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SPONSORED BY

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IT’S NO FISH TALE Lake County has the largest bass in the state! RAISING THE BAR The NTC is a gold mine for Olympians! DISC GOLF A new spin on an old sport!


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SPONSORED BY

W E LCOM E TO LA K E COUNTY F E AT U R E S 40 Lake County offers a boatful of

fishing opportunities

Of the many places Tim Frederick has done his bass tournament fishing, Lake County is his favorite. The Tavares High School graduate claims the trophy bass are the best in the Harris Chain of Lakes.

44 Vacation recreation

There are no clubs or caddies, no carts or tees, just a sweet little disc and a metal basket on a pole. Disc golf has come to Lake County to join sand volleyball, rowing, and those working for the gold.

50 Freshwater fun in Lake County 44

With more than 1,000 lakes, you’ll find freshwater wherever you go in Lake County. There are many places to experience the joy of fishing, boating, skiing, sailing, or just enjoying the ripples in the water during a quiet dinner.

50

D E PA R T M E N T S ABOUT THE COVER

Tim Frederick knows how to hook the big one! The professional fisherman has been on lakes across the country, but his favorite fishing spots are on the Harris Chain of Lakes. According to Tim, you’ll find a great place to catch a trophy bass. DIRECTION | JASON FUGATE PHOTOGRAPHY | FRED LOPEZ PHOTOSHOP | JOSH CLARK MODEL | PROFESSIONAL BASS FISHERMAN TIM FREDERICK

SPONSORED BY

TO L A KE CO U N TY

IT’S NO FISH TALE Lake County has the largest bass in the state! RAISING THE BAR The NTC is a gold mine for Olympians! DISC GOLF A new spin on an old sport!

8 10

WELCOME TO LAKE COUNTY CALENDAR

GUIDES 17 57 67 87

EXPLORE STAY PLAY DINE


★ PONTOON BOATS ★ DECK BOATS ★ JET SKIS

★ CRAIG CATS ★ KAYAKS ★ PADDLE BOARDS

PREMIER

RENTALS!

Intersection of US Hwy 441 & Hwy 19 // 1000 West Burleigh Blvd, Tavares

FAMILY FUN

www.WaterSportsRentals.com 352.253.0585

Se

aplane starting a Rides: t $44 per pe

Book online Jonesairandsea.com Or call 352-508-1800 150 E Ruby St, Tavares (Wooton Park) 100 N Alexander St, Mt Dora (Lakeside Inn)

rson (Beautiful s eaplane Fli ght-seeing Chain of La tours aroun kes, up the d th river, or ove from 10 min r the Orland e Harris utes to ove o attraction r an hour) s Seaplane B a r H o p starting a : t $168.75 p er person (The most u nique bar h op ex from lake to lake to lake perience EVE R as you front wateri splash ng holes) Breakfas t, Lunch a starting a n t $93.75 p d Dinner Fly-ins : e r person (Arrive in yo ur own priv ate s lunch, dinne r or a private eaplane for Breakfast, p anniversari es, proposa icnic. Perfect for birth days, ls , or just a sp Fly out, P e c ia l o u a ti d n g!) dle In: $139 per person (For the ou tdo where your ors enthusiasts: Fly by ka seaplane to Lake Eustis for a paddle yak or paddle board a nd guide w through the ill b Dora canal back to Lak e waiting e Dora)


AT YO U R S E RV I C E

There’s always something exciting happening at Akers Media. PUBLISHING

The magazines of Akers Publishing – Healthy Living, Style/Lake & Sumter Edition, and Style/The Villages Edition—set the standard by focusing on the communities they serve. Each magazine provides up-to-date, entertaining and thought-provoking content that thoroughly represents the people and places that make these communities special. C R E AT I V E

In 2012, Akers launched a full-service advertising agency that was been recognized nationally by the American Advertising Federation (AdFed) with multiple Addy awards. Our strategy is simple: provide big market agency quality with local convenience and attitude. • Branding • Advertising • Graphic Design

• Broadcast media • Interactive media • PR and Promotions

• Media placement • Custom Publishing

STUDIO

The old adage holds that a picture is worth a thousand words. Our philosophy is a thousand words is merely a good starting point. At Akers Studio, we produce priceless images that inspire words like magnificent, stunning, breathtaking and perfect. And we do so for every client, whether they need a quick passport photo or a 60-minute documentary. • Portraits • Events • Architectural

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just a touch away

TO LAKE CO UNTY SPONSORED BY

PUBLISHER | KENDRA AKERS kendra@akersmediagroup.com PRESIDENT | DOUG AKERS doug@akersmediagroup.com

Digitize your life.

CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER | JAMIE EZRA MARK jamie@akersmediagroup.com

Visit the Apple or Android app store today and download the Lake and Sumter Style and Healthy Living online magazine app for your mobile device. For the best in enhanced magazine entertainment, join us online for the media experience of a lifetime.

