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The Top 25 Active Retirement Communities

Explore the top 25 active retirement communities with Seniorly. We can help you find a community that will keep you on your toes.

By Marlena del Hierro · Updated Aug 08, 2022

There's no generation in American society quite like the Baby Boomers. While this generation is well known for the battle for civil rights in America and gender equality, their latest impact is on senior living. The Baby Boomer generation is more active and independent than any previous generation, and they're living longer due to active lifestyles. As a result, members of this group are changing the face of senior living communities across the country. You may have noticed that many independent and assisted living communities near you are adjusting to an influx of seniors with independent attitudes and an interest in maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle well into retirement.

How to find the right active retirement community

This generation demands a variety of options in senior living, with the priority and convenience of city living taking precedence in the decision-making process for many. For those active adults such as Baby Boomers, looking for a senior living community that has it all can be a challenge. Here are some of the top factors active adults look for in an active retirement community:

  • Onsite services and amenities: Active adults want hiking and biking trails, swimming pools, fitness centers, and even golf courses onsite to help maintain an outgoing and active lifestyle.
  • Wellness programs: For some, amenities are just the start. Fitness centers that offer guided programs and classes on fitness are a big plus. These include yoga, tai chi, and strength and conditioning classes.
  • Pets: Many active adults have four-legged friends that enjoy an active lifestyle too. Senior living communities with an open-door pet policy are preferred. Click here to read more about pets in senior living communities.
  • Transportation: If a senior living community can't offer all the above onsite, active adults at least expect to find reliable transportation to local attractions and activities to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

For those Baby Boomers struggling to find the right community in their area, Forbes has a list of the best cities in the nation for active adults. At Seniorly, we've put together a list of properties across the US with stellar ratings for their active adult programs, and which have high search volume among other Baby Boomers looking for active senior communities.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is one of the nation's oldest cities. Founded in 1670, it is known for its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and elegant French Quarter district.

  • Summit Place of Daniel Island
Summit Place of Daniel Island - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Summit Place of Daniel Island is situated just moments from the historic district of downtown Charleston and provides a range of social and recreational activities for residents, as well as regularly-planned outings. 

  • Sweetgrass Village
Sweetgrass Village - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Sweetgrass Village is located in the I'On Neighborhood of Mt. Pleasant and offers proximity to local attractions including public parks, recreation areas, and seasonal community events. Onsite amenities include social and recreational activities. 

  • Bishop Gadsden
Bishop Gadsden - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Bishop Gadsden is set on 100 acres of lush marshlands on James Island, just 10 minutes outside of downtown Charleston. Onsite amenities include state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment, strength training equipment, a saline indoor pool, and a spa to promote physical health. Nearby beaches, golf courses, tennis centers, kayaking, and biking trails further promote an active lifestyle. 

  • Brookdale Charleston
Brookdale Charleston - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Brookdale Charleston promotes an active and engaging lifestyle for all residents, with an array of social and educational offerings, as well as cultural and fitness programs. 

  • Ashley River Plantation
Ashley River Plantation - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Ashley River Plantation is set in the heart of historic Charleston, with easy access to nearby recreational activities, cultural attractions, sporting events, and public parks. Amenities at Ashley River include recreational programs, regular outings, musical events, and fitness and wellness regimens. 

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder is a bustling college town with low crime ratings and a bicycle-friendly attitude situated at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The city offers a wide variety of recreational, outdoor activities for active adults to enjoy during retirement.

  • Balfour
Balfour - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Balfour is a senior living community in the Boulder suburb of Louisville. The community offers the amenities of any top-notch resort and is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, providing easy access to a variety of outdoor activities. 

  • The Academy Boulder
The Academy Boulder - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

The Academy Boulder has an idyllic setting in the Rockies with independent living services that are unbeatable. Onsite amenities for active adults include water aerobics and a variety of exercise classes, with fine dining meals to fuel an active body on the go. 

  • Frasier Meadows Retirement Community
Frasier Meadows Retirement Community - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Frasier Meadows Retirement Community caters its independent living specifically to active adults. The wellness programs and social events at Frasier Meadows cater to seniors pursuing new adventures in retirement with an energetic zest for life. 

  • Brookdale Boulder Creek
Brookdale Boulder Creek - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Brookdale Boulder Creek is situated in the heart of Boulder. Active adult residents here have access to both convenient onsite amenities and wellness programs, and nearby attractions such as restaurants, shopping, and Howard Hueston Park.

  • The Carillon at Boulder Creek
The Carillon at Boulder Creek - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

The Carillon at Boulder Creek is a resort-style independent living community. The property is located in the center of the city, enabling access to nearby attractions. It also operates PrimeFit program with onsite, certified physical trainers and a variety of engaging social activities suitable for any active adult.

