25 Best Places to Retire

Fort Payne, AL
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Fort Payne's biggest draws: Great scenery and small-town charm, yet close to big-city activities.
Best if you're looking for: Small town
Median home price: $110,000
Top state income tax: 5%

For most people, Alabama doesn't conjure images of mountain peaks, river gorges, and waterfalls. That's probably because they've never been to Fort Payne, which is tucked between Lookout Mountain and Sand Mountain.

Figuratively, Fort Payne is a long way from the city; quintessential small-town activities include an annual fiddling convention that dates back to 1908. It's also a stop along the "world's longest yard sale," a four-day event in August that spans 675 miles.

In reality, though, it's an hour's drive from Chattanooga and two hours from Atlanta.

See complete data for Fort Payne

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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