If you live in Michigan, you very likely have been exposed to advertising for a retirement community called “The Villages.” Located on a huge tract of land, just southeast of Ocala, FL off Highway 301. The Villages is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Florida is a favorite retirement destination, not just for the weather, they have no state income tax. It’s also a top destination for those seeking to avoid northern winters for a few months. The Villages is a group of gated communities knitted together into individual town like sections.
There are currently three gathering points, called town squares, each with a different theme. Additional communities are currently under construction.
A favorite design of retirement communities is to offer an all-inclusive environment where residents never have to leave the complex. The Villages has perfected this concept. Retail centers around the town squares and on the edges of community housing offer most anything you can desire. A seemingly unending selection of restaurants from fast food to fine dining.
Red Lobster, Outback Steakhouse, Five Guys, Culvers, and Wendys to name a few. Along with privately owned themed eateries.
Residents and guests at The Villages enjoy a number of entertainment opportunities. Each town square has a movie theatre showing 1st run features. Town squares all contain a gazebo or stage where local bands entertain nightly. Yes, that’s seven nights a week, not just Friday and Saturdays. Seats for viewing and plenty of dance space surround the venues.
There are civic auditoriums in the communities that bring in touring shows. Blood, Sweat, and Tears, followed by The Beach Boys and The Charlie Daniels Band highlight March events. Traveling Theatre presentations like My Fair Lady and South Pacific. Even a full concert by The Villages Philharmonic whose “players are comprised of resident and international artists who collaborate with symphonic and operatic companies at large.”
Shopping, Health, and Recreation
Grocery stores, pharmacies, and individual shops abound in The Villages. WalMart and Walgreens, Izod and VanHusen, small gift shops and Home Depot.
Doctor’s offices, Dentists, even assisted living facilities are all within close proximity. Golf courses dot the area. Golf carts are the preferred mode of transportation. They have separate paths for the carts adjacent to roadways. Even dedicated parking for the carts in town squares.
For equestrians, there is a Polo Club. Matches are open to the public. Recreation is big in The Villages, both indoors and out. They have their own Activities Website with a calendar of events. It’s like summer camp all year long.
More, More, More
It’s not all about retirement. Sections of The Villages are open to families, they have their own school district for all grade levels. The Villages Daily Sun reports on events and happenings around the communities. Social interaction at hosted events is a staple of daily life. Senior singles thrive on the opportunities to form and foster friendships among residents. No one should ever face a lonely day, a broad assortment of activities are but a short golf cart ride away.
Holiday Inn, Marriott, and Comfort Suites are but a few of the recognizable hotels offering accommodations at The Villages. Spend a week and check out the scene. Come for a relaxing vacation or extended stay. Engage in whatever level of activity you choose. Stroll the town squares in the evening, enjoy good food, catch the nights entertainment.
It never snows at The Villages.