Exterior view of a model home at Lake Ashton in Lake Wales, Florida

For active adults seeking a Florida retirement, here are the best-reviewed communities in the Sunshine State.

Reviews are important for restaurants, theaters, electronics, clothing, and vacations. They’re also an important part of real estate. Reading reviews shows consumers what kind of experience others have had with a particular product or service.

When you’re looking to buy a home in Florida, you want to know what the people already living there think about the community. So today, we’re looking at the best-reviewed 55+ communities in Florida. Find out why these residents love where they live. 

1. Vitalia at Tradition - Port St. Lucie, FL

Low $200s - Mid $500s

The gated 55+ community of Vitalia at Tradition routinely ranks as one of the most popular active adult neighborhoods on Florida’s Treasure Coast. Buyers can choose from new construction and move-in ready properties in 10 collections with spacious and unique floor plans. Reviews from out-of-state buyers who are new to Florida compliment the community on its welcoming atmosphere, its friendly and warm neighbors, and the quality of model homes and amenities.

The amenities at The Captiva Club are hard to match. The clubhouse includes a fitness center and an aerobics and dance studio. There’s a bagel shop, a ballroom, a library, and a business center. Plenty of meeting rooms and multipurpose space can accommodate gatherings, parties, and special events. Outside, there’s a pool and a sundeck with cabanas. Residents enjoy tennis courts, pickleball courts, and bocce ball courts. There’s a putting green, a pavilion on the lake, and several walking and biking trails. Vitalia at Tradition is part of the Tradition master-planned community and not far from Interstate 95.

A review by Louis and Brenda Moore stated:

"The community is absolutely beautiful and the people are very friendly. As transplants from California, Florida brings us closer to family and central to some amazing cities and landmarks that we look forward to exploring. Of all the places in the world that we have been and could have chosen to call home, Port Saint Lucie checks all of the boxes for us."

Request more information about Vitalia at Tradition.

2. Cascades at St. Lucie West - Port St. Lucie, FL

Low $200s - High $300s

A colorful sunset over the water in Melbourne, Florida

Active adult buyers appreciate the resort-like living and the impressive amenities.

Water views and natural preserves are some of the reasons people love living in the Cascades at St. Lucie West community. Active adult buyers appreciate the resort-like living and the impressive amenities. A homeowner writes that the HOA is effective, which is good news for 55+ buyers looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle in their new home. 

Single-family homes with between 1,257 and 2,473 square feet are available in The Crystal Collection, The Jewel Collection, and The Vintage Collection. These homes have two to three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage. A den or office space is included in most models, and there are also covered patios in the back for a bit of outdoor privacy.

According to a review left by Jeff C.:

"The residents here are happy and the HOA effective. The homes are well maintained as are the amenities and extras. Everything makes you feel like you are on vacation and the pool area is fabulous.There is a nine hole golf course with super greens, bocce ball, stick ball, softball, shuffleboard, and tennis with a professional instructor."

Amenities include a clubhouse with a fitness center and aerobics studio as well as a hobby room, a computer lab, a billiards room, and three card rooms. Residents enjoy a sauna, a pool, an outdoor bar, tennis, and shuffleboard as well as a nine-hole golf course.

Request more information about Cascades in Port St. Lucie.

3. Cascades at Estero - Estero, FL

Mid $200s - Mid $300s

Most reviews of Cascades at Estero reflect fabulous homes, amenities, and people. Snowbirds feel like part of the community and the elegant clubhouse, and the smaller size makes people feel like they’re in an intimate and friendly town. It doesn’t hurt that this 55+ community is minutes from the Gulf of Mexico and some of the most tantalizing beaches in southwestern Florida.

In her review, Janet S. stated:

"Cascades Estero is really wonderful! The clubhouse is so elegant and feels very high-end. We like that its a smaller, more private community yet it has fantastic amenities."

At the 28,000-square-foot clubhouse, residents can relax in the sauna, workout in the fitness center, take an aerobics class, or enjoy the media room and the library. Outside, there are a number of covered verandas as well as two pools, tennis courts, and a place to play bocce. Activities include bingo, chorus, and a recipe exchange group.

Just over 600 single-family homes are found in this community, and buyers can find resale models with between 1,525 and 2,536 square feet. Homes have two to three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage. Some have an extra half bath and most have a flex room that can be used as a den, office, or spare bedroom.

Request more information about Cascades at Estero.

4. Grand Isle - Melbourne, FL

Mid $200s - Mid $300s

Interior view of the ballroom at Grand Isle in Melbourne, Florida

Reviews written by homeowners praise the beauty of the community and the large selection of amenities.

