Thompson Park and the historic City center of Easton, Maryland. Image credit grandbrothers via Shutterstock

6 Top-Ranked Towns in Maryland for Retirees

Retirement is a unique stage in life where one chooses to spend their time on their terms. Whether you want to travel the world, volunteer in the community, or take on new hobbies, it is a leeway to enjoy life’s pleasures without worries. However, a satisfying retirement life begins with finding the perfect place to call home, away from urban chaos, where you can have peace of mind. Fortunately, Maryland hosts several charming communities for anyone planning to relocate to the East Coast after hanging up their work boots. 

From picturesque fishing villages and relaxed countryside hamlets to bustling historic towns, the Old Line State presents an impressive blend of localities with a slow pace of life, ideal for senior citizens. Their beautiful outdoor scenery, rich heritage, and welcoming, down-to-earth locals make for the perfect combination of factors for safe sailing into your sunset years. Here are some of the highly-rated towns in Maryland for retirees. 

Bel Air

Cathedral Church of Reconciliation (Charismatic Episcopal Church) in Bel Air, Maryland.
Cathedral Church of Reconciliation (Charismatic Episcopal Church) in Bel Air, Maryland, By Farragutful - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Bel Air delivers an impressive balance between small-town charm and big-city amenities. It has a laidback rural setting with a vibrant downtown area housing a mix of galleries, museums, and restaurants. The tight-knit community constantly converges at the Bel Air Farmers Market, an excellent place for new retirees to mingle and make friends while shopping for healthy, farm-fresh produce. Several indoor pursuits ensure a diversity of experiences in Bel Air. As art lovers admire beautiful pieces at Harford Artists Gallery, historians will gravitate towards the Liriodendron Mansion. 

Pensioners can also expect an active lifestyle in the town, thanks to multiple open spaces with recreational adventures. They can stretch their legs along the 6.25-mile Ma & Pa Heritage Trail or head to Bynum Run Park for walking, picnicking, fishing, and nature exploration. With a lower crime rate than the state average, Bel Air ensures seniors are safe from the turbulent streets of nearby Baltimore. Furthermore, this proximity also accords them easy access to all the big city's premium health and social amenities. Locally, UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center is among the healthcare facilities they can access. Conversely, Bel Air’s cost of living is slightly higher than the national average, with the median home price at around $400,000. 


The charming town of Cumberland, Maryland.
The charming town of Cumberland, Maryland.

This charming community in Western Maryland lets retirees enjoy the sunset years without burning through their retirement savings. It has a rich heritage, once serving as a prominent transportation center, a history that pensioners will be happy to explore at the Allegheny Museum. Even better, they can experience its railroad heydays by hopping aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad for a fun sightseeing tour to witness the beauty of the Allegheny Mountains up close. Cumberland has plenty of outdoor opportunities for its senior citizens, who comprise over 20% of the population. Rocky Gap State Park is only ten minutes from the town and offers recreational activities like hiking, camping, swimming, picnicking, and more. 

Downtown Cumberland hosts several cultural spots where locals meet often, including Cumberland Theater, which is perfect for enjoying a live performance in a family-friendly atmosphere. With a median home price under $150,000, pensioners do not have to spend a fortune to own a home in Cumberland. Furthermore, the cost of living is less than the state and national averages. Retirees can access several medical centers in town, including UPMC Western Maryland, and senior living communities like Allegany County Senior Citizen. 


Main Street in Westminster, Maryland
Main Street in Westminster, Maryland, via By Farragutful - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, File:2017 Westminster, Maryland 01.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

This quaint Carroll County town provides retirees with lifelong learning opportunities at McDaniel College. It also boasts exciting outdoor adventures to keep pensioners active in their golden years. The Westminster Community Pond has the ideal setting to be one with nature - quiet, green, and secluded. It has an adorable pavilion and picnic areas to relax and enjoy the scenery. Alternatively, you can explore the sprawling Bear Branch Nature Center for more adventures, from hiking and fishing to wildlife viewing. Those interested in the town’s past will prefer touring Carroll County Farm Museum, a historic farm expanse with 15 old structures. 

