Old Main hall on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. Editorial credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

8 Most Affordable Towns to Retire in South Dakota

The state of South Dakota is renowned for its vast landscapes, friendly communities, and rich cultural heritage. For retirees looking to explore the great outdoors, delve into history, or experience local traditions, South Dakota promises a welcoming stay. From the bragged-about attractions, such as The Corn Palace, to some of the more hidden gems, such as the Valiant Vineyards Winery & Distillery, these destinations have no trouble entertaining people of all ages. These eight towns have inviting landscapes, affordable housing choices, and events that allow for a lively yet relaxed lifestyle in the golden years of retirement.


Yankton, South Dakota, a college town on the Missouri River

Yankton, South Dakota, a college town on the Missouri River.

Yankton combines the charm of small-town living with plenty of activities and amenities, making it an ideal destination for potential residents.

With a median house price of $320,000, this charming town is both a welcoming and affordable community. Yankton is home to the reputable Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, ensuring that residents and visitors have access to top-notch healthcare services; retirees can have peace of mind knowing quality medical care is nearby.

A notable famous sight in this town is the old Meridian Bridge. Once a railroad bridge, this scenic Missouri River crossing connects Yankton with Nebraska as a cycling and pedestrian trail. The surrounding park is excellent for a day outside because it offers plenty of space for a calming stroll with breathtaking views. The Boat House has countless entertainment for retirees in the historic Meridian District. This excellent amusement center offers skeeball, foosball, golf simulation, and axe throwing among its activities.


Storybook Land, Yellow Brick Road, Aberdeen, South Dakota

Storybook Land, Yellow Brick Road, Aberdeen, South Dakota. Editorial credit: Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock.com

Aberdeen stands out as a town with notable benefits.

With a median house price of $289,900, Aberdeen offers an inviting and affordable place to call home. Aberdeen is home to Avera St. Luke's Hospital, a reputable medical facility providing high-quality healthcare services.

Spanning 210 acres, Wylie Park is Aberdeen's premier destination for outdoor recreation. This large park offers miles of beautiful recreational paths, picnic spots, playgrounds, beach access, miniature golf, softball fields, and volleyball courts. This is the ideal spot for retirees looking to spend a day in the great outdoors hiking, sports, or just lounging by the sea. Found within Wylie Park, Storybook Land is a magical theme park that brings beloved nursery rhymes to life. Follow the Yellow Brick Road to a whimsical world where you can visit a medieval castle, ride the Storybook Land Express miniature train, or enjoy the carousel and balloon ride.

Retirees should visit the Dacotah Prairie Museum for an intimate look into the town's history. This insightful museum gives visitors and locals a glimpse into the prairie region's lives, advancements, and natural history that has the ability to take attendees back more than a century in time.


Aerial view of Watertown, South Dakota at sunset

Aerial view of Watertown, South Dakota at sunset.

Watertown is a friendly town with reasonably priced housing options, making it a desirable area to live or invest in.

With a median house price of $339,900, this town also comes with the Prairie Lakes Hospital. This excellent medical facility offers first-rate healthcare services, granting locals and visitors a safe place to settle down. One must-see attraction in Watertown is the Bramble Park Zoo, which is home to some 500 animals from 130 different species. Here, retirees can witness and learn from the many exhibits and get up close and personal with animals from all across the globe.

The picturesque Loris Garden in downtown Watertown is ideal for locals and visitors to enjoy a stroll and a calm oasis in the center of the city. Just outside of Watertown, retirees will surely enjoy a complete entertainment experience with dining, gaming, and comfortable accommodations. At the Dakota Sioux Casino and Hotel, all may try their luck at the casino or simply relax and take in the bustle of the environment.


Aerial view of a public university in Madison, South Dakota.
Aerial view of a public university in Madison, South Dakota.

Madison has not only a high quality of life with the town's affordable housing, stellar healthcare, abundant outdoor adventures, and comprehensive fitness amenities but also superb entertainment options.

Madison is a haven that comes with a welcoming community at an affordable price of $329,900. The town ensures good health and well-being with the esteemed Madison Regional Health System, offering healthcare services to both residents and visitors. For nature aficionados, Lake Herman State Park has breathtaking vistas of native oak woodlands and prairie grasses, coupled with a plethora of activities like camping, boating, fishing, and cross-country skiing.

