The lapping waves. The majestic views. The vitamin D. Who can resist the siren song of life at the beach—and why would you want to? A growing body of research is confirming that waterfront living is good for you as any people dream about retirement in a beach town. But a remote beach area isn’t always the right fit for retirees, who also need access to amenities and services, such as quality health care and transportation options. Here is a list of potential beach retirement spots, including data on housing affordability, happiness, desirability, and access to quality health care.
11. Ventnor, Isle of Wight
A freshly grilled bacon sandwich on the top deck of the ferry heralded my childhood holidays to the Isle of Wight. Zipped up in cagoules as the wind gusted around us, my brother and I had tasted nothing finer. Our destination was Ventnor, a seaside town with everything a six-year-old could desire: a huge paddling pool with a 3D map of the island rising from its centre, a muddyish beach to splash about on, and bags of chips to eat as my feet dangled from a deckchair.
They’ve stopped serving bacon sandwiches on the top deck of the Red Funnel, but pretty much everything in Ventnor is reassuringly the same. The hairpin bends of the Cascade Road – actual name Shore Hill, which pitches visitors into the Victorian seaside town – still slaloms past colourful municipal bedding and steadfast granite villas. Much of the architecture survives from Ventnor’s 19th-century heyday as a health resort, and original bathing machines (without wheels) are now available to hire as beach huts.Advertisement
Chips are still the snack of choice at Haven Fishery on The Esplanade, although these days they are accompanied with inventive crab options (samosas, croquettes). A 20-minute walk along the seafront takes you now, as then, to the subtropical Botanical Gardens, a safe place to get lost in, much like Ventnor itself.