15 things to do in Mount Dora (FL)

Located near the geographic center of Florida, just northwest of Orlando, Mount Dora is known for its abundance of lakes, small-town charm, and numerous annual festivals.

Founded more than 140 years ago, Mount Dora had approximately 12,500 residents at the time of the last census.

Mount Dora is equidistant from the state’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and close to a variety of natural and historical attractions and theme parks, making it the perfect starting point for craving day trips.

Lighthouses, historic sites, and abundant natural beauty are a few of the reasons why Mount Dora has become famous, so finding work in town isn’t a problem.

1. Grantham Point Park

Mount Dora Lighthouse, Grantham Point Park

Grantham Point Park is one of Mount Dora’s main attractions and is home to the Mount Dora Lighthouse, one of the only remaining freshwater lighthouses in the state.

The park’s lakefront views are perfect for photographers looking to capture the area’s stunning beauty, and there’s a boardwalk along the lakeshore that leads to other regional parks like Isle of Palms Park and Gilbert Park.

Although the lighthouse is less than 40 feet tall, it is a unique local icon. Adjacent to a boat ramp, it is a popular departure point for boaters and fishermen, and is just minutes from the city center.

2. Dora Mountain Craft Festival

Dora Mountain Handicraft Spring Festival

Although Florida’s winters aren’t harsh, spring is still a time for flowers and festivals in small towns.

The Dora Mountain Craft Spring Festival is held for two days in March. It’s an open-air event that celebrates everything – from arts and crafts to antiques and food – and draws a loyal crowd every year. The festival has more than 200 exhibitors.

Held in downtown Mount Dora, it includes delicious food and fun family activities.

3. Cellar Door

cellar door

Located on East 4th Avenue in Mount Dora, The Cellar Door is a cozy wine bar that, according to previous guests, perfectly blends modern design with traditional comforts.

Their menu includes almost every kind of wine and craft beer. There’s even champagne and cider for those interested in trying something a little different.

Wine is served by the glass or by the bottle, and they often host special events such as karaoke, open mic nights and live music.

For those new to the area, this is a great place to meet the locals and gain insight into what to see and do on the go.

4. Donnelly House

Donnelly House

Donnelly House in Mount Dora is the town’s oldest home and was originally built in the 1890s by an out-of-state businessman as a gift for his new wife.

See also  15 Things to Do in Oakland Park (FL)

The home features Queen Anne architecture and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.

It’s on North Donnelly Street, and while it’s only open to the public from time to time, it’s an easy walk from the city center. This is one of the unique area attractions worth your few minutes, especially if you’re interested in history or just want to take a cool photo or two.

5. Rainings

Reininger

Renningers is a local Mount Dora business and described as part antique mall, part flea market and part farmers market, it’s a popular shopping destination unlike anything else you’ll find in town.

The Flea and Farmers Market sections are open every Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm, and the Antique Center is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Renningers hosts a variety of special events throughout the year; they include community yard sales and live entertainment, and it is also the Salvation Army donation site.

If you want to avoid the crowds, consider visiting in the morning.

6. Mount Dora Olive Oil Company

Mount Dora Olive Oil Company

Just like the wine and craft beer renaissance that has occurred in recent years, olive oil has exploded in popularity.

Not only does it taste great, but in its most natural, organic state, it offers a variety of health benefits not found in other vegetable oils.

Mount Dora Olive Oil Company is full of olive oils and similar products from all over the world, and they ship them anywhere in the country.

There are always plenty of samples on hand, and the friendly and knowledgeable staff will answer your questions.

It’s a great place to get a brief respite from the harsh Florida sun.

7. Country Coffee Maker

rustic coffee maker

Traveling coffee lovers and desperate caffeine addicts will be happy to know that there is at least one independent coffee shop left in historic Mount Dora.

Village Coffee Pot is located on North Donnelly Street in the heart of the city, and according to people familiar with the matter, there is no better place in the area to get a cup of freshly baked Javanese coffee.

From Cuban coffee and high-octane espresso to silky cappuccinos and gourmet lattes, there’s probably something for everyone, no matter the taste, and they offer some cold beverage options too.

Known for their delicious cookies and cakes, they even serve soups, sandwiches and wraps.

8. Dora Mountain Blueberry Festival

Blueberry Muffins

Although Florida agriculture is known for its citrus fruits, melons and tomatoes, blueberries have been growing steadily in recent years.

