List of the Top 55 and Over Communities in Central Florida

Some of the best 55 and over communities are located in Florida, a preferred retirement area for many. Fontana Realty, real estate agent Fred Franks of The Fred Franks Team states, "Between January and April, Central Florida is flooded with snowbirds looking for the best place to call home and I have noticed more them moving to the Ocala Florida area.” In this article, we will explore the top five 55+ communities in central Florida, looking at their location, convenience, and the amenities provided by each.

The Villages

The Villages is a large, census-designated area in Sumter County, Florida that spreads into portions of Lake and Marion counties. By news report The Villages is an extremely fast growing area as indicated by the following statistics:

  • Around 114,350 people now live in the community itself.
  • For the second year in a row, the US Census ranked The Villages as the fastest-growing city in the United States.
  • The size of The Villages has more than doubled since 2010.
  • With the addition of new areas, the total population of The Villages reached 157,000 people in April, 2016.

Conveniently located regional, village, and neighborhood recreation centers provide opportunities to pursue hobbies and favorite activities through the on-site Recreation Department that offers over 1,000 activities. Three town squares offer free entertainment nightly, movie theaters, dining, and shopping. If you want to continue learning, The Villages offers classes at the Lifelong Learning College. Medical needs are met in community-based Professional Plazas. Many residents use golf carts since whatever they need is located within a short distance of their homes. Homes for sale in The Villages include both pre-owned and new models. Manufactured homes in well-established neighborhoods offer those seeking a relatively inexpensive retirement home just what they need. Premier and Designer homes offer the discriminating buyer luxury amenities and spaciousness from $300,00 up.

On Top of the World

The oldest, privately-owned, 55+ Florida community is On Top of the World, founded in 1947 in Ocala. They offer more than 250,000 square feet of amenities. Based upon their philosophy that both quantity and quality of activities and programs are equally important. Therefore, residents are able to participate not only in resident clubs, but also in service and social organizations numbering more than 200. One such club is the Remote Control (R/C) Flying Club, a private remote control flying field on fourteen acres with a 600′ x 150′ foot grass runway. A large pavilion houses spectators for this 100+ member club that is one of the nation’s largest model-aircraft groups, affiliated with the International Miniature Aircraft Association (IMAA) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). Improvements and additions are always underway at On Top of the World. For example, clubhouses are expanded and added as citizens desire the latest in new activities and equipment. Another example is the new Power Park with Greenfields Outdoor Fitness Equipment designed for a power-playground experience. On Top of the World offers homes from 1,500 to over 2,500 square feet with prices ranging from the $150,000s to over $300,000s. The website offers an interactive home design feature where one can determine the floor plan and options desired, print the finished design, and then present it for pricing.

Solvita

Solvita, a 55+ community in Kissimmee, Florida is only about 30 miles from both the Orlando International Airport and Walt Disney World®. There many homes for sale in the Solvita 55+ community. This conveniently located, award-winning community consists of 4,300 acres and 150,000 square feet of amenities, including:

  • a multitude of shops
  • eight neighborhood pools
  • eleven pickle ball courts
  • miles of green space for walking and cycling
  • seven tennis courts
  • three dining venues
  • two bocce ball courts
  • two championship golf course
  • two heated spas

Three resident neighborhood clubs provide the ultimate in activities and equipment.

  • The Palms, a resort-style complex spanning 19,000-square-feet has a fitness center, aerobics studio, residents’ business center, members’ club, a 4,000-square-foot heated outdoor lap and splash pool, fireplace piazza, and social gathering deck.
  • The Riviera Spa and Fitness Center encompasses indoor and outdoor pools, two spas, indoor track, dance studio, and sauna.
  • The Waterfront Galleries includes a two-story art and ceramics studio, fully stocked library, three computer labs, and game room.

Those interested in purchasing a home at Solvita will find many new and preowned homes from which to choose. New homes range in size from the conveniently designed Merlot, a one bedroom under 1,000 square feet to the massive and luxurious Miami with its own guesthouse and 4,000 square feet of living space under one roof.

Stone Creek

Stone Creek is a 55+ central Florida retirement community located in Ocala about an hour from both Orlando and Daytona Beach. Built and developed by Del Webb, a lot of homes for sale in Stone Creek plans to include 3,800 homes. The following homes are available:

  • The original Del Webb model collection built from 2006 to 2011 with the Twin Villas, Pinnacle Series, and Regal Series homes – available only as resales.
  • Twin Villa – 1,548 to 1,709 feet of living space with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two-car garage, and den. Exterior maintenance of home and garden provided.
  • Pinnacle Series and Regal Series – 1,604 to 2,384 square feet of living space with two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and two to three-car garages.
  • The 2011 collection including the Garden Series, Classic Series, and Estate Series – available as new and resale homes.
  • Include one to five bedrooms, one-and-a-half to four bathrooms, and two to three-car garages.
  • Single-family models ranging from 1,133 to 2,634 square feet of living space

At the center of Stone Creek Reflection Bay, a recreational center surrounded by streams, waterfalls, and lakes. Within the recreational center, residents will find a state of the art fitness center, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor heated pools, bocce and pickle ball courts, and many other activities. A fulltime activity director oversees the clubs and classes, some of which are the Bridge Club and Canasta Club for card players, the Computer Group, Music, a Veteran’s Group, and more. The championship golf course with driving range, pro shop, practice green, and restaurant has water features on 14 of its 18 holes.

The Plantation

Located at Leesburg in the rolling hills of Central Florida, this beautiful 55+ award-winning community. Provides the complete active lifestyle desired by retirees. The Plantation meets the HUD guidelines for “adult communities” by providing the following:

  • Full-service restaurant
  • Shuttle service transportation
  • Diverse activities serving the specific interests of active adults supervised by full-time social directors
  • Easy access to all common areas
  • 18-hole golf courses with full-time PGA golf professionals and assistants on staff
  • Well-equipped multi-purpose clubhouses

In addition, the Plantation clubhouses offer heated pools, private fishing lakes, fitness centers, tennis, pickle ball, and many other activities. Residents pay a low monthly homeowner's fee for use of the common facilities as well as security, upkeep of the clubhouses and amenities, landscaping of the community, and full-time activity directors for the daily events and activities. Most of The Plantation homes run between $200,000 and $300,000 with both new and preowned homes available. Many in established neighborhoods have mature trees and easy-to-care for native landscaping. All five of these 55+ communities offer everything you want for retirement in the desirable central Florida area. Designed for providing the types of activities you have always enjoyed or dreamed of participating in, the amenities will not only meet, but exceed your expectations. Your golden years will truly provide a golden experience if you choose to live in one of these five best 55+ communities in central Florida.