EDITORIAL WRITERS LEIGH NEELY | JAMES COMBS | THERESA CAMPBELL MARY ANN DESANTIS | DEBBI KIDDY

DESIGN CREATIVE DIRECTOR | JASON FUGATE jason@akersmediagroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER | JOSH CLARK josh@akersmediagroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER | VOLKAN ULGEN volkan@akersmediagroup.com PRODUCTION DIRECTOR | MICHAEL GAULIN michael@akersmediagroup.com PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY FRED LOPEZ MARY ANN DESANTIS LAKE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & TOURISM ADOBE STOCK SHUTTERSTOCK

Presented by

SALES VP OF SALES AND MARKETING | TIM MCRAE tim@akersmediagroup.com SR ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE | MIKE STEGALL mike@akersmediagroup.com ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE | TINA MORRISON tina@akersmediagroup.com

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WINNER OF AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE

Welcome to Lake County, March 2017. Published by Akers Media, 108 South 5th Street, Leesburg, FL 34748. All editorial contents copyright 2017 by Akers Media. All rights reserved. Welcome to Lake County is a registered trademark of Akers Media. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. For information, call 352.787.4112. Return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts and artwork if they are to be returned. Manuscripts are welcomed, but no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. “Special Advertising Feature” denotes a paid advertising feature. Publisher is not responsible for claims or contents of advertisements. The ideas and opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of Akers Media.

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TO L AKE COUNT Y •

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Welcome to Lake County

W

hether you’re a Central Florida local looking for a weekend getaway, or an out-of-town visitor here for a day trip or extended overnight stay, it is with great pleasure that we welcome you to Lake County. With tight budgets and a seemingly endless choice of potential vacation destinations, we are greatly appreciative that you have chosen to spend your time here with us in Lake County. We are confident you will enjoy your stay and find Lake County a warm and welcoming community that provides the ideal balance of excitement and relaxation. As our slogan, “Real Florida. Real Close.” suggests, Lake County is the perfect alternative to the Orlando theme parks and bustling coastal areas. Small-town charm, abundant natural resources and, most importantly, good people, characterize our great community. We pride ourselves on offering family-friendly experiences at a great value that reflect Florida in the way it was meant to be experienced. And with our prime location

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in the middle of the state, we are within a short drive of almost every major tourist destination in Florida. Lake County is committed to ensuring that you find exactly what you are looking for during your stay. Whether a peaceful kayak trip down one of our many blueways or an exciting ride in a seaplane, we invite you to get to know the many different faces of Lake County. This tourism guide provides a wealth of information about Lake County, or you can visit our website at visitlakefl.com to learn more about what makes Lake County special. We hope you enjoy your visit as much as we enjoy sharing our home with you, and we look forward to your return to our great community. Best regards,

ROBERT L. CHANDLER IV DIRECTOR, LAKE COUNTY ECONOMIC GROWTH


WHERE FISHING STORIES AREN’T EXAGGERATED Lake C ounty, Central Florida’s premier fishing destination.

Lake Eustis Lake Harris Lake Griffin Johns Lake Lake Dora St. Johns River

“As a professional bass fisherman there is no better place to live and practice than in Lake County, Florida. With well over 1,000 named lakes and countless miles of rivers and canals, Lake County is an ideal location to hone my skills and test new equipment.”

Tim Frederick, FLW Tour Angler To plan your next fishing trip, visit www.LakeBigBass.com/Welcome.


C ALENDAR

Save the date Lake County is home to many small but vibrant communities that host various festivals year-round. Find a treasure, take a bite, or see something truly unforgettable. F E S T I VA L S JANUARY

Renninger’s Civil War Reenactment Renninger’s Antique Center, Mount Dora Relive history with live Civil War weaponry demos, period costumes, and a gala ball. FEBRUARY

Mount Dora Art Festival Saturdays, 10am – 5pm Downtown Mount Dora A juried fine arts festival with more than 250,000 visitors anticipated.

GeorgeFest Ferran Park, Eustis Founded in 1902, this threeday festival celebrates George Washington’s birthday. MARCH

Pig on the Pond Waterfront Park, Clermont A fundraising effort for more than 20 local nonprofit organizations at Waterfront Park. Leesburg Fine Art Festival Downtown Leesburg Organized by Leesburg Center for the Arts, it features exhibitors, food vendors, live music, a car show, kids area, and a student art exhibit.

Antique Boat Festival Wooton Park, Tavares The Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival showcases some beautifully restored antique boats.

Mount Dora Craft Fair Last weekend, 9am-5pm Downtown Mount Dora A nationally ranked juried event, attracts more than 350 of the country’s best crafters.

APRIL

Not Too Scary Halloween October 21, Junior Softball Field, Lady Lake Offering families a fun time for Halloween without too much of the scary stuff.

Easter Egg Hunt Guava Street Sports Complex, Lady Lake Lady Lake’s annual Easter Egg Hunt is one of the most popular events in the community.

NOVEMBER

Fruitland Park Day Shiloh St. & N. Dixie Ave., Fruitland Park Annual family event with a parade, local entertainment, vendors, food, and games.

Lake County Fair Lake County Fairgrounds, Eustis The fair is 10 days with vendors, carnival, entertainment, creative arts, horticulture displays, and livestock shows. OCTOBER

Florida Black Bear & Wildlife Conservation Festival Cadwell Park, Umatilla A fun but educational festival to promote safe coexistence of humans and wildlife.

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Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire First and second weekends SR 19 & CR 448, Tavares Step back in time with Lords and Ladies in “Sherwood Forest.” Mount Dora Scottish Highland Festival Gilbert Park & Simpson Cove, Mount Dora Celebrate Scottish culture with Highland athletics, music, dancing, clan tents, and vendors.


FOOD EXPOS AND COMPETITIONS APRIL 28-30

Leesburg Bikefest Downtown Leesburg Downtown comes alive with the roar of motorcycles for one of the most popular motorcycle rallies and music events in the world. Features 12 venues.

