You may be surprised by what city came out on top.
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Forget pristine beaches and palm trees. The top city in the U.S. to retire is actually Arlington, Virginia, according to Bankrate.com's annual ranking of places for retirees, released Monday. Rounding out the top five are: Franklin, Tennessee, West Des Moines, Iowa, Sarasota, Florida, and Scottsdale, Arizona.

The study, by the publisher of finance content, considered nine categories when crafting the list: cost of living, climate, healthcare cost and quality, taxes, crime, well-being, walkability and cultural vitality. A wealth of cultural opportunities, a strong sense of well-being among seniors and great healthcare are the main reasons why Arlington was ranked number one.

“We found that smaller cities and suburbs fared the best,” said Bankrate.com analyst Jill Cornfield, in a release. “Most seniors prefer to live in these types of communities because they offer access to big-city amenities without as much hustle, bustle and crime.”

According to the study, Niagara Falls, New York, is the worst place to retire. It was dragged down by high taxes, a cold/snowy climate and an above average crime rate. Milford, Connecticut; San Bernardino, California; Troy, New York, and Worcester, Massachusetts, comprise the rest of the bottom five.

In March, Bankrate.com released its annual list of best states to retire. Wyoming nabbed the top spot, followed by South Dakota, Colorado, Utah and Virginia.

Of course, other evaluations have come up with other suggestions for retirees. For example, if you are one of those people who would prefer retiring abroad, a recent ranking of 96 countries revealed that Norway is the best place to grow older, followed by Sweden, Switzerland and Canada.

So where do you want to retire? Scroll down to see Bankrate.com's complete list of top 10 U.S. cities to retire. And go here to find out more about what makes these cities so special.

1. Arlington, Virginia

View of the skyline of Arlington, Virginia, at night.
View of the skyline of Arlington, Virginia, at night.
Benalbright via Getty Images

2. Franklin, Tennessee

Historic square in Franklin, Tennessee
Historic square in Franklin, Tennessee
mavdesign via Getty Images

3. West Des Moines, Iowa

View of Des Moines facing west toward downtown.
View of Des Moines facing west toward downtown.
steve schneider via Getty Images

4. Sarasota, Florida

Downtown Sarasota from the Ringling Bridge.
Downtown Sarasota from the Ringling Bridge.
KarolinaBorkowski via Getty Images

5. Scottsdale, Arizona

Old Town, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Old Town, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Hisham Ibrahim via Getty Images

6. Round Rock, Texas

Round Rock is just outside Austin, the capital of Texas.
Round Rock is just outside Austin, the capital of Texas.
joe daniel price via Getty Images

7. Glendale, California

Downtown Glendale's high-rise buildings.
Downtown Glendale's high-rise buildings.
Davel5957 via Getty Images

8. Cape Coral, Florida

Waterfront properties in Cape Coral with access to the Gulf of Mexico.
Waterfront properties in Cape Coral with access to the Gulf of Mexico.
Wicki58 via Getty Images

9. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston Street view and church.
Charleston Street view and church.
Sean Pavone via Getty Images

10. Kendall, Florida

Residential area of Kendall.
Residential area of Kendall.
Franz Marc Frei via Getty Images
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