Bronson is a small town northeast of Gainesville that is notable for the gravesite of the great rock and roll icon, Bo Diddley.
Cassadaga is a spiritualist community near DeLand where you can get your fortune told by one of the resident mediums or spiritualists.
Citrus Tower is an old Florida attraction in Clermont where you can take an elevator to the top and see where all the citrus groves used to be.
Cross Creek is between Gainesville and Ocala and was the home of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling, Cross Creek, South Moon Under and other classics. Her home is now a state park that you can visit.
Crystal River attracts manatees in the colder weather. There are numerous business set up to allow people to see the manatees and even swim with them.
Daytona Beach has hard sand beaches that you can drive your car on, the International Speedway, and many other attractions.
DeLand is the home of Stetson University and has a fine downtown with many murals, good shopping and dining places.
Eustis is on the lake of the same name and has a nice downtown with parks, shopping and restaurants.
Evinston is near Cross Creek south of Gainesville and is home to the old Wood & Swink general store on the National Register of Historic Places.
Flagler Beachfront Winery is in Flagler Beach, north of Daytona. Watch wine being made and enjoy tasting it while soaking up the ocean breeze.
Gainesville is the home of the University of Florida and its many art galleries, museums, a vibrant downtown area with good shopping and dining. This can be one of the best of The Villages Florida day trips.
Gatorland is one of the oldest Florida tourist attractions. It is between Orlando and Kissimmee and has some of the neatest alligators in Florida.
Ginnie Springs is a park with great opportunities for swimming, camping, canoeing and enjoying nature.
Hutchinson Farm Winery is a small family owned vineyard and winery south of Apopka. Nice selection of red, white and blended wines. Tastings, tours.
High Springs is a typical little Florida town with a fixed up downtown that has several neat antique shops and at least one very good restaurant.
Lakeland has a beautiful downtown and Florida Southern College has the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings in the world.
Lakeridge Winery near Clermont is one of Florida's largest wineries. You will enjoy watching the wine making process and sampling their wares.
Leu Gardens in Orlando is one of the country's foremost botanical gardens. If it grows in Florida, it is probably here. Self guided tours or formal tours.
Marineland is on Highway A1A just south of St. Augustine. Founded in 1938, it was once the most popular tourist attraction in Florida.
Micanopy is a small Old Florida place with some nice antique shops and restaurants.
McIntosh is near Micanopy and is a fine example of Old Florida homes. It's just fun to wander around the quiet streets.
Mill Creek Farm is a retirement home for horses. Admission is a couple of carrots.
Mount Dora has a New England look. It is on the east end of Lake Dora and has many fine shopping, dining and lodging opportunities. Only 45 minutes from Orlando. It is one of the favorites of the Villages Florida day trips. Here is a list of restaurants in the Mount Dora area.
New Smyrna Beach has some of the nicest sandy beaches in Florida and a bit of history that influenced St. Augustine.
Ocala is in the heart of Florida's thoroughbred horse raising and training country with plenty of rolling hills and lush oak forests.
Orlando is where the big tourist attractions are like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld, but it also has plenty of other quieter places to visit.
Orlando Tree Tour is a self guided tour of some of the oldest and largest trees in Florida. You will see many magnificent oaks.
Princess Place Preserve is an old hunting lodge near Palm Coast. It is open to the public and is a nice glimpse into the Old Florida of yesteryear. Free.
St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States. Much to do and even more to see.
St. Augustine Alligator Farm has more than just the famous reptile it is named for. Crocodiles, birds and a host of other animals. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.
Tangled Oaks Vineyard is a family owned winery between Palatka and Gainesville on State Road 100. Tours and tastings, nice wines.
Tavares is known as the seaplane city. People fly in for events and weekends; it is on the west end of Lake Dora not far from Mount Dora and Eustis.
Webster flea markets are the biggest in Florida, but only open on Mondays.
Weeki Wachee Springs is one of the oldest Florida tourist attractions; you will enjoy the shows with the beautiful young mermaids performing in the clear spring waters.
Whispering Oaks Winery offers tours and entertainment; they specialize in blueberry wine and are only a few miles west of The Villages.
Winter Park is just north of Orlando. In addition to a wonderful boat tour of the chain of lakes, it has some of the finest shopping and dining in the state.
There are interesting back road maps you can use to explore this part of Florida from your base in The Villages. Here they are: