Again, the lights at Donnelly Park during the holidays. Photo looks better enlarged.
MT DORA EVENTS:
February - Art festival, 1st weekend
March - Spring bike rally, 1st weekend
April - Art in the Park, Spring Sailing Regatta, Antique Auto festival
October - Bike festival, 3rd weekend Craft Fair, 4th weekend
December - Lighting of Mt. Dora & X-mas walk
inland lakes railway
the inland lakes railway operates a tourist train from mount dora to nearby tavares and eustis. on weekends they run the orange blossom dinner train. a fun way to see the country side of lake county. see their website for more information.
The first store in Mount Dora was built in 1884 on cypress pilings over the lake, at the end of what was then 2nd Ave. Its first proprietors were J.M. Alexander and G.A. Rhodes. They sold every variety of pioneer needs, with the goods being delivered by a little lake steamer which connected with the Oklawaha boats at Leesburg. The store was later moved onto the grounds of the Lakeside Inn, becoming Kumquat Cottage. In 1925, the pilings were pulled out, still in good shape after 35 years.
Mount Dora is a small olde world picturesque Lake side town about a 40 minute drive from Orlando. The town was originally called Royellou in 1880 after the names of the local postmaster’s children. It was renamed in 1883 as Mount Dora. The Dora from Dora Ann Drawdy who with her husband were homesteaders in the area in 1846. The Mount part because it is 184 feet above sea level and as Florida is flat as a pancake the area qualifies as a Mount.
Small town, horse-country Florida
"Horsey country - with a little vino"
This patch of Florida north of Orlando is real horse-country. My friend Louise has moved down here and gotten much involved in the riding and breeding scene. Recently, when I was down in Sebring visiting my Dad, Louise and I arranged to have a chatty reunion lunch in Mt. Dora, a charming community (about 10,000 people here) which caters to the equestrian folk of the area. I found Mt. Dora to have just the right amount of prosperity - the small town thrives, with an active central business district, but it's not especially glitzy or la-di-da upper crust (unlike some places in Florida I could mention.) Louise and I had a long and leisurely meal at Cecile's French Corner, a "bistro tres charmante" with outdoor seating, a lovely cafe menu and a more-than serviceable wine list.
After our two-bottle lunch (but they were only whites!) we repaired for coffee at the wonderful Dickens-Read bookstore, on Fifth Street just around the corner from the Cecile's. Dickens-Read is an independent bookseller - love 'em! - with its own independent coffee purveyor inside the store. Good coffee and good books: a recipe for civilization, IMHO.