5 most popular active adult communities

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A farm at Fearrington features “Beltie” cows.
A farm at Fearrington features “Beltie” cows.

The Villages in Florida tops the 2016 list of the 100 most popular 55+ and active adult communities compiled by Key West, FL-based TopRetirements.com. Other areas of the country are evident even among the top five properties ranked, however.

The consumer seniors housing resource based its selections on its popularity/curiosity index; the properties included had the most online visits so far this year among the 3,200 top active adult communities reviewed in the company's database.

Communities in the so-called Sunbelt took 52 of the top 100 spots, but TopRetirements pointed out that Colorado, Tennessee and Delaware collectively had a total of 36 communities on the list.

Thirty-four of the communities were making their debut on the list, with the highest-ranked newcomer, Stonebridge, in Colorado Springs, CO, coming in at No. 8.

The top five:

1. The Villages, near Orlando, FL.

The community has 157,000 residents and sprawls over three counties. Among the amenities are 57 recreation centers, 39 golf courses, hundreds of clubs and social organizations and a polo stadium. In March, the U.S. Census Bureau named The Villages the nation's fastest-growing metro area for the third consecutive year. In June, the bureau said that the country's only county in which a majority of the population is aged 65 or more years remains Sumter, FL, one of the counties were The Villages is located.

2. Fearrington Village, near Chapel Hill, NC.

Fearrington has single-family homes and townhouses. A farm on the property features distinctive “Beltie” (Belted Galloway) cows, black-coated animals so named for the band of white fur around their midsections. Other amenities include a Relais & Chateaux inn and restaurant, a bookstore, the Duke Center for Living, the Duke Primary Care Clinic and 70 clubs.

3. Millville by the Sea, Bethany Beach, DE.

Among the amenities are a community clubhouse with a pub and lounge areas; a pool with splash zones and a sun deck; a walking trail; a lake; and a fitness center with a dance studio and fitness equipment; and a crab shack.

4. Hot Springs Village, Hot Springs, AR.

Hot Springs Village is the nation's largest gated community and has been recognized as a “Top 100 Master Planned Community,” according to TopRetirements. Available golf-front, lake-front, mountain-view and wooded-view homes range in price from $100,000 to more than $1 million.

5. Silver Sage Village, Boulder, CO.

This seniors co-housing retirement community has 24 “Sagers” committed to aging in the community. Built with input by future residents, the community shares common spaces, including the Common House, a woodworking shop, gardens and an artists' co-op. Rentals occasionally are available.

To read more about these communities and to see the entire list, visit the TopRetirements website.

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