Second Street in downtown Lewes, Delaware. By Harrison Keely, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

6 Senior-Friendly Towns on the Atlantic Coast

The Atlantic Coast has some appealing options for seniors looking for a coastal town with safety, cultural activities, and natural beauty. With over 2000 miles of shoreline, the coast holds towns with low crime rates, affordable housing, and enriching community events.

Moreover, many towns support active lifestyles with opportunities for boating, fishing, and walking, important for those wanting to stay active. With a focus on both community engagement and quiet relaxation, read on to learn about six towns along the Atlantic Coast great for seniors.

Southport, North Carolina

Street view in Southport, North Carolina
Street view in Southport, North Carolina, via /

Southport has no shortage of spots to wander through and enjoy. It is famous for its live oak trees, draped with Spanish moss. These trees make the town look both historic and mysteriously charming in a classically Southern way.

The town's edge is filled with cozy, old homes and buildings, and visitors can gaze out at where the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean. With a low crime rate, alongside its physical splendor, Southport is an ideal place for seniors.

It is also home to the North Carolina Fourth of July Festival, which attracts plenty of visitors with its parade, fireworks, and community events.

The town has lots of senior-friendly places to visit, like nearby Bald Head Island, accessible only by boat. Visitors often take ferries from Southport to explore the island’s beaches, and lighthouse, in a peaceful, quiet environment.

Mathews, Virginia

Ferrari's and more in the Annual: Vintage TV's "Chasing Pavement Vintage Automotive Festival" in Mathews, Virginia
Ferrari's and more in the Annual: Vintage TV's "Chasing Pavement Vintage Automotive Festival" in Mathews, Virginia, Barry Blackburn /

With house prices hovering around $264,800 and low crime, Mathews offers a good place to settle for seniors.

The town has an interesting history, based around the shipbuilding industry, a tradition that has become a big part of the local culture.

For seniors who enjoy places rich in culture, Mathews Court House Green stands out, brimming with history and heritage. It is home to many well-kept brick buildings like the old courthouse and clerk's office. The area hosts frequent community events, blending old-fashioned allure with modern lifestyles.

Among the town’s natural attractions, Haven Beach stands out as a place to enjoy. This public beach provides unforgettable views and a quiet retreat from busier tourist spots.

For seniors wanting to keep their legs moving, Mathews has bountiful nature, including beaches, calm rivers, and marshlands. So, in short, it is great for anyone who loves boating, fishing, and the great outdoors.

Vero Beach, Florida

The Riverside Cafe on the Indian River in Vero Beach, Florida at dusk
The Riverside Cafe on the Indian River in Vero Beach, Florida at dusk. Editorial credit: Robert H Ellis /

This town enjoys warm weather all year, making it perfect for folks who want to stay away from the cold. With beaches stretching out alongside the Atlantic Ocean, Vero Beach is made for spending time outdoors.

For seniors who love a town with personality, Vero Beach is also a town with a lot of cultural treasures to see.

One of those, the Vero Beach Museum of Art, has all sorts of art displays and learning activities. It is also where the Riverside Theatre puts on professional plays and music shows. These kinds of stops make the local art scene lively and big-city-like.

It is not just about man-made treats here. The Indian River Lagoon, where the town is found, stands out as one of the top biodiverse lagoon systems in the Northern Hemisphere.

Fancy an orange? The town is also in the area considered to be the "Citrus Capital of the World," reflecting its role in the citrus industry. The region still produces a large portion of Florida's famous oranges and grapefruits.

Lewes, Delaware

Second Street in downtown Lewes, Delaware.
Second Street in downtown Lewes, Delaware, By Tim Kiser, CC BY-SA 2.5, Wikimedia Commons

Lewes’ homes are a bit more expensive compared to other places listed, but it makes up for it with a safe environment, low crime, and striking scenery.

Walking through the town, you will get a real sense of its history, filled with aged, rustic buildings.

Lewes also has beautiful beaches such as Lewes Beach and Cape Henlopen State Park. They offer sand, fishing, and boating opportunities. There is also the chance to see wildlife in their habitat.

Its historic downtown is a great spot for seniors because of how accessible it is. It has interesting shops, art stops, and welcoming places to grab a bite or a coffee, all close by to each other.

The Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes is a special place for anyone who loves to keep learning. It was made to honor the 300th anniversary of the first European settlement in Delaware. This museum teaches about Lewes's past during colonial times and its beginnings in the Netherlands.

Swansboro, North Carolina

The 1839 William Pugh Ferrand Store in the Swansboro Historic District, North Carolina
The 1839 William Pugh Ferrand Store in the Swansboro Historic District, North Carolina. By Indy beetle - Own work, CC0, Wikimedia Commons.

This coastal town is a fine choice for seniors, thanks to its surrounding views and charming town center.

With pretty sights all around and a cozy town center, you will feel right at home. Another nice feature is that houses here will not break the bank. They are about 9.4% cheaper than the national median price, with a price tag of around $309,100.

Swansboro isn't known as the’ Friendly City by the Sea’ for nothing. Its old downtown is picture-perfect with well-kept buildings that have stood the test of time, alongside warm, hospitable people.

The town lies where the White Oak River links up with the Intracoastal Waterway, and is a prize for anyone who loves to splash about in a kayak.

There is lots to do here in town throughout the year. For some fun times, the Swansboro Mullet Festival is not to be missed. This party has been celebrating the local fishy favorite since way back in 1954.

Somers Point, New Jersey

View of the Municipal Beach Park in Somers Point, New Jersey.
View of the Municipal Beach Park in Somers Point, New Jersey.

Sometimes when a town sits in a gorgeous location, home prices can rocket up in price. Not here though, where the median price is around $320,000, lower than the average around the country.

There are lots to see and explore for any curious individual. An example of this is the Somers Mansion, built around 1725, which is the oldest house in Atlantic County. Today, it is a museum teaching about what life was like in the early colonial times.

For active seniors, Somers Point is the final spot on the mainland before you cross the bridge to Ocean Mary City, a key stop for people on their way to the beach.

Every year, Somers Point hosts Bayfest, the biggest one-day festival in South Jersey. This fun event draws in lots of people who come to enjoy live tunes, tasty food, crafts, and lots of water activities by the bay.

In Conclusion

The Atlantic Coast offers a collection of towns that can give seniors safe, culturally rich, and naturally beautiful coastal towns.

Many have low crime rates, affordable housing, and community activities to partake in.

So, if you are looking for amenities like museums, theaters, or senior-friendly beaches and outdoor options, the coast has some phenomenal options.

From the physical allure of Southport to the historic charm of Mathews, there is a variety of experiences awaiting, so get ready to embrace the coastal lifestyle.

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