The state of Louisiana has a lot of charm for all ages, from kids to seniors. While kids may love the abundance of playgrounds, adults, and seniors will love the combination of quiet rural life with the nearby city life having much to offer. Louisiana has a lot of history, with many of its towns, large or small, holding it close and putting it on display, making it easy to learn about almost any part of the state. There are plenty of great places to retire, with all of them offering great views, friendly atmospheres and opportunities to have fun all around, no matter the age. These towns have a lot going for them when it comes to both family life and retirement life, with the welcoming people being the cherry on top.
Abita Springs sits on a river of the same name and gets its name from the local springs known to contain medicinally helpful minerals. People come to the town to seek small-town life, with many creatives like sculptors, painters, writers, and artists choosing Abita Springs as their home. Plenty of these artists set up shop at the Abita Springs Art and Farmers Market, which is at Trailhead Park and includes plenty of local food and baked goods, along with a platform for people to show off their work. Other creative spots like the UCM Museum house antiques, including old electronics and arcade games alongside folk art by John Preble.
The town has a population of around 2,600, and the median home value is approximately $212,600, where the majority of people own their homes. There are plenty of longleaf pine trees and fresh water to go around, making it a peaceful place to live.
Next to Lake Charles and along the Calcasieu River is Westlake, which was once a lumber and shipbuilding hotspot. Beaches, swimming, and volleyball are offered at Lake Charles, just a stone's throw from the Calcasieu River. The town lies next to the Sam Houston Jones State Park, which has a beautiful 1,087 acres to explore. Activities offered include a fishing boardwalk, picnic areas, boating, kayaking, biking, bird watching, and hiking trails like Stagecoach or Longleaf Pine.
Those who want to stay in town can take a stroll through Pinederosa Park in the north of town, which is next to the National Golf Club of Louisiana and has a gorgeous course for anyone who wants to take a swing. Most of the over 5,000 residents of Westlake own their own homes, with a median home value of around $126,400. Right in the center of town is both the Westlake Physical Therapy Clinic and SouthStar Urgent Care.
DeRidder gets its name from the sister-in-law of a Dutch railroad financier, Ella de Ridder. The town's commercial district is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district. Buildings like the Beauregard Parish Jail, built over a century ago, are renowned for their Gothic Revival architectural style, perfect for any history or architecture buff. Entertainment and creativity are very present in the town, with the Beauregard Parish Museum holding more of DeRidder's history and the RealArt Deridder Gallery supported and run by local artists. The Wooten Theater in town has dinner shows filled with drama and mystery!
DeRidder has a population of around 10,000, with the majority of people owning their homes at a median value of $137,200. Plenty of health centers are in town, like the Oceans Behavioral Hospital, Fast Pace Health Urgent Care, Beauregard Medical Center, and more, for seniors looking for a town to settle down.
The town of Slidell has a population of close to 30,000 and is served by both Amtrak and Slidell Airport, making travel to and from the area a breeze. Slidell was founded as a railroad town, with its history laid out in the Slidell Museum, free to the public. The city hall also serves as the George Dunbar Gallery, which has rotating art exhibits by local artists throughout the year. In town, there are plenty of outdoor activities, like golf, offered by the Royal and Oak Harbor Golf Clubs alongside the Pinewood Country Club. Parks like Ducksworth, Fritchie, Griffith, or Heritage Park offer calm, open areas for picnicking and pretty walks. Those who are willing to travel out of town will find both swamp tours and fishing charters.
With a median home value of $169,600, most of Slidell's residents own their homes, and there are plenty of medical centers and hospitals like the Hope Medical Center.
Jefferson is a suburb with a little over 10,000 residents which lies within the New Orleans statistical area. The Louisiana Steam Train Association is a non-profit organization that is run by volunteers and offers steam train rides in the area, including the locally famous Southern Pacific #745. Plenty of parks line the area, like Meyfortt, Girard Park, La Salle, and more. Hike along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain on the Lakefront Trail at Clearview Boulevard, offering good exercise and even better views. Jefferson itself has hospitals like the East Jefferson General Hospital, but the greater New Orleans area also has plenty of options throughout. A little over 50% of the town owns their own home at a median value of $204,300. The town is ideal for those who want to be just outside city life, with easy access to New Orleans.
Usually just called Amite, Amite City is a part of Tangipahoa Parish, which itself is a large dairy producer in Louisiana. Amite is more known for being a hub for oysters, so much so that there's an annual Oyster Festival, which celebrates through fun, music, and oysters! Seafood is embedded in local culture, with restaurants serving fresh fish and other food caught in the nearby Gulf of Mexico, like Mike's Catfish Inn. The town, while small with around 4,000 residents, has several health locations like the Amite Rural Health Clinic and Hood Memorial Hospital. About 58% of residents own their home due to the affordable median home value of $98,600, perfect for anyone who wants to live rurally.
Mandeville gets its name from Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville, who founded it in the 19th century. The term also means "big farm" in medieval Norman French, which fits since the land was used for agriculture. It sits on Lake Pontchartrain, across from New Orleans. Mandeville has plenty of nature, with Sunset Point Fisher's Pier & Park extending over 400 feet into Lake Pontchartrain. Other parks include Pelican Park and Fontainebleau State Park, which offer camping, trails, beaches, and cabins. The Chafunkta Brewing Company offers a chance to socialize along with tasty local brews, while the 30 by Ninety Theatre offers local shows in town. With a population of over 13,000, Mandeville might be pricey for some with a median home value of $323,200 with the majority of residents owning their homes. It has a large number of medical centers, though, like the In & Out Urgent Care and the Start Community Health Center.
Louisiana is a good mix of city and rural life, with more suburban areas in between. The communities, whether small or large, are welcoming, making it ideal for retirees and seniors. People who just want quiet can go to the smaller towns, where there are still opportunities to socialize and make friends after retirement. The more suburban areas might have more hustle and bustle but still offer friendly atmospheres, open spaces, and incredible views throughout Louisiana's many parks, rivers, and lakes.