Discover the Best Audubon-Certified Communities
In an Audubon-certified community, residents can be confident that their community has been designed to protect the natural environment and promote long-term sustainability. If you’re thinking about relocation or retirement in the near future, check out the greener lifestyle choices in an Audubon-certified community.
What is an Audubon-certified community?
Audubon International is a worldwide organization that works with master planned communities to create and maintain living environments that are healthy for both people and nature. Residential developments can apply to Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program and earn their certification after a detailed environmental-quality review. Residential and resort communities with golf clubs can also apply for and be awarded a separate certification in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses.
What are the benefits of living in an Audubon-certified community?
- Community planning. Audubon International staff members work with developers to design master plans that protect environmentally sensitive areas like wetlands, old-growth forests and bird-nesting areas. The goal is to create a plan that balances development and conservation to the advantage of future residents and the natural environment alike.
- Wildlife-habitat protection. One clear benefit to residents in an Audubon-certified community is the preservation of wildlife habitat in designated nature preserves, community parks and open spaces. Community walking and biking trails are often included in these areas so that residents can enjoy them with little impact on native plants and animals.
- Quality of life. Audubon-certified community residents experience a higher quality of life in a number of ways: Neighborhood tree protection creates shade and reduces energy costs. Recreational activities like bird-watching and fishing are enhanced with the conservation of natural woodlands, meadows, ponds, and streams. Community involvement in maintaining and expanding protected areas is a positive social activity for residents that also strengthens community identity. Fresher air, cleaner water, greener land, and more wildlife can all contribute to a better quality of residential life.
- Community sustainability. Audubon International certification programs promote the long-term sustainability of residential and retirement communities. Preservation of the environment, conservation of natural and cultural resources, and promotion of renewable-energy systems are parts of that process. But the Audubon International Sustainable Community Program also looks at factors like public health, recreation, safety and emergency management to enhance community quality that can be sustained for the long term. And Audubon-program communities must renew their certification every two years to show that they're continuing to live up to those high standards
Research and Explore Audubon-Certified Communities
Click to explore the following audubon certified communities. Request information from multiple communities by selecting the checkboxes to the right and completing the form below.
St. James Plantation
Southeastern NC’s shimmering coast is home to St. James Plantation. This uber popular community is nestled along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), near the charming seaside village of Southport and historic Wilmington. Residents enjoy our over 100 million dollars of completed first-class amenities, including a private oceanfront beach club, a 475-Wet Slip/Dry Stack ICW marina and marketplace, fitness clubs including a $4 million dollar Signature Wellness Center, 4 welcoming clubhouses, 81-holes of championship golf, 36+ miles of biking, walking trails, dining, Har-Tru tennis, pickleball, parks and community gardens as well as over 100 social clubs. Our residents also enjoy a mild Carolina climate as living here means four distinct seasons, perfect for enjoying the great outdoors and exploring nearby antiques, shops, boutiques, gourmet restaurants and historical landmarks dating back to the 1700’s. Moreover, our area boasts well- supplied adult educational institutions and first-class medical centers. Real estate options range from spacious custom homes to patio homes and condominiums. Single family homes range from the $500s to $1 million plus, and homesites range from the $200s.
Plan your visit right now! Call 800-245-3871 or visit our website: www.StJamesPlantation.com.
View our article Reasons to Love St. James Plantation!
There is a place off the South Carolina coast, near the charming town of Beaufort, where nature and luxury share center stage. Shaped by the Intracoastal Waterway and a rich Southern history, the SC gated golf community of Dataw Island is a pristine parcel of 870 acres waiting to be discovered.
The Dataw Island Club is the perfect choice for you. Golf and Social memberships are available for island residents. If you live in the area and are interested in joining the club, call to find out about the special Country Club Membership incentives. For membership information call (843) 838-3838. Ask about their vacation memberships!
The Dataw Island Club has completed its two year renovation of their golf courses. The Cotton Dike course, designed by Tom Fazio, was completely renovated in 2011, and the Arthur Hills designed Morgan River course has also completed its renovation.
