Affordable mountain town: Boone, N.C.
Pricey Aspen and Vail may be beyond your budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend your retirement years appreciating spectacular mountain views or making runs on the slopes. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone boasts three nearby ski resorts as well as trails for cross country skiing, winter hiking, and snowshoeing. Residents of this small town of 14,000 also have access to one of the country’s most scenic roads, the Blue Ridge Parkway. A bonus: Boone provides residents with a free local bus service, AppalCART, and access to many of the amenities at Appalachian State University. In 2010, the median home sale price was $215,250.