Pet-friendly retirement communities have become so popular that nearly three-fourths of all retirement communities label themselves as pet-friendly. While it’s undoubtedly excellent news to hear that you’ll have choices when it comes to finding a pet-friendly retirement community, you’ll still need to take some time to ensure you select the community that’s right for both you and your pets.
What are the top 12 pet-friendly retirement communities? The top 12 pet-friendly retirement communities include:
- Sun City Hilton Head in Bluffton, South Carolina
- Rarity Bay in Vonore, Tennessee
- Bonterra at Woodforest in Montgomery, Texas
- Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina
- Laguna Woods Village in Laguna Woods, California
- The Cliffs at Mountain Park in Travelers Rest, South Carolina
- SaddleBrooke in Tucson, Arizona
- Brunswick Forest in Wilmington, North Carolina
- Village at Deaton Creek in Hoschton, Georgia
- Burlingame Country Club in Sapphire, North Carolina
- Sun City Shadow Hills in Indio, California
- Big Canoe in Jasper, Georgia
Nowadays, there are far more pet-friendly retirement communities in existence than ever before. Finding the right pet-friendly senior community is essential. Since there isn’t much information available on the internet today covering the most pet-friendly retirement communities in the United States, we decided to create this article to help you out. Below we’ll cover the top 12 pet-friendly retirement communities. You’ll have plenty of information to help you make the right decision.
The Top 12 Pet-Friendly Retirement Communities
When considering the top 12 pet-friendly retirement communities, we took a close look at the amenities the community offers for both seniors as well as pets. While many senior retirement communities advertise themselves as pet-friendly, there are several that decide to change the rules later, making things more restrictive for owners with pets. So, we also considered consistency with pet rules when we selected our top 12 list.
#1 Sun City Hilton Head in Bluffton, South Carolina
Sun City Hilton Head in Bluffton, South Carolina, is a massive 8,200 senior community formed by Del Webb. It’s also the most substantial senior community located in South Carolina. There are plenty of excellent senior amenities in this community that are worth mentioning including:
- A massive Town Center that measures forty-five acres
- A fifty-four hole golf course, and
- Luxurious Amenity Complex
However, the stand-out amenity this community offers that makes it so consistently pet-friendly is its lovely and substantially large dog park. Plus, Sun City Hilton Head is a popular resort community, so even if you leave the community, you’ll still be surrounded by luxury and comfort. Open since 1995, the busiest area you’ll notice within this community is the Sun City Dog Park. The dog park is found near the New River Sports Park, which offers softball and pickleball for residents.
The park set-up allows residents the space to have plenty of fun with their furry friends. The park is large enough for you to enjoy lovely, scenic walks. Another thing we love about the park is that it has certain hours for small dogs and specific hours for large dogs. That makes it simple for dogs to make new friends without becoming afraid or hurt.
This senior community location offers a mild climate, and the temperature average is in the 70s. So, you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of outdoor fun with your dog.
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#2 Rarity Bay in Vonore, Tennessee
If you’re looking for a great senior pet-friendly community that has plenty for your pooch, then you’ll want to consider Rarity Bay, found in Eastern Tennessee near Lake Tellico. The environment around the community is very peaceful and relaxed. So much so, that pets are allowed to roam without leashes in the community dog park area.
Rarity Bay’s Dog Park is so lovely that it’s one of the main reasons why the houses in this senior community sell so well. If you move here, it will be easy to make new friends at the park, since it’s frequented almost daily by all of the locals. The residents of Rarity Bay use the dog park so much to converse that they dubbed every Friday at 5 PM to be “yappy hour”.
Back in 2008, residents in Rarity Bay recognized the need for a dog park. Several residents that owned dogs got together and made a plan to create one of
- the safest
- most convenient
- and friendliest dog parks
for socializing in existence. Many of the residents not only volunteered to build the park, but they also raised the $40,000 necessary to construct the park so it was aligned with the American Kennel Club’s standards for dog play and safety.
After the dog park was built, residents later decided they wanted to raise money to install other amenities in their residential area. Nowadays, this beautiful community features:
- Lovely covered patios
- Irrigation systems that are in the ground, plenty of handicap access
- Parking for golf carts, and
- Gorgeous landscaping that makes the views of this place irresistible
Because of the work of the residents, this senior community has become one of the loveliest in the nation.
Rarity Bay also offers plenty of lovely, serene views of the Smokies. Also, this senior community is on the lake, so you can take a trip with Rover to Tellico Lake. If you are seeking a waterfront property, some of the homes feature private docks.
