Settling into Community at Scotch Hall Preserve

Settling into Community at Scotch Hall Preserve

Fishing and Catching at Scotch Hall Preserve.

An Ideal Confluence of Work and Play

Scotch Hall Preserve is a North Carolina waterfront community set on a prominent headland where Salmon Creek and the Chowan River flow into Albemarle Sound. Native Americans called the area “Avoca,” meaning “the meeting of the waters.”

Lois and Richard Gobbi are originally from California but moved to Maryland 20 years ago because of his engineering work. As they neared retirement age, the Gobbis began a search that eventually brought them to North Carolina.

“We were looking for a water view where we could build our dream retirement home,” Lois said. “We looked extensively in Maryland and Virginia and found places that just didn’t suit us at much higher prices. The value of the property here was a definite attraction.”

The Gobbis found that perfect view at a Scotch Hall Preserve homesite overlooking the sound and moved into their dream home in 2017. But, like many couples who move to warmer climes these days, they didn’t both retire right away. Lois had finished up her work in a high school counseling office in 2016, but Richard still consults for a government contractor from his home office.

“Working from home allows him to enjoy the beauty of Scotch Hall and continue his career,” Lois said. She also has a home art studio for a hobby that has become a new calling as she’s gotten more involved in community life. “I’m on the HOA Advisory Board and Architectural Review Committee,” she said, “and I’ve organized art classes for the residents. My love is for painting and helping others learn to paint is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

 Scotch Hall is such a special place, not just

because of its beautiful surroundings, but because

of the wonderful people in our community.

— Louis Gobbi

Scotch Hall’s Arnold Palmer Signature golf course also proved to be irresistible. “With the beautiful course right outside our door,” Lois said, “we have both taken up golf, which is new for us.” Other outdoor recreations have also become part of their lifestyle. “The swimming pool is a big attraction for us and our family and friends,” she continued. “During the summer, I do water aerobics classes three days a week. We also enjoy jet skiing and tried kayaking with the family recently. We’re going to buy our own kayaks and maybe build our own dock in the future.”

Scotch Hall water views are breathtaking.

And, the Gobbis have found a lot to like just beyond the Scotch Hall gates. “We really enjoy trips to Edenton, which is 20 minutes over the bridge from our home,” Richard said. “Edenton has become our local town where we attend church, shop at the farmers market, and frequent the local stores and restaurants.”


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“We also love to go to the Outer Banks, which is a little over an hour and a half away,” Lois added. “We always stop at Manteo, a quaint town on the water with shopping and restaurants.”

“And, we’re planning to explore more of North Carolina,” Richard said, “especially west toward the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Asheville area.”

Closer to home, the Gobbis have made new friends and hosted holiday dinners for their neighbors. “Scotch Hall is such a special place,” Lois concluded, “not just because of its beautiful surroundings, but because of the wonderful people in our community.”

At “The Meeting of the Waters,” Lois and Richard Gobbi have found just the right balance for the ongoing adventure of their lives.

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Latitude Margaritaville is Much More Than a Spot on the Map

Latitude Margaritaville is Much More Than a Spot on the Map

Where is Latitude Margaritaville?

Latitude Margaritaville entrance Latitude Margaritaville is a unique state of mind. It’s a place where happiness and friendship reside. It’s a community where those who are growing older, but not up, come together to enjoy life to the fullest.

Inspired by the no-worries island lifestyle of fun, food, and music portrayed by legendary singer, songwriter, and author Jimmy Buffett, Latitude Margaritaville communities are designed to put the exclamation point on fun! This all-new portfolio of active adult communities is being developed by partners global lifestyle brand Margaritaville Holdings and master developer and builder Minto Communities.

Latitude Margaritaville came onto the active adult residential living scene less than two years ago. In a remarkably short time, it has become one of the nation’s most talked about new lifestyle models for those 55 and better. Latitude Margaritaville has been in the headlines across the country and featured on Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Live with Kelly & Ryan, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and more.

The first, Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach, opened for sales in November 2017 and was named the number one most popular active adult community of 2018 by, a leading resource for those searching for information on active adult communities in the U.S.

The second, Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head, located in Hardeeville, SC, opened for sales in March 2018. A third, Latitude Margaritaville Watersound, located in the Florida Panhandle, is in the planning stages and slated to open early 2020.

The public response to Latitude Margaritaville has been phenomenal. At the Latitude Margaritaville Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach PoolDaytona Beach sales launch in November 2017, more than 300 people camped out all night under a giant tent to be among the first to secure their home sites. The event quickly turned into the community’s first “block party” with those in line getting to know one another while enjoying a steel drum band, complimentary food and drinks, games, and more. Some even changed from the home site they originally selected so that they could be neighbors with those next to them in line. Interest has grown exponentially, and more than 2,600 attended the grand opening of the model homes last February.

Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head received an equally enthusiastic welcome. The February 2018 sales center preview was attended by 850 prospective home buyers over a three-day weekend, and more than 2,500 attended the June grand opening of the model homes.

What is so special about the Latitude Margaritaville way of life?

Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach inspired by Jimmy Buffet

Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach is proof in motion that Latitude Margaritaville is much more than an all-new, one-of-a-kind concept in active adult living. New residents began moving in last March and are celebrating the Margaritaville lifestyle first-hand while enjoying their many new friendships with neighbors throughout the community. New residents began moving into their new homes at Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head in November.


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An impressive range of resort-level Margaritaville-branded amenities open this spring at Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach. The first phase will include the Latitude Town Square and bandshell for live music and dancing; Latitude Bar & Chill Restaurant; Changes in Attitude poolside bar; Fins-Up! Fitness Center with aerobics studio, indoor lap pool, spa, fitness classes, and wellness programs; pickleball and tennis courts; multi-use sport court, Paradise Pool with beach entry, cabanas and tiki huts; and Barkaritaville Dog Park. In addition to the many in-community amenities, a golf cart-accessible, Margaritaville-themed, 200,000-square-foot retail center anchored by Publix is located at the community entrance.

Latitude Margaritaville amenities include theatre Additional amenities are planned for Phase 2. These include the Last Mango Theater, Workin’ N’ Playin’ Center, Barkaritaville Pet Spa, and private Latitude Margaritaville Beach Club on a spectacular stretch of sparkling white beach on the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. A continuous shuttle service will provide transportation to the Beach Club.

Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head amenities include the now open Lake Latitude Club that features a resort-style pool, beach area, fitness center, and party room. Additional Phase 1 amenities are under construction and slated to open fall 2019. They will include the same Phase 1 amenities that are nearing completion at Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach.

Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head residents, like Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach residents, will enjoy walkable neighborhoods, golf-cart friendly streets, and a lively Town Center. Music will play an important part in all Latitude Margaritaville communities, and residents will enjoy live entertainment under the bandshell and dancing in the Latitude Town Square. Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head will also have an adjoining 290,000-square-foot golf cart-accessible neighborhood retail center that is being developed in partnership with Sutton Properties, Inc.

While eagerly anticipating the new amenities, residents find many ways to gather and celebrate their new community. There are walking, running, softball and pickleball groups, block parties and home parties, game nights, Tiki Bar Thursdays, and more. Group outings organized by the community lifestyle directors include fun get-togethers like Java Monday, Welcome Wednesday, Fintastically Fun Friday, Pickleball, Pins & Fins Bowling, Brunch Run Club, Chill & Fill dining outings, Pets in Paradise, and the list of creative Margaritaville fun goes on.

Who is moving to Latitude Margaritaville?

Residents Norm and Karen Goodwin wanted a vacation lifestyle and a home where they could entertain. They found both at Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach. “The people here are unbelievable,” says Karen. “When we moved in, we sent out a few ‘party at our house’ announcements, and by 6 p.m. that same day, we had 45 people!” Karen and her new friends at Latitude Margaritaville love to dance. At a recent party at the Goodwin home, the beautiful new furniture was moved to the walls and the music started. In moments, guests were showing their moves from the “Cha Cha Slide” to “YMCA” and rocking the moves to Jimmy Buffett’s song “Fins” while showing their interpretations of “Fins to the Left, Fins to the Right.”

Lisa and Ed Hickox selected a villa home at Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach and bought the adjoining villa for Lisa’s mother Judy Osmer. Ed is a major league baseball umpire, and Lisa is a 5.0 skill level pickleball player. Both enjoy the active lifestyle and friendly neighbors at Latitude Margaritaville. Lisa says they selected their new community because they wanted a place where they could relax, not worry about home and yard maintenance, have an active lifestyle, and—most importantly—have fun.

Among the first to move into their new home at Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head, Terrance and Cathy Lyon selected the Parrot model for its overall openness and large great room that flows to the lanai and pool area to create one big party room. “We have always loved the Savannah, Charleston, and Hilton Head area,” says Cathy. “Driving by Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head for the first time, it really caught our eye. The whole thing was so different … unique. We looked at other communities and knew this would be the right fit for us. It gives off that whole feeling of fun. It’s not just another over-55 retirement community.”

