Orlando is home to a fast-growing collection of Florida retirement communities, and it’s easy to understand why. Its central location in the state makes it easy for residents to reach either coast, two international airports, a local cruise port, and both Interstate 4 and the Florida Turnpike.
It also happens to be a lot of fun to live in Orlando. There’s golf, shopping, and art (as well as a theme park or two). Active adults hoping to downsize into a comfortable community that’s low on maintenance but rich in amenities should consider one of these thriving Orlando area neighborhoods.
1. Gatherings of Lake Nona - Orlando, FL
Comfortable condo living is available at Gatherings of Lake Nona, one of the most desirable 55+ communities in Orlando. There are four new construction models for buyers to choose from, including units with two or three bedrooms. They have two bathrooms, garage parking, and the Aspen model has a den. There are between 1,368 and 1,805 square feet available in these floor plans.
With elevators and security, the high-rise condo buildings hold 216 total homes, and the condo association is active, providing building upkeep, landscaping, irrigation, and pest control. Residents also get cable television and internet included in their HOA fees.
Gatherings of Lake Nona is part of the larger Lake Nona master-planned community, which emphasizes health, well-being, and innovative living. Amenities in the age-restricted neighborhood include a 4,400-square-foot clubhouse, a fitness center, and multi-purpose rooms where club meetings and social activities are held. There’s also an outdoor pool and patio, pickleball courts, bocce ball courts, a fire pit, and a dog park.
2. VillageWalk at Lake Nona - Orlando, FL
Without an age restriction, VillageWalk at Lake Nona is another potential Lake Nona community for active adults who want to downsize. Here, it’s easy to find attached resale villas that require little maintenance. Duplex models have between 1,526 and 1,542 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage. There’s also a townhome that provides 1,835 square feet, two bedrooms, a den which can be used as an additional bedroom or an office, two-and-a-half or three bathrooms, and a two-car garage. Larger single-family homes with three or four bedrooms can also be purchased.
At VillageWalk at Lake Nona, residents will find a Town Center that includes a modern fitness center, a ballroom, a business center, a catering kitchen, and meeting rooms. There’s an outdoor lap pool as well as a resort-style pool, tennis courts, a basketball court, and an event lawn. Many people use the gazebo, and there are on-site conveniences like a salon, grocery store, day spa, and gas station. Activities such as movie nights and a regular fish fry keep everyone social, and residents can take aerobics classes or participate in karaoke night or the walking club.
3. Twin Lakes - St. Cloud, FL
Twin Lakes is a waterfront 55+ community just outside of Orlando, ideal for buyers who want to downsize on the quieter outskirts of a large city. St. Cloud is especially attractive for its fishing, boating, and hiking opportunities. Residents enjoy exploring Peghorn Nature Park or fishing and launching canoes and kayaks on Lake Tohopekaliga. At Twin Lakes, the pier offers gorgeous lake views and the 20,000-square-foot clubhouse will face the water once it’s complete.
New construction attached villas and single-family homes are available for buyers who want open floor plans, outdoor living space, and less maintenance. Attached homes have two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Offering 1,449 square feet, the Daytona Model includes a den and an attached two-car garage. Floor plans for the Amelia include 1,351 square feet, an attached one-car garage, and a golf cart parking space. There’s an on-site activities director to encourage community events, classes, and group activities.
4. Solivita - Kissimmee, FL
A sprawling community spanning 4,300 acres and offering nearly 6,000 properties may seem like a strange selection for downsizing active adults, but Solivita offers low-maintenance living, affordable new and resale housing options, and a long list of amenities and activities. It’s also well-located in Kissimmee, putting residents close to Orlando and all of its entertainment but also close to nature, parks, and everyday shopping centers and general conveniences.
Six models for attached homes are available in the Courtyards Collection with between 1,361 and 2,241 square feet, two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached garages with space for a car and a golf cart.
For golfers, the semi-private Stonegate Golf Club offers two 18-hole courses, a putting green, an aquatic driving range, a pro shop, and a scenic outdoor deck. Other amenities include pools, spas, neighborhood centers, computer labs, pickleball, tennis, art galleries, and fitness centers. Even as buyers choose to downsize their space and home maintenance responsibilities, they aren’t making any sacrifices when it comes to having fun and socializing.
5. High Vista at Ridgewood Lakes - Davenport, FL
One of the reasons why people downsize is because they want to live simple lives and spend less money. That’s exactly what’s available at High Vista at Ridgewood Lakes, a 55+ community just half an hour west of Orlando in Davenport. These affordably priced single-family homes are available as resale properties, and they have between 1,395 and 2,549 square feet. The smaller homes have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. There’s RV parking for part-time residents or snowbirds, and the community is surrounded by lakes, nature trails, and preserves.
There’s also golf. Residents can join the Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club with its 18-hole course, practice facilities, and pro shop. Community amenities include horseshoe pits; shuffleboard, tennis, and bocce ball courts; and a heated outdoor pool and spa. Inside the clubhouse, residents can use the fitness center, card room, lounge, library, and catering kitchen. This is a great community for Orlando buyers who expect frequent visits from the grandkids; Disney World is only 10 miles away.