20 Great 55+ Communities in California

20 Great 55+ Communities in California

California, known for its golden beaches, vibrant cities, and diverse landscapes, is also home to some of the most sought-after 55+ communities in the country.

These communities offer a blend of luxurious living, ample amenities, and a perfect climate, making them ideal for those seeking an active and engaging retirement.

From coastal retreats to inland havens, California's 55+ communities cater to a variety of lifestyles and preferences.

20 Great 55+ Communities in California

Why Choose a 55+ Community in California?

Choosing to reside in a 55+ community in California means embracing a lifestyle that balances leisure and activity amidst serene landscapes. The state's favorable climate is a major draw, offering year-round sunshine and mild winters.

Additionally, these communities provide a sense of belonging and safety, where residents can enjoy their retirement years surrounded by peers and engaging activities.

1. Ocean Hills Country Club, Oceanside

Situated in the coastal city of Oceanside, Ocean Hills Country Club is a prestigious gated community offering a luxurious lifestyle. Residents enjoy an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, and a large clubhouse with various activity rooms. The community is also known for its vibrant social scene, hosting numerous clubs and events. The Mediterranean-style architecture and well-manicured landscapes add to its charm, making it a top choice for those seeking a sophisticated coastal retirement experience.

2. Laguna Woods Village, Laguna Woods

Laguna Woods Village, spanning over 2,100 acres, is one of the largest 55+ communities in the state. This community features seven clubhouses, 36 holes of golf, five swimming pools, and an equestrian center. The range of housing options caters to diverse preferences and budgets. Its active lifestyle, bolstered by over 250 clubs and organizations, provides a vibrant social atmosphere. Proximity to the Pacific Coast and cultural hotspots in Orange County makes it a highly desirable location.

3. Sun City Palm Desert, Palm Desert

Sun City Palm Desert, nestled in the scenic Coachella Valley, is a sprawling community known for its picturesque views and active lifestyle. The community boasts three clubhouses, two championship golf courses, and multiple sports courts. Residents can enjoy various dining options, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and an array of social clubs. The community's design emphasizes open spaces and features numerous walking trails, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.

4. The Villages Golf & Country Club, San Jose

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, The Villages Golf & Country Club offers a unique blend of modern living and natural beauty. This gated community features a championship golf course, numerous tennis courts, and multiple swimming pools. The extensive network of hiking and biking trails appeals to nature lovers. The community also prides itself on a rich calendar of social activities and clubs, making it a hub for active retirees.

5. Trilogy at Rio Vista, Rio Vista

Trilogy at Rio Vista, positioned near the serene Sacramento River Delta, is known for its peaceful setting and top-notch amenities. The community includes a championship golf course, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and indoor and outdoor pools. Residents enjoy a variety of clubs and classes, fostering a lively and engaging environment. The beautifully designed homes and natural landscapes provide a tranquil yet active lifestyle.

6. Rossmoor, Walnut Creek

Rossmoor in Walnut Creek is a nationally recognized and award-winning senior adult community nestled in a picturesque valley. This community offers a broad array of amenities, including 27 holes of NCGA-rated golf, tennis courts, and five swimming pools.

Its extensive network of hiking trails and the proximity to downtown Walnut Creek's shopping and dining experiences make it a sought-after location. Rossmoor's vibrant community life is enhanced by over 200 clubs and organizations.

7. Sun City Lincoln Hills, Lincoln

Sun City Lincoln Hills, located in the charming city of Lincoln, sprawls across 2,992 acres with breathtaking landscapes. The community boasts two 18-hole golf courses, numerous tennis and pickleball courts, and two large amenity complexes. The outdoor amphitheater hosts concerts and events, adding to the community's vibrant social scene. The range of home styles and sizes caters to diverse tastes and needs.

