October 3, 2015 — The think we love the most about the 2015 list of the most popular active communities at Topretirements is that there are so many newcomers – 36 communities are new to it this year! It is great that there are so many new faces – even more interesting places for our Members to explore. Another huge piece of news from the 2015 results is that our long-time, undefeated, #1 community, The Villages, was narrowly edged out of first place by another perennial top 10 finisher, Fearrington Village near Chapel Hill, NC. The 2 communities could not be more different – in scale, amenities, and feel – it’s refreshing to see such variation in the choices available to retiring baby boomers.
Speaking of diversity
The 2015 list has some unusual and exotic choices for retirement as well. There is the Shanti Nketan community (#69), which is for people of Indian descent. The Village of Wildflowers (#70) offers cottage co-housing in Hendersonville, NC. Traditions at Bella Casa (#87) has what Lennar calls Next Gen – The Home Within a Home. It is for those with multiple generations of family members living under one roof. Observatory Village (#99) in Fort Collins, Colorado is an all ages community that boasts a working Stargazer Observatory. There is also a community for gay and LGBT retirees on the list, Palms of Manasota (#40), although the community now seems to be defunct (although existing homes there are for sale).
Once again this year we had a number of non active adult/55+ communities hitting the list. These CCRCs, Lifecare, and Independent Living communities show that many of our members are looking beyond the active adult lifestyle to the next stage.
Most popular states
When it comes to the states that have the most popular active adult and 55+ communities at Topretirements it is a 6 state race – with Florida far out ahead. 75 of the 100 most popular communities came from these 6: Arizona (9), Colorado (9), Delaware (13), Florida (26), North Carolina (13), and Tennessee (5). While all of these states are not technically in the Sunbelt, they are certainly in the warmer parts of the U.S.
Florida, which has hundreds of active/55+/retirement developments from 115 towns in our database, has way more communities than any other state. That abundance is at least one obvious reason for its dominance, along with warm winter weather and lack of income tax. Once again Delaware, with 13 communities on the list, has the best representation of any cold winter weather state. But even a Northeastern state like Massachusetts has 2 communities making it to the top 100, probably appealing to its residents who don’t want to relocate.
The top 100 communities were chosen on the basis of visitor popularity at Topretirements during the period January 1 to October 1, 2015 as reported by Google Analytics. The communities whose listings were viewed by our visitors the most were the winners. Please see the end of article for more details on the selection criteria.
And the 2015 winners are:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Millville by the Sea (Bethany Beach, DE). Located next to Bethany Beach makes this a resort community, with a new Lifestyle Center.
6. Coquina Crossing* (St. Augustine, FL) (was #26). This 55+ community is made up colorful manufactured homes and offers resort-style amenities.
7. 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.
8. Crossroads by Jensen Communities* (Aiken, SC – New). A gated, manufactured home community for active adults 55+, and features 1/4 acre treed homesites.
9. 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.
10. Silver Sage Village (Boulder, CO). This upscale community is perhaps the most famous co-housing retirement community in the country.
11. Tellico Village* (TN). Situated on giant Tellico Lake, this community has 6,750 residents and is open to people of all ages.
12.Heritage Hill Country (Fredericksburg, TX). 55+, single family homes (up from #83).
13. Valencia Cove* (Boynton Beach, FL). 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.
14. Brightmore of South Charlotte. (New). This is a very unusual result for the #14 spot, since it is an assisted living facility and not an active adult community. Located in the popular retirement area of Charlotte, must have something interesting about it to have placed it so high.
15. Del Webb Naples* (Ave Maria, FL). A community within the exciting new master planned community of Ave Maria.
16. Woodside Plantation New*. This very large community in beautiful Aiken, SC, offers world-class amenities and a range of home types from villas to single family homes.
17.Ardenwoods (Asheville, NC) A Life Care Community
18. Riverbend (New Castle, DE). Townhomes, single family homes, large clubhouse.
19. Bay Indies* (Venice, FL). A large manufactured home community for active adults 55+, close to the beaches of Venice.
20. Traditions of America at Bridle Path* (Bethlehem, PA). 55+ lifestyle with resort like amenities and single family homes.
21. Shady Lane Oaks* (New). A 55+ manufactured home community in Clearwater, Florida with a clubhouse and many activities.
22. Wildflowers at Wallkill (Middletown, NY). Single family homes in a gated, active 55+ community.
23. Harbour Crest on Lake Chickamauga (Chattanooga, TN). Lakefront community of single family homes.
24. Sedona Shadows* (Sedona, AZ). 55+ manufactured homes. Up from #99
25. Down Yonder* (Largo, FL). RV/Mobile Homes.
26. Quail Hollow* (New). An RV/manufactured home community beautiful views of Mt.Hood.
27. Balsam Mountain Preserve* (Asheville, NC). Mountain view homesites with elevations up to 4,700 feet.
28. Meadowbrook Heights (Franklin, MA). Townhouses and duplexes.
29. Holiday Village Colorado* (Colorado Springs, CO). Manufactured homes and many amenities
30. Lost Dutchman* (Apache Junction, AZ). Manufactured homes with amenities.
31. Laguna Woods Village (Laguna Woods, CA) One of the largest active adult communities on the west coast, just minutes from the Laguna Beach coastline.
