There are lots of perks to retirement. Among other things, more time for hobbies, no boss to answer, and the freedom to move wherever one’s heart desires. For those hoping to spend their golden years near the mountains, we’ve found the 30 best ski towns for retirees. Though everyone values different things when it comes to finding the perfect address, we’ve based our selections on such factors as:
- A town’s proximity to mountains and ski resorts
- Median home prices and overall cost of living
- Additional features and amenities that might appeal to active retirees
- Crime rates
- Proximity to urban areas and larger cities
Average Age: 29.7
Median Home Price: $1,250,400
Median Rental Price: $1,660 (3-bedroom)
If money is no concern, then the ski town of Alta, Utah is an excellent option for snow-loving retirees. It’s just a 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City. Alta boasts the Alta Ski Area and Snowbird, both of which consistently rank as two of the best places for skiing in the country. Living in Alta isn’t exactly cheap, but there are tons of options, including a large variety of rentals and active adult communities.
Average Age: 32.3
Median Home Price: $621,300
Median Rental Price: $1,794 (3-bedroom)
Avon, Colorado is far from the least expensive city to make our list of the best ski towns for retirees, but this pretty Colorado town is a far more reasonable place to live than, say, nearby Vail. Avon residents have easy access to both Vail and Beaver Creek, two of Colorado’s most exclusive resorts. Snow sports are simply part of the culture in Avon. The town is actually home to the Liberty Skis Corporation, one of America’s biggest independent producers of skis.
Average Age: 48.8
Median Home Price: $178,500
Median Rental Price: $1,310 (3-bedroom)
Retirees living in Bethel, Maine will have no problem convincing the family to come visit! Indeed, this historic ski town is nothing less than absolutely adorable. Bethel residents love the town’s walkable downtown, myriad shops and eateries, and wide selection of affordable historic homes. Of course, there’s also some great skiing to be had in Bethel at nearby Sunday River Ski Resort.
Brian Head, Utah
Average Age: 37.5
Median Home Price: $239,600
Median Rental Price: $1,011 (3-bedroom)
Home to only about 80 residents with an average age of 37.5, beautiful Brian Head, Utah is a great option for retirees intent on settling down in a ski town. Brian Head boasts more than 650 acres of skiable terrain. Local reports assert an average snowfall of about 360 inches, so snow-loving retirees certainly won’t be deprived of skiing opportunities here. Also worth mentioning is Brian Head’s extremely affordable cost of living. Homes here sell for a median price of $239,600, while every other major cost-of-living category averages right on par with the national norm.
Average Age: 41.9
Median Home Price: $207,900
Median Rental Price: $1,650 (3-bedroom)
Maine is often considered notorious for its harsh winters. However, thanks to Bridgton’s location at the southern edge of Highland Lake and only 15 minutes from the New Hampshire border, this small ski town is a great place for retirees. Home to Shawnee Peak, Bridgton offers its residents:
- easy access to the slopes
- a practically non-existent crime rate
- a cost of living averaging significantly less than the typical cost of living in Maine.
Average Age: 50.8
Median Home Price: $170,200
Median Rental Price: $1,040 (3-bedroom)
Considering Washington is one of the country’s most expensive states to live in, retirees are sure to love the option that Chewelah provides! Home to Chewelah Peak, a resort with a variety of trails that receives a whopping 300 inches of snow per year, Chewelah is incredibly affordable. We’re talking the type of affordable that comes with a cost of living averaging 12% less than the national norm, and housing costs an incredible 91% less than the rest of the state!
Davis, West Virginia
Average Age: 47.9
Median Home Price: $96,300
Median Rental Price: $780 (3-bedroom)
It’s not easy to find a great ski town suitable for retirees located in the South, but Davis, West Virginia is a great option. First, Davis is remarkably affordable, and its cost of living averages about 21% lower than the national average. Second, Davis is situated a mere hop from two of West Virginia’s best rated and most popular ski resorts.
Average Age: 30.5
Median Home Price: $256,400
Median Rental Price: $1,096 (3-bedroom)
Situated only a few miles from Grand Teton National Park, the town of Driggs is nestled in the western slopes of the Teton Mountains. Many of Driggs’ 2,000 residents moved there because of the easy access to snow it provides. Snowshoeing and cross-county skiing are especially popular pastimes. Retirees can make their home in Driggs for an average home sale price of just over $250,000 — a steal compared to nearby Jackson.
Average Age: 44.5
Median Home Price: $308,600
Median Rental Price: $1,830 (3-bedroom)
It’s said to be one of the most underrated ski towns in the country. Charming and old time-y Georgetown, Colorado boasts a cost of living that is about 14% higher than the national average. Still, this is remarkably affordable if you consider that Georgetown’s closest neighbors include places like Breckenridge and Keystone. Georgetown residents have easy access to some of the best skiing in the world at resorts like:
- Loveland Ski Area
- Vail Ski Resort
- Beaver Creek Resort
- Wolf Creek Resort.
