Downtown Hinton, West Virginia.

7 Top-Ranked Towns in West Virginia for Retirees

West Virginia is a fairly large state with a relatively small population of under 1.8 million. The state comprises three main geographic regions, which include the Valley and Ridge Province, the Appalachian Plateau Province, and the Blue Ridge Province. Each area has its unique character, meaning residents will never tire of driving through its many regions and taking in its many surprises. To name just a few of the state’s main attractions, West Virginia is home to the Ohio River and the Mothman Museum and stands as the original gateway to the West. 

However, it’s also home to many of the top-ranked towns for retirees, thanks to its small-town environment and relaxed environment. It also has a low cost of living, with the average home listing going for approximately $152,000.00. Whether retirees seek a riverside view in West Virginia’s old capital of Wheeling or a cozy retirement near the Ohio border, there is something for everyone in this mountainous state.


Aerial view of Wheeling, West Virginia.
Aerial view of Wheeling, West Virginia.

Wheeling is the old capital city of West Virginia, located near the Ohio border to the west, with the Ohio River flowing between the states as a natural border. The town is well-known for its breathtaking skylines, views of the surrounding mountains, and massive bike trail that takes travelers through the city's heart, beginning in South Wheeling and taking riders on a 17.1-mile trip across the community. Despite being one of West Virginia’s largest towns, Wheeling has a population of under 30,000 and offers residents a quiet environment immersed in the Appalachian Mountains.

Moving to central or southern Wheeling is ideal since these areas are quieter and conveniently located near the Wheeling Hospital and other medical facilities. Homes in Wheeling are known for their historical charm and are relatively affordable, with the average home valued at just under $130,000.00. One of Wheeling’s main attractions is Oglebay Park, which is not only a wonderful historical landmark, but a fantastic spot to experience golfing, hiking, fishing, and much more. 

Kroger supermarket is right near the center of town, not far from Wheeling University, and a convenient place for residents to get all their shopping needs. Market Street is the shopping hub of the community, with sites like Sarah’s on Main and Later Aligator offering guests a good time in a welcoming place. Anyone hoping to meet some locals will do well to check out these spots. Heritage Port near the West Banco Arena is a lovely location for a picnic or a romantic afternoon spent gazing out at the surrounding mountains and Ohio River.

Charles Town

The historic courthouse is in the downtown area of Charles Town, West Virginia.
The historic courthouse is in the downtown area of Charles Town, West Virginia. Editorial credit: George Sheldon /

Charles Town is over four hours east of Wheeling and rests on what is known as the Eastern Panhandle of the state. It is not far from Maryland, with Washington D.C. just over an hour's drive from the historic community. Despite being so close to one of the country’s most important locations, Charles Town is one of the safest towns in West Virginia, with a crime rate 62% below the national average. 

Charles Town is best known as a family-oriented town that focuses on preserving its heritage and promoting a quiet and successful existence for its citizens. George Washington’s son donated the area of Main Street, and many of the buildings, including the Charles Town City Hall, Jefferson County Court House, and Charles Washington Hall, all stand as historical landmarks of the early days of the area. And, despite being a happening spot for commerce and centrally located near major cities, interstates, and airports, Charles Town stands as one of the more affordable spots to establish a home, with a cost of living that is 30% cheaper than most of the surrounding area. 

The Willow Tree Healthcare Center is the main medical center in the city. They provide highly skilled nursing services and care and specialize in rehabilitation services for seniors. There’s also a large Martin’s supermarket and a large Walmart just north of town, meaning residents don’t have to worry about where to get their basic needs. However, those who enjoy a more pleasurable experience won’t be disappointed. The Locust Hill Golf Course is just a couple minutes to the west, and there are plenty of top-notch restaurants in the center of town, like TeeDawg’s BBQ and Cocina Plantosaurus.

