Getting out and exploring new things is always fun. Exploring retirement home options can fall in to that category. Maybe you have a little more time to take a few days off. Explore retirement options in your area, your city, your region and far away. Make it your hobby to research and then to travel and experience new options you now have.
Experience the Vacation Getaways at the Active Adult 55+ Communities with a trip of 3 or 4 days and see first hand what they are all about. In addition you get to visit the town and area where the community is located. These are positive experiences at very little costs.
Next visit small towns in your area and region. This would be as short as a day trip, an overnight trip or spent 2 or 3 days and visit several small towns. Do your research first on the web and plan your visit. Visit during a festival or town event would be interesting as well. There are many advantages to retiring in a small town but just visiting can be fun too.
Next travel to a resort area and combine a vacation and a retirement research trip. Go to Hilton Head for a week. While there explore some of the communities in the area. Warning: don’t buy any timeshares while there. Enjoy your vacation and learn something too. You have a legitimate reason for visiting the communities, you are not wasting anyone’s time. You are the prime prospect, but most communities are helpful and low pressure. If you really did fall in love with the place, maybe renting for a season would be a good idea first.
Finally explore your own city. Research first then go downtown and experience the mixed use, high rise, loft, town centers and other interesting concepts in your very own metro downtown or midtown. What would it be like to walk to restaurants and museums from your very own condo. Urban life is not for everyone but there are some boomers moving downtown to experience the advanatages of retirement city living style.
But the main to remember is to have fun! There are no deadlines and you don’t have to do anything. Take your time during your visit to take it all in.
Florida, known as the Sunshine State, has been attracting people almost every year since World War II due to its warm weather, world-class entertainment, beautiful beaches and recreation areas, and proximity to both North and South America as well as the Caribbean. Although many people think of Miami or Orlando when considering moving to Florida, there are many smaller communities that are attractive and still close to those major areas. In this article, we’ll explore why these Florida retirement communities should be considered for anyone wanting to move to a small town in Florida.
1. Naples, FL – with the first people moving to what is now know as Naples, FL arriving in the 1860’s, Naples has always been noted for it’s mild climate and plethora of fish and other game. Socialites have always called this place home back to the time of Thomas Edison and Greta Garbo.
Why would someone want to live in an area known for celebrities? With one quarter of the population older than 65, this area is very retiree friendly as well as having beautiful beaches. With many cultural amenities like museums and parks, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor amenities to enjoy as well. Some museums to check out include the Collier County Museum, highlighting local history through the centuries, and the Von Liebig Art Center, which showcases art after 1950 and in the local style. Parks to enjoy include the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary , which was the first national preserve in the US Parks System and is great for birdwatching, canoeing, and kayaking, and Fakahatchee Strand State Park which is full of endangered species including the Florida Panther. It also has a 2,000 foot boardwalk to look at the natural setting. If you’re daring, you can even get a guide tour of the swamp!
Overall, Naples is full of shopping as well. Fifth Avenue South is the heart of this shopping. There are lots of little cafes and restaurants in this area. Whether you like natural stuff like parks or shopping,
2. Clearwater, FL– named one of the “Ten Best Beaches From Maine to Hawaii” by USA Today, Clearwater, FL is one of the nation’s top vacation destinations. However, with a great climate and white sand beaches, it’s also an ideal place to relocate due to a laid back lifestyle.
Located just west of Tampa, FL, Clearwater has 28 miles of beaches and is a stereotypical beach town with small roads, people hauling coolers, and lots of boats. However, it has a diverse economy with manufacturing, education, and tourism making it an easy place for people to find jobs. Being close to St. Petersburg International and Tampa International Airports also makes traveling and having friends visit easy as well.
With marinas, beaches, and an aquarium, Clearwater’s location on the beach means there’s lots of water sports and fishing. As home to the biggest fishing boat fleet on the Gulf Coast of Florida, there are many opportunities to go deep-sea fishing, dolphin watching, and just leisurely sailing the clear waters.
3. Winter Park, FL– this little community is located just north of downtown Orlando and is probably one of the first “wealthy” areas of Orlando. There is a lot of history here with professionals from Orlando’s early years residing here.
Home to Rollins College, Winter Park is a small community that has kept its roots as a vacation resort to the rich in times past to now becoming a bedroom community of Orlando. In many parts of this small town, you can walk by various shops with a farmers market every Sunday just west of the main park north of Rollins College.
Although a bit pricey for homes due to the highly-educated and highly-paid workforce, Winter Park makes up for it in cute brick paved streets and low speed limits which makes it quiet for people living here.
