At Florida for Boomers, we’ve written about many of the best places to retire in Florida.
Every year we take a look at our website analytics and go through the hundreds of emails we get from readers to figure out the places that people are reading about and asking us about the most.
If you are researching the best places to retire in Florida and feeling a little overwhelmed by all the options, I hope this list can help you.
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If you’d like more information about these places and others, be sure to sign-up for my FREE Florida Retirement Newsletter.
Without further ado, here are the 25 best places to retire in Florida today.
Located along the Gulf Coast just an hour south of Tampa and a little under two hours north of Fort Myers you will find the town of Sarasota. This city combines the historic Old Florida feel with vibrant cultural districts to create one of the most perfect atmospheres anywhere.
Where to Retire in Sarasota:
Lakewood Ranch is the #2 selling community in the country behind The Villages, and it owes a large part of its success to its proximity to Sarasota.
Though Lakewood Ranch is considered a multi-generational community, there are certain neighborhoods that are 55+, such as Del Webb at Lakewood Ranch.
2. The Villages
Located about an hour north of Orlando, The Villages was not even called “The Villages” when it first began. It actually started as a mobile home park called Orange Blossom Gardens.
Though it struggled in the early years, the community experienced staggering growth in the mid-1980’s because the community offered an impressive collection of amenities.
As that amenities-focused community continued to grow and develop, it eventually evolved into The Villages, which has become the premiere model for what a master-planned community should be.
Today, The Villages is known for having the largest and most diverse collection of amenities of any community on the planet. Residents have access to an amazing collection of golf courses, recreation centers, and town squares, as well as an unparalleled number of clubs covering just about any topic you can imagine.
With all of the advantages that The Villages offers to its residents, it is no wonder that it consistently ranks as the fastest growing community in the entire country. There were an astounding 2,452 new homes sold here in 2020.Get more info. about The Villages Here.
The Ocala area represents a unique combination of history, horses, and culture that is surrounded by some of the most beautiful natural environments you will find anywhere. Sprinkle in the collection of interesting shops and restaurants in Ocala’s downtown district and you will find Ocala to be the type of place where no one struggles to find something to do.
Where to Retire in Ocala:
There are a handful of 55+ communities in Ocala, but two in particular stand out among the crowd.
At On Top of the World Communities, active adults will find all they dream about and so much more. On Top of the World residents can enjoy any schedule that suits their tastes – from activity packed to unhurried.
Leisure amenities include 54 holes of golf on three courses, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a private R/C flying field, bocce, racquetball and basketball courts, fitness center, health club and spa, restaurants, cultural venues, and much more.
Residents can also participate in over 175 clubs, leagues, hobbies, and lifelong learning opportunities.
There are 23 floor plans available with prices ranging to suit every budget starting from the $200k’s.Get more info. from On Top of the World Here.
The other Ocala area community I think you should check out is Del Webb Stone Creek.
Del Webb Stone Creek is a gated, 55+ active adult community located in the horse capital of the world, Ocala, FL. Boasting an 18-hole championship golf course with full grill, resort-style pool, fitness center, spa, multiple game courts, a full-time lifestyle director and more, you will be ready for your “Next Great Adventure.”
Single-family homes start in the high-$100k’s.Get more info. from Del Webb Stone Creek Here.
4. Port St. Lucie
Port St. Lucie and other neighboring towns in St. Lucie County promote themselves as offering “the real Florida,” which they describe as a perfect atmosphere for golf lovers or anyone looking for a small, friendly, beach town.
Where to Retire in Port St. Lucie:
Valencia Grove at Riverland is the newest 55+ community on Florida’s East Coast. Located in Port St. Lucie, Valencia Grove brings together GL Homes’ famous 55+ resort-style living with an amazing master site plan to create a Florida lifestyle that’s second-to-none! At this new community, you’ll find a million ways to have fun. Walk to nearby shops and restaurants, spend the day at the beach or simply enjoy all the amenities right within your own neighborhood.
Get in on the ground floor of Florida’s next top master planned community with prices starting in just the $300s.Get More Information About Valencia Grove Here.
As the third largest city in the state of Florida, Tampa offers residents all of the big city amenities they are looking for combined with the fantastic climate that draws people to the Sunshine State in the first place. In addition to tons of amenities and great weather, Tampa is also located right on the water and filled with outstanding shopping and dining options.
Where to Retire in Tampa:
Valencia Del Sol’s convenient Tampa location makes it easy to enjoy having fun in the sun along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Offering a robust and extraordinary 55+ lifestyle, Valencia del Sol caters to residents looking to socialize and stay physically active. Active adults will enjoy the 25,000 square foot Clubhouse offering an array of resort-style amenities including a fitness center, grand social hall, a relaxing pool and spa, tennis and pickleball courts as well as a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. A full-time, on-site lifestyle director will be dedicated to organizing a wide variety of fun events, clubs and opportunities for making new friends all year-round. This amazing new community features a stunning selection of twin villas and single-family homes starting in the $400k’s that provide the ultimate in 55+ living at an incredible value.Get More Information About Valencia Del Sol Here.
6. St. Cloud
Located along the southern banks of East Lake Tohopekaliga near Kissimmee and just south of Orlando, St. Cloud is a quiet city that was originally known as a retirement destination for Civil War veterans.
In addition to having a rich history, the area also offers a type of small-town living that is getting harder and harder to find here in Florida. Combining that small town atmosphere with access to all of the amazing amenities located just to the north in Orlando makes St. Cloud a perfect mixture of old and new Florida living.
Where to Retire in St. Cloud
Del Webb Sunbridge is a new 55+ gated community in St. Cloud.
The 27,000 sf. Clubhouse will feature luxurious indoor and outdoor amenities like a zero-entry pool, resistance pool, pickleball and tennis courts, a fitness center, movement studio, and more.
Single-Family Homes and Villas start from the mid-$200k’s.Get More Information About Del Webb Sunbridge Here.
7. Daytona Beach
Because of its popularity among race fans, motorcycle enthusiasts, spring breakers, and summer vacationers, Daytona Beach is often overlooked by many boomers as they search for a Florida retirement destination that will fit their ideal lifestyle. However, those popular reasons for visiting Daytona Beach are really just scratching the surface of what residents enjoy here throughout the year.
Where to Retire in Daytona Beach
Latitude Margaritaville is a new 55+ community in Daytona Beach, inspired by the lifestyle and music of Jimmy Buffett.
Amenities include a fully outfitted gym / Spin Room, aerobics room with virtual personal trainer, indoor whirlpool spa and lap pool, Latitude Town Square where you’ll find the Bandshell with live music, The Last Mango Theater includes a banquet hall with stage for performances and dancing, Barkaritaville Pet Spa, Coconut Telegraph Business Center, Latitude Bar & Chill Restaurant, Changes in Attitude Bar, Paradise Pool with beach entry, cabanas, and tiki huts, plus, an amenity that you don’t see every day…your very own private beach club!
Home prices start in the low $200k’s.Get More Information About Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach Here.
Like many southwest Florida communities, Naples brings together the best of shopping, recreation, and beautiful white sand beaches. But residents here would definitely argue that Naples offers the best versions of all three.
Historic downtown Naples is filled with with high-end shoppes and boutiques. The surrounding areas are littered with championship level golf courses. And this location along the southern Gulf Coast of Florida boasts some of the most stunning beaches you will find anywhere.
Where to Retire in Naples
Valencia Trails in Naples, FL offers the best resort lifestyle with a magnificent 42,000 sq. ft. Clubhouse where every day new events, clubs, and entertainment abound. Relax by the pool, grab a bite at the restaurant, catch a show in the social hall, or take a relaxing stroll or jog along the community’s iconic trails. The options are endless!
Designed for 55+ living, the gorgeous contemporary style single-family homes at Valencia Trails offer the ultimate in style, convenience, and luxury with spacious living areas, impressive gourmet kitchens, and screened and covered patios to make the most of Florida’s beautiful weather year-round. Come home to luxurious standard features including tile roof, brick pavers, stainless steel and gas appliances, designer tile flooring throughout main areas, rich stone exterior finishes and so much more. Homes start in the $500k’s.Get More Information About Valencia Trails Here.
9. Ponte Vedra
Home to one of the most famous holes in golf, the #17 island green at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra is a new addition to our list this year.
Located on Florida’s east coast, the recent interest in Ponte Vedra is owed in large part to the nearby master-planned community of Nocatee.
Where to Retire in Ponte Vedra
Del Webb Nocatee is a new 55+ gated community in Ponte Vedra, which is in Northeast Florida, just minutes from Jacksonville and St. Augustine, and about 4 miles from pristine beaches.
The Canopy Club will will offer luxury amenities just a golf cart’s drive away, including a zero-entry pool, pickleball courts, fitness studio, and even an onsite Tavern & Grill with private wine lockers.
Single-Family Homes and Villas start from the upper-$200k’s.Get More Information About Del Webb Nocatee Here.
10. Ft. Myers
Known for offering the perfect combination of recreation and relaxation, Fort Myers contains an endless amount of options including white sand beaches, first-class golf courses, exciting deep-sea fishing, and outstanding shopping. It’s no wonder why you’ll find so many 55+ communities there.
There is an amazing selection of great local restaurants in just about every neighborhood, and baseball fans will be excited to know that both the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins host their spring training activities here.
Where to Retire in Fort Myers:
Offering easy access to everything Southwest Florida is famous for, GL Homes is proud to introduce Valencia Bonita— a new standard of 55 plus living on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast. With an exciting vacation-inspired lifestyle that rivals the finest resorts, Valencia Bonita features an opulent 45,000 sq. ft. clubhouse and carefully designed single-family and villa home designs that are tailored to those looking for spacious layouts and sophisticated style. Valencia Bonita is located just minutes from pristine beaches, tranquil nature preserves, chic shops and fine dining. Plus, everyday conveniences including banks, grocery stores and top rated medical facilities are also just a short drive away. Homes start in the $500k’s.Get More Information About Valencia Bonita Here.
Located right on the Atlantic Coast in northeast Florida, Jacksonville offers its residents all of the amenities that come with a beachfront city for a fraction of the cost of some of the popular destinations nearby.
Known as the “River City on the Sea,” Jacksonville is packed with more than 22 miles of beaches, a scenic stretch of the beautiful St. Johns River, the largest urban park system in the nation, historic neighborhoods, and a thriving street art scene.
Where to Retire in Jacksonville:
Del Webb eTown is a new, smart-living, 55+ gated community in Jacksonville centrally located near prestigious St. Johns Town Center off I-295.
Meet friends at the private clubhouse and amenity center with recreational activities including tennis, pickleball, bocce courts, walking trails, outdoor pavilions, fire pits and so much more.
Single-Family Homes start from the upper-$200k’s.Get More Information About Del Webb eTown Here.
12. New Smyrna Beach
Located just 15 miles south of Daytona Beach is where you will find New Smyrna Beach. This quaint little beach town offers the atmosphere that many Boomers are looking for, but also brings quite a few unique amenities to the table.
New Smyrna is only about 20 minutes away from where I used to live in Daytona Beach Shores, and we often found ourselves down in New Smyrna for one reason or another (usually food or drink related…haha!) a few times per week.
Where to Retire in New Smyrna Beach:
Perfectly situated in Central Florida’s favorite beach town, Venetian Bay (A Geosam Capital development) offers World Class Resort-Style amenities to its residents.
Play a round of golf on their 18-Hole Championship golf course, spend a day with your family at the Beach and Swim Club, enjoy a relaxing day at their World Class Spa, stay active by joining the on-site fitness center or walking and biking on the miles of beautiful trails.
Residents also enjoy dining at the onsite restaurants. Residents sense a feeling of belonging. Variety is well defined at Venetian Bay with wide spread appeal. You’ll discover luxury estates in gated private communities; semi-custom homes; mid-sized single family homes and duplexes; maintenance free luxury townhomes and apartment homes.
With prices ranging from the $200k’s to over $1 million, there really is something for everyone at Venetian Bay.
13. Anywhere Along 30A
New to the list for 2021, 30A is a scenic stretch of road in the Florida Panhandle, between Panama City Beach and Destin.
With the opening of Latitude Margaritaville Watersound in 2021, you’ll be hearing a lot more about this area in the coming years.
In addition to Watersound, other cities here include Rosemary Beach, Watercolor, Grayton Beach, and Seaside.
If one of your concerns is that you move to Florida for retirement and your kids and grandkids never come to visit, that won’t be the case if you end up in Kissimmee. In fact, you might have a hard time getting them to leave!
Kissimmee is located just south of Orlando and is just minutes from popular attractions like the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios, Sea World, and more. They call Kissimmee the “attraction zone” and it’s easy to see why.
15. Boynton Beach
Located just about halfway between West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Boynton Beach offers residents a lifestyle that is far-removed from all of the popular Florida tourist destinations without actually being all that far away from those places.
Where to Retire in Boynton Beach:
Swim, play, dine, relax or socialize – you can do as much or as little as you want at Valencia Sound in Boynton Beach. The nearly 39,000 square-foot Clubhouse with upscale indoor and outdoor amenities, including a full-service restaurant, sports lounge and multiple pickleball, tennis and bocce courts, provides the ultimate 55+ lifestyle in Boynton Beach. Hundreds of clubs are available to join, Broadway-style shows and entertainment are found in the Social Hall, classes on everything from art to fitness are scheduled at the Clubhouse, and tournaments are held at the world-class Racquet Club. Homes start in the $700k’s.Get More Information About Valencia Sound Here
16. The Florida Keys
There are some places that are nice to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.
The Florida Keys is perfect whether visiting for a weekend or deciding to make it a permanent home.
An idyllic tropical setting at the tip of the United States combined with a myriad of recreation, entertainment, and cultural opportunities create the ideal place to spend the next stage in life.
Everyone knows that Orlando is the theme park capital of the world, but there is a lot more to this beautiful city than those popular vacation destinations. Local residents enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities, cultural attractions, excellent shopping, and delicious restaurants.
Of course, residents of Orlando also have the added perk of being able to visit all of the popular theme parks like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Sea World Orlando, and Legoland Florida. But that is just the icing on the cake when you factor in all of the great things that Orlando has to offer!
18. The Nature Coast
Located along the inside curve of Florida’s coastline, the Nature Coast region connects the Sun Coast counties with the areas located further west along the Florida Panhandle.
It is comprised of nine counties that include Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, and the city of Dunnellon, which is a part of Marion County.
This area of Florida is known for being a nature lover’s paradise with some of the best collections of state parks and wildlife populations that you will find anywhere in the country.
Where to Retire on The Nature Coast
Just a short drive from Tampa, the Villages of Citrus Hills is a Florida Retirement Community with single family homes and maintenance free villas that have been built with today’s demanding baby-boomer in mind. But what makes the promise of Florida Retirement in the Villages of Citrus Hills truly come together for today’s new breed of active adult retiree is its extraordinary collection of world-class community country club amenities and extensive social activities. Depending on the style and neighborhood you choose, home and home site packages range from the upper $300k’s to more than $1.2 million.Get More Information About Citrus Hills Here.
19. St. Augustine
Famous for being the oldest city in the country, St. Augustine is absolutely the perfect place for anyone who appreciates history. The city is located along the east coast of Florida just about 45 minutes south of Jacksonville, and a little over an hour north of Daytona Beach.
In addition to being a great location for history buffs, St. Augustine is also filled with tons of culture, great shopping, unique places to eat, and two really wonderful retirement communities. If you are passionate about any combination of those things, the Nation’s Oldest City could be a great option for your retirement.
Located just south of Sarasota, but not quite as far south as Fort Myers or Sanibel Island, Venice sits in a sweet spot along Florida’s southern Gulf Coast that makes it the perfect destination for anyone looking to make the most of 14 miles of stunning white sand beaches.
In addition to those beautiful beaches, Venice is also known for all kinds of exciting ways to enjoy the great outdoors. It is a fabulous destination for boomers interested in exploring arts and culture, boutique shopping, or a wide range of outstanding restaurant choices.
Considered part of the Space Coast on Florida’s East Coast, Melbourne is seeing an uptick in interest among readers in part due to all of the activity surrounding the fast-growing commercial space program.
One of the biggest master-planned communities in this area is Viera. Another community I hear about a lot is Indian River Colony Club, a 55+, active adult country club community dedicated to serving those who have served.
22. St. Petersburg
Across the bay from Tampa and just south of Clearwater is where you will find the city of St. Petersburg.
Known for offering the perfect combination of white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and all of the big city amenities that make life enjoyable, St. Petersburg is the perfect destination for anyone who wants a little bit of everything in their retirement lifestyle.
23. Winter Garden
Located about 25 minutes west of downtown Orlando, Winter Garden offers residents the perfect combination of an Old Florida feel and plenty of modern amenities.
You’ll love strolling through the historic downtown district but will also enjoy the lake lifestyle, the thriving cultural scene, shopping at the weekly farmers’ market, and dining at the impressive collection of modern restaurants.
Located west of Tampa and just north of St. Petersburg, Clearwater makes up the third leg of one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Florida. Known for its white sand beaches and the fabulous Clearwater Marine Aquarium, this is the ultimate destination for baby boomers that want to feel like they are forever on vacation.
Because it is located so close to Tampa, Clearwater residents enjoy close access to a major international airport. They also enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches that you will find anywhere along the Gulf Coast.
25. Ormond Beach
The city of Ormond Beach is best known for being located just north of the much larger, much busier Daytona Beach. However, there is quite a bit more to Ormond Beach than simply being “Daytona Beach Light“.
The community contains a perfect mixture of modern art and culture, storied history, untouched nature and wildlife, championship golfing, and some of the best small town shopping and dining you will find anywhere!
Fun fact: Latitude Margaritaville’s Private Beach Club is actually located in Ormond Beach.
What Did We Miss?
There you have it, the top 25 best places to retire in Florida today.
Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often because we are constantly updating this page.
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Know a great place in Florida that we should consider adding to the list in the future?
Let us know in the comments section below!