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20 Best Active Adult Communities of 2021

Category: Active adult communities

February 23, 2021 — Want to know the active adult and 55+ communities Topretirements visitors are interested in learning about? We sure do, so we went through our user logs for the last 12 months, using them to identify the retirement communities that received the most online visits on this site. You will find the top 20 below – with many surprises mixed in with some sure things. Best of all, it is an interesting list with communities of all types from all over the country. That makes us happy, because it just not the same names all over again. Instead, there are many new communities for people to consider. Two of the winners are advertisers on this site, the rest are not.

Top 20 Active Communities for 2021

The Villages – Central Florida. Just about everybody has about this giant community. It spans 3 counties, has of over 120,000 residents, virtually every kind of amenity, and hundreds of clubs. 2000

The Village at Nags Head – Nags Head, NC. The Village of Nags Head is an upscale golf and beach community located on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Stretching between the Atlantic Ocean and the Roanoke Sound, it has custom-built homes and parks that stretch out on the sound.

Tellico Village – Vonore, TN. No surprise here, this very large community in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains runs along Tellico Lake. Established in 1986, its three private championship golf courses offer outstanding play, and Tellico Lake provides a pristine resource for boating, fishing and swimming. (Advertiser)

The Oaks at Blue Ridge – Blue Ridge, GA.  A 55 and over gated active adult community of town homes, it is just 5 minutes to the lovely small town of Blue Ridge. Amenities include walking trails, covered pavilion, planned community center. The Oaks offers the opportunity for simplified living in a beautiful mountain community.

Barefoot Bay – Sebastian, FL. The community features highly customized, upscale manufactured homes on the Indian River Lagoon (Inter-coastal Waterway), midway between Melbourne and Vero Beach. This is a well established community with dozens of clubs and non-stop activities, includingare swimming pools, tennis courts, and bocci. Many homes for less than $100,000, with rentals available.

Riverwood Plantation – Augusta, GA. This community along the Savannah River has a clubhouse, large pool, barn pavilion, fishing, and nature trails. Within the Plantation is Amberly, an age-targeted neighborhood features easy-living townhomes.

Woodside – Aiken, SC.  Close to Aiken’s tree lined streets is Woodside, where life offers world-class amenities and a sense of community.  Residents can choose from wooded, lake, and golf course home sites. (Advertiser)

Piper Trail – Fort Wayne, IN.  This new cottage community for active adults 55+ is sponsored by Lutheran Life Villages. The 48 single-family cottages are clustered in small grouping around a shared green space to promote social interaction.

Sandestin – Destin, FL. The 2,400 acre resort offers townhomes, condos and villas both for rent and for sale. The resort is known for its four championship golf courses, beaches, swimming, tennis and beautiful views. Homes are priced from the $100’s to the $millions. 1088

Hot Springs Village – Hot Springs, AR. The amazing amenities in this large community include marinas, a 13-court tennis facility, outdoor and indoor pools, 8 pickleball courts, performing arts center, mini golf, 26+ miles of scenic trails, diverse restaurants. It has one of the largest bridge clubs in the U.S., with 200+ other clubs and organizations.

Fairfield Glade – Crossville, TN.  The stunning master-planned community sits on the highest point between the Rocky and Smoky Mountains. The pleasant summer days and the cool summer nights can be attributed to the Cumberland Plateau’s 2,000-foot-elevation. (Advertiser)

Sawgrass Village – Venice, FL. a contemporary Florida-style setting with a hint of Mediterranean. The community is home to 54 acres of lakes and natural preserves, with homesites strategically positioned for residents to enjoy the surrounding beauty as well as golf course views

Stonebridge Village – Branson, MO.  Golf, three famous lakes and Branson’s world-class entertainment combine with the Ozark’s natural beauty to offer residents a variety of year-round recreational opportunities. Fractional ownership is an unusual feature here.

Jasper Highlands, Chattanooga, TN. Jasper Highlands sits atop the Cumberland Plateau. The development has waterfalls and winding creeks and offers a 50-mile mountain view. Planned amenities in this gated community include a community garden, swimming pool, tennis courts and miles of trails. 

Solivita – Kissimmee, FL. This gated, golf cart-friendly community for active adults includes beautiful lakes and streams. There is a full-time activities director, dozens of classes, social clubs and interest groups. 

Albuquerque Meadows – The community near the foot of the beautiful Sandia Mountains offers carefree 55+ living in affordable manufactured homes. Activities include pool, arts & crafts, exercise programs, bridge, line dancing. Albuquerque Meadows is located .

On Top of the World – Ocala, FL. Founded in 1947, OTOTW is Florida’s oldest privately owned land development. Homeowners enjoy golf, tennis, pickleball, and fitness classes. It also offers an endless stream of concerts, dances, parties, theatre, and get-togethers, as well as more than 175 resident clubs.

Pot Nets – Millsboro, DE. The homes at any of the 6 Pot-Nets neighborhoods is affordable.  Choose from Bayside, Seaside, Dockside, Coveside, Creekide, or Lakeside. There is an array of amenities unlike any other community in the region.

Quail Run – Santa Fe, NM. There are 265 condominium homes with pueblo style architecture, used by residents as either year-round or seasonal homes. There is a nine-hole PGA rated golf course, lighted tennis courts, fitness center and swimming pool. Short or long term rentals are also available.

Green Valley – Arizona. One of the larger active adult communities in the world, Green Valley is actually a collection of 59 developments and communities located in extreme southern Arizona. In addition to myriad amenities, residents enjoy the hiking and birding areas of the nearby Santa Rita Mountains.

Bottom line. The most popular communities represent great diversity from 11 states. Florida came out on top with 6 winners, followed by Tennessee with 3. Georgia and New Mexico had 2.

Comments? We hope you will agree that this years’ winners add some exciting new communities to consider. Could you add some that you think your fellow searchers should consider? Please add them and your comments in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on February 22nd, 2021


  1. Please fix the Green Valley Link. Thanks.

    Comment from John Brady: Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention Craig. It really is helpful when people like you spot problems and bring them to our attention so we can correct them. All set now!

    by Craig — February 24, 2021

  2. I have heard of a few of these communities while investigating many, many during the pandemic -all on online of course. It is quite a diverse list but I was surprised there are no communities on the west coast or even in Las Vegas that made the list. I am not interested in moving there, just an observation as i remember when that was suppose to be a great retirement spot.

    by Golden Oldie — February 24, 2021

  3. We were surprised too about this. Part of it is that more of Topretirements visitors are from the East Coast rather than the Western US. The East also has more famous communities with brand name recognition. A few western communities that were a little further down the list were , and

    by Admin — February 25, 2021

  4. We moved a comment having to do with best places to retire (non-pertinent to active communities) to this Blog for a better fit.

    by Admin — February 25, 2021

  5. I see most places are 55+ but wondering if there are 50+ communities? In the United States?

    Editor response: Great question! The most common designation is 55+, but there are a few communities that choose 50+, 60+, or even 62+. We are not aware of a list of communities that are age restricted to 50+, although there are some communities. Normally an age restriction like this requires only one person in a couple to meet the requirement.

    The Fair Housing Act’s “Housing for Older Persons” Exemptions permits communities to be “age-restricted” to 55+ (or 62+) under certain rules. A big one is that at least 80 percent of the units must have at least one occupant who is 55 years of age or older. The facility or community must publish and adhere to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent to operate as “55 or older” housing.
    The facility or community must also comply with HUD’s regulatory requirements for age verification of residents.

    by Stephen M — January 28, 2022

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