This Small Town in Tennessee Was Just Named the Best Place to Retire in the U.S. South

According to Southern Living and Investopedia, these are the best places to retire in the U.S. South.

When it comes time to retire, many Americans head south for the warm weather. And if you're reaching retirement age but don't know where to go, Southern Living and Investopedia (both part of Travel + Leisure's parent company, Dotdash Meredith) have determined the best places to retire in the South.

To come up with this list, the team started with the 41 top-rated destinations from Southern Living’s The South’s Best 2023 series. Then they compared each place's stats for home and rental affordability, average resident age, unemployment, best industries for jobs and wages, and the prevalence of restaurants, hospitals, and colleges.

Find six of the 12 best Southern cities for retirement below, and read the full list at

<p>Tim Pennington/Getty Images</p>

Tim Pennington/Getty Images

Best All Around: Chattanooga, Tennessee

With a population of 184,000 people, Chattanooga offers plenty of things to do but still retains something of a small-town vibe. It's a particularly great spot if you have grandkids, who might be interested in visiting attractions like the Tennessee Aquarium, Creative Discovery Museum, and the Incline Railway at Lookout Mountain. Tennessee also has the second fastest-growing economy in the country thanks to its affordable real estate, job market, and recreation scene.

"If you love history, culture, scenic beauty, adventure, and fun — all in a family-friendly environment — Chattanooga is the place to be," Lizzer Graham, a native Chattanoogan and a real estate agent at Fletcher Bright Realty/Luxury Portfolio International, told T+L. "The neighborhoods here in Chattanooga are as diverse and wonderful as the city itself. "

Best for Food: Greenville, South Carolina

There are more than 110 restaurants in downtown Greenville, making it easy to go out to eat twice every weekend without repeating a restaurant for a full year.

Best Beach Town: St. Augustine, Florida

One of the oldest towns in the United States, St. Augustine is known just as much for its beaches as it is its impressive Spanish-style architecture.

<p>Starcevic/Getty Images</p>

Starcevic/Getty Images

Best for Arts & Culture: Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is home to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), so it's no wonder this town is a hotspot for the arts. It also has 70 parks, so there's always some nature nearby.

Best Access to Nature: Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs is located near the 1,610-square-acre Lake Leatherwood City Park, which has 25 miles of walking trails. The town is built around more than 60 hot springs and their associated parks, too.

Best for City Lovers: Fort Worth, Texas

If small-town retirement life isn't for you, Fort Worth might be your city. It's a cultural hub with museums like the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, not to mention a vibrant downtown food scene.

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