Best Places to Retire in the Georgia Mountains

Best Places to Retire in the Georgia Mountains

Not long ago we established all the wonderful benefits of living in the mountains. And when we think of mountain living, it’s got to be the west that’s the best. The Rocky Mountains...enough said, right? 

Not so fast.

Georgia may not be the first place that comes to mind when considering the best places to retire in the mountains, but The Peach State holds its own when it comes to mountain living. While the peaks may not reach the lofty heights of their western counterparts, Georgia boasts several great towns to get above the clouds for some peace, quiet, and an abundance of outdoor activities. 

To that end, here’s a list of the best places to retire in the Georgia mountains. 


Nicknamed "The First Mountain City," Jasper is the county seat of Pickens County, GA, located about 50 miles north of Atlanta. The small town of Jasper has a population just under 4,000 and sits near several large mountain neighborhoods like Big Canoe, Bent Tree, and the Preserve at Sharp Mountain. Speaking of Big Canoe, Jasper is home to a lifestyle community of the same name which was the winner of NAHB Silver Award for 2014 Master Planned Community of the Year and named 2011 Community of the Year by Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.


Meaning "beautiful" in the Cherokee language, the historic town of Toccoa is the county seat of Stephens County, GA, located about 50 miles from Athens and 90 miles northeast of Atlanta. A sweet spot for vacation and retirement living, Toccoa features a 1,200-acre private gated golf community set on the shores of Lake Hartwell. Residents and visitors alike fall in love with the thriving music scene, home of the Toccoa Symphony Orchestra—consisting of a talented group volunteer musicians from the surrounding community, South Carolina, and Atlanta. 


Named after Warluskee, the daughter of an Indian Chief who lived in the area, the city of Waleska was officially incorporated in 1889—50 years after it was established as a farming settlement. If you’re thinking of retiring in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Waleska boasts a mountain/lake/golf community situated on the sparkling shores of Lake Arrowhead. The town’s centerpiece, Reinhardt University, is steeped in history and offers residents a plethora of cultural opportunities. 

Mineral Bluff

The Georgia General Assembly incorporated Mineral Bluff as a town in 1889, and today the quaint little Georgia Mountain community has a modest population of just 150 residents. The town’s historic train station, the Mineral Bluff Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Just a few minutes from Blue Ridge, Mineral Bluff features one of the best places to retire in the Georgia mountains—lifestyle community, Old Toccoa Farm. 


On almost every “Best Of” list for Georgia mountain towns, Clayton is a scenic community with a downtown square and old-fashioned main street. A great locale for outdoor lovers, Clayton is known for its world-class whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River. For 55+ active adults looking for places to retire in the Georgia mountains, it’s hard to top Clayton’s Waterfall at Lake Burton lifestyle community which is home to one of five “Best of the Best” private golf courses according to Georgia Golf News. 

Be sure to check out these featured Georgia Mountain Communities located in the aforementioned cities as well as other hidden gems in the Georgia mountains.