I will to going to Burlington VT next week to seek the leaf foliage. I know Vermont has a lot of small towns that would be a great place to live and would like to visit some. We plan to do a lot of driving, maybe up hwy 100 and then one day up to the North toward Montreal.
If you know of any good small towns that I could review while in VT, please let me know. If you have retired in VT, let us know where you live and what the area has to offer.
UPDATE: Well I did visit Vermont and really liked it. We staying in Burlington and liked everything about it. It has a University, a great small town for walking, many restaurants, many sites to see like the Vermont Teddy Bear factory, Lake Champlain, and others. We did Stowe, the ski resort up in the mountains were I took that photo at the top of the post. Side trips up to Montreal Canada and over to upstate New York were great too. I see from our site that there are several 55+ communities in Vermont so I need to take another visit.
It is suggested that living in a small town would be safer than living in a city or urban setting. With coronavirus there is more risks in living closer together, that’s why there is talk of people moving out of cities to the suburbs and smaller towns. In a small town you would be far removed from city gangs or crime waves. You would probably know and respect your neighbors. You would probably be living a more self sufficient lifestyle, maybe making or growing some of your food.
If things deteriorated in the city, people would start leaving and relocating to small towns or other locations. That is what is happening in Mexico right now, with the drug cartel crime wave and killings, Mexican citizens are relocating to Texas or Arizona to get away. Just pulling up stakes and leaving. The same thing could happen here in the USA. Where would you go?
Knowing your neighbors and respecting and relying on each other, certainly has it’s benefits if things get tougher. Helping each other out and watching out for each other is more likely to take place in small towns.
Being more self sufficient is a trait most people living in small towns have. They don’t have all the services and trades available to pick up the phone and have someone come over to do the job. So they learn to do it themselves. Many people small town residents have gardens so they can grow their own food. They are close to farmers where they may be able to purchase fresh produce if transportation to the grocery and cities break down. Growing a Victory Garden is now “in”. I have started my Victory Garden with Heirlooms seeds in my Square Foot Garden. These Square Foot Gardens can be grown just about anywhere, but having a bit of land sure would be nice.
Many people living in small towns have hunted and fished at some point. Those skills may come in handy. Just as important is being close to the forest where game live.
Real estate values in small towns could hold their own or maybe even increase as more people look to move out of the cities if this crises escalates. Some people already are moving to ‘the country” who have lost their jobs and are looking for more affordable housing.
Texas is one of the largest states in the U.S. Due to this fact; it stands to reason that Texas has a variety of different cities and townships that operate in a variety of ways. The state of Texas has many metropolitan areas that attract hundreds of thousands to millions of inhabitants to the metro area. Texas is also made up of a large number of small, unique towns.
Some small towns in Texas are the epitome of the American experience. Small town living has many advantages, and at the top of the list is the feeling of being one large family. Small towns in Texas often have families who have been in the community for decades or more. It is also easy to get to know new -comers in a small Texas town. If you are looking for a homey, family feeling community, small towns in Texas are a good place to start and here are some we like.
After having lived in an urbanized suburb of Atlanta for 40 years, this is the year I will be moving out to a Del Webb community Atlanta in a small town. Granted it is on outskirts of the metro area, about 15 minutes from a major mall and commercial district, but it will still be plenty different from my current location.
There are groceries stores, UPS store, some restaurants, liquor stores, banks and others around my new community. A biggie is a brand new 100 bed hospital at the entrance to my new community. That is actually closer than my current hospitals.
What is also closer is recreation amenities right in the community, plenty of sidewalks and trails for walking. There are daily activities, a gym and indoor and outdoor pools at the clubhouse which is within walking distance from my new home.
Our current friends will be about 45 minutes to an hour from our new community so we can still stay in touch and meet for lunch. At the new community there will be plenty of opportunities to meet new friends who will live in the same community and be available during the week, not just the weekends.
After a month or so at the new community I will have to do a post with my observations about how living in an active adult community in a small town is different from what I am used to.
We are thinking all the community offers will more than make up for any dislocations of living in a small town. Part of what scares people moving from a metro area to a small town is the people – will they be accepting and what kinds of cultural changes will be faced. Most of that concern will be alleviated by moving to an active adult community with almost two thousand residents coming from all over the country and the world.
