Note: Since this article was written we have added “Part 2: On the Lake, Where Living (in Retirement) Is Easy“, with 10 more great lake towns for retirement.
February 25, 2011 — Who wouldn’t want to retire beside a lake? Just thinking about the sound of lapping waves or a distant motor boat, or of a cool breeze carrying the scent of the water, is enough to make our mind jump to pleasant scenes from “On Golden Pond”. Combine that peaceful idyll with the idea of a low-maintenance community with non-stop activities, and we’re ready to go!
Not every lake has active communities near or on it. But there are many that do. This article will give a brief sample of lake towns that have active communities on or near them. We’ll also give details on how to find more. There are 65 towns in the Topretirements database that are identified as… “lake” towns. There are about 90 active adult communities associated with those lake towns, plus a whole lot more that are located on a private or man-made lake not included in the above.
You can find more lakeside towns and communities by using the Advanced Search feature and selecting “Lake” as environment. From there it boils down to what part of the country you want to live in. Fortunately, lakes are readily available in every state of the union, including our desert states.
Here are 12 of our favorite lake towns that also have active adult or 55+ communities. To find the active communities associated with these towns, either use the link at top right of the city review (e.g.; “Mount Dora Active Communities”), or go to the State Active Adult Directory at top right under “Find a Community”. Our apologies to the many fine lakeside towns with active communities that we didn’t have room to mention (use the Advanced Search function to find them).
- Discovery Bay, CA. A unique waterfront based community.
- Mount Dora, FL. An old Florida town popular with U.S. Presidents.
- Leesburg, FL. The town is almost completely surrounded by 2 different lakes.
- Greensboro-Oconee. GA. Lake Oconee is the 2nd largest in Georgia, and is home to several active communities.
- Gainesville, GA. Home to Lake Lanier and most of the boating events in the 1996 Olympics.
- Lake Keowee, SC. This is a region and a lake, more than a town.
- Coeur D’Alene, ID. A beautiful town right on a gorgeous lake.
- Traverse City, MI. Located right on the lake, the “Cherry Capital of the World” is also a great arts town.
- Lake of the Ozarks, MO. A huge lake and wonderful resort area with at least one active community.
- Klamath Falls, OR. The town is right near Upper Klamath Lake, and about 30 miles from the huge Crater Lake.
- Vonore, TN. This is a little town near giant Lake Tellico.
- Mt. Juliet, TN. While Mt. Juliet isn’t exactly on a lake, it is near 2 big ones where there are active communities.
What do you think? Please share your ideas about the best places to retire on a lake, particularly where there are active communities to provide more fun and take care of the maintenance.
For further reading
Part 2: Great Retirement Lake Towns