25 Best Places to Retire

Iowa City, IA
gallery best places to retire iowa city io
Iowa's biggest draws: Classes in everything from rowing to Tolstoy at the University of Iowa.
Best if you're looking for: College town
Median home price: $167,500
Top state income tax: 8.98%

For the better part of a century, this city has been a destination for writers who flock here for the University of Iowa's world-renowned writing workshops. But you needn't be an aspiring John Irving to appreciate the city's appeal.

The Old Capitol Cultural District melds 19th-century architecture with quirky shops and innovative restaurants and in summer offers free concerts, outdoor movie nights, a jazz festival, and an arts festival.

For retirees who want a more hands-on experience, the university's lifelong enrichment classes run the gamut from rowing to Russian literature.

The downside? Frigid winters.

See complete data for Iowa City

Source: OnBoard Informatics; NOAA; Zillow; Trulia; National Association of Realtors; Tax Foundation; MONEY research
Notes: Home cost is median sales price except for Bloomington, Aberdeen, Ottawa, Traverse City, Coeur d'Alene, Fredericksburg, and St. George, which had only median list price available. Security income excluded in all states listed except Utah; most states exclude some pension income.
  @Money - Last updated December 17 2012 10:24 AM ET
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