If you haven’t heard, US News & World Report ranked Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as the best place to retire in the United States! Their analysis compares 150 popular metropolitan areas and looks at housing affordability, access to health care, job market, retiree taxes, happiness and desirability. According to their article, the results are based on an online survey of people 45 years and older about their retirement preferences. Overall, Lancaster came up as the number one match for retirement!
Not only does Lancaster offer great housing, jobs, and healthcare, Lancaster has great shopping and restaurants, plus beautiful rolling farmland and outdoor recreation! In a few minutes you can go from shopping at Belmont to chocolate buying at Wilbur to Riefff’s farm market. You can ride a bike on the rail trails, get a workout in at a state-of-the-art gyms, or walk your dogs in parks located all over the county.
Let’s check out some fun features about Lancaster County that make it so special, and make it the #1 location in the US to retire!
👩⚕️ Healthcare Access – All across our county residents have access to a multitude of healthcare systems with hospitals, urgent care centers, and health campuses. Large providers such as WellSpan, Penn Medicine, UPMC and Penn State offer numerous locations and services for all medical needs. Lancaster is also an easy drive to Philadelphia or Baltimore for specialty services and hospitals.
🏘️ Housing Affordability – even though many local people complain about the cost of homes and property taxes, our area is quite affordable compared to many other locations. Pennsylvania ranks 8th in housing affordability across the nation. Median home price for PA is $254,597 (as compared to neighboring NY $382k and NJ $441k). Our property taxes also come in lower than many other states across the nation.
🏛️ Small Town Feel – Lancaster County boasts a small city with theaters, shopping, and restaurants, but it is surrounded by unique small towns. Each town has something special to offer with local “mom and pop” shops and cafes, walkable main streets like something out of Hallmark, and yearly events that bring the community together. Find your favorite spots in each town and enjoy that local small town feel.
🚂 Rich in History – Lancaster was established in 1729! You can dig into history in every corner of this county. Check out the early settlement at Landis Valley, ride the historic train at Strasburg Railroad, visit a Quaker community in Ephrata Cloister, tour Wheatland (President Buchanan’s home), and learn the history of pretzel making at Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery – just to name a few!
👨🌾 Amish Culture & Crafts – Lancaster is well known for rolling hills of farmland, barns, silos, and the plain community. Along with this comes farmstands with fresh produce and baked goods. Add to this handmade crafts and furniture for an old-fashioned experience. Many people seek out the quality goods, foods, and craftsmanship provided by the Amish.
☕ Shopping & Restaurants – Lancaster boasts a huge array of shopping and restaurants to meet anyone’s preference. Lancaster Central Market, Kitchen Kettle Village, Belmont, Tanger Outlets, and Park City Mall are just a few of the options. Find food from Dutch cooking to Italian to Thai, and cozy coffee shops in every little town. Shop in a small boutique in downtown Lititz, or stop by a big box store in Lancaster. There’s something for everyone.
🌳 Beautiful Scenery – There is no arguing that Lancaster County has some of the most beautiful farmland, fields, streams, parks and trails around. It’s one of the most unique features of our area that you can be in town and in just a short drive be in the country. Enjoy waterways, farms, woodlands, and even covered bridges (over 25!).
🎢 Entertainment – From young to old, fun to sophisticated, Lancaster has so much to offer. Ride roller coasters at Dutch Wonderland, take in a play at Fulton Opera House or Dutch Apple Dinner Theater, make your own ice cream flavor at Turkey Hill Experience, take a full moon tour at the Wolf Sanctuary, or hop on a wagon ride at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm. And when the weather is bad try bowling, roller skating, trampoline parks… You won’t run out of fun things to do!
I may be biased, but I add my vote! Lancaster County is not only the best place to retire, it’s the best place to live!