Aerial view of suburban community with park and homes

Active adult communities offer amenities and activities that appeal to many retirees and empty nesters. Choosing a community is subjective, and any potential resident will have their own particular interests and preferred amenities. But what features can be found at an award winning active adult community?

Since 1992, the Best of 55+ Housing Awards have been presented annually by the National Association of Home Builders’ 50+ Housing Council. These awards are given each April at a gala event in Philadelphia. Winners are chosen from the communities submitted for review. Beyond selecting award winners, the 55+ Housing Council works year round with National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) members in all aspects of 55+ community living, including design, development, management, sales and marketing.

The Best of 55+ Housing Awards have evolved each year to include more categories and encompass all aspects of 55+ communities, including active adult communities, independent and assisted living options. According to NAHB’s 55+ Housing Council Award website,

“The Best of 50+ Housing Awards are recognized by the industry and media as a showcase of innovation, emerging trends, and quality housing for the mature demographic.” While choosing a community will more likely be a decision based on geography, looking over the features at a award winning community can be a good starting point when learning more about what amenities active adult communities can offer.

Sun City Festival in Buckeye, Arizona took home the 2009 Gold award for the Best Active Adult Community in the over 500 home category. The community also earned a Silver award for Best Clubhouse at an Active Adult Community (over 8,000 square feet).

Built by Del Webb, Sun City Festival reflects the builders’ nearly 50 years of active adult construction experience. At Sun City Festival, residents enjoy a wide variety of activities available at the 31,000 square-foot clubhouse,

The Sage Center for Wellness and Higher Learning, including a state of the art fitness center, resort style pool and multiple hobby and craft studios. The Sage Center also houses the Arizona State University Academy for Lifelong Learning and the beautiful 18-hole championship Copper Canyon Golf Club winds its way through the community.

Del Webb at Lake Oconee

Del Webb at Lake Oconee won a Silver award for Best Active Adult Community.

Del Webb also won a 2009 Silver award for Best Active Adult Community (over 500 homes) for their Greensboro, Georgia community, Del Webb at Lake Oconee. This beautiful rural active adult community is set on a navigable lake with some of the best fishing in Georgia. Homes in this community include both duplex villas and single family homes in a variety of floor plans. In Thornton, Colorado, Heritage Todd Creek by Lennar was presented with the Gold award for Best Clubhouse at an Active Adult Community (over 8,000 square feet). Heritage Todd Creek’s 33,000 square foot clubhouse offers a heated indoor pool, resort style outdoor pool, art studios, computer center and other social activities. It also provides an upscale dining and event venue. The Creekside Restaurant offers a regional menu in a casually elegant setting. The Alpine Meadow Ballroom can accommodate up to 250-guest events and the outdoor Pavilion offers stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. The full list of the 2009 Best of 50+ Housing Award Winners is available on the NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council’s website. The list of 2008 award winners is also available. The deadline for submissions for the 2010 Best of 50+ Housing Awards has now past and the awards will be presented in April. When considering active adult community living, take a look at what these award winning communities have to offer and see why these communities are so popular among active adults.