College football is as much a part of Florida culture as citrus and saltwater. Schools like the University of Florida, the University of Miami, and the University of Central Florida have made the Sunshine State one of the most competitive places to play football. What makes following this sport even more fun is the in-state rivalries that make the season interesting. Neighbors who may agree on professional football allegiances choose different sides when their college teams play.
No one would think less of a fan who chose to live near his or her favorite college football stadiums. Check out your best choices in Florida.
University of Florida: Go Gators
Gator Nation. Gator Always. This is the rallying cry of fans supporting the University of Florida. Florida leads the Southeastern Conference and has long dominated the state when it comes to football. The school is in Gainesville, and the Gator influence can be seen all over this college town. When you live in Ocala you’re only about half an hour away from the field.
Ocala Palms is a good place to start. With 1,076 single-family homes, active adults in this gated 55+ community are happy to enjoy clubs, activities, and even some golf. If you’ve got an RV, there’s plenty of parking here. Amenities include shuffleboard, pools, a driving range, art classes, and pancake breakfasts.
Trilogy at Ocala Preserve
Trilogy at Ocala Preserve is another community where active adults are likely to find blue and orange flags supporting the University of Florida Gators. This gated 55+ community is new, modern, and nearing completion with 1,600 single-family homes in a variety of models and floor plans. Pre-game tailgate parties can be found in the Oak House, a 17,000 square-foot clubhouse, and there’s a concierge on-site who can help you secure tickets when your team is in town. Other amenities include pools, a golf course, and a culinary studio.
University of Central Florida: Rising Football Stars
The UCF Knights surprised everyone by spending most of their 2017 season undefeated. With a 13-0 record last year, the team has a lot of new fans watching what they’ll do on the field this year. The University of Central Florida is in Orlando, making it an easy trip on Interstate 4 to get to a game. Living in Orlando makes it even easier to cheer on the home team.
VillageWalk at Lake Nona
VillageWalk at Lake Nona is a waterfront community in Orlando developed for active adults 55+ and close to Spectrum Stadium, where the Knights play. This neighborhood is a collection of 1,300 single-family and attached homes built along the canals of a large, freshwater lake. There are many community events here, including a regular fish fry, a cycling club, and movie nights. Amenities include a large fitness center, pools, and an on-site deli.
Gatherings of Lake Nona
A good option for condominium living is Gatherings of Lake Nona, a community for residents 55+ who appreciate the low-maintenance condo lifestyle. Two and three-bedroom condos are still being built by Beazer Homes. The area is close to UCF and offers a lot of activities to maintain an active lifestyle. The clubhouse will be nearly 5,000 square feet once complete. Amenities will include a pool, fitness center, dog park, plenty of open outdoor space, and walking trails.
Seek Shelter from the Miami Hurricanes
The University of Miami Hurricanes have been a football powerhouse ever since college sports went primetime. They’ve won five national championships and are one of the most decorated collegiate teams in the NCAA. Living in the Miami area isn’t hard. There’s football, miles of beach, and all the shopping and culture you can possibly imagine.
Century Village at Pembroke Pines
Century Village at Pembroke Pines is not far from Miami, and an affordable community for 55+ buyers who want a condominium lifestyle with lots of recreational opportunities. Mid-rise buildings house 7,700 condos that range in size from studios to two-bedroom units with 1,500 square feet of living space. Residents can join the spectator sports club and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Hurricane team with neighbors. There are also game nights, sing-alongs, and a travel club. Amenities include a sprawling clubhouse, 23 pools, and a health club that includes a sauna and an indoor walking pool.
Hollybrook Golf and Tennis Club
Hollybrook Golf and Tennis Club is also in Pembroke Pines and an easy drive to Miami. It’s an established condo community for active adults with under 2,000 properties. There are various amenities for 55+ residents to relish, including culture clubs, a music club, bingo, and art classes. Residents enjoy the playhouse, the golf course, and the seven swimming pools.