Best place to retire: Riverside/Avondale
Pros: Weather, art, eclectic shopping, and river views.
Cons: Little public transportation, a lot of traffic, and limited real estate and rentals.
Real estate: A comfortable loft can be found in the $300,000s. A two-bedroom rental near the river is $1,400.The cosmopolitan condo life hasn't really taken off yet in the core of downtown Jacksonville, but it has nearby. You can see the skyline from Avondale and Riverside, two adjacent neighborhoods down a bend in the St. Johns River.
Riverside has turned into a funky arts haven: the Riverside Fine Arts summer season has top names in jazz and chamber music, and the Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens is recognized nationally. St. Vincent's medical center is in the neighborhood.
Next to Avondale is a beautiful historic district with many old southern homes in all kinds of styles: Queen Anne, Mediterranean, Art Deco, and plenty of one-story bungalows.
If the St. Johns River isn't enough water for you, drive east 20 miles through The Land of a Thousand Golf Courses - this is Florida, after all - and you'll find plenty of other retirees in Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, and, if you're really willing to spend, Ponte Vedra.
See complete data and interactive map for Jacksonville
Public transportation maps: Bus