Top Master-Planned Communities in NC and SC
It’s easy to see why retirees are flocking to the Carolinas. The kind of blue skies that people write songs about. World-class universities and medical care. NASCAR races and fierce basketball rivalries. From the mountainous serenity of western North Carolina to the beachside bliss of South Carolina, this region hosts some of the most idyllic master planned communities.
Why Choose a Planned Community in the Carolinas.
Whether you're looking for planned communities in North Carolina or South Carolina, the choices are diverse and cater to a wide range of lifestyle preferences. These communities offer a mix of amenities, activities, and services that promote a well-rounded and enjoyable retirement.
From Bustling Cities to Charming Small Towns
Charlotte and the Research Triangle are centers of innovation, and Wilmington and Charleston are historical coastal cities with offerings like walking tours, festivals, boutique shops, and farmers' markets.
Plus, there are so many quaint small towns to discover. Wherever you choose to explore, you will surely experience a warm, welcoming atmosphere full of good food, beautiful scenery, and Southern charm. Sunrise to sunset, the Carolinas are just simply a beautiful place to be.
Find Your Ideal Community in the Carolinas
From sunrise to sunset, the Carolinas remain a truly beautiful place to be. Experience the good life in master planned communities that not only offer you a residence but also a rich, fulfilling lifestyle. Get in touch with us at ideal-LIVING and let us guide you to your ideal retirement in the Carolinas.
Find Your Ideal Planned Community in NC or SC
A vibrant waterfront lifestyle is easy to enjoy at Beaufort Club in Beaufort, North Carolina. Go for a walk or bike ride along one of the beautiful nature trails, picnic in of the many preservation areas, where you can spot a flock of pelicans in their famous v-formation.
Take to the greens for an unforgettable round of golf, but be sure to stop by the Golf Clubhouse first, featuring: a pro shop, locker rooms, meeting rooms, bar, lounge, full veranda, and restaurant – Blue Heron.
After exploring Historic Beaufort or the pristine beaches of the Crystal Coast – just minutes away- there is nothing better than relaxing in the pavilion or enjoying a dip in the resort-style pool with family and friends.
Life is better on the Sound.
Paradise awaits on the Inner Banks of North Carolina within the gates of Occano. This fully amenitized resort-style community on the Albemarle Sound boasts over 800 acres of residential waterfront and vast opportunities to connect with water, nature, and those you love most.
See the beauty in every swing.
Occano is home to an award-winning Arnold Palmer Signature golf course that covers 7,262 yards with 5 sets of tees-perfect for any skill level. Although Occano is a private community, it offers public play. Come experience a round and take in the impressive water views throughout the course.
Play on the Sound.
As Occano grows, so will the amenities designed specifically for an easy-flowing life near the water. Highlights include a clubhouse and pool, bar and restaurant, tennis courts, boat launch, day dock, and more. With luxury amenities set against the stunning Albemarle Sound, Occano has something for everyone.
Plan a visit today and discover why life is better on the Sound.
Carolina Colours brings to life the very best of small Carolina towns-past, present and future. A mere 30 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, the waters of the Trent and Neuse Rivers converge to surround the vibrant waterfront town of New Bern, NC. Community amenities include the 25+-acre Carolina Lake, a Harris Teeter grocery, parks, trails and sidewalks, an Activity Campus with golf, fitness, tennis, swimming, pickleball and-for those quiet moments-rocking chairs.
Located in New Bern, NC, perhaps North Carolina’s most desired small town retirement destination for the past 25 years, CAROLINA COLOURS offers a variety of living environments and lifestyle choices. While typical homesites are of a size that many modern communities consider over sized, these half acre and larger sites have proven popular and have allowed numerous custom homes to be constructed, giving the core of the community an eclectic but attractive architectural composition, with trees abundant.
With quality custom builders ready to help you design and build on any homesite you purchase and with three regional/national builders constructing dozens of homes for sale that will be ready for occupancy in the summer of 2022, your choices of location within the community are varied. Carolina Colours Realty, located on-site, sells only new and resale properties within Carolina Colours and is staffed with agents that know all there is to know about the many properties and activities within the community and the New Bern area. In this period of high inflation, Carolina Colours still provides one of the best values in the coastal plain of North Carolina for those that want an attractive, planned community with numerous amenities and activities to fit any lifestyle. And for golfers, the Carolina Colours course is widely considered the premier layout in the region.