“Top 100 Amenity Communities” – ideal-LIVING Magazine
“Best in Value Golf Community” – Links Magazine
“Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” – The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses
Dataw Island is a luxurious and private residential golf community nestled in an unrivaled South Carolina landscape. Within the gates, there is 24-hour security. There’s vibrancy there, a constant bustle of activity that reflects the area’s rich wildlife and Dataw’s collaborative culture. Residents can walk, bike or travel by golf cart to social gatherings, functions and meetings.
From deepwater slips that lead to blue waters to the manicured golf courses named for legends; from an indoor lap pool to a whirlpool spa; from tennis lessons to Spanish lessons, Dataw Island is humming with leisure. Start the day sunny side up in your Lowcountry residence. Uncover cozy, shaded nooks perfect for soaking in the coastal breeze. Join neighbors for a Yacht Club meeting or challenge friends to a game of croquet on the lawn. From a calendar of social events to thoughtful gathering spots woven throughout, Dataw Island’s connected community is inspired by you.
The Landings on Skidaway Island
Welcome to The Landings.
Our vibrant, island lifestyle is made even richer by our proximity to the culture and excitement of Savannah, GA. The best of both worlds? You bet!
All the natural beauty of an island and the modern amenities of a city blended to make one of the most amazing places to live in the entire United States. You’ll always feel connected to the exhilaration of Savannah, while enjoying the privacy and security of having a home inside a gated community – better yet, a gated community on an island!
World-class, resort-style amenities, the feel of a small town and a number of distinct neighborhoods… each detail has been considered in creating a community of incomparable standards. With 40 years of national awards for golf and community excellence, The Landings on Skidaway Island offers a range of real estate opportunities fit for any lifestyle.
Life at The Landings comes with many outdoor opportunities too, including fishing in one of our many lagoons, 30 miles of nature trails, playgrounds, dog parks, not to mention year-round watersports. Set off on an adventure from either of our two full-service, deep-water marinas: Landings Harbor and Delegal Creek Marina. Both offer easy access to the Atlantic, and the Intracoastal Waterway – two ideal locations for enjoying the best maritime experience that the Southeast has to offer.
Here you’ll also find The Landings Club, our private luxury golf club offering 6 Championship golf courses, 4 Clubhouses, 7 Dining options, 31 Har-Tru tennis courts, Pickleball, Bocce, 5 pools, a 50,000 sq ft Wellness Center and much, much more. While you don’t have to join The Landings Club to live in The Landings, becoming a member of The Landings Club takes life at The Landings to a whole new level.
Discover more about The Landings on Skidaway Island by taking advantage of one of our Island Discovery Packages today! Learn more at www.thelandings.com or contact The Landings Welcome Center at 912-598-0500.
Located on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, only 10 minutes from Wilmington, Compass Pointe is a gated, private community that offers an unmatched resort lifestyle. Every day feels like a vacation where you can relax by our award-winning pool, float along the lazy river, join one of 100+ community clubs, or get some exercise at our fitness center, indoor pool, or golf club. Come see for yourself why Compass Pointe was honored with the 2020 Best Health & Fitness Community and America’s Best Places to Live 2021.
- Private, Gated Entrance
- The Grand Lanai
- Resort Oasis Pool
- Compass Pointe Golf Club
- Clubhouse (under construcion) & Pro Shop
- The Pointe Wellness Center & Spa
- Indoor Pool
- Lazy River
- Tennis & Pickleball Courts
- Recreation Lawn
- Putting Greens
- Latitudes Restaurant and Bar
- Dog Park
- Cardinal Lake with Canoe & Kayak Launch
- Outdoor Amphitheater
- Sidewalks Throughout for Walking and Biking
- Golf Cart Paths Throughout
- Club Member Pool & Bar
- Club Member Fitness Center
- Club Member Golf Simulator
Callawassie Island, located in the heart of the Lowcountry, is a private, gated island community offering world-class Tom Fazio golf and a full complement of amenities including a tennis center, clubhouse, pools, fitness center, and River Club. Secluded from the noise and congestion of the highway, Callawassie lies miles from Hilton Head and is also convenient to Beaufort and Bluffton (15 minutes away); historic Savannah, GA (a 30-minute drive); and the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (40 minutes away). A half-mile causeway provides a relaxing, slow-paced approach to the island, where peace and quiet are as plentiful as vibrant activity.
