Florida Guide > Places to Visit
The Villages Florida
Having visited the town of Celebration on our holidays to Orlando and always enjoyed the laid back feel of the place we were looking for somewhere similar when we happened to hear about The Villages Florida. So on our very next holiday we made plans to travel to The Villages so we could see how it compared to our favourite town of Celebration.
The Villages are actually made up of two communities, Lake Sumter Landing and Spanish Springs. They are both 55+ adult communities but this does not mean that you cannot visit, look around, stroll around the shops and restaurants and you definitely do not need to be over 55! The easiest way to find The Villages is to drive north on the US Hwy 27 towards Clermont and then continue north onwards to Lady Lake. Take a left turn at CR466A, and then turn right onto Morse Blvd. Continue along Morse Blvd and you will see Lake Sumter Landing on your left. This is the larger community and the one I recommend you visit first.
The community is situated around the Market Square, an old fashioned but charming turn of the century venue surrounded by quaint little shops and restaurants and one of the largest Barnes and Noble book shops I have ever seen. Each evening you can dance to live music in the square or just people watch and relax. Year-round festivals and events also take place in the market square.
We walked along the boardwalk, which is alongside a small lake and looked at the turtles swimming in the water. We took a short boat trip around the lake for only $2 but I think these only run in the afternoons. Afterwards we visited Starbucks for a vanilla latte, my favourite, and a slice of holiday gingerbread, as it was Christmas. Almost next door is the infamous restaurant Johnny Rockets but if you want something different to a hamburger there are plenty of other restaurants including a lovely little tea shop just a little bit further along. The community even has its own 8-screen movie theatre.
One of the things that I found most novel about The Villages was the amount of golf carts parked in the streets. This is the main mode of transportation around the town. Nearly every home has a mini garage in which they park their golf cart. Some of them were even customised to look like miniature cars or had their owners’ names painted onto them. Some of the resident owners had decorated their carts with Christmas decorations too!
We spent a very pleasant couple of hours at The Villages and have been a couple of times since and will visit again on our next trip. If you wish to visit the other community, Spanish Springs, all you need to do is get back onto Morse Boulevard and head north for a mile or so.
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