The Carolina Colours Golf Course has been very well received. The course is considered by many one of the most attractive and fairest tests of golf in the region, with six teeing alternatives allowing players from scratch golfers to beginners the proper challenge, with sufficient variety for those that play four times a week. Unlike many new courses that create a setting, the Carolina Colours course, designed by Bill Love, the long time chairman of the environmental committee of the National Association of Golf Course Architects, fits into a wooded, rolling landscape as though it belongs. Even non-golfers love to ride or walk its paths.
What sets Carolina Colours apart, however, is its incredible sense of community. From Friday night gatherings for drink and food at the Pavilion, the 16,000-square-foot community clubhouse, to seemingly endless scheduled activities, both active and passive, neighborhood gatherings, walking and biking, organized trips and more, the community welcomes newcomers with a smile and an open invitation to join with others as frequently as one desires.
New Bern, North Carolina’s first capital city, has its historical districts and quaint shopping areas right downtown, where the Neuse and Trent rivers converge, giving many an Annapolis feel. With abundant local marinas and the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean only about 30 miles away, water activities abound. And with a commercial airport and close proximity to major highways, New Bern is easy to get to. Once there, the quality of medical care and the numerous regional cultural and festival type events allows for a life that can be as active or inactive as suits any chosen lifestyle.
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.
Savannah Lakes Village is on the 71,000-acre freshwater Lake Thurmond in McCormick, South Carolina with 1,200 miles of shoreline. The community boasts two championship lakefront golf courses with restaurants and pro shops, fiber-optic Internet to each homesite, a 23,000 square foot recreation center with 6 lighted tennis courts (4 HarTru and 2 hard surface), pickleball, bowling alley, indoor & outdoor pools, sauna, fitness room, private card rooms, library, 50+ social clubs, yoga studio, Rod & Gun Club, and so much more. This is active retirement in its truest form…
We are a short 45-minute drive to Augusta and a 2-hour drive from Atlanta. The community abuts three state parks and offers 100+ miles of hiking and biking trails. With no initiation fees or monthly minimums, low property taxes, and no special assessments, you can live an unexpectedly affordable luxury lifestyle.
Our preferred builders offer many custom home plans and lot-home packages to choose from at whatever price point and product type you may desire.
Come stay and play at Savannah Lakes Village. 2 nights for $199. Visit SavannahLakesVillage.com or call 864-391-5259 to book your tour.
Cresswind Charleston brings the award-winning Cresswind active adult lifestyle to the Charleston area. This gated community is integrated within the thriving community of The Ponds while maintaining its own privacy. Cresswind features a full list of resort-style amenities, all located within a natural, Lowcountry setting.
Residents can take a short walk to the 12,000-square-foot clubhouse, enjoy pickleball and tennis or participate in activities at the event lawn and amphitheater. Additionally, homeowners have the opportunity to enrich their lives with cooking and yoga classes or bocce ball. Residents also can nurture their talent in the art room, play pool, swim in the resort-style pool, fish or kayak – and stay fit and healthy at a well-equipped fitness center.
Cresswind Charleston offers spacious homes featuring a wide range of personalization opportunities, designer choices, uniquely designed with careful attention to details. Single-family, ranch-style homes will include designer features, energy efficiency and designs complementary to active living. Tour nine designed model homes. Move-In Ready homes available now.
Your Latitude! You’ve earned a life where every day feels like an escape. Find your paradise at Latitude Margaritaville, the 55-and-better lifestyle where fun and relaxation meet.
Inspired by the legendary music and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett, this is where life rolls easy, neighbors are friends and the party never ends. Awesome recreation, FINtastic dining and entertainment will make the town center the place to be and just a golf cart ride away. Masterfully crafted new Latitude homes let you hang your hat where your heart is.
Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head is located on Highway 278, 2.5 miles east of I-95 in the city of Hardeeville, South Carolina – the scenic gateway to world-famous Hilton Head Island. The area is steeped in natural beauty, with an abundance of golf courses, pristine beaches and waterways for boating, kayaking, and fishing. Nearby are the historic cities of Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC filled with museums, cultural arts, shopping and dining.
