UPDATE: For a more current list, check out our 55 Best 55+ communities of 2020.
For the sixth consecutive year, 55places.com is proud to announce the 55 Best 55+ Communities of the Year. The competition grew fiercer in 2019, and we considered more data than ever in order to uncover the best active adult communities in the country.
To compile this list, 55places.com looked at amenity types, lifestyle options, price range, location, resident reviews, internal sales data, and more. You can find more about our methodology here.
If you’ve followed along on our monthly best-selling and most popular posts, some of the top-ranking communities on this list might not surprise you. Despite that, there’s plenty of variety within the top 10 and throughout this list, whether you’re looking for location, price, or anything in between.
We hope this list can help active adults pinpoint the community of their dreams as 55+ community builders continue to innovate and expand. Here are the 55 Best 55+ Communities of the Year:
1. On Top of the World - Ocala, FL
Consistently ranking in our best-selling and most popular lists, it won’t be a shock to see On Top of the World on top of this list. The Central Florida community is the second-largest 55+ community in Florida with plans for 10,000 homes.
Claiming the top spot on our 55 Best 55+ Communities list isn’t the only No. 1 spot OTOW has claimed this year. 55places.com also named OTOW as the most popular and the best-selling community of 2019.
This community’s popularity comes from its affordability, variety of home styles, huge range of clubs and activities, and several amenity complexes that have recently been updated. If you’re an active adult looking for neighbors who garden, golf, play pickleball, or anything else you can think of, you’ll find that in On Top of the World.
2. Sun City Texas - Georgetown, TX
Since construction began in 1995, Sun City Texas has become the biggest and most popular 55+ community in the Lone Star State. Construction continues with plans for 9,900 single-family and attached homes.
The community caters to outdoor lovers with 9-miles of walking trails, 12 tennis courts, six bocce ball courts, a fishing lake, several parks, gardening plots, and even a dog park. Golfers feel right at home with an 18-hole championship course and pro shop. There are also four outdoor pools for those who want to relax in the sun.
Potential homeowners can choose between over 50 floor plans ranging from 940 to 3,150 square feet, so there are options for all types of budgets.
3. Sun City Hilton Head - Bluffton, SC
The perennial Coastal South Carolina 55+ community, Sun City Hilton Head has been drawing in active adults since 1995. Its proximity to the fun of Hilton Head Island—and several other coastal cities like Myrtle Beach and Charleston—means residents are never at a loss for things to do inside or out of the community.
Most of the fun centers around the 45-acre town center, which has several restaurants, fitness centers, craft rooms, and a 540-seat performing arts center. There are also plenty of things to do outdoors, including tennis, pickleball, bocce, softball, and croquet. Then, there’s the 20-acre fishing lake, a fitness trail, gardening plots, and a dog park. Of course, it doesn’t end there; golfers also have three 18-hole courses to choose from every day.
4. Sun City Anthem - Henderson, NV
The Las Vegas area—and Henderson in particular—is becoming a hugely popular spot for retirees. Its climate, affordability, and close proximity to world-class entertainment is attracting people from all across the country, especially those from California.
The Las Vegas area also has a strong selection of 55+ communities including Sun City Anthem, which finished construction on over 7,000 homes in 2008. Between several floor plans four amenity centers, and over 100 clubs and activities, this community has plenty to offer active adults.
The three 18-hole golf courses, the 31,000-square-foot Independence Center, and the 22,000-square-foot Liberty Center compliment the massive 77,000-square-foot Anthem Center clubhouse. Between them, there’s a theater, tennis courts, a massage room, pools, and hobby rooms. And of course, the Las Vegas Strip is just a short drive away.
5. Solivita - Kissimmee, FL
Another 55+ community near world-class entertainment and tourist destinations is Solivita, near Orlando. It has plans for 5,900 single-family and attached homes in a golf cart accessible community with its own town center.