FEBRURARY

Winefest Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Clermont Winefest XXVIII means enjoying the fruits of the year’s harvest, browsing the wares of 80 local artists and crafters, and listening to live music. MARCH

Taste of Mount Dora Sunset Park A spectacular evening of culinary delights prepared by Mount Dora’s finest restaurants. BBQ, Blues & Brews Downtown Leesburg Organized by the Leesburg Partnership, this festival offers all you can eat from the area’s best backyard barbecue competitors, electrifying blues music, and beer. Annual Chili Cook-off Harris Street, Umatilla Sponsored by the Umatilla Chamber of Commerce on Harris Street. Annual BBQ Cook-off Cadwell Park, Umatilla This event supports the Umatilla High School Boosters. APRIL

Mount Dora Blueberry Festival Elizabeth Evans Park, 9am-5pm Visitors can enjoy a blueberry pancake breakfast, a blueberry baking contest, judging, and sales, a blueberry pie-eating contest, and music. NOVEMBER

Craft Beer, Wine, & Food Festival Venetian Gardens, Leesburg, 6-10pm Held at the beautiful Venetian Gardens in Leesburg, this popular event allows attendees to sample more than 25 craft beers, wines, and signature dishes.

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C ALENDAR

FEBRUARY

Mardi Gras Saturday, 11am–11pm

Downtown Leesburg The streets come alive with the sights and sounds of New Orleans into the night.

M U S I C F E S T I VA L S AND CONCERTS

H O L I D AY E V E N T S J U LY

FEBRUARY

Mount Dora Music Festival Mount Dora Community Building Dedicated to presenting a multigenre, high-quality, cross-cultural celebration of music.

Lake County Fourth of July Celebrations Leesburg, Clermont, Tavares, Mount Dora, Eustis, South Lake, and Groveland. NOVEMBER

M AY

Blues-N-Groove Weekend Elizabeth Evans Park, Mount Dora This weekend continues a tradition of fabulous blues and groovy music at the gorgeous lakefront Elizabeth Evans Park.

Light Up Mount Dora Donnelly Park, Mount Dora Join in the celebration as Donnelly Park and downtown light up with close to 2 million sparkling lights, and a visit from Santa. DECEMBER

SPORTING EVENTS MARCH

Tavares Spring Thunder Regatta Wooton Park, Tavares The past comes alive as vintage and classic race boats of bygone eras return to Lake Dora in Tavares, now a major stop on the CRA Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit. Sailboat Regatta Mount Dora Yacht Club The oldest sailboat regatta in the state and a fun weekend for the whole family.

Mount Dora Christmas Parade Downtown Mount Dora The parade takes over the streets of downtown, featuring Mount Dora’s finest and ushering in the arrival of Santa Claus.

Light up Lady Lake Log Cabin, Lady Lake The Lady Lake Chamber of Commerce sponsors this event, featuring more than 2 million lights decorating the famous log cabin and Veterans Park. Howey Christmas Festival Howey-in-the-Hills Held in downtown Howey-in-theHills, it features food vendors, a car show, and a parade. Cracker Christmas Parade and Festival SR 19/Cadwell Park, Umatilla A celebration with the annual Cracker Christmas Parade & Festival in Umatilla that begins with a parade and then moves to Cadwell Park with live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, food, children’s activities, and more.

RECURRING AND M O N T H LY E V E N T S J A N U A RY/ F E B R U A RY/ N O V E M B E R

Renninger’s Antiques Extravaganza Renninger’s Antique Center, Mount Dora Three times a year, Renninger’s plays host to nearly 800 dealers from across the U.S. offering an array of items including highquality antiques and collectibles. MARCH

Citywide Yard Sale First Saturday Umatilla A gigantic yard sale hosted by Friends of the Umatilla Public Library. Community Yard Sale Saturdays Log Cabin, Lady Lake One man’s trash is another’s treasure at this annual community event.

Light Up Clermont Waterfront Park, Clermont Clermont’s three-day holiday festival recently added a live Christmas tree, which will be the focus of the lighting ceremony, live carolers, and food trucks. Leesburg Christmas Parade Downtown Leesburg An evening of holiday entertainment with performances by local groups, dazzling Christmas light displays, festive food plus carnival rides and games for kids.

NOVEMBER

Mount Dora Plant & Garden Fair Second weekend, Sunset Park, Mount Dora

Florida’s top growers bring more than 12,000 plants—orchids, native plants, butterfly-attracting perennials, herbs, along with rare and unusual tropical plants.

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ion for Life

ellence. Our peaceful setting sets the stage for students rogram and exciting extracurricular opportunities. The ws taught throughout all subjects helping students learn the future. Call 352-589-5683 today to see us in action!

Grove St., Eustis, FL 32726  352-589-5683  faitheustis.com

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

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Master Bedroom

Guest Bedroom

Find yourself right at home.

