View of the Veteran's Memorial Bridge connecting Columbia to Wrightsville in Central Pennsylvania

Budget-minded active adults should consider these communities in Central Pennsylvania.

With its prevalence of wide-open spaces, exciting mid-sized cities, and charming small towns it’s hard to decide which part of Central Pennsylvania is the best place for active adult living. Take the Susquehanna River Valley, for example. Its hiking trails, farms, rivers, wine trails, and wildlife parks can be enjoyed year-round. And then there’s the Lancaster Valley, known far and wide for its Dutch countryside, Amish heritage, antique shops, and nature sanctuaries.

Large cities like Harrisburg and Gettysburg provide ample opportunities to learn about our nation’s history, and if you head west you’ll run into Penn State University in the State College area.

There are over 30 retirement communities tucked within these different regions, with new and resale construction. They range in size from around 100 or so homes to the largest, Amblebrook, which will have 2,000 single-family homes upon completion.

One of the best things about Central PA real estate is its affordability. You can easily find 55+ neighborhoods here with homes priced at $200k, and this kind of value can allow you to enjoy the many other pleasures of retirement living.

Have a look at the four we’ve chosen.

The Paddock at Equine Meadows - Red Lion, PA

Mid $100s - High $200s

Bentzel Construction broke ground on this property in 2016, and upon completion, The Paddock at Equine Meadows will have 174 new and resale attached homes. It’s less than 10 miles from York and is also a short drive from William Kane Park, where you can hike, bike, and go fishing and kayaking on two lakes.

The Paddock’s community clubhouse is a welcoming gathering place, with a catering kitchen, party room, exercise room, and library. Groups meet here for community dinners, Bible study, line dancing, card games, and yoga. There’s also natural space, parks, and walking trails on the grounds. And when residents need to run errands, a Weis Market, CVS, and other shops and services are less than two miles away.

There are seven attached models ranging from about 1,310 to 3,000 square feet, with two or three bedrooms, two to three-and-a-half bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Options include sunrooms, fireplaces, and hardwood floors, and the reasonable homeowners’ association (HOA) fee covers lawn care and snow removal.

Learn more information about The Paddock at Equine Meadows here.

Meadowview Village - Harrisburg, PA

Mid $100s - Low $200s

The best part about living in a city like Harrisburg is its size. Not too big or too small, it has an international airport, is bordered by the Susquehanna River, and has excellent medical organizations like UPMC Harrisburg. It’s also just 15 miles or so from Hershey, which has attractions like Hersheypark, Hershey Gardens, and the splendid Hershey Hotel and Spa.

Meadowview Village is a few miles east of downtown Harrisburg and was completed in 2016 with 108 resale attached homes. Geared for downsizing, the standard model is sized from 1,248 to 1,840 square feet, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and one- to two-car garages. Some include options like floor laundry rooms, decks, gas fireplaces, and granite countertops. There is also a monthly HOA fee to provide for community services.

Though Meadowview Village does not have its own clubhouse, it is a few minutes’ drive from Central Penn Fitness Center, several churches, and restaurants. The closest public golf course is Dauphin Highlands, and there are 14 senior centers in the region.

Learn more information about Meadowview Village here.

Creek View - Carlisle, PA

Mid $100s - Mid $200s

Drive about 30 miles west of Harrisburg and you will find the town of Carlisle and its friendly 55+ neighborhood, Creek View. It is slated for 305 single-family homes and offers new and resale properties.

There are 18 models sized from 1,202 to 1,750 square feet, with two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached one- or two-car garages. Options like dens, porches, and morning rooms make these low-maintenance homes gracious and comfortable.

This community offers three maintenance packages, which include services like landscaping and snow removal. Additional desirable features include a fishing pond, an RV parking area, and an outdoor barbecue spot. The community clubhouse has a sunny patio and a multipurpose room, making it perfect for group meetings and activities.

Carlisle is a small college town, and active adults can take advantage of its unique offerings. At its center is Dickinson College, which offers continuing education courses; there are also several leafy parks, plenty of shops and services, and restaurants.

Learn more information about Creek View here.

Heritage Run - Lebanon, PA

High $100s - Low $200s

If you’re in the market for a small 55+ community in the Lebanon area, Heritage Run may be just what the doctor ordered. This exceptional neighborhood of just 88 single-family new and resale homes broke ground in 2014, and it's designed by Woodland Contractors.

Heritage Run does not have a clubhouse, but there is a scenic park on the property called Snitz Creek Park. There are plenty of fitness centers (and everything else you need) in downtown Lebanon, and Royal Oaks Golf Club is only a short drive away. Lancaster is also closeby, and it offers endless options for day trips and wonderful long weekends.

The six colonial-style models range from 1,206 to 1,677 square feet, with one to three bedrooms, one-and-a-half to two bathrooms, and attached one-car garages. Options include dens, walk-in closets, and stainless steel appliances, and the HOA fee covers lawn care, trash and snow removal, and common area maintenance.

Learn more information about Heritage Run here.