Aerial view of Dahlonega, Georgia.

7 Best Small Towns To Retire In Georgia In 2024

One of the best states in the South to retire, Georgia is tax-friendly (it does not tax Social Security retirement benefits), boasts numerous outdoor recreation opportunities, and is known for its beautiful climate, typically characterized by mild winters. While one can nest in Atlanta, Martin Luther King Junior's birthplace, Georgia, is star-studded with an array of charming small towns more suited for slow, laid-back living. From Canton to Clarkesville, discover the seven best small towns to retire in Georgia in 2024.


Historic Sixes Mill from the 1800s in Canton, Georgia, during autumn.
Historic Sixes Mill from the 1800s in Canton, Georgia, during autumn.

Tucked away at the southern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwest Georgia, just 40 miles from Atlanta, Canton makes for a dream retirement destination. Etowah River Park, with its wide, beautifully paved paths and river views, can make for a charming early-morning routine. A retiree will also enjoy biking along the Blankets Creek Trail System, kayaking at the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir, or catching a mood-lifting show at the Canton Theatre. Northside Hospital Cherokee, a three-time recipient of the Outstanding Patient Experience Award, has served residents in the area since 2017.

A retiree here will enjoy heart-warming mountain views and love mingling with a diverse community, where Hispanics comprise 22% of the population. While Canton’s median age is 34, residents aged 60 and above comprise 20% of its population. The median home listing price in Canton is $589,500. Considering that Atlanta is just 40 minutes down the road, this price point is a good value for money.


Aerial view of Evans, Georgia.
Aerial view of Evans, Georgia.

Evans is a sweet suburb of Augusta and home to the picturesque Bartram Trail Golf Club, the only public golf course in Georgia’s Columbia County. The course here is well maintained, the greens are excellent, and the layout is just as good. A retiree here can also access Evans Town Center Park, which hosts fun concerts and outdoor functions throughout the year. Plus, the Columbia County Amphitheater is great for picnics, an evening stroll, or just relaxing and enjoying the views.

With Augusta, Georgia’s second-largest city, just a heartbeat away, a retiree here will have fantastic access to big-city amenities, including hospitals and shopping venues. For the religiously minded, Augusta is the birthplace of the Southern Baptist denomination. While this town boasts a median age of 41, residents aged 60 and above comprise 23% of its population. The median listing home price in Evans is $489,000.


A street scene from Grovetown, Georgia
A street scene from Grovetown, Georgia. Image credit: Morriswa via Wikimedia Commons.

Grovetown is beautiful, friendly, and just 12 miles from Augusta. Because it hosts Fort Eisenhower, which trains signal and ordnance soldiers, Grovetown boasts a significant presence of military families. Partly because of the military installation, Grovetown is often ranked among the safest towns in Georgia. Retirees who want to keep fit and look young will want to make the picturesque Euchee Creek Park part of their daily routine. Steed's Dairy will also come in handy, especially if an empty nester wants to give grandkids an experience of a lifetime. Plus, Goodale Park has great walking paths for exercising a furry friend. The median listing home price in Grovetown was $325,000 in February 2024. This affordable price point comes with convenient access to Augusta and, hence, a delightful array of big-city amenities, including hospitals.

Since it boasts a median age of 33, Grovetown is perfect for those who want to mingle with a youthful crowd and retain their young, child-like sparkle. That said, seniors aged 60 and above comprise 13% of the population. Grovetown is also diverse, perfect for those who want to sample other cultures. Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics comprise 41%, 32%, and 16% of the town’s population, respectively.


Railway line passing through Acworth, Georgia.
Railway line passing through Acworth, Georgia.

There is always something to do in Acworth, and retirees who love adventure will have numerous options. For example, a retiree may want to frequent Acworth Community Center’s gorgeous walking track, stop to watch the games, or meet a cherished friend. Plus, a retiree here will be looking forward to several annual events, including the Acworth Art Fest and Taste of Acworth. The former features over 50 artisans from around the country, while the latter features fun games, live music, and great food. Also, Cobblestone Golf Course, on the picturesque banks of Lake Acworth, is a nice venue to tee off an afternoon. Acworth is also close to the interstate, making it score big on accessibility.

