America’s Top 100 Amenity Communities

Whether you are looking for the perfect retirement destination for a new active lifestyle while still working, you can find any amenity for the lifestyle you desire in these top communities. These communities are located throughout seven regions within the United States and Internationally.

Each year ideal-LIVING surveys our readers to determine the most popular destinations and amenities and the following are the top communities from waterfront to mountain and lake communities with golf, tennis, pickleball, watersports, hiking and biking trails, fitness centers, and spas. We invite you to choose a region, then explore communities to visit.

Top 10 Reasons to Live in a Planned Community

  1. Lots of Open Space. In today’s world, it is more important than ever to have open spaces and fresh air. Planned communities provide well-maintained outdoor spaces with plenty of room to social distance with your friends.
  2. Make Friends Easily. It’s easy to meet people and make friends.
  3. Sense of Community. Almost everyone in a planned community has moved from somewhere else. It’s a very welcoming environment.
  4. Walkable Communities. Almost every planned development has a network of walking trails throughout to help residents stay in shape.
  5. Live a Healthy Lifestyle. Planned communities offer many amenities that encourage a healthy lifestyle from golf, tennis, and pickleball to pools and workout facilities with fitness classes and even fitness directors. 
  6. Social Clubs. Join any type of club that interests you, and if there isn’t one, you can always start one, and others will join you. 
  7. Sense of Security. Many planned communities are gated with 24/7 security.
  8. Beautifully Maintained Homes. Planned communities have architectural guidelines that ensure the design integrity of the home.
  9. Lush Landscapes. Planned communities are built around perfectly managed green spaces (especially when there is a golf course) and are filled with beautiful flora and fauna.
  10. A Chance to Give Back. Community organizations within the developments offer an environment to volunteer your gifts.

The Carolinas

Brilliant purples, pinks, reds, and golds greet the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean each morning on the Carolina coast. And, there is nothing quite like the Carolina blue sky in the fall light.

Georgia & Florida

More than 1,450 miles of coastline with white sand beaches run from Savannah to Miami along the Atlantic Ocean and up to Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico with relatively low taxes and living costs.


While the development of the Mid-Atlantic’s major diverse cities has certainly changed the region’s cultural landscape, there are still forest-covered mountains, rolling foothills, and sandy beaches to be enjoyed. 


The state’s genuine four-season climate features mild winters and comfortable days with relatively low humidity in the summer. A tax-friendly place to live, Tennessee has the fifth-lowest average annual cost of living.

The South

There is plenty of Southern hospitality to go around in these states filled with adventure and exciting economic prospects. Not to mention, it’s generally less expensive to live in this region. 

The West

It’s easy to see why Americans have always been drawn west: the landscape, opportunity, and life itself just seems bigger. Home to vibrant cities and national parks, the American West is diverse and bound to inspire.


Although it may sound too good to be true, thousands of expats are enjoying life for much less money than they could have in the United States. And even better, in many areas, taxes are very low or almost nonexistent.

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ideal-LIVING Summer 2021 Issue