3,000 Reasons Why The Villages Retirement Community Is A Great Place For Singles

Florida is known for its beaches, sunsets, and retreat. I’ve lived here for over 10 years so I know why anyone would want to sit on the beach, sip a margarita and enjoy a sunset. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? But you can only do this for several days in a row. There must be something more. What if that something more included finding someone to sit in the sand with you? Or maybe you’ve spent your life with someone and are just looking for companionship? Look no further than The Villages.

If you haven’t heard of The Villages, I’m about to let you in on the Sunshine State’s worst-kept secret. Nestled in Central Florida, it has been ranked as the best-selling planned community for residents 55 and older. In fact, in 2020, it was ranked the top active adult community in the country. More than 138,000 people live there. They even have a name for themselves: villagers.

“I’ve always said, if you can’t find anything to do in the Villages, it’s your fault!”
(Photo credit: Mary Ann Bale)

Betsy Agnew is a 67-year-old villager. “I’ve always said, if you can’t find anything to do in the Villages, it’s your fault!” she said. Originally from East Tennessee, she has lived here for 16 years and says there are so many opportunities to meet and be with people. “The friendships made were endless. I join a group of ladies every Tuesday night for drinks and dinner. We all live on the same street and it’s a good way to keep up to date with everything and take care of everyone’s needs and concerns. This, along with the street parties in the neighborhood, gives a feeling of family. We all look forward to it every week. A kind of time to unload and relax and laugh, listen, cry – whatever it takes.

There is something here for everyone. I’m serious! There are over 3,000 resident social clubs and lifestyle groups. They include everything from automobile clubs to state clubs to sports, art and health clubs. Additionally, there are over 130 clubs specifically designed for singles. There are more than 450 events on the calendar in one day! All of these numbers are a bit overwhelming, so here are six of the most popular and best things about The Villages for your consideration.

1. Pickleball

The Villages have been dubbed the mecca of pickleball for good reason: there are over 100 pickleball courts open year-round. If you are new to this sport, it combines tennis, badminton and table tennis with two to four players. The community holds clinics so you can learn the game. Once you get up to speed, there are tournaments and open games in multiple locations.

You want to know more ? Don’t miss our Everything You Need To Know About Pickleball Guide.

Dancing at Sumter Landing Square.
Dancing at Sumter Landing Square (Photo credit: Mary Ann Bale)

2. Dance and live music

The villagers love their dance! Whether ballroom dancing, line dancing or live events in the square. Every evening from 5 to 9 p.m. there is free live music in each of the three town squares. DJs, country bands, pop, rock and Motown line dancing are just a few of the styles that keep people rocking all night long. If you want something more intimate, there are also singles dances where you can mingle while moving! In fact, twice a month there is a Dine and Dance at the Pub.

Dinner at the Villages Singles Club.
Dinner at the Villages Singles Club (Photo credit: Mary Ann Bale)

3. Village Singles Club

The Villages Singles Club is the first singles club in the Villages. There are 750 members who pay an annual subscription. It’s a singles-only social club that meets twice a month, and they love to dance! Every meeting there is dancing. (See? I told you dancing is popular here!) But there are other activities too, including shuffleboard, pétanque and talent rehearsal. Club president Mary Ann Bale moved here as a widow in 2003. She says it’s not about finding a spouse, it’s about finding other singles. “I want a place to go and meet a friend, male or female. Someone to have dinner with, go bowling with. Friends are important.

games at the Villages Singles Club.
Mary Ann Bale

4. Village Singles Cards and Games

If you’re looking for a more laid back atmosphere, one of the oldest singles clubs is The Villages Singles Cards and Games. This club has more than 700 members. Anyone who is a member can show up to play games like Mexican Train, Rummikub, and Yuker. Geoffrey Squire is the club’s point of contact. He has been a villager for 7 years and loves it. “You can do as much or as little as you want. It’s important for you to do what works for you and to meet people you love.

5. Free Golf For Life (well, sort of)

One of the main selling points of The Villages is that you can access certain links for free as long as you call it home. This is also a nice bonus, as there are over 50 golf courses here. The community makes it easy to adopt it as a new hobby. Executive courses are graded by difficulty and you will always enjoy free golf. If you are an avid golfer, the championship courses are for you. They will cost you, but you will automatically be a member. You will enjoy the challenge and find ways to reduce your score by a few moves. A few were even designed by Arnold Palmer and Nancy Lopez. There are private, group and beginner lessons for everyone.

6. Bowling

Bowling is one of the most popular activities in the Villages. In fact, at one time it was more popular than golf! There are two bowling alleys: the Fiesta Bowl and Spanish Springs Lanes. Combined, there are 64 lanes for you to throw a strike. Each has a restaurant and live entertainment so you can host parties, meetups or tournaments. There is always bowling open, but you can also join a league. Both lanes have pro shops where you can buy your shoes and gear. They will even drill your custom bowling ball!

As a villager, you’ll likely find something for your lifestyle or one you’d like to create. Being active is an important part of staying healthy at any age. You can check the Villages calendar to see all the events and activities taking place daily. If you really want to see what a villager’s life might be like, you can stay as a guest and experience all that the community has to offer as part of the Villages Lifestyle Preview Plan. There’s a reason all those postcards from Florida say, “I wish you were here.”

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