At Florida for Boomers, I've written about many of the best places to retire in Florida and I cover 100+ of them in The Florida Retirement Handbook.
But every year I take a look at our website analytics and go through the hundreds of emails I get from readers to figure out the places that people are reading about and asking me 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.
Without further ado, here are the 25 best places to retire in Florida today.
1. The Villages
The Villages earns the top spot on our list for 2024. Located about an hour north of Orlando, The Villages is consistently one of the best-selling communities, retirement or otherwise, in the country.
The Villages is home to more than 130,000 people, has more than 700 holes of golf, 200 pickleball courts, 100 recreation centers, 100 swimming pools, more than 3,000 clubs and organizations residents can participate in, an “enrichment academy” to support lifelong learning, more than 100 restaurants, a wide range of shops, grocery stores, and medical offices, free live entertainment on a nightly basis, and to top it off, nearly everything is golf cart accessible. Monthly fees are less than $200.
Because of its sheer size and scale, The Villages is unlike any other place or community you'll encounter in Florida.
You can request all my best information about The Villages right here:
2. 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 Parc at Riverland is one of the newest 55+ communities on Florida's East Coast. Located in Port St. Lucie, Valencia Parc at Riverland brings together GL Homes' famous 55+ resort-style living within the amazing 4,000-acre master-planned community of Riverland to create a Florida lifestyle that's second to none! In this new community, you'll find a million ways to have fun with everything connected through miles of eco-friendly greenways without ever having to get in your car. Walk or ride your golf cart to all the amenities right within your own neighborhood and to nearby shops and restaurants or enjoy a car ride to spend the perfect day at the beach.
Tradition is a master-planned community in Port St. Lucie. The Town Center creates a natural community hub for residents to meet and socialize, where events like a weekly farmers market invite one and all to gather. The extensive Tradition Trail winds through the community connected to over 300 acres of parks, inviting residents to explore the outdoors, meet up with friends, or enjoy a casual stroll and visit the Town Center.
Tradition is comprised of several different neighborhoods. While some neighborhoods are open to residents of all ages, Tradition also includes several 55+ neighborhoods.
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.
The first is On Top of the World. Leisure amenities here 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, a fitness center, a 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.
Ocala Preserve is a resort-style community with sections that are designated 55+. The 17,000-square-foot clubhouse offers incredible amenities and unique social spaces for connection, relaxation, and fitness. There's a restaurant and bar, resort and lap pools, a spa, pickleball, and sports courts, and more. Ocala Preserve is also home to homeowner-led clubs, live events, and plenty more going on to keep residents happy and engaged.
Shea Homes and DR Horton are both building single-family homes and villas ranging in size from about 1,300 sq. ft. to around 2,800 sq. ft. of living area, with starting prices from the $200k's.
4. Port Charlotte
Located almost exactly halfway between Sarasota and Fort Myers, Port Charlotte is one of the true hidden gems of Florida's Gulf Coast, which makes it a natural destination for many boomers looking to enjoy their retirement years.
This small town community is located right on the water of Charlotte Harbor and offers access to more than 165 miles of waterways, so all kinds of water activities are extremely popular here.
Where to Retire in Port Charlotte
Located in Port Charlotte, Kings Gate offers easy access to beaches, marinas, wildlife sanctuaries, airports, and more, many within a 15-minute drive or less. A friendly, gated neighborhood community for residents age 55 and up, Kings Gate homeowners enjoy access to a recreation center, Olympic-sized swimming pool and spa, tennis courts, on-site activities director, and a variety of resident clubs and social events. Membership to the 18-hole golf course and facilities are additionally available. Prices start in the $300k’s.
5. 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.
Where to Retire in St. Augustine
Reverie at Trailmark is a 55+ community in St. Augustine. The Retreat at Reverie features a rustic lakeside clubhouse, sparkling pool and spa, tournament-class pickleball courts, brought to life by engaging social events, clubs and activities.
There are 11 new single-family home designs, ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 sq. ft. The community features lakeside and preserve homesites. Prices start in the $300k’s.
6. Babcock Ranch
Babcock Ranch is a solar-powered town located near Fort Myers in Southwest Florida. It is designed with walkability and bike-ability in mind, and much of it is golf cart accessible.
Situated on approximately 18,000 acres, adjacent to an extensive wilderness preserve, an 870-acre solar farm powers some of the community. There are clubhouses, pools, a golf course, hiking and biking paths, greenways, and lakes perfect for outdoor adventures.
Where to Retire in Babcock Ranch
Watersound is located near Panama City Beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast and is a place that you are going to hear A LOT about in the coming years. That’s because it's the location of the 3rd Jimmy Buffett-inspired Latitude Margaritaville retirement community, after Daytona Beach (1st location) and Hilton Head (2nd location), Latitude Margaritaville Watersound.
With the amount of land the developer has assembled, Latitude Margaritaville Watersound “could” get as big or even bigger than The Villages. That would take decades of course, but the space is there to do it.
Where to Retire in Watersound
Most people headed to this area are probably going to be interested in Latitude Margaritaville Watersound.
Amenities in place or coming soon include a Latitude Town Square with Bandshell, Latitude Bar & Chill Restaurant, 2nd Floor Overlook Bar with panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway, Paradise Pool with Beach Entry Cabanas, Tiki Huts, Fins Up! Fitness Center, Barkaritaville Dog Park, Tennis & Pickleball Courts, Port of Indecision Kayak Launch, Walking Trails, and more. Home prices start in the $300k's.
Wimauma is a place that most people…even those who live here in Florida…have probably never even heard of.
But in the Florida retirement world, it is a big name and a hotbed for 55+ communities.
The key thing with Wimauma, and why I think several 55+ communities have been built here, is that it's close enough to bigger cities like Tampa and Bradenton that you can get to them relatively easily when you want to, but you're not stuck paying big city prices.
Where to Retire in Wimauma
Southshore Bay is a community of 655 attached villas and single-family homes located in Wimauma, between Tampa and Bradenton. Available amenities here include a community clubhouse, fitness center, outdoor pool, and a large Crystal Lagoon.
Southshore Bay offers villas and single-family homes that range in size from 1,396 to 2,775 square feet. Prices start in the $300k’s.
Also in Wimauma, Valencia del Sol offers an extraordinary 55+ lifestyle, catering 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 community features a stunning selection of twin villas and single-family homes that provide the ultimate in 55+ living.
9. Lakewood Ranch
Lakewood Ranch has an in-demand central west coast location and proximity to popular cities like Sarasota and Bradenton, and offers a variety of 55+ and all-ages neighborhoods, making it suitable for a variety of retirement tastes.
Main Street at Lakewood Ranch offers residents the ideal downtown experience filled with an eclectic collection of boutiques and eateries. Main Street is also the home of Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, as well as regular concerts and festivals throughout the year.
Waterside Place is the newest commercial destination at Lakewood Ranch, and it offers a wide range of restaurants and retail stores that are perfectly integrated with apartment living, all right on the water.
Where to Retire in Lakewood Ranch:
10. Palm Coast
Palm Coast is a popular destination for retirement due to its beautiful weather, affordable cost of living, and range of recreational activities.
Palm Coast is located on the northeast coast of Florida, in Flagler County. The city is positioned along the Intracoastal Waterway and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Palm Coast is approximately 30 miles south of St. Augustine and about 25 miles north of Daytona Beach.
Palm Coast's convenient location provides residents and visitors with easy access to both natural attractions and urban amenities in neighboring cities.
Where to Retire in Palm Coast
Reverie at Palm Coast is a new 55+ community located in a naturally beautiful setting at the heart of the abundant activities, great golf, and sparkling ocean waters that rank this area as one of the top beach towns in the country.
Reverie will include a staffed amenities center with an outdoor zero-entry swimming pool, separate spa, fitness center with fitness on-demand video system, 6 tournament-style pickleball courts, grand event lawn, multiple gathering areas, party bar, social clubs, separate aerobics area, golf simulator, putting green and much more. You can walk to trails, pocket parks, or take Fido your private dog park nestled within the Reverie community.
Like many southwest Florida communities, Naples brings together the best of shopping, recreation, and beautiful beaches. But residents here would definitely argue that Naples offers the best versions of all three.
Historic downtown Naples is filled with high-end shops 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 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.
Located just east of Naples in the master-planned community of Ave Maria, Del Webb Naples is a community of around 2,000 condos, townhouses, and single-family homes. This community has an (optional to join) 18-hole championship golf course, sports courts, resort and lap pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and 2 large clubhouses with a full-time Lifestyle Director. Homes start in the $300k's.
12. 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 Daytona Beach is a 55+ community 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 $300k’s.
13. Punta Gorda
Punta Gorda is a small city in southwest Florida. It is best known for its ideal Florida climate, and a laid-back lifestyle that feels relaxed even for Florida.
If you are looking for a retirement destination that combines all of the best aspects of Florida living in a small-town environment, this might be the place for you.
Punta Gorda has a reputation for being one of the most affordable retirement destinations along the southern Gulf Coast of Florida. Buying or renting homes can be extremely reasonable compared to neighboring areas.
14. 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. A wide variety of homes and homesite packages are available.
Sitting right in the heart of Central Florida, just 20 miles west of Orlando, is where you will find the impressive little city of Clermont. It has at times been ranked as one of the Top 25 Best Places to Retire by Forbes and Money Magazines and was also voted the #1 Florida Bicycle-Friendly Community.
As if that wasn’t enough already, Clermont is considered the center point of the impressive Coast-to-Coast Trail, and the city is still growing and developing at an incredible rate.
Where to Retire in Clermont
Located just west of Orlando, Palms at Serenoa is a gated, active adult community of 570 attached villas and single-family homes that began construction in 2018. Residents here enjoy access to amenities like a community clubhouse, fitness center, resort-style pool, and more than 16 acres of parks and green spaces around the community.
The attached homes at Palms at Serenoa are a 1,608 square foot floorplan with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The single-family homes range in size from 1,402 to 2,034 square feet and come in six different models. Prices start in the $300k’s.
Del Webb Minneola is a new 55+ community that recently opened just north of Clermont. The community is only one mile from the Florida Turnpike, which makes getting just about anywhere you need to go in the greater Orlando area extremely easy. You can expect to see the same types of homes and amenities offered in other Del Webb communities here in Florida.
Located 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 other popular retirement destinations in the state.
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
There are so many great places to retire here that it's probably best to point you to our list of 55+ communities in Jacksonville, but one of our favorites is Del Webb eTown.
Del Webb eTown is a new, smart-living, 55+ gated community in Jacksonville centrally located near the popular St. Johns Town Center retail/dining/entertainment 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.
17. 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:
GL Homes has developed 8 of their “Valencia 55+ Communities” in Boynton Beach alone, and their newest is called Valencia Grand.
Valencia Grand in Boynton Beach offers truly premium 55+ living unlike anywhere else, with a prime South Florida location, sophisticated country-club lifestyle, and all-new unmatched amenities. Valencia Grand takes sophisticated living to the next level with one-story home designs made for 55+ living with stand-out features including expansive high ceilings, transom windows that let in even more Florida sunshine, impressive gourmet kitchens, spa-like baths, spacious outdoor living areas, and more.
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 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.
Where to Retire in Venice
Grand Palm is a beautiful, amenity-rich, nature-focused community in Venice, where residents can experience exactly what resort living should be like. Residents enjoy easy access to downtown Venice and beaches (20 minutes away) and a multitude of activities right in their own backyard with an on-site activities coordinator, state-of-the-art fitness facility, and large, resort-style pool with water slide.
19. 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 fantastic 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 55+ gated community being developed 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, a movement studio, and more. Single-Family Homes and Villas start from the $400k’s.
The Lakes at Harmony is an active adult community located in the master-planned community of Harmony in St. Cloud. These two and three bedroom homes are built for the way you live today, with space where you need it most. Among the spacious outdoor living space, many of which include water or conservation views, residents also enjoy a private recreation center and pool.
From the miles of walking and biking trails, to the community garden, parks and fitness center, Harmony has something for everyone. Gather at the Town Square which includes a spa, market, physician office, restaurants and more or play a round of golf on the only Johnny Miller Signature course in Central Florida without ever leaving your community.
The water is calling you to Twin Lakes, one of the most desirable active lifestyle communities in Central Florida. It’s time to live less crowded on the tranquil shores of Live Oak Lake where residents enjoy lakeside living with boating, fishing, kayaking and many other amenities usually reserved for fine resorts. With a clubhouse, pool, patio areas, newly opened fitness center and a full time activities director, there is something for every- one in this outstanding community. Twin Lakes, by Jones Homes USA, is now selling new homes with luxury features and advanced home technology, in the “convenient to everything,” Orlando Area.
20. Fort Myers
Known for offering the perfect combination of recreation and relaxation, Fort Myers contains an endless amount of options including great 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
Verandah is a beautiful, private, guard-gated golf course community in Fort Myers. Enjoy life among mature oak trees, meandering bike paths and walking trails, and breathtaking views of the Orange River. Verandah is an all-inclusive community, with full-service dining options, social events and activities, fitness and recreation options, and 2 spectacular 18-hole championship golf courses: Old Orange, designed by Bob Cupp and Whispering Oak, designed by Jack Nicklaus. Prices start in the $400k’s.
Opened in 2022, Del Webb Oak Creek in Fort Myers is yet another addition to the long list of Del Webb communities in Florida. Like most Del Webb communities, Del Webb Oak Creek will have a long list of amenities for residents to enjoy, including a 6-acre resort-style amenity center.
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.
Where to Retire in Melbourne
Del Webb Viera is one of the newest Del Webb 55+ communities in Florida, and the first community Del Webb's parent company has developed in the “Space Coast” region of Florida in more than 20 years.
The highlight of Del Webb Viera will be the 30,000 sq. ft. clubhouse. Del Webb has perfected the 55+ lifestyle over the last few decades, so you should expect this place to be nothing short of spectacular.
Englewood is a popular retirement destination located in Southwest Florida. Retirees like it because they can enjoy a coastal retirement location but the home prices and cost of living tend to be a little lower than they are in places like Sarasota, Fort Myers, and Naples.
Like most places in Southwest Florida, Englewood has hot and humid summers and mild winters.
Englewood is a popular destination for fishing and boating enthusiasts. Charter a fishing trip or rent a boat to explore the local waterways and enjoy the abundant marine life.
Where to Retire in Englewood
Located in Englewood, Boca Royale Golf & Country Club offers a rare lifestyle that feels more like a vacation than the everyday. Residents of the gated 1,000-acre community enjoy a full line of fun and fitness amenities, including an 18-hole par 72 golf course. A beautiful amenity center and clubhouse round out the community.
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.
Where to Retire in Winter Garden
Del Webb Oasis in Winter Garden is located just minutes from Orlando area theme parks and attractions. This community is slated to include a 14,000-square-foot clubhouse that will be situated to provide an excellent view of theme park fireworks. Del Webb Oasis is offering a selection of single-family homes and villas starting in the $400k's.
24. St Johns
St. Johns is located in northeast Florida, about halfway between Jacksonville and St. Augustine so you get to enjoy the best those two bigger cities have to offer. Several new 55+ communities are being developed here, including a new Del Webb opening in 2024.
Where to Retire in St. Johns
Stillwater is a 55+ community by Lennar Homes located in St. Johns. Homeowners have access to exciting amenities, such as the Bobby Weed-designed 18-hole golf course and a resort-style lap pool. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants and shops nearby.
A total of 549 homes are planned here, and attached villages and single-family homes are available. Prices start in the $300k’s.
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.
Where to Retire in Kissimmee
Solivita is an award-winning retirement community in Central Florida’s attraction zone. No matter where you live within this lush gated 55-plus community in Kissimmee, you can easily walk, bike or drive your golf cart to indoor and outdoor dining venues, state-of-the-art spa and fitness complexes, pickleball or tennis courts, and other facilities for sports and games.
With two stunning championship golf courses, intimate neighborhood centers, softball field, miles of green space for walking and biking, and too many classes and clubs to count, you will have many ways to enjoy the Solivita life.
Four Seasons at Orlando is a gated community of 557 single-family homes located in Kissimmee, Florida, just south of Orlando. Amenities here include a 14,000-square-foot clubhouse with a state-of-the-art fitness center and an arts and crafts room, as well as an outdoor swimming pool, pickleball courts, and access to the 18-hole Mystic Dunes Golf Club.
What Did I 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 I am constantly updating this page.
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Know a great place in Florida that I should consider adding to the list in the future?
Let me know in the comments section below!