Looking for a retirement community that offers big-city attractions near serene outdoor spots? North New Jersey is a good place to start.

Experts are forecasting that the active adult population will continue to grow at higher rates than other age groups in this country. There are estimates that by the year 2034, the percentage of New Jersey residents over the age of 60 will increase by 32 percent.

This info comes from Melissa Chalker, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Foundation for Aging. She added that more and more active adults are looking for luxury retirement properties, partly because they want to live better lifestyles with upscale amenities. They are also more active than past generations and like to socialize and become involved with their communities.

Chris Gaffney is the group president for Toll Brothers, a luxury homebuilder that has developed active adult communities in New Jersey. He explained that the luxury retirement communities target 55+ homebuyers who want to enjoy the successes of their lives and do not want to compromise on fine living.

North Jersey has special appeal for well-heeled active adults who want to be close to The Big Apple. Cities like Livingston and Cedar Knolls that are 20 to 30 miles away are about an hours’ drive from Manhattan or less by public transport. Active adults do not have to drive into the City to taste the good life though, because there are plenty of opportunities right here in Jersey.

Golf

The Ridgewood Country Club in Bergen County is a private, 27-hole golf course that opened back in 1929. Designed by A.W. Tillinghast, it features a challenging course with three 9-hole loops. It was the site of the 2001 Senior PGA Championship and the 2014 Northern Trust. Their stunning clubhouse offers a lovely dining room, tennis, paddling, and an outdoor pool. Other notable North Jersey public golf courses include Ballyowen and Wild Turkey at Crystal Springs Resort.

Shopping

The Short Hills Mall is an exclusive retail shopping experience, with department stores like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Nordstrom. This shopping paradise also has about 150 specialty shops and fine restaurants. The Mills at Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth also has high-end retailers, including Kate Spade and Hugo Boss. This mall also has a large, 20-screen movie theater with IMAX.

Charming small towns like Boonton, Englewood, and Morristown are fun shopping destinations with unique shops, galleries, and restaurants. When the weather is nice, small towns like these also provide days full of exploring, wining, and dining.

Cultural and Other Pursuits

North Jersey has many New York City-style theater venues, like the Hackensack Meridian Health Theater where The Company Theatre Group performs. The Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn was awarded the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award and is known for its Broadway-quality productions. The New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark is also renowned, while the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performs at the Bergen Performing Arts Center.

North Jersey also has a slew of art museums, children’s museums, wineries, breweries, arboretums, and gardens. If you are the outdoorsy type, there are ski resorts like Mountain Creek in Vernon and High Point Mountain in Wantage. There are also horseback riding stables, hiking trails, and dog parks. You can even go on a hot air balloon ride or take a helicopter tour with HeliNY, a Jersey City-based helicopter flight company that flies guests out for amazing view of New York.

Luxury 55+ Communities in North New Jersey

Here are a few luxury 55+ communities currently with homes for sale in NJ. They range from single-family to condo communities, all with easy access to New York City.

Four Seasons at Great Notch Spa and Club - Woodland Park

High $300s - Low $700s

Just 12 miles from New York City, Four Seasons at Great Notch Spa and Club is a gated, active adult community that is nestled in a mountain rock quarry. This rural setting provides a tranquil backdrop for its 814 condo and attached resale homes. Floor plans range from 1,426 to 2,907 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, and one- or two-car garages. Options include large master suites, sun rooms, and decks.

A 25,000 square-foot clubhouse has an indoor pool and spa, a modern fitness center, activity rooms, a ballroom, an outdoor pool, tennis, a putting green, and a driving range.

Paris Square - Northvale

Mid $400s - Mid $600s

Just minutes from the spectacular Rockleigh Golf Course, Paris Square offers 88 luxurious new and resale condos. Floor plans are sized from 1,313 to 2,150 square feet, with single-story and two-level options. These feature two or three bedrooms and bathrooms, and indoor parking at an on-site parking facility or attached, one-car garages. Exclusive upgrades include granite countertops, cherry wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, raised patio decks, and hardwood floors.

Residents enjoy the private clubhouse with its own movie theater, exercise room, heated outdoor pool, and bocce ball courts. The property also has a putting green, a dog run, pristine walking paths, and natural space.

Four Seasons at Ridgemont - Montvale

Low $700s - Low $800s

This small, elite condo community is conveniently located near the Garden State Parkway, a grocery store, a farmers market and other shopping outlets. Four Seasons at Ridgemont has 108 luxurious resale condos. The three generously-sized floor plans range from 1,957 to 2,428 square feet with two bedrooms and bathrooms, and two indoor parking spots.

Each condo has an oversized master suite, plus formal living and dining areas. Some feature dens, balconies, and other upgrades. There is a sparkling outdoor pool and relaxing spa, a putting green and a bocce ball court, plus a modern clubhouse with activity rooms and an exercise room.

Bear’s Cove - Ramsey

Low $600s - High $900s

Bear's Cove is a gated 55+ community of 104 attached resale homes that was built from 2011 to 2014. The homes are offered in three large floor plans sized from 2,706 to 3,024 square feet with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and attached, two-car garages.

Upgrades include stainless steel refrigerators, custom molding, 10-foot ceilings, and lavish, first-floor master suites. Homeowners can be spotted putting about at the private, 9-hole putting green, swimming at the gorgeous outdoor pool, relaxing at the spa center and steam room, or working out at the fitness center inside the clubhouse.