A reader writes in with a great question:
“My wife and me are considering visiting the Villages for a Lifestyle Preview. She wants to schedule sometime in the summer months. I feel we should schedule during the peak winter months since that is the time when all the snowbirds are there and we can get a better feel of all the activities and also see how crowded it is. What is your opinion?“
This reader is correct in that doing a Lifestyle Preview during the peak winter months will give them the best idea of how crowded The Villages can be. Keep in mind, that “crowded” is a relative term. What’s crowded to me or you may not be crowded to someone from a big city.
But, his wife also has a point with visiting during the summer too, especially if you are a little leery about just how hot it can get here in the summertime. Here’s a look at The Villages average low and high temperatures throughout the year:
|Month||Avg. Low||Avg. High|
Another reader wrote in about his experience on the Lifestyle Preview during the winter months. It turns out it was an “eye-opening” and “off-putting” experience.
Here’s his email:
“Our preview stay was our first-ever exposure to The Villages. We deliberately scheduled our visit for the busy winter season so that we would experience TV at its peak capacity.
Needless to say we were both overwhelmed, both positively and negatively! On the plus side TV certainly lives up to its reputation for endless activities, recreation, entertainment, golf, and opportunities for socializing. Everything we saw was beautifully presented and well-maintained, more so than we expected (not quite up to Disney World standards, but close!). We knew TV would be expansive and very spread out, an expectation that was more than met shortly after we “landed” at the Lake Sumter area sales office.
On the negative side we were very disappointed in the amount of congestion: vehicular traffic, golf cart traffic, and people crowds, especially in the two squares. From our pre-trip research we knew The Villages would be at peak “busy-ness” this time of the year, but we still weren’t quite prepared for what we encountered. Most disappointing was the consistently high volume of golf cart traffic, especially near the town squares.”
So there is one person’s take on visiting The Villages during the winter months. As I mentioned above everybody has different tastes and likes/dislikes. Try to take everything you read or hear about The Villages with a grain of salt before you experience it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
I believe that the best time to visit The Villages will depend on your goal. If your objective is to see what the community is like at its peak, then schedule a visit during the winter. But if your visit is just as much for relaxation as it is exploration, then you might want to avoid the winter season. Want the lowest crowds and to avoid the extreme summer heat? Consider the months of April-May or September-October.
Over to you…
What do you think is the best time of year to visit or just be in The Villages? Let our readers know by leaving a comment down below!
If you are concerned about crowds, the north end is less crowded and busy at all times of year. Spanish Springs town square gets busy at times but doesn’t feel like too big of crowd. We have rec centers activities but again fewer participants.
The north end has a more even age distribution. The newcomers are more active but the ones who have been here 15 or more years spend less time in the public spaces and engaging in the activities. Classes and activities here on the north end are just not as crowded.
Camille DeRaimo says
We love the Villages; ever since our first visit we knew this was the place for us. It took us a year to find a home because we wanted a court yard and we wanted it furnished as we didn’t want to ship our furniture to Florida. We also wanted to be in Lake Sumter. Prices went crazy and we kept getting out bided. But finally we landed the right one. The TV are so clean and beautiful, everyone wants to fellow that lead. We just wished we learned about the TV 15 years earlier.
Joan Crain says
To those who prefer a quiet less structured lifestyle, I am happy to reassure you that you can be as private and low key, or as active and on the go, as you like here in TV, with no pressure or stigma either way. Like you, this was a concern of mine before moving here a year ago. But I’ve found it easy to settle into my own routine, combining a couple of organized classes with solo outdoors activities and plenty of quiet time reading, writing and just doing what I want on any given day.
All of the comments seem to be from many, many years ago when The Villages was much, much, MUCH smaller. Boy have things changed!
Still kept quite clean and nice and still so much to do…IF you can get into the activity!
TV is crowded! I have been here for 5 years and it has changed dramatically! Popular activities and dances are sometimes at capacity even now in July! From Dec thru April, you will wait in long line to get into just about all activities…IF you get in at all! That sometimes even happens in the summer months! (I am, of course, judging from the activities I enjoy.)