See also  15 Best Tours in St. Augustine, FL

Never one to pass up an opportunity for a new festival, Mount Dora hosts a two-day blueberry festival in Donnelly Park every April.

The festival is one of the most recent additions to the town, but already includes hundreds of vendors, live entertainment, plenty of food and many kid-focused activities.

Of course, antioxidant-rich blueberries are the star of the show, and visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy blueberries in pies, muffins, jams and more like never before.

9. Mount Dora Seafood Festival

Dora Mountain Seafood Festival

From blueberries to crafts and many things in between, Mount Dora is a holiday lover’s paradise. The annual Mount Dora Seafood Festival is held for two days at the end of September.

Admission is free, and there is a free shuttle between the local high school and Evans Park on both days.

The festival is only in its 4th year, but has grown to include more than 100 vendors selling a variety of fresh seafood, clothing and crafts.

The park’s waterfront location makes it an ideal venue for this type of event, and gates open at 11am on both days.

10. Windsor Rose Tea Room & Restaurant

Windsor Rose Tea Room & Restaurant

While Mount Dora isn’t usually mistaken for a quaint British town, you can still experience traditional British flair at the Windsor Rose Tearoom and Restaurant.

Whether for breakfast or afternoon tea, Windsor Roses can be found. They are known for their scones and biscuits, finger sandwiches and a wide variety of teas.

You may not get a glimpse of royalty, but previous guests have noticed that the tea room and restaurant are as authentic as you’re likely to find anywhere on this side of the Atlantic. They also serve beer and wine.

11. Dora Mountain Craft Fair

Dora Mountain Craft Fair

For more than 35 years, Mount Dora has hosted an annual craft fair. With over 400 exhibitors from across the country, it has grown to be one of the largest in the state.

The fair takes place in the city center and includes handcrafted items you won’t find anywhere else. Many tourists choose to stock up and save the many items they buy as birthday and Christmas gifts and stock fillers.

There is also a lot of art, including paintings and sculptures, sculptures, and even indescribable contemporary pieces.

The fair takes place in October, when the weather is nice, and includes delicious food and kid-friendly activities.

12. Mount Dora Golf Club

Mount Dora Golf Club

Mount Dora Golf Club was established in 1945, and since then it has been a favorite destination for golfers who don’t want to spend a fortune or set aside four or more hours a day.

See also  15 things to do in Oviedo (FL)

At just 5,700 yards, the par-70 course is shorter than most courses, but it’s set amidst 90 acres of landscape that includes elevation changes and strategically placed sand and water hazards to keep things interesting.

A variety of tees are available for players of most ages and ability levels, and in general rounds can be completed in about three hours.

13. King’s Landing

King's Landing

Located on Baptist Camp Road in nearby Apopka, King’s Landing is the perfect starting point for outdoorsmen who like to explore the Wekiva River and its countless tributaries.

Although much of the area was severely damaged by the recent hurricane, the river and surrounding land have largely recovered; they are one of the best places to see the beauty of Florida in its most pristine state.

Canoe and kayak rentals are available Wednesday through Sunday, and there are country campsites along the way for those who want to spend the night under the stars.

Reasonably priced, camping costs extra.

14. Rock Springs Run State Preserve

Rock Springs Run State Preserve

From hiking and horseback riding to mountain biking and bird watching, Rock Springs Run State Preserve is an action-packed destination popular with outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life.

The reserve is home to a variety of animals, including snakes, turtles, foxes, and even bears. Many of them are often seen from the trails that meander through the reserve.

Most guests only enjoy the sanctuary for the day, but for the fit and adventurous, there are rough and remote campsites – although they are not easily accessible and must be booked in advance.

The reserve is located near Sorrento and is open every day.

15. House of Blues

house of blues orlando

Orlando’s House of Blues is a well-known restaurant-bar live entertainment venue known for its high-profile performers, cool vibes and delicious food.

The Blues House has been likened to bars more commonly found in New Orleans and Memphis, and while it’s a family-friendly attraction, it does have an adult feel, especially at night when most of the kids are in bed.

They are also known for highlighting local and regional talent, and many of the House of Blues performers continue to be in the national spotlight.

Great burgers and ribs are some of the favorites on the menu, and there’s a full bar with wine, beer and mixed drinks.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Mount Dora, FL, FL
Lowest price guaranteed.