When a lot of us envision what our retirement years will be like, we imagine ourselves on a beach somewhere, far away from the bitter cold of South Dakota winters.

But despite having a weather score in the bottom ten (41st) nationally and landing in the bottom half on the wellness index (30th), the Mount Rushmore State was ranked the 13th best place to retire in America by BankRate.com.

Top 20 scores in two other categories helped bolster the state's overall score. South Dakota ranked 13th in culture (arts, entertainment, recreation establishments, and restaurants per capita) and 18th in affordability.

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Money was the main driving factor in determining which states were the best retirement destinations.

Top-ranked Georgia was third in affordability and fourth in weather. Number-two Florida was second in affordability, while the most cost-efficient state, Tennessee, was ranked third.


  1. Georgia
  2. Florida
  3. Tennessee
  4. Missouri
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Wyoming
  7. Arizona
  8. Ohio
  9. Indiana
  10. Kentucky

As for the least desirable retirement destinations, cost played a big role.

Maryland is 47th in affordability, while Minnesota is 39th. Third-worst Kansas tied South Dakota with the 41st worst weather score.


  1. Maryland
  2. Minnesota
  3. Kansas
  4. Montana
  5. Alaska
  6. Maine
  7. Arkansas
  8. Alabama
  9. Idaho
  10. Connecticut

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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