Tavares, like its neighbors Mt. Dora and Eustis, is a small town, and in 2020 its population was 19,000. In 1880, New Orleans businessman of Portuguese ancestry Alexander St. Clair-Abrams founded and named the town. St. Clair-Abrams hoped the town would be made Florida's state capital, but that honor ultimately went to Tallahassee, and Tavares was made the Lake County's seat instead. However, the businessman and founder continued his efforts to promote the town by building a railroad connecting it to Orlando to the east. Today, the town is known for its seaplane base and is consequently known as "America's Seaplane City".
Alexander's son Alfred, a local politician who killed one of his political rivals following an allegedly rigged election, lived in Tavares and died in the town nearly twenty years after the assassination.
Tavares is on an isthmus between Lake Eustis to the north and Lake Dora to the south. Meanwhile, the city of Eustis is to the northeast, and Lake Harris is to the west of Tavares.
US-441 passes Tavares on its north side, between the lakes. From this road, North St. Clair Abrams Ave goes south to the downtown area near the north shore of Lake Dora. FL-19, Duncan Dr, goes from Howey-in-the-Hills north across Lake Harris to Tavares.
The downtown area is small, and the town is spread over a small area due to its presence between two lakes, Dora and Eustis.
- 1 Lake County Historical Museum, 317 W Main Street (southeastern corner of junction of Main and Sinclair), ☏ . Tu–F 10AM–3PM.
- 1 Tavares Recreation Park, 2030 W Burleigh Blvd, ☏ . Offers a boat ramp onto Lake Eustis on the northwest side of town.
- 2 Tavares Seaplane Base, ☏ . 9AM–5PM. A labeled picture of the marina/seaplane area can be found on the city website.
- 1 Angelo's Italian Restaurant, 2270 Vindale Rd, ☏ .
- Hurricane Dockside Grill, 3351 W Burleigh Blvd, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Su–Th 11AM–9PM, F–Sa 11AM–10PM. One of four of the restaurant's locations.
- 2 Ruby Street Grille, 221 E Ruby St, ☏ . American and Italian-American cuisine. Live music W–Su. Bar and indoor and outdoor dining.
- 1 Brü Tap House, 143 E Main St, ☏ . Tu–Th 3–11PM, F–Sa noon–midnight, Su noon–9PM. The BTW is down the road at 115 E Main St.
- 2 O'Keefe's Irish Pub, 115 S Rockingham Ave, ☏ . M–F 4–9PM, Sa 11AM–10PM, Su 11AM–8PM (2021).
- 1 Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tavares - Leesburg, 3601 W Burleigh Blvd (US-441), ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. $99+ per night (2021).
- 2 Key West Resort, 199 W Ruby St, ☏ , toll-free: , Tavares@staykeywesthotels.com. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM.
- 3 Mission Inn Resort & Club, 10400 County Road 48, Howey-in-the-Hills, ☏ , toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Golf-oriented resort with the El Campeón and Las Colinas Golf Courses.
- Mount Dora to the east, on the other side of the lake