Whether you’re staying in Lake County, or thinking of staying in Lake County - you’re home at Key West. Our Signature Suites are casual luxury designed to accommodate as many as 8, in equal parts style and comfort. 2,500 square feet (yes, 2,500!), 2 bed / 2.5 bath - with living and dining area, full kitchen and wraparound balcony. Add the adjacent connecting corner room and half of the building is yours for the length of your stay! Staying on business? The Key West Resort is in the heart of Downtown Tavares, the county seat. Our lobby is a modest 167 steps to the front door of the Lake County Administration Building. The courthouse is nearly as close. Spread out informally with your team on the large, granite kitchen countertop, or dining room table... or your own balcony table overlooking Lake Dora. Hosting a meeting, or getting married? The Key West Resort is: • 728 steps to the Tavares Pavilion on the Lake’s regal conference rooms, which are sure to impress any client or potential partner (guests have a direct view of the Pavilion from the Suite’s balcony and each bedroom) • 721 steps to the Pavilion altar. Planning a wedding is work enough. We make the last few steps easy for you! Staying here on vacation? The Key West Resort is host to 4 unique restaurants and 1 wine & cigar bar. Thirteen bars and restaurants are downtown and within close walking distance of the hotel. No need for a cab or a car. Thinking of moving to Lake County? Stay with us and live as a local. Our Suites are as comfortable (and as big!) as any house. We think you’ll find yourself right at home here.


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Lago Dora

Tiki West

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199 W. Ruby St, Tavares, FL 32778 keywestlakedora.com | 352.508.5344 hello@keywestlakedora.com @keywestlakedora

Kālua Hale


E X P L O R E • P L AY • S TAY • D I N E

Finding every corner of the county There are four distinct sections of Lake County that always welcome visitors—Forest Gateway, Northwest Lake, Golden Triangle, and South Lake. Close your eyes and put your finger on any area of the Lake County map, and you’ll find a place to enjoy yourself. Whether it’s peace and tranquility you crave or adventure and remote possibilities, it’s there, just waiting for you to arrive.

MOUNT DORA LIGHTHOUSE

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US

27 /4 41

LEESBURG

LAKE GRIFFIN

US

441

U S 441

EUSTIS

C R 44

SR 19

S

44

LAKE DORA

TAVARES

1

MOUNT DORA

5

S R 44

ASTOR

SR

LAKE NORRIS

46

LAKE NORRIS CONSERVATION AREA

OCALA NATIONAL FOREST

CR 4 6A

Forest Gateway

C R 42

44

S R 40

G o l d e n Tr i a n g l e

LAKE EUSTIS

LAKE YALE

S R 19

44

PARK

Northwest FRUITLAND L a k e

LADY LAKE

UMATILLA C R 450

LAKE DORR

C

R

5A 44 CR

ALTOONA 19 SR

19 SR U

SR

C R 466 A

CR 46 6

THE VILLAGES

N

44 CR

CR 42

SR 46

44 SR

LAKE GEORGE

CR 437 CR 437

US 27

LOWER WEKIVA RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK


A

’S

N

PI

SR 33

E

19

SR 33

CR

561

S TU RN

1 C R 56

A’ PI KE

LAKE MINNEOLA

ID

C R 474

LAKE MINNEHAHA

44 8

455 LAKE APOPKA

MONTVERDE

CR

LAKE APOPKA NORTH SHORE

27

27

C R 561

FOUR CORNERS

LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

LAKE LOUISA

S R 50

MINNEOLA

CLERMONT

OR

South Lake

SR 50

FL

CR

ASTATULA HOWEYIN-THE-HILLS

YALAHA

GROVELAND

48

27 US

GREEN SWAMP WILDERNESS PRESERVE

U S 27

MASCOTTE

CR

LAKE HARRIS

SR 19 US

SR 50

K

48

ID SR

R

R CR 5 61

O FL

TU

CR

561 CR

US

0

1

2

4 MILES

6

8

S TAT E / U S R O A D S COUNTY ROADS B L U E WAY S TRAILS B O AT R A M P S

You’ll find fun, food, and adventure from one end of Lake County to the other. With more than 1,000 lakes, the water activities are endless, from kayaking, fishing, boating, and canal tours, to taking a leisurely cruise on a rented pontoon boat. Prefer a land-loving adventure? Enjoy a visit to one of the many quaint downtowns, featuring unique shops, historic museums, art galleries, local theaters, and picturesque waterfront dining.

TO LAKE COU NTY


EXPLORE

Forest Gateway U M AT I L L A • A LTO O N A • A S TO R

THE VILLAGES

LADY LAKE

CR 4 66

CR

44

FRUITLAND PARK CR 4 66A US

LAKE GRIFFIN

27 /4 41

SR

US

LEESBURG

441

44

US 27 LAKE HARRIS

FL O R ID A ’S TU R

CR

N PI

48

K E CR

48

YALAHA

US 27

HOWEY IN-THE-HI SR 19

SR 33

FL

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SR 50

OR

ID

A’

S

TU

R

CR 56

MASCOTTE

LAK MINNE

SR 50

GROVELAND

CLERM


LAKE GEORGE

F O R E S T G AT E WAY

S R 40

ASTOR

SR

19

CR

44

5A

Umatilla, Altoona, and Astor are communities in the northeast tip of Lake County—known as the gateway to the Ocala National Forest—where visitors savor a tranquil and idyllic nature setting and enjoy everything from camping, canoeing, hiking, and kayaking in crystalclear springs.

