My wife Lindsey and I took a walk around Market Square at the Lake Sumter Landing area of The Villages in Florida a few days ago. Having relocated from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, we made a point to celebrate our 12th anniversary here. The community has been ranked America’s top-selling master-planned community for active adults for 14 years in a row.

While the majority of the homes here are intended for people aged 55 or older, Lindsey and I, both under 55, were more interested in understanding why The Villages is Florida’s fastest-growing senior community and also the fastest-growing metro in the United States. The population has grown by 39 percent over the last decade, beating out Austin, Texas.

Before coming to The Villages, we watched “Some Kind of Heaven,” a documentary that profiles some of the unique characters who live here. When we arrived, we were struck by the landscape’s well-kept appearance and the Disney-like welcoming signage. The main street is reminiscent of Buena Vista Boulevard, and as we strolled around, we couldn’t help but sense an extraordinary energy.

We decided to return later and visited a Chop House for dinner. We learned from a bartender about the community’s appeal and heard about the local housing prices. The barkeep had interesting, if less wild than hoped for, stories about life in The Villages, including famous gossip regarding sexually transmitted diseases. We observed the early retirement community’s quiet and orderly nature following our delicious meal, reconciling it with our lifestyle as parents of young children.

In the morning, we noticed canoeing, listened to local radio shenanigans, and read The Villages’ local newspaper. We befriended a couple who left Fort Lauderdale for the tranquility of “adult Disney World.” I held a meeting at the local Panera Bread to chat with the Villages Homeowners Advocates.

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