Its huge selection of floor plans are affordably priced and range from 891 to 3,057 square feet. Residents have access to seven amenity centers and an 18-acre sports complex. Whether it's being creative, playing tennis, pickleball, or golf, grabbing a drink, or enjoying a party or event, Solivita supports an active and social lifestyle.
6. Pelican Preserve - Fort Myers, FL
Whether active adults want to downsize or stick to a single-family home, they have plenty of options here, all in a sunny and coastal locale. Besides plenty of home options, the community has the 70,000-square-foot Plaza Del Sol clubhouse, which is the hub of activity in the community.
There, residents enjoy fitness facilities, a restaurant and juice bar, hobby rooms, a movie theater, sport courts of all kinds, and a sand beach, among many other amenities. There’s also the Pelican Preserve Golf Club, which requires a membership for access to its clubhouse and 27-hole championship golf course.
One of the most unique aspects of the community is the 26-acre nature preserve and boardwalk, as well as the butterfly garden area. Pelican Preserve’s commitment to sustainability means the community was one of the first in the country awarded the Gold Seal of Sustainability by the Audubon International Sustainable Development program.
7. Del Webb Ponte Vedra - FL
Del Webb Ponte Vedra has a lot going for it. It’s located in the popular Nocatee master-planned community; it has condos, attached, and single-family homes; it’s between two popular retirement cities (Jacksonville and St. Augustine); and it has resort-style amenities.
Upon completion, the community will have just under 2,000 homes in seven home collections each with its own set of floor plans. One reason the community scored so high on this year’s list is its positive reviews from homeowners, especially in the past year.
Amenities center around the 37,000-square-foot Anastasia Club, which has a learning lounge, a fitness center, a day spa, a cafe, and hobby rooms. Outdoors, there’s a resort-style pool, a sundeck, and courts for tennis, bocce, and pickleball.
The community brings out the best of Northwest Florida nature with a nature preserve, fishing lakes, a 6-mile nature trail, and a community garden. Soon, the community will be joined by Del Webb Nocatee in the master community, but for now, Ponte Vedra’s established lifestyle and amenities make it a top pick.
8. Sun City West - AZ
Sun City West is one of the original 55+ communities, located in its own town, and near the retirement capital of the west: Phoenix. This community ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to what we consider a good community. Its affordability and expansive amenities make it a great option for active adults looking to enjoy the Arizona sun.
Topping out at 16,900 homes, Sun City West is a more modern version of its neighbor, the original Sun City. It has daily conveniences like grocery stores, banks, retail stores, restaurants, doctor’s offices, and even a hospital.
More traditional 55+ community amenities are found throughout the community’s four recreation centers. They include fitness centers, hobby rooms, a greenhouse, sport courts, walking trails, bowling alleys, golf courses, and pretty much anything else an active adult can imagine.
9. Province - Maricopa, AZ
Another Phoenix area community, Province is building over 2,000 single-family and attached homes that come in dozens of floor plans. Active adults who want to live in a secluded area while still near a bigger city will enjoy Province, which is about a 45-minute drive south of Phoenix.
Amenities on offer center around the 32,000-square-foot clubhouse with a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, hobby rooms, and a cafe. Residents looking to enjoy Phoenix’s over 200 sunny days a year can do so at the tennis, bocce, pickleball, shuffleboard, and basketball courts. There are also walking trails, 125 acres of parks and natural space, 50 acres of lakes, and an 18-hole putting green.
10. Latitude Margaritaville - Daytona Beach, FL
Coming in at No. 10 on our list is the 55+ community that changed what active adult living means: Latitude Margaritaville. The community was the first of the Jimmy Buffett-inspired neighborhoods developed by Minto, with more expected soon.
Early residents of the community have already made it a fun place to live, and that should only increase now that some of the town center is open, including the fitness center, restaurant and bar, and resort-style pool. Homeowners can expect even more amenities soon, including a retail area and private beachfront club.
With plans for over 3,000 homes, the popularity of the community should only increase as it grows. This surely won’t be the last time Latitude Margaritaville will find itself in our top list.
12. Sun City - AZ