20 Best Golf Cart Communities & Cities in the US [2023]

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Whether you’re a golfer or just love the convenience, golf cart communities offer a chance to cruise around in style. 

Not all golf cart communities are created equal, though. In some, you can drive anywhere in your cart. Others have rules on which roads you can drive on, and yet others have dedicated paths just for carts. Amenities and community spirit are also major deciding factors when considering which community to call home, even if it’s only for a vacation.

From retirement havens and golf vacation destinations to bustling cities, here are the 20 best golf cart communities and golf cart cities in the US!

⛳️ Related: 10 Tips for Seniors To Improve Your Golf Game

Best Golf Cart Communities in the US

1. The Villages, FL

The Villages, FL aerial photo
Location:Sumter, Marion, and Lake Counties, FL
Nearest Large City:Orlando
Age Restriction:Yes

The Villages is one of the largest retirement communities in the US. It has more than 75,000 residents as of 2020. It’s actually a collection of neighborhoods that, together, have over 90 miles of golf cart paths

As a healthcare professional, I spent years working in The Villages and Lady Lake, Florida. It’s a vibrant community with quaint themed town centers and abundant activities. While it centers around a senior lifestyle, I would love to come here to shop and eat, since it had better options than nearby cities.

There are also plenty of amenities, such as recreation centers and studios, sports fields and courts, golf courses, and a lifelong learning college. The Villages did an outstanding job making the theme town centers have the look and feel of an authentic old world mission

However, if you like a typical community feel, you will notice the difference with it being age restricted.

2. Lamplighter Village, FL

Location:500 Lantern Blvd, Melbourne, FL 32934
Nearest Large City:Orlando
Age Restriction:Yes

If the hustle and bustle of larger communities like The Villages isn’t for you, consider Lamplighter Village. This quiet 55+ community has just under 150 manufactured homes at reasonable prices.

There’s still plenty to do here, though, with amenities including a fitness center, courts and fields, a mini golf course, arts & crafts facilities, and a pet park. Lamplighter Village hosts plenty of events and festivals, including an annual golf cart parade during the holidays.

3. Bald Head Island, NC

Golf Cart communities Bald Head Island, NC
Location:Bald Head Island, NC 28461
Nearest Large City:Wilmington
Age Restriction:No

Bald Head Island takes things to the extreme – no cars are allowed. Golf carts are the transportation mode of choice. Bikes and scooters are also popular, as are walking and taking the tram.

There is an 18-hole championship golf course, two clubhouses, and three marinas. Many of the major events on the island center around conservation and fitness. Also, there is a golf cart parade on the 4th of July.

Bald Head Island is popular with a wide range of ages, and many families visit with their kids during the summer, as they have an annual summer camp.

4. Laguna Woods Village, CA

Laguna Woods Village, CA
Aerial of Laguna Beach
Location:24351 El Toro Rd, Laguna Woods, CA 92637
Nearest Large City:Los Angeles
Age Restriction:Yes

Laguna Woods Village is a community of neighborhoods with a beachy vibe. Laguna Beach is just a few minutes away. Amenities and activities include clubs, educational and fitness classes, an equestrian center, a garden center, a theater, and sports courts and fields.

In addition to taking the golf carts for a spin on the dedicated golf cart trails, residents have another alternative to cars. A shuttle bus takes residents around the community and the surrounding area, including for monthly excursions.

5. On Top of the World, FL

Photo of the live oak tree and paddocks in Ocala, FL
Location:8447 SW 99th St. Rd., Ocala, FL 34481
Nearest Large City:Orlando
Age Restriction:Yes

On Top of the World is a very active golf community with lots to do — you’ll never be bored! Sports are an especially big deal here. There are three golf courses and a total of over 50 sports courts and fields as well as an archery range, an R/C car track, and an R/C plane flying field. 

There are dedicated golf cart paths, and despite being a vast community, nearly everything is accessible with a golf cart.

If you are unfamiliar with Ocala, it is officially named the Horse Capital of the World. You’ll see some of the most beautiful live oak trees, rolling hills, and crystal-clear waters in Silver Springs.

If you’re a combined horse and golf enthusiast, then you’ll have to check out the prestigious Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club built by the Roberts Family.

6. Sun City Center, FL

Sun City Center, FL golf cart parade
Photo Credit: Sun City, Arizona
Location:1009 North Pebble Beach Boulevard, FL 33573
Nearest Large City:Tampa
Age Restriction:Yes

When it comes to golf cart cities near Tampa, you’ll want to consider Sun City Center. Some of the community amenities include fitness centers, pickelball courts, tennis courts, as well as several creative studios, including a woodworking shop. Even if what you’re interested in doesn’t have a dedicated facility, there are clubs for pretty much every sport and activity under the sun.

At Sun City Center, you don’t even have to worry about whether there are golf cart paths. You can drive your golf cart on the roads. It’s not surprising that, among their many events, there’s an annual golf cart parade.

