Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day Trips Out of Sun 'n' Fun

Sarasota, FL       High:  74      Low:  47

Yesterday, we went to the Del Webb community in Orlando, actually Davenport, FL, but they say "Del Webb Orlando". We wanted to see what another Del Webb "active lifestyles community" was like. An active lifestyles community offers exercise facilities, usually some kind of classes or interest clubs, plenty of planned social interactions among residents, and "resort style" amenities. At least that's what we believe the term means. After spending the most time ever in any one location, four months, we've learned that we really prefer an active lifestyles community. Sun 'n' Fun is about as active a community as you can get, and very close to being a residential community. You can't live here full time, 12 months of the year, or we might consider it! They would have to call themselves a "mobile home" community and not an RV resort park, so they only allow residents to be here 9 months out of the year....Interesting....But back to Del Webb Orlando...The community is entirely of individual family homes, no condos, attached villas, etc., just individual homes.

Del Webb Orlando was owned by another developer who went belly up and two years ago, Del Webb came in and took over. If you aren't familiar with Del Webb, they are kind of the originators of the "active lifestyles" communities for 55 and over, and they are one of the top developers/builders in the U.S. Here's where they are in Florida:
Base house prices run from $139,9000 to over $300,000. Del Webb Orlando has a 30,800 square foot clubhouse with activity rooms--like crafts, cards, billiards, etc. It has a beautiful fitness center that rivals Sun 'n' Fun's, an aerobics room, and a big walking track on the second floor of the clubhouse fitness center. There was a separate indoor pool that looked to be a regulation size swimming pool that was for serious swimmers in addition to the outdoor pools. They have lots of walking trails and pickleball, bocce, and tennis courts. They have a full time activities director and here are some of the interest clubs they have:

                                                            Clubs & Classes
You'll never run out of things to do at Del Webb Orlando with all of the clubs and interest groups that you can join. If you enjoy playing games you can join the Poker Club, Ladies Mexican Train Dominos, or just swing by one of the community game nights. Looking to let your creative side out? Check out the Craft Club or lend an event idea with one of Resident Event Committees. If sports are what you're into try the Pickle Ball Club or Bocce Ball Group. For those who want to meet new people there are plenty of socializing clubs as well interest groups to choose from.  
Books & Learning
  • Chapter 1 Book Club - Fiction
  • Chapter 2 Book Club – Non Fiction
  • Receipleasers Club
  • DWO SharpShooters Photography Club
  • DWO Losers are Winners Club
  • Creative Minds Craft Club
  • BootScooters Club
  • Men’s Cigar Group
Cards & Games
  • Royal Flushers Poker Club
  • Mexican Train Dominos
  • All Hands on Deck Card Club
  • Pickled Webbers Pickle Ball Club
  • Trumpsters Bridge Club
  • Mah Jong Club
  • Wizard Card Group
Road & Travel
  • Wandering Webbers Travel Club
Fitness & Sports
  • Steps to Fitness Club
  • Sunshine Splashers Club
  • Ladies 9 Hole Golf Group
  • Community Service Club
  • Tailgaters Club
  • DWO Welcome Club

If you think an active lifestyles community is something you'd like to check out further, for $267.00, you can come spend 3 nights at the community and stay in one of their private homes. Swim in the pools, use the fitness center and facilities, attend one of their events and talk to the residents. They also offer a shorter overnight pass for a night or two....

Today we were exploring on our own after getting a pass at the main gate. You go to the sales office, and then you can head over and explore the clubhouse on your own, or you can have a salesperson take you around.  We chose to go on our own, no pressure that way. We tried to find a resident, but the clubhouse didn't seem to be in use the day of our visit. We really had to look hard to find someone to talk to about the place! Finally, we found a resident who lives there most of the year. He was from Michigan, and he said he enjoys living there, he's mostly full time. He and his wife travel a lot in the summer up north when it gets hot down here. He didn't express any drawbacks.

But we just didn't care for the house floor plans. They seemed to be a little more chopped up inside than the usual open floor plans we have been seeing in other new homes. Sparky thought the outside of the houses were very dark and not very esthetically pleasing. But she did love the interior colors and the way the models were decorated. Blues and browns and beiges are Sparky's favorite interior decorating colors.

Wouldn't you know, that's the interior color scheme of our coach when we bought it!

The outdoor porches on the homes were not screened in and very small. Maybe you don't spend as much time outdoors as you think you are going to when the weather gets hotter in the spring and summer months in Florida? so that's why the lanais were smaller? The sales lady said an "energy package" was an added extra...something about extra insulation and better windows. That didn't sit well with us. We have seen other communities in the area that put top notch extras in as standards--like the community at Trilogy in Orlando, where they put solar panels on their houses as a STANDARD option and use Andersen windows.

The grounds looked barren and very dry....Either they haven't really gotten the irrigation system going, or they are working on adding and improving the outside landscaping from the previous owner, which is probably the case.

The other Del Webb community,  Del Webb Tampa, more precisely Apollo Beach, was very similar, but greener looking....We liked the exteriors of the homes better there...However, the community looked more like "cookie cutter" houses, no mature trees, everything out in the open. They have beautiful facilities as well. Del Webb really does a nice job with their clubhouses and activities...lots and lots to choose from if you live in the community. You can get some idea of what Del Webb is all about from their website, but the website needs improving! It really doesn't showcase the beauty of the facilities very well or give you a good feel for the active lifestyles community. If you go look at the community, it's much more impressive in person.

Back home we came....Sparky was too tired to cook--(Sparky is just about ALWAYS too tired to cook, explains E.) so we did the "Two for Twenty" at Chilli's...good food, good deal! And---good night!

See you tomorrow.......


  1. They have those kinds of communities out here in AZ also. But they are not our style at all. But they sure are popular.

  2. Always nice to explore and check out your options, lots of great communities like that out there too.

  3. I've wondered about this type of lifestyle - interesting option for if/when we decide to stop full time RVing.