A Guide to 55+ Active Living Communities in Virginia
Immerse Yourself in History and the Great Outdoors in Virginia
Early European colonists had the right idea when they chose to settle in modern-day Virginia, home of one of the first English settlements in America. The state is still an outstanding place to retire, especially for seniors who appreciate natural beauty, historic sites, and engaging outdoor activities.
Like nearby Washington, D.C., Virginia is filled with history! The state is an appealing location for downsizing empty nesters to retire that are interested in learning about America’s wartime history and its early colonial period . There are war reenactments and living museums alongside historic sites, monuments, memorabilia, and art galleries.
As a coastal state, Virginia offers residents access to beaches, as well as waterfront properties around the state’s lakes and rivers. The terrain varies from mountainous areas to acres of flat farmland, though you’ll also find pinelands and forests.
Virginia’s weather is equally diverse, with warm summers and colder winters. The state experiences all four seasons throughout the year.
Virginia’s national parks and natural lands are a big draw for active seniors, especially for those who enjoy hiking. If you’re looking for adventurous outdoor activities, try wildlife and landscape photography, canoeing, fishing, camping, biking, or walking pet-friendly trails.
The Regions of Virginia
From mountains and lakes to farmlands and cities, Virginia offers retirees incredible variety. Each region has something unique and appealing for its residents.
Northern Virginia is home to many upscale neighborhoods, complete with shopping malls filled with luxury brands and fine dining. It’s also known for high-class entertainment like golf courses, horse races, dressage shows, and polo matches.
In the northwestern regions of Virginia, you’ll find the Shenandoah Valley. Towns like Lake Frederick offer a perfect balance of natural majesty in Shenandoah National Park and opportunities for seniors to learn about local history.
Much of the area is less than two hours from Washington, D.C. and features wineries, horseback riding, nature tours, canoeing, and more.
Cities in Virginia’s Southwest region like Roanoke have a more rugged and mountainous vibe, perfect for 55+ nature lovers that still want to be close to a city. The area offers a feel described as a “creative landscape,” featuring outdoor activities, arts and crafts, music, and even agritourism.
Southwest Virginia is often regarded as the birthplace of country music, and the area’s artisan spirit runs deep.
Southside in Virginia is best known for its farmland, as it was previously the site of many tobacco plantations. Today, it’s more of a college area with history and a quaint charm.
Suburbs like Danville offer 55+ active adults entertainment options such as live music, theater, art, and more!
History lovers adore Richmond/Central Virginia, which was the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War, and as a result has a vast array of memorabilia and historic sites.
Neighborhoods including New Kent and Chesterfield have history and art museums alongside natural beauty and tasty brunch spots!
Virginia’s Tidewater/Hampton Roads area lies along the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. The area has incredible seafood restaurants and is home to a few military bases.
Locations like Williamsburg and Gloucester are popular with seniors that love American history, and there’s a thriving agricultural industry here as well.
How to Spend Your Time During Retirement in Virginia
If you’re looking to stay active as you age, Virginia is the place to be, with plenty of on-property and off-property things to do to stay fit and healthy!
Virginia is beloved for its natural vistas and is a paradise for outdoorsy retirees looking to stay active. Hike through parks teeming with animals and plantlife, or enjoy a stroll around a local grassy square with easy access to shops and restaurants.
Virginia is a major historical destination, with close ties to the founding of America as well as both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Learn about the history of Old Dominion, and experience the ways in which the past still affects the present.
Explore Activities On 55+ Community Properties
Virginia’s 55+ active adult communities offer their residents a wealth of things to do without having to go far from their homes. Right on the premises, you’ll find an assortment of ways to spend your time, whether you’re looking to socialize with your neighbors or get active at the clubhouse or on-site gym.
Stay Healthy with Indoor and Outdoor Fitness
Virginia’s natural beauty and well-appointed communities offer an abundance of ways to stay active both inside and outside. Make use of exercise equipment and fitness rooms for yoga or try sports like tennis and pickleball. Some communities even have indoor and outdoor pools.
Outdoor on-property fitness options for seniors in Virginia include community walking trails, outdoor sports courts and fitness classes.
Live a Low-Maintenance Retirement
Many 55+ active adult communities include lawn care, and snow removal during the winter months. While the state experiences average rainfall and some snow in the winter, master planned communities designed with seniors in mind require less time doing chores and allow for more time to be retired!
Visit with Neighbors at the Community Clubhouse
Community centers offer active seniors fun and games without having to leave the property!
Clubhouses often have an assortment of board games and TVs, and host hobbyist groups like sewing and book clubs. Others have recreational equipment, tennis courts, pickleball courts and more, so you can stay active alongside your fellow like-minded community residents.
