This community located about 65 miles northwest of Orlando is recognized as the friendliest city in Florida and as the largest active adult community in the world. Residents of The Villages, known as Villagers, enjoy all the features of a small town and the amenities of a luxury resort. The Villages is the largest gated community for people over 55 years old in the world. It is home to more than 100,000 residents in an area larger than Manhattan.
And everyone rides around in a golf cart. The first time I visited it, I couldn't believe it. There were designated parking areas for golf carts at all businesses. There were golf cart tracks everywhere.
There are tunnels for golf carts and even a golf cart bridge to cross major roads. Why golf carts? Because no one really needs a car there. Everything you could want is inside the doors. The Native American tribes that once inhabited Florida left behind some wonderfully mellifluous place names, such as Okahumpka, Wewahitchka, Wacahoota, Umatilla and Sopchoppy.
The reserve is an ideal place to enjoy peace and quiet if you want to rest from all the nightly entertainment offered at The Villages. But have you heard of The Villages? Unbeknownst to many, this destination is just an hour's drive from Orlando and offers relaxing recreational activities. The Villages offers a unique vacation in Florida, where you can get all the sun and relaxation you need without ever setting foot on the beach. Some of the best outdoor activities in The Villages include walking and walking through Lake Griffin State Park and the Eisenhower Regional Recreation Center, as well as seeing some outdoor entertainment at Spanish Springs Town Square.
Watching a movie at Old Mill Playhouse is one of the activities at The Villages that will make you feel like you're traveling back in time. Some residents wondered why Mark Morse, the developer who owns The Villages, hadn't spoken out to correct the record. The Eisenhower Regional Recreation Center is just one of several recreation centers in The Villages, but it's one of the largest. The community relations team at Morse and The Villages, notoriously averse to media interviews, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Some of the most popular activities to do with children and families in The Villages include attending a show at the Old Mill Playhouse, shopping in the market square at Lake Sumter Landing, and enjoying a good meal at Gator's Dockside, Brownwood. Compared to the squares of Spanish Springs and Lake Sumter, this area has a theme that is reminiscent of an early 19th century Florida ranching town, which The Villages could well have been back in the day. Hope Lutheran Church is an impressive place of worship located on Los Angeles Avenue in The Villages. With incredible dining promotions for lunches, drinks and even meals for kids, this place is a must see in The Villages.
The best attractions to visit in The Villages include Lake Griffin State Park, the Eisenhower Regional Recreation Center, and Spanish Springs Town Square.