The Best Cities for Retirees Based on Their Hobbies

Published December 11, 2019

The Best Cities for Retirees based on their hobbies

At Coventry Direct, we understand how important quality of life is to seniors in the United States. And we know that for many, a great retirement begins with weighing different factors and options, and choosing what works best for you. That can include anything from weighing the benefits and drawbacks of your life insurance policy to considering the best place to retire. And since we’re dedicated to providing as much information as we can to help improve the lives of life insurance policy owners, we thought we’d look at some of the best cities to retire in the United States–  with a fun twist.

Retirement is a great time to reinvest in old hobbies or explore new interests. And since hobbies are so important to remain happy and healthy in retirement, choosing a city to retire in with ample opportunity for you to immerse yourself in your favorite hobbies can be a lofty challenge. So, to help you make the decision, we’ve broken down some of the most popular retirement hobbies in major U.S. cities to determine the best cities for retirees based on their hobbies and interests. Read on to discover what we found!


We analyzed Yelp listings in 50 major U.S. cities for various categories that would allow residents to easily pursue their favorite activities and interests. The categories we researched were golf, yoga, swimming lessons/schools, dance studios, art classes, photography classes, musical instruments & teachers, language schools, cooking classes, and community service/non-profits.

We then broke these categories into three segments based on hobby groups: fitness, art, and learning new skills & getting involved. Along with the average temperature of each city and its retirement population, we gave each factor a rank and generated our results accordingly.

The Best Cities to Retire for Fitness Junkies

The Best Cities for Retirees with Fitness Hobbies Map

According to our ranking factors, the three best cities for retirees with fitness hobbies include Miami, FL, Phoenix, AZ, and Los Angeles, CA. All of these cities provide ample opportunity for golfing, yoga and learning to swim and dance. Combined with an excellent climate and a large retiree population, it would be really easy to start up a fitness hobby in any of these cities.

Did you know swimming and dancing are two of the most popular ways for seniors to stay healthy? If any of these fitness hobbies interest you, perhaps consider retiring in a place where it would be easy to find a community surrounding it, such as the ones on the top of our list!

Honorable mentions include New York City and San Diego. And while New York might not seem like the best place to retire, but 14.63% of the city’s population consists of folks in retirement. And the city certainly provides ample opportunities for fitness!

The Best Cities to Retire for Art Lovers

The Best Cities for Retirees with Arts Hobbies Map

Now, of course, not everyone is interested in fitness–what about the art lovers who want to use their retirement to take art classes, learn photography, or maybe dive into making music?

The top 4 cities for retirees who are passionate about art hobbies are all located in California: Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, and San Francisco. These cities had the most offerings in the above-mentioned categories, and have a strong quality of life for seniors as well. And we suppose that something about the West Coast just seems to really inspire creativity!

Other great cities for art-loving retirees include New York, Phoenix, San Jose, Miami, and Seattle. If you’re looking to hone your artistic talents, learn new skills and meet other newly retired folks along the way, look no further than our list of top cities for retirees with a passion for art.

The Best Cities for Retirees to Learn New Skills & Get Involved

The Best Cities for Retirees to Learn New Skills and Get Involved Map

And finally, we know just how important it is to remain involved in your community throughout retirement, so we weighed cities where you can get involved and give back.  Whatever changes and new living arrangements this phase of life brings, it can also mean making new friends, getting involved through volunteering, or trying out new skills and activities.

Some cities you might have the best luck with this endeavor include Miami, San Francisco, and New York City. These are the top three cities in our ranking in terms of having the most opportunity to learn new languages, gain some culture while taking a cooking class, or volunteering at a local non-profit – all great ways to keep your mind occupied and to stay engaged with your new city.

We’d encourage anyone entering retirement to consider every option available, including trying out a new city that may be a better fit for your interests. And if you need an extra cash boost to help finance your move or other retirement changes, consider selling your life insurance policy – you may be surprised what’s possible!

Interested in viewing our full dataset, including the factor weights we used to calculate our rankings? Check out the interactive data table below to discover our full findings.

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