Old cozy street in Lucca, Italy, in the Tuscany region.

Top Travel Destinations for Retirees

Entering retirement is like beginning a fun new chapter of your life.

It means you finally have the chance to do the things you enjoy, explore new spots, and maybe even pick the ideal place that shows who you really are.

Perhaps you are even thinking about moving to a new city.

Close your eyes and picture a place that checks all your boxes—stunning views, maybe a rich art scene, or simply a peaceful moment alone.

If you haven't quite captured your dream location, read on to find out some of the top travel destinations for retirees.

Around the World

Tuscany, Italy

Cheerful senior woman cycling with her electric mountain bike above downtown of Florence with stunning view over the old city, Tuscany, Italy
Electric mountain bike above downtown of Florence with stunning view over the old city, Tuscany, Italy.

One of the first things retirees visiting Tuscany will notice is the landscape, with vineyards and villages dotting the hillside. There is also a calm, reliable climate with mild winters and warm summers.

The region's past sprouts out in every painting, building, and iconic historical landmark. Cities like Florence and Pisa are packed with stories. Everywhere you look, you can see the region's history come to life.

Having meals here involves savoring dishes prepared with fresh, local ingredients and is among the most wholesome diets available anywhere in the world.

Feel like sightseeing? Try the Tower of Pisa, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the country, if not the world. Also, head to the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its massive dome dominating the Florence skyline.

Provence, France

Saint Benezet bridge and Rhone river aerial panoramic view in Avignon, France
Saint Benezet bridge and Rhone River in Avignon, France.

Imagine sitting by the sea during a sunset, exploring hidden coves, or enjoying a picnic amidst lavender fields.

Provence is celebrated for its pace of life and living standards. This place is great for retirees who enjoy walking on stone streets, sitting at cafes, and loving the simple things in life. The nice weather here means you can hike and have fun outside any time of the year.

If you like to see historical iconic places, you have to check out the nearby Pont du Gard. The site is an ancient aqueduct built by the Romans, crossing the Gardon River. The antiquity site demonstrates the ingenious nature of ancient Romans.

The Palais des Papes, set in the old city of Avignon, stands out as one most notable Gothic buildings from medieval times. Back in the 14th century, it was also the spot where Popes lived.

Today, this grand palace is a museum, offering a glimpse into its fascinating past and design.

Kyoto, Japan

Kiyomizu-dera Temple and cherry blossom season (Sakura) spring time in Kyoto, Japan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple and cherry blossom season (Sakura) spring time in Kyoto, Japan.

Kyoto, Japan is famous all over the world for its deep cultural past, full of temples and shrines in pristine condition.

Retirees have the chance to dive into the city's amazing culture and check out places like the Golden Pavilion and the old Gion area. Both offer a peaceful environment and lasting charm, making them great for relaxed visits and contemplative moments.

The city has clean streets, good public buses and trains, and lots of green areas, making it a nice and easy place for retirees to spend time.

Kyoto might be a lively city but is also surrounded by sublime scenes of nature. People can find peace away from the city noise by going to places like Mount Hiei and Mount Atago.

It is also a dream spot for those who love food, with so many traditional Japanese dishes to try. Visitors can enjoy authentic tastes at neighborhood food places, including fancy kaiseki dishes or big, satisfying bowls of ramen.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand, People and the town after sunset.
Downtown Queenstown, New Zealand.

This town lies among the unforgettable views of the Southern Alps, right by the clear waters of Lake Wakatipu. Unbeatable views of mountains are just around the corner, such as Cecil Peak and Ben Lomond.

The town is lively, with events throughout the year. Some of these include the Queenstown Winter Festival and a collection of other wine and food festivals, so you know you can find a nice variety of things to do.

The town is also very accessible for people of all ages. The Queenstown Trail, in particular, stands out for this. It has more than 80 miles of paths for biking and walking, with paths linking different areas of the town together.

Feel like a nice glass of wine? The area around the town is legendary for its Pinot Noir. While having a sip of wine, your eyes get to feast on the mountains and lakes spread out before you.

Cork, Ireland

Houses and sights along the shores of Cork Ireland.
Houses and sights in downtown Cork, Ireland. Image credit Todamo via Shutterstock

In the warm, affable streets of Cork, visitors of all ages will find the town's friendly reputation is no lie.

The town's English Market has kept its personality of the centuries and has been buzzing with activity since 1788.

It is a gem for any retiree, offering a chance to wander amongst stalls piled high with local goodies, from fresh veggies to hand-crafted cheeses. There is always something going on here, and it pulses with life and local chit-chat.