#3 Bonterra at Woodforest in Montgomery, Texas
If you’d like to live close to Houston, then Bonterra at Woodforest in Montgomery, Texas, just might be the pet-friendly senior retirement community that you’re seeking. You’ll find over seven hundred homes nestled inside of Bonterra. Homeowners have many beautiful amenities and are encased by lovely views of the Texas countryside.
One of the best amenities you’ll find at Bonterra is the residential dog park, dubbed Admiral Bark Park. You’ll discover Admiral Bark Park, named after the community’s first dog resident, Admiral Paul, located in the Woodforest area of the community. In the park and around the Woodforest area, you’ll find plenty of open space where you can easily play with your pets and let them run freely. Both large and small dogs are welcomed here.
The park features several watering stations. So, if you are out walking the community with your pooch and you find that Rover needs a drink, you can head over to the park to get him one. The park also features several dog clean-up stations.
While the dog park is our favorite amenity in this beautiful residential community, it’s certainly not the only one from which you’ll benefit. At Bonterra, you’ll also find an age-restricted clubhouse where several fun activities and games are held weekly for seniors. There are also plenty of hiking trails near the community, so you’ll have plenty of places to roam with Rover. These trails are also excellent for biking and picnicking.
You’ll also find a golf course that features:
- Twenty-seven holes in this community
- Playing fields, and
- Some fun tennis courts
So, if you are into sports, or if you’re looking to get some exercise, you’ll have plenty of options in this lovely community.
#4 Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina
If you want a pristine, peaceful place that will welcome both you and Rover, then consider the lovely retirement community in Palmetto Bluff, located in Bluffton, South Carolina. The community is gated and offers plenty of privacy and quiet. You’ll also find yourself very close to Hilton Head Island.
There are plenty of amenities in this community. While you are out walking Rover, you’re in luck. At Palmetto Bluff, you’ll find plenty of trails and lakes so there is plenty of fun walking and hiking for you to enjoy.
In Palmetto Bluff, walking is the top activity among the residents, since many of the residents enjoy walking their dogs in this pet-friendly community. Not only can you enjoy walking Rover around the neighborhood, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a fenced-in dog park where your dog can run around off its leash and play with other pooches.
There are over 20,000 acres that makeup Palmetto Bluff, including more than thirteen miles of beautiful trails. The community is so dog friendly that dogs are allowed to ride along in golf carts and accompany you on boat tours. Dogs can also benefit from luxury travel accommodations that are offered in the community. If anybody in your family comes to visit has dogs, tell them to stay at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff when they visit you.
The Inn at Palmetto Bluff treats both dogs and people like VIPs. The employees do their best to provide beautiful accommodations to pets, including pet beds and homemade treats that are fed to the dogs as they arrive. Because of all of these extras, Palmetto Bluff is considered one of the best pet-friendly retirement communities that you’ll find in America.
#5 Laguna Woods Village in Laguna Woods, California
Laguna Woods Village in Laguna Woods, California, is the most massive senior retirement community available on the West Coast of the United States. You’ll find over 12,000 homes here. So, if you’re looking for some Orange County living that’s close to the beach where you can experience plenty of fun in the sun, this might be the right place for you.
This senior community boasts several amenities for its residents, including a thirty-six hole golf course. Not only does Laguna Woods Village have an extensive golf course, but there are seven clubhouses for fun senior activities and plenty of activities for pets.
Laguna Woods Village even features an equestrian center that stables horses that you can rent if you want to enjoy the beautiful California weather on horseback. You can also take riding lessons and enjoy some of the special events that are offered at the center. Within this pet-friendly community, you’ll find that several dog and cat clubs meet and have events together.
Laguna Woods Village is found near the gorgeous Saddleback Valley of Orange County. This means you’re only a few minutes from the beach. You’ll also be near some of the most frequented attractions in California. So, you’ll never be short of things to do here. You’ll also enjoy the safety of a gated community with 24-hour patrols.
Since the houses come in several different floor plan options, you’ll be able to purchase and build the home of your dreams.
#6 The Cliffs at Mountain Park in Travelers Rest, South Carolina
If you want a lovely community that’s surrounded by plenty of beautiful scenery and space, then consider moving to the Cliffs at Mountain Park. Here, you’ll find 5,000 acres of fun with a landscape that includes lovely rolling ridgelines as far as your eyes can see. This pet-friendly area also offers a “Supertrail” system where you can hike along happily with Rover any day of the week. There is a beautiful mix of nature and civilization, which helps make this place so attractive.