Margaritaville and Minto — A recipe for success

Minto Builders “Minto’s partnership with Margaritaville already has proven to be a recipe for success,” says Minto’s Latitude Margaritaville Division President William Bullock. What is that recipe? “Margaritaville is synonymous with fun living which is a perfect match for Minto’s 60-plus year commitment to creating unique master-planned communities that take resort-style living to a new level,“ notes Bullock.

“There is nothing else like Latitude Margaritaville. The lifestyle offered is truly redefining active adult living. Interest has been phenomenal with more than 155,000 prospective home buyers joining the online Latitude Margaritaville Paradise Club to receive regular updates. “That number just keeps growing as we expand the Latitude Margaritaville concept into new areas. Currently, we are evaluating additional locations throughout the U.S.,” he adds.

Margaritaville’s unmistakable brand of no-worries island-style fun and entertainment is reflected at every Minto builders living roomlevel throughout the community. Jimmy Buffett music plays in the background at the sales center and model court, and transportation is provided via the “This way to Paradise” shuttle bus or limited edition Latitude Margaritaville golf carts complete with shark fins on top.

Charming and colorful coastal-style single-family and villa home designs have bright, cheerful interiors that create a happy beachside atmosphere. You often spot residents cruising down Island Breeze Drive, Coral Reef Way, Margaritaville Avenue, and Latitude Drive aboard their limited-edition Margaritaville golf carts. As a housewarming gift, each new resident receives a Margaritaville Key West Frozen Concoction Maker, complete with Margarita Mix to get the party started. In addition, each Latitude Margaritaville community has a dedicated lifestyle director to make sure the fun never stops.

capture the “no worries” tropical vibeThe nine model homes at each Latitude Margaritaville community capture the “no worries” tropical vibe of the community with three distinct villa and single-family home collections—the Caribbean, Beach, and Island. These include four villa home models—the Antigua, Barbuda, Jamaica, and Nevis—ranging from 1,503 to 1,862 square feet under air. All include two bedrooms, den or hobby room, two baths, covered lanai, and two-car garage. Villa pricing starts in the $200s.

Five single-family home models include the Coconut, Parrot, Breeze, Aruba, and Trinidad. Single-family homes range from 1,684 to 2,564 square feet under air and feature two to three bedrooms plus den, two to three-car garages, two to three-and-a-half baths, and a covered lanai. Pricing for single-family homes starts in the high $200s. A wide selection of additional floor plans are available.

Residents Bill and Kelley Serantis were counting forward to age 55 with anticipation so that they could living room tropical vibebecome Latitude Margaritaville residents. “We moved in when we turned 55,” says Kelley. “Bill is retired and I still work as a realtor because I love what I do and love selling in this community. We were looking for a nice new community with top-notch amenities, and Latitude Margaritaville certainly delivers. What we did not expect was the sense of community and camaraderie. It has blown us away and is something very special. To quote a Jimmy Buffett song, ‘I have found me a home.’”

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There’s More to Las Vegas …It’s Henderson, NV

There’s More to Las Vegas …It’s Henderson, NV

Henderson, Nevada is everything Las Vegas is not. Henderson has no strip, very few neon lights, little street noise, and a has a heavy concentration of outdoor adventurers.

Las Vegas is the neon sign that spells out everything not many of us get to see or do more than once or twice in a lifetime…unless of course, we’re in Las Vegas. While having access to this full-time may be appealing to some, most who love a few days and nights perusing the strip probably also appreciate a bit of distance from it.

Enter Henderson. Henderson, NV, a suburb of Las Vegas, is everything Las Vegas is not. No strip, very few neon lights, little street noise, and a heavy focus on outdoor adventure. With a more family-focused population of 300,000, Henderson ranked #2 on Forbes’ 2017 Top Ten Safest U.S. Cities list, while Las Vegas, needless to say, did not rank. And, while one may not have the same experiences in Henderson, there’s no lack of excitement or adventure in this Las Vegas Valley town.

Henderson is right in the middle of everything that the West is so famous for, with all the luxuries of city life and a progressive western culture that’s intoxicating.

Access to outdoor adventure and nearly a dozen National Parks and Conservation Areas is one of the most popular reasons to land in Henderson, either for a week or for a lifetime. There are seven National Parks within a days drive, all of which make for the perfect weekend trip — the uber-famous Grand Canyon National Park, for example. Bryce Canyon and Arches National Park are both just under three hours away, and if necessary, could each be packed into a day trip.

Henderson, NV does boast some of the most gorgeous golf courses in the region.


