Feb 24, 2022

The 10 Most Popular Active Adult Communities in the Country

Manny Cominsky

One of the most exciting trends in modern real estate is the rise of the active adult community (also known as the 55+ plus or age restricted community). As we've covered in another blog post, these communities are master-planned communities that often have an age restriction, but are way different from the managed care, retirement facilities that people sometimes confuse them for. Unlike in a retirement community, in an active adult community you still live independently, you just get to live in a neighborhood filled with people your age and with amenities that are perfect for retirement, like fitness centers, social clubs, or golf or tennis clubs. In other words, you get to live in a community designed exactly for your stage in life as you get ready for retirement and all that it has to offer.  

To learn more about all the exciting offerings that active adult communities have, check out some of the most popular communities from around the country below. Also make sure to check out our blog posts on the most popular active adult communities in all the most popular retirement destinations, like Florida and Georgia.

The Villages - The Villages, Fl

If you know anything about active adult communities, then you’ve probably heard of the country’s most popular community: the Villages.  And if you didn’t, then you might have gotten the hint if you noticed that the community is so big, it’s actually its own town.  In fact, between 2010 and 2020 the Villages was the fastest growing metropolitan area in the entire country, growing from 93,000 in 2010 to 130,000 in 2020 (39% growth!). So what exactly is the Villages and why is it so popular?

Spanning three counties, the Villages in many ways sets the standards for amenities at an active adult community, with over 50 golf courses, 2500 clubs and activities, and 3 town squares. This is not to mention the endless choices of restaurants and shopping options, including many of the country’s most popular brands. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Villages has literally millions of square feet of commercial business space, bringing you everything under Florida’s plentiful sun.

Not only does the Villages have every amenity you could ever want in your retirement (in fact, it probably has several different versions of every type of amenity) it’s also a cultural stopping ground in its own right. The Villages’ famous Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts center has attracted such world-famous acts as the Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, and Jerry Lewis. The Villages have become so prominent, in fact, that they routinely feature guest visits not only by famous artists and comedians, but by United States Presidents and Presidential candidates as well!

Sun City - Sun City, Arizona

Across the country from the Villages we find what is in many ways the west’s analogue to the villages: Sun City in Arizona. Nicknamed “the Original Fun City,” and with the first construction occurring in the 1960’s, Sun City is considered by many to be America’s first active adult community. With over fifty years of experience, Sun City knows how to deliver excellent quality for its residents. With 8 golf courses, 8 recreation centers, an amphitheater, and a dog park you’ll never be bored living in Sun City. But if you ever want to get out and about, Sun City is located just outside Phoenix, Arizona, one of the country’s fastest growing cities. Along with all the exciting entertainment options, Sun City is a self-contained community that has everything you could ever need or want in your retirement, including not only medical, shopping, and recreational facilities but also a hotel and a church as well! Truly, if you could dream of it Sun City can provide it.

Laguna Woods Village - Laguna Woods, CA

Another large, self-contained, and incredibly popular active adult community is Laguna Woods Village in Orange County, California (located in the Los Angeles metro area). Much like the Villages and Sun City, Laguna Woods Village is a town unto itself, with over 18,500 residents. This makes it the biggest active adult community on the west coast. Along with its size, one of the most distinctive features of Laguna Woods is its location - it’s just minutes from the Pacific Ocean! In addition to this amazing location, Laguna Woods Village offers everything you’d expect from gated, full-service community, including 36 holes of high-end golf, activity centers, and even an internal bus system.

Solivita - Kissimmee, FL

Returning to Florida, Solivita is another incredibly popular gated community. In fact, Solivita has been one of the faster growing communities in the country. Close to downtown Orlando, Solivita has roughly 6,000 homes spread across over 4,000 acres and is known for its distinctive and beautiful lakes, streams, and other bodies of water. Along with these beautiful outdoor features, Solivita also has a full suite of activities, including a full time activity director, almost 150,000 square feet of recreation space, including golf. With so many distinct offerings from its activity calendar, Solivita is prefect for people with a wide range of interests.

Lake Providence - Nashville, TN

If you like the idea of the southeast, but want to try a state other than Florida, then Lake Providence outside Nashville, Tennessee may be perfect for you. The centerpiece of the community is, no surprise, its beautiful clubhouse overlooking the 15-acre lake that sits on the property and accommodates fishing and small boating.  If you love the water but not lakes, you can take advantage of the community's resort-style pool and spa.  You will always be able to find fun and entertaining activities at this clubhouse, as Lake Providence features a full time activities director. As for other outdoor activities, Lake Providence features miles of biking and hiking trails as well as tennis, basketball, and bocce courts.  