32. Peninsula on the Indian River* (Millsboro, DE). A large 55+ community with Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and every type of amenity.
33. Black Creek Mountain (Chattanooga, TN). Single family homes, all ages.
34. Milltown Village (New). This active adult community near Wilmington, DE is made up of European-inspired homes and single level living with low maintenance.
35. Moore’s Valley(Asheville, NC). A gated community in the Blueridge Mountains, just a few miles from Asheville.
36. Halfway Tree Mobile Home Park (Hendersonville, NC). Mobile homes with amenities.
37. Smith Ranch Homes (New). A luxury gated community of condominium and villa homes in San Rafael, California.
38. 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.
39. Carillon at Boulder Creek (Boulder, CO). A community of rental apartments in the heart of Boulder that offers independent and assisted living.
40. Palms of Manasota (New). The first gay and LGBT active community in America (1994). Located between St. Pete and Sarasota. Does not appear that this community is still active, as they have no website. You can find homes for sale in the community by searching online.
41. Penn National* (Chambersburg, PA). Named one of the “50 Best Master-Planned Retirement Communities in the US”.
42. Bay Forest (Bethany Beach, DE). An all ages master-planned community close to the beach.
43. Lake Weir Living (near The Villages, FL). An active adult HOA-free community, where homeowners can design a home to fit their lifestyle.
44. Palmer Ranch (Sarasota, FL). A master planned community with over 20 neighborhoods as well as business and recreational facilities.
45. Avery Ranch (Austin, TX). A large master-planned community with over 4,000 homes.
46. Antelope Ridge (Colorado Springs, CO). A community of energy efficient, manufactured ranch homes.
47. Valencia Lakes* (Tampa, FL). Offers resort lifestyle with its own waterfront recreation area.
48. Windmill Manor* (New). A manufactured home community by Equity Lifestyle in Bradenton, FL.
49. MacKenzie Place (Colorado Springs, CO). Independent and Assisted Living.
50. Tollgate Village (Franklin, TN). A master-planned community of cottages, townhomes, and custom homes.
51.Brooke View 55+ manufactured homes in Boise, ID.
52. Village Walk (Bonita Springs, FL). A lakefront community of luxury single-family, patio, and town homes.
53. Sun Valley, AZ* (New). A friendly 55+ manufactured home community with Lost Dutchman State Park nearby, which offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and campsites on the western side of Superstition Mountain.
54. Highlands at Dove Mountain* (New). A gated community that overlooks the city lights of Tucson at an elevation of 3,000 feet, making summers cooler than other southern Arizona areas and outdoor activity available year-round.
55. The Moorings (Vero Beach, FL). An ocean-to-river club community surrounded by water.
56. Albuquerque Meadows (Albuquerque, NM). Carefree senior (55+) community living in affordable manufactured homes.
57. Pine Canyon* (New). A stunning, 600+ acre private golf community nestled in Flagstaff, Arizona’s charming high country amidst the breathtaking Coconino National Forest.
58. Avondale at Lawton Station* (Bluffton, SC). A private, gated community located in the Low Country of South Carolina near the beaches of Hilton Head.
59. Angola by the Bay (Lewes, DE). An all ages waterfront community with marina.
60. Del Webb Carolina Preserve (New). Del Webb’s very large active adult community in Cary, North Carolina. 34,000 square foot clubhouse features a state-of-the-art fitness, heated indoor pool, ballroom, and a stadium kitchen.
61. Rocky Mountain Village (New). Condo apartments in lovely Evergreen, Colorado.
62. Solivita (Kissimmee, FL). 55+ with different home choices and 150,000 sq. ft. of amenities.
63. The Landings* (New). A luxurious private island community near charming Savannah, GA.
64. Encore at Eastmark* (New). A 3,200-acre community in Mesa, Arizona, with tree-lined sidewalks, and walking and biking pathways. The neighborhoods intersect with park areas
65. Heritage Shores (Bridgeville, DE). Features an Arthur Hills championship golf course and energy efficient homes.
66. Parkview Villas at Golden (New). A 55+ community of 100 beautiful patio homes in Golden, CO along the foothills of the mountains. Prices start in the mid $200’s and go into the $300’s. The homes are clustered around courtyards.
67. Shangri La* (New). A manufactured home community in beautiful Largo, Florida. With many amenities, it is just 10 minutes away from beaches.
