Maryland may be on the smaller side, but don’t let its size fool you, this state is full of outdoor activities, is rich in history, and boasts a vibrant urban culture. That’s why, in this post, we’re looking at the best places to retire in Maryland.
Maryland sits in the middle of the eastern seaboard, with almost tropical weather in the summer and cool to mildly cold winters. However, when you compare Maryland to other states on the east coast, like Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina, you only have to go south to feel real heat or north to for bitter cold, sitting in the middle, Maryland is a perfect balance of the two.
Maryland is often overlooked when people are considering places to retire, which is unfortunate since it has a lot to offer active retirees. Maryland is ideal for those who love the outdoors, especially the water. After all, Maryland has the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, hundreds of lakes, and numerous rivers running through the state.
Plus, Maryland is home to 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Mountains, along with over 50 state parks that cover almost 100,000 acres. For the retiree who dreams of spending their days hiking, camping, biking, and fishing, Maryland is the perfect place to settle down.
And history buffs will never get bored retiring to Maryland. It is one of the original colonies and gained statehood in 1788. Plus, it neighbors Washington DC giving residents easy access to the many historical monuments and museums. Of course, you don’t need to go to DC to find your fill of museums and historical sites since Maryland has more than its fair share.
Maryland also has a vibrant cultural life that includes the symphony, theater, and various live entertainments. And they have outstanding restaurants, many of which are farm to table, plus several Michelin star-rated restaurants. So foodies will be thrilled exploring the culinary offerings of Maryland.
Though not a requirement being a seafood lover is an advantage since Maryland is full of crab festivals and is famous for its crab cakes.
The biggest drawback to retiring to Maryland is that they have a higher tax burden than many of the other states in the country. However, some pension income may be eligible for a deductible up to $29,900; this deductible is only available for in-state pensions. Plus, retired military pensions have a $10,000 deductible for those 65+ and $5,000 deductible for those under that age.
Despite the high tax burden, many retirees will find Maryland well worth the investment to spend retirement in a place that has such an abundance on offer.
Places to Retire in Maryland
- Bel Air
- Chevy Chase
- Ocean City
- Percent of Senior Population: 15.6%
- Overall Population: 68,079
Rockville is the largest city on this list. Though it is far from a large metropolitan area, it lacks for nothing. Rockville is a picturesque town that prides itself on its “hometown” feel and strong sense community.
Conveniently located just over 30 minutes from D.C. and Virginia, Rockville’s residents have endless options for things to keep them busy, from volunteering, taking in the outdoors, shopping, or enjoying a refreshing beverage at one of the many breweries.
Though Rockville is on the smaller side when compared to other cities in Maryland, it still offers much for entertainment such as:
- Glenview Mansion 2nd Floor Art Gallery
- Meadowside Nature Center
- Rock Creek Regional Park
- Lake Needwood
- Twin Valley Distillers
- F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre
But the real crown jewel of Rockville’s downtown area is the Town Square. Rockville Town Square includes:
- Stores and boutiques
- Ice rink
- Fountain and plaza
- More than 20 restaurants and eateries
There are even condos and apartments located in the square, making for a convenient place to live close to everything and all within walking distance.
Rockville might not be all that big, but it is still home to 5.95 medical centers per 1,000 residents. It also has the Rockville Senior Center, less than 10 minutes from Town Square, which offers quite a few services for the senior residents of Rockville. Some of the services residents 60+ can come to expect are:
- Meal services
- Fitness programs
Rockville’s many attractions, medical centers, and senior center make it the ideal place to retire.
- Percent of Senior Population: 20.6%
- Overall Population: 10,119
Bel Air, located near the northeast corner of the state, is advantageously positioned near several large cities such as:
- 23 miles north of Baltimore, MD
- 56 miles south of Wilmington, DE
- 68 miles north of Washington, D.C.
- 75 miles south of Philadelphia, PA
Bel Air is the perfect small town for active retirees, especially those who enjoy walking, running, and bicycling. There is a trail in the city called the MA & PA Heritage Trail, which runs 6.25 miles. The trail is made up of three pathways. Once finally connected, it will reach the full length of 10 miles.
Also, Bel Air has hosted a town run for 40 years. This 5K race runs through the town and is put on every August. Additionally, there are two other areas you can enjoy the outdoors, Bynum Run Park and Walls Cook Trail.
