Forbes.com has a unique “places to retire” list. The list pays some attention to health care and safety, but it seeks to identify the 25 most scenic places to retire. The list includes all kinds of views, from rural areas to cities. There are mountains, woodlands, beaches, downtown areas, and more. Lots of nice photos.
To compile this list, we reviewed hundreds of locations in all 50 states. Admittedly, in a competition like this, emphasizing beauty, there is a high degree of subjectivity. Nevertheless, we set some objective standards and incorporated certain metrics. For example, the compelling scenery had to be in the place, reasonably nearby or both. And since this is a retirement list, we took health care into account by looking for places with a reasonable ratio of physicians per capita, using data from the U.S. Census and the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.
To ensure a basis for a full range of amenities, we screened out places with populations below 10,000. Since you undoubtedly want friends and loved ones to come visit, we required our picks to be no more than an hour or so drive from an airport with commercial service. We also excluded places with very high rates of serious crimes (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) as calculated by the FBI.
We made several large, arbitrary exclusions. Thanks to Hurricane Irma, we excluded places in Florida and along the Gulf Coast. We also ruled out places with other recent natural catastrophes, such as California’s wine country.