Blue sky over the outdoor lap pool at Sun City in Sun City, Arizona

Buying a home in The Villages may not be for everyone, but that doesn't rule out all these other active adult communities.

What began as a small neighborhood in Central Florida has grown into one of the most popular and well-established active adult communities in the world, and with plans for 60,000 homes, The Villages also earns the distinction as the largest. An affordable cost of living and retirement-friendly taxes may draw many retirees to Florida, but world-class amenities and unmatched conveniences attract those residents to The Villages.

We’ve previously shared everything you need to know about The Villages, and we also dispelled any myths or rumors while keeping readers up-to-date on the community’s latest developments. But since The Villages may not be right for every retiree, we also researched similar communities across the country.

These active adult communities across the nation compare to The Villages, whether through their large size, resort-style amenities, or impressive lifestyle offerings designed for an active retirement. From the west coast to the east coast, here are six 55+ communities that compare to The Villages. 

Laguna Woods Village - Laguna Woods, CA

Mid $100s - Mid $1Ms

As the largest active adult community on the West Coast, Laguna Woods Village in Southern California provides an opportunity for retirees in The Golden State to live a Villages lifestyle. This gated 55+ community consists of 12,736 single-family, attached, and condominium homes across 2,100 acres.

The world-class amenities feature seven clubhouses that include multipurpose rooms, art studios, outdoor pools, and exercise rooms. Desirable amenities also include 36 holes of golf, RV storage, equestrian facilities, and an 814-seat theater.

With over 250 clubs, classes, and activities, Laguna Woods Village also compares to The Villages by offering an active lifestyle. Just a few of the groups include film club, community orchestra, silver foxes, and fellowship groups.

Residents can also appreciate a private bus system that can transport them throughout the community with ease. And when active adults want to enjoy a day at the beach, Laguna Beach is less than a 20-minute drive away.

Sun City Anthem - Henderson, NV

Low $200s - Low $1Ms

Located about 20 miles south of Las Vegas, Sun City Anthem in Henderson allows retirees to live an active lifestyle within easy reach of some of the world’s best nightlife, entertainment, and dining. Its elevation at 800 feet above the valley floor means that residents also benefit from cooler temperatures, cleaner air, and less traffic than Downtown Las Vegas.

This Del Webb 55+ community consists of 7,144 single-family, attached, and condominium homes with plenty of modern amenities. The three clubhouses boast over 130,000 square feet of amenities designed for an active lifestyle. 

Sought-after community amenities include state-of-the-art fitness centers, indoor and outdoor pools, a 300-seat theater, and even a day spa. The 23,000-square-foot Revere Golf Club hosts two 18-hole golf courses with a restaurant, a pro shop, and practice facilities.

Sun City - Sun City, AZ

Below $100K - High $800s

Often considered the first successful active adult community in the country, Sun City is likely the 55+ community most often compared to The Villages. Both of these age-restricted communities are well-established communities that function like self-contained developments with daily conveniences and abundant amenities. 

Sun City includes 27,492 single-family, attached, and condominium homes, and many of the resale homes on the market have been updated with modern features. Potential homebuyers can find affordable homes for sale and also benefit from the retirement-friendly Arizona taxes

The sprawling amenities throughout the development feature 11 golf courses, 7 recreation centers, 19 shopping areas, 30 churches, and even a hospital. Residents enjoy abundant access to athletic courts, fitness centers, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and art studios.

The full social calendar of clubs and classes includes offerings such as piano club, lawn bowling, sportsmen club, leathercraft, ukulele club, and best friends dog club. With so many community events and classes, residents can easily pursue new hobbies.

Robson Ranch - Denton, TX

Mid $200s - High $700s

The affordable cost of living, world-class amenities, and 40+ age restriction all attract potential homebuyers to Robson Ranch in Denton, Texas. Located about 35 miles northwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, this age-restricted community offers a resort-style lifestyle with easy access to everything the Metroplex has to offer.

With 7,200 single-family and attached homes, Robson Ranch may seem small compared to The Villages. However, this spacious community also offers a world-class lineup of amenities including a ballroom, a fitness center, a sports club with indoor and outdoor athletic courts, and a resort-style pool.

Within the community, residents can also find an 18-hole championship golf course, 16 pickleball courts, a tennis complex, a dog park, two restaurants, and a full-service salon. In addition to clubs and activities, the 17,500-square-foot clubhouse at the center of the community also hosts regular dances, performances, guest speakers, and events.

On Top of the World - Ocala, FL

Below $100K - Low $400s

Some active adults may desire similar amenities and lifestyle options as The Villages but within a smaller community. For those who still want to enjoy a Florida retirement, On Top of the World in Ocala is a popular option. 

With plans for 10,000 single-family and attached homes, this gated 55+ community feels like a large development with desirable amenities that cater to nearly every interest and pursuit. The Circle Square Commons within the community also offers daily conveniences such as a continuing education center, a cultural center, a coffee shop, a deli, an ice cream shop, and a town square. 

The extensive amenities feature a central recreation center with a restaurant, a 1,500-seat ballroom, and an outdoor pool and spa. Residents can also find a craft building and three additional clubhouses with multipurpose rooms, art studios, fitness centers, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

The affordable homes for sale include attached villas and detached single-family homes. The attached homes range from about 1,092 to 1,856 square feet, while the single-family homes range from 1,204 to 3,039 square feet.

Sun City Hilton Head - Bluffton, SC

High $100s - Mid $1Ms

Another Sun City community worth considering for those who like The Villages but want to live in another retirement destination is Sun City Hilton Head in Bluffton, South Carolina. Not only does this gated 50+ community offer close proximity to one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country, but it boasts world-class amenities and conveniences.

The luxury amenities at Sun City Hilton Head center around the 45-acre Village Center, an amenity campus designed to feel like a town square. The southern-style square even features a clocktower surrounded by modern amenities.

The 17,000-square-foot Pinckney Social Hall features a ballroom and the 16,000-square-foot Magnolia Hall includes a 540-seat performing arts center, and both facilities hosts lectures, concerts, and events. There are also regular groups, clubs, and classes that meet in the multipurpose rooms. 

Additional amenities include three 18-hole golf courses, two restaurants, two fitness centers, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a 20-acre fishing lake. Some of the more unique amenities include the two croquet fields, the outdoor fitness trail with exercise stations, and RV storage.