With its sunny climate, gorgeous beaches, and low cost of living, Florida is a mecca for retirees. The fact that there's no state income tax doesn't exactly dent its appeal either. As a result, retirement communities have sprung up left, right, and center, all doing their best to outbid each other in their attempts to attract the grey dollar. With so many diverse options to choose from, selecting your ideal home can be overwhelming. To help out, we've ranked the ten best retirement communities in Florida. If you're ready to move south for your retirement, these are the best places to head.
10. Valencia Trails
Valencia Trails has plenty to offer its residents. Key amenities include a mammoth 42,000 sq. ft. clubhouse that regularly hosts events, shows, and live entertainment, a restaurant, a pool, and multiple trails that snake through the community's many green areas. Homes are designed in a contemporary style and feature the full smorgasbord of conveniences and comforts, including designer tile flooring, stainless steel appliances, gourmet kitchens, and spacious living areas. For residents looking to make the most of the gorgeous Florida weather all year round, there are covered, screened patios to enjoy.
9. Kings Point
With its prime location near Sun City Center and its great selection of affordable housing options, Kings Point is an excellent option for retirees looking to enjoy the good life on a budget. Consisting of 5,277 attached and single-family homes, the community offers plenty of recreational opportunities to its residents. As well as boasting a 90,000-square-foot clubhouse with both an indoor and outdoor pool, a spa, and a floating fishing dock, it also offers golf cart access, an event bus, and even a tram service to ferry its residents to and from Sun City Center.
Realestatewitch.com has voted Southwood the best retirement community in Tallahassee. While not technically a 55+ community, it boasts enough amenities, recreational opportunities, and other perks to keep retirees happy and engaged. Boasting over 1000 acres of greenery, not to mention a mini 123 acre “Central Park,” it's a superb destination for people who like to feel surrounded by nature.
7. Nature Trail
Nature Trail is an upscale, 659-lot gated community that offers excellent amenities in gorgeous surroundings. Set in an enviable position overlooking the Nature Trail Preserve, the community offers a plethora of activities for its residents to enjoy. Just a small selection of the facilities on offer include an in-ground swimming pool with a separate pool for children, outdoor grills, a 24/7 fitness court, tennis courts, a playground, a communal kitchen, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and meeting spaces. Scattered throughout are numerous parks with plenty of walking trails for residents to explore.
Modestly sized Solivita may not be the biggest retirement community in Florida, but it's unquestionably one of the best. Offering beautifully maintained communal areas and plenty of green spaces, it promises an excellent standard of living in a homey environment. Residents have their pick of around 5900 attached and single-family homes, all of which are dated from 2000 or later. Notable amenities include a 19,000-square-foot clubhouse, a 32,000-square-foot Riviera Spa & Fitness Center, and the semi-private Stonegate Golf Club.
5. Pelican Preserve
With over 38 acres of nature preserve, a butterfly garden, a garden area, and a fishing pier, Pelican Preserve is a great choice for retirees looking for an idyllic place to spend their golden years. Unlike some of the larger communities in Florida, Pelican Preserve prides itself on its intimate vibe. Despite its small size, residents still have a good selection of options to choose from in its 2,500 attached, condo-style, and single-family homes. Amenities include a 27-hole championship golf course and a 24,485-square-foot clubhouse. Those looking for more varied entertainment will find plenty of recreational opportunities in nearby Fort Myers.
4. Latitude Margaritaville
Fun-loving retirees will love the laid back, sociable atmosphere of Latitude Margaritaville. Designed by legendary developer Minto, the gated community is set in the very heart of Daytona Beach, offering residents easy access to the city's various shopping centers, museums, restaurants, and recreational opportunities. The community's 3092 attached and single-family homes are built around a Town Square where residents can spend their downtime enjoying the delights of the Last Mango Theater, the Latitude Bar & Chill Restaurant, the Fins Up! Fitness Center, and the various other amenities on offer. If all that wasn't enough, there's also a huge outdoor pool complete with a tiki hut lounge, a poolside bar, and beach entry.
3. On Top of the World
Ranked by 55places.com as one of Florida's best retirement communities, On Top of the World offers a huge variety of amenities, budget-friendly homes, and an outstanding location. Residents can choose from 10,000 attached and single-family homes covering a good price range. The shopping and dining opportunities of Downtown Ocala are easily accessible, while the community itself boasts multiple opportunities for recreation and fun thanks to three golf courses, multiple swimming pools and clubhouses, and two on-site restaurants. There's even an R/C airplane field and an R/C car track.
2. Del Webb Ponte Vedra
With its stunning seaside location, Del Webb Ponte Vedra is a great option for retirees looking for an intimate community with plenty of amenities. With just under 2000 homes to its name, it has a neighborhood vibe and a friendly atmosphere. Amenities extend to a 38,000-square-foot clubhouse and a 15-acre outdoor area that includes a sizeable outdoor pool. A nearby sandy beach offers a great destination for sunseekers, while the six-mile nature trail that winds through the community is a boon for nature lovers. Homes are available in a good range of styles and budgets.
1. The Villages
The Villages is a huge, master-planned community located in Sumter County. As advisoryhq.com notes, The Villages is a premier community that prides itself on giving its residents the resources to enjoy an active, engaged lifestyle. Along with a wide variety of homes to choose between (options vary between furnished and unfurnished, new build and pre-owned, and include manufactured options, cottages/ranches, designer homes, and premier homes), the community boasts a huge assortment of activities and amenities, including golf, shopping, dining, and medical and professional services. Live entertainment is provided every night, while parades, festivals, and other social events are a regular part of the community's calendar.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson