Otto's full-service American restaurant. Image credit Brian Logan Photography via Shutterstock.

12 Best Small Towns In New York For Retirees

The state of New York, popularly known as the “Empire State,” is the fourth-most populous state in The United States. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this state is only exceeded by a handful of countries. Most retirees might not consider this state a retirement option because of its size, but hidden between the noisy big cities of New York are some amazingly tranquil small towns many do not even know exist! These towns provide retirees with the much-needed comfort, serene atmosphere, community support, breathtaking views, and activities to keep them going through these golden years. Here is a list of the best small towns in New York for retirees. Carefully look at each of these towns and pick the perfect location that suits your needs!


Wooden steps on the shore of Lake Cayuga in Aurora, New York.
Wooden steps on the shore of Lake Cayuga in Aurora, New York.

Aurora is a small college town on the east of the Cayuga Lakeshore. The population of this town is less than a thousand people, making it a perfect retirement location. 

Due to its small population, there is a strong sense of community among the town's residents. The city has made provision for seniors at the Aurora Senior Center. This center has been dedicated to helping Seniors enjoy their golden years through organized events and recreational activities. 

The Town’s weather is typically warm in summer, a perfect temperature for long walks at Long  Point State Park, and cold during the winter season, a perfect time to visit the sauna at one of the SPAs at any of the Aurora Inns. 

The cost of living in Aurora is 32% less than the average living expenses in New York. Individuals may also hire a cab service when going very far from town.


Town center of Woodstock, New York
Town center of Woodstock, New York. Image credit littlenySTOCK via Shutterstock.

Lying at the foot of the Southern Catskill Mountains is a little town called Woodstock. The name of this town has been associated with the Woodstock Musical Festivals, which took place in Bethel in 1969. This festival is still called Woodstock to date. The town’s setting is old-fashioned and rural. It is a perfect town for retirees. There is a lineup of activities that are senior-friendly. During the warm summer, you can go fishing at the Echo Lakes, and lucky ones can catch a rare fish species and make a new friend. In the freezing winter, spend time at Woodstock Playhouse listening to some of the finest artists play.

Living in Woodstock is expensive; however, this place is also a safe and friendly environment. With the Woodstock Senior Center and world-class hospitals scattered in and around the town, Woodstock is an ideal setting to retire in. 

Saratoga Springs

View from Saratoga Springs, New York mountain
View from Saratoga Springs, New York mountain.

West of the Hudson River is the small town of Saratoga Springs, meaning the “Place of Swift Water.” This town has a park dedicated to the Revolutionary Battles of Saratoga in  1777. The slogan of Saratoga Springs is “Health, History, and Horses,” It is no wonder that this town is home to a Thoroughbred Horse Racing Track.

For retirees looking to settle down in Saratoga Springs, it's safe to say that the weather conditions are in your favor. The summer weather is warm and perfect for watching horse races. The winter weather is cold and perfect for wine tasting at Adirondack Winery. 

The town is senior-friendly and has a designated center to give seniors a sense of community and belonging. The cost of living in Saratoga Springs is higher than the national average, but after years of hard work, you deserve to spend your golden years in luxury!


Otto's full-service American restaurant and bar, located inside an old gas station
Otto's full-service American restaurant. Image credit Brian Logan Photography via Shutterstock.

North of the Hamlets of Palisades is the small town of Piermont. This town is small but aesthetically breathtaking and filled with welcoming locals. After a long time in the city, take a break and bask in the natural splendor of this town. Piermont has a Tallman Mountain State Park where anyone can hike regardless of age. Residents can also enjoy outdoor activities at this park, like swimming, skiing, tennis, and many others.

Piermont is sunny most of the year and does not experience frigid temperatures during winter. These weather conditions make Piermont a perfect location for many outdoor activities, such as yoga classes at Peace in Piermont Studio and fishing at the Fishing Pier by the Hudson River. 

Piermont has no senior facilities, however, the town is in close proximity to several of these facilities in nearby towns Yonkers, Tuxedo, and Port Washington

Lake Success

View from the Village Club at Lake Success
View from the Village Club at Lake Success.

Lake Success is a small town located in Nassau County, New York. This is the best town for retirees because of the Bristal Assisted Living community for Seniors. This community is dedicated to providing the best quality of life to retirees. 

The weather conditions of Lake Success favor outdoor activities like shopping at the Lake Success Shopping Center and strolling through the Village Park. Engage with peers and fellow seniors in winter, swapping stories over a steaming cup of cocoa. While the cost of living in this town is high, it is worth every penny. You can also visit Long Island Jewish Medical Center, which provides good healthcare to residents with a wheelchair-accessible amenity. 


St. Stephens Episcopal Church in downtown Olean.
St. Stephens Episcopal Church in downtown Olean. Image credit Nolichuckyjake via Shutterstock.

At the mouth of Olean Creek is the small, peaceful town of Olean in Cattaraugus County. The town was previously named Hamilton but was later changed to Olean due to the oil deposit found in a neighboring town in Cattaraugus County called Ischua. 

As a retiree in Olean, you can pick from the wide range of senior communities available. Senior communities like Ash Community Center, provide seniors with a warm environment to spend their golden years. They offer retirees several recreational activities like skating, volleyball, and swimming. They also organize parties and events to keep seniors occupied all day long. 

