Time-lapse photo of Lombard Street in San Francisco at sunrise

For access to everything San Francisco has to offer without paying exorbitant prices, check out these communities.

There’s no denying it: San Francisco is expensive. But active adults looking for all of the excitement and entertainment this storied city has to offer may want to consider living near, and not actually in, SF. There are a handful of 55+ communities near "The City By the Bay" that make day trips to San Francisco easy and convenient, giving homeowners the best of both worlds—all the urban delights of a big city with the serenity, lower-cost, and space of the suburbs.

Check out the list below to discover five active adult communities that are perfect for day trips to San Francisco.

1. The Village at Ironwood - Pleasanton, CA

Low $1Ms - Mid $1Ms

Active adults looking for an upscale and intimate 55+ community should consider The Village at Ironwood in the affluent Bay Area suburb of Pleasanton. About 45 minutes from San Francisco, this private and gated community has only 112 single-family homes built by Ponderosa Homes from 2009 to 2014.

Residences at The Village at Ironwood offer single- and two-story floor plans ranging from 1,910 to 2,780 square feet. These homes offer two-car garages, at least two bedrooms, and boast high-end finishes such as granite slab countertops, premium stainless steel GE Profile appliances, and large walk-in closets. Homes in this neighborhood were built with green energy-efficient standards in mind.

Among the amenities at The Village at Ironwood is the 2,600-square-foot clubhouse and well-equipped exercise room. Inside the clubhouse, there are meeting rooms, a catering kitchen, a card room, and a library. Outdoors, there's a large pool, a patio, and two bocce ball courts. A full-time activities director is employed to organize excursions and on-site events, and residents are allowed to park their RVs on the premises.

Request more information about The Village at Ironwood here.

2. Rossmoor - Walnut Creek, CA

Low $300s - Low $1Ms

This well-established Bay Area community has been a popular respite for years, providing a peaceful, natural setting near all of the urban excitement of Walnut Creek's downtown area. Also, Rossmoor is only 30 minutes from San Francisco, which is an easy drive or Bart-ride away.

With 6,678 attached, condo-style, and single-family homes built from 1994 to 2005, Rossmoor offers a variety of homes ranging from 600 to 2,535 square feet.

The amenities at Rossmoor include five spacious clubhouses, multiple swimming pools, tennis courts, a 150-seat theater, and over 200 active social clubs. There are miles of paved walking and biking trails for residents to enjoy as well as 27 holes of NCGA-rated golf. The on-site seasonal farmers market is a popular event, and the weekly "Rossmoor News" newspaper keeps residents up-to-date with all of the neighborhood happenings. There’s also a bus for ferrying residents around the town and to community day trips.

Request more information about Rossmoor here.

3. Oakmont Village - Santa Rosa, CA

Mid $300s - Low $1Ms

Situated in the middle of the beautiful wine country of Sonoma County, Oakmont Village is a well-established 55+ community only an hour north of San Francisco. Set among vineyards and rolling hills, this sprawling golf-course community boasts a prime location near charming downtown Santa Rosa.

The 3,300 attached and single-family homes in Oakmont Village vary is size and style. Single-family homes offer 941 to 2,749 square feet, one to four bedrooms, one to three bedrooms, and an attached one- to three-car garage. Attached homes range from 980 to over 1,600 square feet and feature one or two bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, and an attached carport.

At Oakmont Village, the amenities include impressive golf facilities, two popular restaurants, three spacious clubhouses with social activities, fitness centers, and gathering spaces. Outdoors, there are four tennis courts, six pickleball courts, three bocce ball courts, a picnic area, and an outdoor salt-water pool and spa. On-site RV parking is available to residents, as well.

Request more information about Oakmont Village here.

4. The Villages Golf & Country Club - San Jose, CA

Low $300s - Low $1Ms

The Villages Golf & Country Club is a 55+ gated community with a serene, natural setting that feels worlds away from nearby Silicon Valley. Nestled in rolling foothills, The Villages Golf & Country Club offers residents over 500 acres of open space with hiking and horseback riding trails as well as shimmering lakes, all only an hour away from San Francisco. 

Homes at The Villages Golf & Country Club include condos, attached, and single-family homes built from 1967 to 2000. There are a total of 2,309 condos and townhomes as well as 227 single-family homes in this community. Most of the homes range from 600 square feet to 2,256 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, although some offer one or three bedrooms.

The amenity list at this sprawling community is extensive, and it includes a fitness center, an outdoor pool, an on-site restaurant, and multiple hobby and game rooms for photography buffs and woodworking aficionados. The impressive golf courses are, of course, one of the biggest draws at The Villages, and the proximity to urban cities such as San Jose and San Francisco make dining and shopping day trips a breeze.

Request more information about The Villages Golf & Country Club here.

5. Summerset - Brentwood, CA

High $300s - Mid $700s

Summerset, built largely by renowned builder Del Webb, is a 1,000-acre golf community in the agricultural Bay Area suburb of Brentwood, just over an hour’s drive from San Francisco. This area is known for warm weather, modern shops and eateries, and a number of family-owned farms growing fresh fruit and produce.

Summerset is comprised of 2,013 attached and single-family homes that were built between 1994 and 2005. These homes offer a myriad of sizes and floor plans, ranging from 964 to 2,652 square feet with two to four bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and a one- to three-car garage. All the homes throughout the community are patio homes that blend seamlessly with the golf course greens and well-manicured landscaping.

In addition to full access to the beautiful 18-hole golf course, residents of Summerset enjoy plenty of resort-like amenities. There are multiple fitness centers, a library, card rooms, and billiards rooms as well as a ballroom and a pavilion. Outdoors, residents can cool off in one of the sparkling swimming pools, enjoy time in the spas, play on the lighted tennis or bocce ball courts, or relax in the private parks. There are many active social clubs to join, and residents also have access to on-site RV parking.

Request more information about Summerset here.