Hike through Red Rock National Conservation Area or nearby Spring Mountain Recreation Area, hang out with lions (at The Lion Habitat Ranch), and everything in between. Cycling and hiking trails, educational attractions, and amusement parks are plentiful. The Adventuredome Theme Park is a huge family favorite, with Cowabunga Bay Waterpark a close second. The Ethel M. Chocolate Factory & Botanical Cactus Garden is an unusual but effective combo. There won’t be much moaning at the mention of this educational day trip. A trip to the Hoover Dam is also a favorite.

Golf is (Really) Good Here

Henderson proper hosts eight golf courses, with 60+ courses in the greater Las Vegas Valley alone. Chimera, Wildhorse, Reflection Bay, and DragonRidge all are thought to be exceptional courses. But, there are a couple of standouts.

In 2017, Golf Magazine named Cascata, six miles from Henderson in Boulder City, the sixth best course in the state of Nevada. Shadow Creek, in North Las Vegas, was named first.

By Bike is the Best Way

Henderson is seriously bike-friendly, both in town and through the dessert.

The River Mountains Loop Trail is a shining example of this. Even The New York Times agrees that the River Mountains Loop is the best way to see the backcountry here, calling it a “challenging” and “more rugged kind of fun.” The loop winds cyclists through the Mojave Desert, into Henderson, and beyond to Lake Mead and historic Hoover Dam.

The Amargosa Trail is an urban trail that runs through the foothills of the McCullough Range and into many of Henderson’s most popular parks, including Paseo Verde Park.

A Night on the Town

Peruse restaurants in Henderson’s Anthem Neighborhood to find meals on par with those served at Circo at Bellagio. One of Anthem’s newest additions, Craft Kitchen, has integrated a Bellagio-inspired bakery that is said to turn meals into masterpieces.

The District at Green Valley is another restaurant- filled plaza with a variety of cuisines to please every palate. Me Gusta Tacos, a sustainable Mexican eatery, is a local favorite.

Henderson may not be Vegas, but there’s no shortage of casinos and nightlife in this resort town.

Ovation at Mountain Falls

Ovation at Mountain Falls

Ovation is an active lifestyle Nevada retirement community in Pahrump, NV. Overlooking the breathtaking Spring Mountains Range, sweeping views reach almost as far as Las Vegas, about 45 miles away. At Mountain Falls, you don't simply choose a home. You make an investment in a way of life. Outdoor exploration, golf course living, and the freedom to create and build lifelong connections are among the highlights. Ovation at Mountain Falls is your new home base. It's your reprieve. And, Las Vegas is an easily accessible entertainment and shopping destination. You deserve an ovation. Read More...

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Passions Passed On

Passions Passed On

The Lake and Hills Garden Club Celebrates 30 Years

Keowee Key’s Lake and Hills Garden Club celebrated their 30-year anniversary this year, and it’s stories like this one that have helped hold it together.

Laura Havran has roots at Keowee Key; a fairly rare phenomenon for residents living in 20th century-born master-planned communities. Havran’s mother, Jeanette Dodge (known as “Parky”), and her father, J.T. Dodge, settled in at Keowee Key in 1989, 14 years after the community formed. Laura and Dick Havran and their three children spent summers on the Lake and fell in love with the lifestyle there. So much so, that when they started exploring retirement options, they consistently compared communities they visited to Keowee Key. And, nothing measured up.

“Finally, my husband said to me, ‘Remind me again why we’re not considering Keowee Key?'” Havran said with a chuckle. “It was then that we realized that this was where we really wanted to be.”

Not long after they moved to Keowee Key, Havran followed in her mother’s footsteps again when she joined the Lake and Hills Garden Club.

“My mother was a 27-year member and a former garden club president, so when I moved here it was sort of expected,” Havran said. Not to mention, Havran, one of eight children, grew up with vegetable gardens, freshly cut flowers from front yard gardens in vases on every table, and good weeding and harvesting skills.

“Gardening is sort of in our blood,” Havran said. “Both of my parents grew up on farms, so growing things was just a way of life for them.”

The Lake and Hills Garden Club, of which Havran is now president, was formed by seven women residents at Lake Keowee in 1988 and has since made a name for itself in the region. 2018 marks the club’s 30th anniversary.

“People come from all over the region to attend our annual October auction. We have several that come from Clemson every year,” Havran said. “The garden club is kind of known in the region for the work we do. So, supporting it at the auction has become a tradition that people really look forward to. Everyone gets all dressed up. It’s quite an affair.”

Due to the auction’s success, the Garden Club is able to host community programs and initiatives, such as seminars presented by Clemson professors and area authors, planting 100 dogwoods near the clubhouse, the nursing home project, and the National Wildlife Federation Certification program. The Club’s goal is for the entire community, including the clubhouse gardens, to become a Certified Wildlife Habitat®.

