Florida retirement communities can be found throughout the state, on both coasts, and in various sizes and price ranges. However, there are a few areas that stand out for the best and most desirable 55+ living.
For example, The Villages has 60,000 residents, occupies three counties, and covers more than 20,000 acres. Also, On Top of the World in Ocala has 10,000 homes, and they’re still growing; buyers can select new construction lots for custom homes. In the Tampa area, one of the most desirable places for active adults to live is Sun City Center, where there are two active adult communities that attract snowbirds and permanent residents from around the country.
Kings Point and Sun City Center
Kings Point has 5,277 resale homes, and buyers can find attached villas or single-family homes that go from 800 square feet to 2,000 square feet. Sun City Center has 9,500 homes arranged throughout a golf cart-friendly series of neighborhoods that are governed by volunteer associations. The two communities share privileges; you can live in Kings Point and go to an event at Sun City Center, for example.
With over 200 clubs and special interest activities, no one is bored in these 55+ communities. Sun City Center is only about 25 miles south of Tampa, so opportunities to explore the area abound. Both Kings Point and Sun City Center help facilitate that exploration by providing transportation and structured activities.
Weekly Community Transit
Brandon Mall is only half an hour by car from Sun City Center, and it’s a straight shot north on Interstate 75. But, residents don’t have to worry about battling traffic, finding a place to park, or navigating a sea of increasingly aggressive Florida drivers. Instead, they can take the bus that goes from Kings Point to the mall every Tuesday and Thursday. Buses leave from the community and the mall every two hours, and the best part—it’s free!
At Brandon Mall, shoppers will find some typical and unique stores. There’s a JC Penny, a Macy’s, and major retailers like Apple, Disney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Pandora. There’s also plenty of food; the food court includes all the usual favorites like Panda Express, Chipotle, and Haagen Daz. For more leisurely dining, visitors can sit down at Red Robin, P.F. Changs, or The Cheesecake Factory.
Golf carts are the most popular way for residents to travel when they need to run local errands, but the communities also offer daily tram service. If residents don’t want to drive to the grocery store, pharmacy, or other local spots, the Bus Book in the Kings Point clubhouse can help them plan a ride to and from their home.
Music, Food, and Fun Via Bus
Once the dreadful heat of the summer months has passed, it’s a good time to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible in Tampa and the surrounding areas. Residents at Kings Point and Sun City Center can do that with the trips and excursions planned by their communities.
This fall, there’s music at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater; a bus trip takes residents to see Noel Berg’s 50 Years of Rock and Roll. Residents can also reserve a spot to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Amalie Arena in Downtown Tampa. The Seafood Festival in Tarpon Springs is also happening in November, and residents of both communities can take the community bus to this waterfront fishing village. The seafood comes right out of the local waters, and it’s a great place to explore the sponge docks and local maritime history.
Other regular trips include voyages to cities like Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Naples, and Fort Myers. Residents can reserve a spot on the bus to catch their favorite theater performances, live shows, festivals, museum exhibits, luncheons, or dinners. One of the most popular food-friendly trips this year was a visit to Hofbrauhaus in St. Petersburg for a taste of German beer and kraut. Also, there’s almost always a waiting list for the regular pilgrimage to Mazzaro’s, an Italian deli and bakery which is also in St. Petersburg.
Sun City Center and Kings Point make it easy for residents to enjoy the best in sports, especially local baseball and hockey teams. The Tampa Bay Rays had a pretty stellar season in 2019, and there were several trips to Tropicana Field to watch them battle the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. There are also numerous spring training bus trips to see the Yankees train in Tampa and the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin. Residents can also catch the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena throughout hockey season.
More Fun and Excitement
Both Kings Point and Sun City Center are known for their clubs and lifestyle activities. There’s a travel club, a group dedicated to planning minibus trips, and groups like the Italian American Club and the German Club which find fun places to travel. Updated schedules are available in the clubhouses at each community, and residents can also get a preview of what’s to come in their newsletters.