A curved highway on St Louis Bay enters land with piers on both sides.

The Best Small Towns To Retire In Mississippi

Although it may be oftentimes looked over, Mississippi is a splendid option for retirement. With a plethora of lovely small towns that despite their size have tons of culture and diversity, Mississippi is a diamond in the ruff waiting for retirees who have an admiration for culture, blues, history, low real estate prices, nature, beaches, and lakes. Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico yet in proximity to states like Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas, it is perfect for retirees who love to take road trips and have the desire to live somewhere warmer. Step forward with an open mind and positive spirit and you will discover Mississippi's best small towns, ideal for retirement.

1. Holly Springs

Wall Doxey State Park, Holly Springs, Mississippi
Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Historically inhabited by the Chickasaw Indigenous Nation, Holly Springs has tons of history and interesting culture. The small yet gorgeous Mississippi town of around 6,500 is perfect for new seniors looking to live in the warm sun as the town has hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters! Other natural qualities of Holly Springs include the beautiful Chewalla Lake and Holly Springs National Forest! The stunning Chewalla Lake is perfect for those looking to swim on a hot summer's day on the sandy beach nestled along the lake's shore. Other activities include kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.

2. Bay St. Louis

Archway for Bay of St. Louis Mississippi, a coastal beach town
Bay of St. Louis, Mississippi. Image credit clayton garrison via Shutterstock

Bay St. Louis is an interesting spot in Louisiana with a diverse history. Originally, indigenous peoples inhabited the area until the unfortunately forced removal in 1830. The first European settlers were French Colonists who imported with them enslaved peoples of African descent with them. Eventually, a Louisiana Creole population developed in the region, mainly comprised of creoles of color as well as white colonists of french descent. Today, Catholicism still has a presence in the town, many descending from french European as well as African peoples. Today, Bay St. Louis is rich in culture, white sandy beaches, downtown art galleries, one-of-a-kind shopping at local antique stores, historical attractions, and low real estate prices.

3. Cleveland

Cleveland, Mississippi sign located on Highway 61
Sign located on Highway 61. Image credit Chillin662 via Wikimedia Commons

With the first Grammy Museum outside of Los Angeles, a thriving commercial economy, and numerous restaurants and stores; beautiful Cleveland, Mississippi is a great fit for new retirees who like to still take part in lots of activities despite living in a small town! With a diverse population and lots of cultures, there is a lot to learn regarding this fun little town's history and accomplishments.

One important spot in town is the Mississippi Blues Trail, with four markers in Cleveland. The first marker recognizes the great Chrisman Street, which once served as the iconic center of African-American social life and business in Cleveland. The second marker honors blues musician WC Handy. The third marker is at the locally admired Grammy Museum Mississippi. The fourth marker recognizes the great Rev. CL Franklin, who preached at St. Peter's Rock M.B. The Church influenced gospel, R&B, and blues artists, and his daughters Aretha, Carolyn, and Erma became noted soul singers after they began singing in their local church. Cleveland is a great, culturally rich town full of activities and culture as well as low living costs!

4. Canton

Madison County Courthouse in Canton, Mississippi
Canton, Mississippi. Image credit Bennekom via Shutterstock

With Canton's slogan being "Rich History. Bright Future," the town definitely represents its motto! With a modern, well-serviced hospital perfect for retirees who may have health issues, this medical stability can be quite comforting. Located between the Pearl and Big Black Rivers, the soil in Canton is fertile and rich in history, perfect for retirees looking to start a small garden or farm! Another great quality of Canton is its diversity with roots in Western Europe, Africa, China, and more, these cultures have contributed so much such as the local African-American contribution to jazz which is alive to this day. Home to popular flea markets, museums, boutiques, restaurants, and more, boredom is seldom seen in this flourishing community of Canton!