Members like Alice Guzick (head of the National Wildlife Federation project), Barbara Shaver, Irene Feber, and Edna Mallamed have been with the club since its inception.

“They’ve done what it takes through the years to rejuvenate membership and to keep the club alive and vibrant,” added Havran

Garden Club members take their skills and big hearts into nursing homes to work with residents. They allocate funds raised to support relative local and national initiatives. And, they spend time together at floral arranging and planning workshops, and working on planting and preservation projects.

Havran says that while she loves all the work that they do together, she loves the fellowship almost as much.

“We have such a great mix of ladies with so many different skills and backgrounds. It’s just a whole lot of fun, and we’re able to do a lot of good and learn so much in the process.”

And, as for her mother’s legacy, Havran carries it with her.

“I’ll just be going on about something, and one of the club members will say, ‘oh, that’s so something Parky would say,'” Havran said with a laugh. “And then, 
I realize that they’re right.’

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A Utah State of Mind

A Utah State of Mind

Mountain biker going downhill on slickrock in Sedona, Arizona


Utah: Red Rock, Low-Cost, High Adventure Capital of the U.S.

The mountains of majesty that our anthem declaims cut through this vast desert-dominated state creating experiences and scenery that people from around the world flock to, write about, and dedicate their art to.

40% of Utah, known as the Beehive State, is designated public land with 42 state and national parks scattered throughout. Hard work and industry characterize the state’s past and gave it its nickname, while adventure and technological innovation are said to better describe the overarching aura, present-day.

Utah’s low cost of living, world-renowned quality healthcare, and opportunities for an active and varied lifestyle call retirees in droves.

Visitors from around the world and all walks of life travel to Utah’s Mighty Five, a few of the world’s most famous national parks and landmarks. Several of the country’s top ski resorts boast powder and slopes that are unparalleled.


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Utah is a bucket list destination for many, both a place to call home and a place to vacation. Rich, vibrant nature-induced colors, unique desert textures, and the massive sculpted natural formations across parks and in city backdrops are among the wonders of the world. But, there’s more. A thriving tech industry, a host of celebrity chefs, and a burgeoning arts and theatre scene dominate in cities like Salt Lake City.

For a week, or a lifetime, Utah, the adventure capital of the U.S. is a place to stay active, engaged, intrigued, and enlightened.

Places to see

1 – Park City
Breathtaking any time of the year, for skiers and film-lovers January might be the best time to book a trip. The Sundance Film Festival draws thousands of filmies to Park City every year, and the slopes are ripe and less crowded just after the holidays.

2 – Arches National Park
With 2,000 natural stone arches, 65 million years of geologic history, and trails that wind you through breathtaking views, Arches is a must see.

3 – Bryce Canyon
The annual Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival in June is the time to explore this forest of stone below and sea of stars above.

4 – Canyonlands
Cut through by the Green and Colorado Rivers, Canyonlands is cut into four distinct districts. Explore all four for a vastly different experience in each, and plan to float one or both of the rivers while you’re there!

5 – Capitol Reef
This 100 mile long “wrinkle on earth”, or geologic monocline, is in what is known as the Waterpocket fold. Marked by cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges, you’ll feel as though you’ve entered a new dimension.

6 – Zion
Zion is massive with lifetimes worth of places to explore and things to do. Consider Under Canvas Glamping in Springdale to stay awhile and get the full outdoor experience.

7 – Moab
Moab is the perfect headquarters when exploring Canyonlands and Arches National Park. You’ll have easy access to rafting, climbing and hiking adventures, as well as fine cuisine, nightlife, theatre and music.

8 – Monument Valley Najajo Tribal Park
Be there at sunrise. With a breathtaking open and close to each day, it’s hard to describe the chilling and unusual beauty of Monument Valley’s expansive landscape.

9 – Salt Lake City
With numerous nearby slopes, buoyant salt lakes, celebrity chefs, and a wide-range of cultural opportunities, Salt lake City is an ideal vacation destination.

10 – Dark Sky Parks
Dark Sky Parks are an international designation pertaining to spots on the map that lack light pollution, generally state and national parks. Utah is full of them.

Places to Live

Red Ledges

Red Ledges spans over 2,000 acres of century-old family-owned land, and has become the most successful private community in Park City, Utah. It’s the active adult community you seek with the family atmosphere Park City calls for. There’s truly no end to activities at Red Ledges. From self guided adventure to community led trips and tours on the slopes, along rivers, and on the trails, outdoor opportunities are plentiful to say the least.

See other ideal destinations…