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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

Wenatchee, Washington

Wenatchee, Washington, sits in the valley below the mountains of the Cascade Range. — Jake Stangel

Wenatchee, Washington

It's easy to confuse Wenatchee, Washington, with the Garden of Eden. The stunning Columbia River runs through this valley town, which is surrounded by the jagged, glaciated peaks of the Cascade Range.

See also: America's healthiest hometowns.

And unlike in other parts of the Northwest, here you can actually see those views in "the Apple Capital of the World," named for the orchards that encircle the town and produce some of the world's tastiest specimens.

People are drawn to the region for its almost endless recreational options, which include truly top-notch skiing, hiking, camping, hunting and fishing.

You'll also find a steady stream of cyclists, dog walkers, skaters and joggers along the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail, a scenic 10-mile paved loop that crosses the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers.

All that and, yes, it's a bargain: "We moved here 29 years ago, in part because it was so much cheaper than Seattle," says Barb Trandum, 67. What made her and husband, Jerry, 67, stay, though, is the hearty appetite locals have for getting involved. "There's just so much here," says Jerry, who is a fan of nearby Rocky Reach Dam and Ohme Gardens, a 9-acre alpine garden.

Next Page: A small-city jewel with an impressive art deco district downtown, first-rate art museums and plentiful green spaces. »

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