1. Nashville, Tennessee
This mid-sized town, the capital of Tennessee, is known as Music City because of the vast number of recording artists who go there to make songs. Included in that list of hundreds is Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and India Arie. Nashville boasts tranquil rivers and tree-lined neighborhoods. Its cost of living is more reasonable than other cities in the state, like Memphis, and its crime rate is lower. Many Blacks who graduate from HBCU Tennessee State make Nashville their permanent home — or return there years later.
This unique place offers a bustling city life but also calm elements that are ideal for retirees seeking energy and excitement at their leisure. The cost of living is rising a bit, as more than 1,000 people migrate to Atlanta a day. But the suburbs immediately outside the city offer fun neighborhoods, great golf courses and top-flight restaurants — all just minutes from the city.
3. Cape Town, South Africa
For those looking to escape the United States, there hardly is a place on the planet that rates above Cape Town. Its beauty is unmatched. The history and culture are intriguing and add depth. The climate is seldom below 60 degrees, and the spring and summer offer some of the best beaches in the world. And the cost of living is almost unbelievable compared to America. Housing is particularly less expensive in a significant way.
4. Panama City, Panama
The cosmopolitan city in Central America has its traffic jams, taxi cab madness, casinos and high-end clubs. But just on the outskirts, where you can see its skyline that resembles Miami’s only in looks, this Spanish-speaking land is lovely and inviting. The people are friendly and warm, and the weather is ideal for relaxing at the beach or on the porch.
5. Durham, North Carolina
There is great history and charm in this town that hosts North Carolina Central University. Beautiful trees adorn this town that is warm, has low property taxes and continues to grow its food options. The Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) is liberal and votes Democratic, while much of the state is more conservative. But that has no bearing on the calm feel of the old neighborhoods that are warm and homey.
6. Virginia Beach, Virginia
The Atlantic Ocean is beautiful, and the boardwalk offers an opportunity for nice walks into a cool breeze. There are myriad high-rise apartment buildings that provide breath-taking views of the massive ocean. Virginia Beach offers the best restaurants in the Hampton Roads area, and the Town Center has a cornucopia of food and social options. And it’s just three hours from Washington, D.C., should you want to visit the monuments or take in professional sports.
7. Destin, Florida
Once an under-visited respite for those in Georgia and Florida, this coastal town on the Gulf of Mexico — replete with first-rate restaurants, spectacular golf courses and, of course, an ocean with pristine beaches — has become a haven for the young and not-so-young. That mix makes for an interesting place of depth and diversity, along with peaceful evenings.