Best place to retire: South Main
Pros: Right on the river, easy to get around on the trolley, and super affordable.
Cons: Few practical amenities (no grocery store, for instance)
Real estate: The median price for a four-bedroom house is under $200,000. Two-bedroom lofts and condos run from the low $200,000s to the mid $300,000s.Most cities are going crazy renovating their old warehouses into expensive condos and lofts. But in Memphis's historic South Main arts district, they're nice and cheap.
For potential art buyers, there are over a dozen galleries in the area, which is bounded by the Mississippi River and the world-famous blues sounds of Beale Street. A trolley takes you downtown, and you can stay in the neighborhood on Saturdays for the Farmers' Market in Central Station Pavilion.
For a more traditional southern feel, try the Cooper Young neighborhood about five miles across town. It has its own restaurants and galleries, but you'll have more fun hanging out on the porch or attending barbecues with your friendly neighbors. After taking a bus downtown, come back to a more laid-back atmosphere. "It's like the suburbs," says real estate agent Morgan Schultz. "But more hippieish."
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