An innovative master-planned, age-restricted community 20 miles south Ocala, The Villages is a self-contained, 5.6-square-mile development with residential homes, shopping complexes, restaurants, hotels, golf courses and tennis courts. The Villages event venues are a mix of local and regional attractions.
Situated 65 miles from Orlando International Airport, The Villages are 56 miles from Orlando Sanford International Airport, 69 miles from the Orange County Convention Center and 71 miles from Walt Disney World. (The preferred mode of transportation of many of the age 55+ residents is a customized golf cart.)
There are smaller national chain hotel venues in The Villages; the line-up includes the 118-room Waterfront Inn with 2,000 square feet of meeting space and the 80-room Comfort Suites-The Villages with 1,000 square feet of meeting space. Nearby, the 82-room Hampton Inn & Suites Lady Lake/The Villages has 1,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Villages has three ready-made event venues at their open-air town squares (Brownwood Paddock Square, Spanish Springs Town Square and Lake Sumter Landing Market Square), which feature free entertainment 365 nights a year highlighted by live musical performances and a monthly classic car Cruise-In. Streets connected to the town squares are lined with boutique shops, specialty stores and restaurants.
Golf is a popular pastime for The Villages residents and visitors. Top places to tee up are the on-property Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf & Country Club and off-property courses such as Harbor Hills in Lady Lake, and Ocala National Golf Club and Candler Hills Golf Club in Ocala. Nearby attractions include Lake Griffin State Park (6 miles), the Dade Battlefield Memorial State Park (22 miles) and Central Florida Zoo (39 miles).
To make dining convenient for its residents and visitors, a number of national chain restaurants are represented within The Villages boundaries such as Bonefish Grill, Olive Garden and Perkins Restaurant and Bakery.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons user: WikiGnosis