There’s a rustic clubhouse known as “The Cabin”. At the Cabin, you can experience beautiful flavors and gourmet food, like Chef Kevin Furmanek’s daily cheesecake offerings. As soon as you are done with your decadent choices, you can take some time to burn off the calories by visiting the Mountain Park Wellness Center, where you can work out with gym equipment.
However, if working out indoors isn’t for you, then you can hit the walking and hiking trails right in the community with Rover. The climate is very temperate. The Cliffs at Mountain Park is located near beautiful landscapes.
Both Greenville and Asheville are nearby The Cliffs at Mountain Park, so you can enjoy some entertainment in these cities, have fun
- Going out to eat, or
- Exploring the academic and medical locations found near you.
You will also be near thirteen state parks, one national park, and three national forests.
Another great spot to visit that’s close to this community is the Broken Oak Organic Farm at the Cliffs. This park grows several fresh vegetables, flowers, and herbs every year. Farmer Craig Weiner harvests these fruits, and he also invites residents to help him manage the garden.
#7 SaddleBrooke in Tucson, Arizona
If you want a place that will be a paradise for your four-legged children, then consider SaddleBrooke in Tucson, Arizona. At Saddlebrooke, you’ll find several beautiful amenities and many of those cater to Rover. For example, the DesertView Sports Club, located inside of SaddleBrooke, provides a lot of outdoor events as well as housing a large, lovely dog park near some soccer fields.
SaddleBrooke itself is located in a beautiful area, right at the bottom of the beautiful Santa Catalina Mountains. You’ll not only get to experience the lovely views of these mountains, but this area also provides plenty of fun recreational activities for seniors. This senior community is so popular that it’s won awards for its social activities and amenities. Another thing that’s unique is that they also allow people that are forty and older to live here, not just 55 and up.
The best amenity you’ll find in SaddleBrooke is Dexter’s Place Dog Park. At this dog park, you can get active with Rover and enjoy some lovely outdoor time with other residents and their dogs. The dog park is a great place to start getting socially active and making new friends. The SaddleBrooke Dog Park Association maintains the park, and the park is only open to the residents.
SaddleBrooke is a Robson Community, and Robson is well-known for making some of the best retirement communities in the state. This community was originally built in 1986, and since then, it’s added more than 4,500 homes for its residents. You’ll also benefit from several other excellent amenities besides the dog park. At SaddleBrooke, you’ll find large clubhouses that provide:
- Creative arts
- Fitness centers
If you love to golf, you’ll be happy to know that SaddleBrooke’s private golf course has sixty-three holes for your enjoyment. Besides that, you can stay active and take advantage of the miles of trails within the community. You can enjoy some scenic walking or bike riding.
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#8 Brunswick Forest in Wilmington, North Carolina
Wilmington is now considered one of the best places to live in North Carolina, and Brunswick Forest provides you with the opportunity to enjoy some peaceful retirement living in this beautiful city. If you’re looking for a community that can provide you with plenty of outdoor activities, this might be it. Only ten minutes south of this area is Brunswick Forest, which is the fastest-growing golf community you’ll find located near North Carolina’s beaches.
Not only will all of the lovely outdoor activities give you plenty of opportunities to hang out with Rover, but you’ll also find several “pocket parks” peppered around Brunswick Forest. So, there’s plenty of hiking and biking trails for you to enjoy and “off-leash” park areas that are designated for Rover. With several parks to pick from, including Meadow Park and the “Bark Park,” where you can take your dog off a leash and let it run free to play with others.
This beautiful retirement community also offers several great amenities beyond the trails and parks. You’ll also find an 18,000 square foot Brunswick Fitness and Wellness Center if you’d prefer to do some exercising indoors. Here you’ll find the following:
- An indoor and outdoor swimming pool
- Plenty of tennis courts
- Gym equipment that also features personal trainers
- Massage therapists
If you’re looking to improve on your golf game a bit, then you’ll have the Cape Fear National golf course and clubhouse to enjoy. You don’t have to become a member if you don’t plan on golfing, however. With so many recreational activities to choose from, both you and Rover will be happy in this relaxing retirement community.
