The bronze statue of a young Cherokee woman named Noccalula, who legend says plunged to her death at this point with Noccalula Falls in the background. Image credit JNix via Shutterstock.

6 Senior-Friendly Towns in Alabama

From the sweeping Appalachian Mountains to the north to the scenic Gulf Coast beaches to the south, Alabama has it all, no matter what age you are. With its typically low cost of living, abundance of cultural activities, and mild climate, the state is especially suited for senior citizens. Although Alabama's big cities might make for exciting places to live, the state's smaller towns have a southern charm to spare without having to sacrifice the necessary amenities that are especially important in one's golden years.


Appalachian Mountains
View of the Appalachian Mountains.

Although Midfield is located less than 10 miles from Birmingham, it has a quaint, hometown feel. Situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Midfield is known for its natural beauty and thriving downtown. Quaint Midfield has a welcoming community and an affordable cost of living, which appeals to its resident senior citizens, who make up more than 10 percent of its population.

There is an abundance of parks and outdoor recreational opportunities surrounding Midfield, including Moss Rock Preserve, which is available for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. The local High Ore Line Trail is also ideal for leisurely strolls any time of the year. Midfield hosts a variety of annual special events that seniors can get involved in, whether as volunteers or attendees.


A view of Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, Alabama. Editorial credit: JNix /
A view of Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, Alabama. Editorial credit: JNix /

The north Alabama town of Gadsden is a great choice for retirees who love being on the go. The area has an exciting arts and cultural scene, a bustling downtown, interesting historic sites, and many outdoor recreational activities. Approximately 20 percent of Gadsen's population is over the age of 65, partly due to its low cost of living and easy access to a variety of healthcare options.

When senior citizens want to relax outdoors, they can head to beautiful James Martin Wildlife Park, a nature preserve ideal for shoreline walks along Neely Henry Lake. Riverwalk Park, situated on the scenic Coosa River, offers a boardwalk with boat docks and fishing piers. For shoppers, historic downtown Gadsen is filled with antique shops, boutiques, and eateries serving local fare. Both the Hardin Center for Cultural Arts and Gadsden Museum of Art are available for retirees who appreciate arts and culture.


The Talladega Scenic Drive leads through gorgeous forested landscapes of the Talladega National Forest.
The Talladega Scenic Drive leads through gorgeous forested landscapes of the Talladega National Forest.

When you think of the town of Talladega, nestled in a low-lying section of the Appalachian Mountains in the northern region of the state, the Talladega Superspeedway most likely comes to mind. There are many other fun things to do in the area, however, and much of it appeals to senior citizens, who make up almost 20 percent of the population. The Talladega Springs Senior Center is a popular gathering spot for retirees who like to make crafts and participate in group activities.

For seniors who love being outside, Cheaha State Park is a valuable local resource. Reaching almost 3,000 feet, Cheaha Mountain is Alabama's highest point, and the park provides breathtaking scenic beauty year-round. Other natural areas include DeSoto Caverns Park and Civilian Marksmanship Park, a landscaped park within walking distance of Talladega's historic downtown.


Historic home in Chickasaw, Alabama.
Historic home in Chickasaw, Alabama.

Charming Chickasaw, a suburb of Mobile, has captured the interest of retirees for a variety of reasons, such as its low cost of living, proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, and convenient access to healthcare. The small town also hosts several activities for senior citizens throughout the year, including bingo nights, special holiday parties, and outdoor excursions. Chickasaw's low crime rate and affordable housing prices also make it a hotspot for those over the age of 65.

If you love live performances, you can catch a show at the Chickasaw Civic Theatre, which showcases the talent of local residents of all ages. The quaint town is also home to natural areas, including Bill Brooks Park, where you can walk along the boardwalk or go fishing. Chickasaw puts on several annual events, such as the Chickasaw Bogue Kayak Paddle and the Full Moon Paddle, which are ideal for active seniors.


Old Downtown area of Attalla, Alabama, located next to the city of Gadsden, AL
Old Downtown area of Attalla, Alabama, located next to the city of Gadsden, AL

Senior citizens looking for a slower-paced way of life during retirement are drawn to the town of Attalla, which is part of the the Gadsen metropolitan area. Established in 1870, serene Attalla has a rich history, which is evident in its thriving downtown. Retirees who love to shop for antiques and one-of-a-kind local treasures, as well as sample local southern cuisine, will delight in Attalla's downtown, which is also home to several historic buildings.

Big Wills Creek meanders throughout a portion of town, providing a scenic backdrop for walks. For seniors who like spending a lot of time outdoors, the Big Wills Creek Campground has is availlable for both tent and RV camping. Will Creek Winery is the perfect place to sample local wine and even take a wine-making class.


Historic buildings in downtown Monroeville
Historic buildings in downtown Monroeville

The quintessential small southern town, Monroeville is most famous for being the hometown of well-known authors Harper Lee and Truman Capote. Approximately 20 percent of the town's residents are senior citizens, and there are many aspects that make Monroeville attractive to them. The town's senior center provides daily activities, as well as meals for elderly residents in need. The region's affordable cost of living combined with its rich literary history and natural beauty draw in seniors looking for an enjoyable retirement.

Housed in the Old Monroe County Courthouse downtown, the Monroe County Museum features two permanent exhibits honoring the life and works of the two prolific authors. After visiting the museum, you can take a stroll down the Literary Capital Sculpture Trail, which winds through downtown and features 14 bronze sculptures of 10 notable writers. The town also offers ample opportunities for seniors to get exercise, whether they swim in a pool or play tennis at Clausell Park, or go walking and fishing at Whitey Lee Park.

If you're looking for the perfect southern state to retire or spend your golden years in, put Alabama at the top of your list. Nicknamed "The Heart of Dixie," Alabama offers something for residents of all ages, but its smaller towns especially cater to those looking for a slower pace of life. Even if you plan to stay active throughout your retirement, Alabama won't disappoint with its outdoor recreational opportunities, special events, and live entertainment options.

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