How to Spend a Day in The Villages FL?
Ever wonder what it might be like to spend a day in a community with like-minded people who enjoy all the same things you enjoy? Things like golfing, shopping, first-class dining, star-gazing at night, handcrafted cocktails, and thought-provoking conversations.
You can stop wondering and start planning how to spend your perfect day in The Villages, Florida.
Today we’re outlining the ideal one-day itinerary for visiting The Villages.
About The Villages FL
Located in central Florida about 45 miles northwest of Orlando, The Villages is an active 55 plus retirement community. Made up of several quaint neighborhoods, community areas for shopping and dining, parks and golf courses, The Villages, Florida, has everything you need for a day or a lifetime.
The Villages started from an initial idea of selling land via mail-order.
When mail-order land was no longer legal, it transitioned into an idea for a mobile home park. Upgrading this idea to a retirement location, it is now one of the fastest-growing communities in the U.S. with a current population of just over 122,000 people.
The Villages is sought after for its beautiful sunny climate of 238 sunny days per year and its glorious rain of just around 50 inches annually. Combine that with the summer highs of 92 degrees and winter lows of 46, this temperate community is set up for success.
Morning in The Villages
Breakfast at Metro Diner
Address: 4110 Wedgewood Ln., The Villages, Florida
Menu options: Get ready to eat. The Metro Diner has all the comfort foods and more. Try some fried chicken and waffles or biscuits and gravy. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a variety of Belgian waffle options or cinnamon roll pancakes. How about avocado toast, omelets, or eggs benedicts, instead?
Maybe you’d rather have dinner for breakfast? They’ve got a great menu for lunch and dinner items, as well, so why not have it all?
Reasons to love it: No matter what you feel like eating, breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast, you’ll feel at home here. Master Chef Mark Davoli has created a family restaurant with both comfort and innovative flair.
Even Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives recognizes the great food and ambiance of this place, “Diners across the world have to take a lesson from this one.” Metro Diner is committed to being a home away from home and the best neighborhood restaurant they can be.
Stroll Around Lake Griffin State Park
Lake Griffin State Park is a Florida State Park located just over five miles east of The Villages. Home to one of the state’s largest live oak trees at 400 years old, you’ll find beauty everywhere you look here.
At only $5 per car for the entrance fee, your cost may be inexpensive, but your entertainment will be worth millions. Stroll to your heart’s content while birdwatching.
Try your fishing skills or just sit and relax while catching glimpses of the wildlife that call this place home. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Rent a canoe or kayak to explore the marshes, or take a hike on one of the two hiking trails.
Afternoon at the Villages
Eat lunch at Giovanni’s
Address: 3439 Wedgewood Ln., The Villages, Florida
Menu Options: Start with an appetizer of garlic knots, mozzarella sticks, bruschetta, calamari, and more to get your stomach rumbling for some authentic pizza pies. Choose from Sicilian, stuffed or gourmet pies. Not quite the pizza pie kinda person?
Try their salads, subs, pastas or calzones. Or choose from many more of their old-world Italian favorites such as lasagna or baked ravioli. And then end it all with some scrumptious Italian dessert choices.
Reasons to love it: Can’t get to Italy for lunch? Head on over to Giovanni’s instead, where you’ll feel like you just wandered into your local Italian home. This Villages, Florida, restaurant has authentic, mouth-watering Italian food with large portions, welcoming staff, a great atmosphere, and good prices. It is everything you expect in a restaurant and so much more.
Exercise at Colony Cottage Pool & Recreation Center
Work off your Italian lunch at the Colony Cottage Pool and Recreation Center. You’ll feel like you’re walking into a Victorian spa, but prepared to get your movement on and heart-a-racing.
Try your swimming skills with open swimming, a lap swim, water aerobics or a triathlon training class. Not feeling as active as that? Try your hand at cards or board games in the beautifully decorated game room. They’ve also got bocce, basketball, tennis and pickleball courts etc. on stunning manicured lawns.
You’ll forget you’re at the gym.
