Manalapan gives residents tranquil outdoor spots near popular beaches and New York City.

A 15-minute drive to the Jersey shore, Revolutionary War historic sites, two public golf courses, and nearby modern conveniences are all on the list of reasons why Manalapan, New Jersey has such value for active adult lifestyles. It is on the western edge of Monmouth County, placing it close to the Mercer County line in Central Jersey. The closest big city is New York, and since it is only 45 minutes away, day trips are a cinch. 

There are four 55+ neighborhoods in Manalapan and price-wise, they run the gamut from budget-friendly to upscale. The smallest has just 115 homes, while the largest is almost like a town on its own with 1,557 residences. The choices are many, and the area is great for settling in for an active, rewarding, and low-key lifestyle. 

Four Seasons at Manalapan

High $400s - Mid $600s

The name Four Seasons is associated with high quality and fine living, and this active adult community is no exception. Built between 2004 and 2014 by K. Hovnanian Four Seasons at Manalapan has 692 single-family homes within its private gates. There are 11 models, sized from 1,670 up to a roomy 3,430 square feet. These luxurious residences include two or three bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, and two-car garages. Most come with expansive master suites and eat-in kitchens. Some models feature dens, patios, basements, home offices, and dramatic foyers. 

29,000 square-foot clubhouse serves as the main activity center. Aside from a state-of-the-art fitness facility, homeowners can enjoy the indoor pool, activity rooms, a ballroom, and a lounge with a fireplace. The resort-style amenities continue outdoors with two outdoor pools, tennis, bocce, horseshoes, plus a driving range and putting green. Activity groups for bowling, biking, pilates, movies, wine and cheese gatherings, gardening, and much more are managed by the community homeowners’ association. Knob Hill Golf Club is also less than two miles away and is open year-round.

Village Grande at Battleground

High $400s - Mid $500s

Built just outside of historic Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Village Grande at Battleground is one of Manalapan’s smaller active adult communities. It is just off of Route 33, and it has a private, upscale ambiance for adults ages 48 and up. The property has 115 single-family homes built between 2004 and 2006 by D.R. Horton, with five different models. These range from 1,824 to 2,103 square feet with two or three bedrooms and bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. These homes feature spacious master suites and master baths, while larger models may include dens, lofts, and sunrooms.

Village Grande’s private clubhouse, the Grande Club, has activity rooms and a fitness center, plus a ballroom and catering kitchen. In warmer months, the outdoor pool and patio area becomes a hub of activity, as do the putting green and shuffleboard court. Friends also gather together to play golf at any of the six courses that are all within a 15-minute drive. One of the most popular is the private Battlefield Country Club, which also has its own restaurant, tennis, and a lovely pool.

Renaissance at Manalapan

Mid $300s - High $400s

Renaissance at Manalapan has a dozen more homes than Village Grande at a slightly lower price point. This gated, 55+ community was built in 2000 by Carlton Homes with seven elegant models. These range from 1,598 to 2,422 square feet with two to three bedrooms and bathrooms, and attached garages. Some of the exclusive upgrades include hardwood floors and gourmet kitchens. Options like extended master suites and family rooms, patios, and libraries are offered in some models.

Renaissance’s clubhouse has a fitness center with a sauna, a library, a ballroom, and meeting rooms. The outside area features a sparkling outdoor pool, shuffleboard, bocce, and tennis. Some of the most popular activity clubs include a women’s club, a men’s club, billiards, and a travel club. There is a full-time activities director on staff, plus an active homeowners' association. And here is an added plus: Renaissance offers transportation to any physician or medical facility within the county.

Covered Bridge

Low $100s - Low $200s

Covered Bridge, a well-established active adult neighborhood of 1,557 condo and attached homes, is affordable and complete with appealing amenities and social opportunities. The cozy condos are located in two-story buildings and are offered in 978 or 1,130 square feet. Each has two beds and two baths, and an assigned parking spot in front of the building. Some feature balconies and patios. The attached 1,143 square-foot townhomes are all one-story, with two beds and baths, large master suites, patios, and parking spots.

There are two clubhouses on the property with exercise rooms, a sauna, an arts & crafts studio, meeting rooms, a theater, and a woodworking shop. There is also a driving range practice net, tennis, bocce ball, horseshoes, garden plots, and an outdoor pool. Golf enthusiasts can take advantage of discounted memberships to the nearby 18-hole, par-61 Pine Brook Golf Course. This community is also near Route 9, which is lined with shops, restaurants, and every convenience imaginable.