Flowers blooming around the community sign for Winding River Plantation in Bolivia, North Carolina

Looking to downsize? Check out these active adult communities near Wilmington, North Carolina.

The picturesque, coastal town of Wilmington, North Carolina is a desirable retirement destination for many reasons. It offers its residents easy access to idyllic beaches, mild winter weather, and a myriad of historic sites, restaurants, and shopping destinations. It also offers potential residents several unique options when it comes to the 16 active adult communities in the area.

While each development offers its own perks, some communities provide more downsizing options than others. From quaint cottages with small floor plans to low-maintenance single-family homes, there are homes to suit a variety of tastes and budgets.

Here are three of the best Wilmington area communities for downsizing.

Brunswick Forest - Leland, NC

Mid $200s - Low $1Ms

Brunswick Forest is a large neighborhood located five minutes from downtown Wilmington. The development spans a total of 4,500 acres, and it's home to a combination of 8,000 single-family and attached homes with both new and resale options available.

There are dozens of floor plans for potential buyers to consider, and several that will appeal to those looking to downsize. The community’s smallest option is a 1,011-square-foot, low-maintenance cottage model that features two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Although residents may want to downsize their homes, they won’t have to downsize on amenities while living in Brunswick Forest. The community’s amenities include an 18,000-square-foot wellness center with cardio and strength training equipment, an indoor lap pool, and massage rooms. If residents prefer to workout outdoors, there are 40 miles of trails spread throughout the expansive property. Along with the wellness center and trails, Brunswick Forest has an 18-hole championship golf course with a clubhouse, a pro shop, locker rooms, and on-site dining options. Other amenities include a fishing pond and a small boat launch.

Learn more information about Brunswick Forest here.

St. James Plantation - Southport, NC

Low $100s - Low $1Ms

Southport’s St. James Plantation is located just a short drive from the Wilmington area, and it will feature a mixture of 5,000 single-family homes and condos upon final completion. The gated community offers both new and resale options with dozens of floor plans.

For residents hoping to downsize, there are several plans available with less than 1,500 square feet of living space. St. James Plantation’s smallest option offers 1,280 square feet, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a one-car garage. Not only does St. James Plantation offer great options when it comes to home sizes, but it also allows residents to downsize their mortgage payments with prices starting in the low $100s.

There are many desirable amenities within the community, including four golf clubs, on-site restaurants and bars, outdoor pools, and tennis courts. Residents also have access to a marketplace, a tiki bar and grill, and a full-service marina with 100 boat slips. There are more than 30 social clubs for a variety of interests, from pilates and fishing to bowling and bridge. Other social activities vary from concerts and wine dinners to trivia nights.

Learn more information about St. James Plantation here.

Winding River Plantation - Bolivia, NC

Mid $200s - High $500s

Winding River Plantation is a gated community that’s located 30 minutes from historic downtown Wilmington. It boasts a combination of 1,130 single-family homes and condos that are available on a resale-only basis. The development’s condos are the best option for downsizing, providing floor plans as small as 1,201 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Winding River Plantation is amenity-rich, giving its residents access to a 27-hole golf course, a fitness center, a number of pools and patios, a boat launch, a marina, and a private beach. Additionally, there are two pickleball courts, two tennis courts, and bocce ball courts for residents to enjoy. As far as social activities go, there are a number of organized clubs and interest groups as well as community events that range from BBQs and holiday parties to picnics and tennis matches.

Learn more information about Winding River Plantation here.