such as weight lifting, swimming, and cardio
  • Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, and Barre classes

Volunteering Activities

  • Tutoring
  • Small business mentorship
  • Animal rescues
  • Hospitals
  • Churches
  • Charity thrift shops
  • Homeless shelters, habitat for humanity, and children's homes

The Best Retirement Cities to Stay Active

East of the Mississippi River

Wilmington, Delaware

Located along the Cape Fear River and the Intracoastal Waterway on the Atlantic Ocean, Wilmington possesses nearly all the essential features that a physically active retiree is looking for. From the Wilmington Riverwalk strings to the healthy conscious downtown eateries and several tourist attractions, Wilmington has everything that you need all in one place.

As a waterfront setting, Wilmington has several outdoor options, lots of golf courses, and thousands of hiking trails. In essence, Wilmington is a charming port city that has a four season climate, offers many activities to ensure that you remain physically active, and topnotch medical facilities to ensure that you remain in good health at all times.

Portland, Maine

Having undergone a serious resurgence over the last two decades as an important port and manufacturing center, Portland is considered one of the most livable cities in the United States, especially for physically active residents. Bustling with good restaurants, several walking trails, and a just completed 30mile network of biking trails, this is one of the best places to remain physically active.

There are also lots of physical activity events such as pickleball at Rechie, running events, and physical activity classes for all ages. You can also indulge in yoga, dance classes, and various programs that are tailored to reduce falls while increasing activity levels among senior citizens.

Madison, Wisconsin

Ranked among the best places to volunteer in, it's not a surprise that 40% of retirees in Madison always volunteer in various activities across the city. This is at least according to volunteeringinamerica.org; a highly ranked bicycling magazine that looks into various outdoor activities.

The city's downtown is vibrant with a hub of activities, lush outdoors, and an endless offer of many volunteering opportunities. You can also enjoy activities such as sand volleyball, Frisbee, and softball among other engaging physical activities. There are also numerous biking trails and paths that make biking super easy and enjoyable for people of all ages.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

If you've been thinking of retiring in the great state of Michigan but want to avoid the problems that come with living in Detroit, Ann Arbor might be the right place for you. This is a university related retirement community that has one of the highest numbers of doctors per capita as well as some of the most desirable assisted living facilities for senior citizens.

Located amid rolling hills and beautifully bisected by the great Huron River, Ann Arbor features various outdoor recreation activities including kayaking, mountain biking, and lots of hiking trails that are all geared towards ensuring that you remain physically active and in good health.

Lexington, Kentucky

Home to the famous University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Wildcats, Lexington is known as the "Horse Capital of the World" but is a superb place for seniors who want to stay physically active in their golden years in a laid back environment. This city is located at the heart of Bluegrass Country and is surrounded by several horse farms.

If you want to stay active by indulging in various outdoor activities, you can choose to go fishing or a host of boating activities that are available in the city. You can also enjoy some swimming activities as well as other activities that are so engaging such as horse riding if you're strong and active enough for it. Better still, Lexington is one of the most affordable places to live in, which is more advantageous to retirees.

New York City, New York

The Big Apple may be known for all its bravado and showmanship but it remains the best places for energetic senior citizens. New York City is known to offer several areas where both senior citizens and young people can practice yoga, Pilate, and indulge in other gym activities that are essential for their physical wellbeing.

This city ranks so high in the cycling index and is a superb place for retirees who want to stay in a vibrant city while indulging in activities that make them physically active. Simply put, there's never a dull moment in the Big Apple, and you'll automatically remain physically active.

West of Mississippi

Boulder, Colorado

If you are active enough to tolerate living at 5,400 feet altitude and don't care much about water sports, the rocky mountains of Boulder, Colorado might be one of the best places to retire and remain physically active. Boulder may have a chilly climate but there are endless physical activities that are geared towards people of all ages including retirees.

You can indulge in various physical activities such as walking uphill, jogging, running, low impact aerobics, dancing, and light to moderate workouts on the numerous gyms across the city. You can also indulge in various outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and playing with a Frisbee.

Portland, Oregon

Famous for its rivers and mountains at every turn, Portland is known as one of the best outdoorsy areas in the entire country. It's ranked fifth in terms of volunteering and second in terms of bicycle index. This city is quickly becoming popular with retirees looking for a physically active retirement destination.

This is a destination that will offer you a luxurious lifestyle besides the numerous physical activities that will ensure that you remain active and healthy. If you're a veggie lover, Portland offers it in abundance. It is also one of the safest places in the country. As one of the best bike friendly cities in the country, you actually do not need a car to survive in Portland. Get a bike, eat healthy, indulge in endless physical activities, and your golden years will be as good as they come.

Santa Barbara, California

One of the best places to retire in California, Santa Barbara offers mild temperatures, plenty of places to play and socialize, and endless health and fitness options. Located between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara has an endless list of recreational opportunities for senior citizens. This area provides some of the best hiking in the west of Mississippi let alone the state itself.

There are also a dozen open spaces and parks that offer fitness classes and recreation centers for seniors. Whether you've been planning to indulge in some physical activities such as arts and crafts activities, lawn bowling, dance classes, or want to pick a new hobby such as golfing, swimming, or tennis, Santa Barbara has several activities that are geared towards making senior adults physically active.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle may be known and the techhub of the world and has a chilly mist obscuring the mountainous sceneries most of the year. However, it ranks very high in terms of volunteering, biking, hiking, which are all essential for seniors who are looking to remain active. This amazing city boasts world class health care, several water recreation shorelines, stunning hiking trails, and locally grown food markets that are all essential if you want to age well in your golden years.

The mild climate and abundance of lakes, as well as beaches and mountains, make Seattle one of the most stunning places to retire. This is because you can enjoy lots of amazing experiences in superb outdoor areas such as hiking and camping without worrying about your safety.

Billings, Montana

Imagine a place named Magic City! Imagine a place that's widely known as one of the most inviting places west of Mississippi. Do not let the snowy mountains of Billings demoralize you; this is one of the best chilly places to enjoy some of the best physical activities in your golden years.

This is a great place for senior citizens who want to enjoy a superb outdoor area with urban amenities. You can spend your time walking and hiking or mountain biking on the nearby Sword Park Trail and the Phipps Park Trail. You can also indulge in some sporting activities by spending your evenings supporting the Billings Mustangs at Dehler Park. In essence, Billings offers senior citizens city living that's not too far from some of the best outdoors in the country.

San Francisco, California

Known as the best place to retire to in California, San Francisco is known for its majestic mountains, ancient redwood forests, and pristine beaches. This is an excellent place to create a new life as a retirement place if you want to remain physically active. While the weather can be chilly and foggy it sometimes varies greatly and gives an opportunity to indulge in several physical activities such as volunteering, playing pickleball, attending dance classes, doing some yoga activities.

While the cost of living in San Francisco, the city offers loads of activities that will help you build strength and endurance. Whether you've been looking to learn line dancing, indulge in swimming, or any other activity that will make you physically active, San Francisco will provide you with lots of options.

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About Us

We love planning for retirement. It's somewhat of a hobby, and we want to share what we've learned with you. Over the years we've found the best ways to live, how to travel, take on new hobbies and give back. Happiness in retirement is the main goal, and having the right information allows us (and you) to achieve that.

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