Asheville Tops List of Best Places to Retire has released the list of 100 best places to retire in 2013. Its 7th annual list of the most popular retirement spots has reaffirmed the growing popularity of retirement in the Sunbelt, which accounted for 76 spots.

“Our list is essentially a popularity contest; it reflects the towns that visitors to this ‘find your best place to retire’ website are most interested in for retirement. The list was compiled by calculating the 100 towns that receive the most online visits of the 900+ cities reviewed at during the last 6 months of 2012,” Topretirements explained.

Some highlights:
• Florida cities dominated the list, taking 25 of the 100 places, and four of the top 10
• The Carolinas accounted for 19 cities, with Asheville, N.C., topping the list
• Seven cities in Virginia, led by Charlottesville at 16th spot, featured on the list
• Four Texan cities led by Austin at 4th spot were on the list. San Antonio ranked 10th
• Two Delaware cities – Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, ranked 50th and 63rd respectively – featured on the list.

Here are the top 10 places, along with excerpted comments from The Wall Street Journal:

#1 Asheville, N.C.
“Asheville is a prosperous small city of just over 75,000 (400,000 in the metro area) in the Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina. Because of its charming environment and mild weather it has long been a desirable retirement community—from the rich and famous to ordinary people in quest of beautiful environment.”

#2 Sarasota, Fla.
“The community is considered by many to be the cultural capital of Florida, with an impressive array of cultural facilities. Ringling Brothers located the winter quarters of their circus in Sarasota. Their philanthropic legacy has made Sarasota a cultural powerhouse. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is one of the most impressive museums in Florida.”

#3 Venice, Fla.“The lively downtown, left, has interesting shops and restaurants and there are plenty of parks, public tennis courts and one of Florida’s best Gulf Coast beaches.”

#4 Austin, Texas
“The area is a hotbed of semiconductor and software industries. Austin has a population of 758,000, but not so big that it is overwhelming. The city bills itself as quirky and fun. Retirees will find plenty to do in the live-music capital of the world with its robust cultural scene.”

#5 Prescott, Ariz.
“This old mining town and now popular active adult retirement community borders the Prescott National Forest to the south and west. Carrying the nickname, “Everybody’s Hometown,” Prescott is home to the downtown Courthouse Plaza, famous Whiskey Row, (at left), World’s Oldest Rodeo, Prescott Fine Arts Association, Sharlot Hall Museum, and the Phippen Art Museum.”

#6 Beaufort, S.C.
“History is reflected in the horse-drawn carriages that roll along streets in the town’s charming historic district that are overhung with Spanish moss. There are 3 major military installations here that provide a solid economic underpinning and a lowering of the average age in the area.”

#7 Naples, Fla.
“Its downtown is as sophisticated as any in the world, but charming, too—you can pull up to a five-star hotel’s valet parking, and then walk 50 feet to a old-fashioned bar where you can listen to Irish singers.”

#8 Fort Myers, Fla.
“New developments go off in every direction. Virtually every retail chain and franchise in America is represented here on Route 41 and other arteries. “

#9 San Diego, Calif.
“Its scenery, climate, and lifestyle are second to none and appeal to active adults 55 and older. Its bustling downtown area has a busy convention area and city parks set alongside hundreds of anchored pleasure boats.”

#10 San Antonio
“It is famous for its Paseo del Rio (river walk), Tejano culture and, as home to the SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme parks, the city is visited by 20 million tourists per year.”

Read the original article here.

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