7. Dataw Island, SC

Location:Dataw Island Club, 121 Dataw Drive, Beaufort, SC 29920
Nearest Large City:Savannah, Georgia
Age Restriction:No

Dataw Island is a golfer’s paradise, with mild weather, exquisite nature, and a calm atmosphere. It’s not age-restricted but there’s a large population of active retirees. Golf carts are common, as there are dedicated golf cart paths.

The two 18-hole courses here are used to host many golfing events, including the Carolinas PGA South Carolina Open. There are quite a few other sports, including tennis and croquet, as well as a variety of water-based activities you can enjoy from the marina.

8. Boca West, FL

Location:Boca West Country Club, 20583 Boca West Drive, Boca Raton, FL 33434
Nearest Large City:Boca Raton
Age Restriction:No

Boca West is a private country club community made up of several neighborhoods, some of which offer dedicated golf cart storage/parking in each home. It’s a resort-style community so it’s got quite an upscale atmosphere.

Golf is definitely the activity of choice here, with four championship 18-hole courses. There is also a fitness center, aquatics center, tennis and pickleball courts, and plenty of shopping and dining options.

9. Solivita, FL

Location:Kissimmee, FL 34759 
Nearest Large City:Orlando
Age Restriction:Yes

Solivita offers a wide range of amenities and activities — possibly the longest list of any retirement community in Florida — ranging from sports and wellness to arts and gardening. Notably, there are two golf courses. 

There aren’t many dedicated golf cart paths but Solivita residents are free to drive their golf carts on the roads.

Solivita offers prospective homeowners the chance to visit and live just as a resident would for a few days — which includes giving you a golf cart to use — before buying.

10. Venice Golf and Country Club, FL

Location:250 Venice Golf Club Dr, Venice, FL 34292
Nearest Large City:Fort Myers
Age Restriction:No

Venice Golf and Country Club is a golfer’s dream community, with a classic country club atmosphere and a championship 18-hole golf course. The streets within the community are also very golf cart-friendly — it’s one of their selling points!

This community has a packed social calendar that includes both entertaining and educational events, including excursions (some of which are done by golf cart!).

11. Indian River Colony Club, FL

Location:1936 Freedom Dr, Melbourne, FL 32940
Nearest Large City:Orlando 
Age Restriction:Yes

Indian River Colony Club was built for retired military officers and their partners, though they now have a small non-military population, too. If you want a community that offers a country club lifestyle and a patriotic spirit, this is the place for you. 

Amenities at IRCC include a fitness center, a golf course, courts and fields, an art studio, a library, a restaurant, a bar, and a chapel. Golf carts are a popular mode of transportation here, as most areas are accessible by cart.

12. The Resort on Carefree Boulevard, FL

Location:3228 Eleanor Way, North Fort Myers, FL 33917
Nearest Large City:Fort Myers
Age Restriction:No

The Resort on Carefree Boulevard is a unique golf cart-friendly community, as it’s a community for lesbians. If you’re interested in an inclusive golf cart community that’s just for you, look no further.

This community isn’t age-restricted, but the population ranges from 40–85, and accessibility is a priority, which includes being golf cart-friendly. 

There are activities and amenities such as fishing, kayaking, sports, a games club, a fitness center, an art center, and a gallery. There are also lots of clubs, including a cheerleading club!

13. The Founders Club, FL

Location:3001 Founders Club Drive, Sarasota, FL 34240
Nearest Large City:Sarasota
Age Restriction:No

The Founders Club is quiet and refined, with a very exclusive golf cart community (and an expensive price tag to boot). It’s very popular with the retirement crowd but also has working professionals and families. 

This is an ultra-master-planned community where most places are accessible by golf cart. The centerpiece of the community is the championship golf course. Other amenities include a traditional golf hall, a fitness center, and sports courts.

Best Golf Cart Cities in the US

1. Peachtree City, GA

peach tree city with golf cart shown on a golf cart path
Peachtree City, GA, by Wikimedia Commons
Location:Peachtree City, GA 30269
Nearest Large City:Atlanta
Age Restriction:No

Peachtree City is perhaps the best of all the golf cart cities in the U.S. There are over 100 miles of mixed-use paths for golf cart drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. They’re well-distributed throughout the city, making it easy to go virtually anywhere in your cart.

This is a super family-friendly city, with lots of activities, events, and classes for people of all ages. There are sports, martial arts, summer camps, parades, and senior programming throughout the year. [link]

2. Sun City, AZ

Location:10626 W Thunderbird Blvd, Sun City, AZ 85351
Nearest Large City:Phoenix
Age Restriction:Yes

Sun City was one of the earliest 55+ communities of its kind in the U.S. spawning several Sun Cities around the country. You can drive your golf cart on any road that has a speed limit under 35 mph.

Between its eight recreation centers, there’s a never-ending list of amenities, activities, and clubs at Sun City. There are also five championship golf courses and three executive courses.

