Spend your retirement in the sun.

Spend your retirement in the sun.

If your dream destination involves 365 days of sunshine and warm weather year-round, then you might want to consider retiring in an active adult community located in some of the country’s sunniest regions. Of course, Florida usually tops many retirement lists but, according to NerdWallet’s “Sunniest Cities in the U.S.,” the Sunshine State didn’t make the top ten.

NerdWallet gathered data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to find out which spots across America offered the highest annual percentage of possible sunshine. So if you’re thinking about what places could offer you the sunniest setting and a 55+ community for your Golden Years, then check out the list below.


It’s no surprise to see that Arizona had four cities with the highest average sunshine make it on the top ten list. Cities like Yuma, which made the number one spot with 90% average annual sunshine, as well as Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff all have high annual percentage of average possible sunshine. Luckily, retirees who want to live in Arizona can choose from these sunny cities that offer a great selection of 55+ communities in and around those areas. Tucson, which is a popular retirement hotspot and offers scenic mountain views, is located in the center of the Sonoran Desert and offers 286 days of sunshine a year. In addition to the dry desert climate, Tucson also has numerous active adult communities like SaddleBrooke, La Cholla Hills, Altura, and Casas Del Oro Norte. The Phoenix area is another well-known retirement location where residents will find established 55-plus communities like the original Sun City Arizona, Sun City West, Sun Lakes, as well as newer developments such as Trilogy at Vistancia, PebbleCreek, and Trilogy at Wickenburg Ranch.


Las Vegas and Reno also made the top ten. These areas also host numerous active adult communities that offer reasonably priced homes, world-class amenities, and a vibrant social atmosphere. The first age-restricted community in Las Vegas was Del Webb’s Sun City Summerlin, which boasts more than 7,000 homes, four clubhouses, three golf courses, and three restaurants for the ultimate in active adult living. The Reno area offers fewer active adult communities but provides the same exciting environment that’s found in Las Vegas. Retirees can choose from established 55+ communities like Miners Village or Villa Toscana or newer communities like Regency at Damonte Ranch or Sierra Canyon. Whether you settle in the Las Vegas or Reno area, both places have beautiful mountains nearby that provide abundant outdoor recreational opportunities like hiking, biking, camping, and fishing that can be enjoyed on a sunny day.


The Golden State is another popular retirement destination in the U.S. that offers more than 100 active adult communities with diverse amenities, homes, and social environments. Although you may think that Southern California gets all the attention for warm and sunny weather, Redding in Northern California ranked second on the sunniest list with 88% of their days experiencing possible sunshine. Retirees considering this sunny locale can check out The Vineyard, an established 55+ community that has well-appointed amenities and just 208 single-family homes priced from the low $300s. Tuscany Villas is another active adult community in Redding that has just 79 homes and offers Baby Boomers a quiet neighborhood setting. Other popular retirement spots like Sacramento and Fresno were on the lower end of the list with 78-79% of average possible sunshine. Sacramento has over a dozen age-restricted communities like Sun City Lincoln Hills, Heritage at El Dorado Hills, and Four Seasons at Westshore that offer a wide range of new and resale homes along with world-class amenities and an exciting social atmosphere. Although Fresno doesn’t offer any 55-plus communities, the surrounding areas like Bakersfield, which is known as one of the country’s sunniest cities, has charming active adult developments that cater to retirees looking for affordable homes.


Although the Dallas-Fort Worth Area didn’t make the top ten list, this retirement destination still offers a rich line-up of age-restricted communities that attract retirees from across the country. With only 61% of their days experiencing sunshine, Dallas-Forth Worth still has more than 200 days of sunshine a year and provides endless opportunities for adults to enjoy the warm weather with plenty of outdoor recreation and historical attractions. Popular active adult communities like Robson Ranch – Texas in Denton, Frisco Lakes in Frisco, and Heritage Ranch in Fairview are just some of the beautiful active adult communities in this region. Each community provides robust amenities, great outdoor recreational facilities, attractive home designs, and scenic landscapes.

New Mexico

Albuquerque made the number eleven spot on the list with 76% of their days experiencing sunshine. The Albuquerque Area offers a great selection of age-restricted communities like Del Webb at Mirehaven and Jubilee at Los Lunas that provide retirees with the magnificent amenities, quality-built homes, and an active lifestyle they seek for their Golden Years. The area, which is nestled amid the scenic Sandia and Manzano Mountains, provides an ideal backdrop combined with perfect sunny weather for outdoor recreation. With up to 300 days of sunshine per year, residents won’t have a problem exploring this beautiful region’s natural environment and picturesque surroundings on hiking or camping excursions.