C

R

44

5

OCALA NATIONAL FOREST

CR 4 2

LAKE DORR

ALTOONA SR

19

C R 42

UMATILLA

LAKE NORRIS

SR

44

CR 450

LAKE NORRIS CONSERVATION AREA

LAKE YALE

SR 19

U M AT I L L A

CR 44 LOWER WEKIVA RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK

S R 44

EUSTIS

LAKE EUSTIS

CR 4 37

SR 19

U

US 44 1

S 44

19

SR

CR

44

CR

8

561

ASTATULA LLS

RN

CR 5 61

LAKE APOPKA NORTH SHORE

PI

CR

455 LAKE APOPKA

KE

MOUNT DORA

SR

46

CR 4 37

LAKE DORA

1

TAVARES

Population: 3,908 Size: 3 square miles

CR 4 6A

“Our logo is ‘Nature’s Hometown’ and we are all about the outdoors, trails and hiking, and enjoying SR 4 6 our small-town atmosphere,” says Umatilla City Manager Scott Blankenship, a true outdoors buff. “A lot of folks come to Central Florida and think Disney and that environment is what Florida is all about, but just 45 minutes away, you are in Umatilla and that’s real Florida—the ecotourism, access to the river and forest and what that offers.” Boating, fishing, camping, and hiking are among top recreational activities visitors enjoy in Umatilla, and nearby Alexander Springs is a big tourist draw, while the southern end features the Florida Trail, an unpaved hiking trail 60 miles long. In conjunction with Lake County, the city manager says Umatilla is

hopeful a North Lake Trail is in the future to provide access to pedestrians and cyclists from Umatilla to Astor, some 19.5 miles, starting from County Road 450 to the intersection of State Road 40 with the planned Black Bear Scenic Trail. “We have some of the most pristine springs in and around Umatilla,” adds Susan Martin, a third-generation Lake County resident who serves as the executive director of the Umatilla Chamber of Commerce. “We are the gateway to the Ocala National Forest, so we are the real Florida that Lake County refers to: Real Florida. Real Close.” One popular tourist attraction is the 16-foot tall “Big Orange”—a retail outlet at Sunsational Citrus on Highway 19—acquired and restored by the Faryna family, local citrus farmers. Visitors can walk in the orange-shape

US 27

61

KE EOLA

MONTVERDE

MINNEOLA

MONT

SR 5 0

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

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EXPLORE

gift shop where local wines, salsas, and Florida-grown fruits are available. “People are coming from all over the state to see this orange,” says Martin. The structure previously sat vacant on U.S. Highway 441 for years, and Martin says back in the 1940s, many visitors came to Florida to see big orange structures dotting the highways. “I am very proud of our multigenerational families who continue to invest in the agriculture industry here—the Faryna family with their citrus, and we have a third-generation Graham family who opened the very first season of their home-grown peaches.” Several other Umatilla farms are showcasing blueberries, pomegranates, and olives. “So many people tend to think of Lake County’s agriculture industry being

dead as a result of the 1980s freezes. My community reinvested and brought back to life the agriculture industry,” Martin says. “I think we are one of the most hospitable communities in Lake County. At Old Mill Stream RV Resort, we have more than 1,200 visitors who spend the winter with us. So our population increases by 1,000 October through April.” Umatilla’s North Lake Community Park is regarded as one of the nicest sports complexes in the region with 5 multi-purpose fields, two baseball/softball quads, a 1.4-mile perimeter loop trail, and a .75-mile nature trail on the 96-acre facility. Restaurants like Old Crow Barbecue and Mason Jar draw folks to Umatilla, as does the annual Florida Black Bear and Wildlife Conservation Festival, and the municipal airport, which provides easy access.

ALEXANDER SPRINGS

A LT O O N A Population: 89 Size: .5 square miles

One of the smaller towns in Lake County, Altoona is the boyhood home of U.S. Marine and World War II Medal of Honor recipient, Robert M. McTureous, Jr. The McTureous Homestead and Museum (an early 19th century cracker home) is on the east side of State Road 19. Enlisting in the Marines in 1944, Pvt. McTureous suffered mortal wounds June 7, 1945, on Okinawa. The Medal of Honor citation states: “By his fearless initiative and bold

tactics…He had succeeded in neutralizing the enemy fire, killing six Japanese troops and effectively disorganizing the remainder of the savagely defending garrison…He gallantly gave his life for his country.” Adjacent to the home is the McTureous Memorial Park. Another popular attraction is Alexander Springs in Altoona beach, a favorite of scuba divers. Hailed as one of the clearest swimming spots in Florida, the water is 72 degrees year round.


F O R E S T G AT E WAY

ASTOR Population: 1,560 Size: 2.34 square miles

Tina Hagstrom, secretary for the Astor Area Chamber of Commerce, regards her favorite town on the St. John’s River as one of Lake County’s best-kept secrets. The river sparks several water activities, including events hosted by the local hotels on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and a December boat parade that draws about 2,000 people annually. “The river is a focal point. We have five nice restaurants

BLACKWATER INN

here, and two are on the river,” Hagstrom says. “We are the only place to stop before Daytona, so our restaurants do well from one end of town to the other.” The river also draws anglers for a big bass fishing tournament in the fall. “They come from all over the country,” she says. “One of my favorite restaurants is still the old Blackwater Inn,” Hagstrom says, “where diners savor an elegant meal atop

the inn’s William’s Landing while boat tours depart the docks and travel the river. Those on the tour often see local wildlife and native plants.” The town caters heavily to snowbirds and wintering people, with the population rising about 1,700, which was what the town’s founder always wanted. William Backhouse Astor Jr., of New York, purchased 12,000 acres of land in 1874 to

establish the town that was only accessible by steamboat. He built a church, post office, schoolhouse, grocery store, cemetery, and even a railroad. His son, John Jacob Astor, IV, continued the legacy until he died aboard the Titanic in 1912. Vincent Astor did not share his father’s love of Florida and sold the area assets, yet the town remains devoted to tourism, and is one of the oldest townships in the United States.