Retirees enjoy reliable healthcare service in Westminster, with the town hosting several medical facilities in a close radius. Carroll County Hospital is one of the many centers seniors can access. Westminster is among the safer small towns in Maryland, with a crime rate lower than the national average. Median home prices are in the $400,000+ range, and living costs are a tad higher than the United States average. Finally, the town is near major highways, ensuring reliable transportation to neighboring cities like Baltimore and Frederick. 


Roosevelt Center: The city's commercial center typifies the Art Deco style used during the original construction of Greenbelt
Roosevelt Center: The city's commercial center typifies the Art Deco style used during the original construction of Greenbelt, By Payton Chung - Roosevelt Center Uploaded by AlbertHerring, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

As the name suggests, Greenbelt places senior citizens in the warm embrace of Mother Nature, presenting a suburban setting with lush, sprawling parks. This guarantees endless opportunities for those who embrace an active lifestyle at places like Greenbelt Park. It also hosts the Buddy Attick Lake Park, which charms with miles of nature trails through dense woods and circling the lake. Greenbelt also houses a well-preserved historic district designated a National Historic Landmark. Strolling through its peaceful streets feels like stepping into a time capsule, revealing old-world structures with Art Deco Style like the Roosevelt Center. 

Greenbelt is only 25 minutes from Washington, D.C., so pensioners can easily access some of the country’s top medical and social facilities in the capital. This nearness to the urban center has increased median home prices to around $250,000. On the bright side, the town is relatively safe and enjoys a well-developed transport network. Finally, with the University of Maryland sitting about ten minutes away, retirees have continuous learning opportunities. 


Buildings along Maryland State Route 851 (Main Street) in Sykesville, Maryland
Buildings along Maryland State Route 851 (Main Street) in Sykesville, Maryland Image credit Famartin, via Wikimedia Commons.

Budget Traveler ranked this tiny Carroll County locale the “Coolest Small Town in America” in 2016, and it continues to live up to the hype. From Civil War-era museums to green parks, it offers a soft landing spot for retirees. Some of its top historic sites include the Gate House Museum, which houses diverse artifacts chronicling the town’s colorful history. Also, the Historic Sykesville Colored Schoolhouse is an exciting museum that takes you back to the early 20th century. Senior citizens can also take advantage of opportunities to explore the outdoors at Millard Cooper Park, with recreation activities like hiking and picnicking in the offing. 

The crime rate in Sykesville is almost at par with the national average, which makes this charming locality relatively safe for senior citizens. The town also borders big cities like Baltimore and Washington, D.C., allowing them to reach quality amenities quickly. However, there is a small price for this convenience, with the median home price at over $450,000 and the cost of living at least 20% higher than the national average. Everything considered, Sykesville sounds like an enticing option for retirees in Maryland. 


A scene from Easton, Maryland.
A scene from Easton, Maryland.

With a crime rate almost 40% lower than the national average, Easton is one of Maryland's safest places to settle. But pensioners will love more about this adorable Talbot County community, including a historic downtown with interesting sites, charming open spaces, and a thriving art scene. As the county seat, it preserves the region’s history at the Talbot Historical Society, which documents the bygone eras. There is plenty of culture to absorb in Easton, presented through several art centers, including the Academy Art Museum and Troika Gallery. 

Meanwhile, the famous Amish Country Farmers Market provides a more immersive cultural experience, with a chance to shop for fresh produce, home-baked goods, and authentic Amish crafts. The close-knit Easton community looks after its senior citizens with several senior living communities, such as HeartFields Assisted Living. Also, they can get premium healthcare at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center. Finally, pensioners will have to part with at least $400,000 if they want to own a residence in Easton, which is a fair price to pay considering the facilities. 

Final Thoughts

These small towns in Maryland present compelling reasons for why they are ideal retirement locations. Each prioritizes healthcare access through local hospitals and clinics and affordability through low cost of living and home prices. Natural beauty and outdoor recreation abound in the many parks along the state's scenic rivers and coastline. These towns deliver for those seeking small-town charm, close-knit communities, and a relaxed pace of life to settle in their golden years. 

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