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100 Most Popular 55+ Communities for 2016

by Mayra Rocha on 36 Comments

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Check out the profiles of the top ten communities followed by a list of communities rounding out the top 100.

Check out the profiles of the top ten communities followed by a list of communities rounding out the top 100.

Each year 55 Places reveals its prestigious list of the 100 most popular active adult communities in the country. These communities earned their spot based on the number of visitors to each community’s page on 55places.com over the past year. Check out our list of the communities that active adults choose to call home.


1. The Villages – The Villages, FL

As the largest 55+ community in the country, it’s no surprise that The Villages retains its number one spot for the past four years in a row. This 56,000-home development features 48 recreation centers, 35 golf courses, more than 50 swimming pools, as well as town centers with retail shops, banks, and restaurants. Truly unique in its breathtaking size, this active adult community has everything retirees could want or need within its boundaries.

2. On Top of the World – Ocala, FL

Another Central Florida favorite is On Top of the World in Ocala. This active adult community provides retirees with more than 200 clubs, events, and activities that keep residents social and busy any day of the week. With plans to build 10,000 homes, this 55+ retirement destination continues to offer great floor plans at affordable prices, attracting Baby Boomers from across the country. On Top of the World is also renowned for its world-class amenities that include multiple clubhouses and outdoor recreational facilities.

3. Sun City Hilton Head – Bluffton, SC

This award-winning Del Webb active adult community offers resort-style amenities and quality homes nestled within the semi-tropical low country of South Carolina. Sun City Hilton Head features a 45-acre town center and amenity complex as well as three 18-hole golf courses, providing residents with unmatched resort-style living.

4. Sun City Center – Sun City Center, FL

This popular age-restricted community in the Tampa Bay area continues to be a favorite among retirees. Sun City Center opened in 1961 and has more than 11,000 residents. Luxurious amenities, reasonably priced homes, and a vibrant social atmosphere are what keeps this 55+ development buzzing with new homeowners every year.

5. Sun City Huntley – Huntley, IL

Sun City Huntley is a Midwest jewel offering low-maintenance homes and a rich lineup of amenities that provide retirees with an active and social environment. This age-restricted community is spread across 2,300 acres of lush landscaping with a 94,000 square-foot clubhouse and more than 80 clubs and interest groups. It’s no surprise that this active adult development continues to be a hit among the 55+ crowd looking to retire in the Chicago area.

6. Sun City Carolina Lakes – Fort Mill, SC

Coming in at number six is Sun City Carolina Lakes in Fort Mill, South Carolina. This active adult community by Del Webb features a world-class 40,000 square-foot clubhouse, an 18-hole golf course, low-maintenance homes, and a long list of social clubs. Retirees will never have a dull moment in this vibrant 55+ community.

7. Holiday City at Berkeley – Toms River, NJ

Making it to this year’s top ten list is Holiday City at Berkeley in Toms River, New Jersey. It is the largest 55+ communities in New Jersey and is comprised of different neighborhoods within its boundaries. This established active adult community was developed between 1969 and 1996 and contains more than 10,000 single-family homes. Retirees enjoy a low-maintenance lifestyle as well as six clubhouses that provide a variety of amenities and activities.

8. Solivita – Kissimmee, FL

Solivita in Central Florida takes the number eight spot this year. This 4,300-acre master-planned community features award-winning home designs, an assortment of amenity centers, two 18-hole golf courses, as well as a long list of classes, activities, and events. Solivita also provides a beautiful, natural setting with picturesque lakes and wooded preserves that continue to draw active adults from all walks of life.

9. Sun City – Sun City, AZ

As the first 55+ development in the country, Sun City in Arizona continues to be one of the most popular active adult communities to this day. This vibrant community features a diverse collection of low-maintenance homes designed by renowned builder Del Webb. Not only are the homes affordable, but Sun City’s countless indoor and outdoor amenities along with its social atmosphere truly make this 55+ community the ideal place for residents to make the most out of their retirement.

10. Oak Run – Ocala, FL

Rounding out the top ten spot is Oak Run in Ocala, Florida. This active adult community was developed between 1985 and 2007 and consists of 3,509 homes. Oak Run was designed to fit the active lifestyles of Baby Boomers by providing multiple recreational facilities that keep them physically fit and socially engaged. Residents have a variety of indoor and outdoor amenities like game rooms, fitness centers, outdoor pools, horseshoe pits, shuffleboard courts, sand volleyball courts, and an 18-hole championship golf course to keep them busy any day of the week.

