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The 5 Best Places to Retire in the U.S.

06/09/2016 03:52pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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by The Editors of Condé Nast Traveler.

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We dream of the day when we can put our out-of-office notification on forever and settle down in the sort of place previously reserved for vacations. But where to go? Condé Nast Traveler surveyed readers ages 68 and older about their favorite places in the U.S.--where they live, where they play, where the city is safe and the locals friendly. Not surprising, the sunny beaches of Florida and California made the cut--but where else? Click through to decide where you'd like to hang your hat...or, more accurately, park your vintage convertible. (Hey, you deserve it.)

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5. Sedona, Arizona

Best for: reliably warm weather (sans humidity); a lively arts scene--including an annual film festival, a monthly art tour, and galleries featuring local artists; and affordable housing combined with a reputation as being one of the most tax-friendly states in the country. There are also plenty of doctors, treatment and wellness centers, and yoga retreats to keep you healthy. For the adventure-inclined, nearby forests, canyons, and trailheads all afford ample opportunities for walking and picnicking.

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4. Naples, Florida

Best for: the active senior set, who want to take a break at an upscale café between rounds of tennis and golf at the club. Choose between your own stucco mansion, a high-rise condo with waterfront views, or one of the many gated retirement communities in the area--regardless, you'll have access to Florida's west coast, where you can spot a dolphin from the pier or stroll the white-sand beaches.

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3. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Best for: perfecting your golf swing (Pebble Beach is one of the best courses in the country, and there are unexpected challenges--deer! otter!--that will only improve your game); golden beaches and forest hiking trails; proximity to pinot and chardonnay vineyards; and a healthy population of well-heeled seniors who love sampling the good life.

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2. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Best for: art-inclined retirees looking for a livable, walkable "Creative City," ideal for gallery hopping, shopping, or exploring Museum Hill, where it's possible to spend a full day just in the Museum of International Folk Art. There are also approximately 300 days of sunshine a year; and seniors 65 and over comprise nearly 20 percent of the population.

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Photo: Getty

1. Asheville, North Carolina

Best for: healthy living, which isn't just a buzzword in this fresh-air town (it might have the highest vegetarian-restaurant-to-person ratio in the country). Asheville also benefits from a youthful spirit--thanks largely to nearby universities like UNC-Asheville--and scenery that compels all to stay active. Hike the Blue Ridge Mountains, golf at the Omni Grove Park Inn, or kayak at Lake Junaluska.

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