55places.com is proud to announce 2015’s community of the year: The Villages in Florida.
The Villages continues to be the standard-bearer of active adult communities. Although calling it an active adult community seems like an understatement, considering that The Villages has over 50,000 homes and more amenities per capita than any city in the country!
Residents of The Villages call it “Florida’s Friendliest Hometown,” and with everything the community offers, how could it not be a pleasant place to live? There are 50 recreation centers, over 40 golf courses, numerous fitness centers, movie theaters, and enough sports courts to keep homeowners enjoying the Florida sunshine all year long.
All of this, of course, is accessible via residents’ favorite mode of transportation: the golf cart. Living in The Villages seems to revolve around this vehicle of leisure. There are drive-in movies built specifically for golf carts, but residents mostly use golf carts for common errands like visiting friends across the community or grocery shopping. In 2005, The Villages orchestrated the longest golf cart parade in the world, a Guinness World Record they still hold to this day.
Golf is a cornerstone of life in The Villages. Since golf is free for all residents, all you have to do is arrange a tee time and you’re ready to play a round.
Access to shopping in The Villages could not be easier. Three town squares make up the heart of The Villages, giving neighbors a natural gathering place. Dining options range from low-key cafés to chain restaurants to beer halls. Need a new tool? Hop in your golf cart and go to the ACE Hardware in La Plaza Grande. Dog food? Run to Petco. There’s even a Target within The Villages.
The enduring popularity of The Villages is also due to the community’s low barrier to entry. Homes for sale in The Villages range from bargains to the luxurious. No matter which option homeowners go with, they are all buying into the unparalleled lifestyle that The Villages offers. Although the community began in the 1970s, The Villages still offers new construction homes on top of the pre-owned options that are consistently hitting the market.
Although The Villages has a large population, homeowners never have to worry about getting lost in the crowd. The staggering amount of recreation centers act as gathering spots for neighbors in the immediate area, ensuring that no one feels like a stranger. The Villages also has a list of planned activities and groups that is estimated to represent over 1,800 interests that range from the common (woodworking, photography, yoga) to the more esoteric (Zydeco dance club, Masonic High Twelve Club, Retired Old Drivers). The Villages is a community where all interests are represented and no matter how overwhelming the population seems, there’s a sense of community for everyone.
The Villages is often celebrated as a triumph of active adult communities and represents the leisurely lifestyle so emphatically that it almost seems like a myth. Trying to navigate The Villages is like becoming familiar with a new city (it is, after all, larger than Manhattan). That’s why The Villages offers a Lifestyle Preview Plan for potential homeowners, giving them a chance to experience the community first-hand throughout four to seven days. If that seems like too much, contact our Villages community expert to assist in guiding you through the incredible world of The Villages, the community of the year for 2015.