A website dedicated to helping baby boomers find the best places to live after they retire has ranked Sarasota No. 2 out of the top 10 in the U.S.
The 10 “Best of the Best” Places to Retire for 2019 from Topretirements.com said that only Asheville, North Carolina, was preferable to Sarasota.
“Some consider this thriving city midway down the Gulf Coast to be the cultural capital of Florida, after Miami,” according to the website. “Sarasota has a great downtown with many interesting neighborhoods. An impressive array of cultural facilities is available in Sarasota. Barrier islands like Siesta offer great beaches and developments where retirees can put their feet up.”
The only other Florida city on the list was St. Petersburg.
The website said it based its list on a late-2018 study of the 20 towns that were the best places to retire in four U.S. regions, as determined by which had the most online visits at Topretirement.com. From that list of 80 towns, the website determined the 10 for its new “Best of the Best” list based on its expert evaluations of such things as cultural and recreational opportunities, climate, expense, taxes, the quality of their downtown areas and beauty.
It did not consider “active adult communities” such as the huge The Villages in north central Florida.
No surprise, seven of the 10 “Best of the Best” retirement spots are in the sunny areas of the country, the Southwest and the Southeast. Also unsurprising were the user comments following the list that were skeptical about the inclusion of Portland, Maine, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, even and numbers nine and 10.
The list and some of its reasons for including each city:
1. Asheville, — Asheville is a bustling city in the Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina. The downtown is filled with cafes, restaurants, and art deco buildings.
2. Sarasota — This cultural center on Florida’s Gulf Coast has a great downtown with many interesting neighborhoods.
3. Tucson, Arizona — The area is blessed with sunshine almost 300 days per year and boasts 233 performing arts dates per year.
4. Green Valley, Arizona — Near the hiking and birding areas of the Santa Rita Mountains in extreme southern Arizona.
5. Charleston, South Carolina — “The Holy City” is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S.
6. St. George, Utah — St. George has spectacular red rock bluffs, a mild winter climate and amazing recreation.
7. St. Petersburg — Saint Petersburg has been a classic retirement and tourist destination since the 1920s.
8. Bellingham, Washington — This city on Puget Sound boasts unbelievable natural scenery.
9. Portland — Maine’s largest city is one of America’s most livable small cities and a foodie center.
10. Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh is a livable and affordable city with colleges and cultural opportunities.