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Are you planning on retiring sometime in the next few years? Do you love the peace and quiet? Are you willing to take on some cold winters to balance out the sultry summer heat?

If you’re nodding your head, then Vermont might be the place for you. With a population of just under 625,000, it’s the second least-populous state in the country. While it gets more than its share of snow, the hot summers are enough to make residents crave the change of seasons. Check out our list of the Green Mountain State’s five best cities for seniors looking to enjoy their next phase of life.

The state capital is an excellent option for those who are looking for a bit more excitement to round out their golden years. Montpelier is home to a number of art galleries, museums, and lovely parks — enough to keep your calendar full for quite some time. Fun fact: Montpelier is the only state capital in the nation that doesn’t boast a single McDonald’s restaurant, preferring to keep its culinary offerings as local as possible.

As a college town, Middlebury has a vibe that will keep you feeling young, with a lively music scene as well as a colorful array of local scenery. If you enjoy hiking, nearby Branbury State Park offers a series of trails along the banks of beautiful Lake Dunmore.

With its cost of living only 3 percent higher than the national average, Barre is the least expensive option on our list, making it a great choice for the budget-conscious. Enjoy all the benefits of living in a small but thriving community, without concern for your finances.

20 percent of Bennington’s residents are 65 and older, so this is the ideal place for seniors looking for folks who share their interests. The historic downtown offers a myriad of shopping and dining opportunities, and there’s a nearby golf course as well as a recreation center with an indoor swimming pool.

St. Johnsbury
This gem was recently voted “Best Small Town” by National Geographic Adventure. Spend your Saturdays browsing through the year-round farmer’s market, or take in the exhibits at the local museum and planetarium. Want to get outside in the fresh air? Dog Mountain is the perfect place for a hike, and not just for your canine companion. St. Johnsbury offers something for everyone.