Those looking to either upkeep or develop their health and fitness will find the Madison Community Center caters to all wellness needs with state-of-the-art facilities for swimming, hitting the gym, and engaging group classes. Movie buffs should visit the Dakota Cinema, the premier venue for enjoying the latest films in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

Hot Springs

Welcome sign for Hot Springs, South Dakota.
Welcome sign for Hot Springs, South Dakota. By Runner1928, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The town of Hot Springs really has it all. This charming community is an exceptional place to call home for retirees, providing a pleasant combination of excellent healthcare, reasonably priced living, and distinctive attractions.

Hot Springs, with a median home price of $469,000, is a popular option for seniors looking for a vibrant, attractive community. Fall River Health Services is a recognized medical facility that welcomes retirees for all medical requirements.

One of Hot Springs' most renowned outdoor entertainment features is Evans Plunge Mineral Springs, the largest naturally occurring warm water indoor swimming pool in the world. This outdoor attraction guarantees a beautiful day and is perfect for family visits or alone. In addition to having beautiful trails, the Angostura Recreation Area is excellent for pet-friendly excursions. Anyone interested in learning about science and history should definitely check out the World Fossil Finder Museum. This remarkable museum houses several of the first fossil discoveries so that retirees can bring their families on a captivating journey into Earth's prehistoric past.


Aerial view of a state university in Vermillion, South Dakota

Aerial view of a state university in Vermillion, South Dakota.

Vermillion sits along the banks of the Missouri River in Southeastern South Dakota.

Retirees will surely find it easy to fall in love with a beautiful town; it helps that the median house price is $286,700, providing an ideal setting for comfortable living.

Residents have the opportunity to benefit from the healthcare services at Sanford Vermillion Medical Center and receive medical care. Wine enthusiasts can indulge in a unique tasting experience at Valiant Vineyards Winery & Distillery, the oldest winery in South Dakota. For a more relaxed form of entertainment, the Coyote Twin Theater premiers the latest films in a cozy atmosphere.

An attraction filled with music history is perfect for a day out of the house. Retirees will be enthralled by the Shrine to Music Museum, home to an extraordinary collection of instruments, including rare Stradivarius stringed instruments and guitars like Johnny Cash’s composing guitar.

Belle Fourche

Geographic Center of the Nation Monument, Belle Fourche, South Dakota.
Geographic Center of the Nation Monument, Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Editorial credit: Rachael Martin / Shutterstock.com

Belle Fourche, a town in Western South Dakota, sits on the northern slopes of the renowned Black Hills.

The median price of a home there is $509,000, making the selection for a home slightly more expensive, but it is certainly worth it in regards to its amenities. The Belle Fourche Clinic guarantees people of all ages access to complete healthcare. This town is notable for being the Geographic Center of the United States, a fact commemorated by a monument just outside the town that is well worth seeing for an unforgettable picture op.

Locals and visitors have noted to explore the Belle Fourche Riverwalk, one of the community's most admirable outdoor pastimes. Seeing art in Belle Fourche is simple by visiting Hilea Fine Art, which features a wide selection of modern and traditional artwork, including photo-worthy paintings and sculptures.


Mitchell, South Dakota, USA - Small town in the Midwest.
Mitchell, South Dakota, US - Small town in the Midwest. Editorial credit: Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

Mitchell is a town that takes great pride in its Midwestern hospitality, friendliness, and affordability.

The community is a suitable area to call home for retirement, with a wide range of popular attractions and a median property price of $365,000. Retirees do not need to travel outside of the town for medical care because Avera Queen of Peace has excellent healthcare and ensures that all inhabitants receive the best care available.

The most visited sight in Mitchell is, without a doubt, the iconic Corn Palace. This architectural marvel is a work of art with fantastic artwork made of corn and grains, making it more than just a unique building. Retirees will be pleased to be so close to The Corn Palace, considering it is a busy center that draws visitors worldwide for sporting events, concerts, and festivals.

A day outside or a quick immersive walk in nature are common activities at Lake Mitchell. The lake can be used for hiking, fishing, and picnics in peaceful surroundings, making it a top choice for retirees. Meanwhile, the McGovern Legacy Museum is an attraction filled with captivating exhibitions that bring the past to life, providing residents with an enticing dose of history.

Why South Dakota is the Perfect Retirement Destination

These eight South Dakota towns are all excellent retirement destinations since they provide a convenient blend of affordability and close proximity to renowned local activities. From the serene beauty of parks and lakes to the rich cultural experiences offered by museums and other sites, these communities cater to diverse interests and tastes, offering retirees a place to enjoy a calm day in the sun or an active time full of activities. Living in one of these South Dakota beauties as a retiree ensures a wonderful retirement full of beautiful landscapes and compassionate company.

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