3. Tybee Island, GA

Tybee Island, GA, showing the lighthouse
Location:Tybee Island, GA
Nearest Large City:Savannah
Age Restriction:No

Tybee Island is a barrier island and quaint beach town near Savannah. Since Tybee Island is a whole town rather than just a community, you have many more options for activities and amenities but they’re not as centralized. 

Most places are, however, still easily accessible by a golf cart. There aren’t any dedicated golf cart paths on Tybee Island, but you can drive your cart on any two-lane road.

4. Ocean Reef Club, FL

Ocean Reef Club, FL
Location:Key Largo, FL
Nearest Large City:Miami
Age Restriction:No

Ocean Reef Club is one of the most golf cart-friendly communities in the Florida Keys. The club sells golf carts and encourages golfers and non-golfers to use them.

In this private community, you can enjoy golf at the two championship courses, as well as a host of boating and water-based activities. There is a medical center, a fitness center, a spa, sports facilities, a variety of shopping and dining options, and much more.

5. Celebration, FL

Celebration, FL downtown center with beautiful live oak trees
Location:Celebration, FL 34747
Nearest Large City:Orlando
Age Restriction:No

The ages in Celebration vary widely, but it’s a popular city for all ages, with lots of events and activities specifically geared towards that age group. Golf carts are common, and there are golf cart-designated paths.

Aside from being golf cart-friendly, the main draw of living in Celebration is its proximity to Orlando. You have the long list of easily accessible amenities you’d expect in master-planned communities, plus the convenience of being near a big city.

6. Palm Desert, CA

Palm Desert, CA, one of the best golf course communities with gorgeous mountains as a backdrop.
Location:Palm Desert, CA
Nearest Large City:Los Angeles
Age Restriction:No

Palm Desert is a vibrant city known for its upscale atmosphere and abundance of shopping centers and entertainment opportunities. There is no age restriction, but approximately 36% of the city’s population is over 65 according to the 2020 census.

You can drive golf carts on public roads in Palm Desert, and golf itself is a big deal here. There are over 100 courses in the Coachella Valley area. The varied landscape makes it great for outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and horseback riding.

7. Davis Islands, FL

Tampa sign in Tampa, Florida
Location:Tampa, FL 33606
Nearest Large City:Tampa
Age Restriction:No

Davis Islands is a golf cart community in the truest sense of the term. It’s covered by a golf cart ordinance, so golf carts are allowed on all public roads. While it’s not an HOA community, it feels like it’s own little city within steps of Tampa General Hospital and a short walk or bike from Hyde Park Village.

Though it’s located close to downtown Tampa, Davis Islands is quiet and has a quaint, suburban feel. The best things to do here include going to the beach to enjoy boating and fishing.

You’ll also find a lot of shops, cafes, and bars along East Davis Boulevard. Davis Island also has a lovely public pool, Roy Jenkins Pool, with baseball fields and a playground nearby.

For those of you that love sports, as I do, Tom Brady and Derek Jeter both lived on Davis Islands. Housing prices are at a premium, but there is a wide variety of housing from old ranch-style homes to condos, and waterfront mansions. Davis Islands is also in one of the best school districts in Hillsborough County, making it ideal for families as well as retirees.

Helpful Tips for Driving in Golf Cart Cities

6- seater golf cart in a Florida city

Driving golf carts can be a ton of fun – from Christmas lights to decorations, you can bling out your ride as much as you want! While golf carts can be a joy to ride around in, you’ll want to make sure you follow the local guidelines. Here are some general golf cart tips to help get you started.

Familiarize Yourself with Local Traffic Rules

When golf carts are allowed on public roads, it’s usually only on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. Also, there are varying regulations on what makes a golf cart street legal and the minimum age required to operate one.

Electric Golf Carts vs Gas Powered Golf Carts

Though each has its own advantages and disadvantages, electric golf carts tend to be the more popular choice. While they are generally quieter, electric vehicles are smoother to operate and require less maintenance. 

Practice Defensive Driving

It can be easy to let your guard down in the comfort of a nice golf cart. However, always be aware of your surroundings and anticipate the actions of other drivers.

Be Mindful of Pedestrians and Cyclists

Some golf cart communities have mixed-use paths for golf cart drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. You’ll be taking up more space than them, so exercise caution and be mindful of their right of way.

Final Thoughts on Golf Cart Communities in the US

When it comes to the best golf cart communities, it’s hard to compete with The Villages.

The Villages exemplifies the Disney World of golf cart communities in Florida. With its extensive network of cart paths, a vast array of amenities, and a lifestyle centered around the golf cart, it embodies a unique, vibrant, and active way of living that distinguishes it from other retirement communities.

There are plenty of other excellent choices on the list that are less restrictive to younger adults and children, such as Venice Golf & Country Club, one of the best golf course communities. You can ride your golf cart daily to the driving range or gym – who could ask for more?

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Erin has spent over 17 years as a healthcare executive working with seniors in nursing homes, skilled nursing, assisted living, and independent living communities. She also holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and other advanced degrees related to seniors.

Erin grew up playing golf in a family of golf fanatics. She started this site to help others add more enjoyment to the game of life through golf.

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