Do you prefer the pace of Atlanta or the charm of the Savannah?

Coastal Georgia and the Atlanta area are both popular retirement destinations, but for very different reasons. Coastal Georgia offers the lure of moderate temperatures, close proximity to beaches, and a more laid-back lifestyle, Comparatively, the Atlanta area offers a bustling array of entertainment, dining, and shopping options. As many differences as there are, these two Georgia locations offer plenty of similarities as well.

In the Heart of It All

Atlanta is Georgia’s capital and largest city in the state with an estimated population of more than 486,000 people within the city itself. The metropolitan area, which consists of 14 counties that encompass more than 50 municipalities, has almost 6 million people, making it the ninth-largest metro area in the United States.

For active adults who are always on the go, the Atlanta area offers what you need. From world-class museums and restaurants to major universities and international businesses, Atlanta has it. There's also plenty of major-league sports entertainment and a huge variety of shopping options. The Atlanta metro area also boasts around 12 major health systems to help you put your best and healthiest foot forward.

However, keep in mind that while the Atlanta area has plenty to do and see, it also is experiencing rampant growth, which can bring with it major traffic issues.

Relaxing, Coastal Living

Coastal Georgia, on the other hand, is a much more laid-back experience. This region of the state, which is made up of 39 cities close to the Atlantic Ocean, includes beautiful, historic destinations such as Savannah, St. Simon’s Island, Jekyll Island, and Brunswick. Georgia’s coastal areas offer active adults a slower-paced lifestyle with close proximity to beaches, water sports, hiking and biking, and historical tours. Though not as extensive as Atlanta, there are plenty of shopping, dining, and healthcare facilities in this region, including the Coastal Health District. Naturally, its smaller population means Coastal Georgia has just six communities, while the metropolitan area of Atlanta has 67.

Communities in Coastal Georgia

Savannah has three age-restricted and active adult communities, The Landings at Skidaway Island, Cottages at Autumn Lake, and Coffee Pointe, while the town of Pooler has two, Westbrooke Villas at Savannah Quarters and The Fairways at Savannah Quarters. Brunswick, which is further south near St. Simons Island, Sea Island, and Jekyll Island, has one community, called Peppertree Crossing. All of these communities offer homes in a variety of styles and sizes, with plenty of amenities to help you make the most of a coastal lifestyle.

Communities in the Atlanta area

Trying to pick the right 55+ community in the Atlanta area can be overwhelming since there are so many to consider. To make it easier, we’ve chosen to highlight a few of our favorites.

Sun City Peachtree is a Del Webb community just outside of Atlanta in Griffin. It has 3,387 single-family ranch homes ranging in price from the high $100,000s to the low $400,000s. The community is home to an 18-hole golf course, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a billiards room, an indoor lap pool, library, resort-style pool and spa, as well as basketball, bocce, pickleball, tennis, volleyball courts, and plenty of other amenities to help you stay active.

Larkspur in Alpharetta has 134 single-family, modern farmhouse homes priced from the high $300,000s to the high $400,000s. Amenities include a catering kitchen, a pickleball court, a resort-style pool, plenty of nature trails and ponds along with a community garden.

Cedar Crest Village in Acworth offers 104 low-maintenance, attached homes in which homeowners can choose from three elegant floor plans that feature classic English Cottage designs. Beautiful nature preserves run through the middle of the community and residents enjoy a clubhouse that offers a gathering room, a game room, a catering kitchen, and an outdoor eating area.

Keep in mind, though Atlanta is a bustling city, there are plenty of suburbs and smaller towns around the perimeter where you can get away from the traffic and noise of the big city. The Atlanta area is located towards the middle of the state, but if you are looking for a watery oasis you can visit the lakes in the area, such as Allatoona Lake. If you are hoping to spend most of your days near the beach, coastal Georgia might be better suited for you. Either way, you really can’t go wrong with whichever area in Georgia you choose.