The 55 Best 55+ Communities in America for 2014

The Villages ranks as the best 55+ community in America by the team at 55Places.com.

55places.com is proud to announce the 55 best 55+ age-restricted communities in America for 2014. The best 55+ communities in America combine world-class amenities and finely crafted affordable homes in the country’s most sought after locations. Hundreds of exceptional active adult communities were reviewed for the honor of being included in our list of the 55 best 55+ communities in America.

The challenging process of creating this list utilized objective research and valuable insight gained from personally visiting every community. Last year alone our team toured over 500 active adult communities to examine every component of what creates the ultimate 55+ community including the collection of amenities, the offering of homes, the lifestyle, affordability and the local conveniences and attractions. We also took into consideration the community’s popularity based upon analytics on 55places.com that measured the number of visitors to each community page on our website.

Our extensive analysis, both in-person and through objective research helped us create a ranking for all of these categories. Using a scientific approach the data was compiled to produce an unbiased list of the best active adult communities in America. As a final thought, please keep in mind that we know what is “best” for one person isn’t always ideal for another. Although our data is objective it doesn’t take into consideration the subjective unique needs of every active adult. We hope this list helps you narrow your search for the best active adult community for you.

1. The Villages – The Villages, FL

The Villages is one of the largest active adult communities in the world with over 56,000 homes designed within a self-sustaining town. There are retail shops, restaurants, banks, post offices, worship centers, a hospital, and hundreds of amenities to live the ultimate active adult lifestyle including free golf for life. The Villages draws residents from all over the world in search of boundless activities and social happenings, world-class amenities and finely crafted homes.

Developers created The Villages to ensure every resident has easy and convenient access to amenities which is evident in the unique placement of town squares, retail plazas, golf courses and recreation centers spread throughout the entire community. Residents enjoy more amenities per capita at The Villages than any other city or active adult community in the country. Today’s homebuyers will find plenty of resale options available in a wide variety of designs to suit every budget.

2. Sun City Hilton Head – Bluffton, SC

With over 8,000 homes, Sun City Hilton Head is the largest active adult community in South Carolina. This Del Webb masterpiece boasts 54 holes of golf, two fitness centers, three swimming pools, two restaurants, and countless other amenities to support an active adult lifestyle. A 45-acre Village Center and Town Square is at the heart of this popular retirement destination.

Today homebuyers can choose from new construction or resale homes sized from approximately 1,000 square feet to over 4,000. Residents enjoy world-class amenities within the community and the famous Hilton Head Island just 13 miles away offering exciting coastal recreational and one-of-a-kind attractions.

3. Laguna Woods Village – Laguna Woods, CA

As the largest 55+ community on the West Coast, Laguna Woods Village boasts seven clubhouses, 36 holes of golf, five swimming pools, and over 250 special interest clubs and hobby groups. Residents of this beautiful community of 12,736 homes enjoy a fabulous location just 10 minutes to the Pacific Ocean while still being close to southern California’s most popular attractions.

An average yearly temperature of 76 degrees creates the perfect setting to enjoy the outdoor recreations at Laguna Woods Village. Other unique features include a performing arts center, an equestrian center, a woodworking shop, and gardening plots. Homebuyers today will find plenty of options as many of the 94 different floor plans are available on a resale basis.

4. On Top of the World – Ocala, FL

In the heart of Central Florida, On Top of the World is a beautiful 55+ community divided into several unique neighborhoods, some of which are still offering new construction homes. Set in Ocala, the Horse Capital of the World, this 10,000 home community offers world-class amenities and a robust social lifestyle.

The collection of amenities includes three golf courses, multiple clubhouses, restaurants, swimming pools, and fitness centers as well as unique attractions including an RC airplane field, a mini-golf course, an 800-seat performance venue, a full-service spa, and an on-site education center offering hundreds of academic and special interest courses. There are also several conveniences located within the community including a deli, farmers market, and ice cream shop. Residents enjoy a world of recreations within On Top of the World as well as throughout the outstanding Ocala area.

clubhouse at Sun City Lakes
The 40,000 square-foot clubhouse at Sun City Carolina Lakes boasts impressive resort-style amenities.

5. Sun City Carolina Lakes – Fort Mill, SC

Fort Mill/Indian Land is near the border of North and South Carolina, where Sun City Carolina Lakes draws retirees from across the country. The picturesque location of this Del Webb community is just outside Charlotte and is planned for 3,400 homes. Today buyers can select from new construction and resale homes in a wide variety of styles and price points.

Community amenities are plentiful at the 40,000 square-foot clubhouse, home to resort-style amenities as well as daily events and activities. An 18-hole golf course, on-site restaurant, woodworking shop, demonstration kitchen and pet park are just a few of the countless amenities at this popular 55+ community.

The following 55+ communities all scored very high in our thorough analysis of the popularity, amenities, lifestyle, homes, and location of each community. Peruse this list of the best 55+ communities in America to discover your dream retirement destination.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

Interior view of the indoor pool at Del Webb Ponte Vedra in Ponte Vedra, Florida.

Jacksonville Area 55+ Communities With Indoor Pools

There’s something so luxurious about an indoor pool. Take a look at these communities in Jacksonville and the surrounding northeast Florida area. You’ll find indoor pools and much, much more.

Sunset on sandy and rocky beach in the Bay Area of California.

55+ Communities on the Beach in the Bay Area

Perhaps you’re ready to turn your dream of living by the beach into reality. In that case, we’ve got you covered, because there are a few wonderful beachside 55+ communities right in the Bay Area.

A 55+ couple with arthritis holding hands and enjoying a day at the beach.

The Best Places to Retire With Arthritis

Those with arthritis know the pain and discomfort can be difficult to manage day-to-day. While there are many remedies to manage the pain, one you may not consider is climate. 55Places has taken a look at the best regions to live if you have arthritis, and many of them are home to 55+ communities!

A bridge over a pond on the grounds of Sun City Lincoln Hills in Lincoln, California.

Large 55+ Communities in the Sacramento Area

One of the greatest benefits of living in a large community is the vast amount of amenities typically offered. If you’re looking for larger 55+ communities in Sacramento, you’ll want to check out the three following communities.

Aerial view of the Downtown Spartanburg skyline in South Carolina on a sunny day.

Living in Spartanburg, South Carolina

Located in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northwestern South Carolina—also known as the Upstate—Spartanburg is an ideal destination for active adults who want to retire in a mid-sized city with a small-town, close-knit feel.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top