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10 Great American Boating Towns to Retire, Play and Thrive

by D. Scott Croft on 24 May 2013
Sailing in Gainesville - one of the hot spots for boating retirement SW
Have you dreamt of moving to a boating paradise once you're free of the daily grind? The magazine from the nation's largest recreational boat owners group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), can help you decide which one. In the just-released June/July issue of BoatUS Magazine, the editors pick 10 of the most boat-friendly American communities, from sleepy to hopping, to get your imagination fired up.

Included is information on boating amenities, opportunities for gunkholing and fishing, the length of the boating season, living costs, median home prices, taxes, weather, transportation, top hospitals, and all kinds of cultural activities. Post-career planning tips are also offered to help make the right choice. To see the full story online, click here.

Here are BoatUS Magazine's '10 Great Boating Towns to Retire, Play and Thrive':

Traverse City, MI: With a low cost of living, low home prices, and great boating and fishing on the sheltered Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan and nearby inland lakes, Traverse City offers sparkling sandy beaches and plenty of options for overnight trips.

Port Townsend, WA: With no state income tax, this historic seaport has great boating on Puget Sound, a picturesque waterfront, trendy shops, restaurants, galleries, and a vibrant arts community. Neighboring Olympic National Park has spectacular views and great hiking.

Annapolis, MD: While late summer can be hot and windless, the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries are laden with scores of rivers, bays and waterside communities, and it's a gunkholer's paradise. 'Naptown' also has top hospitals and transportation.

Tarpon Springs, FL: The town's compact harbor has plenty of marinas, easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, year-round boating, no income taxes, and a lower cost of living. Many Tarpon Springs boating retirees hail from the northern climes.

New Bern, NC: A historic waterfront bordered by two rivers, good restaurants, low median home prices, and a long boating season, New Bern offers loads of boating opportunities. It's also a great jumping-off point for trips to the Outer Banks and coastal North Carolina.

Portland, OR: A self-styled 'big-small town', there's lots to do ashore as well as great fishing and gunkholing on the famed Columbia River. Also lots of recreational and cultural opportunities including great festivals, and over 40 small breweries.

Portland, ME: Another town with a big-city feel, there's lots to do on the water and ashore with plenty of cultural offerings, a historic port area, and reasonable home prices. It offers the best of New England boating with lots of protected coves and weekend hideaways.

San Diego, CA: While pricey, who doesn't like warm and sunny all year with fantastic boating and fishing? Great off-the-water options and lots of big-city culture, good hospitals, and plenty of gunkholing options around several bays make it a West Coast favorite.

Camdenton, MO: Located away from the Lake of the Ozarks' busy weekend traffic, Camdenton's low cost of living, very affordable home prices as well as boating amenities offer a small boating town feel with 95 miles of lake outside your door.

Gainesville, GA: Surrounded on three sides by Lake Lanier, Gainesville offers year-round boating, over 500 miles of shoreline dotted with coves, excellent bass fishing, affordable home prices, and a cost of living just a sliver below the national Boat US

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