Oak Hill

Main Street in downtown, Oak Hill, West Virginia.
Main Street in downtown, Oak Hill, West Virginia. Image creditTim Kiser via Wikimedia Commons

Oak Hill is approximately four hours southwest of Charles Town in central West Virginia. It is a welcoming, safe, and charming small town with several churches and a low crime rate. As a community-centered town, new residents can expect to make new friends at the weekly meal held at the Lewis Christian Community Center or while enjoying the sunshine at Oak Hill City Park. As a small community of under 10,000 people, newcomers can anticipate a close-knit, family-oriented town. 

High-ranking medical care is available in the city and is provided at the Charleston Area Medical Center. Their staff and facilities specialize in cardiovascular health, but that is not all they offer since they seek to make healthcare and services more widely available. The office of Central West Virginia Aging Services is also located in town, meaning retirees will never be far from care and support for themselves or their loved ones. Housing prices are affordable, with median home costs around $174,000.00, and apartment rent typically goes for about $1,200-1,500 per month. 

Oak Hill has everything a person could need, including Grant’s Supermarket and many delicious restaurants and date night activity sites. Starlite Drive-In is an ideal spot for a retro-style date night and is only a couple minutes outside of the town. Or, folks can take a nice romantic trip to a diner like Heart of Gold Diner or get a unique dish at El Bandido restaurant. Last but not least, Oak Hill is home to lovely and historic Lundale Farm and Jones Mansion. These sites are important locations for the history of the community and are beautifully preserved.


Market Street Bridge, over the Ohio River between Weirton, West Virginia, and Steubenville, Ohio.
Market Street Bridge, over the Ohio River between Weirton, West Virginia, and Steubenville, Ohio.

About forty minutes north of Wheeling, sitting along the Ohio River and the border of Pennsylvania to the east is the lovely riverside town of Weirton. Weirton is an industrial small town with a low crime rate, ranked 74% safer than the average U.S. city. Despite being a more developed region than certain towns in the south, it still has lots of outdoor activities and beautiful locations that are ideal for people of all ages. This includes a relaxing stroll along the river or a pleasant nature trek through Marland Heights Park. 

The city houses one of the best medical facilities in West Virginia, known as the Weirton Medical Center (WMC). They provide emergency care, a community for diabetics, and top-notch cancer detection services. And the town has its very own senior center, the Weirton Senior Citizen Center, meaning they have everything a newcomer could need to get established and feel right at home. Weirton also has a starting point for the Panhandle Trail, a stunning 4-mile journey along the base of the mountains immersed in nature. 

Fortunately, for everyone’s convenience and simplicity, Weirton is home to a Walmart Supercenter and a Kroger supermarket. Golf lovers will appreciate Weirton’s Williams Golf and Country Club. People can join and become members or simply rent a course to practice. There are lots of wonderful places to eat in town, including Giovanni’s, a classic Italian restaurant, and Dee Jay's BBQ Ribs & Grille. And the average listing price for homes in town is below $100,000.00, meaning it is an excellent place to retire, save money, and enjoy life. 


Intersection of Washington and Walnut Streets in Ravenswood, West Virginia
Intersection of Washington and Walnut Streets in Ravenswood, West Virginia

Ravenswood is just under three hours southwest of Weirton, sitting along the Ohio River to the west. This puts the town near the border of Ohio and just a few hours from major cities, including Columbus, which is under two hours northwest, and Cinncinati, which is approximately three hours west. It is the ideal location to settle down and retire, with a crime rate that’s 64% below the national average and a highly rated assisted living facility, Ravenswood Care Center, on Washington Street. 

There are lots of outdoor activities that people of all ages and energy levels can enjoy. Washington’s Riverfront Park is an ideal spot for a simple walk or jog. For those who enjoy an engaging yoga session, the park hosts community-centric yoga classes that include Hatha and yoga sculpt, among other specialities that anyone of any skill level can enjoy. Ravenswood also has a community pool that is open during the warm months of the year. Anyone who wants a more challenging experience can hike the 2.4-mile-long trek along the Kevin Clegg Trail System located just outside the town’s borders. 

