Pennsylvania Dutch Country isn't a bad-looking place to consider retirement

Many active adults choose to put down roots in Central Pennsylvania and it’s easy to see why.

This part of the state is revered for the natural beauty of its Susquehanna River Valley and Lehigh Valley. Folks that enjoy the great outdoors can enjoy thousands of miles of farmlands and parks, with opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, even hot-air balloon trips.

Lofty pursuits like antiquing, visiting wineries, and museum hopping are also enjoyed by local residents. The area also includes historic Gettysburg and the state capital of Harrisburg. It’s also home to the Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

Specific to active adults, the region offers a multitude of shopping outlets, high-performing healthcare facilities, a reasonable cost of living, and a tax-friendly environment for retirees.

Interested in calling Central Pennsylvania home? Here are five of the most affordable active adult communities around.

The Paddock at Equine Meadows - Red Lion

Mid $100s - High $100s

The Paddock at Equine Meadows is a small, affordably priced active adult community located in the town of Red Lion. Upon completion, there will be 174 attached homes built by Bentzel Construction. There are seven attached home models worth considering, sized from 1,310 to 3,000 square feet.

Each residence features two or three bedrooms, two to three-and-a-half baths, and an attached two-car garage while some include front porches, fireplaces, and whirlpool tubs. Residents can take advantage of a lovely clubhouse, walking and biking trails, exercise room, and library.

Community activities include barbecues, bingo, exercise classes, line dancing, and social clubs. The community is also located close to York, which offers a lively downtown area with numerous shopping centers, restaurants, and museums.

Bent Creek Crossing - Mechanicsburg

Mid $100s - High $200s 

Historic Mechanicsburg, located eight miles west of Harrisburg, is home to Bent Creek Crossing. This well-established, intimate community of just 110 resale homes offers the privacy of a small development with the convenience of being close to a city.

These attached homes were built between 1998 and 2004, and are offered in eight distinct floor plans. Bent Creek Crossing’s community clubhouse is a hub of activity for residents, who enjoy its cozy library and many clubs and groups that meet in its activity room.

Everyone knows about Philadelphia and Pittsburgh but Harrisburg is Pennsylvania's secretly good city.

Amesbury - Harrisburg

High $100s - High $200s

A modern feel and low-maintenance living are two of the main draws at Amesbury, an active adult community in the state’s capital. Construction of this community began in 2010 by S&A Homes and the final plan calls for 106 townhomes. These reasonably priced new and resale homes are offered in three models, from 1,627 to 2,247 square feet of living space. They come with two or three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and an attached garage. Amesbury is close to multiple major highways, Harrisburg International Airport, and is next door to Lower Paxton Township Friendship Center.

Penn National - Fayetteville

Mid $100s - Low $400s

With over 1,000 homes, Penn National has options for many price ranges. This well-established community of new and resale homes has single-family and attached options constructed by several different builders. While not an age-restricted community, it has been designed with active adults in mind.

Attached villas are priced from the mid-$100s to mid-$200s and all homeowner can enjoy Penn National’s wonderful amenities, which include two 18-hole golf courses, an outdoor pool, a large clubhouse, a community garden, scenic lakes and ponds, and two restaurants. Fayetteville also features beautiful state parks, including Caledonia State Park, as well as museums, wineries, farmers markets, and plenty of shopping.

Village Grande at Millers Run - Lancaster

Low $200s - Mid $300s

The reasonably priced active adult community of Village Grande at Millers Run was built by D.R. Horton between 2006 and 2014, topping out at 241 single family homes. These homes all have two bedrooms and bathrooms as well as an attached two-car garage, ranging from 1,558 to 2,261 square feet.

Homeowners get to spend quality time at the community clubhouse, enjoying its fitness center, library, and game rooms. Outdoor amenities include a pool, putting green, tennis courts, bocce ball, and walking and bicycling trails. Village Grande’s Lancaster location puts it in the heart of Amish country, so you’ll find lots of farm-to-table foods and handmade crafts nearby. There are plenty of modern conveniences too, such as Park City Center and outlet shopping malls.