12 Amazing Retirement Communities

Finding the right community—for you

Whether you are already retired or are simply looking at future options, there are some pretty great retirement communities out there. These places are kind of like going to camp, but you never have to come home and the food is better. And I don’t remember there being any day spas at my summer camp. We began our search with RetireNet’s Top 100 Best Master-Planned retirement communities, and we highlight a few of the most appealing options. Click Next to see 12 of our favorites. Photo Credit: Getty Images


Carnoustie Place

Located in Alabama, Carnoustie Place is hailed by RetireNet as “the best in traditional golf course living in a safe, secluded, convenient Gulf Coast community with brand new homes priced from the $270s and garden homes from the $250s.” The course is particularly suited for female golfers, according to Golfing-Made-Easy.com: “Carnoustie Country is a golfing paradise for lady golfers. Whether you take your game very seriously or simply enjoy the social experience of playing golf with friends, there’s a great selection of courses to choose from.” Oh yeah—gotta love the classic golf course retirement sanctuary. Photo Credit: CarnoustiePlace.com


Monte Vista Village Resort

This Arizona “active vacation resort” retirement community makes me wish I was sixty years old and able to tap into a fat and ripe 401k. Activities include “ice cream socials” and frequent concerts, although you would be more likely to find me lounging in the “pool & spa garden.” New homes start at $39,900 for a 1 bedroom, 1 bath—the larger 2 bedroom set-up will cost you $76,900. The community has two swimming pools, spa, fitness center, tennis courts, shuffleboard courts and lawn bowling. Lawn bowling! Photo Credit: MonteVistaResort.com


Barclay Farms

Located in Delaware, this retirement community offers a nice east coast rural vibe. As its Web site boasts, “One look, and you'll know: this is home. Barclay Farms is a carefully planned, premier community, offering a superior lifestyle exclusively for active individuals 55 and over. In this serene country environment, you will discover the perfect world in which to live, to play...to spend your leisure years.” Homes start at $118,500 (1,120 sq. ft.) and the location is one where “horse-drawn carriages continue to transport local Amish farm families.” No city bustle or hassles here. Photo Credit: Barclay-Farms.com


Iron Horse

RetireNet mentions that this West Palm Beach, Florida retirement community includes a “championship golf course awarded distinction of top 15 by GolfWeek Magazine. Clubhouse, fitness and tennis center. Only 325 magnificent homes in private community of 353 lushly landscaped acres. Homes priced from $200,000 on large lots.” The country club also includes access to an oversized lap pool and “state-of-the-art fitness studio.” Photo Credit: Iron Horse Country Club


StoneBridge North

This idyllic Branson West, Missouri retirement community is sure to please, according to RetireNet: “Experience relaxed, elegant golf course living... Luxury homes in StoneBridge Condominiums starting from the upper $300's. The residents of StoneBridge Village believe they have found paradise.” Despite a population of only 6,050, Branson has 410 restaurants—35,266 restaurant seats—due mainly to a flourishing tourism industry. So you won’t have trouble getting into your favorite restaurant on a Friday night! The southwestern Missouri town also has 47 theaters. Photo Credit: StoneBridgeNorth.com


Lakeside Crossing

This Myrtle Beach, South Carolina retirement community has a lot of flavor and is only minutes away from the beach—plus it has its own private fishing pier and year-round heated pool. Where do I sign up?! Plus, for those who prefer the great indoors, Lakeside is located just six miles from Coastal Grand Mall, the largest shopping mall in South Carolina with approximately 130 shops and restaurants. On a less optimistic note, it is also only a mile and a half away from Conway Hospital. Homes start at $125,700 (1,067 sq. ft.) for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath set-up. Photo Credit: Lakeside Crossing


SunRiver St. George

This one is Utah’s “only active adult golf community.” I suppose you don’t want an inactive golf community—that’d be a huge waste of space! Amenities look top-notch and the community’s Web site describes itself as a “superbly planned community with occupancy limited to at least one resident 55 or older with no permanent residents under the age of 18.” No annoying young ones or inappropriate cell phone ringtones to distract from southern Utah’s rugged beauty. Prices begin in the $270s for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath. The community’s golf course “layout is set next to the Virgin River and surrounded by the most colorful desert landscape in the country. At its center, between holes nine and eighteen, is a beautiful lake, a favorite resting place for migrating birds and a challenge for golfers, who, upon reaching hole number nine, have to hit over the water.” Make sure you don’t hit any of those majestic migrating birds with your golf ball! Photo Credit: SunRiver.com


Hampton Lake

This Bluffton, South Carolina relaxed retirement community features a freshwater lake and an “adventure lagoon” (looks like a pool to us). The spa facilities sound top-notch as well, allowing residents to choose between a “relaxing Swedish massage or the healing energy of a reiki session” in addition to aromatherapy and “pore cleansing” body mud wraps—one must stay youthful looking, right? Villa homes in this community start at $299,900. Nobody said paradise would be free, but you (probably) deserve it. Photo Credit: HamptonLake.com


Northridge Station at Camelback Ski Area

This Tannersville, Pennsylvania retirement community is located in the center of the Pocono Mountains—a popular skiing destination for those in the Northeast. Ski resorts in your backyard include Camelback and Shawnee Mountain. I remember skiing in the Poconos as a kid; the mountains seemed larger back then, but it’s still a great place—and snow is snow, regardless of where you are (especially if they use snow machines). Finally, something for those who don’t get much of a thrill out of golf. Photo Credit: Getty Images


Country Club Estates

This Deming, New Mexico retirement community is set in the “beautiful desert” of southern New Mexico and sports an “18 hole golf course, a municipal swimming complex, walking/bicycling paths, and a community learning center.” If you are an aspiring photographer or painter, Deming has spectacular desert landscapes and sunrises. The town’s scarce population of just 15,480 people is unlikely to distract you. Homes begin at $123,800 for a simple 2 bedroom, 2 bath. Photo Credit: Country Club Estates


Winding River Plantation

Last but certainly not least, this Southport, North Carolina retirement community features “a 27-hole course designed by Fred Couples, and one of the state’s few Audubon certified sanctuary courses” for bird lovers out there. The coastal region is also home to many “Ancient oak trees, pines, Magnolias and Dogwoods.” A 2 bedroom, 2 bath home in the Winding River community starts at $169,900. Photo Credit: Plantation Properties NC


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