View of the entrance sign to The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona

Many college towns in Arizona have attractive active adult communities nearby. (Image credited to Kristopher Kettner /

According to HomeSnacks, the five best college towns in Arizona are Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tucson. Whether you have children or grandchildren looking for a good college town in Arizona or you want to attend continuing education classes yourself, there are a number of active adult communities in or near these college towns for interested homebuyers to consider.


As well as being one of the top college towns in Arizona, Mesa has a large number of active adult communities. It's the third-largest city in Arizona, after Phoenix and Tucson, and it's part of the sprawling Phoenix urban area. While Downtown Phoenix and Phoenix International Airport are both only a 30-minute drive west, the same distance heading east takes you out of the city and into the nearby mountains, offering lots of outdoor recreational opportunities.

Sunland Springs Village

Low $200s - Mid $500s

Sunland Springs Village has 2,890 attached and single-family homes. It's a 25-minute drive east of Downtown Mesa, and a 20-minute drive from the 3,648-acre Usery Mountain Regional Park, which offers hiking, biking, horseback riding, and other outdoor recreation.

Amenities at this 55+ active adult community include a 27-hole golf course, six tennis courts, two outdoor pools, an auditorium, a ballroom, and a fitness center. The smallest models are 1,064 square feet with one bedroom, a den, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage. If you want more space, the largest homes provide 2,315 square feet, three bedrooms, a den, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and a two-and-a-half-car garage.

Learn more information about Sunland Springs Village here.

Fountain of the Sun

Below $100k - Mid $200s

Fountain of the Sun is a gated community of 2,296 homes for 55+ active adults. It's a 20-minute drive east of Downtown Mesa, and a 15-minute drive from Usery Mountain Regional Park. Amenities include a country club with an 18-hole course, a heated outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a ballroom. The most affordable homes are below $100k and offer under 1,000 square feet with one bedroom, one bathroom, and an attached garage.

Learn more information about Fountain of the Sun here. 


With a very lively student scene, Tempe is one of the best college cities in Arizona. It sits between Phoenix and Mesa, with a population of just under 200,000. There are no communities in Tempe, but there are a few options nearby.

Ahwatukee Retirement Village

High $100s - Mid $300s

Ahwatukee Retirement Village is a 20-minute drive south of Downtown Tempe. It's a 55+ community with 1,686 homes, and it's just off Interstate 10, which links Tucson and Phoenix. Home models here range from about 1,000 to 2,200 square feet with two to four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached garage.

The community's amenities are based around three main buildings. The Community Center includes a library, a ballroom, and other facilities. There's a dedicated Arts and Crafts Building with several studios, and there's also a Health and Wellness Center with a fitness center, an indoor lap pool, an outdoor pool, and courts for tennis, pickleball, bocce ball, and shuffleboard.

Learn more information about Ahwatukee Retirement Village here.

Golden Keys

 Mid $200s - High $200s

Golden Keys is in Scottsdale, but it's less than a 15-minute drive from the center of Tempe. It's a 55+ community with 184 attached homes. As a smaller community, it has fewer amenities, but it still offers a clubhouse, an outdoor pool and patio, and two bocce courts. Homes range from 1,394 to 2,318 square feet with two to three bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage.

Learn more information about Golden Keys here. 


Northwest of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Glendale is a city of about 250,000 people, and Downtown Phoenix is a 20-minute drive away. The nearest active adult communities are in neighboring Peoria, which has about 170,000 people.

Westbrook Village

High $100s - Low $500s

Westbrook Village is a 20-minute drive from the center of Glendale, and 15 minutes from downtown Peoria. It has 3,910 homes and a 40+ age restriction. Amenities include two 18-hole golf courses; two outdoor pools; courts for tennis, pickleball, and bocce ball; two ballrooms; a choice of on-site restaurants; and a dedicated Fine Arts and Learning Center.

The smallest homes here are condos at around 1,000 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a balcony or patio. The largest homes are single-family homes with 2,578 square feet, and these have two bedrooms, a den, two bathrooms, and a three-car garage.

Learn more information about Westbrook Village here.


Scottsdale adjoins Phoenix to the north, but it's an independent city of about 250,000 people. In addition to Golden Keys, mentioned above, another option here is Villa Monterey.

Villa Monterey

Mid $300s - Mid $400s

This 55+ active adult community has 800 attached homes and condos. Built between 1961 and 1969, these homes feature low-maintenance exteriors, allowing residents to spend more time enjoying their interests and hobbies. Amenities at Villa Monterey include a clubhouse, tennis courts, and an outdoor pool and spa.

Learn more information about Villa Monterey here.


Tucson, Arizona's second city, is home to The University of Arizona. It has a large student population and also a large number of community options. Several are in Oro Valley, on the northern edge of the city.

Sun City Oro Valley

Low $200s - Mid $400s

This 45+ community has 2,488 homes and numerous amenities, including The Views Golf Club, the Artisan Center dedicated to arts and crafts, and a fitness center with two outdoor pools, eight tennis courts, mini golf, and an auditorium. There are several dozen home models available, ranging from 1,035 to 2,665 square feet.

Learn more information about Sun City Oro Valley here.