To bring shopping and socialization to residents of The Villages, developers of the community have built two main town squares, Spanish Springs Town Square, with its southwest flavor, and Lake Sumter Landing Market Square. There is a third, Brownwood Paddock Square currently under construction.
Lake Sumter Landing Market Square combines shops and services and provides an arena for performances and community events, with the look and feel of a small seaside village, complete with a waterfront and a lighthouse. There is live entertainment every night, and many special celebrations throughout the year.
Even a few political rallies have been held in Lake Sumter Landing, one of the more recent of which was the now infamous and oft parodied rally during which Mitt Romney sang “America the Beautiful”.
Lakeshore Drive runs along Lake Sumter and connects with Old Camp Road to encircle the shopping and recreation area. In total, there is 510,555 square feet of restaurants, specialty retail and office space, anchored by the 8-screen Old Mill Playhouse.
Restaurants and lodging are located to take advantage of the lakefront views. The 120-room boutique hotel, Waterfront Inn combines old Florida charm with modern amenities and luxury. Among its up-scale offerings are hi-speed Internet, flat-screen TVs and 300-thread count sheets. There is a lobby lounge, serving light fare with its drink specials, and the hotel’s signature restaurant, Amelia’s, where guest can order up Southern cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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Other restaurants along Lake Sumter include: Cody’s Roadhouse, a chain, possibly familiar to those from North Carolina or Maine; RJ Gator’s, a seafood grill, featuring alligator dishes, coconut shrimp and Key lime pie; and the casual dining, Lighthouse Pointe.
Other dining options in Market Square are studded among the shops and offices. Choices include Sonny’s BBQ, Johnny Rocket’s burger joint, TGI Friday’s, Redsauce (Italian), pizza, Asian food, ice cream, subs, a tea room and a chocolatier.
Other shops and offices in Lake Sumter Market Square include:
Offices and Personal Services:
The Villages Sales and Information Center, Citizen’s First Mortgage, AAA Travel, The Villages Insurance, a title company and the investment company, Sabal Trust. Personal services include a barbershop and a hair salon and spa.
Clothing and shoes:
Bass shoes, Izod, VanHeusen, Coldwater Creek, JOS A. Bank, and specialty shops like Caribongo, which sells clothes and accessories that change colors, and Natural Discoveries which sells clothes made from natural fibers.
Market Square can’t be beat for home and gift options. From a Hallmark store, to a couple home furnishing shops, to The Purple Pig’s gift offerings which include things like messenger bags, travel mug and inspirational items. GarVinos sells wine and cigars. If you need that ring or brooch, you can pick one up at Arden’s Fine Jewelry.
To get around The Villages, stop into Villages Golf Cars for your own street-legal golf cart. Plus, there is a Harley-Davidson coming soon. And if you need a ride to or from the airport, Villages Transportation offers an airport shuttle service.
When you’re ready for groceries, Sweetbay Supermarket can be found in Market Square, and the next time a famous politician comes out with a book, catch up with them (or at least buy the book) at the Sumter Landing Barnes and Noble. The bookstore has had recent visits from Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, who visiting The Villages for a second time, on her Going Rogue tour.
Lake Sumter Landing is also home to USF Health in The Villages. This is a partnership between USF Health and The Villages with the goal of creating “America’s Healthiest Hometown”.