Whether you seek the serenity of sun-kissed beaches, the allure of cultural exploration, or the beauty of natural landscapes, there are states within the United States that beckon retirees with open arms. In our latest travel guide, we’ll take you on a journey through 10 bucket list U.S states that offer the perfect blend of experiences for every kind of traveller.
With year-round warm weather, beaches galore, and no state income tax, the Sunshine State offers an appealing lifestyle for locals. Visitors can experience the magic of Disney World and Universal Studios, watch rocket launches at Kennedy Space Center, or just relax and soak in the sun. For the adventurous, the Florida Keys provide opportunities for boating, fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
Attractions: Walt Disney World, Kennedy Space Center, Everglades National Park
Best Time to Visit: November to April for pleasant temperatures
Arizona offers visitors year-round warmth and adventure and offers over 300 days of sunshine. Outdoor enthusiasts will relish the stunning Sonoran Desert scenery and opportunities for hiking, biking, and bird-watching. Culture vultures can explore Phoenix’s Heard Museum and Musical Instrument Museum. Foodies will enjoy the vibrant dining scene, from authentic Sonoran cuisine to James Beard-recognized chefs.
Best Attractions: Grand Canyon National Park, Saguaro National Park, and Antelope Canyon
Best Time to Visit: October to April to avoid the summer heat
3. South Carolina
South Carolina draws visitors in with its natural beauty, culture, and affordability. The state’s location along the Atlantic coast provides opportunities for beach vacations and water sports. Golf courses and outdoor recreation abound for an active lifestyle. Charming towns showcase Southern hospitality, food, and architecture. Living costs remain relatively low, especially compared to other U.S destinations.
Best Attractions: Myrtle Beach, Charleston
Best Time to Visit (South Carolina): Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November)
With over 300 days of sunshine a year, stunning mountain vistas, and an outdoor-loving culture, Colorado is an ideal holiday destination for the young at heart. The state offers a wealth of activities for travellers to experience the beauty of nature at their own pace. They can take scenic drives through mountain passes ablaze with fall foliage or go on leisurely hikes on trails with breathtaking views.
Best Attractions: Rocky Mountain National Park, Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods
Best Time to Visit: Summer (June–August)
5. New Mexico
New Mexico offers a unique Southwestern experience for visitors. With its pueblos, mesas, and vibrant culture, the state provides a perfect escape from the ordinary. Its dramatic landscapes encompass the Chihuahuan Desert and the Southern Rocky Mountains, dotted with piñon, juniper, and ponderosa pine. Exploring Santa Fe’s art galleries or strolling Albuquerque’s Old Town plaza allows retirees to soak up the ambiance at an enjoyable pace. The mild winters also attract those looking to avoid harsh weather.
Best Attractions: Meow Wolf art complex in Santa Fe, Tent Rocks National Monument
Best Time to Visit: Spring (March to May), when the weather is pleasant and wildflowers are in bloom.
Hawaii is a tropical paradise that offers idyllic beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture. The Aloha State has something for everyone. Hawaii’s natural beauty is unparalleled. Visitors can enjoy stunning waterfalls, scenic coastlines, and volcanic landscapes across its islands. Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island boast some of the most breathtaking scenery.
Best Attractions: Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Best Time to Visit: December to March (cooler months)
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the wide open spaces. Visitors can explore the San Antonio River Walk, visit the Alamo, or catch a rodeo. The Dallas-Fort Worth area provides culture, dining, and major sports teams. Houston is a foodie destination with a vibrant arts community.
Best Attractions: Visit the Alamo and River Walk in San Antonio, Space Center Houston, and Big Bend National Park.
Best Time to Visit (Texas): spring (March to May) and fall (September to November), when the weather is pleasant and crowds are smaller.
Oregon offers a perfect balance of outdoor recreation and cultural attractions. The state’s natural beauty, from the Pacific coastline to the Cascade Mountains, provides opportunities for hiking, cycling, and other activities at a leisurely pace. Culturally, Oregon values individuality, sustainability, and craftsmanship. Visitors can shop at local farmers markets, browse independent bookstores, and catch live music at intimate venues. While the rainy season may be dreary for some, the summer weather is mild with low humidity.
Best Attractions: Crater Lake National Park, Portland Saturday Market
Best Time to Visit: Summer (June to August)
9. North Carolina
North Carolina offers a mild climate, stunning natural scenery, and a slower pace of life that many visitors find appealing. The state has both coastline along the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Appalachian Mountains, providing opportunities for beach activities and mountain adventures. Culture vultures will enjoy exploring Asheville, known for its vibrant arts scene, craft breweries, and historic architecture.
Best Attractions: The Blue Ridge Parkway, Biltmore Estate, and North Carolina Zoo
Best Time to Visit: Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to October), when the weather is pleasant and the summer crowds have dwindled.
Nevada offers a unique blend of outdoor adventure and lavish entertainment. For thrill-seekers, Nevada’s desert landscapes are ideal for off-roading, hiking, and hot-air balloon rides. Adrenaline junkies can even bungee jump from the Stratosphere tower in Las Vegas. With over 300 days of sunshine, Nevada’s carefree lifestyle attracts more than just visitors. Many visitors call Nevada home for the long run.
Best Attractions: The Las Vegas Strip: glitz, glamor, and entertainment 24/7.
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Fall, when the weather is pleasant and crowds are smaller. Summers are very hot, and winters see lots of snow.