The community hosts numerous social events, activities and clubs connecting members by their passions for nature, art and giving back locally. Members take full advantage of the island parks, historical sites and recreation areas for enjoying remarkable views of undisturbed nature. Island dwellers have access to four community docks providing leased slips, kayak launches and excellent opportunities for fishing, crabbing and shrimping. The River Club, overlooking the Colleton River, is a warm gathering center with a library and fireplace, family swimming pool, and offers seasonal dining.
For those seeking a golfing experience like no other, the 27-hole, Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course is truly spectacular. Voted one of South Carolina’s top 50 courses, Callawassie recently enhanced the design with a four-million-dollar renovation in 2014. This renovation resulted in a brand-new pro shop with three Class A PGA Golf Professionals. The courses meander intimately along the waterways and salt marshes in a way that environmental regulations have made difficult for newer courses; visual interest is natural not manmade.
Callawassie Island is the first South Carolina gated community to have been designated a “Community Wildlife Habitat” by the National Wildlife Federation. This coexistence brings a true community balance with nature. The island is covered with live oaks and palmettos, egrets and herons, and encompasses a thriving salt marsh ecosystem.
Today, Callawassie is one of only four South Carolina communities holding this distinguished designation. The homes and homesites, including waterfront property, are among the best values in the area.
WindRiver is a stunning, lakefront and golf community located minutes outside Knoxville, Tennessee on Tellico Lake. Inside our gates, you will find world-class amenities surrounded by sparkling, fresh-water lakes and dramatic mountain views. This unique combination is what makes WindRiver the ideal place to call home and create a lakefront lifestyle you and your family will cherish.
You will sense it when you look towards the welcoming shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains. You will feel it standing on the gentle slope of five miles of shoreline along beautiful Lake Tellico, named one of the top inland boating destinations in the nation.
Members enjoy a collection of world-class club amenities which include: a full-service marina, a championship 18-hole golf course, Golf Club and Grill, the Sports Complex with a resort-style swimming pool, sports courts, and a state-of-the-art exercise facility at Overlook Manor, the elegant Lakeside Inn, and Citico’s Restaurant, a signature Member dining experience. For outdoor enthusiasts, WindRiver has access to over 30 miles of walking and hiking trails and a peaceful, lakefront retreat, Brightwater Park.
In addition to WindRiver’s amenities, innate beauty, and temperate climate, an equally important factor is that the state of Tennessee is extremely tax-friendly: NO State Income Taxes, NO State Inheritance Taxes, NO Personal Property Taxes, and low property taxes.
This is Life As It Should Be – this is WindRiver.
Hampton Hall Club
Imagine for a minute you’re visiting the private club community of Hampton Hall in Bluffton, SC. You’ve gotten over the awe of the dramatic and picturesque Lowcountry landscape, and you’re starting to take in your surroundings. The first thing you’re probably going to hear is laughter. Depending on where you’re standing, it could be coming from the lakeside resort pool, or the Pete Dye golf course, or maybe one of the various dining venues. For while everything here is beautiful to look at and expertly maintained and cared for, the key component is fun and enjoyment.
We thought you should be prepared for that because, sure enough, the tennis pro will coax you on to the courts, or the threesome about to tee off will enlist you into completing their group. You see, the minute you pass through the gates at Hampton Hall, something changes. You are at once connected with this club and community. A place you may have never known existed, right up until the moment you fall in love with it.
We invite you inside the gates to tour Hampton Hall. Come see if you feel a connection with this Lowcountry private club community. Come see if Hampton Hall feels like home.
A unique waterfront community with new homes from the $400s – $1.5M+ and available lots starting at $90k.
Located just 10 minutes north of Downtown Wilmington, NC (by boat or car) sits River Bluffs, a gated community that overlooks the Northeast Cape Fear River. River Bluffs offers a wide variety of home plans, including affordable cottage-style homes for a growing family, single-level homes with retirement-smart features, low-maintenance townhomes, and even fully-custom homes built by the area’s most prestigious builders. River Bluffs boasts a variety of luxurious amenities such as a a 2,700 foot river walk with covered gazebos, 188 slip marina, miles of walking trails and parks, a beach-entry pool, high-end fitness center, tennis and pickle ball courts, a community General Store, over 30+ resident clubs including kayaking, boating, and much more.