Culture is also in the air when you come to Cork. For an unforgettable evening, visit the Cork Opera House, a top spot for amazing shows like opera and dance.

In Cork, you are spoilt for choice with the number of clubs and groups to join. Whether you like strolling in nature, or arts and crafts, there is something for everyone. It is a great way to make friends while traveling.

Right in the USA

Sedona, Arizona

Aerial view of Sedona and the surrounding spectacular landscape.
Sedona, Arizona and the surrounding spectacular landscape.

Sedona is a visual treat, full of breathtaking red rocks and views.

It is like a cozy small town where it seems everyone knows your name. It feels calm and not too fast, which is great for people who are retired.

Sedona is popular for these spots called vortex sites. People say they are full of this special energy for healing. Some use them to chill out with deep thoughts or even discover more about themselves.

Retirees who want to head outdoors can explore the Oak Creek Canyon gorge, while cinephiles can head to the Sedona International Film Festival.

If you want to keep active, the town is flush with walking and hiking trails. Popular trails include Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock Pathway, and Devil’s Bridge Trail.

Sarasota, Florida

Overlooking Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, Florida
Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, Florida.

Picture this: miles of soft white sand that merge with a vast stretch of blue as far as the eye can see. That is Sarasota for you, hugging the Gulf of Mexico's shores. It is no wonder people can't stay away.

The town has comfortable, warm weather all year, with not a lot of cold to worry about. It is ideal for folks who want to spend their days having fun outside any time they want.

People have plenty to do here as well, such as walking around the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. This beautiful place gives retirees a calm space to see orchids and bromeliads, a butterfly garden, and views of the bay. So, a perfect place for relaxing strolls and taking photos.

The town is also a hotspot for culture, packed with artsy spots like the Sarasota Opera, the graceful Sarasota Ballet, and The Ringling, it is not just a circus but also an amazing art museum.

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Aerial view of Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Overlooking Emerald Isle, North Carolina.

Thinking about retiring to a place where the beach is your backyard? Emerald Isle might just be the spot for you.

Here it feels like the sun is always out, shining down on miles of sandy shores waiting for you to stroll by. Now, picture yourself walking along the beach with not a worry in sight.

Plus, the town is recognized for being safe and having a low crime rate, which makes it a prime pick.

For any fisherman fancy casting a line, Bogue Inlet Pier is your go-to spot. It is a nice spot for reeling in all sorts of fish or just sitting and enjoying the Atlantic Ocean laid out in front of you.

There is also the Emerald Isle Woods Park, a 41-acre park that offers a walking trail and a platform overlooking the Bogue Sound, ideal for bird watching and enjoying nature.

Maui, Hawaii

One of the top beaches in the world located in Maui, Hawaii
Big Beach One in Maui, Hawaii.

Maui is like no other place in the 50 states. When visitors come to Maui, they find sunshine in every season. It can feel like summer never ends.

Year-round warmth means any day's good for retirees looking to stay active. The great weather means you can play golf any time of the year on top-notch courses like Kapalua and Wailea.

The island also has great places for easy water activities like paddleboarding and kayaking at Wailea Beach or in the peaceful waters of Napili Bay.

Maui's laid-back vibe and stunning nature make it perfect for people looking for something peaceful. Spots like the Road to Hana give you amazing views and a calm place away from crowded places.

The higher lands of Kula and Makawao have cooler air and let you see the island from a wide viewpoint.

San Diego, California

The Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, California.
The Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, California. Image credit meunierd via Shutterstock.com

San Diego's always buzzing with stuff to check out. Its gentle winds and pleasant weather make every moment a comfortable one. There is never a dull season for dropping by.

They have the San Diego Symphony playing at that Rady Shell over at Jacobs Park. There are also shows to see over at the Old Globe Theatre.

You cannot forget about fun spots like the San Diego Zoo, the big and beautiful Balboa Park, or the USS Midway Museum.

Plus, if you just want a chill day by the sea? Try places like Coronado Beach or La Jolla Shores, which are pure relaxation.

San Diego can be great for anybody who wants to take it easy. From golfing on world-class courses to whale-watching tours, there is plenty to do without any strenuous activity.

In Conclusion

While for a lot of people, retirement is a big change to get used to, it opens a world of possibilities, from the historical richness of Tuscany and Provence to the cultural depths of Kyoto and the serene landscapes of Queenstown.

The world is full of these sorts of destinations, ready for the finding—the kind where each day is its own little exciting story to tell during your retirement years.

So sit down, close your eyes, and imagine the place that feels right for you because the journey of a lifetime awaits.


More in Places