EXPLORE

Northwest Lake TH E V I L L AG E S • L A DY L A K E • FRU ITL A N D PA R K • L EE S B U RG

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ALTOONA

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19

CR 4 2 SR

THE VILLAGES

UMATILLA

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CR 450

LADY LAKE

CR 4 6 6

Northwest Lake County features everything—dining, dancing, and riding motorcycles to rodeos, symphony concerts, and celebrity performances. It has been said that this part of the county’s small-town charm has a party edge that is balanced beautiful parklands. LAKE NORRIS CONSERVATION AREA

LAKE YALE

S R 19

FRUITLAND PARK CR 4 6 6 A CR

44

CR 44

US

LAKE GRIFFIN

27

CR 437

41

SR 19

/4 US

441

US 441

CR 4 6A

S 44

LEESBURG

U

44

TAVARES

1

SR

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EUSTIS

LAKE EUSTIS

LAKE DORA

SR

46

CR 437

US 27

MOUNT DORA

LAKE HARRIS

FL O R 19

ID

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SR

A R N

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TU

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8

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YALAHA HERITAGE PARK 48

ASTATULA

CR

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L A DY L A K E

SR 19

LAKE APOPKA NORTH SHORE

S R 33

CR 5 61

455 The growth inC RLady Lake has been tremendous, but it still retains ID L A Kits E A’ APOPKA S TU RN small-town beauty and air of welcome. PI KE The town government made its main goal responsible development and quality customer service, and it continues to Mmeet O Nthat T Vobjective. ERDE 1 Recreation in the area includes 56 R C MASCOTTE L Aseven KE golf courses, tennis courts, and MINNEOLA MINNEOLA playgrounds along with the popular soccer and baseball fields. SR 50 As you drive into town on U.S. C L E RHighway M O N 441, T one of the GROVELAND S R 5 0first places you’ll see is the historic log cabin that LAKE VENETIAN GARDENS isE Hnow MINN A H A home to the Lady Lake Chamber

FL

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SR 50

Population: 14,687 Size: 6.7 square miles

of Commerce. Just down the street is Heritage Park, a beautiful place to enjoy the lovely gazebo or let the kids gather under the spreading oak that hangs heavy with Spanish moss. For some family fun, visit Uncle Donald’s Farm, which has been around since 1980. Guests can visit the poultry patch, which has many “heritage” breeds of chickens. These include the Jersey Giants, New Hampshire, and fancy bantams. Don’t miss Grand Oaks Resort and Museum, which is the home of the Florida Carriage Museum.

US

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LADY LAKE PUBLIC LIBRARY

In addition to being a great place to shop, Lady Lake has a variety of nightly entertainment options on Spanish Springs Town Square in the retirement community of The Villages. There’s always someone dancing along to everything from classic country to smooth sounds of today’s

dance music. Lots of shops and restaurants are available in Spanish Springs along with the Rialto Theater and the beautiful concert hall, The Sharon. Among the popular activities in the town are the weekly Farmer’s Market and Art in the Park, both held in front of the town’s log cabin.

F R U I T L A N D PA R K Population: 4,251 Size: 3.7 square miles

This little Florida town is called The Friendly City for a special reason. There’s a charm and rustic appeal that’s complemented by the hospitality of the people. If you enjoy camping and the outdoors, Lake Griffin State Park is the place to go. There are 40 campsites that have fresh water and electricity, showers, restrooms, laundry facilities,

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and a picnic area. Once you’re ready to explore, there are nature trails, canoe and kayak rentals, and a boat ramp. The 620-acre park is the perfect place for family fun or the solitude of quiet reflection. Don’t forget to look for one of Florida’s mammoth oak trees estimated to be around 500 years old. To enjoy a bit of history, visit the Holy Trinity

Episcopal Church on Spring Lake Road. Built by a group of Englishmen who wanted an Episcopal church in the colony, the Holy Trinity Church cost $2,150 to build in 1888. Windy Acres Farms on County Road 44 has rodeos, barrel racing, and is home to the Leesburg Saddle Club. Fruitland Park is very proud of its Founder’s Day Bulls and Barrels Rodeo in March, which usually features more than 100 contestants, judges, scorekeepers, stock handlers, and volunteers. Bill Galbreath is the rodeo organizer, and he says more than 20 riders participate in “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.” Following that, five of the best horses in Florida are all in for the winner-takes-all big cash prize. For those who enjoy speed, there’s Speedway Park, which is recognized by the World Karting Association. SPEEDWAY PARK

Opened in 1958, the park now hosts the Motorcycle Flat Trackers, Southern Dirt Track Association, BikeFest SDTA Motorcycle Event, and BikeFest Camp & Race Weekend. There’s also Gardenia Park Recreation Complex, which has an amazing skateboard park, a pool, a handball court, playground, walking trail, a soccer/football field, and a sheltered pavilion. Fruitland Park prides itself on celebrations and events that feature family fun and activities all ages can enjoy.


