The 55+ community as we know it today started over 60 years ago and every successive decade has brought new changes to what the retirees of the day want in a community. Now, with the 55+ market bigger than ever, those changes are happening fast.
While things like shuffleboard and bingo are still popular, many communities are now focusing on large gatherings, volunteering events, pickleball, and resort-style amenities. This year’s list of the most popular communities is a quality representation of the long-standing 55+ communities that continue to dominate the market, but the up-and-comers are also looking to change the way retirees live.
Here are the 100 most popular 55+ communities for 2020 based on 55places.com pageviews and saved communities through user accounts.
Below $100k - Low $400s
Those following our annual awards won’t find this year’s most popular community that surprising. On Top of the World took home every major award from 55places, including our 2019 Community of the Year.
Sales continue to tick along in this popular community, and it’s easy to see why. Over the past few years, On Top of the World has modernized several amenities, including the golf club and a fitness center, adding to an already expansive set. The low home prices, diversity of home styles and floor plans, ideal location, and thorough social calendar will continue to make this community a top pick for years to come.
Low $200s - Low $600s
A perennial contender at the top of this list since it was first announced, Latitude Margaritaville continues to capture the hearts of those over 55. Based on the lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, this community already transcends many ideas about what a 55+ community can be.
Most amenities are open now, including a fitness center, a bar and grill, and a nearby shopping center, while the private beach club isn't far behind. This year, the community also added three new floor plans, giving homebuyers looking to downsize some even better options.
Mid $100s - High $1Ms
The world’s largest 55+ community remains one of the most popular. The Villages in Florida took what Del E. Webb created a decade before and doubled it in size. The community is a census-designated place spread across three counties and several zip codes, and it’s still growing today.
If you want your 55+ community to be more like a city, The Villages might be worth a look. In this massive community, you can go for a routine physical, get in a round of golf, check out a book at the library, and meet with friends for dinner all in one day. And don’t forget: The entire city is golf cart accessible.
High $100s - Mid $1Ms
Recently, Sun City Hilton Head has become one of the most popular Sun City communities in the country. Aided by an increase in South Carolina’s popularity as a retirement state, an ideal coastal location near Hilton Head Island, and plenty of resort-style communities, it’s no surprise retirees are flocking here.
Its crown jewel is the 48-acre town center and amenity complex, which encompasses pretty much anything a person needs to stay active and social in retirement. There are several sports courts, restaurants, a model railroad, and even a nearby fishing lake.
5. Solivita - Kissimmee, FL
Mid $100s - Mid $500s
Solivita has long been the Orlando area’s premier 55+ community, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down. While there’s plenty to enjoy about the community, its amenity list rivals any other in the state.
Solivita's amenities span eight complexes and include an 18-acre park with courts for pickleball, tennis, shuffleboard, and bocce as well as a softball diamond, horseshoe pits, and a dog park. All of this is just a short drive from the fun of Orlando, making Solivita a great community for visiting family.
High $100s - High $500s
Construction on Pelican Preserve began back in 2001, but it wasn’t until recently that this Gulf Coast 55+ community vaulted to the top of our awards list. Since then, it’s remained one of the most popular and best-selling communities in the country.
Not only does Pelican Preserve have an ideal location near the ocean and fun of Fort Myers, but it also has an expansive social calendar that takes advantage of the community’s resort-style amenities and scenic grounds.
Below $100k - Mid $500s
The golf-cart friendly community allows residents to enjoy a spa day, sip a drink on an outdoor patio, partake in some pottery, or get in a game of shuffleboard. And that’s just a sample of all the fun to be had in this community. For even more entertainment opportunities, Tampa and St. Petersburg are just a short drive away.
8. Stone Creek - Ocala, FL
Low $100 - Mid $500s
With the introduction of a second (but not the last) Ocala community on the list, it’s clear that the Central Florida city is becoming a new retirement paradise. One of the most popular communities in Ocala is Stone Creek, which hosts just under 4,000 attached and single-family homes.
The community matches that large inventory of homes with a long list of amenities, including the Stone Creek Golf Club, which is home to the 18-hole Terry Doss Championship Course, a putting green, a driving range, and a golf club.
Below $100k - Mid $300s
At this point, it should be no surprise to see another Ocala community here. Oak Run has a lot of similarities to Stone Creek, including size, home styles, and even some amenities.