The building of large Rec Centers has not kept up with the building and selling of the new homes. So many more people but very few new amenities means you don’t get into many things that you want to attend.
I suggest coming in the busy season so you see what it is like. Best to know the negative side before making a decision on your future!
Peter Amato says
Thank you. The information provided was concise, informative, and presented different views. We plan on visiting sometime this year.
It depends on the person’s goal, but I think April, May, or October and November are best if the people have a lot of time. Less expensive so you can do a longer stay if money matters, and not blazing hot nor very cold.
March is the best weather if the person wants to try to get perfect weather (never a guarantee though) and make it more like an ideal vacation, but it will be crowded.
I think January is the worst month, it can be freezing cold and limit outdoor activities. Unless, they like the cold, but you don’t move to The Villages for cold weather.
The Villages is only very crowded three months a year, I would not judge the traffic based on that, it’s just three months! All of Florida is busy during peak season. If they want to move to La Tierra de Mickey they need to deal with the fact that everyone wants to be in the Florida sun in the winter.
Rita White says
Retirement – Reflecting on what I’ll never forgot! “One of my best blessings” Raised in northern Indiana, I had the opportunity to spend a month in Florida with my parents 20 years ago. My mom could barely walk when we first arrived, and by the end of the month, both of them were zipping around the neighborhood holding hands, drinking coffee and walking with a spirit I hadn’t seen for years. I was shocked at how many folks I met that were in nursing homes and dragging around in cold Indiana were out having a time of there life and moving like there was no tomorrow. The bottom-line: we all know if you stop moving, you stop. If TV gets you up in the morning and brings an excitement about your day with activities for all lifestyles, you found the secret of living longer and healthier. Now I am getting close to retirement and a choice to make, I am looking forward to my retirement of moving and enjoying every day God gives me. Looking forward to my first official retirement visit at TV.
Pat Slayton says
We first visited TV in February for just a long weekend while my sister and brother-in-law were in a rental.. Being from Texas, we wanted to then visit during the “hottest” time for comparison purposes. We did our Lifestyle Visit the first week of July 2012. We then rented for the month of July this year, and can’t wait to make TV our full time home. We live on an acre on a lake in Texas. The small yards are attractive to us, however, we are drawn to the courtyard villas for privacy. It takes us 25 minutes in a car to get to a decent grocery store, so having so much to do and the convenience has been critical in our decision. And, for those of us who lived during the early days of “sexual liberation”, what is the problem with changing partners like changing your underwear. Age shouldn’t change that. It should be your decision and not based upon someone else’s judgmental attitude. BTW, I am married and monogamous for several decades, but I wasn’t once upon a time. I bet you weren’t either.
Brenda wolford says
People who are rude and negative should never even visit the Villages.
Katherine Officer says
Ok, here’s another view, from someone who is NOT from Massachusetts. In fact, I have lived in Florida for 27 years, and the Villages is an awesome place. I was just up there this weekend, for a bowling tournament, and at the same time, in the same area, was an Easter Weekend very large craft fair, all at Spanish Springs marketplace. We were actually pleased at how well the crowds were moving, with everyone laughing and having a good time. We knew of the craft air, so we got to the bowling alley about 45 minutes early, and that was plenty of time to get parked and settled. Getting lunch was a little slow, but not terrible. I think this visitor will find, and would have found had he ventured out, that all the 55+ age restricted communities are done by master community builders, and tend to have cookie cutter housing so that EVERYONE who wants to live there, can find something in their price range. I thank him, as we expect to join in, in the next couple of years, as we can’t find ANYTHING else to compare with what we experience in this wonderful community. They apparently didn’t experience, or try to experience, the feeling you get, and the friendliness offered by those who live there.
tony fiore says
Maybe it’s because I grew up in a big ciy,but the reader’s comments regarding the constant activity and the closeness of the homes made TV seem that much more desireable to me. As it was stated somewhere, TV may not be for everyone, but it certainly sounds more and more to be something to my liking.