Low-maintenance living in the master-planned Viera community is one of the things residents love about their homes at Grand Isle in Melbourne. Reviews written by homeowners praise the beauty of the community and the large selection of amenities and activities. Social activities as well as health and wellness opportunities are frequently available to residents, whether it’s a water aerobics class or a party in Club Grand Isle. There’s also a fitness center, a library, a pool, and pickleball courts.

Susan L. stated in her review:

"We have lived at Grand Isle for a couple years now and it's been great. The location is great. We're close to all the stuff we need on a daily basis like shopping and doctors plus close to the water, restaurants, golf, you name it. The clubhouse is very well maintained on a daily basis. The community is well organized and they offer a lot of nice social events to keep everyone involved."

With only 336 single-family homes, residents at this 55+ community really get to know their neighbors. Homes have 1,500 to 2,500 square feet with two to four bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage. The community is close to the beach and interesting sites like The Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral and Viera Wetlands.

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5. Cascades at World Golf Village - Saint Augustine, FL

Mid $200s - High $400s

Saint Augustine is known as America’s oldest city, and the location is only one of the things that residents love about Cascades at World Golf Village in Saint Augustine. Reading the reviews, it’s easy to see that the homeowners in this 55+ community appreciate the surrounding nature preserves and walking trails as well as the resort-style living that includes things like a modern fitness center, a steam room, Har-Tru tennis courts, and a large pool and spa. Residents stay busy with craft classes, meditation classes, book clubs, and dinner theater.

Regarding the community amenities, Steve H. said:

"Resort living at it's best. Elegant clubhouse with card rooms, library, arts & crafts studio, ballroom, computer room & more. State of the art fitness center with a great variety of top equipment. Separate heated indoor and huge outdoor pool & hot tub with outdoor kitchen, tennis, pickleball, shuffleboard and bocce courts. Numerous fitness classes."

The community has 450 single-family homes in the Dynasty Series, Majestic Series, and Phoenician Series. More than a dozen floor plans are available with 1,613 to 2,520 square feet, two to four bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage. Most homes have a den, open floor plan, and a spacious master suite that includes a walk-in closet and double sinks in the bathroom.

Request more information about Cascades at World Golf Village.

6. Lake Ashton - Lake Wales, FL

Mid $100s - Low $500s

Interior view of an indoor pool in a model home at Lake Ashton in Lake Wales, Florida

Lake Ashton is a 55+ community that gets rave reviews from its residents.

With a view of Lake Ashton and nestled into Central Florida’s surprising hillsides, Lake Ashton is a 55+ community that gets rave reviews from its residents. One resident calls it her “little piece of Paradise,” and everyone who has reviewed the community praises the friendly people and diversity of amenities.

A review written by Kay and Bob stated:

"Love, Love, Love Lake Ashton! My husband and I retired from Palm Beach County to beautiful Lake Ashton in 2008. This community has wonderful amenities, activities, and entertainment. The warm and friendly people that live there make it the 'BEST' 55+ Community in Florida."

Two private golf courses, a driving range, a bowling center, and a woodworking shop are some of the most popular amenities. There’s also a clubhouse, a fitness center, dining facilities and ballrooms, and a private theater and catering kitchen. Outdoor activities are available year-round under the warm Florida sun, which makes the pool, tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, and horseshoe pits a lot of fun. There’s a boat launch and several fishing lakes and ponds throughout the community. 

New construction and resale homes are available. Attached carriage homes have 1,747 to 2,292 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two or two-and-a-half bathrooms, and an attached one-car garage. Single-family homes are available in several models and floor plans. They have 1,290 to 2,529 square feet, with two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and an attached two- or three-car garage.

Request more information about Lake Ashton.

7. Lely Resort - Naples, FL

High $100s - Mid $1Ms 

With over 4,500 new construction and resale homes, Lely Resort has a lot of residents to keep happy. This 55+ community manages to do it. Reviewers praise the pool as well as the golf and the size of the homes available to buyers interested in Naples real estate.

The amenities are hard to beat. The Players Club and Spa features massage and spa services as well as a fitness studio, a tennis and golf pro shop, a yoga garden, a resort pool and waterfall, and a lap pool. The Village Center at Ole has a 20,000-square-foot amenity center that includes a fitness room, a dance studio, an ice cream parlor, and a full-time concierge. There’s also a movie theater and a business center as well as tennis, basketball, and beach volleyball. The golf course and two clubhouses can be found at The Classics Country Club.

Homes at Lely Resort include attached townhomes, villas, and single-family homes. They range from 1,227 to 4,200 square feet with dozens of models and floor plans. Buyers can downsize into a two-bedroom, two-bathroom carriage home or spread out in a home with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a den, and an attached three-car garage.

Matt S. had this to say about the community:

"We absolutely love the pool here. Our neighborhood is really a resort, and we get to walk to the restaurant when we don't feel like cooking."

Request more information about Lely Resort.