Lazing about the beach is a common retirement dream, but you don’t necessarily need to buy an expensive oceanfront condo to live it. You can find great places to retire in America’s Heartland, far from the coast, that offer access to freshwater beaches on lakes and rivers. You still get to feel the sun on your face and the sand between your toes, but often at more affordable prices than you’ll encounter in popular coastal retirement cities.
We pinpointed the best place to retire in each state, taking into account living costs, safety, median incomes and poverty rates for retirement-age residents, as well as residents’ sense of well-being and the availability of recreational and health care facilities. Of our 50 picks, 24 great places to retire across the U.S. offer the added benefit of nearby beaches to bum around. The mix of retirement cities is sure to surprise you.