The Villages – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2024)

The Villages is an active retirement community in sunny Inland Florida. With about 115,000 residents as of 2015, it is still growing and new homes are being built across three Florida counties: Lake, Sumter and Marion.


Retirees are attracted to The Villages by its lifestyle, a combination of recreation facilities, entertainment venues and social clubs that are designed to enrich retirement living. The developer advertises The Villages as "Florida's Friendliest Hometown."

At the heart of The Villages are three old-fashioned town squares where you'll find plenty of modern day fun, including free nightly entertainment, modern movie theaters, and a colorful assortment of shopping and dining opportunities.

Residents own their homes in one of more than 50 named villages. The oldest, Orange Blossom Hills, was built in the early 1970s and is now referred to as the Historic Side. Each village ranges in size up to about 1,000 homes and has a mail station where residents collect their mail. All have a Neighborhood Recreation Center with an adult pool and facilities for shuffleboard, bocce, and horseshoes. Most have a larger Village Recreation Center that includes a family pool, meeting rooms, billiards and pickle ball courts. About a dozen Regional Recreation Centers include large event rooms, sports pools, tennis courts, basketball courts and a variety of limited sports like platform tennis and beach volleyball.

While visitors are welcome at all town squares, restaurants and businesses in The Villages, use of most recreation facilities is reserved for residents and their guests. Guest ID cards are available to those visiting friends and family, or renting a village home either directly from the homeowner or as part of The Villages Lifestyle Preview. Short term rentals in The Villages through sites like Airbnb usually include Guest ID cards.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

FL-44 runs through the city, crossing the state to New Smyrna Beach on the east coast. US-27 and US-301 are on the eastern and western sides of The Villages, respectively.

By bus[edit]

There is an Amtrak bus stop in The Villages for the Thruway Motorcoach, which goes from Jacksonville to Dade City.

Get around[edit]

The Villages is designed as a golf cart community and tens of thousands of golf carts share the residential roads with automobiles and bicycles. A system of multi-modal paths and tunnels keep golf carts separated from traffic on the broad boulevards where speed limits exceed 25mph. Dedicated golf cart parking can be found throughout The Villages, and it is common to see 4-5 carts parked perpendicular in a single parallel parking space, or 2 carts parked in a diagonal parking space.

A system of traffic control gates regulate the flow of traffic into residential neighborhoods. Despite the appearance of a gated community, all roads in The Villages are public. Residents swipe a card to open the gates and visitors need only to push the red button to open any gate. Numerous roundabouts regulate the flow of traffic on the boulevards.

Maps of The Villages are available for purchase at any of the Country Clubs. In addition, The Villages App is a free download and displays maps with routing for both cars and golf carts to any address or point of interest in The Villages.

  • The Villages Golf Cars, 1075 Old Camp Road (Sumter Landing location), +1 352 751-6750. Daily golf car rentals starting at $21.40.
  • The Villages Transportation, +1 352 259-9398, toll-free: +1 877 255-8756. Shuttle service to Orlando International Airport and local taxi service.
  • Village Airport Van, +1 352 241-2000. Door to door shuttle service to Orlando International Airport.


The Villages – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2)

Map of The Villages

  • 1 Spanish Springs Town Square. The original town square has a southwestern look and feel to it. Live entertainment and outdoor dancing nightly from 5-9pm. The Sharon Performing Arts Center makes its home here, along with the Rialto Movie Theater. There is plenty of shopping and dining, and special events like a monthly classic car Cruise-In. Look for the statue of Howard Schwartz, the founder of The Villages. (updated Jul 2016)
  • 2 Lake Sumter Landing Market Square. This colorful waterfront setting has the look of a quaint seaside village. There is free nightly entertainment and outdoor dancing from 5-9pm. Look for the Old Mill playhouse movie theater, along with a variety of shops and restaurants to choose from. Take a walk along the Lake Sumter Boardwalk, you just might see an alligator. (updated Jul 2016)
  • 3 Brownwood Paddock Square. The newest town square is reminiscent of an early century Florida cattle town. There is free nightly entertainment and outdoor dancing from 5-9pm. Here you will find the Barnstorm movie theater, along with a variety of boutiques and restaurants to choose from. From the square, walk south on Meggison Rd and get a picture of the impressive bronze sculptures of a Florida cowboy on horseback herding cattle across the road.