#9 Village at Deaton Creek in Hoschton, Georgia
The Village at Deaton Creek is a smaller pet-friendly community with 1, 144 homes and plenty of fun amenities for both you and Rover, like the 35,000 square-good Club. Plus, you’ll also be close to a major city if you enjoy having plenty of entertainment and nightlife. Atlanta is only forty miles away from The Village. Traveling to Atlanta means you can enjoy some of the following:
- Luxurious shopping
- Dining, and
- Plenty of fun, entertaining events
However, if you are looking to have some fun close to home and you want to stay in the neighborhood, then you can explore some of the amenities. You’ll enjoy a beautiful private dog park that’s also fenced-in so that you can let your dog off the leash as it plays with other pups. Since Del Webb built this community, there are also several parks and gardens to enjoy and explore along with biking and hiking trails. You’ll have plenty of places to walk Rover, too.
Village at Deaton Creek is also gated and features guards. Nearby is Lake Lanier and the Mall of Georgia, so you’ll have plenty of activities to fill your days.
#10 Burlingame Country Club in Sapphire, North Carolina
If you’re looking for a pet-friendly retirement community that will offer plenty of scenic mountain views, then consider the Burlingame Country Club located in Sapphire, North Carolina. This retirement community is found in the Blue Ridge Mountains, so you’ll witness some breathtaking views while you are out walking Rover. The elevation here rises to about 3,500 feet, so you’ll also get to experience some mountain weather while still enjoying the temperate climate of North Carolina.
So many amenities are offered, including the following:
- Har-Tu tennis courts
- Golf, and
- Lawn sports
One of the best facilities is the 17,000 square-foot fitness center. There are plenty of free fitness classes, so you’ll be able to experience a healthy lifestyle whenever you are ready. You can even stroll around Horsepasture River with Rover since it’s near Burlingame Dog Park. You can walk Rover and also enjoy trout fishing.
You’ll also have plenty of access to clear mountain water, which Rover is sure to enjoy while out walking and jogging with you. You can also take advantage of the Burlingame Hiking and Fishing Club, which provides even more outdoor activities. Also found in this community is three miles of beautiful hiking and biking trails that are dotted by eleven waterfalls. There’s even a children’s playground for the grands when they visit.
If you’re looking to work out and get into shape, then this community has pretty much everything you need. Both you and Rover should have plenty of fun together with so many pet-friendly activities. This retirement community also offers a busy social calendar, some fine dining, and plenty of outdoor activities.
#11 Sun City Shadow Hills in Indio, California
Another excellent pet-friendly senior retirement community in California is Sun City Shadow Hills, located in Indio, California. Another Del Webb creation, this community is found near the exciting Coachella Valley area, which means you’ll have plenty to do. The lovely weather in SoCal surrounds you, so you’ll spend plenty of fun days outdoors in the sun with your furry friend.
Sun City Shadow Hills offers several wonderful amenities so that you can live a healthy lifestyle with your pet. Here, you’ll find:
- Several clubhouses that offer clubs and events.
- Plenty of outdoor fun that encourages an active lifestyle
- Two dog parks.
The inner community found in Sun City Shadow Hills is also beautiful to behold. While you will be living in the desert, this community does an excellent job keeping the landscaping green and offers plenty of beautiful views of the surrounding Coachella Valley. You’ll also be very close to Palm Desert and Palm Springs, meaning that you’ll be able to experience plenty of fun if you plan on leaving the community.
The two dog parks located in Sun City Shadow Hills will be primed to offer plenty of fun for you and Rover. While one of the two dog parks is still under construction, the other allows you to take Rover to run free with friends any day of the week. You’ll also have plenty of open spaces and trails to explore.
Sun City Shadow Hills also offers several events and activities that cater to pet lovers. So, you should have no problems making friends and finding friends for your dog. Built in 2003, this community was finished in 2016 and has attracted many seniors because of its beautiful, luxurious homes, and top-of-the-line amenities.
#12 Big Canoe in Jasper, Georgia
If you want a senior community that is surrounded by picturesque mountains, then consider Big Canoe in Jasper, Georgia. Found near the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll have plenty of lovely scenery to witness as you walk around this neighborhood with Rover. Nearly thirty percent of the eight-thousand-acre area is set aside here as green space for outdoor activities. Back in 2011, this neighborhood was voted “Community of the Year,” which is quite an accomplishment.
Big Canoe is great not only for active seniors but also for pets. You’ll spend plenty of time in the Big Canoe Dog Park, which allows dogs to have fun experiencing “off-leash” play and activities. This park has been in existence since 2003, and it’s been set aside for animal and pet fun. Around the park, you’ll find some:
- Donated benches
- Beautiful scenery
- Plaque that honors the donors’ dogs
Big Canoe Dog Park was created to be a paradise for dogs, and once you see the park, you’ll understand that. The neighborhood of Big Canoe is all about celebrating our bond with our best friends, so you and Rover will fit right in.