Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in The Villages, FL

  • Published 2022/10/21

When visiting Florida, most tourists flock to either Orlando or Miami.

However, there are tons of other places in the Sunshine State that are worth exploring.

The Villages is slowly becoming a popular destination, and there are plenty of reasons why this is the case.

From its stunning parks and town squares to its museums and theaters, there’s something for everyone in this Floridian town.

If you’ve just heard about this beautiful census-designated place in Sumter County, you might wonder what’s in store for you and your travel buddies.

To help you make the most of your time, here’s a list of the best things to do in The Villages, Florida:

Shop around Spanish Springs Town Square

Buildings at Spanish Springs Town Square

Peter Titmuss /

Shopping inside a mall is too mainstream—it’s time to experience shopping in a square!

When you’re in The Villages, be sure to drop by Spanish Springs Town Square along Mai Street.

This open-air shopping district is the place to go if you want to find unique shops and boutiques that sell clothes, jewelry, and other trinkets.

You can also enjoy live entertainment while you stroll around the square.

Make sure to catch a show at the Town Square Stage, where you can see local musicians and bands perform.

Shops at Spanish Springs Town Square

Peter Titmuss /

This shopping district is also quite historic as it pays homage to the early Spanish settlers in Florida.

Everything screams old-world Spanish charm, from the shops’ exterior designs to the fountain in the middle of the square.

If you get hungry from all the shopping, plenty of restaurants around the area serve American, Italian, and Spanish cuisine.

The Spanish Springs Town Square has everything you could ever want, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the best things to do in The Villages.

Enjoy Live Music at the Lake Sumter Landing Market Square

The Lake Sumter Landing Market Square is The Villages’ official market square, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy live music.

Every night, you can catch different bands and solo artists playing a variety of genres, from country to rock.

You can also find restaurants and cafes in the area that offer outdoor seating to enjoy your meal with a view of the stage.

The colorful waterfront setting will also give you a quaint seaside town experience.

The Lake Sumter Landing Market Square features a boardwalk that lets you enjoy a fun and lively atmosphere while surrounded by a breathtaking and picturesque view of Lake Sumter.

Witness a Memorable Live Performance at the Savannah Center

Located along North Buena Vista Boulevard, The Savannah Center is the town’s premier performing arts theater and is one of the best places to catch a live show.

This state-of-the-art theater has an 850-seat auditorium that offers an intimate setting, so you can get up close and personal with the performers.

The Savannah Center hosts various events and shows, from musicals to dance recitals to huge concerts.

You can also find art exhibits on display in the theater’s lobby.

Locals, world-famous performers, and celebrities love performing in The Villages, so you never know who you might see on stage when you visit the Savannah Center.

Play Golf and Eat Good Food at Glenview Champions Country Club

Glenview Champions Country Club is the premier golfing destination in The Villages.

It’s an 18-hole championship golf course with a combination of Stirrup and Fox Run Cup, totaling around 7,148 yards.

This golf course is perfect for players of all levels, from beginners to experts.

If you want to up your game, the country club also offers lessons from professional golfers.

Apart from the actual golf course, the on-site restaurant is just as impressive and offers a great menu selection.

After a game of golf, you can enjoy a meal at the country club’s restaurant, an upscale traditional bistro serving classic American fare.

They also have patio seats that give you access to the picturesque views of the golf course.

If you want a complete golfing experience in The Villages, you should definitely visit Glenview Champions Country Club on Glenview Road.

Watch a Film at the Old Mill Playhouse

Exterior of the Old Mill Playhouse

Peter Titmuss /

The Old Mill Playhouse is the most well-known movie theater in The Villages, and it’s the perfect place to watch a flick while you’re in town.

This theater is located in Lake Sumter Landing and is directly accessible from the boardwalk.

It’s notable for its old-school charm, resembling a classic movie theater from the 1980s.

The Old Mill Playhouse offers a unique experience as not only will you be able to watch the latest blockbuster hits, but you will also feel like you’re stepping back in time.

The theater is adorned with twinkling lights and vintage-inspired decor from the exterior to the interior.

The Old Mill Playhouse screens both new releases and old classics, so you can enjoy a film no matter what your taste is.

Experience Old-World Grocery Shopping at The Fresh Market

Located on Wedgewood Lane, The Fresh Market is exactly what it sounds like: a market that sells fresh produce, meats, and other groceries.

But this isn’t your typical grocery store—the moment you step inside, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time.

The Fresh Market is designed to look like an old-fashioned general store, with a wooden interior and old-timey signage.

The market also has a deli counter where you can order sandwiches and other lunch items.

The exterior of the building is just as charming, featuring several pillars and large green awnings that make it look like an actual vintage grocery store.

Watch Live Sporting Events at Gator’s Dockside Brownwood

Never miss a live sporting event in The Villages by heading to Gator’s Dockside Brownwood on Meggison Road.

This restaurant and bar is the perfect place to watch the game, as they have several large TVs that are always tuned into the latest sporting event.

They also have a great selection of beers on tap, so you can enjoy a cold one while you cheer on your team.

This sports bar is also one of the best places to socialize with the locals.

You can cheer together or bet on the game’s outcome—either way, you’re sure to have a good time.

Gator’s Dockside Brownwood is also known for great food!