Nearby Activities and Fun Things to Do
Virginia is a perfect match for seniors looking to experience life to the fullest by staying active as they age!
The state offers retirees off-property parks showcasing Virginia’s natural beauty, museums filled with stories about its past and casinos where you can win big!
Virginia has many sunny days that are excellent for hiking. Fall colors usually peak in mid-October offering active retirees visiting one of Virginia’s many parks and nature preserves a picture perfect experience.
Virginia is also an exceptional location for viewing local wildlife or birdwatching, so be sure to bring a camera and binoculars! Notable hiking spots with scenic views include Shenandoah National Park, Old Rag Mountain, and the Appalachian Trail.
Immerse Yourself in History
Virginia, often called ‘the birthplace of the nation’ is the site of one of the earliest colonial settlements from European explorers. The state has a storied history filled with Native American tribes, military conflicts, developments, and more. Seniors can learn about this history at museums throughout the state and other historic points of interest.
Visit the modern-day location of Jamestown, watch a civil war reenactment, and step back in time at Colonial Williamsburg.
Visit Virginia’s Beaches
Spend the summer during your retirement relaxing along the Atlantic Ocean coast, or swim in the calm, temperate waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
Whether you head to Virginia Beach or one of the many other coastal areas, picturesque shores are plentiful! 55+ active adults don’t have to own oceanfront property to sunbathe, walk along the shore or play beach volleyball.
There’s Lots to Love About Virginia
Virginia is a popular state to retire for 55+ seniors looking for ways to stay active, healthy, and to make the most of retirement!
The state is a hub of history and early American culture, with many historic sites that harken back to the founding of the country. Its close proximity to Washington, D.C. makes it easy to visit landmarks, memorials, and museums, whether you’re planning a vacation or just a day trip.
Virginia also has many areas that feel rural but are still close to city centers. Empty nesters looking to downsize and live simply can enjoy the benefits of privacy and low-cost housing while still enjoying easy access to dining, shopping, and entertainment.
Virginia may be for lovers, but it’s also a fantastic choice for retirees!
55+ Communities to Choose From in Virginia
No matter what kind of new home you’re seeking for retirement, you’re sure to find something fitting your preferences and budget in Virginia!
The state has housing options for seniors ranging from budget-friendly rural communities to high-end luxury residences with ready access to modern urban amenities.
Virginia’s large fields of flat, undeveloped land and regular rainfall make it an ideal state for golf courses. It’s no surprise then that golf course communities, perfect for retirees, have popped up all around the state!
These communities typically cater to 55+ empty nesters, some being age restricted communities, while others simply attracting a senior aged crowd. The best golf course communities offer putting greens, driving ranges and top-tier amenities like onsite dining.
These residences, also known as mobile home communities, offer a kind of freedom you won’t find with other types of housing. Costing less than traditional home options and often located in age-restricted communities, manufactured homes can be found in Virginia’s most scenic woodlands locations.
Luxury Apartment Rentals
Seeking a place to retire that feels a little more upscale? Consider a luxury apartment rental with top-quality amenities, spacious accommodations, and unparalleled service for tenants.
Many luxury rentals for seniors in Virginia have community areas complete with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, and some even host daily workout classes. Apartments often come with covered parking, luxury pools, elevators to upper floor units, an array of floor plans and private balconies or patios.
Virginia’s condominium (condo) communities offer seniors a sense of community as well as access to shared recreation equipment and on-site pools, while still allowing residents to own their individual unit.
They’re a great choice for 55+ retirees who want the benefits of home ownership with less hassle, thanks to HOAs that cover yard work and exterior maintenance services.
Many of Virginia’s premier condo communities are also waterfront communities along the ocean, bay, or lakeside.
Expenses and Costs of Living
Virginia’s cost of living for retirees is about average overall with highly affordable options available in the states’ more rural areas. Virginia offers a variety of active adult communities, rentals, and other living arrangements suitable to just about any budget.
As a retiree, it’s important to note that Social Security benefits aren’t taxed in Virginia, and pension payouts are tax-deductible up to $12,000, so the tax burden is very low for seniors.
All considered, Virginia can be a very financially-friendly state for retirement. More expensive areas are rare, and the cost is typically balanced out by better access to attractions such as fine dining and high-end shopping districts alongside beautiful nature preserves and parks.
Virginia Health Services
Seniors can find high-quality healthcare facilities in Virginia, whether you’re in need of a general practitioner, a specialist, emergency care, or chronic condition management. The state has acclaimed health centers like Bon Secours and VCU Health.
Additionally, healthcare costs are on the cheaper end compared to what you’ll find in some other states, though those in need of financial assistance can still make use of Medicare, Medicaid, and programs like the Virginia Health Care Foundation.
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