How come nothing is ever said about the sexually transmitted diseases that run rampet at the villages? We live in another part of Florida and have visited the Villages. I feel so blessed that we never purchased there. They change bedroom partners like most people change underwear. It’s all over the news down here in Florida about the behavior of the seniors at the Villages.
You have got to be kidding. I have lived here 25 Plus years and I have never experienced what you are talking about. And I have met a lot of people because of my volunteer work. Also none of my friends have even indicated that they jump from bed to bed. Every area of the country has some of that going on but not to the extent you are insinuating happens here in The Villages. Remember news only picks up stories that will get peoples eyes open. What a joke.
We have been coming to The Villages for 10 years, mostly during Dec. because we
were not retired. We absolutely love TV. We have tried almost every activity available
and when you rent someone’s home it usually comes with a high speed cart. The Lifestylers visitors get slow carts because they usually just hang around town.
I would much rather be part of all the social and sports events than to be “married” to a house. Sorry the people from Mass. need “stuff” more than people. The homes in TV are designed for the least amount of maintenance and the most privacy as far as window placement and access.
During the summer everything is slower and more intimate with the real people who live there. They can look all they want but if they are looking for the Mass. lifestyle, then stay in Mass. Laid back and taking naps and digging in the flower beds are not the Villages lifestyle. It’s more about getting with people for cards, crafts, learning, games, golfing, dancing, pickleball, concerts, events, activities, etc., that you don’t have to plan for: just show up! Love it. Looking forward to next winter. I am a wanna-be Villager.
Tim F. says
I have rented a house for next January, right in the thick of things. How hard is it to book tee times and how long in advance can you book them. Thanks Tim F.
Kudos to both
(a) the letter-writer for his detailed, well-argued, and balanced evaluation of TV
(b) the VFB for publishing an article that shows TV, warts, beauty spots, and all – not the usual and expected airbrushed and gushing presentation of a retirement community.
Beverly Marz says
Was sorry to read the comments from the man from Mass. As you have stated, The Villages are very busy during the winter months, but it is no different then what we put up with on the great lakes. South Haven MI for example in the summer months. The noise, roads, and shopping centers are packed with people who want to enjoy the sun and fun of Michigan big lakes. This all happens within a three to four month period. The rest of the time it is a wonderful place to reside.
I for one love The Villages as I can drive my golf cart anywhere I want and not have to deal with the traffic on the roads. All those tunnels make for an easy way to access shopping, eating, even going to the hospital for rehab, and where else can you park your golf cart right in front of the theatres. Yes it may be more difficult to get tee times in the winter, but for 8 months out of the year the place belongs to The Villagers.
Yes, I agree, people used to be more friendly. You couldn’t pass a golf cart without a wave from the other people, and you can still see the older residence who have done that for years, but you won’t find a better crowd of people that live in The Villages. If you lose something, not to fear, someone will hunt you down and return if they possibly can, I know from experience.
All my friends who visit me, I’m a renter for three months, cannot believe how much fun you can have and then escape to you home and it be so quiet. Yes, The Villagers are not for everyone, but you will look long and far to find a community that offers so many choices to an aging group of people. By the way, I see more older people holding hands walking around the squares, dancing like there is no tomorrow. I look at a group of individuals who are acting younger and not having anyone judge them for it!! I’m not a babyboomer, but I am 71 years old and love everything The Villages offers even if I can’t or don’t take part in it.
My nephew ask his mother “why don’t they have a place like The Villages for us younger people”, he is 27.
Dick & Sandra Gibson says
There is much truth contained in the above comment, “The Villages is very appealing to golfers, pickle ball players, and anyone who enjoys and needs continuous access to an endless stream of organized clubs and activities.”
When we visited during the third week of February, it appeared that people *had* to be doing *something*– almost to the point of being obsessive about it. Since I write, and neither of us is into golf and the like, it struck us as being a tad over the top. It may be that living abroad since 1988 has altered our view of how our senior years should be structured. We tend to be private people, are happy with that, and it’s unlikely we’ll change much in the years ahead. That said, we’ll return in July to continue our fact-finding, and to form a second opinion . . . if one is to be had.