5 Reasons to Retire Near Washington, DC

Autumn sunset over National Mall as seen from top of US Capitol, Washington DC
••• Getty Images/Danita Delimont

While the Washington, DC area may not appear on most lists of the "best places to retire" because of its high cost of living, the capital region is a great place to consider because of its central location along the East Coast and easy access to a wide variety of activities. The District of Columbia has been ranked as one of the healthiest cities, as having the best airports to make a connection, and as one of the most secure places to live in the United States. You can choose to live an urban, suburban, or rural lifestyle and with access to endless opportunities.

  • 01 of 05

    Cultural and Recreational Activities

    People riding bikes in West Potomac Park, Washington DC
    ••• West Potomac Park, Washington DC. Jason Colston / Getty Images

    With such a wide variety of museums, live entertainment, cultural events, parks and recreation facilities, there are plenty of ways to keep your mind and body active all year-round. Many Washington DC attractions are free and most are wheelchair-accessible. Seniors can join clubs and activities to pursue their interests and make new friends. The capital region is so culturally diverse that you can find restaurants from just about every corner of the world.

  • 02 of 05

    Day Trips and Getaways

    Main Street Annapolis
    ••• Main Street Annapolis. Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau

    The Washington, DC area is located within an easy drive to the mountains, to the ocean and to many cities and small towns. The capital region offers a perfect home-base for exploring the Mid-Atlantic. While many places are very busy on the weekends, retirees can enjoy day trips and getaways to popular destinations such as Annapolis, Harpers Ferry, Gettysburg, and Shenandoah National Park during the week when the pace is slower and they are less crowded.

  • 03 of 05

    Volunteer Opportunities

    Volunteers at DC Central Kitchen
    ••• Screenshot by JFritz

    As the nation’s capital is home to many non-profit organizations and charities, seniors can easily get involved and make a difference. There are always organized volunteer opportunities around holidays and regular charity walks. Whether you would like to lead a campaign or participate occasionally, there are plenty of causes that need help. Volunteering is a great way for seniors to give back to the community and to connect with others during their retirement years.

  • 04 of 05

    Four Seasons and Moderate Climate

    Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC with Washington Memorial

    The Washington DC area has four seasons and the weather is moderate with warm summers and mild winters. The region rarely has extreme weather events like tornadoes, hurricanes, or drought. Each season is generally equal in length and offers something special.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Access to Great Healthcare

    Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
    ••• Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Pool/Getty Images  

    The local health care system is one of the best in the country. Washington, DC is a national center for patient care and medical research, notable for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Prominent hospitals include the Washington Hospital Center, Children’s National Medical Center, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital is rated as one of the best in the U.S.