Coastal 55+ Living on the Eastern Seaboard

by Susan Quilty on August 2, 2010

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Boardwalks, beaches and sparkling waters are never far away for retirees on the Eastern Seaboard.

While Florida was once considered the prime retirement destination, today’s active adults are choosing to resettle in communities all along the East Coast. Set on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, these popular regions offer charming beach boardwalks, renowned resort towns, quiet islands, and quaint historic districts.

Here is a look at some of the East Coast’s most popular active adult destinations:

Florida’s Atlantic Coast

From Miami to Jacksonville, Florida’s Atlantic coast offers many retirement hot spots. At Florida’s southeast coast, Fort Lauderdale comes alive with beautiful beaches and a thriving nightlife. Here, popular active adult communities are found in nearby cities such as Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth and Port St. Lucie. In the central portion of the state, Florida’s Space Coast offers ocean living as well as close proximity to all of Orlando’s theme parks, resorts, and cultural attractions. And, on Florida’s northeast coast, relocating active adults can enjoy shopping and fine dining in Jacksonville, tour historic sites in St. Augustine, or watch a race at the nearby Daytona International Speedway.

The Carolinas

Just north of Florida, both North and South Carolina have emerged as popular retirement states. In South Carolina, those longing for coastal living will love choosing an age-restricted or age-targeted community near the resort towns of Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head. Adjacent to Hilton Head, active adults can find secluded beach living at Callawassie Island. In North Carolina, beach loving retirees can enjoy water activities like swimming, snorkeling, boating, fishing and windsurfing at the beautiful coastal areas of Emerald Isle and the Outer Banks.

Virginia Beach

Heading further up the Atlantic Coast, southern Virginia offers several lovely coastal communities. Virginia Beach is popular with active adults as both a vacation spot and a retirement town. With Norfolk and Newport News nearby, this bustling area includes several state parks, two universities, three military bases and numerous historic sites. Only an hour from Virginia Beach, history buffs will love visiting Colonial Williamsburg or settling in the charming Colonial Heritage active adult community.

Mid-Atlantic Area

Though East Coast retirees once flocked to Florida’s sunny shores, many of today’s active adults prefer living in an area that offers all four seasons. The Mid-Atlantic area generally experiences relatively mild winters and hot, sunny summers. In Maryland, The Parke at Ocean Pines offers coastal living near  the resort town of Ocean City. Just across the border in Delaware, a trio of popular coastal towns include Bethany Beach, Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach. Delaware also is home to impressive coastal active adult communities such as Independence in Millsboro and Bay Crossing in Lewes.

The Jersey Shore

Beginning with Cape May at its southern tip and continuing on up to Sandy Hook, the Jersey Shore offers about 130 miles of beautiful beaches. This lovely stretch of the East Coast, which includes the fabulous attractions of Atlantic City, has recently been gaining popularity among both tourists and relocating residents. All along its shores, New Jersey has several inviting coastal active adult communities, such as Four Seasons at Mirage in Barnegat, and The Village Grande at English Mill in Egg Harbor.

These are are just a few of the hot spots dotted along the Atlantic shore. Whether looking for a hot, humid climate or a city that experiences all four seasons, beach lovers can find their dream community on America’s East Coast.

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