NORTHWEST L AKE

LEESBURG

DOWNTOWN LEESBURG

Population: 20,117 Size: 24.5 square miles

The “Lakefront City” offers much in the way of vacation fun. With lakes in every area of town, there are no limits to the water activities or the peaceful joy of throwing a line in the water to fish. It’s the place that offers friendly, southern atmosphere and warmth that makes you feel safe. “I think it’s a ‘must do’ to get out on the lakes,” says Sandi Moore, executive director of the Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce. “Leesburg is real Florida.” The Leesburg Partnership ensures there are always a variety of activities going on in the town square, where you might find classic cars lining Main Street or food trucks with cuisine from Portugal, Italy, or Greece so you can enjoy your favorite ethnic meal with a great family movie. The local restaurants along Main Street offer great cuisine and friendly service. Venetian Gardens is not only a beautiful place to stroll and enjoy the charms of nature, you may even glimpse a big alligator gliding in the calm waters. There’s also a boat launch, a public pool, and Ski Beach. For baseball buffs, there’s historic Pat Thomas Stadium, which is still in use and home to the Leesburg Lightning. Built in 1937 for only $19,000, it was originally where a Phillies’ minor league team held spring training. “The city of Leesburg offers fun, leisure, historic charm,

hospitality, shopping, and great food for visitors of all ages,” says City Manager Al Minner. “Our many annual events, like Mardi Gras, Bikefest, Blues & BBQ , the Fine Arts Festival, and the annual Christmas Stroll are excellent. Year-round activities like Saturday Morning Market, Food Truckn-Flick nights, and a variety of water sports guarantee you’ll have a great time in the Lakefront City.” There’s even a Wild Beast Feast and a Spring Fish Fry at Mote Morris House that brings the whole community together for a meal. When you drive through the beautiful gates of the streetscape, you know you’re in the right place.

MOTE MORRIS HOUSE

FOOD TRUCK-N-FLICK NIGHT

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In the center of it all Business and tourism go hand in hand in Florida, and Leesburg offers the perfect place to grow your business and impact the global market. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Leesburg is on the brink, which is defined as the edge of steep place or land bordering water. The steep place is the metaphorical leap that must be taken to create change. At the heart of Central Florida, Leesburg is moving in one direction only—forward and there’s no looking back. “There is a lot to respect for the past of Leesburg, but it’s time to move forward to the future and see how far we can go,” says Michael Rankin, deputy city manager/business development. “The next big thing we need to do is connect Venetian Gardens to Downtown Leesburg with restaurants, shops, and cafés in both locations.” The industry and technology park in Leesburg has more than 640 acres of prime development area at Florida’s Turnpike and County 470. Everything is in place to make transitions as easy as possible—sites are zoned for fast-tract approvals of industrial development with a full complement of public utilities that include water, sewer, electric, natural gas, and high-speed fiberoptic communications. Florida has become known has an ideal location for business and industry due to the availability of transportation—road, air, rail, water—along with an abundance of skilled labor that is young (receiving education and training in local colleges and vocational schools) and those with a wide range of experience willing to share that knowledge. Change has begun in the best way possible, with the renaissance of the downtown and the addition of a splash pad and new playground at Venetian

PROPOSED SPLASH PARK AT VENETIAN GARDENS

PROPOSED GATEWAY TO THE CITY

Gardens. According to City Manager Al Minner, Leesburg leadership is working toward vast improvements with additions to the local budget along with grants to encourage businesses to update their façade, signage, and landscaping. These are small changes that can be big for business and the money is available to help business owners make the changes. If you’re ready to plant the seeds, there are many opportunities for great growth in Leesburg. Florida has no state tax and tax advantages to make your business dollars go further. The best edge you can have over competition is location, and Leesburg will put you in the heart of it with access to whatever you need to create a global market for your business. Success comes from building the foundation locally, making

For more information, call Michael Rankin at 352.728.9786 or visit leesburgflorida.gov

your mark regionally, and planning for the growth you achieve by marketing globally. “Leesburg’s past is the launching pad to the future to create a paradigm shift in this amazing Lakefront City,” says Derek Hudson, public information officer. That shift began with the events and entertainment offered by the Leesburg Partnership and local businesses with extended hours. Downtown has become the gathering place for all ages, and there’s room for everyone. “There are 527 parking spots downtown,” Michael says. “And it’s a walkable environment. That makes us a transitional community that is multi-generational and inviting.” That extends to the outer edges of Leesburg with the makeover of ViaPort Mall and its exciting entertainment complex and array of new store. “Everywhere you go in Leesburg, there are restaurants, entertainment venues, and thriving businesses,” Michael says. “But again, we’re just on the brink of something big that will make marketing your business from the heart of Central Florida less challenging and more exciting.” With residents, city leadership, and plans already in place, Leesburg is headed to a great future filled with partnership, performance, and progress.


LADY LAKE

CR 466

EXPLORE

FRUITLAND PARK CR 466A US 27 /4 41

Golden Triangle

SR

LEESBU 44

US 27

A S TAT U L A • E U S T I S • H O W E Y- I N -T H E - H I L L S • TAVA R E S • M O U N T D O R A • YA L A H A FL O R ID A ’S TU R N PI K CR

48

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SR 50

MASCO

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GREEN SWAMP


LAKE NORRIS CONSERVATION AREA

LAKE YALE

S R 19

GOLDEN TRIANGLE CR 44

CR

44

LOWER WEKIVA RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK

LAKE GRIFFIN

SR 44

EUSTIS

LAKE EUSTIS

441

U S 441

U S 44

URG

1

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19

LAKE HARRIS

SR

CR CR

44

8

SR 46

SR

46

561

48

CR 4 6A

CR 437

MOUNT DORA

LAKE DORA

CR

Eustis, Mount Dora, and Tavares make up the Golden Triangle, along with Astatula, Howey-in-the-Hills, and Yalaha. A visitor can find everything from quaint bed and breakfast inns to a lovely resort and spa. In addition to great food, fishing, flying, and family fun, you’ll find entertainment nightly in the town squares. CR 437

