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Days out - Mount Dora - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Places to Visit

If you fancy something a little different from the theme parks and the neon signs of International Drive and highway 192 a great place to visit for the day is the beautiful old town of Mount Dora in Lake County. Located approximately 25 miles northwest of Orlando it’s easy to find. From the Walt Disney World area travel west on highway 192 then north on highway 27 until you reach highway 19 signposted Howey-In-The-Hills continue on highway 19 to Tavares and turn right on Highway 441 heading south. Turn right at Donnelly Street and follow the road to downtown Mount Dora.

Mount Dora is famed for its arts and antiques and is said to have the best antique shopping area in Florida. The “City” has the feel of small town America with several lakes, large oak trees and many historic buildings. If you are looking for arts, antiques, wonderful pavement café’s and restaurants or just want a relaxing change to the parks this is a good choice.

The town is named after the lake and believe it or not the “Mount” refers to the city being some 184 feet above sea level!

Try visiting over a weekend and take in Renningers which is a large antique market and is a town landmark, or visit the Mount Dora Center for the Arts which have works by local and national artists and a sculpture garden. The Royellou museum which tells the history of the town is housed in the old city jail and still has some of the original jail cells.

If wine is your tipple there are many wine shops or why not try the free tour (Wednesday to Sunday) and wine tasting at the Ridgeback winery which is located on N. Baker Street off E.3rd Ave. All the wines have a “dog theme” name such as “Hair of the Dog”, “Snuggle Puppy”, “Lazy Dog” you get the picture!

Mount Dora really is a picturesque place to visit with its many lakes and parks. Palm Island Park has a 1700 foot boardwalk to stroll along and take in the wildlife, next door is Grantham Point which has a lighthouse and Donnelly Park hosts free concerts and events.

The town hosts eight major annual events beginning with the Mount Dora Arts Festival. This event attracts over 150,000 people each year and has been ranked among the top 200 arts shows in the country. Other events include an antique boat show, antique car show, sailing regatta, bicycle festival, crafts fair and the Christmas lighting festival, which features over a million Christmas lights. So whatever time of year you choose to visit be sure to put Mount Dora on your "must do" list.

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