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

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.

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.