A long street scene with businesses in early 20th century buildings on 13th St. in downtown Columbus, Nebraska. Editorial credit: duckeesue / Shutterstock.com

6 Senior-Friendly Towns in Nebraska

Whether you are looking for a place to start your dream farm, a cozy acreage with perfect views of the sunrise, or an adorable home situated amongst friends and neighbors, Nebraska is full of small towns perfect for retirement. Combining agricultural opportunities, community involvement, hospitality, and convenience, Nebraska will keep your days busy and even introduce you to some new hobbies, adventures, and your new favorite place, whether it be a cafe, pub, or library. And with its borders shared with South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri, you have lots of states to explore, whether by plane or car.


Aerial View of the small Town of Columbus, Nebraska.
Aerial View of the small town of Columbus, Nebraska.

Columbus is perfect for relaxing and getting involved with your new community. It also has lots of programs designed to make life easier, including call-on-demand transit with accessible seating and a seniors center offering programs and workshops, weekly activities, and socializing opportunities. The library hosts book discussions and a maker space for embracing new hobbies. You can swim at the aquatic center or canoe on the Platte River. The Quail Run golf course is great for practicing your swing, or you can stroll the many parks around town. See some local art at the Columbus Art Gallery, snap some pictures of the beautiful and colorful downtown core, catch a performance at the playhouse, or watch a new release in the theater. There is also a bowling alley, gaming bars, eccentric pubs, and dives great for a night out.

Spend an afternoon at the racetrack or at Arbor Day Farm, which has wine tasting, a spa, restaurants, and a golf course. Play in a golf tournament, attend a car show, or shop locally at the farmers market. There is also the Monument Marathon in September. As for food, enjoy sandwich shops, grills, Japanese and Mexican cuisine, buffets, and historic taverns. There is also an abundance of cafes, home bakeries, pastry shops, donut shops, and juice bars. Take the best care of yourself with the in-town hospital, pharmacy, salon, and spa. Get everything you need at the bookstores, vintage boutiques, organic grocers, hardware stores, and craft shops, as well as a Hobby Lobby, CVC, and Walmart. Homes in Columbus average around $297,000.


Main Street of Bassett, Nebraska, USA. Editorial credit: Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com
Main Street of Bassett, Nebraska. Editorial credit: Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

The town of Bassett is small but mighty, with plenty of chances to socialize, make new friends, and embrace community. At the local library, attend guest readings and author signings, workshops and other programs, and the book club. The recreation center offers an outdoor pool and a fitness studio, or you can play a game of golf at the country club. Make some fishing buddies at the Basset Recreation Area, where you can catch and release bass, crappie, blue gill, and perch. The Long Lake State Recreation Area also offers opportunities for group walks and jogs. Cycling events are also held throughout the year, and a county fair comes to town in July. And for those interested, the Sandhills Ranch Expo is in June. Local bars and pool halls are perfect for a fun evening as well.

As for amenities, shop at the florist, livestock store, hardware store, thrift shop, and many artisanal boutiques. Get your hair done, chat at the salon, and pick up something to eat at a pizzeria or a restaurant specializing in American homestyle. Feel confident in your health knowing there is a town hospital, doctor's clinic, pharmacy, mental health center, and long-term care options. Homes in Basset average around the $130,000 mark, a huge difference compared to other cities and towns in the US, leaving you some extra spending money for vacations and hobbies.


Colorful water tower for York, Nebraska in rainbow colors, resembles a hot air balloon. Editorial credit: melissamn / Shutterstock.com
Colorful water tower for York, Nebraska, in rainbow colors, resembles a hot air balloon. Editorial credit: melissamn / Shutterstock.com

Off Interstate 80 and under an hour to the city of Lincoln, York covers all the bases, keeping your trips into the city minimal. With an onsite hospital, allergy clinic, and pharmacy, don't worry about urgent health matters. The local supermarkets, beef farms, and nurseries have groceries covered. You can also find supplies at the quilting shops and artisanal stores downtown. Get artsy and visit the Yorkshire Playhouse or Lee's Legendary Marble Collection. Enjoy cuisines like Mexican, Chinese, burgers, or have it all at a buffet. Attend yearly events like the York County Fair, Yorkfest in the fall, and the Holidays Festival in the winter.

York also has no shortage of outdoor and indoor activities sure to keep things active. Hike and kayak at the Overland Trail Recreation Area or play some golf at the York Country Club. At the community center, swim in lanes at the pool, attend the spa, or play some racquetball and basketball. There is also a seasonal auditorium offering ping pong, batting cafes, and pickleball. The aquatic center has swimming lanes and diving. Several parks throughout town cater to different hobbies. East Hill Park has volleyball and tennis courts. Harrison Park has horseshoe pits. Miller Park has a softball field. Mincks Park also has disc golf and walking trails. You can also frequent the dog park, where both you and your pup can get some exercise. Homes in York are around $269,000.


Sandhill cranes awaken on the Platte River in Kearney, Nebraska during their spring migration.
Sandhill cranes awaken on the Platte River in Kearney, Nebraska, during their spring migration.

