Golf carts and other neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) are becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation for short distances in and around select communities across the United States.
These cart-centric neighborhoods are often referred to as golf cart communities and they run the gamut of being family-friendly and senior living communities but all designed to be golf-cart friendly.
For many of these communities the average age of the population is older, featuring many retirees 55 years and older. But there are surprising amount of neighborhoods where the cart drivers are children and this becoming increasingly popular. And no, these communities need not have a golf course. Below, we take a closer look at the top 7 golf cart communities in the United States today.
The Top 7 Golf Cart Communities in the U.S.
7. Indian River Colony Club, FL
Rounding out our list at lucky number 7 is the Indian River Colony Club in Melbourne, Florida. Indian River Colony Club is a country club community catering primarily to retired military personnel of an average age of 55 and over. The community is described as an active one, as residents regularly move to and fro in their carts enjoying time with their neighbors and the many amenities on offer.
Located on 453 acres and beautifully accented with golf course views and wildlife vegetation, the beloved Indian River Colony Club has been dubbed by residents as “military retirement at its best.” A fairly small community relative to many of the other communities making this list, there is a total of 773 single-family home units, ranging from two to four bedrooms in size.
6. On Top of the World, FL
From number 7 to number 6, On Top of the World was founded in 1947 and is a fairly large residential community with approximately 10,000 homes and a three 18-hole golf courses. With a community of this size, it is clear to see why our seniors opt to travel around in carts to access the amenities and visit their neighbors. Even the youngest and the fittest would not survive otherwise.
As far as physical activities go, pickleball, golf, tennis, and fitness classes are among the physical activities that residents in this community can enjoy, while the Circle Square Commons remains the community’s social hub. Circle Square Commons is the center for entertainment activities as it houses a private movie theatre (how cool is that), restaurants, cafes, shops, and the like. Retirement anybody?
5. Charleston, SC
As time passes, Charleston, SC is being regarded as the golf cart mecca in the low country. Golf cart manufacturer, citEcar Electric Vehicles moving to just outside of Charleston further adds to the community’s reputation. Additionally, much of the attraction sites in and around the Greater Charleston area are cart-friendly, and more residents that not ditch their automobiles in favor of their golf carts when moving around the historic downtown district.
With a community so taken with carts and NEVs as a part of the way of life, it is easy to see why Charleston, SC is one of the best golf cart communities in the U.S.
4. Sun City, AZ
While the low-country Charleston, SC is considered a golf cart mecca, Phoenix Arizona does not follow too far behind. Golf Carts are a popular citing across the greater Phoenix area. This is particularly true in retirement communities like Sun City, Arizona. Sun City is one of the communities where carts and electric vehicles are road legal. Yes, you read that correctly. It is quite likely that you will see an influx of carts on the roads in Sun City, and they have a right to be there.
It is not surprising that Sun City finds itself on this side of history, as the Sun City community was the very first golf cart community in the U.S. The first model home from this community is, in fact, a museum today. That home was built in 1960 by Del Webb.
Today, it is estimated that in this community, approximately 40% to 50% of homes own a golf cart. So intertwined are golf carts in the life of the community, that even the garages of the homes are retrofitted to suit both traditional 4-door cars and carts alongside each other. In addition to its cart-friendly lifestyle, Sun City is known for its sense of fun. Dubbed “the original fun city”, it helps to know that when you go park your golf cart around town there are lots of delicious food spots, shops, and other relaxing and fun activities to get into.
3. Laguna Woods Village, CA
A stone’s throw away from the Laguna Beach coastline (approximately 10 minutes), Laguna Woods Village, CA is a bright and sunny golf cart community in Orange County. The community is located on 3.8 square miles of hillside and is home to more than 12,000 homes – making it the largest 55+ community in the west.
The layout of the community, inclusive of cart-designated paths, is conducive to seniors making their way comfortably around the community in their golf cart. In addition to the beautiful scenery, seniors making their way around this community will find that there are lots to see and do by way of amenities, services, social opportunities and activities, and so much more. Residents can even opt to play a round of golf on the 27-hole community golf course. There is never a dull moment. Of course, add the slower pace of life and the cleaner air resulting from electric golf carts being the order of the day in Laguna Woods.
2. Peachtree City, GA
Although Peachtree City, Georgia is perfect for our senior citizens 55+ to retire and call home, Peachtree City is different from many of the other options available on this list. For starter, Peachtree City is a community for people of all ages. As such, seniors are likely to be able to engage with a lot of younger families who also live in a beautiful community.
The golf-cart lifestyle, like many other aspects of this community, is fully embraced by the children in young families just as much as their parents and the retirees living there. Additionally, community spirit is high in Peachtree and there are lots of communal activities for the taking. The 4th of July parade, patriotic shows at the local amphitheater (called The Fred), and special holiday fireworks are all community favorites.
Of course, hopping into the family golf carts and heading to the ice cream store is just as much fun. Full-sized vehicles are hardly ever used for making one’s way around Peachtree as all the amenities like shops, restaurants, and even the doctor’s office is virtual outside your door. Added to that, the community is fitted with a golf cart charging stations for that needed top-off when you need it. With features like these, it is easy to see why Peachtree is number 2 on our list of the top 7 golf cart communities in the U.S.
1. The Villages, FL
Finally, we are at our number one golf cart community. For retirees 55 and over, The Villages community is the crème de la crème. This community is home to more than 150,000 residents, has over 100 miles of retrofitted cart trails, and many cart dealerships that repair, tune-up, and even customize carts. It is estimated that The Villages has over 50,000 golf carts in the community. In addition to all these already great features, The Villages throws an annual golf cart parade and even has a golf cart drill team.
Still, even with the comparatively large size of this golf cart community and all the awesome community features mentioned so far, The Villages still feels tightly knitted. This is due largely to amenities like restaurants, small shops, boutiques, doctor’s offices, and the post office that help to keep the neighbors knowing each other and relating closing. No senior 55 and over will regret retiring in this really great golf cart community.
There you have it, the top golf cart communities in the U.S. If you ever want to live in a golf cart friendly community, then look no further than the options listed above.