LEWISTON, Maine — They lauded the museums, the number of fellow retirees and the arts-friendly vibe.
In its list of “10 Great Small Cities for Retirement,” AARP says look no further.
In a preamble that explains they considered dozens of communities, opting for those that marry “the energy and excitement of cosmopolitan life with the charm and neighborliness of a small town,” Lewiston came in at No. 10.
It’s part of AARP’s Best Places to Retire 2011, out last month.
“Somebody finally got it,” said Chip Morrison, president of the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce.
While no retiree will move to Lewiston on list alone, “they might dig deeper,” he said. “I would expect some hits off our website because of it.”
AARP’s criteria: Populations under 100,000, low crime rates and plenty of amenities. Lewiston is described as a “peaceful artist community” with plenty to do indoors (museums, festivals) and out (skiing, biking, fishing). Affordable housing also got a nod.
Napa Valley, Springfield, Mass., Athens, Ga., and Portsmouth, N.H., also made the top 10.
“We’ve been trying for a long time in this community to reinvent ourselves — maybe that word is finally getting out there and people are seeing Lewiston in a different light today than maybe they did 20 years ago,” City Administrator Ed Barrett said.
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