Living near the attractions of Philadelphia while still being in a private setting is possible in these 55+ communities.

Everyone has a different picture in mind when they think about their retirement. Some hope to settle into vast properties with thousands of homes, busy clubhouses, and always-full social calendars. Many active adults thrive in this type of lifestyle, and the high number of these types of communities in the U.S. attests to that.

Yet it is not for everyone. There are those who look forward to something else: living in a small, tranquil retirement community, with a limited number of homes. Not everyone is a social animal; sometimes, small gatherings, quiet time, and being with family are the priorities. For these individuals, privacy counts.

Due to their small size, these communities are less likely to have on-site amenities like clubhouses, although some do. This may not be as important for these home seekers. Venturing out for travel, recreational activities, nearby shopping, and other excursions probably are, so a prime location is a requirement.

Here are some of the smallest active adult communities around Philadelphia.

Carriage House Manor - Horsham

High $200s - Mid $300s

Carriage House Manor has 38 resale attached homes built from 1997 to 2006. It's an age-restricted community with townhome models ranging from around 1,190 to 2,129 square feet with two or three bedrooms, one-and-a-half to three bathrooms, and attached one car garages. Upgrades may include fireplaces, finished basements, second-story decks, and walk-out patios.

Horsham is in Montgomery County and is less than 30 miles from Philadelphia, easy to get to from several major highways. A Home Depot, Walmart Superstore, and Sam’s Club are all in town, along with a Best Buy, banks, restaurants, pharmacies, and movie theaters.

The two closest parks are Grame Park, which has an18th-century governor's mansion, and Everybody’s Playground. Golfers can head to Commonwealth National Club, a private club just four miles away.

The Meadows at Parkview - North Wales

Low $500s - Mid $500s

The Meadows at Parkview is new 55+ neighborhood that will have 42 single-family homes upon completion. These exclusive residences have floor plans ranging from 1,879 to 2,535 square feet with two to four bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. These well-appointed homes feature high ceilings, expansive master suites, granite counters, and breakfast nooks.

Though small, this exclusive community will have a 7,500 square-foot clubhouse with its own fitness center, activity rooms, a wet bar, and a library. An outdoor pool and spa, locker rooms, a sauna, tennis courts, trails, and a putting green will all give The Meadows a resort-like feel.

Also in Montgomery County, North Wales is about 25 miles north of Philly. This community is minutes from many shopping outlets, including Gwynedd Crossing Shopping Center, Peapod, Trader Joe’s, gas stations, wine shops, and popular restaurants like the Green Turtle Sports Bar & Grille. The Montgomery Mall is also just down the road.

Harlow Pointe - Landenberg

High $200s - Mid $300s

Harlow Pointe is an affordable new active adult community that will have 42 attached homes when finished. Plans call for four floor plans ranging from 1,438 to 1,658 square feet. These single-story homes have two or three bedrooms and bathrooms, and attached one or two-car garages. Upgrades like hardwood flooring, cultured marble tops in the bathrooms, and insulated glass windows make these homes very comfortable to live in.

There will be a small clubhouse that can be used as a meeting place for groups and activities, and a homeowners’ association fee will cover exterior home maintenance, snow removal, and lawn care.

Landenberg is in Chester County, about 15 miles west of Wilmington, Delaware. The closest landmark is scenic White Clay Creek State Park, which offers year-round fishing, biking, and hiking. The nearest golf clubs are Delcastle, Fieldstone, and Inniscrone, and Casino @Delaware Park is 10 miles away.

Woodhaven Hills - Bensalem

Mid $200s - High $200s

Privacy really doesn’t come at a premium in Woodhaven Hills, an active adult community of 52 attached, resale homes. These 1,845 square-foot townhomes have two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and one-car garages. Features like large master suites with sitting rooms, luxurious master baths, and elevators add to these homes’ appeal.

Woodhaven is another Philadelphia suburb, about 20 minutes outside of the city. This community sits across from the Woodhaven Mall, which has an Acme, TJ Maxx, a movie theater, and a Home Depot. The area boasts several houses of worship, top restaurants, and the Philadelphia Mills Outlet Shopping Center.

Bensalem is also home to Poquessing Park and Neshaminy State Park, the latter of which borders part of the Delaware River. Golf aficionados can head to the Bensalem Township Country Club, which offers competitions, lessons, and special events in its banquet hall.