Tradition is a large Master-Planned community on the east coast of Florida and though it is not as big as The Villages, it will be one of the biggest in the state.
In some ways it's similar to The Villages, but as with most of our head-to-head comparisons, Tradition is different in a lot of ways.
The Villages is about an hour north of Orlando in pretty much the middle of the state. Beach days are definitely full day affairs, but you'll find The Villages has some of the lowest insurance rates in the state due in large part to its distance from either coast.
Even though on the map Tradition looks super close to the coast, it's still about a 30-minute drive to the beach. So it is close enough for regular days at the beach, but far enough inland so as to not have to pay excessive coastal insurance rates.
People headed to The Villages typically fly into Orlando International Airport, which again, is about an hour or so away. Those headed to Tradition will most likely use Palm Beach International Airport, which is about 50 minutes away, so I'd say these two popular retirement destinations are pretty much a draw in the accessibility department.
Because it is much smaller than The Villages, Tradition does not have as many amenities as The Villages. No place really does.
However, the ones they do have are top notch.
The individual neighborhoods in Tradition surround a Town Square, called Tradition Square.
Tradition Square is home to shops, restaurants, retail, offices, meeting space, parks, and a performance pavilion. The Square is also anchored by a Publix Supermarket.
There’s also a full schedule of entertainment at Tradition Square and the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month there’s a “food truck invasion”, which is basically a huge outdoor picnic where food trucks of different origins, cuisine and menus prepare food that is cooked to order.
So not nightly entertainment like The Villages, but a few times per week at least.
In addition to Tradition Square, there’s also The Landings at Tradition which has Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Michael’s, Pier 1 and more of those types of stores.
The individual neighborhoods within Tradition also have their own clubhouses and amenities for residents, whereas residents of The Villages can use pretty much any of the clubhouses and amenities in The Villages, no matter which specific neighborhood they live in.
For instance, Vitalia at Tradition has a 24,000-square-foot clubhouse encompassing everything from tennis and bocce courts to great lawn with fire pits and a putting green to a ballroom, fitness rooms and more! The Captiva Club is a private lakefront facility offering year-round recreation and social activities for Vitalia residents, complementing an active lifestyle.
The Villages may have their softball fields, but this is something you won’t find in The Villages.
Tradition Field, currently named “Clover Park” as part of a sponsorship deal, is a baseball stadium that holds more than 7,000 people and is the Spring Training home of the New York Mets.
While it’s not exactly in Tradition itself, it’s only about 6 miles away.
Spring training baseball is a huge pastime for Florida retirees, and with Tradition Field right in their own backyards, residents don’t have to go far to catch all the action.
Of course nobody can compete with The Villages' 700+ holes of golf, 2,000+ social clubs and so much more, but many of the neighborhoods with Tradition have some pretty great amenities as well.
One Popular 55+ Neighborhood
I mentioned earlier that while Tradition itself is not an active adult community, there are active adult sections like Vitalia at Tradition.
Vitalia at Tradition has taken the art and science of resident-centered community planning to new levels. At just over 450 acres, there is a wonderful sense of community.
You can get more information about Vitalia at Tradition here:
Like many of the communities you might compare to The Villages, the decision between Tradition and The Villages will probably come down to location and size.
Do you prefer big and in the middle of the state, or smaller and closer to the coast? Those two factors more than anything else will drive the decision for most people. Both are awesome choices in my book, and you should definitely check both places out if you don't have a preference yet.
Tradition Field image via Wikimedia Commons