The Top 20 US Vacation Cities for Boomers Based on 4 Critical Factors

LAS VEGAS, USA - JULY 14 : World famous Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada as seen at night on July 14, 2016 in Las Vegas, USA.
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Access to amazing vacations during retirement is important to many boomers, but current anxieties over a looming recession are making this more difficult. According to recent research from Retirement Living, one in six retirees changed their travel plans this year due to recession concerns, while one in 10 canceled travel plans altogether.

Though some economists think a recession is inevitable in the near future, boomers shouldn’t necessarily worry about one to the extent that they quash their vacation plans. To help make travel more accessible, retirees may want to consider destination cities that rank highly based on a number of factors including affordability, activities, quality of life and retiree friendliness. Retirement Living weighed all these criteria to come up with the list of the top 20 U.S. vacation cities for retirees.

Here’s what Retirement Living found.

Chula Vista, California

Chula Vista, a city in the San Diego metro area, is the 20th best city for boomers to visit. It ranks 29th in quality of life, 13th in activities, 87th in cost and 80th in retirement friendliness. Though a great place to vacation in, Chula Vista is far less desirable to live in, cost-wise, as according to PayScale, cost-of-living is 35% higher there than the national average.

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond is the 19th best city for boomers to vacation in. It ranks 3rd in quality of life, 85th in activities, 16th in cost and 60th in retirement friendliness. This city could also be a good relocation destination for retirees, as according to RentCafe, it is 3% cheaper than the national average.

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Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington is the 18th best city for boomers to visit. It ranks 14th in quality of life, 52nd in activities, 6th in cost and 24th in retirement friendliness. This city could potentially be cheaper than where you already live. According to RentCafe, the cost of living is 6% cheaper than the national average.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is the 17th-best city. It ranks 47th in quality of life, 12th in activities, 78th in cost and 81st in retirement friendliness. This city boasts a cost of living that is 2% cheaper than the national average, according to RentCafe.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

The 16th best city, Tulsa ranks 113th in activities, 7th in cost, 16th in quality of life and 53rd in retiree friendliness. This city is also appealing for retirees who are looking to move to a more affordable place as, according to PayScale, it’s 13% lower than the national average.

Chesapeake, Virginia

The 15th best city, Chesapeake, ranks 150th in activities, 7th in cost, 16th in quality of life and 53rd in retiree friendliness. This city isn’t cheap to live in, though. According to Kroll Residential, the cost of living here is well above the national average.

Santa Ana, California

Santa Ana is the 14th best city for retiree vacations. It ranks 17th in activities, 88th in cost, 5th in quality of life and 108th in retiree friendliness. But living here is, for most, unsustainable as it’s among the top 2% of the most expensive cities to reside in, according to LivingCost.org.

San Antonio, Texas

The 13th best city for vacationing boomers is San Antonio. It ranks 19th in activities, 38th in cost, 24th in quality of life and 83rd in retiree friendliness. It’s right on par with the national average in terms of cost of living, according to RentCafe.

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Washington, DC

Washington is the 12th best place for retirees to visit. It ranks 7th in activities, 106th in cost, 57th in quality of life and 45th in retiree friendliness. Though a great spot to visit, it’s a terribly expensive place to live. According to RentCafe, the cost of living here is 52% higher than the national average.

Wichita, Kansas

Wichita is the 11th best place for retirees to visit. It ranks 114th in activities, 1st in cost, 4th in quality of life and 45th in retiree friendliness. It might be a wise choice to live here, too, as the cost of living is 9% lower than the national average, according to RentCafe.

The Top 10 Best Places for Boomers To Vacation

Miami, Florida

Miami is the 10th best place for retirees to visit. It ranks 6th in activities, 101st in cost, 67th in quality of life and 25th in retiree friendliness. Though a great vacation place, it’s a pricey place to live — 21% higher than the national average, according to RentCafe.

Scottsdale, Arizona

The 9th best city for vacationing retirees is Scottsdale. It ranks 14th in activities, 62nd in cost, 53rd in quality of life and 12th in retiree friendliness. It’s a less appealing place to live though, financially. According to RentCafe, the cost of living in Scottsdale is 13% higher than the national average.

Long Beach, California

The 8th best city for vacationing retirees in the U.S. is Long Beach. It ranks 9th in activities, 67th in cost, 13th in quality of life and 74th in retiree friendliness. But it’s an exorbitantly expensive city to live in. According to PayScale, the cost of living here is 51% higher than the national average.

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Sanibel Island, Florida

Sanibel Island is the 7th best city for boomers on vacation. It ranks 103rd in activities, 69th in cost, 21st in quality of life and 2nd in retiree friendliness. But it’s also a really expensive city for residents. According to PayScale, the cost of living there is 49% higher than the national average.

Charleston, North Carolina

The 6th best city for retirees to visit is Charleston. It ranks 11th in activities, 70th in cost, 6th in quality of life and 33rd in retiree friendliness. Boomers may also want to consider living here, as its cost of living is 2% below the national average, according to PayScale.

Louisville, Kentucky

The 5th best city for retirees to vacation in is Louisville. It ranks 18th in activities, 23rd in cost, 10th in quality of life and 16th in retiree friendliness. Louisville is also a pretty affordable place to dwell in. Cost of living is 21% lower than the national average, according to PayScale.

Arlington, Texas

Arlington is the 4th best vacation spot for boomers. It ranks 5th in activities, 37th in cost, 56th in quality of life and 90th in retiree friendliness. It’s a less affordable place to live though. According to Livingcost.org, the average cost of living puts it in the top 25% of the most expensive cities in the world.

New Orleans, Louisiana

The third best place for retirees to vacation is New Orleans. This city ranks 2nd in activities, 94th in cost, 69th in quality of life and 21st in retiree friendliness. But the cost of living here is 12% higher than the national average, according to RentCafe.

New York City, New York

NYC is the second best place for boomers to vacation. The city that never sleeps ranks 1st in activities, 118th in cost, 73rd in quality of life and 5th in retiree friendliness. Living here may not be the most feasible option though. The cost of living in NYC is 80% higher than the national average.

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Las Vegas, Nevada

Vacationers should be glad to learn that Las Vegas, a most popular destination, is ranked the best city for retirees to visit. It ranks 39th in activities, 52nd in cost, 68th in quality of life and 1st in retiree friendliness. In terms of livability, Las Vegas’ cost of living is 1% higher than the national average, according to PayScale.

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