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Best Places 2011

10 Affordable Cities for Retirement

These places are a bargain for retirees — and you can't beat the lifestyle

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The Market Street Bridge in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. — Raymond Gehman/National Geographic Stock

Editor’s Note: In October, 2011, after publication of this article, the city of Harrisburg filed for bankruptcy protection, though its petition was subsequently dismissed by a federal court.  It’s unclear what impact the municipality's financial difficulties will have on its status as an affordable city for retirement.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

With its gracious layout, the lovely Susquehanna River, and plentiful festivals and events, Harrisburg is a magnet for cyclists and pedestrians.

Harrisburg's 50,000 shade trees, 4.5-mile-long Riverfront Park and 20-mile greenbelt around the city showcase its modern skyline, lovely old cathedrals, elegant Capitol complex and well-maintained historic districts.

The surrounding Pennsylvania Dutch countryside, with its covered bridges, farms, restored mansions and rich Civil War history, is equally inviting.

Six four-year colleges in the area add musical events, drama — and youthful energy.

Next Page: Where barbecue and mariachi mingle with haute couture and endless cowboy boots. »

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