Update: September 2015: See our brand new “2015 List of the Most Popular Active Adult Communities.”
September 3, 2014 — When it comes to the states that have the most popular active adult and 55+ communities at Topretirements it is a 7 state race – with Florida far out ahead. Four states had 60 of the 100 most popular communities: Florida (25), Tennessee (12), Delaware (11), and North Carolina (12). Colorado and Massachusetts had their strongest showings ever (10 and 7 respectively) while South Carolina launched 5 communities into the top 100.
With more than 300 active/55+/retirement developments in our database, Florida has more communities than any other state. That is at least one obvious reason for its dominance, along with its warm winter weather and lack of income tax. Delaware continues to have the best representation of any cold winter weather state with 11 communities on the list.
Parsing these results:
– This year’s results support the notion that people are looking at retirement choices beyond the obvious destinations of Florida, Arizona, and the Carolinas. Tennessee, Delaware, and Colorado need to be taken seriously as best places to retire. Even Northeastern states like Massachusetts have appeal, presumably to their residents who don’t want to relocate.
– We love that this list has so many newcomers on it – 38 new communities are on the 2014 list. Part of the reason for that is we continue to add new (and established) communities to our database. As they are added our members who subscribe to the Daily Digest and the 2 Communities newsletters (there is an East and a West edition) get links to them, and those visits count in this popularity contest. You can sign up for those newsletters here.
– For the first time we had a number of non active adult/55+ communities make this list. These CCRCs, Lifecare, and Independent Living communities add a bit of variety, and show that many of our members are looking beyond the active adult lifestyle.
– The Villages, the giant community in Central Florida, once again has the honor of being our #1 most popular active community in the USA. But this year the Indian River Colony Club in Melbourne (FL) gave heated pursuit.
– Note that this year we will be adding a short description to each listing so our members can get a better idea of what type of community it is: active adult, all ages, 55+, independent living, lifecare, etc.
The top 100 communities were chosen on the basis of visitor popularity at Topretirements during the period January 1 to August 31, 2014. The communities whose listings were viewed by our visitors the most (as reported by Google Analytics) were the winners. Please see the end of article for important details on the selection criteria.
And the 2014 winners are:
1. The Villages (The Villages, FL). The Villages sprawls over several counties and has 100,000 residents and 33 golf courses. The Villages page at Topretirements was viewed over 7,000 times by our members and visitors in the 7 month reporting period.
2. Indian River Colony Club* (Melbourne, FL). This community with lake and golf view homes is quite large with 23 lakes, more than 40 clubs, and every amenity including golf course and the At Ease Club.
3. Valencia Lakes* (Tampa, FL). Offers resort lifestyle with its own waterfront recreation area.
4. Fearrington Village* (Chapel Hill, NC). This beautiful community has a 5 star restaurant, single family or town homes, and a Duke affilated CCRC on campus.
5. Millville by the Sea (Bethany Beach, DE). Located next to Bethany Beach makes this a resort community, with a new Lifestyle Center.
6. Palmer Ranch* (Sarasota, FL- New). A master planned community with over 20 neighborhoods as well as business and recreational facilities.
7. Fairways at Savannah Quarters* (Savannah, GA). A gated community for active adults in coastal Georgia, with resort style amenities just steps from your front door.
8. Lake Weir Living (near The Villages, FL). An active adult HOA-free community, where homeowners can design a home to fit their lifestyle.
9. Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, FL) (was #82 in 2013). A master-planned community on 17,500 acres and comprised of seven villages with lakes, parks, open spaces, golf, tennis, clubs, and shops.
10. Tellico Village* (TN). Situated on giant Tellico Lake, this community has 6,750 residents and is open to people of all ages.
11. Talking Rock* (Prescott, AZ). Community offers Ranch cottages, Ranch homes and custom homes, many with mountain views and a beautiful golf course that was designed in harmony with nature.
12. Coquina Crossing* (St. Augustine, FL) (was #26). This 55+ community is made up colorful manufactured homes and offers resort-style amenities.
13. Moore’s Valley(Asheville, NC). A gated community in the Blueridge Mountains, just a few miles from Asheville.
14. The Moorings (Vero Beach, FL). An ocean-to-river club community surrounded by water.
15. Valencia Cove* (Boynton Beach, FL – New). This 55+ community features a 10+ acre recreation area with tennis, pools, and more, plus a 39,000 square foot clubhouse with a full-time lifestyle director.
16. Riverstone* (Naples, FL). An all ages community that offers resort-style living surrounded by lakes and preserves.
18. Laguna Woods Village (Laguna Woods, CA) One of the largest active adult communities on the west coast, just minutes from the Laguna Beach coastline.