The cost of living is very affordable, and the weather is friendly all year round. The town also has a public transport system that runs Monday through Saturday. It is wheelchair-accessible, and it transports residents of Olean and its environs.


City Hall and Farmer's Market in Massena, New York
City Hall and Farmer's Market in Massena, New York.

At the border of the three nations crossing of Canada is the small town of Massena. This border town offers a lot of fishing opportunities and beautiful walking trails. You can go fishing at Little Salmon River, Grasse River, or Saint Regis River, where you can catch freshwater fish. There are also senior-friendly hiking trails at Robert Moses State Park, Wilson Hill, and Richard Landing Dike Trail, where you can enjoy the view of the St. Lawrence River. Whalen Park Trail has a beautiful greenery walkway where you can take a walk or go cycling; it is also wheelchair-accessible. 

In summer, the weather is perfect for taking strolls around Robert Moses State Park, and winter comes with a lot of snow, an ideal time for bonding with families indoors.

Massena is a safe environment for retirees. Several senior-friendly communities are dedicated to providing retirees with good quality after retirement. You should visit the Adirondack Manor Home for Adults. The cost of living in the small town is cheap, which is perfect for people on a budget.


The Dunkirk Lighthouse in Dunkirk, New York at sunset
The Dunkirk Lighthouse.

Bordered by Lake Erie is the small retirement town of Dunkirk. This town is among the grape-growing regions of the state. You are sure to taste some of the nicest wines in the area.

Summers are warm and partly cloudy, an excellent time for outdoor activities like fishing at Lake Erie. Winters are snowy and freezing, perfect for bonding indoors with a cup of warm tea.

Dunkirk is a perfect retirement destination. You can pick from the lineup of retirement homes and Senior communities. Homes like St. Vincent's Home are senior care facilities dedicated to providing retirees with the best quality of life. Enjoy spa and wellness sessions at Inner Balance Center for Yoga and Wellness. The cost of living in Dunkirk is cheaper than most towns in New York.


Street view of quaint Fredonia, New York
Street view of quaint Fredonia, New York.

Fredonia is a small breathtaking town that lies along Canadaway Creek in Chautauqua County. It’s a village that provides residents with easily accessible amenities. It is also serene and inclusive. You get access to friendly neighbors and residents willing to help you settle down in the town. You can watch the sunset behind the creek and see how the sky lights up with stars at night. 

With warm weather during summer, you can spend time admiring the sites around Lake Erie; during the cold winter, you can bond with friends and family over a box of pizza from the nearby pizzeria. Check out Cool Little Music Shop and enjoy Opera Performances at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House if you love music. Also, visit Upper Crust Bake House occasionally for delicious baked goods.

Retirees can check out Senior Community Centers like Fredonia Place. This center is dedicated to providing retirees with a loving community. 


View of Conesus lake and boat dock at Long Point Beach Park. Geneseo, New York.
View of Conesus Lake and boat dock at Long Point Beach Park.

Geneseo is found in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The name Geneseo is the English version of the Iroquois name meaning “Beautiful Valley.” This town’s main street is kept alive by the lines of boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries. It is a National Historic Landmark Village with a fondness for recreational activities like hiking and visiting historical sites. You can hike the Hojack Trail or visit the Aircraft Museum for some history lessons. 

The weather is always perfect for outdoor activities all year round. You will enjoy strolling around the Letchworth State Park in the afternoons and watching the sunset by the Lakeside. Senior facilities like the Morgan Senior Living of Geneseo provide retirees with a conducive environment to interact, learn, and lead peaceful lives. 

Housing expenses and bus fares are higher than the national average, but utility bills and groceries are lower than the national average.  


Corthouse Park in Cortland, New York with blue skies
Corthouse Park in Cortland, New York.

Cortland, the Crown City, is a small town in Cortland County. This town might not look like it, but it is a perfect destination for retirees. From hiking to skiing, Cortland is a place to try out new things. 

The town has four main seasons, with its summer season being warm and a bit wet, and the winter season attaining temperatures below freezing point. During summer, you can hike up the Lime Hollow Nature Center. You can also enjoy a quick bite at Cortland Diner or Palm Gardens. 

Cortland Senior Living provides retirees with amenities, social events, and recreational activities to keep them bursting with life even after retirement. You also get adequate access to medical care at Cortland Health Center. The cost of living in Cortland is cheaper than the average National Living expenses.


View of Manhasset Bay, Plandome, Long Island, New York.
Manhasset Bay, New York. 

Manhasset is a small hamlet town in Nassau County on the North Shore of Long Island. There are a lot of activities to do in Manhasset, from hiking up Guion Creek Nature Trail to fishing at Manhasset Bay.

After a hiking tour, visit La Coquille for French cuisine or Cipollini for an Italian-themed lunch. Go shopping at Americana Manhasset or an occasional sight-seeing at Stepping Stone Lighthouse. Stay busy by taking a town tour and getting to know the residents with the Manhasset Taxi Service. The Great Neck Senior Citizen Center and other senior communities have dedicated time and resources to provide world-class amenities and events for senior citizens.

The cost of living in Manhasset is higher than the national average, but its world-class amenities and exotic locations make every penny spent in this town worth it.

After retirement, many retirees are searching for calm and quiet locations to spend their golden ages. Big states like New York do not usually top the list considering its size, however, hidden within this state are small towns that make excellent retirement destinations. No matter the destination chosen for retirement, the above mentioned 12 towns make great options and will not disappoint. 

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