Nicknamed the Ocean State, Rhode Island is small and densely populated—but it offers a lot to retirees, including two of America’s oldest cities, many beautiful bays and harbors, and one of the country’s longest coastlines. Despite the high population, there are still unspoiled rural areas away from the coastline—making a Rhode Island retirement attractive to many.

There are four distinct seasons in Rhode Island, including hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Weather near the coasts tends to be more moderate. Because of its long coastline, Rhode Island is ideal for those who love the ocean—here you’ll get plenty of opportunities for boating, sailing, deep-sea fishing, lounging on the beach, and other ocean activities.

Rhode Island’s housing prices are higher than the national average, but still a bargain compared to those in New York City, Boston, and Connecticut. Still, taxes are high in Rhode Island—with the seventh highest property taxes in the country. The state doesn’t exempt pension income, and it’s one of only a handful of states that taxes Social Security.

Even so, many seniors find Rhode Island assisted living communities worth the cost—for the beautiful beaches and welcoming communities alone. Here are a few options for ideal Rhode Island retirement communities.

Newport

Surrounded by ocean and harbor on three sides, Newport is a picturesque and vibrant town with a population of approximately 26,000. In the 19th century, the town was a summer playground of the rich and famous—and today, those old colonial mansions are major tourist attractions. Many of the mansions were built by the country’s wealthiest families, including the Vanderbilts, all competing with each other to see who could build the most extravagant “summer cottage.” You can tour many of the mansions today, or buy a beautiful old home in which to spend your retirement.

Kingston

A lovely coastal New England town with a lot of personality, Kingston has nonetheless been eclipsed by Newport as a tourist destination—all the better for many of its residents. The beaches here are just as beautiful as those in Newport, but with fewer crowds in the summertime—and the Kingston Village Historic District offers a stunning collection of Greek Revival, Federal, and Lake Victorian architecture. Kingston is also the site of the University of Rhode Island, which fuels plenty of cultural and sporting events year-round.

Providence

Located at the top of Narragansett Bay, Providence is one of the country’s oldest cities—and it’s surprisingly affordable despite its cache as an attractive seaside town. During summer, the city hosts WaterFire at Waterplace Park—lighting over 100 bonfires on the rivers that run through the city. Accompanying each light display are numerous special events featuring local music, art, and more. Retirees in Providence can visit the city’s 1,200-acre park network, including a zoo, botanical center, planetarium, and the city’s Museum of Natural History. Home to the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence is currently in the midst of an economic boom driven by artistic accomplishment.

If you’re looking for independent living in a state with miles of gorgeous beaches and bustling metropolitan areas—but can’t afford the more trendy areas of Boston, Connecticut, or New York—then Rhode Island may be ideal for you. The state isn’t the most affordable in the nation, but it’s definitely more reasonably priced than other New England retirement hotspots. In addition, Rhode Island assisted living communities offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, especially for those who love the ocean—as well as communities with great historical, cultural, and artistic significance. Check out our free listing of Rhode Island assisted living communities today—and get started finding your ideal retirement community.