11. Sun City Summerlin – Las Vegas, NV

12. Laguna Woods Village – Laguna Woods, CA

13. Stone Creek – Ocala, FL

14. Sun City Lincoln Hills – Lincoln, CA

15. Sun City Texas – Georgetown, TX

16. Del Webb Charleston – Summerville, SC

17. Kings Point – Sun City Center, FL

18. Sun City Anthem – Hendersonville, NV

19. Carolina Preserve – Cary, NC

20. Del Webb Ponte Vedra – Ponte Vedra, FL

21. Carillon – Plainfield, IL

22. Renaissance Manchester – Manchester, NJ

23. Century Village at Deerfield Beach – Deerfield Beach, FL

24. Timber Pines – Spring Hill, FL

25. Concordia – Monroe, NJ

26. Lakeside Crossing – Conway, SC

27. Sun City Grand – Surprise, AZ

28. Valencia Lakes – Wimauma, FL

29. Pelican Preserve – Fort Myers, FL

30. Villages of Citrus Hills – Hernando, FL

31. Greenbriar Woodlands – Toms River, NJ

32. Spruce Creek Country Club – Summerfield, FL

33. Sun City West – Sun City West, AZ

34. Rossmoor Village – Monroe, NJ

35. Frisco Lakes – Frisco, TX

36. Southshore Falls – Apollo Beach, FL

37. Sun City Roseville – Roseville, CA

38. Leisure Village West – Manchester, NJ

39. Lake Providence – Mt. Juliet, TN

40. Kings Point in Delray Beach – Delray Beach, FL

41. Clearbrook – Monroe, NJ

42. Sun City Palm Desert – Palm Desert, CA

43. Lake Ridge – Toms River, NJ

44. Westlake Golf & Country Club – Jackson, NJ

45. Sweetwater – Jacksonville, FL

46. Hill Country Retreat – San Antonio, TX

47. Sun City Festival – Buckeye, AZ

48. Del Webb Naples – Ave Maria, FL

49. Greenbriar – Monroe, NJ

50. The Elms of Charleston – Charleston, SC

51. Plantation at Leesburg – Leesburg, FL

52. St. James Plantation – Southport, NC

53. Sun Lakes – Sun Lakes, AZ

54. Robson Ranch Texas – Denton, TX

55. Stonecrest – Summerfield, FL

56. Sun City Peachtree – Griffin, GA

57. Four Seasons at Lakewood – Lakewood, NJ

58. Rossmoor – Walnut Creek, CA

59. Four Seasons at Beaumont – Beaumont, CA

60. Ocala Palms – Ocala, FL

61. Century Village at Pembroke Pines – Pembroke Pines, FL

62. Heritage Isle – Viera, FL

63. Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club – San Antonio, FL

64. Cresswind at Lake Lanier – Gainesville, GA

65. Four Seasons at Mirage – Barnegat, NJ

66. Pebblecreek – Goodyear, AZ

67. Century Village at Boca Raton – Boca Raton, FL

68. Four Seasons at Gold Hill – Fort Mill, SC

69. Kings Ridge – Clermont, FL

70. The Colony – Murrieta, CA

71. SunRiver St. George – St. George, UT

72. Sun City Mesquite – Mesquite, NV

73. Oceana – Oceanside, CA

74. Anthem Ranch – Broomfield, CO

75. Trilogy at Rio Vista – Rio Vista, CA

76. SaddleBrooke – Tucson, AZ

77. Del Webb Orlando – Davenport, FL

78. Village at Deaton Creek – Hoschton, GA

79. Lely Resort – Naples, FL

80. Spruce Creek South – Summerfield, FL

81. Siena – Las Vegas, NV

82. Lake Ashton – Lake Wales, FL

83. The Fairways at Lake Ridge – Lakewood, NJ

84. Tellico Village – Loudon, TN

85. Canal Walk – Somerset, NJ

86. Sun City Shadow Hills – Indio, CA

87. Leisure Knoll – Manchester, NJ

88. Cascades at St. Lucie West – Port St. Lucie, FL

89. Prescott Lakes – Prescott, AZ

90. Carillon Club – Naperville, IL

91. Sun Lakes Country Club – Banning, CA

92. Wellington at Seven Hills – Spring Hill, FL

93. Greenbriar I – Brick, NJ

94. Casta Del Sol – Mission Viejo, CA

95. Heritage Hills – Clermont, FL

96. Trilogy at Encanterra – Queen Creek, AZ

97. Four Seasons at Manalapan – Manalapan, NJ

98. Royal Highlands – Leesburg, FL

99. Heritage Shores – Bridgeville, DE

100. Sierra Canyon – Reno, NV

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  1. From #11 thru #100 you don’t have the locations named, could you maybe arrange by State? I don’t want to have to go through 89 places when I am only interested in the West. Thank you

  2. There is a growing demographic of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren which the retirement communities exclude. My hope is one day there is room for all extended families.

    1. Can I ask, why after selecting an age restricted community because it meets with their social and community needs you want to then ignore the rest of the community’s rules and include under age children? The pace is slower and memories are of a time before their parents were born.

      Let the kids come visit be be respectful of those that came to play billards or cards, use the fitness facility and bocce courts without little tikes becoming injured because the areas are not child-proofed.

    2. Then these people shouldn’t even consider living in a retirement community — they should be living in an “all-age” community.

