When I retired in 1997 from a career of journalism with the Tampa Tribune, I was looking to live in community with quality housing, social and recreational amenities, and a friendly atmosphere all at an affordable price.
Having been exposed to StrawBerry Ridge on a number of occasions throughout my career, my decision to become a resident here easy to make.
Not only bolstered by the quality of homes, I was impressed by the amenities, which include two swimming pools and clubhouses, planned activities, entertainment and social events, and close proximity to a major shopping mall, hospital and other medical facilities.
The bottom line is … StrawBerry Ridge is a great place to live. I know—I've lived here for 16 years!
Are you looking for a fantastic place to live, either full- or part-time? If you are, I recommend Lake Griffin Harbor (LGH) in Leesburg, Florida. I’ve lived here for over nine years and it’s been wonderful.
LGH is a place where you can be as active or as inactive as you want. There are a number of daily activities that you can take part in—you name it, we've got it—or will see that it’s soon available to you!
And for those that prefer to take it easy, there’s plenty of room and wonderful views to do just that; it’s such a relaxing place to be.
For me, LGH is a neat, well-manicured, safe place to live. I always feel welcomed by my friendly neighbors, much like I did growing up in New York State. Everyone is very social and eager to help one another when needed. My LGH neighbors have become my extended family.
As you can tell, I love living here … LGH has been a great retirement destination.
Upon retiring and feeling the need to move from a two-story house, we thought a 55+ community would be a good choice. After evaluating several possibilities in the Orlando area, Hyde Park became the most appealing. The first time we visited the park we were immediately impressed with the overall appearance and friendliness of staff and residents. Management was instrumental in helping us find a fitting home for us, and we've been extremely pleased with it.
There are many activities available in Hyde Park. A favorite of ours is the monthly meal, which on many occasions provides entertainment and door prizes. At these monthly gatherings, we enjoy being with friends and neighbors, as well as meeting new ones. Shirley also enjoys participating with the ladies in chair exercise and craft classes, as well as needle group and monthly bible study. All of these are held conveniently in the community Clubhouse.
Shuffleboard is a great pastime when grandchildren come to visit, as is swimming in the well-maintained pool. The neighborhood has several pleasant streets for taking walks. However, it’s been nice to have an exercise room to use during inclement weather.
Hyde Park has turned out to be just the right 55+ lifestyle community for us!
Shirley & Burt Mabry
Living and working full time in Pennsylvania, where every winter is cold, we knew we wanted to retire someplace warm where we could be outside year-round.
Barry spent 45 years in the construction business; 34 of those years he owned his own company; and I spent 30 years in advertising, so we knew we wanted to retire early and start enjoying our next journey in life as soon as possible.
We moved to a condo near Tampa in October of 2013 but we soon found that the community wasn’t active enough for us. So, one day Barry got on the Internet and found Cypress Lakes Community. That same weekend we went to the community’s yard sale thinking we’d meet some people who live there and get a feel for how much they like it. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming; and what stood out was how happy they were.
We looked at some homes that same day and fell in love with one of them. … It was just the right size to host our three children and six grandchildren [not all at the same time!]. And for the kids’ sake, we loved how close Disney and the other parks are. Within weeks, we made settlement on our new home!
We made the official move at the beginning of April  and have already met such nice neighbors. The look and feel of our community makes us feel like we’re home. The beauty of the landscaping, the lakes, the well-kept homes … we made the right choice.
We look forward to all of the activities here. We love that we can play golf right out our backdoor without having to leave the community, and we especially love going to the pool, which feels like you’re at a resort on a tropical island with the palm trees and landscaping, and views of the golf course. And, to have a restaurant right there alongside the pool with a bar for some pina coladas … wow! Who could ask for anything more?
The staff made our decision and purchase so smooth and easy, and we have no regrets in our decision to move to Cypress Lakes.
Barry & Judy Calcagni
While touring the Palm Harbor model home plant, we saw a pamphlet on Bear Creek and were so impressed we decided to check it out. We purchased our first home soon after.
We love living in Bear Creek; so much so that it we’ve moved here three times! [Due to family, we had to move, but we always came back.]
Bear Creek offers their residents so many amenities, events and activities. There’s something for everyone. With its proximity to the beach, shopping and restaurants, it’s a great place to live.