Located in Northwestern South Carolina, Lancaster is a quiet residential town with plenty of fishing and boating opportunities. In addition, it is popular for its variety of big-name and locally-owned shops and restaurants, offering residents all the necessary daily amenities. Besides this, its very affordable housing and proximity to historic Rock Hill make Lancaster a popular retirement destination for active adults.
Climate & Geography
Lancaster has a humid subtropical climate characterized by its four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid, winters are cool and dry, and spring and fall are pleasant. Nearby mountain ranges help regulate winter temperatures, blocking extremely cold northwestern winds. Precipitation is evenly spread throughout the year, resulting in higher than average rain and very little snowfall. There are, on average, 213 days of sun each year.
The region is in the Carolina Piedmont, which is a transitional zone between the mountain ranges of the west and the flat coastal plain to the east. The terrain is mainly gentle rolling hills that are densely wooded.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Most of Lancaster’s outdoor recreation revolves around its many small bodies of water. These include Bear Creek, Betheas Pond, Cane Creek, Lancaster Reservoir, Catawba River, and more. Andrew Jackson State Park also has fishing opportunities, as well as camping areas and walking trails.
The town offers a wide variety of local and brand-name conveniences. Residents enjoy both family-owned and chain restaurants throughout the city, as well as a local brewery. For shopping, Lancaster offers shops ranging from Walmart and Publix to small specialty stores. Additionally, the Cultural Arts District offers residents a mix of galleries, sculpture parks, murals, and theaters.
Lancaster also has two golf courses and two farmers markets. There are plenty of parks, trails, and a quaint and historic downtown in nearby Rock Hill, a half-hour drive away. Residents looking for even more cultural events and designer shopping can head just over an hour to either Charlotte or Columbia.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Lancaster’s cost of living is well below average, mainly because housing costs are nearly half the national average.
South Carolina does not tax Social Security, and for retirees above the age of 65, any other form of retirement income is largely deductible. The state has one of the lowest property tax rates, and there is a Homestead Exemption aimed at retirees. Sales taxes are somewhat higher than average.
Lancaster is considered on the southern edge of the Charlotte metro area, which ranks in the top 55 communities on Gallup’s Well-Being Index.
Lancaster has one local hospital, MUSC Health Lancaster Medical Center. Nearby hospitals that are rated high performing by U.S. News include Carolinas Healthcare System Union in Monroe, and Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill.