One option for aviation enthusiasts thinking about retiring in Florida are some of the “fly-in” communities located throughout the state.
These communities offer residents the ability to keep their own planes right in their back yards, allowing them to come and go through the air as they please.
While owning a plane and being a pilot are very popular in these communities, they are certainly not a requirement.
Many residents of fly-in community residents simply have a love for aviation and enjoy being around airplanes. There are a number of different fly-in communities to choose from that can range from laid-back sport flying communities all the way to super-elite upscale communities.
Here are a few popular options for fly-in communities across Florida:
Aero Club – Wellington, FL
Aero Club is located north of Miami and Boca Raton near West Palm Beach. The community is comprised of 248 home sites that each sit on approximately one acre of real estate. The 4,000 foot runway that is both lighted and paved is the focal point of the community. There is an on-site refueling facility available to residents.
Some of the other amenities at Aero Club include a clubhouse with a game room and social hall. The community is also in close proximity to many east coast beaches, parks, and fantastic restaurants.
Jumbolair – Ocala, FL
Jumbolair is one of the most well-known fly-in communities in the entire country. The way the community has been designed and maintained has made it the absolute gold-standard for fly-in communities.
The paved and lighted runway is long enough to land just about any plane you would like, and every home provides street access in the front and a taxiway in the back. Home sites here average between two and four acres. The community also boasts an upscale ballroom that can seat nearly 400 guests, and there is a celebrity neighbor named John Travolta.
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Leeward Air Ranch – Ocala, FL
While Jumbolair was built with luxury in mind, Leeward Air Ranch focuses more on sport flying and airplane restoration. This 500-acre community contains a 6,000 foot turf runway and home sites range to 1/2 acre to 1 acre. Many residents of this community are part of the Leeward Air Ranch Racing Team, and others can be found working together on fascinating restoration projects. This is the type of community where hands-on pilots will feel right at home.
Spruce Creek Fly-In – Port Orange, FL
Located just south of Daytona, Spruce Creek is the largest airpark community in the world in terms of population. With nearly 5,000 residents in 1,300 homes and 700 hangers, there is definitely no shortage of aviation enthusiasts here. The community’s private airport has a 4,000 foot runway that is paved and lighted. It also features fuel stations, restaurants, and over 14 miles of taxiways.
While some homes run into the millions of dollars, one of the reasons that Spruce Creek is so popular is that there are a number of reasonably priced housing options. Because of the size of the community, there are plenty of clubs and activities for residents to participate in regularly.
Blink and you might miss one of your celebrity neighbors, NASCAR driver Mark Martin. John Travolta also lived here years ago before moving to Jumbolair.
Ridge Landing – Frostproof, FL
Ridge Landing is a newer airpark that offers residents the chance to get in on the ground floor and built their dream community from scratch. There are a total of 99 lots that range from one to two acres. Each lot has access to a paved road and a grass taxiway, and many of them are still available. Minimum square footage for all homes is 3,000 square feet. The runway at Ridge Landing is 3,000 feet long, paved, and lighted.