Wilmington NC Metro 55+ Active Adult Retirement Communities

26 Communities near Wilmington NC Metro

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Pleasant weather, beautiful surroundings and nearby beaches make the Wilmington area a great destination for active adults looking for a place to retire. The Wilmington area has a variety of retirement communities with amenities and features that are sure to please anyone looking for 55+ homes in the southeastern part of North Carolina.

Climate & Geography

The Wilmington area is on the eastern coast of North Carolina. The Wilmington area includes smaller towns as far south as Calabash, north to Castle Hayne, west to the Bolivia area and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. There is approximately 63 miles of shoreline in the Wilmington area, perfect for those whose retirement plans include sand and sunshine.

The Wilmington area has a humid subtropical climate that is typical of North Carolina. Summers are warm and humid with temperatures generally in the high 80s to low 90s, most of the annual rainfall occurs in the latter part of the summer. Winter temperatures range from 56 to 36 degrees, it does occasionally snow in the Wilmington area but there is usually not a large accumulation.

Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment

Many of the towns within the Wilmington area have a variety of options for entertainment appealing to 55+ active adults, here are just a few of the choices available:

Sunset Beach

  • Museum of Coastal Carolina
  • Ingram Planetarium
  • Over 30 golf courses


  • Cypress Grove Park which has access to wetland waterways for kayaks & small boats
  • Westgate Park has 150 acres of wetlands with trails for walking and biking


  • Wine tasting tours
  • Pier and riverwalk
  • North Carolina Maritime Museum

Ocean Isle Beach

  • Shallotte River Swamp Park this family park has a zipline, reptile sanctuary and more
  • Adults can volunteer with the Ocean Isle Sea Turtle Protection Organization which protects sea turtles who lay and hatch eggs on local beaches

Wilmington is the largest city in the area and has many more attractions and entertainment options for active adults to enjoy, including:

  • Multiple performing arts venues
  • Cameron Art Museum
  • Cape Fear Museum of History and Science
  • Wilmington Railroad Museum
  • North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
  • USS North Carolina Battleship & Museum
  • Annual Azalea festival featuring garden tours, musical performances, parade, and fireworks

Cost of Living & Taxes

North Carolina taxes all forms of income at a flat rate of 5.5% except for Social Security which is not taxed. The state’s property taxes are low, and the area’s 7% sales tax is average. Unlike many states, North Carolina taxes groceries, but at a lower rate of 2%.

Health Care

The Wilmington area is home to several medical centers that may be useful for retirees in 55+ retirement communities, including the following which are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report:

  • Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington
  • Carolina Dunes Behavioral Health-Leland in Leland
  • Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport
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