Lake at a North Carolina active adult community

North Carolina's most popular communities are generally surrounded by sprawling lakes and beautiful scenery.

While there are many appealing 55+ communities spread throughout the state of North Carolina, there are a few that continuously stand out among the rest. Whether it’s because of their enviable locations or top-notch amenities, these communities just have something extra that has kept active adults interested in finding out more information about them for the past year.

Here are the five most popular 55+ communities in North Carolina based on pageviews on from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2018.

1. St. James Plantation - Southport

Low $100s - Low $1Ms

The popular gated-community of St. James Plantation is located in the coastal town of Southport, one of North Carolina’s most sought-after vacation destinations during the summer months due to its proximity to the Atlantic, picturesque sights, historic homes, and freshly caught seafood. But somehow, even with the influx of visitors each year, the town manages to keep its quaint, small-town charm and tranquility that keeps people coming back again and again.

Like its idyllic location that exudes all the charm and hospitality the South is famous for, St. James Plantation offers its residents the same small-town feel combined with luxury living in a resort-style community and posh amenities.

The community has both new and reseal homes available for purchase and a mixture of price points with affordable homes. Within the neighborhood there are single-family homes as well as condos to choose from, all of which were built by different builders, giving potential homebuyers a vast selection of designs and floor plans to pick between.

Along with the many styles of homes available, St. James Plantation features fitness centers, several pools, on-site restaurants, and an amphitheater.  Beyond the typical amenities, there are four different clubs that residents can join, including Reserve Club, Founders Club, Members Club, and Players Club. Each club comes with its own benefits, which include access to their private golf courses, clubhouses, steam rooms, and spas, as well as their pro shops.

2. Brunswick Forest - Leland

Mid $200s - Low $900s

Brunswick Forest in Leland, NC is the ideal community for active adults looking for a place to relax and unwind near the Carolina coast in their retirement. The neighborhood spans 4,500 acres with tranquil woodland surrounding homesites, which offers plenty of quiet and privacy. But don’t let the serene surroundings fool you, there’s still plenty to do in Brunswick Forest for those residents looking for ways to stay active.

The community is home to an astonishing 40 miles of walking and biking trails that pass by a number of scenic lakes and ponds, there’s also an extensive fitness and wellness center with top-of-the-line equipment, plus, an indoor lap pool, and aerobics studio. Golfers will love the fact that they won’t have to go far for a game with an 18-hole championship course right on the premises.

Additionally, the community offers residents plenty of other amenities, including an 18,000 square-foot clubhouse, organized clubs, community events, a boat launch, and fishing pier. Another big draw for the community is its close proximity to Wilmington. The historic city is only about five miles from the complex and brimming with shopping, dining, and entertainment options. There are new and resale single-family homes as well as townhomes available in Brunswick Forest.

3. Carolina Preserve - Cary

High $200s - Low $500s 

Carolina Preserve, an age-restricted Del Webb community located in the small town of Cary, NC, was originally built in 2006 and only has resale homes available. The neighborhood features single-family ranchers with sizes spanning 1,217 to 3,500 square feet.

Popular amenities in the development include a 34,000 square-foot clubhouse, hobby and game room, computers, library, 15-acre lake, and even a putting green. Residents can also join one of the Preserve’s more than 100 organized interest groups, which include everything from ceramics clubs and dominoes to cooking and bowling clubs.

For residents focused on staying fit and healthy Carolina Preserve offers plenty of options with an aerobics and dance studio, fitness center, three ballrooms, walking and biking trails, and four clay tennis courts. There’s also an indoor lap pool to enjoy on cold days and an outdoor resort-style pool for balmy summer days.

Notably, Carolina Preserve is far enough away from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, to keep its small-town feel, but close enough for residents to easily take advantage of the cultural amenities, shopping, and restaurants in each area.

4. Connestee Falls - Brevard

Low $100s - High $1Ms

Nestled in the scenic mountain town of Brevard, NC, Connestee Falls possesses homes priced to fit any budget. Both new and resale homes are available within the gated community, which has a wide selection of home types and appealing homesites with breathtaking mountain views to choose from.

Attached homes range from around 1,200 to 3,000 square feet and can have two to four bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, and attached garages. Single-family homes come in a variety of sizes starting at 1,300 square feet of living space and expanding up to 5,000 square feet.

Connestee Falls boasts a variety of desirable amenities that range from a performance theater and on-site sports grill to a lounge and pro shop. Outdoors, residents will find an 18-hole golf course, heated pool, community garden, pet park, and several athletic courts, including pickleball, bocce ball, and tennis courts. For residents who want to be actively involved in the community, there are countless clubs and interests groups within the neighborhood that include a hiking club, art league, and more.

5. Del Webb Wilmington - Wilmington

High $200s - High $500s

This gated, 55+ community located only 10 minutes from historic Wilmington, will have less than 550 single-family homes upon completion. Del Webb Wilmington has three home collections with several designs and floor plans to choose from. Houses vary in size starting at just over 1,200 square feet and increasing up to 2,565 square feet of living space, depending on the collection.

Notable amenities include a 15,000 square-foot clubhouse, multi-purpose room, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, athletic courts, and an event lawn for community activities and social gatherings. There are also walking and biking trails as well as neighborhood parks to enjoy.