Best Retirement City - Wilmington

See why many believe that Wilmington is the best city to retire

History. Beaches. All 4 seasons. If these are important factors to you when choosing where to retire, you're in luck! Wilmington has more history than most suspect, as it was a key port city during the Civil War and features plenty of musuems and other historic sites such as the USS North Carolina Memorial. Locals experience all of this via the famous one mile riverwalk area where they can pass into local shops or try the fresh seafood at many of the city's top restaurants. Wilmington is surrounded by both the beach and river, granting its residents access to the scenic river but also less than a 30 minute drive to four beautiful beaches, including the famous Wrightsville beach. The University of North Carolina Wilimington campus is right in the city, but doesn't overwhelm the town. There are a variety of neighborhoods within the area, starting with Historic Downtown Wilmington. As the center of art and culture in the city, the downtown area boasts museums, galleries, and a multitude of historic homes. Pine Valley is another popular area of Wilmington, with easy access to the beach, as well as a variety of golf courses such as the Pine Valley Country Club, a Wilmington staple for decades. Landfall is a more upscale neighborhood, with a gated community and easy access to the Mayfaire Town Center. Click on the above tabs to learn even more about what it's like to retire in Wilmington.

City Highlights

  1. Less than 30 minutes to four spectacular beaches
  2. Historic riverwalk downtown
  3. All 4 seasons with mild winters
  4. International airport and large college (UNCW) in town
  5. High healthcare rankings

Potential Drawbacks

  1. Hurricane risk
  2. Higher than average property crime rate
  3. Only 1 hospital within 25 miles

At a glance



Median age:


Median Household Income:

$ 41,573

Nearest City with Population of 200k+:

Raleigh, NC

Population Growth Last 3 Years



New Hanover

Age Breakdown (%)

  • 55 and under
  • 55 to 64 years
  • 65 to 74 years
  • Over 75

Gender breakdown over 65 years (%)

  • Men
  • Women


Closest Airport:

Wilmington International Airport

Distance to Closest Airport:


Closest Major Airport:

Myrtle Beach International Airport

Distance to Closest Major Airport:


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