5. New Albany

New Albany Mississippi Welcome sign located on Mississippi Highway 30
New Albany Mississippi Welcome sign located on Mississippi Highway 30. Image credit Chillin662 via Wikimedia Commons

Known by the moniker of "Heart of the Mississippi Hills," New Albany in the lovely state of Mississippi boasts stunning natural scenery and excellent quality of life. Located southeast of Memphis, New Albany is a piece of nature not far from the city!  Despite its quaint size, New Albany has loads of charm and is well known for its vibrancy in the downtown area thanks to its many jewelers, specialty shops, restaurants, and more. If that is not satisfying enough, New Albany has a positive reputation for providing an active healthy lifestyle to its beloved residents with their USTA award-winning tennis facilities and pickleball courts, BNA Bank Sportsplex, and disc golf course. If retirees are not so much into sports and are further drawn in by nature, the Tanglefoot Trail, a 44-mile Rails-to-Trails paved walking/biking trail is sure to please those who enjoy a comfortable stroll in the woods.

6. Tupelo

Downtown Tupelo where traffice seems heavey but due to the Pandemic, sidewalks pretty much void of people.
Downtown, Tupelo. Image credit Dee Browning via Shutterstock

Famous for being the birthplace of rock n roll legend, Elvis Presley, Tupelo is a great option for retirees, especially those who were fans of Elvis! In terms of things to do, Tupelo sure has lots in store. If retirees love animals, there is an exciting option to roam with Buffalo! Or, if retirees are instead interested in the enriching history of Tupelo, Mississippi, there are a plethora of nearby historical and heritage sites such as Old Creek Town Battle Site, and Brice's Crossroad NATL Battlefield Site. Other sites include the extremely important civil rights historical sights; these include Springhill Missionary Baptist Church, Robins Field, RC Cola Plant/Dixie Belle Theatre, and much more. For any Elvis fanatics, some popular destinations within Tupelo are the Elvis Guitar Trail and Elvis' Tupelo Driving Tour.

7. Oxford

Square Books, a famed independent book store, glows against the dusk sky in Oxford, Mississippi
Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi. Image credit James Kirkikis via Shutterstock

As a college town and home to 25,000 residents; Oxford is an excellent option for retirees who desire small-town retirement with larger-town amenities. Proudly claiming the name as "The Cultural Mecca of the South" Oxford is an epicenter of Mississippi's creativity being a beacon to musicians, artists, and writers who appreciate Oxford's enriching history, small-town charm, lovely landscapes, and creative community. For retirees who have a love for trying out new food spots, Oxford definitely has that covered offering an exceptional culinary experience with loads of restaurants to satisfy one's hunger. In terms of the arts, Oxford delivers, offering a plethora of spots that can inspire anyone, especially retirees looking to participate in the arts after a lifelong journey of working a lengthy career! With stunning architecture, the homes in the area are beautiful and longing for new occupants; especially retirees who may appreciate the classic aesthetic. 

8. Port Gibson

The historic Claiborne County Courthouse in Port Gibson, Mississippi
Port Gibson, Mississippi. Image credit Chad Robertson Media via Shutterstock

As the third-oldest European settlement chartered as a town in the year 1803 and developed in 1729 by French colonists, history-loving retirees will have so much to appreciate in this calming, small town of Port Gibson. For retirees who have an admiration for Greek architecture, the Windsor Ruins will cause jaws to drop. Built at the heart of a huge plantation lies the iconic Greek revival mansion known commonly by the name of Windsor Ruins. Unfortunately, this beautiful building burst into flames in 1890, all caused by a dropped cigarette. Fortunately, 23 ravishing greek inspired columns remain, allowing the aesthetic of what once was to linger on into today. Another popular site is Bethel Church which is two miles south of the Windsor Ruins and is a perfect example of the young local craftsmen Daniel Foley's talent. With some of the lowest-priced homes in the US, Port Gibson is a perfect option for seniors looking to get the most bang for their hard-earned buck.

Mississippi, although with its setbacks like hurricanes and more, strives ahead and is a great option for seniors with its low prices of homes, an abundance of warmth and nature as well as rich history and immense diversity in its population. Retirees will be happily impressed with many of the towns on this list and all the beauty, nature, leisure, activities, history, real estate, and downtowns that they have to offer. Whether more tourist-directed towns influenced by history or icons like Elvis or small quaint towns adorned by beautiful nature and cheap homes; Mississippi has so much to offer and is worth considering when choosing a new town to retire in.

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