Where to Retire if Florida’s Too Hot

If Florida is a little too hot to handle, check out these popular retirement destinations.

Florida is known as The Sunshine State for a reason: This never-ending natural resource keeps people returning year after year and even deciding to relocate to the state for retirement. The sunny climate allows for resort-style rounds of golf, near-perfect days at the beach, and world-class outdoor recreation.

But Florida is also one of the warmest states in the country. The average daily temperature hovers around 70 degrees with the hottest weather during the wet season (May to October). The average daily temperatures in June, July, and August almost always hit 90 degrees. Although thunderstorms and scattered showers can offer some relief, at least half of the year comes with high heat and humidity.

So while Florida might provide some of the best that retirement has to offer, the heat may cause some people to reconsider. Luckily, other states have just as much to do, see, and explore, but with milder and more consistently comfortable temperatures. If Florida’s just a bit too hot, here are some of the best states to consider instead.

South Carolina

Twilight view of street lamps along a boardwalk in Charleston, South Carolina
The Palmetto State is a retirement destination in its own right.

For active adults seeking an Atlantic Coast retirement, South Carolina is a competitive alternative to Florida. The Palmetto State is a retirement destination in its own right, which has led more and more active adults to relocate there.

Thanks to a humid subtropical climate, June, July, and August tend to be the warmest months of the year with summer temperatures that can reach 90 degrees. But the average year-round temperature is less than 64 degrees, indicating that temperatures are more comfortable throughout the four seasons.

The state consists of three distinct regions, each with its own culture and recreation opportunities. Northwestern South Carolina (also known as Upcountry) boasts an abundance of mountains, lakes, and parks, and its location comes with some of the mildest temperatures in the state.

Central South Carolina consists of cities around the Columbia area, which serves as the state capitol. The Midlands feature a rich history, scenic surroundings, and towns with artistic and cultural attractions.

Because of its proximity to the ocean, Coastal South Carolina is the most popular retirement destination in the state. The major regions include the Myrtle Beach area, the Charleston area, and the Hilton Head area. Proximity to the Atlantic Ocean offers world-class beaches and opportunities for boating, fishing, water sports, and lounging.

North Carolina

Price Lake and Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina during the autumn
North Carolina has plenty of opportunities for cultural, educational, and artistic endeavors.

The neighboring state of North Carolina also offers a humid, subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. As a state known for its higher education, research universities, and technological innovations, North Carolina provides plenty of opportunities for cultural, educational, and artistic endeavors.

The Tar Heel State offers the short, mild winters that many retirees seek plus slightly more temperate summers. The summer temperatures in June, July, and August average at 87 degrees, with the year-round average temperature at about 60 degrees. However, because of the diverse altitudes throughout the state, average temperatures can vary by as much as 20 degrees across the regions.

Western North Carolina represents the most topographically diverse area of the state, which comes with generally cooler temperatures. The Asheville-Hendersonville area offers scenic mountain views, small-town charm, boutique shopping, and eclectic attractions. 

The hilly and forested region of Central North Carolina offers diverse things to do. The Charlotte area and the Raleigh-Durham area offer an urban feel, while residents can still enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle.

In Coastal North Carolina, active adults can be close to the area’s best water opportunities. Lakes and rivers meet for some of the best boating, fishing, swimming, and water recreation. This area might experience the most impact from the coast’s hurricane season, but it still leaves plenty of ideal days for lounging on the water.


A sandy beach with boardwalk access on a barrier island along the Atlantic coast of Georgia
The coastal border of The Peach State has pristine beaches, scenic views, and pleasant weather.

Although Coastal Georgia is adjacent to Northeast Florida, it receives much less attention as a retirement option. But these neighboring states have several similarities, especially since life in Coastal Georgia can come with milder temperatures and an affordable beach lifestyle. 

The coastal border of The Peach State, situated along the Atlantic Ocean, provides ample opportunities for water activities, coastal attractions, pristine beaches, scenic views, and pleasant weather. Retirees in the area can enjoy miles of shoreline, diverse islands, and towns rich in history and culture.

The humid, subtropical climate comes with the same sunshine and seaside breezes as many areas of Florida but with more comfortable temperatures. The average summer temperatures range from 77 to 90 degrees, which offers slightly more relief than Florida summers. The average daily temperature throughout the year rests at 66 degrees.

One of the most popular retirement cities in Coastal Georgia is Savannah, located near the South Carolina state line. The charming Savannah area is known for its historic architecture, urban culture, and well-preserved natural beauty. The area offers world-class golf courses and historic Victorian districts.

Retirees in the area can also enjoy an active social lifestyle by attending the many festivals and events. Some of the most popular gatherings include the Savannah Music Festival, the Pirate Festival, the Savannah Food & Wine Festival, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.


Tree and horses in a field at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee
The temperate climate in Tennessee consists of warm summers and mild winters.

For some active adults who find the Florida weather too hot, it may be worth exploring another region of the country altogether. With an affordable cost of living, top-notch health care options, and a temperate climate, Tennessee includes many of the most sought-after features of a retirement location.

The temperate climate in Tennessee consists of warm summers and mild winters, with four distinct seasons. Residents across the state enjoy the changing of the seasons, including dramatic fall foliage and spring blooms.

The average daily temperature for the year is 63 degrees, an ideal temperature for a variety of outdoor recreation. These mild temperatures create a comfortable environment for physical activity, even at an average high temperature of 72 degrees. The summer months of June, July, and August tend to keep their temperatures under 90 degrees, though the occasional hot day can keep people indoors. 

One factor that helps make Tennessee a retirement destination is the availability of active adult communities. The state boasts small, mid-sized, and large active adult communities with the largest two communities planned for nearly 4,000 homes. The state also has active lifestyle communities for retirees who want access to amenities and lifestyle activities in a more diverse environment.

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