Fitness, Swimming, and Trails: Top 10 Retirement Communities with This Active Adult Trifecta

by Robert Borges on January 25, 2024

When it comes to your contemporaries and what kind of amenities they’re looking for in an active adult retirement community, there are clear frontrunners.

According to the latest PCR survey of active adult homebuyers searching for lifestyle communities, fitness, health, and wellness amenities remain must-haves for an overwhelming majority of retirees. Eighty-one percent of the 1,500 surveyed said “active lifestyle amenities” are the reason they want to live in a community, and they cited swimming pools (73%), walking/biking trails (71%), and fitness centers (65%) as their most-preferred amenities.

Do you agree? Are swimming, trails, and fitness your master-planned community “Holy Trinity” as well? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Here, we’ll spotlight the top 10 retirement communities from across the country and tell you a little about their next-level active lifestyle amenities.

  1. Victory at Verrado- Buckeye, AZ
    Mountainside living at its finest, people moving to Verrado are always struck by its more than 80 parks, its 21-miles of paths and trails and its beautiful Sonoran Desert location. Residents can embark on a challenging summit hike or a casual neighborhood stroll, then back to enjoy the outdoor lap pool and three terraced resort pools for lounging, light activity, and therapy. What’s more, the Life Performance Training Center includes cardio studio with modern training equipment and pool areas, movement studio, yoga lawn, group classes, and even personalized training opportunities. Explore community>>
  2. Hot Springs Village- Hot Springs Village, AR
    As the nation’s largest gated community, Hot Springs Village is home to nine signature golf courses, a 13-court tennis center, a 14-court pickleball facility, 11 lakes and two beaches for swimming, boating, and fishing, and 30 miles of hiking trails. The Coronado Fitness Center offers weight machines, cardio equipment, and free weights—along with a variety of land and water classes like yoga, Zumba, Pilates, spinning, and water aerobics. An indoor heated lap pool and indoor walking track are also on-site, as well as registered massage therapists offering up Swedish, deep tissue, and reflexology massage. Explore community>>
  3. Ave Maria- Ave Maria, FL
    Ave Maria stands out as a top-selling community nationwide, boasting a resort-style water park and two sprawling community parks offering picnic spots, sports fields, playgrounds, and courts for tennis, bocce, and pickleball. Beyond the vibrant recreational scene, residents enjoy access to top-notch K-12 education, an extensive network of 100 miles of nature trails, hiking and biking paths, a dog park, and a well-equipped fitness center. Additionally, the community takes pride in hosting two championship 18-hole golf courses, ensuring a diverse range of leisure options for its residents. Explore community>>
  4. Compass Pointe- Leland, NC
    Awarded the 2016 Bliss Award for “Best North Carolina Community of the Year,” Compass Pointe offers a relaxed lifestyle near the coast of Wilmington. Among the impressive list of active adult amenities are a lazy river, indoor swimming pool and large resort-style swimming pool located adjacent to the Grand Lanai clubhouse, with a 7,000 sq. ft. fitness center. Stepping away from the clubhouse and all its spoils, residents enjoy miles of meandering trails carved into 1,000 acres of preserved wildlife sanctuaries. Explore community>>
  5. Amblebrook Gettysburg- Gettysburg, PA
    Tucked into the scenic landscape of Adams County, PA, this premier 55+ community boasts a Wellness and Fitness Campus with a variety of facilities and classes to enhance well-being and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Indoor and outdoor pools, fitness rooms, and a yoga and Pilates studio promote strong living with daily access to the latest amenities, functional fitness techniques, and comprehensive training routines. The extensive trail system provides miles of biking or walking opportunities amid a scenic backdrop that includes woods, green spaces, and gardens. Explore community>>
  6. Cumberland Harbour- St. Marys. GA
    Nestled in a 1,100-acre maritime peninsula surrounded by the St. Marys River, The North River, and the Intracoastal Waterway, Cumberland Harbour provides immediate access to the open ocean—a paradise for fitness enthusiasts and swimmers alike. The Springhouse, the community's vibrant hub, boasts an open-air bar and space for social clubs, events, and activities. The community features an aquatics center with three swimming pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and facilities for tennis, pickleball, walking, biking, and canoeing/kayaking through scenic waterways. The perfect blend of fitness and leisure awaits! Explore community>>
  7. Daniel Island- Charleston, SC
    This award-winning community has evolved over two decades into one of the top residential addresses in Charleston. More than 400 acres of this sea island have been transformed into an array of parks and open green space, and more than 25 miles of leisure trails traverse the island, wandering through neighborhoods and parks, along the marsh and through the island's downtown. In addition to two championship golf courses, the community offers swim, tennis and fitness amenities and several options for fine and casual dining, plus a year-round calendar of social and sporting events. Explore community>>
  8. Fairfield Glade- Crossville, TN
    Named one of the “50 Best Master-Planned Communities” by Where to Retire magazine, this popular Tennessee golf retirement community offers two indoor and two outdoor swimming pools, with beach areas for seasonal lake swimming at Lake Dartmoor and Lake St. George. The CMC Wellness Center features an indoor track, well-equipped exercise facility, pool, physical therapy, personal trainers, and massage services. Additional on-site amenities include miles of paved walking and biking trails and nature hiking trails. Explore community>>
  9. Sun City Texas- Georgetown, TX
    Offering an active adult lifestyle and three championship golf courses, Sun City Texas is a 55+ community located within the historic university town of Georgetown, TX. Miles of hiking, biking, and walking trails provide the perfect supplement to two onsite fitness centers with aerobics and dance studio, indoor cycling, water aerobics, indoor walking/running track, yoga, and personal training. For swim-happy residents, an outdoor resort pool with "beach" sloped entrance, water-directed current pool, and two heated indoor swimming pools for lap swimming and a variety of water aerobics classes. Explore community>>
  10. Glade Springs- Daniels, WV
    Situated on 4,100 acres in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains is this southern West Virginia gated community. With 26 miles of walking and biking trails and full access to the Woodhaven Clubhouse’s fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, and tennis court, there’s no shortage of ways to stay fit and healthy. The community’s Leisure Center includes an additional recreational facility with full-service spa, well-equipped fitness center, and an indoor swimming pool with hot tub. Explore community>>

Find Your Ideal Community with Active Lifestyle Amenities

This is just a small sampling of some of the nation’s best retirement communities with outstanding walking/biking trails, swimming pools, and fitness facilities. With hundreds more to discover, you can narrow down your search by state, home price, and even more desired amenities through PCR’s comprehensive community search tool.