In the chill of winter, as the snow starts to fall, many active adults begin dreaming of a warm and sunny beach retirement. Though each getaway may have its own sandy shores and sunny skies, not all beach retirement destinations are cut from the same cloth. Here are some of the highlights (and selling points) of our seven favorite coastal getaways.
1. Naples, Florida
Situated on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, the Naples area offers deep blue water and white sand beaches. This South Florida destination is ideal for fishing, either from its local piers or aboard deep-sea fishing boats. There are championship golf courses dotted throughout the area, and nature lovers will enjoy living so close to the exotic wilds of the Everglades. Naples is also home to many resort-style communities, such as Lely Resort and Del Webb Naples.
2. Orange County, California
Active adults who want luxurious coastal living will be impressed with the communities in Southern California’s Orange County. This beautiful area features sweeping coastal stretches and tranquil country settings. There are impressive championship golf courses, world-class cultural attractions, upscale shopping centers, and fabulous restaurants. The area is home to Laguna Woods Village, which is the largest 55+ community on the West Coast, but it also contains more modest-sized communities like Palmia in Mission Viejo.
3. Palm Beach County, Florida
On Florida’s Southeast Coast, Palm Beach County is designed to offer something for everyone. This bustling resort area features diverse shopping centers and restaurants, local tours and cruises, performing arts venues, golf courses, and spas. There are even equestrian attractions including polo, steeplechase, and miles of bridle trails. Area communities range from intimate and luxurious like Frenchman's Reserve in Palm Beach Gardens, to spacious and charming like like Palm Isles in Boynton Beach
4. Hilton Head, South Carolina
Whether traveling on vacation or relocating during retirement, Hilton Head is one of South Carolina’s premiere destinations. These gorgeous islands exude Southern charm with lush wooded areas, picturesque town centers, and snowy white beaches. This resort area is well known for its superb golf courses, yet it also features a wide range of outdoor activities, shops, and restaurants. The sprawling Sun City Hilton Head development meets the needs of many retirees.
5. Venice, Florida
In addition to beautiful beaches, Venice offers a picturesque, small-town environment with friendly local shops, historic sites, and cultural attractions. Anglers can fish in the Gulf of Mexico or cast their lines in the freshwater of the Myakka River. Meanwhile, walkers and bikers will love Venice’s two paved walkways: the Venetian Waterway Trail and the Legacy Trail. Active adults may find their ideal home at a large community like IslandWalk at West Villages or tucked away in nearby Port Charlotte.
6. Port St. Lucie, Florida
Found on Florida’s Treasure Coast, Port St. Lucie is a charming town that has rapidly gained popularity over the past few years. Beautiful beaches are Port St. Lucie’s largest claim to fame, yet active adults are also drawn to the area for its affordable homes and lovely age-restricted communities. Some of Port St. Lucie’s largest resort-style communities include Seasons at Tradition and Cascades at St. Lucie West.
7. San Diego, California
Southern California is often considered an ideal retirement destination — for those who can afford the price. The San Diego area features gorgeous year-round weather, exciting urban attractions, fine restaurants, eclectic shopping centers, and beautiful beaches which are perfect for many water-based activities. Though home prices tend to be higher in San Diego, there are some more affordable options in the area, like High Country Villas in Encinitas or Emerald Lake Village in Oceanside.