Pool with palm trees in Sun City Palm Desert

Palm Desert is known for its resort-like atmosphere. These 55+ communities offer that at a bargain price.

Palm Springs, California. The name itself evokes an image of the “Golden Years of Retirement,” addressing a shiny white golf ball, teed up beneath the desert sun. Palm Springs and environs have become synonymous with the active adult lifestyle -- and with the expensive haciendas that go along with it.

But there's treasure in the sands of the Coachella Valley. Bargain properties listed for less than $300k are currently available at eight active adult communities in the Palm Springs area, according to the market research 55places.com has done for you.

The Palm Springs Lifestyle

As we've alluded to, golf is a prime pastime of the Palm Springs lifestyle. With more than 100 courses, including both private and public, the Coachella Valley hosts more golf than anyplace else in California. Life here tends to revolve around “the links.”

Another lifestyle marker is tourism, which is the force that drives the Palm Springs area economy. Resorts, shopping centers, restaurants and recreational attractions cater to visiting “snowbirds” who descend on the desert in the winter and depart in spring. Local active adult communities reflect this phenomenon with their large part-time populations.

Nevertheless, unlike other desert destinations like Las Vegas, the atmosphere in the Coachella Valley embraces a laid-back, family-friendly attitude that appeals to many active adults all year round.

Sun City Palm Desert

Low $200s - Low $800s

Sun City Palm Desert was the first 55+ active adult community in the Palm Springs area. When it originally opened in 1992, the community was known as Sun City Palm Springs. Though 15 miles east of the city of Palm Springs, the name stuck until the community was finally rechristened Sun City Palm Desert.

Del Webb's Sun City Palm Desert is the largest active adult community in the Coachella Valley. The community's three clubhouses have set the standard for active adult living in the region. The Mountain View Clubhouse houses a fitness center, lap pool and spa.

This nearly 5,000-home community is the ideal retreat for retirees who want an active lifestyle community in the desert. It boasts a world-class lineup of amenities that includes a 36-hole championship golf course.

Villa Portofino - Palm Desert

High $100s - Low $500s

Also in Palm Desert, Villa Portofino features luxurious villas and single-family homes. Situated on 50 acres, these stunning homes are surrounded by vistas of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains. Stone lanes wind between the residences and connect with landscaped walking trails.

The Villa Portofino clubhouse hosts a fitness room and a yoga studio, a game room and a 100-seat movie theater. The Dream Game Room includes a sports bar, multiple big screen TVs, pool tables, and a poker room.

At the theater, residents can take in complimentary matinee and evening shows and monthly seminars. Amenities include an art studio, a bridge room, library, and beauty salon. Outdoors, a pool and spa.

Gallery Links at Indian Palms Country Club - Indio

High $200s - High $300s

Under development in Indio, Gallery Links at Indian Palms Country Club active adult neighborhood will consist of 86 single-family homes set within the 3,000-home Indian Palms Country Club.

Residents will enjoy access to the amenities at the Indian Palms Lifestyle Center, which includes a fully equipped fitness center with cardiovascular and weight machines. Outdoors are two pools, spas and a patio to enjoy the sun.

Terra Lago - Indio

Mid $200s - Mid $500s

Also in Indio is Terra Lago, a resort community that is not age-restricted, but a local favorite with active adults who want to enjoy a laid-back, desert lifestyle.

It is situated on 356 acres adjacent to the Terra Lago Golf Club and Shadow Mountains. It hosts more than 639 residences that are offered as attached and single-family homes.

The community has a 20-acre lake with small boat access. The Golf Club at Terra Lago boasts a challenging 36-hole course that meanders through the Chocolate Mountain foothills.

Four Seasons at Terra Lago - Indio

High $200s - Mid $300s

Putting green with stunning sky in Four Seasons at Terra Lago

Get some putting practice in under clear skies in Four Seasons at Terra Lago.

Another community in Indio being developed by K. Hovnanian, Four Seasons at Terra Lago consist of 661 single-family homes when complete.

Also a part of the Golf Club at Terra Lago community, it will feature a well-appointed clubhouse, and easy access to the area’s two 18-hole golf courses.

At the Lodge, a 22,000 square-foot clubhouse, residents will have access to a state-of-the-art fitness center, an indoor lap pool, and aerobics and yoga studio for staying in shape. Outdoors, the Lodge will have a resort-style pool and spa

Heritage Palms - Indio

Low $200s - Mid $600s

Heritage Palms is a guard-gated community for active adults with 1,004 homes spread out on 379 acres, Indio's Heritage Palms means golf. The 27-hole, par-72 Heritage Palms Golf Course was designed by Arthur Hills and has an on-site pro shop.

Other outdoor amenities include four lighted tennis courts, two bocce ball courts, and a pool and spa.

At the center of the community is the 32,000 square-foot Heritage Palms clubhouse. The indoor exercise portion of the clubhouse includes a fitness center and an indoor pool and spa. In addition, there is also stationary and weight-training equipment.

Sun City Shadow Hills - Indio

Mid $200s - Mid $700s

Sun City Shadow Hills in Indio is Del Webb's second active adult community in the Coachella Valley.

Two clubhouses - Montecito and Santa Rosa - are hubs for all community activity. The amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center that has the latest in high-end cardiovascular and weight training equipment, an aerobics and dance studio, arts and crafts studio, a bistro and indoor lap pool. Outside, residents can enjoy the outdoor pool, five bocce ball courts, two shuffleboard courts and four lighted tennis courts.

The Shadow Hills Golf Course offers 18 holes of championship golf designed by the team of Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley.

Desert Vista Village - Yucca Valley

Low $200s - Low $300s

About 35 minutes from Palm Springs in Yucca Valley, Desert Vista Village is currently under development there. Upon completion, the active adult community will contain 105 single-family homes.

Desert Vista Village has a centrally located clubhouse where homeowners can stay physically fit and socially active. Amenities include an exercise room, a meeting room, billiards room, card tables, and catering kitchen. There's also a pool, spa, and patio outside.