Their signature grilled wings have made them famous throughout the state and are worth trying.

In addition, their menu includes burgers, sandwiches, fries, salads, and more.

If you want to watch the game in a fun and festive atmosphere, head to Gator’s Dockside Brownwood.

Witness a Stunning Sunset at the Sharon Rose Wiechens Preserve

The Sharon Rose Wiechens Preserve is a wildlife refuge home to various animals, including sandhill cranes, bald eagles, and ospreys.

It offers trails, allowing you to get up close and personal with the animals.

The best time to visit the preserve is at sunset, as you’ll be able to witness the stunning colors of the sky as the sun sets.

The preserve is also a great place for birdwatching, as many different species call the refuge home.

The beautiful landscape and wildlife make the Sharon Rose Wiechens Preserve one of the best places to visit in The Villages.

Go on a Shopping Spree at Brownwood Paddock Square

Entrance to the Brownwood Paddock Square

cindylindowphotography /

Just down West Torch Lake Drive is Brownwood Paddock Square, an outdoor shopping center with plenty of stores and restaurants to explore.

This shopping district resembles an early 19th-century Florida cattle town, with sights and sounds reminiscent of that time period.

This open-air shopping center is home to various clothing stores, home decor stores, jewelry stores, and more.

You can also find several restaurants at Brownwood Paddock Square, making it the perfect place to grab a bite.

Like the Spanish Springs Town Square, Brownwood Paddock Square comes alive at night with live music and entertainment.

Cool down at the Eisenhower Regional Pool & Recreation Center

If the weather is hot and you want to cool down, head to the Eisenhower Regional Pool & Recreation Center.

This state-of-the-art recreation center is located on Buena Vista Boulevard and offers a wide range of activities.

One of the main attractions is the Jr. Olympic swimming pool, which is perfect for a refreshing dip.

There is also a smaller pool for kids, a splash pad, and water slides.

The Eisenhower Regional Pool & Recreation Center also showcases military memorabilia from World War II, a unique feature.

This recreation center is great for beating the heat and having fun.

Enjoy a Tasty Pint at World of Beer

World of Beer is a popular gastropub located in Brownwood Paddock Square.

Its vibrant and welcoming atmosphere makes it a great place to enjoy a pint or two with friends.

This pub is known for its craft beer, with over 100 different types of beer that showcases different flavors from around the world.

They also have a rotating list of beers on tap, so there’s always something new to try.

From IPAs to stouts, there’s a beer for everyone at World of Beer.

In addition to beer, World of Beer also serves food.

Their menu features a variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and appetizers.

If you love craft beer, then make sure to visit World of Beer during your stay in The Villages.

Shop for Quality Home Decor at The Rustic Rose

If you’re looking to shop for some souvenirs or quality home decor, The Rustic Rose is the perfect place to go.

This store is located in Brownwood Paddock Square and is known for its unique and beautiful home decor items.

From vases to wall hangings, The Rustic Rose has a wide selection of items.

They also have a variety of furniture, such as coffee tables, end tables, and more.

Since they’ve been in business for over two decades, you can ensure that you get quality items from The Rustic Rose.

If you’re looking for some home decor, make sure to check out this store.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Just because you can find everything you need in The Villages doesn’t mean you can’t venture outside the area to explore other parts of Florida.

Here are other activities and attractions you can enjoy nearby:

Spend a Day at Lake Griffin State Park

Welcome sign of Lake Griffin State Park

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lake Griffin State Park is a Florida State Park located 9.7 miles southeast of The Villages.

This state park is perfect for a day trip, as there are plenty of activities to enjoy.

Waters at Lake Griffin State Park

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can go fishing, canoeing, or kayaking in the nearby lake, or you can take a hike through the nature trails and see some of the wildlife that inhabits the area.

You can also go on a camping trip and stay overnight at one of the campsites.

Lake Griffin State Park is also a great spot for birdwatching, as there are over 170 different species of birds that live and travel to the park during different times of the year.

Trail at Lake Griffin State Park

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you love being outdoors, make sure to add Lake Griffin State Park to your itinerary.

This nature-filled outdoor escapade is perfect for those who want to commune with nature and explore the great outdoors.

Picnic table on the grounds of Lake Griffin State Park

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit Paquette’s Historical Farmall Museum

Paquette’s Historical Farmall Museum is dedicated to preserving farm equipment’s history.

The museum is located on a working farm near Leesburg, Florida—12 miles south of downtown The Villages.

It features a collection of vintage farm equipment, and you can learn how these machines were used.

You can also see some of the different types of equipment that were once used on farms and how farming has changed over the years.

Paquette’s Historical Farmall Museum is a great place to visit if you’re interested in learning about the history of farming or if you are simply looking to experience something unique and educational.

Final Thoughts

The Villages is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an enjoyable vacation.

There are plenty of things to do in the area, whether you want to stroll through the parks and town squares or visit a museum or theater.

You’re sure to find something that interests you with so many activities and attractions nearby.

If you’re looking for a memorable vacation destination, add The Villages to your bucket list.

You’ll see how it differs from other places in Florida, and you’re sure to enjoy your time here.

Make sure to include the best things to do in The Villages, Florida to your itinerary to have the best experience possible!

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