What Residents Love About Their 55+ Communities

What Residents Love About Their 55+ Communities

Lake Arrowhead

Whether you hail from another part of the country or just a few miles down the road from where you intend to move, transitioning to an active adult community requires research and a keen understanding of what type of community best fits your needs as you approach your golden years.

Metro Atlanta offers a variety of communities for a range of lifestyles — from idyllic lakefront living to homes closer to all the shopping, dining and entertainment hotspots — in just about every desirable area. Get your search started below by learning about a few of these communities from those who know best: current residents.

Lake Arrowhead

The Clarks with their three dogs at their home in Lake Arrowhead.


Dacono, Colorado natives Dan and Jan Clark chose the Lake Arrowhead community in Cherokee County after visiting several communities between Dahlonega and Canton and also focusing in the Dawsonville or Cumming areas. “We found that each community we visited offered many of the things we were looking for in retirement, but when we visited Lake Arrowhead we found everything we were looking for, and then and there decided the looking was over,” Dan said.

The Clarks had a tough time narrowing down what they liked most about living at Lake Arrowhead: The incredible beauty of the area and the beautiful lake? The peaceful, serene feeling of having trees all around? The very friendly community? They love it all. “Lake Arrowhead has gone beyond our expectations of anything we thought we’d find,” Jan said, adding the only place in Colorado that compares is the couple’s favorite town of Steamboat Springs.

“For us, Lake Arrowhead is the only place we found where you can leave behind the stress of the city, the fast-paced lifestyle, the bumper-to-bumper traffic and feel tranquility. When you see the lake and all the trees surrounding it, you can start feeling the stress leave your body. We keep asking ourselves how much longer we get to stay here before we have to leave, then we remember, ‘Oh that’s right. This is our home.’”

Sun City Peachtree
Griffin (more locations available)

Pattie and Tom Restaino at Sun City Peachtree.


In 41 years of marriage, Tom and Pattie Restaino have lived many places, but most recently lived in Victor, New York, after a nudge from friends. “We’ve been coming to Sun City Peachtree for many years to visit long-time friends who moved here 7 years ago,” Tom said.  “After I retired at the end of 2016, we wanted to be in a warmer climate, in a community that would let us enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle; SCP meets both objectives for us.”

The Restainos love the community and the wide variety of activities it provides residents. “Having been here for only 6 months, we have made many new friends already,” Pattie said. “The Home Owners Association and clubs are very active and encourage residents to join and participate in classes and activities. There is always something to do at SCP.”

The couple agreed that there are many advantages to living in the community: Residents avoid the hustle and bustle of Atlanta proper; however, the community is close enough to many Atlanta attractions, restaurants and shopping. Also, being south of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport makes getting to and from the transportation hub a breeze.

Longleaf Communities
Woodstock (more locations available)

The Kranyeczs outside their home in the 55+ community Longleaf.


Being one of the first couples of their group of friends to make a decision to downsize, John and Sue Kranyecz are frequently asked: "Why did you choose Longleaf?"

“Our answer always starts with we were originally attracted by location, lower taxes, low maintenance, easy access to Highway 92, proximity to major interstates and attractive amenities,” said John. “Then, we share our personal experience with a chance meeting with the builder, Roger Thomas. As interested buyers, we were driving through the community when it was still just a plot of land waiting to be developed and ran into Roger. His honesty and enthusiasm for the vision of Longleaf was contagious.  We immediately embraced his lifestyle concept and open floor plans for his future homes (which included two bedrooms on the main and an optional third and fourth bedroom) and knew we were going to be a part of it.”

After the encounter, the couple visited the builder’s other developments and was impressed by the expert quality of the end product. “Since the plan we selected was never built before, we purchased it sight unseen,” John said. “Fortunately, we had a professional team of onsite staff who provided their guidance and expertise in creating our new home.”

As the first homeowners in Longleaf, Sue said they have enjoyed watching the vision become reality. “We readily welcome prospective new buyers into our home to experience the quality of workmanship and warmth of our community,” she said.

Sterling on the Lake
Flowery Branch

Jim Wolk and Jackie Pray love their Sterling on the Lake community.


Jackie Pray and Jim Wolk lived in their Duluth home for 20 years, but each has lived in several states throughout their lives and were open to both Atlanta and north Florida during their new home search. At that time, they weren’t quite ready for an age-restricted neighborhood.

“When we stumbled upon Sterling on the Lake, we knew we had found all that we were looking for: ranch-style home with a smaller footprint, amazing amenities and activities that suit all ages, convenient location to shopping, libraries, medical care and restaurants,” Jackie said, adding living in The Springs community offered the bonus perk of keeping them relatively close to their adult children, granddaughter, and former neighbors and friends.

The couple enjoys making friends with new neighbors and the relatively maintenance-free living. “ everything you need in close proximity without the hustle and bustle of metro Atlanta,” Jim said.

Soleil Laurel Canyon

The Minors inside their Soleil Laurel Canyon home.


David and Brenda Minor moved to this north Cherokee County neighborhood from Florida. David, a Georgia native, and Brenda, originally from West Virginia, both wanted a place near the mountains in an area that offered local entertainment, restaurants and doctors, but also wanted access to expressways and a larger city.

“We began to fall in love with Soliel when turning onto Laurel Canyon Parkway,” Brenda said. “The beauty of the natural landscape and winding hilly terrain was so beautiful.  We were impressed with the homes, the beautiful clubhouse and extensive facilities offered residents of Soliel.”

The couple agreed that being less than 5 miles from Falany Performing Arts Center at Reinhardt University was another plus. “We congratulate ourselves every day for making a decision to live in Soliel!” Brenda said.

Within the community, the Minors love enjoying the beautiful area, friendly residents, and the many clubhouse events and amenities.

“Soliel is a first-class community with so many amenities, regardless of your interest, you'll find many things to do,” Brenda added.