19. Toscana (Reno, NV, new). Offers 10 miles of hiking and biking trails within the community’s 861 acres.
20. Crossroads by Jensen Communities* (Aiken, SC – New). A gated, manufactured home community for active adults 55+, and features 1/4 acre treed homesites.
21. The Tides at Charleston (Staten Island, NY). This gated,waterfront community is the first 55+ active adult community in NYC.
22. Silver Sage Village (Boulder, CO). This upscale community is perhaps the most famous co-housing retirement community in the country.
23. Peninsula on the Indian River* (Millsboro, DE). A large 55+ community with Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and every type of amenity.
24. Traditions of America at Bridle Path* (Bethlehem, PA). 55+ lifestyle with resort like amenities and single family homes.
25. Harbour Crest on Lake Chickamauga (Chattanooga, TN). Lakefront community of single family homes.
26. Holly Lake Ranch* (Tyler, TX). Single family, condos, or villas with every type of amenity.
27. Black Creek Mountain (New -Chattanooga, TN). Single family homes, all ages.
28. Lost Dutchman (Apache Junction, AZ – New). Manufactured homes with amenities.
29. The Coves* (Boone, NC). Master planned gated community in the North Carolina mountains.
30. Riverbend (New Castle, DE). Townhomes, single family homes, large clubhouse.
31. Biltmore Lake (Asheville, NC). 500 homes, master planned, different neighborhoods.
32. Ardenwoods (Asheville, NC – New) A Life Care Community
33. Solivita (Kissimmee, FL). 55+ with different home choices and 150,000 sq. ft. of amenities.
34. Sun City (Sun City, AZ). The original active adult community!
35. Meadowbrook Heights (Franklin, MA – New). Townhouses and duplexes.
36. Del Webb Naples* (Ave Maria, FL – New). A community within the exciting new master planned community of Ave Maria.
37. Bay Aristocrat Village (Clearwater, FL). Waterfront mobile home community with 361 lots
38. Village Walk (Bonita Springs, FL). A lakefront community of luxury single-family, patio, and town homes.
39. Cottages at Feathers Chapel (Blountville, TN). Maintenance-free luxury ranch homes with beautiful mountain or lake views.
40. On Top of the World* (Ocala, FL). A huge and very established active community with every conceivable amenity.
41. Rockland Place (Wilmington, DE). Offers independent living, assisted living, and two levels of memory care.
42. Courtyards at Brandywine (Wilmington, DE). A 55+ active adult community offering carriage homes.
43. Penn National* (Chambersburg, PA). Named one of the “50 Best Master-Planned Retirement Communities in the US” by Where to Retire Magazine
44. Balsam Mountain Preserve (Asheville, NC – New). Mountain view homesites with elevations up to 4,700 feet.
45. Reserve at Lake Shore (Chattanooga, TN – New). Waterfront rental apartment homes.
46. Avery Ranch (Austin, TX). A large master-planned community with over 4,000 homes.
47. Carillon at Boulder Creek (Boulder, CO – New). A community of rental apartments in the heart of Boulder that offers independent and assisted living.
48. Tollgate Village (Franklin, TN). A master-planned community of cottages, townhomes, and custom homes.
49. Heritage Shores (Bridgeville, DE). Features an Arthur Hills championship golf course and energy efficient homes.
50. Lawton Station* (Bluffton, SC). A private, gated community located in the Lowcountry of South Carolina near the beaches of Hilton Head.
51. The Villages at Brookside (Bedford, MA – New). Energy star rated homes that feature traditional Cape Cod style exteriors.
52. Cascades of Sarasota (Sarasota, FL) A 55+ gated community with resort-style amenities.
53. The Orchard Villas (Apex, NC) 55+ community offering one-story living.
54. Bay Forest (Bethany Beach, DE). An all ages master-planned community close to the beach.
55. Wynmoor by the Sea (Coconut Creek, FL – New). A large 55+ community of condominiums.
56. Lofts at Mica Village (Asheville, NC). Loft-style living in an eco-friendly community.
57. Angola by the Bay (Lewes, DE). An all ages waterfront community with marina.
58. Bridgemore (Knoxville, TN). An upscale community of single family homes for all ages.
59. Bay Indies* (Venice, FL – New). A large manufactured home community for active adults 55+, close to the beaches of Venice.
60. Southern Palms* (Ladson, SC). A gated, manufactured home community for 55+.
61. Palmas del Mar (Humacao, Puerto Rico). A waterfront resort community.
62. Del Webb Village at Deaton Creek* (Hoschton, GA). A 55+ community for active adults that offers the charm of the north Georgia mountains, and all the amenities.
