Topretirements.com compiled its list of top cities to retire in by looking at how many visits each city’s Web site received. While this doesn’t tell us much about where seniors are living (according to the U.S. Census Bureau, it’s California), it does speak to what they find intriguing when looking for a place to settle down in retirement.

  1. Asheville, N.C., www.exploreasheville.com. Pros include the mild climate, plenty of recreation options and a robust housing market for seniors. Unfortunately, it attracts a lot of tourists in the summer, and overdevelopment is on the horizon.
  2. Sarasota, Fla., www.sarasotafl.org. According to John Brady, editor of the second edition of 100 Best Retirement Towns, Sarasota is Florida’s cultural center. But, the city attracts tourists and traffic during the winter months, and summers are hot.
  3. Prescott, Ariz., www.cityofprescott.net. A common theme for cons on this list, rampant tourism is one of the downsides to this city, as well as the colder winters due to a higher elevation. But, the city does boast over 500 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places – not to mention Whiskey Row.
  4. Paris, Tenn., www.cityofparistn.gov. Paris is equidistant from two large cities – which can be a downside and an upside. The city has a low cost of living, but big city amenities are hard to come by.
  5. Austin, Texas, www.ci.austin.tx.us. In addition to its relatively low cost of living, Austin has what Topretirements.com calls a “cosmopolitan and high-tech, quirky soul.” A college town, the city may be too fast-paced for seniors seeking peace and quiet.
  6. Green Valley, Ariz., www.greenvalleychamber.com. The average age in Green Valley is 72. Why so high? The whole city is a planned retirement community for active adults. The location may be too remote for some , though – it’s about 40 miles north of Mexico.
  7. Winston-Salem, N.C., www.cityofws.org. Some concerns include crime, and a rise in traffic. On the other hand, the city has a low cost of living, and plenty of cultural amenities.
  8. Beaufort, S.C., www.beaufort.com. Beaufort is known for being a small town – the population is less than 25,000 – and has won several awards as the “Best Small Southern Town”, “Small Town Arts”, and “Best Fishing Town.” It has mild winters, but can be overrun by tourists.
  9. San Diego, www.sandiego.org. Weather, culture, scenery – what can you say against San Diego? Well, there’s the high cost of living, for one, and, of course, traffic.
  10. Ft. Myers, Fla., www.cityftmyers.com. The housing market crash made Ft. Myers less expensive to retire in, but the city is being overdeveloped and is blighted with traffic and too many strip malls, according to Topretirements.com. On the plus side, the city offers beaches, a “charming old downtown area,” and plenty of shopping, golf and fishing.