7 Best River Towns for Retirement in The South US

Retiring to one of the South’s many river towns is a fantastic idea and with good reason. These little riverside settlements are nestled away from the hustle and bustle of thriving cities and previous-day occupations.

Their riverbanks provide panoramic views of the lake, serene sunrises and sunsets, and plenty of opportunities to observe wildlife. Not to mention their fantastic restaurants and cultural activities. Add water ports or other water-related pastimes such as fishing, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a relaxing retirement.

Here are some of the best places in the South to retire to the river.

Bradenton, Florida

Bradenton is located along the Manatee River, and retirees can spend their days exploring the 1.5-mile ADA-accessible Bradenton Riverwalk. There’s an amphitheater, a skate park, beach volleyball courts, and a fishing pier. As the name says, this location is famous for its manatee population. In fact, at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, yogis can perform manatee yoga.

7 Best River Towns for Retirement in The South US

Blue Ridge, GA

Blue Ridge, Georgia, is a picturesque mountain community located just over an hour from Atlanta along the Toccoa River. Its attractive downtown is packed with stores and eateries. With adjacent apple orchards, the Blue Ridge scenic railway train, and even a few North Georgia vineyards within driving distance, Blue Ridge offers all you need for a delicious retirement.

Read More: Uncovering 9 Perfect Retirement Cities in the US for Affordable Living

Goldsboro, North Carolina

Goldsboro, North Carolina, is the perfect place for people looking for an adventurous retirement. Aside from being famous for its barbecue, the town is located beside the Neuse River, the United States’ second-largest estuary system. When you combine high forest canopies and plenty of wildlife with 70 miles of interconnecting rivers, streams, and tributaries suited for kayaking, you have an ideal retirement destination for water sports enthusiasts.

7 Best River Towns for Retirement in The South US

Helen, Georgia

If you are unable to retire to Europe, consider retiring to a Bavarian village in the North Georgia Mountains. Helen, Georgia, is well known for its lovely structures and the cool Chattahoochee River water. Every year, the river attracts tubers, kayakers, and fishermen to its pools. Anglers will particularly enjoy the abundant trout fishing in this location.

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Magnolia Spring, Alabama

Magnolia Springs, a small village along the Magnolia River, is located in Alabama’s delta. Giant oak trees border the streets, and camellias bloom all winter. The town hosts a monthly potluck supper, is home to Jesse’s, one of Alabama’s greatest restaurants, and has served as the setting for several novels, including Fannie Flagg’s A Redbird Christmas.

7 Best River Towns for Retirement in The South US

Monroe/West Monroe, Louisiana

Obtain two river towns for the price of one at Monroe-West Monroe, Louisiana. The two settlements are located on the banks of the Ouachita River and Bayou DeSiard. The famous Antique Alley, which spans the 100-300 blocks of Trenton Street, is home to history, restaurants, and an abundance of antiques.

Camden, Alabama

7 Best River Towns for Retirement in The South US

Camden, a small agricultural community in Alabama’s Black Belt, is located on the Alabama River in Wilcox County. Camden, with a population of less than 3,000, is one of the smallest towns on our list. This is the ideal location for anyone wishing to completely retreat. Multiple boat ramps, as well as the county’s yearly tour of homes, provide retirees with lots of activities.

Also, Read: Best State for Beach Lovers to Retire in 2024 Now Revealed


Retiring to the South’s charming river towns offers a tranquil escape with scenic views, cultural activities, and water-related pastimes. From Bradenton, Florida’s Manatee River to the quaintness of Magnolia Springs, Alabama, these towns promise a peaceful retirement enriched by nature and local charm, providing an ideal haven for those seeking a slower pace of life.


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