Scarce traffic on Main Street in downtown Woodford county's Versailles, Kentucky during sunrise.

8 Top-Ranked Towns in Kentucky for Retirees

Over 33% of Kentucky's population falls within the 50 and above demographic, making it a popular destination for those who've reached the end of line in their careers. Understandably, the Bluegrass State has a variety of qualities that would appeal to any retiree. It features beautiful natural landscapes, boasts a rich cultural heritage, and presents low-cost living, which is precisely what any pensioner would wish for in their sunset years.

While large cities like Louisville grab most of the headlines and offer a slew of amenities, the smaller, unknown towns are a more suitable option in Kentucky for retirees. The pace of life is slower, the atmosphere is more relaxed, and the people are friendlier and more welcoming. Despite this, seniors can still access vital social and health amenities in their backcountry towns. Here are some of the top-ranked places in Kentucky retirees should consider settling in.


Brick buildings along the main street in Bardstown, Kentucky. Editorial credit: Jason Busa /
Brick buildings along the main street in Bardstown, Kentucky. Editorial credit: Jason Busa /

Kentucky is famous for its bourbon, and no town produces more than Bardstown. Retirees can expect an endless supply of bourbon from the many distilleries in the town, including Lux Row Distillers. But there is more to Bardstown than its alcohol; it features a rich history dating back to the 18th century. New residents can explore more about its past at historic sites like My Old Kentucky Home Museum and the Old Bardstown Village & Civil. The tight-knit community makes use of several meeting points to encourage meaningful interactions between members, such as the Bardstown Peddlers Mall.

Also, The Stephen Foster Story is an excellent venue to socialize and get familiar with other locals while watching family-friendly stage shows. Outdoor recreation is readily available at Bardstown Community Park, which offers a playground, picnic areas, and various sports facilities. Meanwhile, the cost of an average home in Bardstown is around $299,900.


Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

This adorable community of about 10,000 in Mercer County guarantees retirees a safe and friendly environment to call home. They can look forward to an active lifestyle with the abundance of park spaces in the town, including the Anderson Dean Community Park. Harrodsburg is steeped in history, being Kentucky's first permanent American settlement. This heritage is well preserved at Old Fort Harrod State Park, a living history museum covering 15 acres and housing a replica of the 1774 fort built by James Harrod.

However, those who wish for a deeper dive into local history can find insightful information at the Harrodsburg Historical Society, presented through archives, old photographs, and other artifacts. A great way to meet locals and possibly establish connections would be to attend a show at the Ragged Edge Community Theater. The performances are always exciting, and the environment is ideal for friendly interactions. With a median housing cost of about $270,000, investing in a home should be an easy choice for pensioners in Harrodsburg.


Main Street in Georgetown, Kentucky on a beautiful fall sunny day. Editorial credit: Alexey Stiop /
Main Street in Georgetown, Kentucky, on a beautiful fall sunny day. Editorial credit: Alexey Stiop /

Georgetown is a special town presenting retirees with a charming balance between rural feel and big-city comforts. It has several pockets of green areas where seniors can spend their fulfilling time outdoors, picnicking on the manicured lawns of Yuko-En on the Elkhorn or admiring thoroughbreds at Old Friends. The presence of Toyota Stadium allows the community to come together frequently in support of local football, lacrosse, and soccer teams, delivering the ideal opportunity to meet happy faces and make lasting friendships.

The town is also home to Georgetown College, so retirees who plan to continue their journey in academia can find lovely learning opportunities at the institution. Meanwhile, pensioners who collect antique treasures can have fun hunting for unique finds inside Georgetown Peddlers Mall. When it comes to buying a house, it will take around $382,800 to raise the average cost.


Veteran Memorial Park monuments in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. Editorial credit: Mark Key /
Veteran Memorial Park monuments in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. Editorial credit: Mark Key /

This Louisville suburb promises incoming retirees access to all the desired urban amenities while maintaining a rural atmosphere with a conveniently slow pace of life. Jeffersontown hosts a close-knit community that takes pride in local traditions such as the Gaslight Festival, a great time for townsfolk to converge and have family-friendly fun. The weekly Jeffersontown Farmers Market is not only a chance for seniors to shop for healthy, fresh-from-the-farm produce but also connect with peers.

Meanwhile, an impressive mix of kid-friendly venues makes for fun times and great memories when families of grandkids come to visit, from Full Throttle Adrenaline Park to Activate. For outdoor pursuits, visiting Jeffersontown Veterans Memorial Park allows you to revel in quiet and serene nature space and pay homage to brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the country. Real estate prices are generally decent for a Louisville suburb, with a median house price of $294,800.