Oak Run's amenities include five clubhouses, all of which have different purposes and themes, from fitness to relaxation to indoor and outdoor hobbies. The Royal Oak Golf Club has a pro shop, a restaurant, and an 18-hole championship course.
10. Sun City - Sun City, AZ
Below $100k - High $800s
The original 55+ community remains one of the most popular. Decades later, Sun City is still providing residents with an active lifestyle, quality amenities, and well-priced homes in an ideal location in the Phoenix area. Like other communities on this list, it acts more like a city by providing residents with things like first-rate health care.
Other easily accessible amenities include bowling alleys, 11 golf courses, several fitness centers, two fishing lakes, restaurants, and several outdoor pools throughout the community.
11. Sun City Grand - Surprise, AZ
Low $200s - Mid $800s
This 45+ community is home to four championship golf courses, several sports courts, walking trails, and many other outdoor amenities. Indoors, residents have several ways to stay active with hobbies, clubs, and even the ASU Lifelong Learning Center.
Mid $100s - Mid $1Ms
Laguna Woods Village has a lot of the same characteristics as many of the other communities on this list, but what makes it stick out is its location and home prices. In the heart of Orange County, this community has some of the lowest home prices in the area, age-restricted or otherwise.
Besides its prices, variety of home styles, and attractive floor plans, Laguna Woods Village has plenty for homeowners to enjoy. Residents have access to seven clubhouses, a community center, and several other amenities, including a 27-hole golf course.
Below $100k - Low $300s
Located next to Sun City, residents in Kings Point receive some of the same benefits as homeowners in the neighboring community as well as low home prices and an active social scene.
Amenities just for Kings Point residents include a 97,000-square-foot clubhouse with a cafe, saunas, a theater, several hobby rooms, and a floating fishing dock as well as community transit.
Low $100s - High $600s
Back in Phoenix, Sun City West is the second Sun City community and No. 14 on our list. Like its neighboring community, Sun City West has medical facilities, several golf courses, retail space, and several restaurants.
Beyond that, there are several recreation centers throughout the community as well as just under 17,000 homes. With a wide price range and a huge selection of homes, Sun City West provides plenty of options for retirees.
Below $100k - Low $300s
Its location in Toms River means residents are always near the shore while also being not too far from both New York City and Philadelphia. The community’s amenities span several clubhouses and neighborhoods and give homeowners ample opportunity to have fun indoors and out.
16. Tellico Village - Loudon, TN
Mid $100 - High $1Ms
Tellico Village is the first Tennessee and non-age-restricted community to make this year’s list. What makes it so popular among those 55+ despite it being all ages? The large boating and fishing lake is a good place to start.
Beyond that, there are several large clubhouses, golf courses, a private beach, and many other great ways to enjoy the outdoors.
17. Province - Maricopa, AZ
High $100s - High $500s
One of the most popular 55+ communities in the Phoenix area, Province remains at the top of the pack. Homebuyers enjoy the wide selection of attached and single-family homes that come in dozens of floor plans.
However, what really stands out in this community is its resort-style amenities. The 32,000-square-foot clubhouse has a state-of-the-art fitness center, an indoor pool, and several hobby and club rooms. Outdoors, homeowners can enjoy sports courts, 50 acres of lakes, and 125 acres of natural space.
Mid $200s - Low $600s
Del Webb Ponte Vedra has been at the forefront of the Jacksonville area's growth as a retirement destination. Located in the Ponte Vedra master-planned community, Del Webb Ponte Vedra gives homeowners access to amenities in both their own community and the master community.
Those amenities include a large resort-style pool, a day spa, a fitness center, and even a movement studio. Beyond that, there’s the 6-mile nature trail and Nocatee Nature Preserve.
Mid $200s - Low $1Ms
Currently, Las Vegas is one of the hottest markets in the country for 55+ communities, but Sun City Summerlin is the community that started it all. Located in the popular Summerlin master-planned community, Sun City Summerlin offers homeowners access to plenty of amenities inside and out.
Within their own neighborhood, residents can enjoy several clubhouses, golf courses, restaurants, pools, exercise facilities, and even a mini golf course. That’s not to mention the community is also only a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip.
20. Sun City Texas - Georgetown, TX
Low $200s - Low $100s
The Village Center is an 86,000-square-foot amenity complex with a restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and several hobby rooms. There are also three golf courses in the community. Beyond that, Sun City Texas residents enjoy a relatively secluded location while still being near Austin for big-city activities.