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5 Secretly Amazing Places to Retire in West Virginia

Searching for the ideal place to retire? It makes sense to wish for a calm and safe place to spend the remaining years of your golden years after all those years of hard work. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent retirement communities in West Virginia. West Virginia, surrounded by the breathtaking Appalachian Mountains, is becoming a more popular destination for retirees due to its low crime rate, tax-friendly policies, and reasonable cost of living. In fact, according to a list prepared by Bankrate in 2023, West Virginia was the most affordable state to retire to.

In addition to being reasonably priced, West Virginia is also one of the most picturesque states in the US, which attracts a lot of outdoor enthusiasts. The state is a haven for anyone wishing to live and retire in an area surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, with its breathtaking green mountains, energetic white-water rivers, and snow-capped ski resorts. This post looks at a few of West Virginia’s hidden gems for retirement and living.

The Best Places to Retire in West Virginia
1. Shepherdstown

Shepherdstown, one of the oldest communities in West Virginia, is situated along the Potomac River. The town is a retiree’s paradise, with great spots for boating, fishing, and tubing in addition to art galleries, neighborhood eateries, shops, and boutiques selling everything from books and silverware to seasonal décor, dry goods, and seasonal decor.

Washington, DC, and Baltimore are both only an hour and a half apart from Shepherdstown. There is seldom any crime in the region. Shepherdstown has a crime rate that is 77% lower than the national average, according to AreaVibes. However, the housing market remains cutthroat. As of 2023, the Shepherdstown median sale price of a house is approximately $418,000.

The Jefferson Medical Center and the Berkeley Medical Center are both approximately a 20-minute drive from the little hamlet, which is home to multiple medical clinics. The Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority (EPTA) offers local bus service, and there are also other cab options available, such as Uber and Lyft. A short distance from Shepherdstown, at Harpers Ferry Station, and Martinsburg Station, are two additional stops on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited Line.

2. Morgantown

Tucked up in West Virginia’s undulating hills, Morgantown is a leisurely city with plenty of natural beauty and things to discover. The city is dotted with serene rivers, breathtaking mountains, an abundance of vegetation, beautiful hiking and biking paths, and spots for fishing and kayaking. Several lists of the “best places to live and retire” feature Morgantown.

According to realtor.com, the median price of a home in Morgantown as of December 2023 is approximately $337.4K. Even if it’s not great, the city’s overall crime rate is still not the highest. Morgantown’s crime rate is around 17.4% greater than the US average. The Mountain Line Transit Authority offers bus services, but there are also other options for public transit, such as the more cutting-edge Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system, which uses computer-driven cars as an accessible mode of transportation. The Ruby Memorial Hospital and the Mon Health Medical Center are two of the city’s many respectable hospitals.

3. Richwood

Richwood, as its name implies, is a city renowned for its profusion of lumber. Situated on the Cherry River in eastern Nicholas County, the city offers an abundance of attractions, ranging from breathtaking waterfalls and National Wildlife Refuges to museums, breweries, distilleries, national parks, and historic buildings. Richwood, which has the good fortune to be located in one of the most picturesque regions of the state, strikes one as a very desirable place to work, live, and retire.

Richwood has houses ranging in price from $27.5K to $399K. However, there aren’t many homes for sale. The region’s crime rate is 42% lower than the state of West Virginia’s average. Richwood’s cost of living is particularly alluring, as it is 8% less than the average for West Virginia. There aren’t many options for public transit in the area, though. There are a few scheduled rides available from the Mountain Transit Authority (MTA). There are numerous local clinics and medical offices in the neighborhood. The small rural village can be reached by car in around 35 minutes from the Summersville Regional Medical Center.

4. Summersville

Summersville, a city in central West Virginia, has the atmosphere of a bygone era. With its calm, crystal-clear rivers and mountains all around it, Summersville is a terrific place to go hiking, boating, and whitewater rafting.

As of December 2023, the median listing price of a property in Summersville was approximately $379.5K. The area’s crime rate is 17% higher than the national average, although not being particularly high. The Mountain Transit Authority’s (MTA) bus transportation services appear to be the only available public transit option. The “Summersville Regional Medical Center” is a respectable hospital in the city. The hospital has the resources necessary to offer a wide range of services, including cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, critical care, and surgery.

5. Elkins

Beautiful and charming Elkins is a mountain village on the fringe of the Monongahela National Forest. The vast national forest is home to some of the best hiking, biking, hunting, trekking, skiing, and fishing in the area. It is also rich in history, art, and outdoor recreation.

It is one of the state’s safest communities, which is even more promising. Elkins has a general crime rate that is roughly 45% lower than the national average. As of December 2023, the town’s median listing price for a house was $215.9K. Elkins uses a company named “Country Roads Transit” to offer public transportation services. The transportation service offers both unique pickups and drops with reservations in addition to scheduled drop-offs and pick-ups. The Davis Medical Center is the town’s acute care hospital.