A Retiree’s Guide to Southern California

Southern California is known for its warm climate, scenic views of the Pacific Ocean, sun-washed beaches, abundant golf courses, and varied terrain. It’s also a retirement hot spot for active adults who seek the famous Southern California lifestyle during their Golden Years.

There are numerous active adult communities throughout Southern California that range from small and cozy communities in the desert to lavish and large-scale communities that resemble vacation resorts.

Thanks to the diverse selection of 55+ communities in Southern California, active adult homebuyers have plenty of options to choose from that can accommodate their lifestyle. Read on below to learn more about the various retirement locations and active adult communities found throughout Southern California.

Palm Springs Area

The Palm Springs Area in Southern California has attracted many vacationers as well as retirees to its desert oasis for many years. It’s no surprise why so many retirees flock to the Palm Springs area for retirement because there is plenty to do here all year long.

Located in the Coachella Valley, the area features a wide selection of attractions and outdoor recreation such as world-renowned golf courses, hiking trails, horseback riding, shopping centers, upscale restaurants, and cultural attractions. Although this desert area is surrounded by mountains and has a hot, dry climate, retirees enjoy the 300 days of sunshine every year as well as comfortable winters with temperatures that hover around the 80s.

The area also includes popular cities like Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, and Indio. These notable cities feature a great selection of age-restricted and age-targeted communities that provide retirees with an active and social lifestyle.

Many of these active adult communities offer resort-style amenities, low-maintenance homes, and a vibrant social atmosphere where residents mingle and share similar interests with other like-minded adults.

Popular 55+ Communities in the Area Include:

Orange County Area

Not only does the Orange County Area boast sun-drenched beaches, distinctive shopping, and scenic views of the Pacific Coast, but this area is also a great retirement location. Active adults looking for a laid-back atmosphere as well as proximity to the surf and sand will find cities like Huntington Beach, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Newport Beach, and Irvine perfect retirement spots.

Active adults who love the outdoors will find plenty of exciting recreational activities throughout the Orange County Area like surfing, golfing, hiking, swimming, biking, or horseback riding. This sunny retirement destination also features notable spots like impressive golf courses at San Juan Hills Golf Club in San Juan Capistrano, luxury shopping at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, scenic ocean views at Dana Point, and live performances at Orange County Performing Arts Center or Repertory Theater.

Besides beaches and ocean views, the Orange County Area also offers retirees a tranquil countryside as well as beautiful mountain vistas in Saddleback Valley, which is home to the cities of Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, and Rancho Santa Margarita.

Popular communities in the area include:

San Diego Area

San Diego’s attractive coastal location is just one of the many things that make this area a popular retirement destination. There are more than a dozen active adult communities throughout the San Diego region in cities like Oceanside, Encinitas, San Diego, Carlsbad, and Vista. Retirees will love the area’s lively urban activities as well as rich cultural attractions. Downtown San Diego offers numerous things to do like an assortment of shopping and dining options as well as an exciting nightlife in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy nature preserves and hiking trails at the Cleveland National Forest, Torrey Pines State Reserve, and Mission Trail Regional Park or the pristine beaches in Coronado or La Jolla. The city is also known for the popular attractions like the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Safari Park, Balboa Park, and Aquatica SeaWorld. Thanks to the area’s hilly landscape, retirees will also have access to beautiful mountains such as Cowles Mountain, Black Mountain, Cuyamaca Mountains, and the Laguna Mountains, which offer breathtaking views.

The area also appeals to history buffs seeking art and culture. Retirees can visit the San Diego Symphony, the USS Midway Museum, or Old Encinitas Historic Downtown District.

Popular Communities in the Area Include:

Inland Empire Area

Southern California’s Inland Empire Area is situated between Orange County and Palm Springs. Many of the active adult communities are located in the cities of Banning, Apple Valley, Murrieta, Corona, Menifee, Hemet, Beaumont, and San Jacinto.

The area’s diverse landscape includes lush valleys, mountains, forests, vast deserts, and rolling hills. Thanks to the varied terrain, retirees can find a wide selection of active adult communities located in unique settings. Inland Empire’s biggest attraction is Big Bear Lake, which features more than 100 miles of walking and biking trails.

Outdoor adventurers will love the area’s endless activities like camping, fishing, swimming, boating, horseback riding, and hiking. In addition to the beautiful outdoor environment, retirees will also find popular golf courses like the luxurious Redlands Country Club and San Bernardino Arrowhead Country Club. The Temecula Wine Country and Cucamonga Valley Wine Country are also popular vineyards in the area that feature dozens of local wines and lush scenery.

Although Southern California is known for having pricey real estate, active adult homebuyers will be pleased to know that the Inland Empire area offers a more affordable option.

Popular Communities in the Area Include:

Los Angeles Area

The City of Angels is one of the most popular cities in Southern California. It’s the second-largest city in the country and offers a subtropical climate as well as a booming entertainment industry.

While the city is famous for its trend-setting Hollywood scene, the Los Angeles Area does offer a great selection of 55+ communities for retirees who seek a more urban environment. The area offers numerous cultural attractions, distinct restaurants, entertainment venues, and plenty of outdoor recreation. It’s home to cities like Torrance, Redondo Beach, and Rancho Palos Verdes, all of which offer easy access to Downtown L.A.

With close proximity to L.A., retirees can visit world-renowned museums and attractions like the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Center, movie studios, or the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Outdoor recreation is plentiful with miles of hiking and biking trails at Griffith Park or sandy beaches in Malibu. Active adult communities in the area also feature top-notch amenities, low-maintenance living, and an exciting social atmosphere.

Popular Communities in the Area Include:

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