Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Villages and Bushnell

In our search for a winter roost, the Escapees park, Sumter Oaks, in Bushnell was on our list to visit.  Like the other escapees parks, they have a 4 o’clock social every afternoon and we wanted to be there for that.  It would give us an opportunity to meet more folks and thus get a better feel for the park than we would just driving around.

Sumter Oaks is much smaller than the Plantation at Summerdale.  They have about the same number of campsites (99) and about the same number of ERPU lots (25), but there are no stick houses and the campsites and lots are much smaller.  Don’t get me wrong, they are still very spacious compared to most private campgrounds.  They have an indoor pool and a very nice activity building.  The park is in a beautiful setting nestled amongst the live oaks.  The interior roads are gravel and the sites are gravel with concrete patios.  We still like the Plantation at Summerdale best of the places we have scouted while in Florida.  Although we went with the intention of attending the 4 o’clock social, they have their daily gathering at 10 AM for coffee, so we missed out.
Shots from Spanish Springs Village

On our way to Bushnell, we stopped by Spanish Springs Village, just one of many communities in “The Villages”.  The Villages is an interesting concept in community living.  The best description I can give is individually governed neighborhoods.  The Villages, as a whole, is a rather large community made up of individual villages like many neighborhoods make up a larger town.  The difference is that each individual village governors itself through home owners associations.  It is a popular area for retirees and is one of the fastest growing communities in Florida.

Each village has it’s “square” or common area with shops and restaurants and apparently evening entertainment.  The streets are golf cart friendly.  There are probably more golf carts on the roads and in the parking lots than cars.  Since The Villages spreads out on both sides of highway 441, the communities have built an overpass over the highway for safe passage of carts to either side.

Golf Cart overpass on Highway 441

Bill and Helen first introduced us to the Villages and took us on a driving tour of Spanish Springs last Wednesday.  We wanted to go back for a more leisurely look about.  As you might guess, the architecture has a predominantly Spanish flair.  We strolled around the square, stopping in several of the shops and boutiques.  The square was busy in the early afternoon, but not near what the crowds will be at 5 o’clock when the margaritas and live entertainment start to flow.

Tomorrow, if we can squeeze one more gorgeous day out before the rains set in, we’ll drive to Cedar Key.

That’s a wrap for today.

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