Enhance Your Quality of Life by Moving to River Bluffs:
• No city tax and no traffic!
• Low county & state taxes. North Carolina residents enjoy some of the lowest cost of living expenses on the Eastern seaboard!
• Enjoy low HOA dues which include yard maintenance, trash service, recycling, and access to all community amenities.
• 5.25% flat income tax and 0% estate or inheritance tax.
Eastman Community Association
Eastman Community Association – Four Seasons Paradise
The Eastman Community Association in Grantham, NH is an ideal active-adult and retirement destination. It’s also the perfect place to raise a family. Eastman is a sustainable, intergenerational community in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region of New Hampshire.
Ultimately, Eastman is a nature-lover’s haven. Tucked away in the pristine woodlands of New Hampshire’s Upper Connecticut River Valley, the Eastman Community Association encourages an active and connected lifestyle. Residents move to the rhythm of four distinct seasons. And, outdoor adventure is a central theme.
Just Add Amenities
Eastman is centrally located, but just remote enough. It’s conveniently two hours north of Boston and three hours from Hartford. And, Lake Sunapee, New London, and Lebanon are just minutes away. As a result, residents have ample access to urban amenities. Cultural venues, medical facilities, as well as educational opportunities are all within reach.
New Hampshire’s Grantham Mountain offers a picturesque backdrop to Eastman’s 345-acre lake, and ample hiking trails. So, be sure to pack your boots!
Looking for more? Try 37 miles of cross country trails starting at the Eastman Cross Country Center. In summer, head to one of six beaches, kayak and canoe launches, or to the pool and fitness center year round. Eastman also boasts an 18-hole golf course, har-tru tennis courts and an award-winning restaurant as well.
Condos are available from $125,000 to $270,000. Eastman’s single-family homes range from $130,000 to $1.5 million. (Prices are subject to change.)
Encore at Viridian
David Weekley Homes is proud to present Encore at Viridian, a 55+ lifestyle community in Arlington, Texas. In the heart of the bustling Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, Encore at Viridian offers you access to big city life, but the feel of a tight knit neighborhood. As part of the sprawling Viridian master-planned community, you’ll find everything you’re looking for here with Encore.
These distinguished one-story homes are situated on 45-foot homesites and feature bright, open-concept gathering spaces and expanded outdoor living areas for entertaining. Modern kitchens and bathrooms enhance your comfort, and floor plans ranging from 1,972 to 3,002 square feet ensure you have plenty of space to relax. Front yard care is included, so you’ll have more time to take advantage of everything the neighborhood has to offer.
Exclusive for Encore residents, the Magnolia Lifestyle Center has resort-style pools, a fitness center, and various courts so you can stay in shape. Find new hobbies and build friendships by joining one of the many full activities planned by our Lifestyle Director.
You’ll also have access to everything within the greater Viridian community, including sailing, dozens of parks and green spaces, miles of trails, and the Lake Club, with five distinct pools, a pavilion, and a small amphitheater. You can also escape to the Sanctuary of Viridian, which includes 850 acres of open space, lakes, and a 150-acre wooded conservation area.
You can enjoy festivals, sporting events, restaurants, entertainment, and shopping without ever leaving Arlington. The city is also home to a surprisingly robust bowling subculture and a Martha Stewart-approved holiday light show.
If you’re still not convinced, there is no state no income tax? There are limited opportunities remaining for a new home at Encore at Viridian, and we wouldn’t want you to miss out. Visit us and take the first step toward your new life.
Request more information below for David Weekley Homes’ Encore at Viridian.
For retirees, active adults, and remote workers, Port Ludlow is an inviting resort-style community on the shores of Puget Sound in the state of Washington.
Westharbor Homes is building new Port Ludlow residences to the highest environmental standards with energy-saving appliances. In the Ludlow Cove Cottages and Olympic Terrace II neighborhoods, you’ll find a delightful variety of floor plans, including beachfront single-family homes, waterfront condominiums, and spacious villas with fairway views.
