Tucson, AZ

Shifting Sands of a Pandemic Opened Up New Activities

Community SaddleBrooke

Locations, amenities, and the right mix of people provide a winning retirement combination.

Retirement is a common goal for everyone. But everyone's retirement is different. Expectations for retirement years are very different from our parents' retirement. Activities for retirement communities are shifting and adjusting to new expectations. Newer and older retirees want a connection with nature. There is a desire for enhanced outdoor activities. These factors are pushing outdoor-friendly locations to new heights on the charts. 

The pandemic shifted priorities from indoor to outdoor activities. Retirees sought out outdoor hobbies to fill their time. In some cases, they renewed interest in previous hobbies or sports. Science and personal experiences ushered in the importance of nature-based activities. New hobbies and activities emerged for retirees who pursued safer outdoor environments to maintain a healthy and fun lifestyle.

Nature, open spaces, wildlife, nearby trails, patio dining, and wellness activities are gaining ground for new retirees and younger adults

Bird watching was an older classic hobby. Its resurgence has continued beyond the confines of a pandemic. Binoculars, mugs by Zazzle, and guide books are all hot items for young and old. Two of the largest birdwatching apps, Ebird and Merlin, reported that active users almost doubled from 2020 to 2021.

As the pandemic hit the country, retirees embraced all outdoor activities with a vengeance. Bicycles sold out at local stores. Golf participation regained the ground it had lost. Courses filled up with lessons and tee times becoming popular for new and returning golfers. 

Amercian Heart Association

Golf a hole-in-one for health

The economics of nature is swaying the best retirement places rankings. Those forces of nature are now becoming an expectation for retirees. Indoor potlucks have shifted to outdoor picnic parties. Block parties and patio dining are both very popular activities. Golf, racquet sports, hiking, and nearby trails are significant amenities. 

247wallst.com recently ranked retirement places. Tucson scored in the top ten with high marks for nature and wildlife areas. Communities with connections to outdoor activities and nature are gaining ground on the best of the best retirement lists.

# 6. Tucson, Arizona

 > Retirement score (out of 10): 6.41

 > Art galleries: 51

 > Nature and wildlife areas: 13

The pandemic shifted lives and activities. It remains to be seen which activities will have staying power.

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Saddlebrooke, AZ

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