Kissing Tree, located in nearby San Marcos, was recognized as one of the 50 best master planned communities in the country by Where to Retire magazine. Kissing Tree is what is referred to as an “Active Adult” community. Your first question may be, “What exactly is an Active Adult community?” Or, maybe it’s, “What the heck does Kissing Tree mean?”

The answer to the first question is easy. Active Adult communities are neighborhoods designed specifically for the needs and wants of homebuyers 55 and older. These communities are becoming more and more popular among 55+ homebuyers who are looking for more than just a new home that fits how they like to live and entertain. In fact, the Active Adult’s wish list is quite a bit longer. At the top is a great location. Ideally, this is somewhere close to water, but beyond that, 55+ buyers want a place that provides easy access to every day conveniences as well as great restaurants and shopping. Next on the list are amenities. Finally, they want to live near neighbors who share similar interests and lifestyle.

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Kissing Tree puts a check next to each item on the Active Adult’s checklist, starting with its location “at the foothills of the Texas Hill Country.” Situated atop high ground in San Marcos right off of I-35, the community is surrounded by rivers, lakes, and natural watering holes. The town of San Marcos offers residents local dining and shopping options, plus larger chain restaurants and stores. In addition to a charming downtown, there is also one of the nation’s largest outlet malls. And, being halfway between Austin and San Antonio, sports, museums, historical destinations, live music venues, and more are only a short drive away. It’s no wonder San Marcos has been named one of Forbes’ 25 Best Places to Retire five years straight.

Kissing Tree’s mix of amenities offer their own diversity of fun. The community includes a 20-acre amenity campus called “The Mix.” The Mix includes an 18-hole semi-private golf course, 9-hole putting course, 8 pickleball courts, bocce ball, horseshoes, and 18 miles of trails. At the center is Independence Hall which is a large social building that comprises Sam’s Café and Culinary Kitchen, the Bar at IH, open gathering and games spaces, and an activity room. Right outside is the Biergarten with its live music stage. Coming August 2020 are a new Junior Olympic-sized indoor lap pool, resort-style pool, and two-story fitness center. All together, the amenities deliver on what Kissing Tree refers to as a “legendary lifestyle.”

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As far as the homes themselves, there is something for everyone with three distinct products: Traditional Homes, Villas, and Cottages. Traditional homes start in the mid $200s and are one- and two-story single-family homes. There are ten available floor plans, 2- to 4-bedroom. Villas are located in a neighborhood called The Strand and start in the low $200s. These paired 1- and 2-story homes are considered low-maintenance as lawn care is included, and are a short walk, or golf cart ride, to The Mix amenity campus. There are currently four Villa floor plans, 1- to 3-bedroom. Cottages are situated around the 18th hole of the Kissing Tree Golf Course in an area called The Fairway. All Cottages, which start in the high $200s, are single-story patio homes and are, like Villas, low maintenance. There are five Cottage floor plans, 2- to 3-bedroom. Upon completion, the community will be home to over 6,000 Active Adults. So, one could say that a new home at Kissing Tree comes with built-in friends!

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So back to the second question. Kissing Tree got its name from a true Texas tale from 1857. That is when Sam Houston visited San Marcos during his gubernatorial campaign and delivered his “stump speech” in the shade of a large oak tree. The local women gave him a handsewn Texas flag as a welcome gift and, to express his gratitude, he gave each a peck on the cheek. This was, at the time, a tad risqué and the tree earned the nickname the “kissing tree.”

Brookfield Residential, one of the largest developers in North America, is both the community developer and home builder at Kissing Tree. Homebuyers can tour amenities and 16 model homes. Plan a visit online at or by calling 512-270-3938. Who knows? Kissing Tree might just be the perfect place for your 55+ and better years.