The amenities and activities at Port Ludlow start with play on the community’s 18-hole golf course, a scenic layout along the water and through the maritime forest. The 300-slip marina offers complete boating services and launches for kayaks and paddleboards. In addition, there are two community clubhouses with fitness centers, swimming pools, and tennis/pickleball courts. You can also enjoy 30+ miles of walking trails, more than 100 community social clubs, and genuine farm-to-table dining with fresh seafood always on the menu at the Fireside Restaurant.
The nearby towns of Chimacum and Port Townsend feature cafes, bakeries, artisan shops, and grocery markets, plus convenient health care services that include specialty practices. And just a 30-minute ferry ride away is the dynamic city of Seattle, home to some of the nation’s leading hi-tech companies, a thriving cultural arts scene, and major professional sports teams.
When you request more information below, you’ll be on your way to discovering the waterfront lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest at Port Ludlow.
Check out our 360 degree view of Port Ludow by clicking here!
Fawn Lake – Best Places to Live in Virginia
There are places to live in Virginia, and then there are the best places to live in Virginia. Fawn Lake is the latter. An idyllic lakeside living development nine miles west of historic Fredericksburg, VA, Fawn Lake spans 2,350 acres of lush, rolling hills. It features an Audubon Certified wildlife Sanctuary. And, Fawn Lake’s deepwater marina is available to all residents.
Best Lake Living Community in Virginia
In addition to the laid-back, nature-based lake lifestyle, Fawn Lake provides the security offered in a gated community. An Arnold Palmer designed golf course and a private country club are also perks. Fawn Lake is 288 acres deep with over seven miles of shoreline that runs alongside much of the course. Fawn Lake’s lush canopy of trees complement the distinctive homes and home sites within the gates. Lakefront retreats, golf cottages and wooded estate home sites alike add architectural diversity. There’s a uniqueness here that is unparalleled in surrounding Virgina communities. Fawn Lake’s proximity to culture and excitement found in large cities and small towns also adds substantial value.
More to Love at Fawn Lake
Boating, water-skiing, and fishing are among favorite pastimes in this ideal Virginia community. And, nature-lovers have found a piece of heaven here with more than ten miles of hiking and walking trails. Residents have been known to take a midsummer dip after a long hike at the lake beach. The community pool is also a great choice. Clubs, leagues and groups are abundant at Fawn Lake. So, if you’re the social type, you’re in luck. Additionally, schools, top area hospitals and shopping are all easily accessible. A fitness club is on site, and tennis, boating, kayaking, sailing, and a community clubhouse are available to all residents. Fawn Lake offers a wide variety of custom builders to suit your needs. Home prices range from the high $500s to $2.5 million.
It’s not hard to find the best fit at Fawn Lake.
Bella Vista is a private 36,000-acre, Member-based recreational community in Northwest Arkansas offering seven golf courses, seven stocked private lakes, swimming pools, tennis courts, trails, parks, pavilions, recreation centers, a gun range, an RV Park and many other amenities. Bella Vista was recently ranked one of America’s Top 10 Best Healthy Places to Retire by U.S. News & World Report and one of the Top 25 best places for affordable homes by CNNMoney.com and Money Magazine.The Bella Vista Property Owners Association enhances each Member’s quality of life by promoting and improving amenities and recreational areas. By building community support for parks and recreational lands, the POA strives to provide community service and outreach that meets the needs of our Members. The programs and services offered by the POA provide Members with exceptional value and quality, while emphasizing the reasonable allocation of resources throughout the city. We ensure safe, attractive, and well-maintained facilities that reflect our Members’ needs and best interests.
Ready to find your perfect Audubon-certified community?
The Audubon-certified communities presented below have all made the commitment to protect the local environment and been recognized for their efforts. They offer residents an enhanced quality of life and support property values in communities that put a priority on natural amenities.
Check out these community profiles, then request more information about the ones that are the most interesting to you. Finding just the right balance of natural and human happiness is what you'll discover in these Audubon-certified communities.