Considering healthcare access, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, which is next door in Marietta, is a 2023 recipient of America's 100 Best Hospitals Award. Because it is diverse, the community here is open and welcoming, something increasingly becoming a rarity in many locales. Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics comprise 53%, 22%, and 17% of the population, respectively. Also, the median age is 36, and residents aged 60 and above comprise 17% of the town’s population. Finally, the median home listing price in Acworth is $477,000.


Downtown Clayton, Georgia.
Downtown Clayton, Georgia. Image credit: Thomson200 via Wikimedia Commons.

A retiree in Clayton will be captivated by the town’s friendly residents, picturesque scenery, and charming atmosphere. The scenic Lake Lanier, well known for its aqua-blue colored water, spectacular scenery, and an array of recreational activities, provides a peaceful backdrop to the town and imbues it with a rustic ambiance. Besides, Big Creek Greenway is an excellent venue for a slow and easy evening stroll while the nearby Nantahala National Forest is a serene wonderland of outdoor fun and adventure. It offers nearly everything an outdoor enthusiast needs.

The median listing home price in Clayton is $440,000. At this price, a retiree has access to Mountain Lakes Medical Center. Alternatively, the award-winning Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital is nearby in Seneca, South Carolina. While Clayton’s median age is 39, residents aged 60 and above comprise 28% of its population.


The Dahlonega Gold Museum in Dahlonega, Georgia
The Dahlonega Gold Museum in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Dahlonega is a quaint, lively town of about 7,000 residents in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains about 70 miles from Atlanta. It is in the heart of the Georgia Wine Country and was the site of the first major U.S. Gold Rush. A retiree here can toast to a life well lived at the Kaya Vineyard & Winery, where rustic cottages provide the perfect setting for a weekend getaway. Alternatively, the Three Sisters Vineyards & Winery is a beautiful venue for a slow afternoon amid heart-melting scenery and life-renewing wine. For some woods and shades, smell of dew, rustling leaves, or chirping birds, the Chattahoochee National Forest, one of the largest national forests east of the Mississippi River, is right in Dahlonega’s backyard.

The median listing home price in Dahlonega is $490,000. Concerning healthcare access, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Lumpkin, a 2024 recipient of the Pulmonary Care Excellence Award, is right in town. At the University of North Georgia Dahlonega Campus, Georgia residents at least 62 years of age may receive a waiver of in-state tuition, provided they meet certain criteria. While Dahlonega’s median age is 21, residents aged 60 and above comprise 21% of its population. So, a retiree can easily link up with folks in the same age bracket.


Habersham County Court House Clarkesville, Georgia
Habersham County Court House in Clarkesville, Georgia. Image credit: Jimmy Emerson DVM via

A dainty small town of just less than 2,000 residents, Clarksville offers a quiet, peaceful retirement, which comes with a smattering of modern conveniences. Outdoor venues here include the Hemlock Falls Trail, the Apple Mountain Golf Club, which features a picturesque backdrop of the North Georgia Mountains, and Moccasin Creek Park, which provides a nice, lovely campground on Lake Burton.

Concerning access to medical facilities, Habersham Medical Center is next door in Demorest while Stephens County Hospital is a short drive away in Toccoa. Clarksville’s median age is 37, and residents aged 60 and above comprise 38% of the population. Finally, the median listing home price in Clarkesville was $445,000 in March 2024.

If your idea of retirement involves wandering through moss-draped trees, exploring an array of lovely, ungroomed beaches, and mingling with friendly, down-to-earth residents, consider placing Georgia on your list of ideal retirement venues. However, the home state of Martin Luther King Jr., the only non-president to have a national holiday dedicated to his honor, is also tax-friendly. If you are looking for a charming, small town — but one that boasts access to desirable amenities — Canton, Evans, Grovetown, and Acworth are some of the best small towns to retire in Georgia.

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