63. Four Seasons at Silver Maple (Middletown, DE). A new active adult community offering one level living.
64. Fairfield Glade (TN). A very large master planned community of over 8,000 residents with its own zip code.
65. Brunswick Forest* (Wilmington, NC). All age community centered around an active golf community lifestyle.
66. Antelope Ridge (Colorado Springs, CO – New). A community of energy efficient, manufactured ranch homes.
67. MacKenzie Place (Colorado Springs, CO – New). Independent and Assisted Living.
68. Albuquerque Meadows (Albuquerque, NM – New). Carefree senior (55+) community living in affordable manufactured homes.
69. Bonita Fairways (Bonita Springs, FL). Single family and condo homes with executive golf course. Rentals.
70. Willow Springs Reserve (Johnson City, TN). Custom one-level Villas with no steps and a host of features. Clubhouse.
71. Gulf Coast Village (Cape Coral, FL). A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that is non-profit and faith-based.
72. Boca del Mar (Boca Raton, FL – New). Large Master planned, All ages.
73. Down Yonder* (Largo, FL – New). RV/Mobile Homes.
74. Wildflowers at Wallkill (Middletown, NY). Single family homes in a gated, active 55+ community.
75. Alexian Grove (Chattanooga, TN – New). Rentals, Independent Living
76. Cascades Verdae (Greenville, SC – New). Continuing Care
77. Holiday Village Colorado (Colorado Springs, CO – New). Manufactured homes and many amenities
78. Bayfront at Rehoboth (Lewes, DE). Waterfront, single family homes.
79. Ramona Park Senior Apartments (Long Beach, CA – New). Low and medium income rental apartments
80. Valencia Reserve (Boynton Beach, FL). A gated, 55+ community offering single family homes.
81. Fuller Village in Milton (Milton, MA – New). Non-profit independent living
82. The Ponds* (Summerville, SC – New). An all ages master planned community in an idyllic and historic Lowcountry setting.
83. Heritage Hill Country (Fredericksburg, TX – New). 55+, single family homes
84. The Avenues at Crofton Park (Broomfield, CO – New). 55+ independent living
85. Crystal Lakes (Fort Myers, FL). Manufactured homes
86. North Hill* (Needham, MA – New). Lifecare community
87. Del Webb at Alegria* (Albuquerque, NM – New). 55+ single family homes
88. The Village at Russell Farm (Methuen, MA – New). A 55+ community offering single floor living and a maintenance-free lifestyle.
89. Biltmore Park Town Square (Asheville, NC). Mixed use, all ages
90. Serendipity (N. Fort Myers, FL – New). 55+ Manufactured homes)
91. Huckins Farms (Bedford, MA – New). All ages
92. The Manor at Steeplechase (Franklin, TN – New). 55+ independent living
93. Steiner Ranch (Austin, TX). Large master planned, all ages
94. Halfway Tree Mobile Home Park (Hendersonville, NC). Mobile homes with amenities.
95. Del Webb Carolina Preserve* (Charlotte, NC – New). Large, 55+, single family homes
96. Heritage Creek (Lewes, DE). Single family homes, condos
97. Balancing Rock (Holliston, MA – New). 55+ single family homes
98. Kinzel Springs (Maryville, TN). All ages, single family homes
99. Brooke View (ID – New). 55+ manufactured homes
100. Sedona Shadows* (Sedona, AZ). 55+ manufactured homes
101. Sunflower (Fort Collins, CO – New). 55+ manufactured homes
* Topretirements Advertiser
Here is a link to more than 2800 more active adult communities at Topretirements, by state.
How these results were compiled:
– This list is essentially a popularity contest. The more times a community’s page was visited on our site, the higher it placed in the rankings. We believe this is an approximate indication of baby boomers’ interest in these respective communities, which they might or might not have heard of before.
– Many of the active adult communities making the list are in towns that are 100 best places to retire at Topretirements. Communities listed with those towns have a better chance of making the list.
– Many of our Topretirements advertisers, who were no doubt aided by their preferred positioning on our site, made the top 100 list. Advertiser communities are identified by an *
– Finally, some of the larger, incorporated communities have additional, higher profile pages on our site, which also helps them in the rankings. Those include The Villages, Tellico Village, Hot Springs Village, Laguna Woods, etc.
For Further Reading:
“2015 List of the Most Popular Active Adult Communities.”
Our 2013 List of the 100 Most Popular Active and 55+ Communities
Our 2012 List of the 100 Most Popular Active Adult Communities
See all the articles we have written about active adult communities in our blog.
Why the Villages is Perfect for Len and Ann
Most Popular Places to Retire for 2015
10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Into a Retirement Community
What are your impressions of this list? Do you live in one of these choices are have you checked some out? Is there a community (but not one you work for!) that you felt is overlooked? Please share your observations with your fellow members in the Comments section below.