Improve Your Stroke at Villages Golf Academy
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, the knowledgeable staff of PGA and LPGA instructors at Villages Golf Academy will improve your skills. They offer a variety of private and group instruction for golfers of all ages and skill levels. Each lesson is geared toward individual goals and dreams.
With options including a Junior Academy course, group lessons, private lessons, three academy locations and several driving ranges, you’ll be ready for the Masters in no time.
Evening at the Villages
Dinner at Bluefin Grill & Bar
Address: 2738 Brownwood Blvd., The Villages, Florida
Menu Options: Bluefin Grill & Bar specializes in seasonal fresh fish and seafood, aged steaks and fresh field greens. Start your dining experience with some mussels, bluefin tuna poke, fried calamari, sushi rolls or caprese salad. Choose from entrees such as ahi tuna pepper steak, lemon butter baked cod, or the comforts of fish and chips.
There are many special seafood chef pairings and fresh fish offerings to keep you coming back. If seafood is not your style, there’s always pasta specialties and a variety of classic steak dishes that will make your mouth water.
Other reasons to love it: Bluefin Grill & Bar has a classy yet comfortable dining atmosphere. Pairing well with their first-class dishes are handcrafted cocktails, bottles of wine and indoor/outdoor bar overlooking beautiful Brownwood Square.
The exquisite presentation of both food and ambiance is fancy enough for a romantic evening out, yet comfortable enough for a party with friends.
Drinks at RJ Gator’s Florida Sea Grill & Bar
Address: 1015 Lake Shore Dr. #1693, The Villages, Florida
Drink Options: Choose from many tropical drinks, Bloody Mary’s that act like a meal, craft beers, wines and frozen drinks. Or let the bartenders take charge with a creative handcrafted cocktail of their choice. The bartenders at RJ Gator’s are more than just bartenders, they are artists.
Reasons to love it: Watch the sun go down over the lake while sipping on your favorite cocktail. Known for their all day everyday happy hour, RJ Gator’s is a fun place to sit back and relax. Or if you’d rather fill your senses, find a spot that keeps you alive with the vibes of live music.
Stargaze at Lake Miona Park
Stroll around this beautiful 400 acre park to choose your favorite place to stargaze before the sun sets upon your wonderful day at The Villages.
Choose from the fishing dock, the pier or the many picnic pavilions to wish upon the shooting stars. Grab a blanket, toss it on the ground and plant yourself there for a night cap of stargazing while listening to the gentle waves lapping against the shores of Lake Miona.
Where to stay?
Sunkissed Village RV Resort
Address: 14330 US-441, Summerfield
About the Park: Sunkissed Village RV Resort is a 55 plus luxury RV resort. It offers pull-through sites, full hookups, gated security, manicured lawns and greens and concrete pads. It has a modern fully equipped clubhouse including kitchen facilities, heated pool and a Tiki bar and grill.
You’ll also find a variety of court style games, planned activities, and bathhouse and laundry facilities for your convenience and pleasure.
Why you’ll love staying here: Only a five minute drive north of The Villages, you’ll be able to enjoy your day in The Villages, Florida, and easily get home to your camper at night for a comfortable night’s rest.
With access to luxury shopping, entertainment and nearby Ocala National Forest and the Florida Scenic Trail, you’ll not only be able to experience first class activities, but also first class nature from Florida’s exquisite parks.
A Day in The Villages FL
So, while you may not live here in the Villages of Florida, yet, after your day of exploring this splendid community, you might just find yourself researching the opportunities to stay a bit longer.
Maybe you’ll never leave.
A day spent here made you realize that everything here, from golfing to dining to shopping to hiking to stargazing, are all you need in life. You have been warned. Your day in the Villages, Florida, may very easily turn into a lifetime.
The Dark Side of the Villages FL?
We’d be remiss if we left you with only the rosey-glasses view of the Villages. Some of the residents and visitors aren’t so thrilled with the community.
Here’s is a first hand experience video about “things we don’t like about the Villages.” The video was posted on YouTube by real life residents.
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