Often described as “Disneyland for adults”, The Villages near Ocala is a bustling hub with an almost endless selection of activities, restaurants, entertainment venues and more. Plus, it’s known as “Florida’s friendliest hometown”, so everywhere you go, you’ll be greeted with a smile.
What is The Villages?
The Villages is a carefully planned community of almost 100,000 residents, with many more visitors of all ages who come to enjoy its charms for the day. It’s more than just a town, but a true community with hundreds of activities, clubs, attractions and eateries to enjoy.
The community’s design is centered around several large, open squares that function as the heart of The Villages. There is free nightly entertainment in the squares, as well as a huge selection of shops, restaurants and pubs to enjoy.
Many over 55s choose to live in The Villages, however, you’re also most welcome simply to go and enjoy the friendly community atmosphere, and plethora of attractions.
Golf carts are the main method of transport in the community, and as long as you don’t exceed 20 miles per hour, you can go almost anywhere on one! Of course, you’re also welcome to explore the community on foot or by car.
What can you do at The Villages?
As a visitor, whether for a couple of hours or a couple of days, you are free to enjoy The Village’s premier attractions – and there are many great attractions.
With a number of stellar performance venues including the Savannah Center, there’s an almost daily entertainment schedule. From theater shows to lectures and music concerts, something is always happening to get you laughing, singing, dancing or thinking. You should book your tickets ahead from the Villages Entertainment website.
If you’d prefer your entertainment out in the open air (and free), then head over to one of the three squares where there’s nightly performances. These are best enjoyed while also indulging in a delicious meal from one of the many restaurants, grills and bars located on the squares.
Each of the three squares is beautiful, but most visitors rank Lake Sumpter Landing, with its impressive lake views, as the most picturesque of the lot.
The Villages also has a total of 26 recreation centers and museums to enjoy, including the unique Eisenhower Recreation Center. This beautiful building houses an impressive collection of military objects, many of which have been donated by local people who have served in the armed forces. It’s an interesting museum and a fitting tribute.
Another unique offering from The Villages is its Polo Club, where you can go and watch a few rounds of this exciting and fast-paced sport where skilled riders use a mallet to try to knock a small ball through small posts. If you get particularly inspired, you might even want to stop in for a lesson of your own!
The main sport of The Villages, however, is golf! In fact, nearly the whole community is golfing mad, and there’s dozens of golf courses, driving ranges and golf schools to master your swing. All of the golf courses are open to visitors, and there are regular tournaments to compete in or watch.
Although The Villages is a buzzing metropolis, many areas of natural beauty have been carefully preserved to offer a peaceful place away from the hustle and bustle. There are nature preserves with walking trails, or take a boat ride out onto the lake.
After spending a day enjoying the many charms of The Villages, you’re sure to see why it’s known as Florida’s friendliest hometown.