Tucson, Ariz., offers history and sunshine.
% over 50: 30%
Median home price: $126,000
Top state income tax: 4.54%
Cost of living index: 96
The housing bust has been the bane of most Arizona homeowners, who have seen median home prices fall more than 50% since 2006. But for new snowbirds, it's a boon. They can get a house with a pool and view for less than $200,000.
Among the many now-affordable retirement destinations in the state, Tucson scores big for livability. Besides 350 days a year of sunshine, more than two dozen championship golf courses, and to-die-for Southwestern cuisine, the city also boasts a wealth of historic places to explore, from the 19th-century St. Augustine Cathedral to the old homes and store fronts in El Presidio.
Just outside of Tucson, you can visit old mining towns, missions, and archaeological sites, including the petroglyphs at Signal Hill and the reconstructed dwelling at Dankworth Village. Hiking and biking trails crisscross the four mountain ranges that surround the city. There's even skiing at nearby Mount Lemmon. See complete data and interactive map for Tucson
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