There is so much to consider when looking for a home in an active adult community. Is the location convenient? Will I have to do yard work? How social is the community? What are the HOA fees? And of course, what is the clubhouse like?
The clubhouse is the focal point and social center of a 55+ community. It’s home to amenities inside and out, such as billiards rooms, ballrooms, and bocce ball courts. It’s where you’ll find new hobbies and rediscover former ones. It’s where you’ll meet your neighbors and create lasting, lifelong friendships.
Every year, developers are pushing the envelope to build the most modern, cutting-edge clubhouses for active adults. There are certain musts that active adults desire in their community’s clubhouse, including state-of-the-art fitness centers, pools, and gathering rooms. However, some builders are going above and beyond to deliver resort-style clubhouses with day spas, movie theaters, restaurants, and game lounges.
That’s why we at 55 Places have looked through thousands of active adult communities to find the best clubhouses of 2018. To do this we explored and toured countless clubhouses across the country and factored in various data points. Some of the clubhouses included might not be age-restricted but they all serve active adult communities, either specifically or as part of a larger master-planned community. You can find our methodology here.
This is our third year naming the country’s best clubhouses. While there are a few familiar communities that have made the list three years in a row (Sun City Anthem and Greenbriar Oceanaire) we also have a few newcomers (Trilogy at Ocala Preserve and Sweetwater).
Without further ado, here are the 25 community clubhouses that stand out from the crowd in 2018.
1. Trilogy at Encanterra - Queen Creek, AZ
La Casa, The Club at Encanterra, a 60,000 square-foot clubhouse, is a glittering, modern facility with indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, multiple ways to stay active, and several restaurants and café. It comes in at number one because it includes the amenities active adults have come to expect while also providing some of the most unique amenities you’ll find in any 55+ community.
There’s so much to do at La Casa it might be best to check in with the clubhouse concierge on your first visit. Residents can stay active and refreshed in the state-of-the-art fitness center as well as the aerobics and dance studio, a full-service spa, steam room, sauna, and indoor lap pool. For social opportunities, homeowners enjoy the ballroom, billiards, business center, and card room. La Casa also provides multiple dining and drinking spots, including the La Cocina Private Demonstration Kitchen, Bistro 1528, Cafe Solaz, Apps and Apres, Tapas, and the Explorations Cafe. Outdoors, homeowners have access to two pools, an amphitheater, four tennis courts, a sand volleyball court, and a private 18-hole championship golf course designed by Tom Lehman.
Not resting on their laurels, Trilogy at Encanterra recently completed construction on a separate amenity center to complement La Casa. The Algarve is an 8,000 square-foot amenity center with Tapas bar and restaurant, a ceramics studio with kiln, resort-style pool, bocce ball courts, eight pickleball courts, and La Plaza Event Stage and green space
2. Sun City Hilton Head - Bluffton, SC
The Hilton Head area has been a popular spot for active adults for a while. Sun City Hilton Head, in particular, has been a big draw and one of the reasons is the community’s extensive amenity list. So varied are the options that the amenity complex and town center encompasses 45 acres. The town center includes everything from restaurants to a performing arts center to over 30 sports courts.
There are several indoor facilities in the town center, including Yemassee Center, Pinckney Social Hall, and Magnolia Hall, a 540-seat performing arts center. Residents can stay in shape at three different fitness centers, Purrysburg, Hidden Cypress, and Lakehouse. There’s also an aerobics and dance studio as well as two indoor pools. Other facilities in the town center include a ceramics studio, art studio, sewing room, arts and crafts room, grand ballroom, Wall Street room, billiards room, card room, computer room, stained glass area, model railroad, photography studio, and woodworking shop.
Outdoors, homeowners can enjoy four resort-style pools, 12 Har-Tru tennis courts, 12 pickleball courts, 12 bocce ball courts, two horseshoe pits, a softball field, a volleyball court, and two croquet fields. The community makes it easy to stay active with miles of walking and biking trails, a fitness trail with exercise stations, and three 18-hole golf courses. Other outdoor amenities include a 20-acre fishing lake, dog park, picnic pavilion, gardening plots, and RV and boat storage.
3. Trilogy Orlando - Groveland, FL
Trilogy Orlando boasts a 57,000 square-foot clubhouse called the Magnolia House. It’s home to the Explorations Connection Lounge, a great place to meet neighbors and friends. The Athletic Club is a fitness center with an aerobics and dance studio, indoor pool, and locker rooms. Residents can dine at The Grille or learn new cooking techniques at Emma’s Culinary Garden. Other amenities include an indoor golf simulator, billiards, a grand ballroom, events center and theater, two card rooms, a ceramics studio, and an artisan studio.
Outdoors, homeowners can swim in the lap or resort-style pool surrounded by an expansive patio. Residents can stay active at the four lighted tennis courts, three pickleball courts, two bocce ball courts, and walking trails. There’s also an outdoor event lawn for larger gatherings.
4. Four Seasons at Terra Lago - Indio, CA
Only a few years old, The Lodge in Four Seasons at Terra Lago is a 22,000 square-foot clubhouse with a wealth of amenities. There’s a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor pool and spa, and aerobics and yoga studio for staying in shape. Gathering spaces include a card room, arts and crafts studio, game room, billiards, table tennis, ballroom, library, and computer room. Homeowners can relax at the beauty salon and massage room, grab a bite at the bistro and lounge or chat with friends in the fireside lounge.
The community’s outdoor amenities were built to allow homeowners to enjoy the sunny California weather. That includes a resort-style pool and spa, outdoor patio, and several patios. Active adults love the four tennis courts, four bocce ball courts, three pickleball courts, two shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, a basketball court, and a putting green. Other places to spend time outside include the fire pit, dog park, and several scenic lakes.
5. Cresswind at Lake Lanier - Cresswind, GA
Cresswind at Lake Lanier has made the list all three years and it’s no wonder why. The Club at Cresswind is a 36,000 square-foot clubhouse that provides various ways to stay fit, learn new hobbies, and mingle with neighbors. Homeowners can take fitness classes or do individual workouts in the state-of-the-art fitness center, aerobics studio and spa, and dance studio. There’s also a luxurious bathhouse and spa. Gathering spaces include the Sidney Lounge, a hobby room, game room, art room, card room, ballroom, library, learning center, and demonstration kitchen.
Outdoors, homeowners have ample space and options for relaxing, playing sports, and event going. Just outside the clubhouse is a lagoon-style pool next to an expansive terrace with a kitchen and fireplace. Residents can play on the six tennis courts, two bocce ball courts, two pickleball courts, and horseshoe pits. There are also miles of walking and biking trails to help stay active. Residents enjoy concerts at the amphitheater, mingling at the Overlook Pavilion with cabana bar, and dining at the Marina Gazebo and Grill. The community is also home to a 70-slip marina and private dock on Lake Lanier, which is great for fishing.