8. Four Seasons at Hemet, Hemet

Four Seasons at Hemet is an exclusive gated community known for its picturesque setting and luxurious amenities. It features a championship golf course, a large clubhouse with a fitness center, and various activity rooms. The community's social calendar is packed with clubs and events, ensuring an active and engaging lifestyle for residents. The beautifully designed homes offer comfort and style, making it a top choice for retirees.

9. Sun City Shadow Hills, Indio

Sun City Shadow Hills in Indio is a resort-like community offering an array of amenities and activities. It includes two golf courses, multiple pools, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The community's grand clubhouse is the hub for social gatherings and events. Residents enjoy a variety of clubs and interest groups, ensuring a fulfilling social life. The stunning views of the Santa Rosa Mountains add to the allure of this community.

10. Trilogy at La Quinta, La Quinta

Trilogy at La Quinta, nestled against the backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains, offers a serene yet active lifestyle. The community features an 18-hole golf course, a fitness center, and tennis courts. Residents can indulge in spa services, dine at the on-site restaurant, or participate in various clubs and activities. The community's emphasis on health and wellness is reflected in its design and amenities.

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11. Oakmont Village, Santa Rosa

Located in the heart of Sonoma County's wine country, Oakmont Village is a vibrant community with a focus on active living. The community includes two golf courses, multiple swimming pools, and a modern fitness center.

Residents can partake in a wide array of clubs and social activities, making it a hub for community engagement. The nearby vineyards and natural beauty of the area enhance the appeal of Oakmont Village.

12. Sun City Apple Valley, Apple Valley

Sun City Apple Valley, set against the backdrop of the San Bernardino Mountains, offers a tranquil yet active retirement lifestyle. The community features a spacious clubhouse, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and an indoor pool.

Residents can enjoy outdoor activities like golf, tennis, and hiking, or join various clubs and interest groups. The community's design and amenities cater to a relaxed and fulfilling lifestyle.

13. Del Webb's Solera Diamond Valley, Hemet

Solera Diamond Valley, developed by Del Webb, is a community known for its luxurious amenities and engaging lifestyle. The community boasts a large clubhouse with a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and a variety of activity rooms.

The social calendar is filled with clubs, classes, and events, ensuring residents never run out of things to do. The elegantly designed homes and community spaces reflect a commitment to quality and comfort.

14. Alta Laguna, Rancho Cucamonga

Alta Laguna in Rancho Cucamonga is a premier gated community offering a blend of luxury and comfort. The community features a beautiful clubhouse, fitness center, and swimming pool.

Its social calendar includes a range of clubs and activities, catering to diverse interests. The community's proximity to shopping, dining, and cultural attractions, combined with its peaceful setting, makes it a desirable location for retirees.

15. Sun Lakes Country Club, Banning

Sun Lakes Country Club in Banning is a vibrant community with a focus on active living. It includes two golf courses, three clubhouses, and multiple pools and tennis courts.

The community's social scene is bustling with clubs, events, and activities, providing residents with numerous opportunities for engagement and enjoyment. The stunning views of the San Gorgonio and San Jacinto Mountains add to the community's appeal.

16. Four Seasons at Beaumont, Beaumont

Four Seasons at Beaumont is a luxurious community set in the scenic San Gorgonio Pass. It features a large clubhouse, fitness center, and indoor/outdoor pools.

The community's lifestyle is enhanced by its golf course, walking trails, and various social clubs. Residents enjoy a calendar filled with events and activities, fostering a vibrant and active community life.

17. Heritage Palms, Indio

Heritage Palms in Indio is a gated golf community offering an upscale living experience. It includes an 18-hole championship golf course, a fitness center, and a large clubhouse. The community's social life is enriched by a variety of clubs and activities, providing residents with endless opportunities for socialization and recreation. The elegant homes and manicured landscapes add to the community's charm.

18. Trilogy at Glen Ivy, Corona

Trilogy at Glen Ivy, located at the base of the Cleveland National Forest, combines natural beauty with luxurious living. The community features a championship golf course, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and an indoor pool. Residents can enjoy spa services, dine at the on-site restaurant, or participate in a range of clubs and activities. The community's emphasis on health and wellness is evident in its design and amenities.

