Few areas in the Mid-Atlantic Region are as desirable to live in as Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Located in the south central portion of the state, Lancaster is one of the oldest cities in the USA. It was originally settled in 1709, it's about 70 miles outside of Philadelphia, and it serves as the county seat for Lancaster County.
Here’s something else: U.S. News chose it as the top place to retire in the country, and other websites also place it high on their lists. The main reason is its peaceful setting, marked by wide open spaces, gentle hills and valleys, and Amish communities. With farms, covered bridges, downtown areas, top medical care, and shopping outlets, this part of Pennsylvania offers the perfect balance of natural spaces and commercial areas.
Also called Pennsylvania’s “Dutch Country,” Lancaster has many Amish landmarks, plus attractions like the historic Rock Ford Plantation and Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park. There are many public golf courses in the region, including Fox Chase and Tree Top. Disc golf is also popular here, and it can be played at facilities like Herr Park.
55places.com lists 10 active adult communities in the Lancaster-Ephrata area; some with homes priced at $250K and under. This is a highly desirable area for retirees, so if you are interested in Lancaster real estate, now may be the time to move forward.
Timber Villa - Elizabethtown
With 102 resale attached homes, Timber Villa caters to active adults who just want a little peace and quiet. This established, tight-knit community was built from 1983 to 1999, and homes are sized from 744 to 2,882 square feet with one to three bedrooms, one to two-and-a-half bathrooms, and attached one- or two-car garages. Upgrades may include decks, walkout finished basements, gourmet kitchens, and vaulted ceilings with skylights. The homeowners’ association (HOA) fee covers trash and snow removal, plus lawn and common area maintenance.
This wooded property is in Elizabethtown, a small college town about 25 miles away from Lancaster. It's close to the Susquehanna River, where folks go to enjoy kayaking, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Other local points of interest include the Conewago Recreation Trail and the Winters Heritage House Museum. The college and downtown area is about five minutes away. There, you can find grocery stores, medical offices, restaurants, fitness centers, banks, gas stations, and pharmacies.
Four Seasons at Elm Tree - Mount Joy
Just 15 minutes from Lancaster, Four Seasons at Elm Tree is a newer active adult community with 245 resale single-family homes and impressive amenities. It was completed in 2013, featuring five models ranging from 1,237 to 1,949 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, first-floor master suites, and attached two-car garages. Upgrades include patios, cathedral ceilings, porches, and eat-in kitchens.
The private clubhouse offers a modern fitness center with saunas and locker rooms. You can also find a great room and lounge here, plus an outdoor pool, tennis courts, a putting green, and walking trails on the property. The long list of clubs and activities includes strength training classes, holiday parties, holiday events, and the Breakfast Brigade.
With an Amtrak stop only five minutes away, traveling from Mount Joy is very convenient. The Highlands of Donegal golf course is right in town, and downtown shops and services include a GIANT grocery store, Weis Markets, a CVS, churches, restaurants, banks, and anything else you might need.
Brookshire - Manheim
Not many people can say that they have a stocked fishing pond in their neighborhood, but active adults living at Brookshire can. This mid-size 55+ property is 17 miles from Lancaster, and it has a wetland area, a brook, ponds, and a three-acre lake.
Brookshire was completed in 2014, and it's a land-lease community with 230 resale attached and single-family homes. The four models range from 1,520 to 2,050 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two to two-and-a-half baths, and attached two-car garages. Some of these well-appointed homes have dens, porches, family rooms, and fireplaces.
The Brookshire Community Center is modern and comfortable, with a coffee shop, a game room, an exercise room, and banquet facilities. There are also bocce and shuffleboard courts outside, along with winding nature paths. Special events and clubs like the annual Christmas Sweater party, double deck pinochle, movie nights, and bible study keep everyone active and engaged. Brookshire is also close to the Susquehanna River and Lititz Spring Park. Downtown Manheim has a nice library, churches, shops, services, and restaurants.
Stonecroft Village - Womelsdorf
Stonecroft Village is a good choice for active adults who are considering both new and resale homes. This tasteful retirement community will have 214 single-family homes when completed, with 14 models. These range from 1,380 to 2,495 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two to two-and-a-half bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Upgrades include granite countertops, vinyl plank flooring, patios, and fireplaces.
The community's scenic grounds are highlighted by a private pond and pier as well as walking trails and a community center. A monthly HOA fee covers community services and amenities for residents.
Though Womelsdorf is not in Lancaster County per se, it's only 30 miles away. This small, tranquil town has deep German roots, and the friendly residents take part in town-wide events like community carnivals and holiday parties. There's a Walmart Supercenter about 10 minutes away, and the downtown area has a fitness center, grocery shops, churches, an animal hospital, a community pool, and lovely Conrad Weiser Park and Homestead. For more urban pursuits, Stonecroft Village homeowners can drive 14 miles to Reading, which has more shops and services, plus top hospitals like Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center.