Some of the other things that make Bel Air and attractive retirement spot is:
- The Farmer’s Market
- The Hays House Museum
- Harford Mall
- Harford Artists Gallery
Bel Air also has spas, the AMC theater, restaurants, and no shortage of breweries. And when you are looking to enjoy a live show and head to a big city you are only about 40 minutes from Baltimore where you will find:
- Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
- Baltimore School for the Arts
- Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric
What helps make Bel Air even more appealing to seniors looking to retire to a small town are the 11.33 medical centers per 1,000 residents, plus the 2.39 recreational centers per 1,0000 residents found here.
- Percent of Senior Population: 21.9%
- Overall Population: 9,545
The town of Chevy Chase was not named after a famous comedian, but instead after the Chevy Chase Land Company. Retirees looking to settle down and enjoy the quiet of small-town living will love Chevy Chase. Plus, when you are looking for a day or night out to the city, Washington DC is just a short 20-minute drive away.
For those not familiar with the DC area, there’s an endless number of attractions available, such as:
- Visit several historical sites such as the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, The Tidal Basin, and the National Mall
- Ford’s Theatre
- Theatre Washington
- Live! Casino and Hotel
- Shakespeare Theatre Company
Plus, DC has excellent restaurants and an exciting night life for dinner and dancing.
And don’t worry if you don’t care to visit DC; there’s more than enough to keep you busy in Chevy Chase. If you are looking to spend time outdoors checking out the Audubon Naturalist Society Woodend Sanctuary for some bird watching is always a fun way to do so.
Or, if you are looking to go shopping, the Shops at Wisconsin Place will likely have everything you are looking for and more, including major department stores like Bloomingdale’s, specialty shops like Sophora, and excellent restaurants and cafes.
Though Chevy Chase is close enough to D.C. to access their medical centers, you won’t need to with the 11.47 medical facilities per 1,000 residents you will not have to go far to see your doctor.
- Percent of Senior Population: 33.8%
- Overall Population: 6,994
It should be no surprise that Ocean City has a large retirement community with its beautiful oceanfront calling to retirees like sirens to sailors, though with a much better outcome. Those looking to relax on the beach, fish on the ocean, or just walk on the boardwalk Ocean City is the paradise for you.
Along the boardwalk, as you enjoy the ocean breeze, you can take in the sights and sounds from the amusement park, shop the boutiques, or stop for a cup of coffee as you take advantage of the morning views. Plus, Ocean City offers 11 miles of beach to walk, run, or relax in the sun.
And when you’re ready to get your day started, you can head out for 18-holes of golf at one of the dozen-plus golf courses in the area. Ocean City is also home to 9 different courts for those who prefer tennis to golf.
Also, art lovers will love the Art’s Alive, Ocean City’s Annual Fine Art Show. Though there are not a ton of festivals, Ocean City does host several live outdoor concerts throughout the summer.
Though some may see the tourists as a possible drawback to this town, tourism is what keeps this city alive and vibrant. Plus, when friends and family come to visit, there are several hotels and resorts for them to stay.
Unfortunately, Ocean City has the lowest number of medical centers on this list, 1.98 per 1,000. However, the town is only 10 miles from the Atlantic General Hospital.
- Percent of Senior Population: 26.2%
- Overall Population: 5,051
As you drive into Chestertown, you can’t miss the Washington College campus. Chestertown, located on the beautiful Chester River, is the smallest town on our list and is just shy of an hour’s drive from Annapolis, the capital city of Maryland. Once a busy and lucrative port town, today Chestertown supports itself on the tourist business.
Chestertown’s charm is seen through traditional colonial architecture. The neighborhood streets lined with brick and wood houses give the area its distinct historical beauty. The median home price is around $239,161, which is just under the national average.
Of the many opportunities in Chestertown, one of the best is found at Washington College. Washington College is the 2nd oldest college in the US and offers the Academy of Lifelong Learning program for adults. So, for retirees looking to continue their learning, Washington College can help you out.
Some of the other attractions active retirees will find appealing in Chestertown include:
- Pam Foss Sculpture Gallery
- Cassinelli Winery & Distillery
- Art on High
- Historical Society of Kent County
- MassoniArt Gallery
And if you enjoy festivals, you will love the Chestertown Tea Festival, which features a parade, raft races, Annual Tea Party Classic Run, Craft beer and wine tasting, and more.
So if you want to retire to a river town that is full of beauty and charm, Chestertown is perfect for you.