The Great Bend Museum showcases the history of the town with its more than 2,000 artifacts and historical pieces on display. The museum site gets its name from the fascinating geological feature it sits on, where the Ohio River bends back along itself and creates a fascinating horseshoe shape. So, residents won’t just be able to appreciate the history of this location but also the town’s natural charm. Residents can start their day with a fresh cup of coffee at the peaceful Steaming Cup Cafe or grab a freshly baked dish from Tudor’s Biscuit World.

Point Pleasant

Sternwheeler Queen of the Mississippi docked on Ohio River in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
Sternwheeler Queen of the Mississippi docked on Ohio River in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Editorial credit: Jack R Perry Photography /

Point Pleasant is about thirty minutes southwest of Ravenswood, sitting along the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers. This location made this site an important shipping hub throughout the early years of West Virginia’s history, meaning anyone who lives here can indulge in a rustic community with a vibrant past. It also has a low crime rate, lovely natural surroundings, and plenty of affordable, pleasant places to live. In particular, Twin Rivers Tower and Pleasant Valley Apartments are ideal for retirees moving into the area. 

Although perfect for a number of reasons, one of the most uniquely appealing aspects of Point Pleasant is its local folklore and history. The myth and legends surrounding the sightings of Mothman are perhaps the main factors that put Point Pleasant on the map, and locals and visitors alike can experience the legend first-hand at the Mothman Museum. Those who prefer historical sites over local folktales will love visiting Fort Randolph, which dates back to 1776 and is one of the earliest defences built on the old frontier. 

Point Pleasant is home to Rivers Health, meaning residents can rely on top-notch healthcare services conveniently located right in town. There are also lots of restaurants and eateries, like McHappy’s Bake Shoppe and Gino’s Pizza and Spaghetti House. There is a local Aldi just across the river in Ohio that makes grocery shopping convenient and easy. People who like riverfront views will appreciate Tu-Endie-Wei State Park. It is home to the Mansion House and has plenty of open space, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy the natural views.


Downtown Hinton, West Virginia.
Downtown Hinton, West Virginia. Image credit Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant), CC BY-SA 3.0 US, via Wikimedia Commons

Hinton sits about an hour from West Virginia’s southern border with Virginia, approximately two and a half hours southeast of Point Pleasant. The location is a lovely place to enjoy a tranquil existence in a historic community situated along the New River and West Virginia’s very own Coney Island. Its low crime rate, rural location, and natural surroundings make it perfect for retirees seeking an adorable country town to call their own. 

Couple all those perks with the low living costs in town, with the median home cost of $169,000.00, it is a picture-perfect retirement city. Places along New River are often the most appealing, but the areas to the east are also attractive if you prefer looking out over the woods and mountains. Some of the most exciting city events are the annual Railroad Days and the West Virginia State Water Festival. Those who enjoy a rustic weekend should consider booking a few nights at The Guest House on Coney Island and experience a lovely time immersed in nature. 

Although an ideal quiet location, Hinton has all the luxuries and conveniences residents would need to live comfortably. The town has an Amtrak station, meaning travel to and from the city is easy, comfortable, and safe. There’s also the Summers County Clinic and the local hospital, meaning people will never be far from excellent healthcare and emergency services. Last, there are plenty of wonderful eateries, but one of the best spots to get a bite to eat is The Market on Courthouse Square. They provide scrumptious food in a laid-back, friendly environment.

The Takeaway

West Virginia is best known for its rural, mountainous landscapes and rugged way of life. These aspects may make many recent or soon-to-be retirees assume the state isn’t the ideal spot to put down roots for their golden years. However, West Virginia is home to several stunning small towns and sprawling cities that perfectly blend the rugged mountains with modern convenience. Living in West Virginia is ideal for anyone hoping to escape the louder parts of the U.S. and is wonderful for anyone seeking an active lifestyle at retirement, where they can enjoy hiking, swimming, and cycling immersed in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains.

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. 7 Top-Ranked Towns in West Virginia for Retirees

More in Places