19. Sun City Roseville, Roseville

Sun City Roseville, nestled in the scenic Sierra Nevada foothills, offers a vibrant and active retirement lifestyle. The community includes two golf courses, a fitness center, and multiple tennis and pickleball courts.

Residents can participate in various clubs and social events, ensuring an engaging and fulfilling social life. The community's design prioritizes open spaces and natural beauty, making it a serene and inviting place to live.

20. Trilogy at Monarch Dunes, Nipomo

Trilogy at Monarch Dunes in Nipomo is known for its stunning coastal location and luxurious amenities. The community features a championship golf course, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and multiple dining options.

Residents can enjoy spa services, participate in clubs and activities, or explore the nearby beaches and vineyards. The community's focus on wellness and lifestyle makes it a top choice for retirees seeking a coastal escape.

Things to Look for in a 55+ Community

Amenities and Activities

Most 55+ communities in California feature common amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers, and clubhouses. Unique offerings such as art studios or equestrian centers set some communities apart, providing residents with various avenues to pursue their interests.

Healthcare and Accessibility

Proximity to quality healthcare facilities is a key feature of these communities. Many are located near top medical centers, ensuring residents have easy access to healthcare services. Additionally, communities are designed with accessibility in mind, accommodating those with mobility challenges.

Social Life and Community Engagement

The social aspect of these communities is a major draw. With an array of clubs, volunteer opportunities, and community events, residents have endless options to engage socially, cultivate new hobbies, and contribute to their community.

Cost of Living and Housing Options

The cost of living in these communities varies, offering options from affordable to luxury. Housing types range from single-family homes to apartments and townhouses, catering to different needs and preferences.

Making the Right Choice: Tips for Prospective Residents

Deciding to move into a 55+ community is a significant life choice. To ensure you find the community that best fits your lifestyle and needs, consider the following tips:

1. Visit Multiple Communities

Nothing compares to experiencing a community firsthand. Plan visits to various communities to get a feel for the atmosphere, amenities, and the people. Spend time in the communal areas, talk to residents, and participate in an activity or event if possible.

2. Assess Lifestyle and Amenities

Reflect on your lifestyle and interests. Are you looking for a golf-centric community or one with a focus on arts and culture? Evaluate the amenities and activities offered to ensure they align with your interests and lifestyle preferences.

3. Consider Location and Proximity

Location is key. Consider proximity to family, friends, and essential services like healthcare facilities. Also, think about the climate and geographical preferences, such as coastal versus inland locations.

4. Understand the Costs

Get a clear understanding of the costs involved, including homeowners association (HOA) fees, property taxes, and any additional costs for amenities or services. Ensure these align with your budget and financial planning.

5. Look into Healthcare Services

As health needs can change, consider the healthcare services available both within the community and in the surrounding area. Check if the community has easy access to medical facilities, emergency care, and wellness programs.

6. Evaluate Community Culture

Each community has its unique culture. Some may be more socially active, while others offer a more relaxed pace. Choose a community whose culture resonates with your personal values and social preferences.

7. Review Long-term Viability

Consider the long-term aspects of living in the community. This includes the potential for future development, maintenance standards, and how well the community is managed.


California's 55+ communities offer more than just a place to retire; they provide a gateway to a lifestyle brimming with vitality, comfort, and community. Whether it's the sun-kissed beaches of the coast or the tranquil beauty of the inland, each community presents a unique blend of amenities, activities, and environments suited to diverse preferences and needs.

The decision to join one of these vibrant communities marks the beginning of a chapter filled with engagement, relaxation, and joy. As you contemplate your next steps, remember that choosing the right community is about finding a place that resonates with your lifestyle and aspirations, ensuring a fulfilling and enriching retirement experience.

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