Average Age: 36.3
Median Home Price: $118,100
Median Rental Price: $957 (3-bedroom)
The small town of Kellogg is an ideal choice of a ski town for retirees intent on finding a place that’s both affordable and devoted to snow. Indeed, Kellogg has been ranked the second most affordable ski town in the country. It’s also home to Silver Mountain Resort, which is comprised of approximately 1,600 skiable acres.
Average Age: 55.4
Median Home Price: $258,700
Median Rental Price: $1,260 (3-bedroom)
Nicknamed the “Beast of the East,” Killington boasts the Killington Ski Area — currently ranked as the fourth largest ski resort on the East Coast! Snow lovers will have no problem finding their desired terrain here. So what makes Killington such a great ski town for retirees? That would be its affordable cost of living, which averages only about 0.9% higher than the national norm. Plus, Killington’s small population tends to average older, so there are plenty of opportunities for neighbors and friends with similar interests.
Lake Arrowhead, California
Average Age: 43.5
Median Home Price: $388,200
Median Rental Price: $1,710 (3-bedroom)
For retirees determined to stay in California, Lake Arrowhead is an excellent choice of address. It’s home to about 11,000 people, the average age of which is 43.5 years. Lake Arrowhead is full of rustic, mountain-town charm. Three major ski areas — Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park, SkyPark at Santa’s Village, and Rim Nordic — offer plenty of skiable terrain for people of all ages, abilities, and interests. Lake Arrowhead is also appealing for its relatively close proximity to the major zip codes of Southern California.
Average Age: 45.9
Median Home Price: $411,900
Median Rental Price: $1,690 (3-bedroom)
Leavenworth, Washington is a cozy mountain town that’s been carefully designed to look and feel like a Bavarian wonderland. It’s situated fewer than 35 miles from Stevens Pass Ski Resort, so getting to the slopes is easy. Enjoying the views is even easier. Popular pastimes include backcountry skiing and paddling. The town’s full calendar of events include an Oktoberfest celebration that’s been described as “legendary.”
Average Age: 43.4
Median Home Price: $347,300
Median Rental Price: $1,119 (3-bedroom)
Quality of life is high in McCall, Idaho. This is especially true for those who love skiing and the snow. Brundage Mountain, which is said to have “the best snow in Idaho,” is located right in town, so getting up to enjoy the slopes is never a trek. Though McCall’s cost of living is about 7% higher than the national average, this underrated ski town is far more affordable than some of the region’s better-known snow destinations.
Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
Average Age: 37.9
Median Home Price: $269,600
Median Rental Price: $1,558 (3-bedroom)
The Midwest may not be well known for its ski towns, but Mount Horeb, Wisconsin is an excellent choice for those intent on both a ski town environment and a Middle America address. And who says you can’t have it all? Mount Horeb is located near Tyrol Basin Ski and Snowboard Area, a top-rated resort boasting a wide variety of runs. The town also offers a median home price lower than many of its neighbors, a low crime rate, and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state.
Average Age: 31
Median Home Price: $230,900
Median Rental Price: $1,223 (3-bedroom)
Ogden is one Utah city that’s rapidly growing in popularity. Still, it’s an ideal place to retire. First, the town is surrounded by some of the best ski resorts in the state, including Powder Mountain and Snowbasin. Secondly, it’s still relatively affordable, and boasts a cost of living averaging 4% lower than the national average.
Average Age: 58.7
Median Home Price: $69,700
Median Rental Price: $984 (3-bedroom)
Like Mount Horeb, the small town of Ontonagon, Michigan is a great option for snow-loving retirees hoping to stay in the Midwest. Although Michigan isn’t exactly known for its many hills and mountains, Ontonagon is a notable exception. The town is conveniently located just outside of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area. Downhill skiing is quite popular among Ontonagon’s residents, as is cross-country skiing.
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Average Age: 41.5
Median Home Price: $368,100
Median Rental Price: $1,251 (3-bedroom)
Nearly 500 inches of snow falls on Pagosa Springs each winter! No wonder some have said this small town gets some of the best snow in the state of Colorado! Pagosa Springs has plenty for a ski-loving retiree to enjoy during the winter. It’s also affordable — especially compared to some of its neighbors. Retirees are sure to appreciate the fact that the town boasts a cost of living that averages only about 14.5% higher than the national norm, and in many categories, far less than the Colorado average.
Average Age: 35
Median Home Price: $264,700
Median Rental Price: $1,160 (3-bedroom)
Though its population tends to average on the younger side, Pinedale is an excellent choice of Wyoming ski town for retirees. Pinedale is situated about a 10-minute drive from White Pine Ski Resort, a large resort consisting of about 1/3 each of beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails. Pinedale enjoys an affordable cost of living averaging only about 4% higher than the national average. It’s well-known for its family-friendly culture and atmosphere.
Ruidoso, New Mexico
Average Age: 52.4
Median Home Price: $203,000
Median Rental Price: $1,245 (3-bedroom)
Ruidoso might just be the perfect ski town for retirees. It’s affordable, it enjoys a warmish climate, and it’s home to some great skiing! Need we say more? Probably not, though we’ll also add that Ruidoso’s main ski area, Ski Apache, consistently ranks as one of the best in the West. The resort ensures consistently skiable terrain by covering 33% of the mountain using snow machines. We think that’s pretty clever.