Leitchfield, Kentucky, United States. Editorial credit: Michele Korfhage /
Leitchfield, Kentucky, United States. Editorial credit: Michele Korfhage /

One of the cheaper towns in Kentucky for retirees, Leitchfield is an excellent destination if you want to stretch your retirement savings. The median house price here is $237,500, significantly below the United States average. However, senior citizens get more than low-cost living in this modest Grayson County community. It offers wholesome recreations at the Leitchfield Aquatic Center, with amenities like a swimming pool, water slides, and a basketball area. Leitchfield is also about half an hour from the popular Mammoth Cave National Park, which boasts the world's longest cave system and provides exciting opportunities for hikers, canoers, and campers.

Retirees interested in Leitchfield's history can take an interesting journey back in time at the Jack Thomas House. The house museum was built in 1810 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It offers a vivid look into life in the town in the bygone eras.


Williamsburg, Kentucky, USA. Editorial credit: Connie Cherry /
Williamsburg, Kentucky, USA. Editorial credit: Connie Cherry /

Home to the University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg accords retirees lifelong learning opportunities whenever they choose to go back to school. The presence of the university injects a youthful vibe into the community and makes it possible to enjoy vital amenities like the James H. Taylor II Stadium. Pensioners who crave meaningful social interactions can always shop at the Williamsburg Vendors Mall, where they can chat with sellers and buyers in a bustling atmosphere. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Splash Waterpark and Campground provide unadulterated fun for all ages, proving crucial when spending a fun outing with family.

When it comes to outdoor recreation, one of the best nature spaces to visit in Williamsburg is Briar Creek Park. This popular hub draws families to make the most of its tranquil atmosphere and indulge in activities like trail walking, picnicking, and nature viewing. Furthermore, aspiring homeowners will have an easy path to realizing their dream in Williamsburg, as the average home costs about $204,800.


Drone view of Downtown Nicholasville, Kentucky with Jessamine County Courthouse in the middle.
Drone view of Downtown Nicholasville, Kentucky, with Jessamine County Courthouse in the middle.

This vibrant community in Jessamine County has all the perks that come with small-town living without limiting access to urban amenities. It has several wine and dine opportunities, crucial for retirees during their time outside the house, with outlets like Joe's Cock & Bull being the perfect hangout spot. Recreational activities abound indoors and outdoors, thanks to the Jessamine Co Aquatic Center. Here, local families gather at the large community pool to enjoy some fun in the water and share happy moments with neighbors.

On the other hand, Lake Mingo Park is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. This lovely oasis features secluded trails through a network of lush woods and a small lake perfect for laidback fishing sessions. Also, pensioners can enjoy a low-key game of golf at the Connemara Golf Course, which has fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes. Finally, homes here sell for an average of $447,500.


Trails of car taillights on Main Street in front of Woodford county courthouse in Versailles, Kentucky during early morning.
Trails of car taillights on Main Street in front of Woodford County courthouse in Versailles, Kentucky, during early morning.

Versailles is a small bedroom community in Woodford County where fresh retirees will find an impressive mix of fun attractions to brighten up their golden years. It is surrounded by rolling hills and sprawling farmlands, culminating in picturesque outdoor scenery best explored aboard the Bluegrass Scenic Railroad and Museum. Art lovers can catch captivating stage shows at the Woodford Theater, whereas history enthusiasts can enjoy a quaint trip back in time at the Nostalgia Station Toy Museum for some of the town's indoor pursuits.

But if you prefer the open spaces, Versailles hosts multiple horse breeding farms worth paying a visit to, such as WinStar Farm, where you have an opportunity to witness what goes into raising a champion thoroughbred. When you feel like eating out, the town impresses you with a respectable dining scene, housing trendy eateries like The Glitz. Finally, set aside around $456,000 if you plan to own a decent property in Versailles.

While by no means exhaustive, this list illustrates some of the most highly rated small towns in Kentucky for retirees. Whether you are a fan of historic Main Streets, lush nature trails, or close-knit neighborhoods, there are appealing options across the state. With their safe environments, engaged communities, and reasonable costs of living, these delightful Bluegrass State locations allow retirees to enjoy hobbies, leisure activities, and a relaxed pace of life. For those seeking to settle down comfortably in a picturesque small town, the featured areas make ideal spots to retire surrounded by beauty and friendly charm.

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