A Guide to 55+ Active Living Communities in South Carolina
Plan Your Retirement of Leisure in South Carolina
South Carolina is known for its coastal region, where residents flock to the beaches to enjoy swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, and other water sports. However, the state has far more to offer 55+ active adults considering it as the site of their retirement.
South Carolina also has mountainous regions offering retirees many outdoor activities. Visit forests surrounding lakes and rivers to stay active. Boating, hiking, and canoeing are just a few of the activities residents can do within a few hours drive. Hunting is a favorite pastime. Seasonal permits allow for the hunting of deer, rabbit, duck, quail and wild turkey, along with more exotic species. Hunting of feral hogs on private land is a sport that many enthusiasts like to d, and doesn’t require a seasonal permit. South Carolina offers both fresh and salt water fishing. There are some fish you can catch and keep year round, while other species are limited to seasonal permits. Cold water trout and bluefish are open to catching in any season, while other species are limited to scheduled seasons.
South Carolina experiences all four seasons with mild winters and colorful trees in the fall. Great weather means most 55+ properties in South Carolina don’t require much maintenance. Seniors can spend their time being active and less time maintaining the lawn, raking leaves, and shoveling snow.
The state boasts a diverse population with many gathering options for people of various ethnicities and religious backgrounds. History is also important in the state. There are unlimited opportunities to visit local museums, see the sites of Civil War battles, and learn about plantations and the antebellum period.
For those looking to travel, South Carolina’s largest airport is Charleston International Airport (CHS). The state’s central location makes it easy to vacation during retirement by train, plane, and bus to nearby states as well as to destinations around the world.
The Best Places for 55+ Active Adults to Retire in South Carolina
From the mountains in the upcountry to the ocean lowlands, South Carolina’s terrain is as varied as its residents. Immerse yourself in the state’s natural vistas, or live among shopping districts, seaside restaurants and travel hubs near larger cities.
Upcountry is known for being appealing to nature loving seniors!
The region offers retirees woodlands and mountainous areas with waterfalls and winding hiking trails. Outdoor activities are popular with residents of Spartansburg, Greenville, and Anderson, making the towns ideal for 55+ active adults.
Pee Dee is one of the largest retirement centers in the nation. It features multiple nationally-renowned golf courses, plus natural woodlands perfect for fishing and hunting.
Mild temperatures and a low cost of living combine to make towns like Conway and Bennettsville popular retirement options. North Myrtle Beach is a coastal city offering beach access, diverse shopping and dining, and golf..
As a center of both industry and agriculture, Midlands is also known for both shopping and fishing. Exceptional medical facilities for seniors can be found in Columbia, Sumter, and Lexington, which also feature parks and museums.
South Carolina’s Coastal and Lowlands region lies next to the Atlantic Ocean. It includes metros like Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Hilton Head, offering empty nesters beach activities and southern comfort dining.
You’ll also find towns like Beaufort, replete with antebellum history, and Summerville, which has beautiful parks and botanical gardens.
The Best Activities and Things to Do Around the State for Seniors
South Carolina is best known for its oceanside regions, with beach towns like Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island offering seniors outdoor activities like swimming and sunbathing. Nearby boardwalks feature dining, shopping, and local museums.
Inland, you’ll find fishing, hiking, and hunting. South Carolina has a balance of undeveloped natural beauty and vibrant cities with golf courses and historic sites.
How to Keep Moving In Your Community
South Carolina’s master planned 55+ communities are designed to be low-maintenance. Spend more time enjoying amenities available within your community and less time managing you home!
Stay active and explore various hobbies that don’t require you to travel from your new community!
Utilize Gated Community Amenities
Many of South Carolina’s senior communities are gated communities. Walk, bike or drive your golf-cart in a safe neighborhood enjoying unique amenities such as exclusive restaurants, town centers and stores.
Some 55+ gated communities also have private golf courses, community pools, clubhouses, and gyms.
Pick Up New Hobbies at the Clubhouse
Clubhouses are central to establishing a sense of community with your neighbors in any senior residence. Socialize as you enjoy amenities like a fitness center, library, and entertainment room equipped with board games and more.
Many community centers are also venues for live entertainment and hubs to join a hobby group like a book club or paint-and-sip wine and art classes. Activities like these provide excellent opportunities to stay active and meet your neighbors!
Hit the Fitness Center
For 55+ active adults, a modern fitness center is one of the most desirable amenities a community can offer!
In addition to gym equipment like rowing machines and treadmills, fitness centers also have options for lower-intensity workouts that don’t strain joint muscles. These can include a community pool, plus tennis and pickleball courts. Some offer guided aerobic and yoga classes!
Activities and Attractions to Explore Nearby
South Carolina offers a variety of off-property activities and things to do that appeal to 55+ active adults. From hikes through nature to shopping, golf courses, and museums, there’s never a dull moment when you retire in South Carolina!
Golf courses are located all across South Carolina, especially around the Myrtle Beach area. Many courses have achieved national recognition, with one standout course being The Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation.
Beyond the putting green, driving range, and manicured fairways, The Reserve Club offers members top amenities like tennis courts, a cocktail bar, and private dining. Other activities include bocce ball, mahjong, bridge, and trivia nights. It even hosts its own Masters week each year so you can feel like a pro!
Hunt and Fish
Spend an afternoon on the boat fishing the lake, or head to the ocean to catch saltwater fish and crabs.
If hunting is more your style, South Carolina boasts some of the best deer, quail, and boar hunting in the country!
Learn About Local History
Museums and historic sites bring South Carolina’s history into the modern day. Both Civil War history and tales from the antebellum period can be found throughout the state.
Feel like you’re stepping back in time at attractions such as Fort Sumter National Monument, Magnolia Plantation, Middleton Place, and the Nathaniel Russell House.
How to Know if South Carolina is Right for Your Retirement
South Carolina offers retirees easy access to both the mountains and the ocean, a central location for travel to other states, and exceptional year round weather! Seniors experience all four seasons with mild winter temperatures, and changing autumn colors that are a real treat. Minimal snow provides for a low-maintenance lifestyle allowing for more time to stay active, taking full advantage of the state’s abundant fishing and hunting opportunities.
South Carolina is filled with historic sites, hiking trails, nature preserves and nearby military bases. Another plus is its affordability - seniors enjoy free state college tuition, a wonderful perk for retirees looking to keep their minds active and healthy during retirement.
South Carolina’s Best Communities for Active Adults
All senior options are designed to support an active lifestyle filled with sports, hobbies, and more right on the community property!
South Carolina’s eastern coast borders the Atlantic Ocean. The state is dotted with lakes and also has rivers that travel throughout the state. Whether you’re looking for an oceanfront view or a lakeside retreat, waterfront communities abound.
These communities offer easy access to activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, and fishing, making them ideal for active adults.
Golf Course Communities
Celebrate the Masters mere miles away from its home in Augusta, Georgia when you reside in South Carolina’s golf course communities!
Live on the course and have direct access to play a round of golf without leaving your community. Many of these master planned communities also offer amenities such as a community pool, fully-equipped fitness center, bars and lounges, and more.
Gate Communities allow residents to walk and bike around an exclusive neighborhood with little risk of crime. They also offer high-class amenities like private pools, upscale dining, clubhouses, fitness centers, and more.
Staying Healthy in South Carolina
As a popular state for retirees and as well as those looking to age with grace in assisted living communities, South Carolina offers many healthcare facilities, private practices, and pharmacies nearby 55+ adult communities.
It’s home of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, a leading university hospital on the East Coast. Other standout hospitals include Bon Secours and McLeod.
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