The editors at Forbes Magazine's Best Retirement Places list have made thier picks for 2011 and as usual they focused on tax burden and cost of living. However, as they investigated cities with populations starting at around 100,000, they also looked at a number of other important considerations.
Those factors include weather, availability of doctors, driving environment, crime rates and opportunities for an active retirement, which they defined by the extent of volunteering opportunities and outdoor paths for bicycling and walking.
For those interested in outdoor activities that not only include bicycling and walking, but country club pursuits such as golf, tennis, swimming, horseback riding and hiking, then you should pay close attention to two of the cities that made the Forbes list--Charleston, SC, and Jacksonville, FL. These cities are close to several world-classgolf communities that push the desirability of these areas up several notches higher.
If you're searching for the ideal place to retire, these communities help create the the best of all worlds.
Daniel Island, Charleston
Located within the City of Charleston, Daniel Island offers 23 miles of rivers and creeks, a variety of traditional neighborhoods, a private country club with golf courses by Tom Fazio and Rees Jones, parks, shops, restaurants, schools, churches and more.
Homes range from from the $300,000s to more than $5 million, townhomes and condominiums from the $100,000s to $1 million+ and homesites with water, marsh, golf, park and interior views from $175,000. Request more information.
Kiawah Island, Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island is a private, master-planned, resort and golf community that has carefully integrated its residents' needs and amenities into the Island's pristine beaches, tidal marshes, winding creeks and maritime forests.
Residents enjoy 10 miles of flawless Atlantic Beach, five outstanding championship golf courses, two tennis centers, the private Kiawah Island Club, plus a full range of outdoor activities. Also, with historic Charleston just a short drive away, the cultural and recreational options are endless. Request more information.
Amelia Island Plantation, Amelia Island
Amelia Island Plantation covers 1,350 secluded acres between the beaches of the Atlantic and the tidal marshes of the Intracoastal Waterway. Only 29 miles from Jacksonville International Airport, it was founded in 1971 on a proactive environmentalist vision and still honors that commitment.
Golf has long been a defining amenity at Amelia Island. Its 54 holes of championship golf are in their best condition ever, according to the community. The Long Point challenge golfers with seven oceanfront holes and plenty of marsh-side play.
Besides golf and fitness activies, other amenities include 23 clay tennis courts, 20 swimming pools, 10 restaurants, a full-service spa & salon, upscale shopping, biking and walking trails and miles of wide, uncrowded beaches.
In addition to long term rentals,real estate offered includes villas from $360,000, single-family homes in private settings from the high-$500,000s, homesites from $199,000, and estate homes ranging to $6.3 million. Request more information.
Grand Haven, Palm Coast
Located along Florida's scenic Intracoastal Waterway between historic St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, Grand Haven offers everything you could ask of a world-class, waterfront community—Nicklaus signature golf course, luxurious country club, bustling Village Center, Creekside Athletic Club, spacious homesites and distinctive homes by award-winning builders.
Just beyond the entry gate you'll discover Grand Haven’s private world of cozy villages linked by winding trails and bordered by a 4,000-acre nature preserve. The centerpiece of the property is the spectacular Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. A par-72 course designed around the area’s lush natural wetland, it features three breathtaking holes running along the Intracoastal Waterway.
Homesites are available from the mid-$40,000s, while homes range from the mid-$160,000s to over $1 million and include custom built homes, condominiums from the $180,000s and patio villas from the $160,000s. Request more information.
World Golf Village, St. Augustine
The 6,300-acre, World Golf Village® is a golf-happy complex that homage to golf that has established itself as the home of American golf.
Within World Golf Village, you'll find two world-class championship golf courses, both of which consistently receive a four-and-a-half stars rating (out of five) by Golf Digest. World Golf Village's first golf course, the Slammer & Squire, was designed by Bobby Weed and named after player consultants the late Sam Snead (The Slammer) and the late Gene Sarazen (The Squire).
Tucked just beyond the Village is an array of with everything from single-family homes to coach homes and patio homes to condominium homes with prices ranging from $100,000 condominium to the multiple millions. Request more information.
Glenmoor, St. Augustine
Glenmoor is a 55-plus community set at the heart of the famed World Golf Village. Natural forests and lush scenery surround the community, which provides a wealth of social activities and recreation within easy reach of the old-world charm of St. Augustine.
Great courses by Arnold Palmer-Jack Nicklaus or the PGA Tour legends Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead await you, plus the practice facilities at WGV, home of the PGA Tour Golf Academy, help sharpen your game.
Glenmoor's fulltime lifestyle coordinator ensures a calendar filled with choices and opportunities ranging from the Jacksonville Symphony to baseball games and everything in between. Certified trainers provide a wide variety of invigorating fitness and aquatic programs along with rejuvenating massage therapy. Homes and apartments range from $141,500 to $599,000. Request more information.