Arizona, California, Florida, North Carolina and Texas all have huge callings as retirements spots.
When people retire, they want better weather, fewer chores and less restrictions. Newport, Rhode Island and various shoreline communities in Maine, Connecticut and Long Island worked well for the weathly East Coast industrialists in the peak of the Victorian era. Cuba became a popular vacation destination after the Spanish American War (1898) during Prohibition (1920-1933) until the Cuban Revolution (1952), fifty years of hedonistic island paradise. Lots of servants, great food, vivid music and ocean breezes, how could you ask for more. Going south to Florida on the train for a week or a month during the worst of the winter storms was a solution for the frugal middle class.
Retirement and Migration
This map taken from the Florida Railroad Museum site shows some of the railroad tracks in Manatte Co., on the Gulf side of Florida in the 1930s.
Buying a house at the shore in New Jersey worked for tons of Philadelphians. Cape May, Wildwood and Ocean City were about the water and the boardwalks, while Atlantic City was a hot spot.
This 1912 map of Cape May from Rutgers University was taken from the Historical Cape May web site.
Further west, people went south to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, but some of those places have only been habitable year round for retirees since the advent of air conditioning. California land of opportunity, except for the earthquakes, wild fires, land and mudslides, draws from all over the United States. Oregon draws from California now and from New England previously, while North Carolina, especially the Research Triangle between Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill draws from up and down the East Coast.
Find out where your ancestors vacationed and you may find a future retirement migration path. Look for railroad maps prior to and during the advent of the automobile. From the roaring twenties, through the Depression and uproar of World War II, car travel, motor courts, filling stations and reliably maintained state routes were the ticket. After Eisenhower initiated the interstate system in the late 1950s, routes changed to shorten travel times and save gasoline. Find maps from the era of migration to see how and when travel may have occurred.