Aerial View of Grand Forks, North Dakota.

6 Senior-Friendly Towns In North Dakota

North Dakota is becoming one of the top retirement destinations in the United States due to its unique combination of natural tranquillity, low cost of living, and comfortable amenities. The Black Hills of North Dakota offers many opportunities for outdoor recreational experiences. Additionally, North Dakota’s affordability, transportation, and reasonable housing costs make it a viable option for seniors looking to make the best of their retirement dollars. North Dakota is a tax-friendly state, meaning it has no state income tax, allowing seniors to enjoy their savings in retirement. This central US state has many charming small towns and vibrant communities that provide a welcoming atmosphere, while its slow pace of life allows seniors to relax and spend their golden years in comfort. Here are six senior-friendly towns in North Dakota to consider when planning to relocate for retirement:


View of modern residential neighborhood in Bismarck, North Dakota.
View of a modern residential neighborhood in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota and is known for its natural beauty, vibrant history, and small-town quaintness. Bismarck is located along the Missouri River, which allows seniors to partake in its stunning views and outdoor enjoyment at locations like the Missouri River State Park and the Lewis and Clark Riverboat. This charming town’s historic landmarks, such as the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Capitol Building, offer a look into North Dakota’s fascinating past. The Badlands, a scenic 244,000-acre national park in South Dakota, is merely a short drive away and is rife with majestic views for any senior nature-lover. Senior-focused amenities like the Bismarck Senior Center ensure that retirees can enjoy a comfortable and active lifestyle. Bismarck boasts a low cost of living for seniors (median housing at $240,000; rentals at $700 a month) as well as a low crime rate (27% lower than the national average) so seniors can be assured that they can remain safe and comfortable in the state’s capital.


View of the Broadway Street in Fargo, North Dakota
View of the Broadway Street in Fargo, North Dakota. Editorial credit: TLF Images /

With a population of 133,188 as of 2023, Fargo is the most populous city in North Dakota. It is located in the southeast region of Cass County and is known as the cultural, retail, health care, educational, and industrial center of southeastern North Dakota. Like many North Dakota towns, Fargo is rich with culture and natural vibrance ideal for senior living. Seniors in Fargo have access to top-notch healthcare facilities like the Sanford Health Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Housing prices in Fargo are reasonable, with a median home price of $240,000 and rentals as low as $700/month. Fargo’s cultural hubs include the Plains Art Museum, the Fargo Theatre, and the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra. Seniors may enjoy Fargo’s many parks and nature trails, including the scenic Riverfront Park located along the Red River. Additionally, Fargo has many historic landmarks like the Bonanzaville USA Museum and the Fargo Walk of Fame. Although Fargo is one of the larger cities in North Dakota, its small-town charm and abundance of amenities make it an attractive retirement destination for a fulfilling senior lifestyle.

Grand Forks

Aerial View of Grand Forks, North Dakota
Aerial View of Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Grand Forks, North Dakota, is located on the western banks of the Red River of the North, in a flat region known as the Red River Valley. It is primarily a college town, as Grand Forks is home to the University of North Dakota, the oldest higher education institution in the state. Because of this, the downtown scene of Grand Forks is vibrant with culture, art, music, and local happenings all year round. Cultural centers include the Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra and the North Dakota Museum of Art. With affordable median housing prices of $190,000 and monthly rentals at $600/month, seniors can rest assured knowing their retirement dollars ensure a great standard of living for its value. Grand Forks has a crime rate 40% lower than the national average and access to quality medical care at Altru Health Systems. The city generally has a moderate climate where seniors can enjoy biking, camping, and hiking in the spring and summer seasons, with skiing and hockey games at the University of North Dakota during the winter seasons. Historic landmarks of Grand Forks include the Myra Museum and the Grand Forks County Historical Society.


Scandinavian heritage park in minot North dakota
The Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, North Dakota.

Known as The Magic City, Minot, North Dakota, is a senior-friendly town that excels in various aspects. In terms of healthcare, Minot boasts the Trinity Health Hospital, providing comprehensive medical services. Housing prices are affordable, with a median home price of $220,000 and rentals starting at $500 monthly. Because Minot State University is located in this city, Minot has a thriving local culture. Seniors can attend events at places like the Minot Symphony Orchestra, The Scandinavian Heritage Park, and the Minot Railroad Museum. Other cultural hubs include the Dakota Territory Air Museum and two racing tracks: the Nodak Speedway and the Magic City International Dragway. Outdoor enthusiasts can thrive in Minot, which is located near the Souris River and its numerous parks and trails. Additionally, Minot has a golf course and several charming eateries, including Charlie’s Main Street Cafe, one of the city’s longest-running restaurants. Minot has a senior population of 13%, which ensures that seniors can find community on top of comfort in this culturally vibrant North Dakota city.

Valley City

This Bridge runs over the valley in Valley City North Dakota
This Bridge running over the Sheyenne River in Valley City, North Dakota.

Nestled in the heart of the Sheyenne River Valley, Valley City is an ideal location for comfortable senior living. With a population of around 6,500 people, Valley City has a small-town atmosphere perfect for a tranquil retirement life. Quality healthcare is provided at the Mercy Hospital, and housing is comfortable, with median housing at $170,000 and rentals at $500/month. It is well-known for its quaint downtown area, historic architecture, and natural scenery. Valley City is vibrant with culture, as it is home to Valley City State University’s Fine Arts Program and the Sheyenne River Valley Arts League. Historic landmarks include the Valley City Historic District and the Sheyenne River Bridge. The Sheyenne River and Lake Ashtabula provide many recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts with parks and hiking paths ideal for appreciation of North Dakota’s natural ecosystems. With its quality of affordable living, healthcare, and amenities, Valley City is a top destination for seniors seeking a fulfilling yet tranquil lifestyle.


World's Largest Buffalo Monument in Jamestown, North Dakota
The World's Largest Buffalo Monument in Jamestown, North Dakota. Editorial credit: Ayman Haykal /

Jamestown was founded in 1883 and is home to the University of Jamestown. Located in Stutsman County, North Dakota, Jamestown is the ninth most populous city in North Dakota, with a population of over 15,000. Most known for its buffalo, Jamestown is becoming known as well for its relaxing pace that makes it a sought-after location for seniors to settle. Opportunities are abundant for nature enthusiasts to enjoy Jamestown, with boat launches, beaches, trails, and picnic areas. Additionally, Jamestown is home to the scenic Jamestown Reservoir. Cultural landmarks of Jamestown include the National Buffalo Museum and the World’s Largest Buffalo statue. The Jamestown Regional Medical Center is readily available for seniors in need of access to quality medical care. Jamestown experiences a typical moderate climate, with humid summers and cold winters with snowfall as early as October. The town is quite affordable, with a median home price of $140,000 and rentals as low as $400 monthly. The crime rate in Jamestown is 44% lower than the natural average, ensuring retirees feel safe and secure in their communities.

North Dakota offers a wide range of senior-friendly towns that provide an ideal quality of life, affordability, and access to healthcare and amenities. From the vibrant cultural scene in Fargo to the historic landmarks in Bismarck, the natural beauty of Grand Forks, and the affordability of Jamestown, each city offers a unique blend of attractions that cater to the needs and preferences of seniors looking to establish their golden years in tranquility and comfort. Whether seeking a quiet, small-town atmosphere, quaint natural landscapes, or bustling city lifestyle, North Dakota has something for everyone, making it a uniquely attractive destination for seniors in need of a fulfilling lifestyle to spend their years.

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