The growing community of Ave Maria is home to Ave Maria University, a parochial school, a town center with a variety of dining opportunities, convenient shopping, a water park, the public Panther Run Golf Club and other recreational facilities.
The newest community in Collier County, Ave Maria is conveniently located east of Interstate 75. The town and university were founded in 2005 by Tom Monaghan, also the founder of Domino's Pizza and chancellor of the university. The award-winning Roman Catholic oratory at Ave Maria University is based on Frank Lloyd Wright's work. One of the oratory's most distinctive characteristics is its steel structure, much of which is exposed internally and externally. The community is also home to adventure outfitter Orange Jeep Tours and The Stable Life, offering trail rides on horseback, riding lessons and carriage rides.
Signature events in Ave Maria include the Sunshine State Steak Cook-Off (January) the Holiday Celebration of Lights (December).