Aerial view of the capital statehouse and the Delaware River in Trenton, New Jersey as the sun sets

Many active adults are drawn to New Jersey's Mercer County, and it's not hard to see why.

The heart of New Jersey is in Mercer County, a region with a population of around 375,000 and an intriguing mix of rural, suburban, and city lifestyles. Here, you'll find the state capital Trenton (it played a big part in the American Revolution) poised on the banks of the Delaware River. Another well-known Mercer County town is Princeton, home to its namesake university, upscale restaurants, and unique shops. Smaller suburbs like Pennington and West Windsor are quieter, but still close to shopping outlets, parks, and natural space.

Active adults are drawn to Mercer County real estate because the county is smack-dab in the middle of the state with its western border butting up to the river and beautiful Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Residents are also close to New York City and Philadelphia, giving them access to several international airports.

Another big plus: Nature lovers have plenty of opportunities for quality outdoor time at spots like the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area (trails and fishing), Mercer County Park (yearly special events), and The Watershed Institute (an organic farm, a butterfly house, and educational programs and events).

Mercer County is big on retirement communities, with our last count totaling 19 active adult neighborhoods. Prices start in the low $100s and top off in the high $500s. We've picked four that are in the mid-range, around $250k. Read on to see what they offer.

Evergreen at Hamilton - Hamilton Township, NJ

Low $200s - High $200s

Completed in 2005, Evergreen at Hamilton is a well-maintained 55+ neighborhood of 416 resale attached and single-family homes. All of the homes range from 1,300 to 3,000 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached garages. Options include eat-in kitchens, rear patios, and basements. The reasonable homeowners’ association (HOA) fee provides for lawn care and snow removal.

The welcoming community clubhouse has its own indoor pool, exercise room, arts and crafts studio, computer and game rooms, catering kitchen, and ballroom. There's also a putting green; a greenhouse; and tennis, shuffleboard, and bocce courts on the grounds. Well-attended activities and clubs include garden club, bible study, line dancing, water aerobics, and holiday parties.

Evergreen is located just across the way from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and it's also close to the Hamilton Square Shopping Center. Other nearby landmarks include Veterans Park and Hamilton Golf Center, so homeowners here can really benefit from the community’s convenient location.

Learn more information about Evergreen at Hamilton here.

Locust Hill - Hamilton Township, NJ

Mid $200s - Mid $300s

Located less than three miles from Evergreen at Hamilton, Locust Hill is about half the size with 247 resale attached and single-family homes built from 2002 to 2006. The majority are single-families with three floor plans ranging from 1,349 to 1,900 square feet. These offer two to three bedrooms, two to two-and-a-half bathrooms, and two-car attached garages. Most include first-floor master suites with walk-in closets, crown moldings, and elevated ceilings.

The select number of townhomes come in four floor plans ranging from 1,239 to 1,670 square feet with two bedrooms, two or two-and-a-half baths, and attached one-car garages. Upgrades may include stainless steel appliances, crown molding, patios, and walk-in closets. Locust Hill’s monthly HOA fee covers lawn care, common area maintenance, and use of the clubhouse.

Speaking of the clubhouse, it has desirable amenities like tennis and bocce ball courts, an outdoor pool and patio, a fitness center, and activity rooms. There are also walking trails and a putting green on the grounds. This 55+ neighborhood is also near the same hospital and shopping outlets as Evergreen at Hamilton, and it's close to recreation areas like the Abbot Marshlands. For a day out, homeowners can head over to Downtown Bordentown to explore its charming shops and highly-rated restaurants.

Learn more information about Locust Hill here.

Woodlands at Hamilton - Hamilton Township, NJ

High $100s - High $200s

Our third choice in Hamilton Township is Woodlands at Hamilton, an affordable retirement community of 139 resale condo and attached homes completed in 2003. The two condo floor plans range from 1,000 to 1,395 square feet with two bedrooms and bathrooms, one-car garages, and features like gourmet kitchens and cathedral ceilings. The two 1,656 square foot attached models offer three bedrooms and bathrooms, one-car garages, and upgrades like private patios and cathedral ceilings.

The clubhouse here has an exercise room, a multi-purpose room, and a library. Outside, you'll find a sparkling pool, a tennis court, a greenhouse, gardening plots, walking trails, and a playground for the grandkids. Woodlands is near Route 195, Veterans Park, and the Camp Olden Civil War Round Table and Museum.

Learn more information about Woodlands at Hamilton here.

Traditions at Federal Point - Lawrence Township, NJ

High $100s - Mid $200s

The Princeton suburb of Lawrence Township is a top choice for active adults looking for a 55+ community near the city. Completed in 2005, Traditions at Federal Point has 140 resale single-level attached homes ranging from 880 to 1,598 square feet with one to three bedrooms, one to three bathrooms, and attached garages. Features like first-floor master suites, open living spaces, and vaulted ceilings make these affordable homes comfortable and appealing.

There's an HOA fee to cover exterior and lawn maintenance as well as a private clubhouse for social activities and community meetings. Traditions is near the intersection of Routes 295 and 206, so traveling to North Jersey, South Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia is a snap. This lovely neighborhood is also just three miles from Rider University, Loveless Nature Preserve, and Cobblestone Creek Country Club.

Learn more information about Traditions at Federal Point here.