We want to retire in the Carolinas or Virginias in a walkable town neither too large nor too small — where should we go?

We wish to retire in a couple of years and are trying by means of the Carolinas and Virginias. We wish a city that isn’t too massive or too small. It might be good if there have been some cultural services reminiscent of a theater and museum and if it had been walkable to eating places and shops. We just like the Appalachian Path. I additionally like houses with character.

We went to Harpers Ferry and though very good, not fairly what we had been on the lookout for. We’re going to Asheville in October.  

Any ideas are welcome.



As you’ve found, a spot can look good on paper however nonetheless not be fairly what you need. And when a spot does look proper, I hope you’ll spend a while to verify by pretending that is your new day-to-day, fairly than experiencing it as a vacationer.

Solely what not too large and never too small means — and that’s fairly a distinction between Harpers Ferry and Asheville, each in measurement and finances. I’ll be inquisitive about your response to Asheville, however whereas there, take a look at each Hendersonville and Brevard, which have been prompt in MarketWatch’s “Where Should I Retire” series

I’ve additionally beforehand spotlighted different communities which may attraction: Harrisonburg, Roanoke, Blacksburg and Lexington in Virginia. The AT doesn’t undergo South Carolina, however I’d flag Greenville. For those who’ll prolong your search to Tennessee, go searching Knoxville (town may be too large for you) or Cookeville.

The MarketWatch “Where Should I Retire” instrument could allow you to uncover different locations.

I’m itemizing a couple of different choices beneath. Do not forget that walkability to eating places and shops is extra concerning the neighborhood than the city or metropolis as a complete. Given that you simply additionally desire a home with character, give attention to older neighborhoods. 

Lastly, you make no point out of your retirement finances and the way a lot you may spend shopping for and fixing up that home. For those who haven’t already, take a while to evaluate your funds. Be conservative; the inventory market received’t all the time be your good friend.

Staunton, Virginia

Staunton Conference & Guests Bureau

Right here’s a smaller, walkable city within the Shenandoah Valley inside an hour of mountains. Staunton, residence to 25,000 residents, has a lot of historic districts (look ahead to free walking tours) and is residence to a small, personal liberal arts faculty in Mary Baldwin University

Town’s theater hub is the American Shakespeare Center and its Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s solely re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater. Historical past buffs may recognize the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. You’ll additionally discover dwell music festivals all summer time lengthy.

While you need one thing larger, go 40 miles east to Charlottesville (suggested here) and the College of Virginia campus. For those who’re excited about the seaside, the Atlantic Ocean is about 3 hours away.

Winter highs common within the 40s, although you’ll have snow. Common summer time highs attain the mid-80s.

Median residence costs are round $235,000. Right here’s what the housing market looks like, utilizing listings on, which like MarketWatch is owned by Information Corp.

Salisbury, North Carolina

Getty Pictures

What caught my eye about this metropolis of 35,000 in North Carolina’s Piedmont area is its numerous historic districts, together with the downtown space. That ought to make it simpler to discover a residence with character.

Salisbury additionally has two theaters and its own symphony. Excessive Rock Lake, a reservoir that’s the second-largest lake within the state, is simply outdoors of city. Massive-city facilities (and the airport) are in Charlotte 45 minutes away. 

Common summer time highs are within the higher 80s. Winters are gentle, with minimal snow and common highs within the decrease 50s. 

The median listing value for a house in Salisbury is $215,000, in line with Right here’s what the housing market in Salisbury and across Rowan County seems to be like.

Abingdon, Virginia

The Virginia Creeper Path was named after the steam engine that when crept up the rails into the Iron Mountains.

Courtesy Virginia Tourism Corp.

Given your love of the Appalachian Path, take a look at this city of round 8,400 with a downtown that’s on the National Register of Historic Places. You may observe the 34-mile Virginia Creeper Trail about midway to even-smaller Damascus, an AT trail town.

The vacationer workplace boasts that Abingdon retains showing on lists of the artsiest small cities. For tradition, begin with the Barter Theater and the William King Museum of Arts. Chat with working artists on the Arts Depot

Solely you may determine whether or not this city is the correct measurement or too small. Almost 1 / 4 of its residents are retirees, one other issue to contemplate.

Common summer time highs get into the mid-80s; common winter highs are within the 40s, however you’ll get snow days too. The median listing value for a house is round $232,000, in line with However small cities imply fewer residence decisions, too. Here’s what’s on the market now.

The place ought to Eileen and her husband retire? Go away your ideas within the feedback part.

Extra from MarketWatch’s “Where Should I Retire” series:

We want a $250,000 home within an hour of the mountains or the ocean — where should we retire?

I want to move to a walkable, historic, four-season town and have a budget of $30,000 a year — where should I retire?

We want to live in a small town where we can bike, hike and kayak — so where should we retire?

We want to leave cold Midwest states for ‘warmer and drier climes’ and affordable healthcare on $44,000 a year — so where should we retire? | We wish to retire within the Carolinas or Virginias in a walkable city neither too massive nor too small — the place ought to we go?


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