    3. That is not what a 55 and older community is about. Most all of us have raised our families and enjoy the freedom and strrssfree lifestyle of no childern. I believe there are two options for you. 1) Mainstream where even the childern are more happy or 2) Create your own over 55 community with childern permitted for a long period

  3. When I was much younger, I thought a Del Webb community wasn’t the type of place I wanted to live. Now, we live in Sun City Shadow Hills, Indio, CA, and we love it. It was the best place for us after touring the entire Palm Springs area.

    1. FYI
      Bonnie and Hank sell here, so a positive review is to their benefit.

      However, the Board and mamgement company have changed this from a Del Webb style to autocratic style, so dig deeper, and go beyond the PR, which is what this site is.

  4. I’m curious how these developments get on the list. There are many wonderful places on this list; however, there is one (in the top 30) that probably shouldn’t be there at all! There was picketing and threats of class action suits. Lots of resales, and unhappy homeowners, etc. I know from experience since I live there. Not as popular as you think! Please do your homework.

    1. The communities on our Most Popular list earn their spots based on the number of visitors to each community’s page on our site in the past year, so popularity is determined by our audience. Thanks for your input!

    2. Are you talking about LAkeside Crossing? My husband and I were thinking of buying there, but heard about the floods and picketing…what gives? Please let us know.

      1. I just visited Lakeside Crossing and was so impressed that I don’t think I need to look anywhere else. There have been many mixed reviews about this property but I believe the negativity comes from people that do NOT do their homework.

  5. Most of the communities are beautiful but we don’t want to buy a house-we want to rent villa, townhouse or condo in a 55+ community. How do we find locations for these in the Tampa area in Florida?

    1. Hi Nan,

      Thanks for reaching out! Our site deals in sales, not rentals, but you can check out some tips on finding a rental here.

      Best of luck!

      Samantha – 55Places.com

    2. I live in Sun City Center, FL, and I am enjoying an annual rental contract in a house that someone bought years ago, to offer as rental property. The house is 1565 square feet. Lots of space for one or two people. Plenty of short-time and long-time rentals of all sizes here at any time!

  6. Word of advise, stay at the community frequently with the offers. Walk around neighborhood and watch behavior of the population. Go around and in amenities without your branded golf cart and bright colored visitor ID. You will surely see the typical without the fake fronts. ‘Super neighborly’ when association doesn’t give a crap about ‘your so called great neighbors’ letting their dogs relieve themselves all over others lawns and landscaping. Not to even mention the damage they cause to the community properties. All when its well stated in rules and regs AND the community pays for a dog park fully equipped including poop bags. All the while, this community shows up on this list??? We have certainly learned our lesson to do a deeper investigation of any possible future 55+ community.

  7. Check out the newest Robson community in Oracle, AZ. Top notch amenities with golf, 24 new pickleball courts and much more. Higher elevation gives it year round good weather for all the fun activities.

  8. On Top of the world Ocala…..have all, circle square is great, with places for eat, live music, a good theater with good shows, 3 golf courses just for 2000 houses, 4 club hauses and one of them very complete, The residents are great. The best place for live.

  9. we bought in what was called an active adult community, we have 1300 homes, there is a 18 hole golf course with the other amenities there are approx 300 golfers who hold the rest of the community hostage to support the golf course
    i will never buy in a golf community againi consider this as the worse place we have ever lived

  10. I don’t agree with this list at all. I bet all The above listed have golf courses. There are many +55 great communities without golf courses.

    1. Thanks for reaching out! This list was compiled based on popularity, or how many times our audience visited these pages. For a list of the best communities of 2015, you can see this post.

      Best of luck in your search!

      Samantha – 55Places.com

  11. I don’t agree with this list. I bet all the listed have golf courses. Many great +55 communities don’t have golf courses.

  12. Don’t take this list serious. I have no idea the criteria for making the list but it’s all messed up. Do your own research.

  13. I agree that you should stay at one you are considering, go ” incognito” without a sales person ( they won’t show you any problems), talk to the locals to assess their satisfaction…we looked seriously at one for several years until one day hubby got in conversation with four locals and learned of serious craftsmanship and builders issues, all were sorry theyd bought. Now live in The Villages ( 11 years) where every day ” it’s a beautiful day in The Villages! “. (Now building a family village so extended families can be nearby.). As for golf courses I would say that even tho we have 603 holes of golf we are first known as a golf CART community, over 100 miles of golf cart paths, tho its said over 60% have never been on a golf course! I can drive forever …to medical, shopping, church, everything, and never have to give up our independence.

  14. How can the #52 St. James Plantation, Southport, NC be a 55+ community when it says no age restrictions in the info?

    1. Hi J,

      Thanks for your question! In addition to age restricted communities, we also list what we call “age targeted” communities, or neighborhoods where the amenities are especially sought-after among 55+ homebuyers. All such communities are labeled on their community pages.


      Samantha – 55Places.com

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