Living on the Sunnyside

Sunnyside Communities Give Retirement Living a Whole New Outlook

Jacob’s Tavern, Summit Square

When the Carter family sang “Keep on the sunny side of life,” they could easily have been talking about the retirement living options at Sunnyside Communities. With three distinguished retirement communities located in Harrisonburg (Sunnyside), Martinsville (Kings Grant) and Waynesboro (Summit Square), Virginia, Sunnyside offers a range of senior living choices to create a dynamic and engaging retirement lifestyle.

Sunnyside Communities is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization funded through contributions, an endowment fund, and yearly fundraising activities. Those who choose Sunnyside Communities do so for the carefree lifestyle and community of friends they build, as well as peace of mind for their futures. “As our vision statement states, we want to create life experiences to enhance the quality of life by respecting human diversity and providing outstanding value,” explained John “Jack” Broaddus, president and CEO.

“Sunnyside Communities are considered destination localities and attract a lot of interest from Northern Virginia residents,” Broaddus said. The Sunnyside campus is located on more than 150 acres surrounded by breathtaking mountain views and award-winning amenities. King’s Grant features two lakes and lush green fields on its 120-acre campus, and Summit Square, nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, offers small-town charm in a city that ranks among the country’s top micropolitan areas.

The beauty of the Shenandoah Valley and Southern Virginia and their surrounding mountains, paired with the cultural amenities in the flourishing towns, offer a sweet respite from busy city life while still providing much of the resources of and proximity to larger metropolitan areas.

Are You Ready for Retirement?

“I’m not sure people who are 55 are ready to think about retirement,” Broaddus said. However, he urges people to start thinking about retirement options early, especially when many communities have waiting lists. “Since 10,000 people are turning 65 every day, there is a tremendous demand for retirement living. I ask people, ‘are you preparing yourself now or waiting until the last minute?’ The worst thing is to make a decision in a crisis situation.”

“You have to evaluate your financial situation and physical condition and decide whether you want to go somewhere where people can take care of you as you age. It’s never too early to at least investigate the different options,” Broaddus said.

Sunnyside Communities offers a full spectrum of retirement living options ranging from independent living villas, cottages and apartments, to assisted living, to healthcare, to memory care and home health services. “The beauty of Sunnyside is that we are licensed to provide all levels of care. Other communities may not be licensed to do health care.”

All three campuses hold a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a designation received by fewer than 20% of healthcare centers nationwide.

An Abundance of Activities

Bocce Ball, Francks’ Place, King’s Grant

A vibrant array of activities keeps residents as active as they want to be. Activities including movie nights, dance classes, seminars, crafts, hikes, yoga, themed dinners, club meetings, continuing education and lifelong learning programs, and off-campus trips fill the monthly calendars. Residents can also enjoy the wellness centers with their exercise classes and equipment, pools, restaurants and other onsite amenities. At the Sunnyside campus alone there are more than 30 resident-led clubs like a computer club, travel club, and the Buzzards, composed of former military pilots, in addition to staff-planned activities. “Depending on one’s physical and mental needs, we have an array of programs that attract various age groups,” Broaddus said. “We are also investing heavily in technology, seeing that our residents are technology-driven.”

A major renovation at Kings Grant includes a new clubhouse with bocce courts, a theater, billiards, putting green, fireplace and outdoor dining. Sunnyside just added a new bistro offering mixed spirits and wine. Summit Square now has three dining options including a full-service restaurant, a traditional pub and a grab-and-go café. “It is a nice lifestyle, with a variety of dining experiences,” Broaddus added.

Visit for the Weekend

You can “check in” to check out what it is like to live at a Sunnyside community through their Staycation Program. Spend a few days at any of the three communities to experience living there without actually moving in, including meals and activities. This is a marvelous way to meet the residents, ask questions, and feel out the option of living here.

Visitors should also tour the campuses to explore the range of living options and services, including healthcare and assisted living. “People think they will enter a community in the independent living space and don’t always consider what may happen down the line with physical or mental challenges as they age,” Broaddus explained. “We can offer the entire range of care at all of our campuses, whereas other communities may not, requiring residents to move as their conditions change.”

Another way to experience life at Sunnyside Communities is to join the Horizons Club (Sunnyside), Trailblazers Club (King’s Grant), or Skyline Club (Summit Square), even if you are not yet a resident. This allows people to enjoy the amenities and meals, receive the newsletters and get invited to special events, for example, and make friends long before moving in.

At least twice a year, Sunnyside Communities presents a “lunch and learn” program in Northern Virginia. For notifications of upcoming programs, call 540-568-8518 or visit the website at You can also follow Sunnyside Communities on Facebook.

Sunnyside Communities has distinguished itself as one of the premier senior living options in Virginia.  Consider how you’d like to spend the next phase of your life, and check them out.

Pictured at top: Teasville Stop Cafe, Summit Square

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