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Best Places to Retire 2012

Great Quirky Places to Retire

10 funky and artsy cities that free spirits will love

AARP list of quirky places where you can retire- a man looking out to see in Cape Cod, MA

If you're retiring and looking to move to an area with a different flavor, try these 10 cities. — Photo by Morgan David de Lossy/Corbis

Have you always thought of yourself as someone who marches to your own drum? Or known that, deep down, you felt most at ease in funky communities filled with creative, free-spirited people?

See also: Don't see your favorite quirky city? Share your own list.

Now that you’re thinking of retiring, it’s time to be true to your inner compass and settle in a place where “eccentric” is a compliment and where people are free to be whoever they want. Well, we’ve found 10 perfect places in the United States for people like you. For lack of a better word, call them “quirky” — towns and villages that dance to their own beat — just like you.

Whether that means an annual festival that peaks with the burning of a giant puppet, traffic lights specifically for bicyclists or four-hour barn concerts hosted by 1960s rock legends, we think you’ll find a town or two that will quench your thirst for originality. 

Of course, as with all our Great Places to Retire lists, we’ve also factored in cost of living, quality and availability of health care, and crime and safety. Nowhere is perfect, of course, but who ever said perfect was the goal? We’ll take the fun of quirky over impossible perfection any day.

Next Page: Live in a funky string of artist-haven villages. »

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