Would you like to live in a community with clean streets, safe neighborhoods, ample shopping, plenty of parking, lots of open space, and nightly live free entertainment outdoors in the town square? Such a place does exist. It’s called The Villages, which is south of Ocala and northwest of Orlando.
We discovered The Villages by accident on our first RV trip to Florida in Spring 2016. At first, our reaction was negative. It was like “what are all these people doing living in Disneyland?” So many of the commercial buildings are new but made to look old. There are golf courses everywhere, and most residents buzz around on golf carts.
There are three main sections, each with its own town square. Each square has live music every day between 5 and 9 pm (Happy Hour is from 5 to 6). Each square also hosts farmer’s markets, craft and art exhibits, and they have a community center with too many activities to mention.
- Spanish Springs – built like a Spanish mission.
- Lake Sumter Landings – built like a New England fishing village.
- Brownwood Station – built like a 150 year cattle ranch.
The Villages is a 55+ community. According the the Census Bureau, the median age was 66. And the place is booming! In 2000 the population was just 8,333. By 2016, the population had ballooned to 157,000. It’s been the fastest growing community in America for the past four years.
We have come to love The Villages. It’s so much fun. Safe fun, for old people. How cool is that! I guess it’s all about timing. 2016 is the same year I turned 65 and Becky turned 62. In other words, we fit right in.
Website: The Villages