The Villages is an over-55 community in central Florida, USA. What started as a community of 400 homes, has now expanded to 71,000 covering 32 square miles and expanding.

The entire area is beautifully landscaped and maintained. Dedicated golf cart tracks and over 50 golf courses, mean that most residents have a golf cart in their garage. Three large town squares offer plenty of dining options and live music every night.


The place feels safe, everyone you meet wishes you good day and there are numerous planned activities – these retirees are having the time of their lives.

The majority of property is privately owned and at least 80 percent of the homes within The Villages must have at least one person 55 years of age or older residing in the home. Grandchildren are only allowed to stay for a maximum of one month a year.

The majority of villas don’t have a swimming pool, instead, there are community pools

The good news is that it is possible to rent a villa within the villages and experience village life for yourself – the over-55 rule still applies. The Villages operate their own ‘Lifestyle Preview’ at quite a competitive rate The biggest downside is that the ‘Lifestyle’ villas don’t usually have a pool – there are plenty of community pools. I’m guessing you’ll also be encouraged to meet a salesperson. If, like us, you prefer your own pool, then search Airbnb and VRBO – make sure there really is a pool as many renters check the ‘pool’ box because there is a community pool.

Other things to look for when renting a villa are:

Location – which town square appeals to you most; Spanish Springs, Lake Sumter or Brownwood? It isn’t that difficult to drive to any by car, but a golf cart is only suitable for the closest town square.

Is the use of a golf cart included? If not, you’ll need to book a rental cart separately in advance. You’ll likely have a rental car and won’t need a cart, but they are a fun way to get around – that fun wears off when you discover how slow these carts are.

The Villages isn’t really a gateway to Florida’s theme parks – the closest, Universal Studios is 50 miles away. The Villages is almost a destination in itself, where you can spend days lying by the pool, taking a stroll around or playing golf. In the evenings, the town squares are lively and everyone is enjoying themselves – music usually stops by 9pm and restaurants do close earlier though!

If you’re over 55, The Villages is a perfect place to live or vacation.

On September 28th 2022, Hurricane Ian swept across the state of Florida causing extensive damage, especially to coastal locations. The Villages were very lucky and were outside the main path of the hurricane. The town squares of Brownwood and Lake Sumter were almost deserted on Thursday 29th September. There were just a few places open with some die-hard customers. Here’s a video taken that day.