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara is a coastal city in central California with the Santa Ynez Mountains setting the backdrop for a Mediterranean-style city.

  • Villa Santa Barbara
Villa Santa Barbara - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Villa Santa Barbara is located in downtown Santa Barbara with convenient access to shopping, restaurant, healthcare, and local recreational activities. The community's programs focus on the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of residents, with onsite wellness and exercise classes, as well as regular outings to local beaches. 

  • Alexander Gardens
Alexander Gardens - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Alexander Gardens is set near the historic Santa Barbara Mission and offers an all-inclusive program. With three chef-prepared meals per day and daily activities, active adults will find the perfect fit at Alexander Gardens. 

  • Wood Glen Hall
Wood Glen Hall - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Wood Glen Hall has four acres of manicured grounds with a quarter-mile walking path that is flat and stable. Activities are planned for seven days each week and include excursions to local attractions, as well as onsite active programs. 

  • Alexander Court Senior Living
Alexander Court Senior Living - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Alexander Court Senior Living provides life-enrichment activities on a daily basis, as well as active programs to promote physical health and individualized plans to keep active adults healthy. 

  • Heritage House Assisted Living
Heritage House Assisted Living - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Heritage House Assisted Living offers independent living to cater to the physical health and wellbeing of residents. This includes daily activities and transportation to local attractions. 

Naples, Florida

Situated along the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida, Naples boasts warm weather year round and white sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see.

  • Terracina Grand
Terracina Grand - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Terracina Grand offers holistic independent living that focuses on growing the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. The FIT Functional Fitness program is interactive, fun, and results-oriented to help active adults remain healthy. 

  • Beach House Naples
Beach House Naples - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Beach House Naples is a faith-based senior living community with multiple health and wellness programs. It is also situated near local golf clubs, beaches, and parks to sustain the active lifestyle of all residents. 

  • The Carlisle Naples
The Carlisle Naples - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

The Carlisle Naples boasts 18 acres of lush, tropical grounds with a country-club lifestyle with walking paths, fully-equipped fitness centers, and group classes to help residents stay active and healthy. 

  • Tuscany Villa at Naples
Tuscany Villa at Naples - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Tuscany Villa at Naples is a luxury, resort-style senior community near the historic 5th Avenue district in Naples. The property offers a wide range of social and recreational activities for active seniors, as well as game rooms and an onsite fitness center. 

  • Aston Gardens at Pelican Marsh
Aston Gardens at Pelican Marsh - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Aston Gardens at Pelican Marsh's resort-style property includes independent living focused on the Grande Clubhouse onsite. Here, residents can access daily recreational, social, and educational activities. Aston Gardens' Dimensions Wellness program is ideal for active adults. 

Phoenix-Scottsdale, Arizona

Phoenix-Scottsdale is the largest city in Arizona and the fifth-largest metro area in the US. Home to countless hiking trails, golf courses, mountain ranges, and warm weather, Phoenix is a paradise for active adults.

  • Bethesda Gardens
Bethesda Gardens - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Bethesda Gardens is a faith-based senior community where pets are welcome and the residents enjoy a vibrant sense of community. There are fitness classes, cultural outings, and volunteer opportunities available to all residents. 

  • Aurora Place
Aurora Place - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Aurora Place provides residents with a warm, lively environment that offers stimulating activities that include Qigong, walking clubs, bingo, and a community service club that encourages engagement. 

  • Solterra Senior Living
Solterra Senior Living - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Solterra Senior Living's independent living communities encourage residents to continue the active lifestyle they love, while looking for new things to try each day. Programs onsite address social, cultural, and recreational needs to help residents remain healthy and active while having fun. 

  • Pennington Gardens
Pennington Gardens - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Pennington Gardens encourages every resident to be their best self with life enrichment programs. Its growth and wellness plans enable the active lifestyle of any resident. 

  • Courtyard Towers
Courtyard Towers - The Top 25 Communities for Active Retirement

Courtyard Towers is located in Mesa and promotes the wellness and independence of active adults. Residents can engage in the local community while also taking advantage of fitness classes and programs that stimulate the mind, body, and soul. 

For those who can't find an active retirement community near them, these 25 senior independent living communities rank highly in the US for their focus on providing classes, programs, and outings for active adults. Each of these senior living communities has the added benefit of being located in a metropolitan area with plenty of nearby attractions and recreational options as well.

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written by:
Marlena del Hierro
VP of Partnerships at Seniorly, MA in Gerontology San Francisco State University
View other articles written by Marlena

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