The town of Kearney certainly isn't a one-trick pony. It truly has it all, including outdoor recreation, indoor activities, shopping, and community-building events. Located on the Platte River, it has plenty of opportunities for water-based hobbies. You can also kayak down the Kearney Water Trail, a seasonal stream that runs through town. Want to fish instead? Head to the Sandy Channel State Recreation Area, where you can not only fish but kayak and canoe. The Fort Kearny State Recreation Area offers plenty of walking trails, as well as a historical park perfect for exploring. You can also make sure to catch the sandhill crane migration every year. In town, enjoy the many parks, such as Cottonmill Park, which has paddleboats.

Golf at three different courses: Meadowlark Hills, Elks Country, and Awarri Dunes. If you prefer to surround yourself with art, attend the community theater or the Merryman Performing Arts Center. You can also bowl, catch a movie at the cinema, or swim at an outdoor pool in the summer. Meet with friends at a taproom or at both the Thunderhead Brewing Company and the Platte Valley Brewery. While living in Kearney, you can also dine at pizza restaurants, places catering to Japanese and Thai cuisine, and woodfire grills. Pick up a sweet treat at a cafe, ice cream parlor, donut shop, or bakery.

Groceries and home goods can be picked up at big names like Walmart, Menards, Target, and Cabellas, or shop local at a supermarket or organic grocer. You can also browse the unique stores throughout town, like cookbook boutiques, florists, and record stores. The Hilltop Mall also covers the bases when it comes to clothing and other necessities. At the senior activity center, learn an instrument, partake in some yoga, play some chess and shuffleboard, be a part of an art workshop, and take advantage of their occasional clinics catering to things like hearing aids and body massages. Homes in Kearney average around $335,000.


Cass County Courthouse in Plattsmouth, Nebraska.
Cass County Courthouse in Plattsmouth, Nebraska.

Right alongside the Iowa border and the Missouri River, Plattsmouth is convenient in that it is only half an hour from the city of Omaha, but it is far enough to still grant you that small-town vibe. It also has an urgent care center, Veteran's services, and an animal hospital, bringing down your trips to the city unless you need something specific. Grab groceries at the Hy Vee supermarket or at the Dollar Tree. Dine in at the bars, grills, Mexican restaurants, homestyle diners, Chinese restaurants, and BBQ joints. You can also sit down to a comforting cup of coffee at the flower-themed coffee shops or shop at the consignment stores, candy shops, antique parlors, pet stores, hardware stores, and boutiques.

Great places to golf are the Bay Hills Golf Club or the Lake Ridge Golf Course and finish the day off with a visit to the Oak Haven Vineyard. Find your new circle at the Legion's pancake breakfast, or join a club, whether it be books, soccer, or radio. At the local library, you can participate in puzzle competitions, craft workshops, and bingo and take advantage of the reading patio. At the senior center, enjoy home-cooked meals, nurse services, card games, bingo, and aerobics. Want to bring home a new family member? The town hosts adoption events and has an animal shelter full of furry friends wanting a new home. Properties in Plattsmouth go for around $243,700, compared to an average of $340,500 in Omaha.


Carhenge - famous car sculpture created by Jim Reinders, a modern replica of England's Stonehenge using old cars.
Carhenge - famous car sculpture created by Jim Reinders, a modern replica of England's Stonehenge using old cars.

Full of oddities, community, and adventure, Alliance is a small town with all the amenities. Feel comfort knowing there is a hospital, as well as a pharmacy. Shop at big-name chains like Safeway or Dollar General, or frequent the local supermarkets and natural food stores. Alliance is also home to a thrift store for your next favorite outfit, a movie theater perfect for a cloudy day, a bowling alley where you can join a league, and a drive-in movie theater for those warm summer nights.

Embrace your artsy side at the Carnegie Arts Center, or the Performing Arts Center. You can attend the library's learning center, reading patio, and community events. Another great activity is browsing the shops along the historic Main Street, or picnicing next to the Central Park fountain. Play a game of disc golf at the Rolling Prairie course, or practice your swing at the Skyview Golf Course. A great way to spend the day is exploring Laing Lake or fishing and making use of the public boat launch at the Box Butte Reservoir. Those who like photography can snap some pictures at the Carhenge, a recreation of the iconic stone henge made out of salvage cars. It is also a prime spot for stargazing! Want to cool down?

Big Blue Bay is an outdoor waterpark where you can swim or bring visiting family members. Walk your furry friend at the Wiggly Field Dog Park, which offers wading pools and an agility course. For dinner, choose from options like Mexican, Chinese, pizza, and classic American fare, and end the night at Brewery 719. Alliance also has a seniors center for meals and socializing, as well as an on-demand transit service. Homes here are hovering around an incredibly affordable $148,000.

Nebraska is known for its tight-knit communities, which are perfect for finding your new circle. Whether you're into outdoor activities, creating things, whether it be art, poetry, and everything in between, or simply sitting down to a cup of coffee with friends, these small towns are sure to bring about a sense of peace, relaxation, and joy. So if you're looking to purchase some farmland, or create your haven on your cozy front porch, you'll find your affordable dream home.

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. 6 Senior-Friendly Towns in Nebraska

More in Places