Winter Park is a great community to consider living in for those who want a tight knit, classy town that has all the amenities of a small town while being a few minutes from downtown entertainment and work space.
Overall, living in Florida has its pros and cons. Even though it’s extremely hot in the summer months, the proximity to the beach, mild temperature outside of the summer months, and slow pace of life make Florida a great relocation destination for those who want a simple life that doesn’t involve winter weather. Naples, Clearwater, and Winter Park are all communities that a person should consider when looking at Florida 55+ homes for sale.
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
When one makes a trip to spend a few days in an area you have never visited and discovers it’s an attractive area, sometimes it turns in to a “Let’s move here” idea. I could see how that could happen in Charlottesville Virgina after spending 3 days there this week.
We just wanted a getaway and picked Charlottesville off the map. Having never been there, we did a little research and found it’s a good place to visit and to live.
Charlottesville Trip Report
Day one we flew to Richmond Va and took our rental car for an easy drive over to Charlottesville via I-64. Takes a little over an hour with stop an a visitors center on the way.
Seeing one of the big attractions is visit to Thomas Jefferson home (Monticello) we exited I-64 and followed the signs. We first came upon historic Michie Tavern cir 1784 which offered a buffet lunch which we were about ready for and then a tour of the tavern by ladies in period dress. We went ahead and got the Presidential tour package which includes Monticello, Michie Tavern, James Monroe home and James Madison’s home at Montpelier. After eating we took the Michie Tavern tour with a nice lady as guide. This got us in the right frame of mind for the next stop.
So about 2pm we arrvied at Monticello which is right up the road from Michie Tavern. This is a popular place and lots of people were coming in from the parking lots. We stopped by the ticket office and immediately got on the bus for the next tour of the home. The bus takes you up to the top of the hill to Monticello. Their is a guided tour of several rooms of the home and it has a lot of the items owned by Mr. Jefferson and other period pieces to look just like it did when he lived there. Thomas Jefferson worked on Monticello for 30 years and made it his unique home. Afterwards we joined a tour of the grounds and made a day of it. I think Monticello was the highlight of our trip.
Day two we take the short drive down to the University of Virginia to find the Rotunda designed by Thomas Jefferson. We park at The Corner, a popular place for students, and just follow them up the hill, over looking grounds framed by historic buildings. Every hour there is a tour by a student guide starting at the Rotunda. We visited several rooms inside the Rotunda and hear about it’s amazing history, then go out in to the academic village for more of the tour. After wards we stop by a student hangout at The Corner for a coke.
Next it’s a short drive to the downtown mall, which is an area several blocks long with the main street closed to auto traffic. Side walk cafes all around and we try on out for a delicious lunch. For the afternoon, we drive out to tour the farm of James Monroe which was part of the Presidential homes ticket.
Day three we drive out to Montpelier James Madison’s huge home and farm. It is a about 15 miles north of Charlottesville, right off the path to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which we would be visiting that afternoon. We pass many farms on the way. This property has been restored by the National Trust, and they have done an excellent first class job. There is a large visitors center where we watch a short movie about James Monroe, the father of the US Constitution. Next we tour the large home and walk the grounds.
It getting around noon so we head East to the Shenandoah Park. Ticket is $15 but since I am 62, I am offered the Senior Pass for $10 and it is good the rest of your life. What a deal! We get on the Blue Ridge Parkway and about 9 miles along stop at the Big Meadows Lodge for a nice lunch in their dining room. We enjoyed he views and head back to Charlottesville where we dine that evening at the Boat House, the best new restaurant of the year.
It was an amazing trip and to see so many things in such a short period of time! Charlottesville is a college town with history and everything you would want, without the traffic of a large city. If you have never visited Charlottesville you need to. You just might want to move there.
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.
“I wish we had known we wanted to move here 5 years ago,” my new neighbor Karen said rather wistfully a few days ago. “But we didn’t know!
She was speaking about one of the most remote places in the middle of nowhere: the town of Dubois in the upper Wind River Valley of Wyoming. Like so many who have chosen to retire here, Karen and her husband came once on vacation, returned and returned again, and gradually fell in love. Others have fallen in love right away.
When my husband suggested actually moving to Dubois rather than just visiting, the idea seemed crazy and impossible. Leave New York City for the wilds of Wyoming? But it’s only wild in a wonderful and different way, and 8 years on I’m deeply grateful that we moved here.
