A charming lakefront town in Central Florida with only around 12,000 residents, Mount Dora is one of Florida’s most beloved small-town treasures. Lined with 19th-century clapboard houses surrounded by a towering canopy of leafy trees, visitors often come to this laid-back town to explore its famous antique shops and get a classic glimpse of Old Florida
Walk along the historic downtown district and you’ll discover an artsy valley community where outdoor cafes, galleries, gourmet restaurants and wineries are brimming with activity. Shopping opportunities are in abundance, where many visitors and locals alike can be found searching for valuable antiques and collectibles in the town’s array of vintage shops.
Playing host to a variety of nationally known annual festivals, Mount Dora biggest claim to fame is its three-day Mount Dora Art Festival that is held the first weekend in February each year. Attracting more than 250,000 people, it’s one of the area’s most popular events. Nicknamed “The Festival City”, don’t fret if you’re not in Mount Dora for the famous Art Festival, as the city boasts a Spring Fest in March, Seafood Festival in August and Blueberry Festival in April. The city also attracts large crowds during the monthly antique fairs at Renninger’s, a local hotspot that is a combination of an antique center with a farmers and flea market.
Popular in the 1920s, this historic haven was also a winter retreat for hunters and fishermen, while notable leaders such as President Calvin Coolidge and Dwight Eisenhower, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford all stayed at the still operational Lakeside Inn hotel. Those looking to gain more insight into Mount Dora’s rich history can head to the Mount Dora History Museum located in the first fire station and old jail or snap a photo of the Mediterranean-style Princess Theater that dates back to 1922.
To really appreciate the town’s hidden gems, get out and explore the local topography of Mount Dora, where you can either fly high in a floatplane tour straight from the 4,500-acre lake or take a scenic boat ride along Lake Dora to see some of the local wildlife, including alligators and bald eagles.
A 100-year-old plus area, this easy going town is nestled near the beautiful Lake Dora in the Harris Chain of Lakes. Considered the “Bass Capital of the World”, both novice and expert fishing enthusiasts can find plenty of quiet spots to go fishing and unwind from the hustle and bustle of big city life.
Located just an hour from downtown Orlando, Mount Dora is in an ideal location to access many of the top family-friendly attractions in Florida by car. Perfect for when you’ve had your fill of crowded beaches, theme parks, and tourist attractions, take a day trip to this charming small town, and soak in Mount Dora’s quaint atmosphere, beautiful architecture, and natural surroundings.