The Best Places to Retire in Central Florida


South Florida might get a lot of the attention but Central Florida has become a treasure trove of active adult communities and opportunities over the past few decades. While The Villages might be the 800-pound gorilla of the region, there are over 60 age-restricted and active lifestyle communities to consider, depending on your budget, preferences, and needs.

With so many communities to choose from it can get a little daunting. So we here at 55 Places have taken the time to sort through each region within Central Florida to find the best options of the bunch worth considering. Ultimately we recommend you research and visit as many communities as you can, but we hope this provides a handy starting point for those interested in living the active adult lifestyle here.

On Top of the World – Ocala

If there’s a list about the top places for active adults to live, On Top of the World is almost certainly going to be on it. With over 10,000 homes eventually planned out, this active adult community has to go above and beyond to make sure every resident is catered to. That means multiple clubhouses and amenity centers, three golf courses, and the Circle Square Commons with shops, restaurants, and a live entertainment space.

They even get specific enough to provide a field for drone flyers and a go-kart track. If you’ve got a hobby worth enjoying, you’ll be able to enjoy it here. The huge size of the community isn’t for everyone but there are plenty of available homes ranging from below $100K to the mid $400Ks.

Stone Creek – Ocala

Staying in Ocala, the Stone Creek gated active adult community is another place to consider if you’re looking for a large neighborhood (over 3,800 homes planned) full of top-notch amenities and lifestyle possibilities. There are plenty of available homes that range between $100K and the high $400s, all of which are centered around a 60,000 square-foot social and recreational complex that contains every open space, sports facility, and activity room you can think of. To say nothing of the Elan Spa & Resort Pool facility and 18-hole golf course at Stone Creek Golf Club that residents can play.

Trilogy at Ocala Preserve – Ocala

If you’re looking for something that skews a bit more to the luxurious lifestyle, you’ll want to make time for Trilogy at Ocala Preserve. Built by Shea Homes, this community is expected to top out around 1,800 homes sprawled across 623 acres of lush landscaping and design.

An 18-hole golf course is available but we like to point people towards the 17,000 square-foot clubhouse, which features a restaurant, spa, fitness center, and sports room with large recliners and big screen TVs. Outside, you’ll find a resort-style pool overlooking a lake, separate lap pool, bocce courts, and tennis courts. Homes here range from the high $100s to the high $400s.

Spruce Creek Country Club – Summerfield

In the Summerfield area, we recommend taking a look at Spruce Creek Country Club. This Del Webb 55+ community boasts 3,250 homes, a 32,000 square-foot clubhouse, and nearly 100 clubs and interest groups. There’s also a 14,000 square-foot secondary clubhouse, a third amenity center (Peninsula Park Recreation Area), a full-time facility director, and four nine-hole golf courses designed by Terry Doss. It’s an impressive community with plenty of available homes ranging from the mid $100s to mid $400s.

Solivita – Kissimmee

Solivita in Kissimmee is another community that always seems to end up high on our awards lists. This 4,300-acre thoughtfully designed master-planned active adult community works hard to create a fantastic lifestyle built around the homebuyer. Boasting over 150,000 square feet of amenities, this golf-cart-friendly community makes it easy to get to and from all of them. It also doesn’t hurt that available homes range from the low $100s to the high $400s, giving buyers plenty of options to consider.

Trilogy Orlando – Groveland

It’s a little confusing to learn that Trilogy Orlando is actually located in Groveland (30 miles west of Orlando) but once you get past that, you won’t be confused to learn why so many people call it home. Upon completion, this gated community will be comprised of 1,499 energy-efficient, yet affordable, single-family residences (available homes) that range between the low $200s and low $500s). Those who live here get to enjoy the 57,000 square-foot resort-style club Magnolia House as well as many other amenities and lifestyle club opportunities.

Kings Ridge – Clermont

Kings Ridge is an active adult community in the hills of Clermont, evenly situated between The Villages and Orlando. It offers some extremely affordable housing options, ranging between the high $100s and high $200s, with many homes sitting on oversized lots or with golf course views. The amenities available here are also a big part of the appeal, including the 25,000 square-foot clubhouse, the North Spa with multiple pools, and two 18-hole golf courses that weave throughout the community.

The Plantation at Leesburg – Leesburg

The Plantation at Leesburg 55+ community is a great setting for active adults to enjoy recreational and social activities all year round. Residents enjoy the three well-equipped, multi-purpose clubhouses, three swimming pools, an on-site restaurant, spring fed fishing ponds, and more. The community is also a golfer’s paradise with two 18-hole semi-private golf courses and two PGA professional assistants on staff. Homes here range between the low $100s and mid $300s, so it’s a viable option for a lot of buyers.

Kings Point – Sun City Center

Over by the Gulf Coast, Kings Point is a gated active adult neighborhood that’s worth checking out. You get all of the benefits of living in Sun City Center, including amenity, retail, and restaurant options, coupled with the quality amenities specific to Kings Point. They include the 90,000 square-foot clubhouse with an indoor and outdoor pool and entertainment theater as well as the 28,000 square-foot secondary clubhouse which includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, outdoor resort-style pool, and various sports courts. Homes here start below $100K and rise to the low $300s.

Stonecrest – Summerfield

Finally, we return to Summerfield and visit Stonecrest, a 55+ community slated to include 2,200 homes among the rolling hills in Marion County. Amenities are plenty and varied, between the 7,000 square-foot clubhouse known as Crest Club, Stonecrest Community Center for parties and performances, plentiful sports courts and outdoor spaces, and Stonecrest Country Club and its two golf courses. Available homes start in the mid $100s and rise up to the low $500s, providing plenty of room for all types of buyers.

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