Mount Dora is a city in Lake County, Florida. It is a charming town consisting of 1,400 named lakes. Situated on rolling hilly terrain, Mount Dora sits 184 feet (56 m) above sea level on beautiful Lake Dora which is part of the Harris chain of lakes, including Lake Beauclaire, Lake Eustis, Lake Griffin, Lake Harris and Lake Yale.
Nicknamed many times over, Mount Dora is often referred to as "The New England of the South", "The City of Parks", "Antique City", and "The Festival City". Even Money Magazine seemed enthused, naming Mount Dora in their "Top Places to Live Today". With a population of around 12,000, it still holds a small town appeal, but provides many options in shopping, restaurants, and things to do and see.
In Mount Dora's early history, citrus was its major industry and even though you can still get a glorious whiff of the fragrant white blossom of the orange tree in springtime, it has become more of a tourist destination wherein people from all over the world come for its ambiance. Mount Dora was the primary setting of the 1981 comedy film Honky Tonk Freeway, a box-office flop, though trivia enthusiasts will enjoy the fact that the entire town was painted pink for the movie (some remnants of which can still be seen today).
From Orlando International Airport, Mount Dora is just under an hour's drive away. From the Beachline to west Florida Turnpike, go to Toll 929 to SR 441 going north to Mount Dora. From I-95, to I-4 West to Sanford. Take SR 46 into Mount Dora.
From I-75 south of Ocala to Wildwood. SR44 to US 441, south to Mount Dora.
Mount Dora is a great walking town, with parks and alleys and little enclaves. You can also take an historic tour through the city by using the Mount Dora Road Trolley which departs at the historic Lakeside Inn at 100 N. Alexander Street. +1 352 385-1023.
- The Lakeside Inn.. Walk back in time over a hundred years to 1883. Former President Calvin Coolidge and his wife would spend their winters here. The lobby retains a romantic 19th century feel with vintage furniture, fireplaces, a cozy restaurant and ballroom and a wonderful piano bar. You can order an iced tea and sit on one of the rockers on the front porch overlooking Lake Dora, take a lake cruise from the dock, or just stroll the beautifully landscaped grounds.
- The Old Jail and the Royellou Museum. This might take a full five minutes, but it is a fun little excursion.
- Rusty Anchor Boat Tours, 4th Avenue City Docks, ☏ . Take a sunset cruise around Lake Dora, or a slow-paced cruise to see the wildlife on the Dora Canal.
- Central Florida Glides Segway Tours, 430 N. Alexander Street, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Embark on a guided Segway tour around the town. You'll have a lot of fun riding these unique vehicles as you zip around the various neighborhoods and nature trails.
- Beaver Air Tours (Lake Country Air Service), 100 Alexander St., ☏ . Take a seaplane ride off Lake Dora. The aerial views of Mount Dora, nearby lakes, surrounding towns, and the rest of Lake County are captivating. Aviation enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the flight aboard an authentic de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver.
- 1 Rock Springs Run State Preserve. Open from 8AM till 6PM year round. A 14,000 acre (57 km²) State Park in the Lake County, Florida, located about 30 miles northeast of Orlando in Sorrento, 3 miles west of the Wekiva River bridge on State Road 46. The park contains a number of Indian mounds, pine flatwoods, swamps and artesian springs, and a number of creeks and rivers. Among them are Seminole Creek, Wekiwa Springs Run, Rock Springs Run, the Wekiva River, and Blackwater Creek. Activities include bicycling, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, hunting and wildlife viewing. Among the wildlife of the park are Florida black bear, Florida scrub jay, sandhill crane, indigo snake, gopher tortoise. Amenities include a canoe and kayak, rentals, swimming, tubing, about 17 miles of trails, access to the Rock Springs Run and the Wekiva River, primitive canoe and equestrian camping facilities.
- Ride the Vintage Train. Office near The Lakeside Inn.
- Walk the long lakeside boardwalk that leaves Griffin Park and follows Lake Dora. It is a beautiful walk and follows the shoreline for a good distance. Also, at the same park, check out one of the few freshwater lighthouses still in operation.
A wide variety of specialty shops can be found in Mount Dora. You'll discover great unique finds and can interact with friendly folks the South is known for.
- The Goblin Market Ambiance and good food merge together magically.
- The Frosty Mug Owned by two Icelandic sisters, Thora and Maria, this wonderful, friendly place offers a menu with a Scandinavian flair!
- Fifth Ave. Cafe Consistently good food. Nice view of Donnelly park.
- The Retro Funky, fun, good food.
- The Vicking Lounge (upstairs in the Frosty Mug).
- Upstairs at The Goblin Market.
- One Flight Up Cafe. Overlook the town.
- The Tremain Bar at Lakeside Inn.
- Lakeside Inn, toll-free: . Offers rooms in 4 historic buildings, 40 miles north of Orlando.
- Magnolia Inn, ☏ . Victorian-themed bed and breakfast located a short walk from downtown.
- The Grandview, ☏ . Southern-style bed and breakfast.
- Mount Dora Historic Inn, ☏ . Cozy bed and breakfast with separate cottages for those who like more room or privacy.