View of an autumn sunset through the trees in a park in North Carolina

Whether you're looking for a home near the coast, the mountains, and a major city, North Carolina has it.

There are 130 active adult communities in North Carolina, which is one of the reasons a lot of retirees move there. But that’s not the only reason. The state’s four-season climate, an abundance of continuing education opportunities, and close proximity to cultural and recreational activities are all reasons North Carolina is a popular place to retire.

If you’ve thought about moving to North Carolina it's likely you've been overwhelmed by the number of choices. The state is home to several diverse regions and metropolitan areas. If you're deciding between the coastal cities, the mountains, or the capital, we're here to help.

1. The Triangle

A blue sky over a street with pedestrians in Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina

Downtown Raleigh's charm is just one of the many reasons the Triangle is popular among active adults.

Together, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham make up the popular area nicknamed the Research Triangle, or simply the Triangle. Because it's home to North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina, this region of the Tar Heel state is known for its technology and research facilities.

The Triangle offers plenty of recreational, social, and educational attractions. There are museums, performing arts centers, urban shops, and highly-rated restaurants. Raleigh is home to the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, and baseball fans can go check out the Durham Bulls, the minor league team featured in the movie Bull Durham.

Nearby Communities

Carolina Preserve

Four Seasons at Renaissance

Regency at Brier Creek

Encore at Briar Chapel

Creekside at Bethpage

2. Asheville

Sidewalk cafes in Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville's quaint setting is unmatched by any other Carolina city.

Largely known for its Art Deco and Beaux architecture, dozens of art galleries, and lush, mountain setting  Asheville is one of the most eclectic cities in North Carolina. The city is home to a booming craft beer scene and several popular music venues. 

Located at a relatively high elevation, Asheville is the perfect destination for a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking in the mountains, biking along trails, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is also just outside of Asheville, making it an easy escape from the city for outdoor enthusiasts.

Nearby Communities

Biltmore Lake

Pinebrook Farms

Bee Tree Village

Beaverdam Run


3. Charlotte

Blooming pink flowers with Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina in the background

Charlotte is the biggest city and metropolitan area in North Carolina for a reason.

While Charlotte has seven active adult communities within the city, there are 46 in the immediate vicinity, making it one of the top retirement destinations in the state. Located in central North Carolina, Charlotte is an hour away from Myrtle Beach where there is an abundance of golf courses, and Charleston isn’t far, either.

If kayakers find the North Carolina river systems too tame, then you can try out the man-made rapids at the National Whitewater Rafting Center, located in Mecklenburg County, just west of Charlotte. The ever-popular Lake Norman is located just north of the city. Otherwise, Charlotte is popular for its dining, craft breweries, and a laid-back atmosphere. And let’s not forget that Charlotte is also the birthplace to NASCAR and home to the sport's Hall of Fame

Nearby Communities

The Vineyards at Lake Wylie

The Meridians

Trilogy Lake Norman

The Villages at Oak Tree

The Courtyards at Jetton Place

4. The Piedmont Triad Cities

A nighttime view of a park with buildings in the background in North Carolina's Piedmont Triad cities

Active adults looking for an affordable low-maintenance lifestyle have many options in the Triad Cities.

Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point make up North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad cities, which is not to be confused with the Triangle region of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.

While many 55+ communities are located in the Raleigh-Durham area, there are plenty of low-maintenance neighborhoods in this region. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor adventurer, a food and wine enthusiast, or a sports fan, the Piedmont Triad area in central North Carolina offers plenty to do, including festivals, golf courses, shopping, museums and historical sites to restaurants and wineries.

Nearby Communities

Millhaven Landing

Villas at Sedgefield

Olde Town Village

Guilford Crossing

The Glen at Mackintosh