By Kelly Baughman

It’s no secret that the Gulf Coast is an amazing place to live with its beautiful white sand beaches, fabulous fresh cuisine, and amazing friendly people from all walks of life, but Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have officially been named one of the “Top 100 Places To Retire” in America according to ‘Where To Retire’ Magazine.
The magazine, now in its 6th edition, is a comprehensive guide to all things retirement and what makes each of these chosen towns so special. The experts at ‘Where to Retire’ magazine base their top selections of great places for retirement on factors like housing costs, climate, taxes, cost of living and health care options, as well as first-hand accounts and opinions from retirees who’ve made the move and hear how they like their new hometown.
After 11 months of scouring the country and over 800 cities, the final selections included towns from 35 states. Four Alabama towns made the cut, including Florence/Muscle Shoals, Auburn, Mobile, and Gulf Shores/Orange Beach.
In addition to being chosen as one of the top 100 best places in the country to retire, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach were also chosen as one of the Top 10 best beach towns. Pretty impressive!
Editor Annette Fuller said of why Gulf Shores and Orange Beach was chosen, “Not only is the beach and the weather beautiful, but crime rates are low, the cost of living is low, the school system is above average, and the overall happiness of the residents both local and transplanted to the area is off the charts.”
Fuller went on to say that a full calendar of a wide variety of free events, a strong live music culture, and slow paced “island lifestyle” made Orange Beach and Gulf Shores a no brainer choice for the list.
With median home prices well below the national average at $287,000 according to Zillow, various shopping options close by like the shops at The Wharf, Tanger Outlets, and hundreds of locally owned specialty shops, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach has a lot to offer those looking to retire. The area boasts an active adult and senior scene that includes Senior Activity Center, hands on Arts Center, a Sportsplex, and tons of options for outdoor exploration like nature trails and state -parks.
With so much to offer, it’s easy to see why ‘Where To Retire’ magazine chose Gulf Shores and Orange Beach as one of the top 100 places to retire. For more information on the area or to check out the Adult/Senior Activity Center or Arts Center, visit www.orangebeachal.gov or call 251-981-6979.