I’ve been hearing for years how much residents love living in The Villages, a collection of retirement neighborhoods located in central Florida. I had assumed it was just another small town; but, after visiting it for myself, I found that it’s really so much more! In fact, I think the community has an attractive and somewhat unique idea going for it – a bit different from the usual 55-plus communities.
My wife and I spent a week at Lake Sumter Landing, where we witnessed first-hand the charm of this picturesque town. Upon return from my trip, I began thinking to myself, what makes The Villages so unique?
The Villages is a community that was created specifically for senior citizens to have a place where they can come together and enjoy each other’s company. In fact, there are over 120,000 residents over the age of 55, making it one of the world’s largest retirement communities. But, don’t let that number fool you. The Villages may continue to grow in population, but small-town allure? It’s there too!
Picture a place where golf carts are more common than cars, there are three town squares, multiple rec centers, and all the residents are warm and welcoming. My wife and I witnessed residents and complete strangers greeting and talking with one another as if they’d been best friends for years! Like a small town, everyone was relaxed and not in a big rush.
At The Villages, residents simply call their senior centers recreation centers. I like that.
It’s a little-known fact that many seniors actually don’t care for the label of “senior.” So, senior centers started calling themselves “adult centers” and other such names. It’s genius really. And, at The Villages, there are at least 15 of them (that I counted, anyway!), and all of them are within very close distance to neighborhoods!
The Villages Are Open To All
The Villages are open to anyone to visit, eat, and shop. Their three town squares have all kinds of events like craft shows and classic car shows. When my wife and I visited, we were lucky enough to check it out! Families and persons of all ages were enjoying the town squares.
The Villages, Florida Neighborhoods Are Gated
The community may be open to all, but the neighborhoods are all closed off; complete with gated security. I like that!
Those residents who wish to attend church while living in the community have many choices at their disposal. There are many denominations! Some of the churches that can be found here are:
- Hope Lutheran Church
- Temple Shalom
- Chapel of Christian Faith
- St. Timothy’s Catholic Church
- Open Bible Lutheran Church
- St. George Episcopal Church
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