Enjoy the Lowcountry lifestyle in this 400 acre community along the Coosaw River on beautiful Lady’s Island in South Carolina. Fall in love! Settle into your very own home by the River. Feel the breeze, breathe in the ocean air, slow down time and know you’re home at Coosaw Point.
Beafort, SC was recently featured in The New York Times and named “Best Small Southern Town”, as well as “Top 25 Small City Arts Destination” and “Top 50 Adventure Town”. Beaufort has charm and intrigue all wrapped up in one package.
Home and homesties are available. The homes in Coosaw Point have been designed to reflect the historic architecture in cities such as Beaufort, SC, Charleston and Savannah. Distinctive details and open floor plans make these homes ideal for families.
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.
• 4.75% flat income tax and 0% estate or inheritance tax.
Looking for the perfect lifestyle community for retirement or to raise your family? Keowee Key has more of what you love. Golf, tennis, fitness center, swimming, boating and pickleball are just a few of the amenities this active, gated, lakeside community offers.
Located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Salem, SC, and surrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Keowee, Keowee Key is a 1,600-acre community carved out of a forest of hardwood and pines. You’ll find a wide variety of home styles and price points available in a natural setting with mild seasons and an abundance of local adventure.
All homes in Keowee Key are custom-built, including lakefront, mountain or golf-course views. For a maintenance-free lifestyle, you’ll find ample condominiums, town homes and cottages. Choose a lakefront home with private dock or use one of 5 community docks with 324 boat slips, pontoon and kayak rentals, and a supply store.
The challenging 18-hole, par 72 George Cobb Golf Course, features four tee boxes to match all skill levels. A clubhouse with award-winning chef, lakeside leisure trail, three swimming pools, and a dog park, contribute to Keowee Key’s country club lifestyle.
This award-winning community in Johnston County is located minutes from Raleigh, but still very much away from the urban bustle. Bordered by US Hwy 42, Buffalo Road, and the Neuse River in Clayton, this master-planned community was the first of its kind in Johnston County and was awarded North Carolina’s Community of the Year in 2013 and 2014 by the North Carolina Home Builders Association.
Flowers Plantation now features more than 40 unique neighborhood developments, over 10 miles of walking trails, 50 acres of lakes and two elementary schools. When complete, the development will total nearly 7,800 lots with prices starting at $150K to over $600K. Wherever you are on your housing and life spectrum, Flowers Plantation has a place for you to call home.
“You don’t need a car here. The streets are all golf-cart friendly,” says Reid Stephenson, Flowers Plantation’s Chief Executive. “You can get your kids to school, come home from work, enjoy our parks and recreation, and make convenient runs to the grocery store-all without leaving the community.”
Living in Flowers Plantation is ideal for homeowners who want a comfortable, relaxing lifestyle.
Gated Riverfront Living, Boundless Joy in Nature
The Bluffs on the Cape Fear is a vibrant, master-planned community perched on a pristine stretch of the Cape Fear River. Just 15 minutes from the classic waterfront hometown of historic Wilmington, NC, The Bluffs is a private, coastal haven for the families who call it home.
The unique vision of The Bluffs is realized every day: natural woodlands and the unspoiled riverfront landscape are preserved and celebrated. Classically-styled coastal homes exist in harmony with lush woodlands, and the riverfront.
Our visionary developers created The Bluffs with access and abundance in mind. Accordingly, residents here enjoy a close-knit, active lifestyle with total access to the riverfront and an impressive collection of amenities. We invite you to experience the joy of our authentic riverfront community, The Bluffs on the Cape Fear, with our 3 day-2 night Discovery Package.
– 50-Slip Marina with Scenic Boardwalk
– 2-Acre Riverfront Park with Boat & Kayak Launch
– Lakefront Clubhouse with Resort-Style Salt Water Pool
– Private Beach Club on Oak Island – with Full Ocean Access
– Winding Walking & Biking Trails
– Golf Cart Friendly Community
– Tennis & Pickleball Courts
– Fully-Stocked Lake
– Community Boat & RV Storage
– And soon, a New State-of-the-Art Fitness & Wellness Center
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
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.