Stone Creek - Ocala, FL

Another incredibly popular destination in Florida is Stone Creek, featuring over 3,800 homes and located in northern Florida in Ocala, also known as the Horse Capital of the World due to its over 400 thoroughbred farms and training centers. Stone Creek is famous for its beautiful landscape, which mirrors the horse-farms around it, including rolling green hills, oak trees, and beautiful lakes. Along with this beautiful surrounding countryside, Stone Creek offers a state of the art, 60,000 square foot recreation complex with every activity under the sun: from cooking to gaming areas to a pool and spa.  

If you’re ever able to pull yourself from Stone Creek’s beauty, you’re near plenty of world famous attractions. For example, Stone Creek is just 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and 80 miles from Orlando, where you can find such highlights as the Kennedy Space Center, Disney World, or the racetrack at Daytona.  

Village at Deaton Creek - Hoschton, GA

Sticking in the southeast, another incredibly popular and highly-rated active adult community is the Village at Deaton Creek. With over 1,100 homes, this community is well-known for its location in the beautiful Atlanta suburbs. At the heart of the community at Deaton Creek is a beautiful 35,000 square foot clubhouse, where you can find a host of world-class amenities, including fitness classes and social events like cooking classes or crafts. Along with this beautiful clubhouse, the Village at Deaton Creek also features a resort-style pool and plentiful tennis and pickleball courts. One of our favorite, and most unique features, of Deaton Creek is that it even has a special playground reserved just for grandkids, making it the perfect place for the family to visit. 

Latitude Margaritaville - Daytona Beach, FL

Maybe all we need to tell you about Latitude Margaritaville is that it is inspired by the life and music of the world-famous musician Jimmy Buffett. Staying true to his music, Latitude Margaritaville promises an easy-rolling life, awesome dining and entertainment, and a never ending party. Residents can take advantage of Latitude Margaritaville’s world-class amenities in the community’s Town Square, which includes a fitness center and bar and grill. You’ll never get bored at Latitude Margaritaville, where the amenities include the Last Mango Theater which is always hosting musical performances, dances, and other cultural events. And because it’s a high-end active adult community in Florida, you can expect plenty of amazing outdoor activities for resting and relaxing, including resort-style pools and tennis and bocce courts. Finally, another amazing lifestyle feature of Latitude Margaritaville is that just outside the community, and accessible by golf-cart, is the 200,000 square-foot shopping center, the Latitude Landings. Complete with a Publix grocery store, you’ll never have a problem getting anything you need while living in Latitude Margaritaville.

On Top of the World - Ocala, FL

Returning to Ocala we find On Top of the World, one of the most popular and fastest growing active adult communities in the entire country. The community is growing so fast, in fact, that when it is completed it will have over 10,000 homes. On Top of the World features many of the amazing amenities you would expect from a high-end active adult community, including three golf courses, fitness centers, restaurants, pools, and courts for sports like tennis or bocce. But what makes On Top of the World so amazing in our mind are the unique amenities that you will only find at On Top of the World, including an R/C airplane field and an R/C race car track. With such unique and innovative offerings already on property, we can’t wait to see what On Top of the World continues to build for its residents.

Sun City Hilton Head - Bluffton, SC  

Rounding out our top 10 is the most popular community in South Carolina, with over 9,000 homes, located in one of South Carolina’s most popular vacation destinations. Located in the beautiful semi-tropical South Carolina low country, Sun City Hilton Head offers residents stunning views and a warm climate for retirement.  And there is plenty to do in the lovely South Carolina weather at Sun City Hilton Head, which features three amazing golf courses, including two designed by Professional Golf Association (PGA) Professional Mark McCumber. The community also has a lovely 20-acre fishing lake for people who want to get out on the water. As for entertainment options, Sun City Hilton Head also boasts a 45-acre Village Center, which includes a social hall, a fitness center, and a crafts center. Our favorite feature may be the 540-seat Magnolia Hall, which offers year round access to theater, lectures, and other performances.  

While this list highlights what we think are some of the most popular and amazing active adult communities in the country, at the end of the day there is no shortage of amazing places to retire to.  In each and every state around the country there are new and amazing communities just waiting to make all your retirement dreams come true.

Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living. If you want to learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for residents and easier to manage for communities, email us at info@sunboundhomes.com or request a demo here. Sunbound is on a mission to make senior living more affordable for everyone.

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