Youngstown, Ohio seen from the perspective of the Mahoning Ave Bridge. Image credit Wirestock Creators via Shutterstock

The Best Small Towns To Retire In Ohio

As people's working lives draw to a close many seniors escape to the warm and sandy beaches of Florida or California to spend time basking in the sun. However, for those who are more used to experiencing all four seasons throughout the year, there are many places across the great state of Ohio that can offer a lifestyle that is much more familiar. Ohio is home to a vast array of small towns that can offer retirees an ideal place to settle down and take things slow. The level of community, togetherness, and hospitality is something you will not find anywhere else.

1. Warren

Trumbull County Court House, Warren
Trumbull County Court House, Warren, Ohio.

A great mix of both urban and rural lifestyles, Warren has the amenities of a big city but the homely feel of the countryside as well. An average home in Warren is a modest $125,000 and boasts a senior population of 18%. The downtown area of Warren is equipt with great restaurants and entertainment. At the heart of town lies the WD Packard Music Hall. This theatre routinely hosts various musical and theatrical productions that visitors and residents alike enjoy. Seating nearly 2,500, the Packard Music Hall is nothing to scoff at.

2. Ashtabula

Historic Ashtabula Harbor lift bridge raised on a sunny summer Day
Historic Ashtabula Harbor.

Sitting along Lake Erie, Ashtabula is a great place to retire if you are wanting to settle down in a place that has easy access to the water. Ashtabula first came into being as a port town that transported coal and other valuable minerals across the Great Lakes regions. This town's boom has long since faded but the charm has certainly never left.

The average cost of a home in Ashtabula is roughly $128,000 and the town has a very low rate of crime. If you are wanting to spend your golden years out on the water sailing or catching fish, Ashtabula is the place to go.

3. Canton

Ohio Church in Canton with Blue Sky During summer Day.
A church in the Canton city center. Image credit BLAZE Pro via Shutterstock

Only an hour south of Cleveland, the small town of Canton has remained a bastion for the recently retired for decades. A great midsized city, Canton has a great mix of both the big city and suburban way of life. With a median home price of $135,000, it competes with small-town prices.

The standout attraction of Canton is undoubtedly the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Each year millions of football fans from around the world flock to this building to see the outstanding displays and exhibits of their sports history. Canton is the ideal place to retire if you are wanting to take a break from the more fast-paced hustle and bustle of large cities like Cleveland.

4. Youngstown

Youngstown, Ohio, downtown skyline at twilight.
A view of the downtown core of Youngtown.

A city built around steel production, Youngstown proudly displays its blue-collar culture without apology. Youngstown has plenty of grit but beneath its rough exterior is a warm and welcoming place to call home. The locals are also known for being incredibly friendly and receptive to new arrivals.

A home in Youngstown will set you back around $110,000. Along with relatively cheap housing prices, Youngstown has some of the most affordable costs of living in the entire state of Ohio. When taking into consideration how cheap Ohio is when compared to states like New York, California, or Florida, moving here becomes much more attractive.

5. Lima

Train, Bridge, Tracks, Lima, Ohio
A train bridge crossing in Lima.

A perfect place to retire for anyone wanting to embrace the rural way of life, Lima has some of the most charming and beautiful countryside in the entire Midwestern United States. The downtown core of Lima offers all of the essential goods and services but the outskirts of town are what feeds the soul. Long winding roads, green rolling hills, and the odd pond every few miles or so make Lima picturesque.

A house in Lima costs around $120,000; a little more expensive than one might imagine especially considering how relatively isolated Lima is from the rest of the major population centers. However, once you catch a glimpse of the landscape in person, the price of admission is more than worth it.

6. Oxford

Skyline of Oxford Ohio during a partially cloudy day
Oxford, Ohio.

Oxford in Ohio and England have one thing in common, they are both well-known for their university. Ohio's Oxford hosts the still impressive Miami University. Oxford is very much a typical "college town." With robust nightlife and a wide selection of great restaurants, Oxford is the place to go if you are looking for a town that is a little more upbeat and lively.

The old-timey Mile Square is unquestionably the heart and soul of Oxford. This is where visitors can come and see what this great town has to offer. Average home prices sit around $300,000, quite a jump from other small towns. However, Oxford's proximity to Cincinnati is a bonus, meaning access to quality hospitals and other forms of support and infrastructure is readily available.

7. Yellow Springs

The Little Art Theater in Yellow Springs is a local landmark built in 1929 currently showing foreign films and indie movies
The main strip in Yellow Springs. Image credit Madison Muskopf via Shutterstock

The community of Yellow Springs Ohio knows no equals. Tied together through decades of traditions and annual events, the locals of Yellow Springs are some of the warmest and most welcoming people in all of Ohio. With a population of only 3,500, it is safe to say that it is a town where "everyone knows everyone."

Median home prices are a bit steeper at $350,000, rising significantly in the past few years. With a downtown that is a treat to visit, it is no wonder more people are deciding to relocate to this quaint community. Marked with dozens of unique shops and colorful cafes and restaurants, Yellow Springs is the best destination for those wanting to live a quiet yet communal life after they retire.

8. Avon Lake

Sunset over Lake Erie from Avon, Ohio
Sunset over Lake Erie at Avon Lake.

Even though Avon Lake is a suburb of Cleveland, when visiting this town you will feel like you are a million miles away from the big city. Sitting on the shores of Lake Erie, residents of this small town are heavily invested in water sports, sailing, and fishing. Home prices are also a bit higher around $350,000 due to the lake-side access and close proximity to the large city center.

If you are ever in need of something that is only available in the city, Cleveland is only a short drive away whether is for a doctor's appointment or a day trip to see a Cavaliers or Indians game. Avon Lake has all the charm of a small town while having the amenities of a large city like Cleveland.

If you have been living in the Midwest for most of your life and do not enjoy the heat or high cost of living in Florida or California then perhaps some of these locations will give you what you are looking for. Ohio has an unfair reputation for being boring or unattractive, however, these small towns are some of the most alluring places in the entire region.

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