Average Age: 41.8
Median Home Price: $306,700
Median Rental Price: $1,028 (3-bedroom)
Nestled between the Selkirk Mountains and sought-after Lake Pend Oreille, the town of Sandpoint has been called the “best under-the-radar ski town in North America” by Sunset Magazine. This is great news for retirees, who often hit the slopes alongside the handful of pros and Olympians who call Sandpoint home. Schweitzer Mountain, located about 10 minutes from downtown, boasts an incredible 2,900 acres of skiable terrain, so getting out to enjoy the snow is easy.
Average Age: 35.7
Median Home Price: $430,400
Median Rental Price: $2,015 (3-bedroom)
Avid skiers of all ages are flocking to Sandy, Utah, and it’s easy to see why. This rapidly growing town has more and more big-city amenities every year. Of course, Salt Lake City is also a short drive away, and has just about anything else a Sandy resident might be missing. In terms of skiing, Sandy has quite the selection of top resorts. Alta, Park City Mountain, Snowbasin, Brighton, Deer Valley, Canyons, and Solitude Mountain are all within easy reach of this great ski town for retirees.
Average Age: 34.7
Median Home Price: $679,600
Median Rental Price: $4,000 (3-bedroom)
Snoqualmie, Washington offers the best of both worlds. It’s undoubtedly a ski town with a rich ski culture, and yet Snoqualmie proper receives very little snow. Fortunately, town residents are within quick access to The Summit at Snoqualmie ski area, where they can take part in skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and just about any other snow-related pastime they can think of. And yes, The Summit itself receives loads of snow.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Average Age: 36.8
Median Home Price: $594,200
Median Rental Price: $1,853 (3-bedroom)
Steamboat Springs has been nicknamed “Ski Town USA,” so it should come as no surprise that this place is a great ski town for retirees. More than 50 full-service restaurants exist within city limits. Nearly as many entertainment establishments provide Steamboat Springs residents with a calendar chock-full of special events. Plus, three different resorts are situated within easy access of town, so getting out to enjoy the snow is never too big of a challenge.
Average Age: 33.2
Median Home Price: $406,600
Median Rental Price: $1,096
Like its neighbor, Driggs, the town of Victor is another great ski town for retirees located in the desirable area around the Teton Mountains. Victor residents are a mere hop from the charming town of Jackson, the popular snowshoeing areas of Grand Teton National Park, and top-rated Grand Targhee Resort. Granted, Victor is one of the most expensive ski towns on our list. Still, for those coming from much pricier areas on the West Coast, or for those for whom money is no issue, Victor is an excellent choice of residence.
Average Age: 45.2
Median Home Price: $332,500
Median Rental Price: $1,298 (3-bedroom)
Retired snowbirds will feel right at home in the small town of Warren, Vermont. The average age of Warren’s 1,700 residents is just over 45, so retirees aren’t likely to feel surrounded by young people. Plus, anyone living in Warren has access to a great selection of skiing options. Mad River Glen is located right in town. Sugarbush, one of the East Coast’s most popular ski resorts, is located within easy access.
Average Age: 40.9
Median Home Price: $295,100
Median Rental Price: $1,298 (3-bedroom)
Vermont may require its residents to endure a cost of living slightly above that of the rest of the country, but there’s a good reason retirees flock to Vermont towns like Waterbury. Most notably, the snow! Waterbury has been called the “quintessential satellite ski town” (POWDER) in recognition of its ideal proximity to top-notch resorts like Sugarbush, Stowe Mountain, and Bolton Valley, not to mention all of the smaller resorts around the Mad River Area.
Average Age: 35.2
Median Home Price: $301,500
Median Rental Price: $1,380
It’s not so easy to find an affordable ski town in the state of Washington, let alone one that’s recommended for retirees. But one such exception is Wenatchee. The average single-family home in Wenatchee costs just over $300,000. That’s nearly 35% lower than the state average! Although Wenatchee enjoys a warm, farm-fresh environment during the summer months, come winter it becomes a haven for snow lovers. Badger Mountain, Mission Ridge, Echo Valley, and Leavenworth are all the top-rated slopes within easy access to affordable Wenatchee.
Average Age: 44.3
Median Home Price: $367,000
Median Rental Price: $1,197 (3-bedroom)
Whitefish, Montana is an ideal place of residence for anyone of any age who loves snow! Indeed, this popular small town offers easy access to Rocky Mountain resorts — most notably, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort. Though housing prices in Whitefish have increased in recent years, many retirees will find that it’s still on the affordable side, with current median home prices currently hovering around the $370,000 range.
Winter Park, Colorado
Average Age: 37.7
Median Home Price: $452,500
Median Rental Price: $1,434 (3-bedroom)
Situated in Colorado’s Fraser Valley, the small town of Winter Park provides residents with stunning views year-round, plus easy access to the big city. Denver is only a 30-minute drive away. As its name suggests, Winter Park becomes an absolute playground come wintertime. Sledding, cross-country skiing through the valley, and skiing at Winter Park Resort are all popular pastimes.