Special Report

Best US Cities for Retirees

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Retirement is a major life milestone. Without a five-day workweek, there is more time to take up new hobbies, volunteer, pursue interests, and travel. And some U.S. cities are better than others for traveling retirees. 

To identify the best U.S. cities for retirees to travel, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Retirement Travel Index, published by product review site AginginPlace.org. The report ranked some of the largest and most-visited cities in the U.S., according to WorldAtlas and Ballotpedia. The measures in the index include the number of art galleries, nature and wildlife areas, and attractions, average annual rainfall, investment in public transportation, and the percentage of hotels with wheelchair access. Travel index scores are out of 10. 

The cities on this list span the country. The states with the most cities on this list of 40 are Texas with five, and California and Arizona, with four each. Florida is next with three. Only California has two cities in the top 5: Los Angeles at No. 4 and San Francisco at No. 2. Both cities have among the highest numbers of attractions and art galleries of any city. (Here’s a can’t miss museum in every state everyone should visit.)

Lodged in between these two cities, Chicago comes in at No. 3, boasting a high number of attractions and a high percentage of easily accessible hotels at 45% of all hotels. The top city for retiree travelers is Las Vegas, with a high number of attractions, nature areas, and nearly 57% of hotels easily accessible. The city also has the lowest amount of rainfall of cities on the list.

Rounding out the top 5 is New York, which has the highest number of attractions of any U.S. city, the most art galleries, and a widely used public transit system. For nature lovers, Tucson, Arizona, at No. 6, offers the second most nature areas of cities on the list. (Here is the most beautiful natural wonder in every state.)

Click here to see the best US cities for retirees

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40. Memphis, Tennessee
> Retirement score (out of 10): 1.54
> Art galleries: 7
> Nature and wildlife areas: 2

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39. Mesa, Arizona
> Retirement score (out of 10): 1.97
> Art galleries: 1
> Nature and wildlife areas: 1

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38. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
> Retirement score (out of 10): 2.86
> Art galleries: 7
> Nature and wildlife areas: 1

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37. Atlanta, Georgia
> Retirement score (out of 10): 3.04
> Art galleries: 23
> Nature and wildlife areas: 1

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36. San Jose, Arizona
> Retirement score (out of 10): 3.08
> Art galleries: 7
> Nature and wildlife areas: 2

35. El Paso, Illinois
> Retirement score (out of 10): 3.21
> Art galleries: 3
> Nature and wildlife areas: 1

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34. Fort Worth, Texas
> Retirement score (out of 10): 3.42
> Art galleries: 7
> Nature and wildlife areas: 4

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33. Detroit, Alabama
> Retirement score (out of 10): 3.51
> Art galleries: 11
> Nature and wildlife areas: 2

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32. Fresno, California
> Retirement score (out of 10): 3.63
> Art galleries: 3
> Nature and wildlife areas: 5

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31. Indianapolis, Indiana
> Retirement score (out of 10): 3.72
> Art galleries: 6
> Nature and wildlife areas: 3

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30. Sacramento, California
> Retirement score (out of 10): 3.85
> Art galleries: 15
> Nature and wildlife areas: 1

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29. Nashville, Tennessee
> Retirement score (out of 10): 3.98
> Art galleries: 18
> Nature and wildlife areas: 2

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28. Baltimore, Maryland
> Retirement score (out of 10): 4.06
> Art galleries: 21
> Nature and wildlife areas: 1

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27. Columbus, Ohio
> Retirement score (out of 10): 4.10
> Art galleries: 9
> Nature and wildlife areas: 2

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26. Kansas City, Kansas
> Retirement score (out of 10): 4.23
> Art galleries: 8
> Nature and wildlife areas: 7

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25. Louisville, Kentucky
> Retirement score (out of 10): 4.40
> Art galleries: 14
> Nature and wildlife areas: 5

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24. Jacksonville, Florida
> Retirement score (out of 10): 4.49
> Art galleries: 5
> Nature and wildlife areas: 14

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23. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
> Retirement score (out of 10): 4.53
> Art galleries: 17
> Nature and wildlife areas: 4

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22. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
> Retirement score (out of 10): 4.66
> Art galleries: 9
> Nature and wildlife areas: 1

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21. San Antonio, Texas
> Retirement score (out of 10): 5.04
> Art galleries: 15
> Nature and wildlife areas: 3

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20. Phoenix, Arizona
> Retirement score (out of 10): 5.17
> Art galleries: 5
> Nature and wildlife areas: 7

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19. Charlotte, North Carolina
> Retirement score (out of 10): 5.34
> Art galleries: 9
> Nature and wildlife areas: 8

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18. Boston, Massachusetts
> Retirement score (out of 10): 5.38
> Art galleries: 27
> Nature and wildlife areas: 4

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17. Honolulu, Hawaii
> Retirement score (out of 10): 5.39
> Art galleries: 19
> Nature and wildlife areas: 2

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16. Denver, Colorado
> Retirement score (out of 10): 5.47
> Art galleries: 25
> Nature and wildlife areas: 2

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15. Houston, Texas
> Retirement score (out of 10): 5.47
> Art galleries: 36
> Nature and wildlife areas: 6

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14. Miami, Florida
> Retirement score (out of 10): 5.47
> Art galleries: 53
> Nature and wildlife areas: 7

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13. Washington, District of Columbia
> Retirement score (out of 10): 5.68
> Art galleries: 24
> Nature and wildlife areas: 4

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12. Dallas, Texas
> Retirement score (out of 10): 5.73
> Art galleries: 26
> Nature and wildlife areas: 5

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11. Albuquerque, New Mexico
> Retirement score (out of 10): 5.94
> Art galleries: 40
> Nature and wildlife areas: 5

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10. Portland, Oregon
> Retirement score (out of 10): 6.07
> Art galleries: 37
> Nature and wildlife areas: 6

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9. Orlando, Florida
> Retirement score (out of 10): 6.07
> Art galleries: 17
> Nature and wildlife areas: 9

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8. Seattle, Washington
> Retirement score (out of 10): 6.33
> Art galleries: 54
> Nature and wildlife areas: 6

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7. Austin, Texas
> Retirement score (out of 10): 6.33
> Art galleries: 33
> Nature and wildlife areas: 9

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6. Tucson, Arizona
> Retirement score (out of 10): 6.41
> Art galleries: 51
> Nature and wildlife areas: 13

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5. New York, New York
> Retirement score (out of 10): 6.45
> Art galleries: 216
> Nature and wildlife areas: 4

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4. Los Angeles, California
> Retirement score (out of 10): 6.97
> Art galleries: 57
> Nature and wildlife areas: 7

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3. Chicago, Illinois
> Retirement score (out of 10): 7.35
> Art galleries: 72
> Nature and wildlife areas: 8

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2. San Francisco, California
> Retirement score (out of 10): 7.73
> Art galleries: 71
> Nature and wildlife areas: 10

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1. Las Vegas, Nevada
> Retirement score (out of 10): 7.95
> Art galleries: 50
> Nature and wildlife areas: 10

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