A state as big as Pennsylvania has several distinct regions, and each can feel like a state of its own. We picked three areas of PA, all with diverse cultural experiences, scenery, and real estate options. Where you choose to live will depend on the lifestyle you prefer.
Let’s delve deeper into where in Pennsylvania you may want to retire.
If You Want Nature… Retire in Central Pennsylvania
The main regions in Central PA include Lancaster, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union County as well as the Susquehanna River Valley. Here, you’ll find familiar small cities like Harrisburg, Lititz, and York. With abundant country roads, state parks, and nature trails, there are endless opportunities for hiking, biking, golfing, cross-country skiing, fishing, and wildlife observation.
An area of rolling hills, Amish farmlands, covered bridges, and the Susquehanna River, Lancaster County is all about wide-open spaces and natural landscapes. For homebuyers who dream of long, leisurely days paddling down a river or biking down wooded paths, this part of the state could be your ideal retirement destination. Central PA is also rich in industrial and revolutionary heritage, with beautiful Gettysburg National Military Park and Fort Hunter Mansion and Park.
55places currently lists 41 active adult communities in Central Pennsylvania. Here are two worth taking a look at:
Mid $300s – Mid $600s
With 329 new and resale attached and single-family homes as well as a sought-after Lititz zip code, this friendly 55+ community is a top choice for retirees. Its modern clubhouse features a state-of-the-art fitness center, a heated outdoor pool, a restaurant, a bar, a ballroom, and a catering kitchen.
Homes range from 1,268 to 3,078 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Options include screened-in porches, patios, gourmet kitchens, and cathedral ceilings.
Low $200s – Low $400s
This active adult neighborhood is just outside of York, and it will have 174 new and resale attached homes when completed. Models range from 1,310 to 3,000 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two to three-and-a-half bathrooms, front porches, modern kitchen appliances, and attached two-car garages. Upgrades include fireplaces, hardwood floors, sunrooms, and whirlpool bathtubs. The private clubhouse provides an exercise room, a catering kitchen, a party room, and a library.
If You Want Cultural Attractions… Retire in the Philadelphia Area
With a population well over 1.5 million, Philadelphia is the largest city in PA, and it’s a treasure trove of historical landmarks, art galleries, major museums, restaurants, shopping options, and concert venues. Some of the best-known attractions include the National Constitution Center, Zahav, Reading Terminal Market, and the Kimmel Center. The city and surrounding suburbs also host annual major events like the Manayunk Arts Festival and the Philadelphia Flower Show.
There are two 55+ communities in Philly and over 100 more in the outlying suburbs. Here are some to consider:
Mid $300s – Mid $400s
Completed in 2007 with 90 condo and attached homes, this established 55+ community is about 30 minutes from Center City Philadelphia. The condos range from 800 to 1,400 square feet with one or two bedrooms, one-and-a-half or two bathrooms, and upgrades like dens, balconies, and modern kitchens.
The attached homes range from 1,331 to 3,243 square feet with one to three bedrooms, one-and-a-half to three bathrooms, and either driveway parking or one-car garages. Options include front porches and lofts. Community amenities include an outdoor pool, a movie theater, and a clubhouse with a fitness center.
Mid $600s – Low $1Ms
Offering 191 new and resale attached and single-family homes, this exclusive active adult neighborhood is located in desirable Bucks County. Homes range from 1,626 to 2,716 square feet with two to five bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Some of these luxury homes also have dens, patios, and lofts. Plus, the clubhouse has a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and sports courts.
If You Want a City With a Small-Town Feel… Retire in the Pittsburgh Area
Pittsburgh has really come into its own these past years, and its revitalization has made headlines. The former steel town has a modern economy, a walkable and exciting downtown area, and over 2,000 acres of parks. With a population of around 300,000, it’s more manageable than its larger counterparts, and it has a lower cost of living.
Pittsburgh is known for its eclectic neighborhoods, which range from trendy and hip to artsy and intellectual. City landmarks include the Phipps Conservatory, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Point State Park, and the Carnegie Museum.
55places lists six active lifestyle communities in the city and 24 others in the surrounding area. Here are two attractive options:
High $100s – High $200s
This intimate community of 39 resale attached homes also has no age restrictions, and it’s a welcome choice for homebuyers who value their privacy. Floor plans range from 1,382 to 2,016 square feet and offer three to four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Homeowners can enjoy the comfortable clubhouse which has multipurpose rooms, tennis courts, and an outdoor pool and patio area.