  • Play 9 holes of Executive Golf, +1 352 753-2270, toll-free: +1 800 245-1081. The Villages Executive Golf Trail consists of 36 nine hole courses. That's 324 holes of golf! These courses are primarily par 3 holes with the occasional par 4 or par 5. With 3 sets of tees, and difficulty rankings of 1 to 4, they will challenge even the most experienced golfer. Visitors with Guest ID cards are welcome. Free for Residents, $12 for Guests. (updated Jul 2016)
  • Play 18 holes of Championship Golf, +1 352 753-2270, toll-free: +1 800 245-1081. Palmer Legends and Nancy Lopez Legacy are just two of the 12 Championship Golf Courses in The Villages. Ten of the courses have three nines for a total of 306 holes of golf. Visitors with Guest ID cards are welcome to play. $20 - $58, depending on time of day and season. (updated Jul 2016)
  • Go for a swim. With dozens of pools to choose from, you won't have to go far to find a neighborhood adult pool or family village pool to take a dip. Resident or Guest ID cards are required. The Regional Recreation Centers have large sports pools for lap swimming and organized sports. (updated Jul 2016)
  • Try a Recreation Activity. The Lifestyle section in The Daily Sun newspaper has a schedule of recreation activities, or you can pick up a copy of the weekly Recreation News at any Recreation Center. You will find clubs devoted to every imaginable hobby, sport or social group, so you're sure to find something of interest. Resident or Guest ID cards are required. (updated Jul 2016)
  • 1 Attend a Polo Match, +1 352 750-7656. Fridays and Sundays during the Spring and Fall season. Tailgate along the sidelines in a golf cart or take a seat in the grandstands, and watch competitive polo with riders and horses from around the world. Get out there between chukkers (halftime) and stomp the divots with your fellow enthusiasts. $10 - $20. (updated Aug 2016)
  • Enroll in Camp Villages. Summer camp isn't just for kids. Grandparents join their grandchildren for nine weeks of daily summer fun activities. Try a Golf Cart Scavenger Hunt or Knockerball (think soccer and bumper cars), or dozens of other challenging activities for grandchildren of all ages. Starts at $5, varies by activity. (updated Aug 2016)


  • The Retirement Home you've always dreamed of. Start by taking an entertaining 30 minute Trolly Tour hosted by a village resident. You'll get a taste of village humor and see what's new in The Villages. Tours leave from the Lake Sumter Market Square sales office every 30 minutes during the day. If you want to see more, you'll have to ask for a sales agent. They won't come looking for you. (updated Aug 2016)


There are more than 90 restaurants located within The Villages and all are accessible by golf cart. You can find everything from fast food to fine dining. Many are located in the town squares and all are open to the public.


  • Bar Kiosk. 4pm - 9pm, 2 for 1 Happy Hour 5pm - 6pm. Look for a Bar Kiosk in the corners of each Town Square. Soda, beer, wine, co*cktails and snacks are available. It is open carry for drinks in the Town Squares, so pull up a chair and enjoy the live entertainment. (updated Jul 2016)


  • 1 Comfort Suites, 1202 Avenida Central, Lady Lake, +1 352 259-6578. (updated Jul 2016)
  • 2 Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 1205 Avenida Central North, +1 352 750-3888.
  • 3 The Waterfront Inn, 1105 Lake Shore Drive (Located in Lake Sumter Landing, the second of three town squares in The Villages), +1 352 753-7535, toll-free: +1 800 592-0774. (updated Jul 2016)
  • The Villages Lifestyle Preview Plan, toll-free: +1 800 346-4556. You can rent a fully furnished home for 4-7 days, complete with golf cart, bikes, free golf, movie tickets, et al. to "test drive" The Villages' "lifestyle." $99/night. (updated Jul 2016)
  • The Villages Hometown Property Management, +1 352 750-1595, toll-free: +1 877 447-6217. Enjoy the full Villages lifestyle as a guest in a well-appointed rental home or villa. Rent by the week, month or season. (updated Jul 2016)
  • VillagersHomes4Rent, +1 352 566-6145. Rent a home in The Villages directly from the homeowner. Listings are available for weekly, monthly or seasonal rentals. (updated Jul 2016)


  • Tune your radio to WVLG, AM640. The Villages station broadcasts news and entertainment from Spanish Springs Town Square and Lake Sumter Market Square, along with regular updates on what's going on in "Florida's Friendliest Hometown." (updated Aug 2016)
  • Pick up a copy of The Daily Sun. The Villages local newspaper has a Lifestyle section jam packed with what's going on in recreation, entertainment and dining. (updated Aug 2016)

Stay safe[edit]

Be prepared for tornado events, a weather radio can be used to keep on top of any alerts.

Go next[edit]

  • Wildwood
This city travel guide to The Villages is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.
The Villages – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lidia Grady

Last Updated:

Views: 6435

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lidia Grady

Birthday: 1992-01-22

Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

Phone: +29914464387516

Job: Customer Engineer

Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.