Brunswick Forest, the Coastal South’s fastest growing community, is located on North Carolina’s Cape Fear coast, just minutes from historic Wilmington. This 4,500-acre retreat features a wide features a wide array of
neighborhoods, architecture, and price points.
World-class amenities include:
• 18 holes of golf at Cape Fear National
• Clubhouse, Restaurant & Pro-shop
• Fitness & Wellness Center with Indoor & Outdoor Pools
• Hammock Lake Park, Pool, and Fitness Center
• Reflections Fitness Center & Pool
• Town Creek River Launch
• Nearly 100 Miles of Walking, Biking & Nature Trails
• Tennis & Pickleball Courts
• Community Town Center with Shopping, Medical & Restaurants
If you would like to learn more about this vibrant, coastal community in North Carolina, you can request more information and compare this community with many others to find your ideal lifestyle, all you have to do is request more information. Discovery packages are available.
This master-planned, active-adult lifestyle community enjoys Woodside’s prime location in our hometown of Aiken, SC, a Southern Living Magazine’s “South’s Best Small Town.”
On top of Aiken’s preserved natural beauty, low cost of living, and mild year-round climate, this private destination consistently captivates visitors with its downtown streets filled with exceptional local restaurants, charming shops and boutiques, Gilded-Age mansions, nature sanctuaries, plus various artistic and cultural events like Aiken’s Makin’ Craft Show, the Aiken Steeplechase, and the Joye in Aiken Festival.
Woodside itself houses a variety of world-class amenities, including 4 championship golf courses, 2 clubhouses, more than 60 member-led social groups and clubs, 2 resort-style pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, more than 17 miles of hiking and nature trails, 7 landscaped parks and green spaces – including a dedicated Butterfly Park – and much more! Combined with the timeless beauty of our community’s expertly designed neighborhoods, Woodside and Aiken are now one of the region’s best-kept secrets.
Ready to experience Woodside and Aiken for yourself? Request more information below.
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.
On North Carolina’s Inner Banks
In the private, gated sound front community of Albemarle Plantation, the waterfront lifestyle abounds. Set on the pristine waters of North Carolina’s sparkling Inner Banks, Albemarle Plantation is the perfect blend of nature, big water, resort amenities, and beautiful homes.
The community is known for its vast waters, 166-slip Private Marina, acclaimed golf, and nature-centric lifestyle. Walking and biking trails ribbon past nature sanctuaries and waterways. Raised boardwalks wind along, perfect for a stroll to the marina. On the waterfront, Marina Park with its great views and manicured lawn is the ideal gathering place for friends and is home to many a community event. The grand, waterfront Clubhouse offers indoor and outdoor dining with incredible water and fairway views. Near the marina, Dockside Café offers outdoor dining and is home to the Albemarle Wine Shop.
Residents also enjoy daily amenities like a fully outfitted fitness center, resort-style Junior Olympic-sized swimming pool, bocce courts, gathering and activity spaces and even community garden plots. Winding through the community is the award-winning Dan Maples-designed golf course. Widely acclaimed, it offers world-class play for golfers of all levels and provides breathtaking views. Here, you can enjoy every amenity you would expect from a private waterfront community—plus, all amenities are complete and owned debt free by the Property Owner’s Association.
With a focus on nature’s beauty, Albemarle Plantation is a scenic and welcoming place to build the home of your dreams, too. With a large selection of home plans and a trusted group of preferred builders, creating your retreat at Albemarle can be easy and exciting. Living here offers a perfect balance: residents are wonderfully tucked away from the hustle and bustle of metro areas yet have easy access to Tidewater Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. At Albemarle, you can savor the small-town waterfront charm of Edenton and Hertford, and quickly access big city luxuries with Virginia Beach and Norfolk only about an hour north.
Whether setting out by boat to explore the Sound and nearby small towns, kayaking, going fishing with friends on the protected waters of the Sound or in the Intracoastal Waterway, jet skiing, sailboat racing, or just watching the sun go down over the water…living at Albemarle Plantation is a soul-stirring experience.
Homes from the $400,000.
Homesites from $30,000
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.