68. La Casa Blanca* (New). A manufactured home community in the low key community of Apache Junction, AZ.
69. Shanti Niketan (Mount Dora, FL – New). Certainly one of the more interesting communities on this list, Shanti Niketan offers condos and a lifestyle for people who don’t want to return to India for retirement.
70. The Village of Wildflowers (New). In Flat Rock, North Carolina, is a unique cottage cohousing community for all ages. Residents help make the decisions on how they will live together and care for each other’s welfare.
71. Firefly Cove at Lake Lure (New). Offering a waterfront and mountain lifestyle in western NC. Residents can enjoy the Village Commons area with lodge and swimming pool. The community also has a Boathouse, Canoe and Kayak Area.
72. Mountain Meadows (New). Based on the Craftsman movement, Mountain Meadows is a 55+ retirement community with condos in the Shakespeare Capital of America, Ashland, Oregon.
73. Four Seasons at Silver Maple (Middletown, DE). A new active adult community offering one level living.
74. Cottages at Feathers Chapel (Blountville, TN). Maintenance-free luxury ranch homes with beautiful mountain or lake views.
75. Courtyards at Brandywine (Wilmington, DE). A 55+ active adult community offering carriage homes.
76. The Coves* (Boone, NC). Master planned gated community in the North Carolina mountains.
77. Willow Springs Reserve (Johnson City, TN). Custom one-level Villas with no steps and a host of features. Clubhouse.
78. Preserve at Lakeshore (New). Enjoy Kissimmee, FL while living in a 3-4 bedroom home from high $100’s. Amenities include clubhouse with recreation room, fitness center, swimming pool, dog parks, tennis courts, walking trails.
79. Montesa at Gold Canyon* (Apache Junction, AZ – New). 55+ manufactured home community with a 2,700+ square-foot fitness center, water volleyball, shuffleboard, horseshoes and billiards, tennis courts.
80. Gulf Coast Village (Cape Coral, FL). A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that is non-profit and faith-based.
81. Rockland Place (Wilmington, DE). Offers independent living, assisted living, and two levels of memory care.
82. Biltmore Lake (Asheville, NC). 500 homes, master planned, different neighborhoods.
83. Cascades of Sarasota (Sarasota, FL) A 55+ gated community with resort-style amenities.
84. Bayfront at Rehoboth (Lewes, DE). Waterfront, single family homes.
85. On Top of the World* (Ocala, FL). A huge and very established active community with every conceivable amenity.
86. Sunflower (Fort Collins, CO). 55+ manufactured homes
87. Traditions at Bella Casa (Apex, NC – New). This community offers housing Lennar calls Next Gen-The Home Within a Home. The Next Gen house is for those with multiple generations of family members living under one roof.
88. Hawkstone (New). A gated golf course community in the heart of McCormick Woods, a community in Port Orchard, Washington.
89. Pot-Nets* (Millsboro, DE – New). There are 6 affordable Pot-Nets neighborhoods.
For over 50 years, generations of families have enjoyed the simple pleasures of living in a land lease Pot-Nets Neighborhood along the Delaware Inland Bays.
90. Bay Colony (New). An established, low key community near Apalachicola, FL.
91. Del Webb at Alegria* (Albuquerque, NM – New). 55+ single family homes
92. Soleil Laurel Canyon* (New). A private and gated low-maintenance community in the beauty of the North Georgia foothills.
93. Myrtle Beach Resort (New). A 33 acre oceanfront resort community for all ages that consists of approximately 1000 privately owned Myrtle Beach, SC condos.
94. Boca Chase (New). Built in the early 1980’s, this non age-restricted community near Boca Raton with 25 acre lake has over 1400 single-family homes, villas and townhomes in 10 subdivisions.
95. Bayside* (New). Voted “Delaware’s Community of the Year” in 2015, This master-planned waterfront resort golf community is located along the Assawoman Bay near Fenwick Island.
96. Winds of St. Armand* (New). An active adult, manufactured home community situated in a tropical, quiet setting in Sarasota, Florida.
97. North Hill* (Needham, MA). Lifecare community
98. Touchmark at Meadow Lake Village (New). A retirement community located in the Treasure Valley, Meadow Lake Village offers lifestyle options, including independent living, assisted living, and home health care.
99. Observatory Village (New). You don’t have to be an avid astronomer to appreciate Observatory Village in Fort Collins, Colorado, but this all ages community does boast a working Stargazer Observatory.
100. Biltmore Park Town Square (Asheville, NC). Mixed use, all ages
* Topretirements Advertiser
Here is a link to more than 3100 more active adult communities at Topretirements, findable by state and city.
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 hitting the top 100 are located in towns on the 100 best places to retire list 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 *
– 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.
– Another reason why so many communities are new to the list is that 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 Further Reference:
Florida Dominates 2014 Top 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
Move Over Asheville: Most Popular Places to Retire for 2016
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 that you felt is overlooked? Please share your observations with your fellow members in the Comments section below.