Sandbridge Beach at Virginia Beach, Virginia in early morning

Several active adult communities in the Mid-Atlantic offer the best of beachside living.

Who doesn’t fantasize about a permanent beach vacation? The Mid-Atlantic offers beautiful ocean views in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, and many active adult communities take advantage of the beach lifestyle.

Here’s an overview of each state’s beaches, and the six best active adult communities near the water.

Virginia

The Virginia Beach area stretches from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay to the North Carolina border. Closer to the Bay, active adults can enjoy a typical beach town with a boardwalk, ocean-front shops and restaurants, and beaches that sometimes get crowded with residents from central and northern Virginia.

Further south, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park offer natural oases with opportunities for boating, birding, hiking, and biking.

Here are two communities in the Virginia Beach area.

The Villages at West Neck

Mid $200s - High $400s

The Villages at West Neck is the only Virginia active adult community in Virginia Beach proper. Here, prospective homebuyers can find homes offered for resale in both condo and single-family models, with the 936 homes divided into eight neighborhoods.

As the first age-restricted community in Virginia Beach, the homes and amenities are well-established. At the Village Hall, residents can get together to stay active at the fitness center and pools or take classes and join clubs in the meeting rooms and social spaces. The community is also conveniently located next to The Signature at West Neck, an 18-hole golf course and club.

Sommerton

Low $300s - Mid $400s

Sommerton offers homebuyers over 55 the opportunity to buy new and resale homes built by Stephen Alexander Homes. With just 90 townhomes, residents experience an intimate community less than half an hour from the beach.

The community doesn’t offer a clubhouse, but homeowners enjoy the gazebo and outdoor areas. Within a ten-minute drive, residents can also enjoy local and city parks as well as three golf courses.

Maryland

Maryland contains an impressive 7,719 miles of shoreline. However, only 31 of those miles are on the Atlantic Ocean; the rest are along the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. This makes Ocean City Maryland’s beach.

Ocean City offers a long boardwalk with access to public beaches, restaurants and shops, arcades, and fishing piers. Active adults can also enjoy the natural areas and more remote beaches provided by Assateague Island National Seashore.

Once a year, crowds gather as the island’s wild horses swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. One community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore lets adults over 55 take advantage of beach life.

The Parke at Ocean Pines

High $100s - High $300s

In Maryland, 55+ beach living doesn’t get better than The Parke at Ocean Pines. These 503 age-restricted homes create a neighborhood within the larger Ocean Pines community.

Built between 2001 and 2005 by Centex Homes, the single-family and attached models offer between 1,200 and 2,500 square feet of space.

Ocean Pines also provides many recreation opportunities including four pools, twelve tennis courts, sports fields, a golf course, and more. Residents of The Parke have exclusive access to a clubhouse with a fitness center, an indoor pool, a sauna, meeting rooms, and a library. Residents can enjoy the ponds, the fishing pier, and the community's natural spaces, or they can take a trip to the beach.

Delaware

Residents from Maryland and Pennsylvania often visit the quieter, family-friendly beaches in Delaware. Prospective homebuyers considering Maryland’s shore should also consider Delaware. Southern Delaware offers 13 active adult communities, which are all close to the shore.

Fenwick Island, South Bethany, Bethany Beach, Dewey Beach, and Rehoboth make up the beaches and communities along Delaware’s coastline. Fenwick, Bethany, and Dewey are more residential, while Rehoboth offers restaurants, a boardwalk, nightlife, and outlet stores. Active adults can also enjoy the bays and inlets in the area, which provide opportunities for kayaking, bird watching, and hiking.

Here are the best three communities for adults over 55 who want to live right by the ocean.

Cedar Bay

Mid $100s - Mid $200s

Made up of just 72 condos, Cedar Bay offers homeowners over 55 the opportunity to live a maintenance-free lifestyle at the beach. Built in the mid-2000s and now offered for resale, the condos are compact with 1,000 to 1,500 square feet of living space, two to three bedrooms, and a porch or balcony.

Residents have access to a clubhouse with a meeting room, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool. However, the community is just a ten-minute bike ride away from the beach and a fifteen-minute ride away from the boardwalk at Bethany.

Bay Crossing

Mid $300s - High $500s 

Near the bay and ocean beaches around Lewes, Bay Crossing offers single-family and attached resale homes. The single-family models built by Blenheim Homes range from 1,300 to 2,400 square feet, while the attached models by Pulte Homes are in the 2,000 square-foot range.

Because it’s about a fifteen-minute drive to both Rehoboth and Lewes beaches, residents can fully enjoy the water when not taking advantage of the many amenities in the community. Residents can swim in the outdoor pool, play a tennis match, or join a club or class in the clubhouse meeting rooms.

Four Seasons at Belle Terre

High $300s - Mid $400s

Active adults looking for a new home at the beach should consider Four Seasons at Belle Terre. K. Hovnanian announced in 2019 that they would begin construction on 269 single-family homes. Also located in Lewes, the age-restricted community will include a clubhouse, an outdoor pool, pickle-ball courts, an outdoor patio and firepit, and a tiki bar.

The home models are larger, ranging from 1,800 to 2,400 square feet, with first-floor owners’ suites plus two guest bedrooms, and two- or three-car garages. Residents will be about a fifteen-minute drive from Rehoboth and Dewey beaches, with easy access to the outlets, stores, and restaurants in the area.