Greenest places to retire

As you ponder your decision as to where to live when you retire, you may begin to ask yourself what you value in your personal ideal environment and what location meets your standards. If you desire a home that offers many wide-open areas devoted to green space, nature and tranquility and a community that supports the preservation of that environment, look no further! Here is a list of potential cities that prove to be some of the greenest in the U.S.

Denver, Colorado

Denver is known for the beautiful scenic mountain ranges and wide-open fields. You will never run out of outdoor activities to participate in, whether you enjoy boating, hunting, fishing, hiking or all of the above. Not only will you get to experience the spectacular views daily, but also the residents and companies in Colorado are dedicated to building communities that are unique and secluded, with high quality homes and state of the art materials. One company in particular, Village Homes, has received the “Community of the Year” award for the Denver area eight times! This company builds homes in the mountains surrounded by trails, lakes, parks and all the natural beauty that Denver has to offer. It seems like an idyllic green get away that will nurture and enrich the lives of all who visit it.  

Portland, Oregon

Talk about GREEN! Oregon is so lush and beautiful; your eyes and lungs will thank you. Not only is Portland absolutely breathtaking, it encourages its residents and visitors to enjoy the scenery by having over 200 miles of bike lanes throughout the city. If you are a cyclist or interested in picking it up, this is the place for you! It was voted the number 1 city for sustainability and encourages a healthy lifestyle in means of transportation, food sources and gardening/farming. If you love food, this is the city for you! Portland is known for its rich food culture and there are many wineries and beaches that are easy to access. You don’t lose the city feel but you certainly can participate in a variety of outdoor sports and activities and soak up all that green!

Austin, Texas

Austin is a booming city with lots of culture and variety. It offers 206 different parks, 26 greenbelts, 12 wildlife preserves and more than 50 miles of trails. It is a highly desired place for the young and old alike. Austin has an amazing goal to be carbon neutral (powering the city on clean energy) by the year 2020, which may very well be possible because of the highly successful renewable energy company, Austin Energy. Austin has a great mix of nature, culture, nightlife, wildlife, and delicious food. One place you can’t miss is Zilker Metropolitan Park that is very close to downtown Austin; it transports you into nature with its swimming hole, botanical gardens and hiking/biking trails.

Chicago, Illinois


When you think of Chicago, green may not be the first word on your mind! But for those of you who enjoy the big city life but still want to be surrounded by nature, this might be the right spot for you! Since 1909 Chicago has been designed with a permanent greenbelt surrounding the inner city. There are over 552 parks and 33 beaches. The city also has a program called “Chicago Green Roof Program” which has helped cover over 2.5 million square feet of rooftops with secret elevated gardens. They are constantly planting more trees to bring nature to the streets. There are over 43 different independent living retirement communities that range in price and location. Some are in the heart of the city and others are in the more remote and peaceful suburbs. They all offer unique amenities and social activities that make them not just a place to live, but also a place to feel at home! Chicago is a great place to get the best of both worlds; nature and metropolitan life.