Of course my old friend the Internet will be with me. There is high speed Comcast cable and the cell phone reception is reportedly good for several carriers. Small towns these days have very good broadband and cell phone coverage
So this year will be an interesting one for us as we take life by the horns and transition to a new life in an retirement community. We have waited long enough and at age 67 and retired we look forward to making new friends and being active in our new community on a daily basis. We are avid Bocce players and they say we will fit right it. That is the first club we will sign up for, along with coin collectors club, day trippers, travel club and hiking club. That will be a good start.
As far as the town, exploring the several nearby small towns, visiting the dairy, the winery and maybe the outlet mall up the road will be on the list. The Road Atlanta sports car track is nearby and a group from the community visits the track for several races which I will probably join them. Fort Yargo Park is nearby with over 1800 areas with a 260-acre lake that offers a large swimming beach, fishing and boat ramps. Maybe it’s time to take up fishing again. I will keep you posted. -Robert Fowler
Lessons Learned From My Visit To The Villages Florida
I made a mistake of calling The Villages in Florida a small town, according to one of my social media friends. He said “Obviously you have not been there!” Well I took this under advisement and booked a weeks stay at Lake Sumter Landing in the heart of The Villages. He was right, The Villages is a large place with 120,000 residents and 60,000 golf carts, three town squares, probably 15+ recreational centers and much more. In fact, here in 2020 they are building another whole new section. The growth continues.
I had been hearing for years how much residents loved living in The Villages and I have to agree they have an attractive and somewhat unique idea. So returning from my trip I began thinking of what makes The Villages so unique. What ideas could be learned so other 55+ communities and small towns could benefit from what The Villages is doing.
Here are two ideas that struck me as unique that The Villages is doing and that might be a good idea in other places too.
1. They simply call their senior centers “recreation centers“. I like that. Everyone knows many people don’t like the name “senior” so senior centers started called themselves “adult centers” and other such names. They are really only recreation centers. Why not call them 55+ Recreational Centers or whatever minimum age fits.
2. The Villages are open to anyone to visit, eat, shop and use. Their three town squares have all kinds of events like the Arts and Crafts show and the Classic Car show when I visited. Families and persons of all ages were enjoying the town squares. Now the “villages” as they call the residential communities do have a security gate but the rest of The Villages is wide open. I like that.
I think towns could benefit from idea 1 above and just call their senior center “55+ Recreation Center”. I also think 55+ communities and small towns could benefit from more of a collaboration in joining the 55+ Community or even several 55+ Communities around a rejuvenated town square with shopping, activities, entertainment, outdoor spaces and the like. It would benefit the town and the community, which really are one and the same.
I still think, even after my visit, The Villages have a small town feeling.
Even though in total they are quite large, the town squares certainly gave me the feeling of a small town. People greeted, acknowledged and spoke with others like they do in a small town. Like a small town, people were relaxed and not in a big rush. The recreation centers are close by to each residential community so you are likely to meet your neighbors there. Yes, I think I still consider The Villages a small town.
As a child I lived in a small town and people were always helping out each other. I miss that feeling sometimes.
So I am making a list of a few things other positive advantages of living in a small town, just to remind myself and share with you.
Most people know each other and when someone needs help it is easier to find.
Families seem to be closer.
The pace is much slower
Church is a major activity
Small group gathering such as hometown picnics and celebrations bring people of all ages closer together
People are there during times of need such as death even if they are not immediate family
Relatives from the city like to visit their relatives in a small town as a peaceful get away
Crime is usually less
Gardening, fishing and other activities such as this are enjoyed
One can walk to the store, parks, church and such just for pleasure or exercise
People share what they grow in their gardens and enjoy sharing their canning recipes
When you go to the town store you actually see neighbors that you know and are on a first name basis with the butcher
Usually if there is a town Dr. and one is sick the Dr. will always see that person
Banks and insurance people know you on a first name basis
There is gossip but some times that is not all bad because people pay closer attention to doing the right thing
The elderly usually have a feeling of closeness in a small town
Housing is usually less expensive
It is a big town deal when there is a birth of a child even if that child is not family
People usually speak and say howdy even if they don’t know you
In the summer you can feel more at ease with leaving your windows and doors open to allow for fresh air
The air just smells better
The birds seem to sing louder
You can actually look at the stars, sunrise and sunset from your own front or backyard
The simple things in life are more satisfying
All in all most small town people are close and friendly
More places to get out and talk a walk
You can see stars in the night sky
With Covid virus around, it may even be safer.
So this is just a few of the positives of small town living that I remember from my childhood when I lived in a small town. Do have live in a small town or have memories of living in a small town? If so, scroll to the bottom of the page and comment to let me know.
Ann shared this post as WorkingBoomer on SmallTownRetirement