A distinct feature of The Villages is the Spanish Springs Town Square.
One of the three town squares in The Villages, Spanish Springs opened in 1994 and has a south-west flavor.
With adobe-colored shops surrounding a central meeting space, complete with viga-studded walls and a gazebo, Spanish Springs resembles a traditional plaza like one might find in Santa Fe – with the fountains and palms trees adding a Florida twist.
Main Street winds around the integrated, mixed-use commercial area, proving access to a variety of shops, restaurants and offices.
Here are just a few of the restaurants, shops, and businesses currently in Spanish Springs:
- Banner Mercantile (The Villages Logo Store)
- MVP Athletic Club
- The Villages Insurance
- Cal’s Barber Shop
- The Corkscrew Winery
- Margarita Republic
- Augustine’s 1812 House
- Panera Bread
- Dunkin Donuts
- World of Beer
While the offices, restaurants, and shops draw residents to the square, classic car fans congregate in Spanish Springs each month during their “cruise-in” and Villagers turn out for live entertainment nightly.
Spanish Springs has free entertainment every night, plus, parades and special celebrations throughout the year, from Cinco de Mayo to Halloween.
While the offices, restaurants and shops draw residents to the square, classic car fans congregate in Spanish Springs each month during their “cruise-in” and Villagers turn out for live entertainment nightly. Spanish Springs has free entertainment every night, plus, parades and special celebrations throughout the year, from Cinco de Mayo to Halloween.
The Rialto Theater was the first of three movie theaters in The Villages. It closed for renovations in early 2020, then covid hit, bringing progress to a halt. As of this writing, it has not reopened and many residents are wondering if it ever will, considering the changes that the movie industry has been undergoing since the pandemic.
One other popular dining and entertainment venue located in Spanish Springs was Katie Belle’s. Sadly it closed for good in 2020 shortly after the start of the pandemic.
Celebrating 20 Years of Spanish Springs
In May 2014, The Villages held a 20th birthday celebration for Spanish Springs, and produced a special edition of Vmail to mark the occasion:
Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center
For years one of the biggest complaints people had about the entertainment venues in the community was that they were not big enough or new enough to draw some of the bigger acts and performers.
That changed recently when Church on the Square, a beloved Spanish Springs landmark that had about 770 seats, closed in late June 2013 to undergo a major renovation and was turned into what is now known as the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center.
The new facility seats more than 1,000 people comfortably and is considered a state-of-the-art performing arts center by most who visit.
Recent performers and performances include Willie Nelson, Clint Black, Styx, Kenny Rogers, Kenny G, and the Broadway Hit Kinky Boots.