THE BLOG
09/15/2014 05:28 pm ET Updated Nov 14, 2014

Spruce Creek, Florida -- A Fly-In Private Gated Community

Look left, look right, but mostly look up. The former WWII Navy airfield found itself recycled into the largest residential fly-in community in America, with 5,000 permanent residents in 1,300 homes and 700 hangars used to park the villagers' favorite mode of transportation: airplanes.

To accommodate their vehicle of choice, the driveways, sorry, the taxiways here are wide affairs of 50- to 60 feet of paved access to the houses, where the flying (identified) objects fit neatly in their oversized garages -- sometimes several in a row. The village has of course a real private airport with a lighted runway, 14 miles of paved taxiways, fuel and repair stations, restaurants, and offices.

Lovers of Florida and airplanes, such as John Travolta, who owns a house here, have also access to the championship golf course at the Country Club, various social clubs and meets for all-things-airplanes. The place is almost secret, residents of surrounding communities don't always know where and what Spruce Creek is. Fits fine in the celebrity lifestyle of some of its residents.

Located seven nautical miles south of Daytona Beach in Port Orange, the community is a safe heaven for golf carts and small airplanes lovers who don't want to let go of their toys, and wish to have them parked right there by their living-rooms. Originally built during World War II as a practice outlying field to two nearby Naval Air Station, it used to have four paved 4,000 foot runways, but was abandoned by the U.S. Navy in 1946.

Daytona Beach is of course the home of the famed International Speedway, the headquarters of NASCAR, and the Grand American Road Racing Association. Its hard-packed sand beach where races used to take places is now a major tourists' destination. Bike Week is another draw to the city. Planes, cars and automobiles, all in one spot -- what more can a sports' fan possibly want! It's heaven for a lot of pilots, bikers, racers, and all sorts of dedicated athletes. The city of 60,000 inhabitants attracts over eight million visitors each year, some sports watchers, and a lot of sports doers.

For years the marsh field sat barely used, except for a few race car drivers and hooligans, when in the late 1970s, developer Jay Thompson acquired the land with an ambitious project in mind: an upscale community anchored around the airport facilities and an exclusive country club. The enclave has been growing ever since, and became a real village with cutesy streets names such as Cessna Boulevard and Beech Boulevard.

Several sections of Spruce Creek offer different parking possibilities for your plane, from open-air structures with a roof and three walls, but no door, to park spaces right by the houses -- others have duplex-style hangars behind them, and some have full size storage warehouses.

Such sightings as weddings up in the air and multi planes formation are daily stuff here, and just like during an air show, white smoke trails always surprise onlookers, and they can spell I love you, or will you marry me? more often here than over any beach front.

A few signs at the extra-wide intersections read: Caution Aircrafts Here Have The Right-of-Way!

INFO: Spruce Creek airport identifier: 7FL6 noise sensitive airport; Hours Attended: 0700-1700 EST; Telephone: 386-756-6125 (Airport Security); Approaches: GPS 5 (Pvt.); Fuel: 100LL, Jet-A Services: Airframe and Power plant repair.