10 Great Snowbird Communities

by Bill Ness on December 24, 2012

CantaMia is a 55+ community tucked into the scenic landscape of Goodyear, AZ.

CantaMia is an ideal 55+ snowbird community tucked into the stunning scenic landscape of Goodyear, AZ.

Each winter, many active adult snowbirds close up their homes and head out to spend the season in a warmer climate. Some snowbirds own second homes, some travel in RVs and others prefer to rent their seasonal homes. If you are looking for a winter destination, here are 10 communities we consider hidden gems for snowbirds:

Heritage Palms – Indio, California

Heritage Palms is a guard-gated golf community which will appeal to a wide range of snowbirds with its diverse homes and fabulous amenities. Warm winters provide the perfect weather for outdoor recreations, such as golf, tennis, bocce ball, swimming or just enjoying mountain views from the gorgeous grounds. The spacious clubhouse also offers hobby and game rooms, including an arts and crafts studio and a woodworking shop.

Coral Lakes – Boynton Beach, Florida

Coral Lakes is an affordable gated community just minutes from Southeast Florida’s ocean shore. Though the community has just 365 homes, its 72,000 square-foot clubhouse features many of the amenities found in larger communities. Resident snowbirds will enjoy indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a fitness center, hobby and game rooms, tennis courts, a 600-seat theater, an on-site cafe and much more.

Solera at Anthem – Henderson, Nevada

Solera at Anthem is a smaller Del Webb community which contains around 1,822 homes. Yet, its 24,000 square-foot clubhouse offers amenities such as a fitness center, indoor pool, library and sports courts for tennis and bocce ball. Solera’s affordable homes include both single-family and attached home designs, giving snowbirds many options for comfortable, low-maintenance living.

Rapallo at Coconut Point – Estero, Florida

Though Rapallo at Coconut Point doesn’t have an age restriction, it is a prime tropical retreat for wintering snowbirds. This gated community is set within the larger Coconut Point community which has over 160 shops and restaurants, as well as its own healthcare facilities. Within the Rapallo enclave, residents enjoy a resort-style clubhouse with a fitness center, restaurant, arts and learning center, swimming pools, tennis courts and botanical gardens.

CantaMia – Goodyear, Arizona

With mountain vistas and rolling green hills, CantaMia is a new community which provides snowbirds with a tranquil winter retreat. Activity within the gated community is centered around the spacious clubhouse which opened in March 2011. Here, residents find a state-of-the-art fitness center, an arts and crafts studio, a demonstration kitchen, an Internet cafe, a learning center, and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

Sun City Oro Valley – Tucson, Arizona

Just 20 miles north of Downtown Tucson, Sun City Oro Valley welcomes snowbirds with mountain views, challenging golf and affordable homes. Community amenities are spread across three spacious clubhouses, including a fitness center, hobby and game rooms, and swimming pools. Resident artists enjoy studios designed for a variety of arts and crafts, such as ceramics, lapidary, photography, stained glass and woodworking. Sports courts also keep residents active with pastimes including tennis, pickleball, bocce ball, shuffleboard, racquetball, basketball and horseshoes.

Marbella Lakes – Naples, Florida

Marbella Lakes is popular among Florida snowbirds thanks to its private entry and luxury amenities.

Marbella Lakes is popular among Florida snowbirds thanks to its private entry and luxury amenities.

Built between 2009 and 2012, Marbella Lakes is one of the most popular destinations in the Naples area. This gated community is open to all ages, but retired snowbirds will particularly enjoy the spacious clubhouse and exciting resort-style amenities. Diverse residences include both single-family and attached carriage homes, with floor plans in sizes to meet the needs of many different homebuyers.

Villa Portofino – Palm Desert, California

Set in the heart of the Coachella Valley, Villa Portofino greets resident snowbirds with Mediterranean architecture and lush native landscaping. The community’s affordable, maintenance-free single-family houses make ideal second homes, and the 30,000 square-foot clubhouse provides a wide range of amenities. Residents can enjoy features including an on-site restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness center, hobby and game rooms and an outdoor swimming pool.

Huntington Pointe – Delray Beach, Florida

With 1,096 condos and attached villas, Huntington Pointe is an ideal destination for snowbirds who want affordable, low-maintenance living. The 50,000 square-foot clubhouse also provides a wide range of activities, including dances, theatre performances, variety shows, movie screenings, art classes and special interest club meetings. The fitness center offers several exercise classes and the amenities continue outdoors with swimming pools, tennis courts, shuffleboard and a putting green.

Province – Maricopa, Arizona

The gated Province community offers scenic living with a 50-acre lake and over 30 percent of its grounds dedicated to parks and open spaces. After the initial developer filed for bankruptcy, the community was acquired by Meritage Homes in 2009. This has led to a variety of affordable new and resale homes in both single-family and attached designs. Province also offers a fabulous 32,000 square-foot clubhouse with a wide range of resort-style amenities.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara December 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

CantaMia sounds just wonderful! Please write to me if you live in this community.

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Barbara January 1, 2013 at 11:41 am

Hello, I am also exploring these options. If you would like to compare notes please email me directly at info1@mathinmotion.com
Thanks,
Barbara

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Barbara January 8, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Hi Barbara #2…:)
So happy to know you are looking too!
Today I was checking out Prescott, AZ (Prescott Lakes?)…retirees seem to like this location.

Patrick January 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm

I live in The Province in Maricopa, AZ. Driving into the community was love at first sight! Absolutely beautiful! Lots of water and luscious green space. The people are friendly too. I thought my hand was going to fall off from waving it so much at all the happy residents. Lots of activities for everyone. It’s like Disneyland for adults.

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Goldie January 17, 2013 at 8:43 pm

@Patrick…what made you select “The Province”? Where did you relocate from?

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Patrick January 18, 2013 at 12:03 am

Initially, one of the many things was the Energy Star builder Meritage Homes. In addition, we liked the surrounding of this master planned community. Lots of water and lots of green grounds. Also, the community is guarded and gated. I could go on and on…it’s like living at a resort year around. We moved from Florida. Everyone loves it here and they have looked high and low an active adult communities. The CantaMia in Goodyear, Arizona was started by the same builder.

Goldie January 19, 2013 at 9:55 am

@Patrick…I think I’ll have to plan a visit. It sounds like paradise!

Dean February 4, 2013 at 10:57 am

I’m tied between Canta Mia & Province…

What options are pros/cons – of either one …???

They’re both gorgeous…

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Mindy July 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm

How are the social programs at Province. We like what we see but would be interested in what others like or dislike about this community. Thanks

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Dave August 19, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Dean,
A great consideration is if you wish to live in a very rural area (Maricopa) or in one of the fastest growing parts of the Phoenix valley, west of town (the other one is the southeast).

If you like being “close to the action” move to Goodyear. If you like peace, quiet and not so much traffic head on down to Maricopa. The following may be helpful to you:
http://www.azdot.gov/projects/phoenix-metro-area

Just northeast of Goodyear next to the I 10 are major Phoenix sports complexes, The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, home of the NFL Cardinals and Jobing Sports Arena, home of the NHL Coyotes. It is a great place to live if you love sports. The disadvantage is that the I 10 corridor west of Phoenix is like rush hour traffic all the time, 7 days per week, as it is the major route to Los Angeles, truckers and all. Some consider west Phoenix to be LA east and I have no doubt that many people drive back and forth weekly.

Another option if you prefer rural but want to live close to the stadium and arena but want an “Active Adult” community is Sun City Festival (it is no way near Sun city!), just east of Surprise on the north side of the White Tank Mountains. It is *really* rural there as the nearest full grocery store is 10 minutes away. I am not a promoter for it but I just drove out there a few weeks ago. I live in the SE Valley and it took me an hour and a half to drive there. We have “Active Adult” communities in the East Valley as well. :-)

All of the new building in this valley is unbelievable. It is not unusual now to see new subdivisions with up to a dozen different builders all crammed within 1 square mile. Unfortunately, that makes for what I call “Sardine Can lots.” There are quite a few homes on one-third and even one-half acre but expect to pay $400,000 plus for those. For anything with what the builder considers to be a “view” (a mountain, a valley, or the city lights) you are talking $500,000 plus.

Watch out for exorbitant HOA fees. Keep in mind that amount will almost certainly go up as residents crave more amenities. Finally, do your homework on the internet concerning crime statistics. Some parts of the valley have higher rates than others.

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