How is Dubois remote? It’s more than an hour’s drive to the nearest big towns (Jackson, Lander, and Riverton), and 3 hours to the nearest Interstate. Most of the surrounding terrain is public land, much of it officially wilderness, owned by the US Forest Service, the US Bureau of Land Management, or the state of Wyoming. By one standard, a survey from the US Geological Survey, is only about 40 miles away as the crow flies from the most remote spot in the lower 48 states, in the southeast corner of Yellowstone Park.
Nonetheless, we do have many of the advantages that residents from Washington DC, Chicago, even Paris and Stockholm may consider essential to the good life. Dubois has a choice of good restaurants with different cuisines, two places to buy a latte or cappuccino, and two taverns. It also has world-class Internet service, thanks to the fact that the head of the local telephone company was a prime mover in the national effort to bring broadband service to rural areas of America. (Telecommuting is a distinct possibility: I worked from Dubois for a large international corporation for 8 years before I retired, and others here also have Internet-based careers.)
Surrounded by some of the most spectacular vistas in the American West, Dubois (it’s pronounced “dew-boys”) is home to a diverse mixture of active and very interesting people who are deeply committed to maintaining what we love about this village of 1,000 residents that swells to 2,000 in the summer:
The variety and beauty of the landscape: Situated near the Continental Divide, we live about an hour’s drive from the south entrance to Yellowstone Park, on the ecological dividing line between high Alpine forest and red rock badlands. We are surrounded by two major ranges of the Rocky Mountains, the Absarokas and the Wind River Mountains. This may be the only place on earth where you can see all three mountain-building processes (tectonic, volcanic, and sedimentary erosion) from one location.
The nature of the community: A combination of the traditional independence of the American West and the vitality of its newcomers, Dubois’ community is deeply self-reliant and also welcoming. Generally, people here don’t care what you used to do or the size of your bank balance; they care how you relate to your neighbors. We mind our own business but respond quickly if someone is in trouble. What’s more, the proceeds from almost any event in town (and we’re ferociously busy in the summer!) go to local charities.
The history: The first visitors to the area were the trappers who opened the West. Next came the hardy homesteaders and then the tie hacks who cut logs that supplied the railroad ties that opened the rest of the West. Butch Cassidy lived and owned property here. One of the best preserved gold-mining ghost towns in the US, South Pass City, is an easy day trip away near Lander. A recent and surprising discovery atop a nearby mountain, the remains of a Shoshone village, inspired a curator at the Natural History Museum in New York to call Dubois “the epicenter of Rocky Mountain archaeology.”
The activities: We may live in the middle of nowhere, but we have plenty to do. Artists, photographers, and musicians gravitate here, so weekends are busy with jam sessions or performances by musicians, art or photography shows, speakers about history or archaeology at the local museum, an eye-popping quilt show, or pack-horse or chariot races. You might join the tourists at the weekly square dance or rodeo. It’s often difficult to set aside time for what you might really want to do instead: fish, hike, golf, or get away in your camper.
The climate: The Shoshone natives settled here centuries ago partly because of the mild climate. We call it the “valley of the warm winds,” sheltered from wintry blasts by the Tetons over near Jackson and our hovering wedge of local mountains. Summers in Dubois are cooler and more pleasant than elsewhere in Wyoming (or almost anywhere). We often find the winters more temperate and tolerable than back in New York City. It may snow sideways for four days, but then it all blows away.
The economics: Real estate prices are modest. We traded a small 3-bedroom second home in Connecticut for a very large 4-bedroom log lodge with a cathedral ceiling. We don’t find prices of necessities any higher than anywhere else. There’s no Macy’s or Nordstrom’s, but we do have a Family Dollar.
The downsides: Dubois has only a part-time doctor, a full-time nurse practitioner, and a dentist. It takes over an hour to drive to a specialist or a hospital (but that could take just as long in New York City). Shopping is limited (but now, of course, there’s the Internet and FedEx). US mail generally takes a day longer than in a large city. The produce in the supermarket in winter is often disappointing, and you may have to wait for your next trip to Jackson if your recipe calls for chipotle-flavored mayonnaise or dried seaweed.
About this time of year, my husband and I begin to discuss exactly when we should head back east to spend the holidays with the rest of the family. I anticipate my return to New York City with pleasure, because it’s a chance to relax in a place where nothing ever happens (that I can’t miss) and where I hardly know anybody (after four decades). Before long, I’m dying to get back home to Dubois.
(Read more about daily life in Dubois at www.livingdubois.wordpress.com.)