S R 19

US

YALAHA ASTATULA U S 27

HOWEYIN-THE-HILLS

EUSTIS

SR 19

LAKE APOPKA NORTH SHORE

A S TAT U L A

OR

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CR 5 61

MOUNT DORA YACHT CLUB FL

Population: 19,214 Size: 9.7 square miles

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455

Population: 1,298 LAKE A P O P K A miles Size: 2.2 square

KE

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Astatula’s natural beauty means it’s a great place for off-roading. The Coyote Mud Bog has mud pits, motocross MO N T V Etracks, R D Etrails for all-terrain 1 C R 56 vehicles, camping, and the added pleasure LAKE of an amphitheater. Another place for great MINNEOLA MINNEOLA family fun is Stanley Pond Adventure Farm. If you love the charm and purity of Old Florida, you’ll want to visit this small Florida town. 27

OTTE S R 50

CLERMONT

OVELAND

SR 50

LAKE MINNEHAHA

US

C R 56 1

SR

27

33 LAKE LOUISA

LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

CR

STANLEY POND ADVENTURE FARM

“We encourage and invite visitors to Eustis to enjoy our vibrant downtown, filled with unique shops and restaurants, and to see a performance at our historic Bay Street Players Theater,” says City Manager Ron Neibert. “ There’s the Lake Eustis Museum of Art and the Eustis Historical Museum. Another must-do in Eustis is a visit to beautiful Ferran Park with its panoramic views of Lake Eustis and a new children’s playground. Beautifully landscaped, with walking paths and benches throughout, the park provides a glimpse into the city’s history, including the restored sea wall running along the lakefront to the Mediterranean-style Alice McClelland Bandshell, which is listed on the National Historic Register.”

Nine pieces of quality art, including the iconic “Heron” sculpture by artist Doug Hays in Ferran Park, are sprinkled throughout the historic downtown area. “Enjoy a scenic stroll on the Eustis Lake Walk, which extends for one-quarter mile along the lakeshore and offers four gazebos with benches,” Ron says. “Don’t miss catching a sunset over Lake Eustis—truly one of the most breathtaking sunsets around!” The event season in Eustis begins with the African American Heritage Festival and parade in February. “We host many other unique events throughout the year, including a street performer festival, a music festival, a folk festival, and GeorgeFest, a three-day celebration of George Washington, and

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TAVA R E S Population: 14,583 Size: 7.5 square miles

Tavares is known today as “America’s Seaplane City” and boasts the Tavares Seaplane Base and Marina. Nearby Wooton Park hosts more than 20 events throughout the year.

TAVARES PAVILION ON THE LAKE FERRAN PARK

encourage visitors to the area to visit our website www.eustis.org to check our event calendar,” Ron says. Eustis is also proud to host the annual Lake County Fair,

each April. Generally, about 80,000 people attend each year for the carnival rides and booths, live entertainment, creative arts, horticulture displays, and livestock shows.

H O W E Y- I N -T H E - H I L L S Population: 1,139 Size: 1.9 square miles

Located on the shoreline of Little Lake Harris, Howey-inthe-Hills is a rural village that offers unparalleled natural beauty among rolling hills and pristine lakes preserved in the Griffin Waterfront Park and the Sara Maude Mason Nature Preserve. The convenience to Central Florida attractions makes it an ideal place to visit. The state’s first citrus juice plant was built here in 1921 by the town’s founder, William John Howey. It’s also home to the family-owned Howey Market, which offers

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groceries, made-to-order deli sandwiches, fresh local produce, ice cream, and more than 100 cold craft beers. It has a relaxed country atmosphere though it is home to the Mission Inn Resort and Club, one of Florida’s premier golf and spa destinations. MISSION INN

“From its pristine waterfront park overlooking Lake Dora, one can watch seaplanes land and take off every day of the week,” says John Drury, city


administrator. “Whether you arrive by boat, car, golf cart, or plane, you’ll find weekends full of activity that takes place among a backdrop of thriving restaurants and music while enjoying a view of our beautiful lake.” “Tavares Waterfront Entertainment District continues to get better—and

bigger! From the new Pavilion On The Lake located at the east end of the park to the additional eight-acre ‘Interpretive Nature Park and Board Walk,’ this new 16-acre destination is connected with a new paver-bricked walking promenade called Ruby Street,” Drury says, “which is lined with restaurants, music, hotels and entertainment.” Just a short drive away, the Historic Lake County Courthouse houses the Lake County Historic Museum for the history buffs in your group. Watersports enthusiasts and audiences alike are anticipating the Hydro Drag Jet Ski World Championship, coming in June. Mike Young, of Surf and Turf Promotions says, “Tavares is one of the most gracious host cities on the tour.” Last year, the world record was broken right here on Lake Dora by Uba Perez, skyrocketing across the lake at 114.6 mph—on a jet ski.

YALAHA BAKERY

RENNINGER’S ANTIQUE CENTER

MOUNT DORA Population: 13,182 Size: 5.7 square miles

Award-winning Mount Dora is a great town to visit and is known as “Someplace Special” for its charm, friendly folks, superb dining and shopping, and “The Festival City” because there’s a festival, event or fair almost every weekend. With its own lighthouse and waterfront, it has been listed by Smithsonian.com as “One of the Best Small Towns to Visit.” The original Florida Highwaymen artists have two annual shows and there may be a kilt or two seen when they celebrate the Scottish Highland Games/Festival. Other festivals include the Mount Dora Arts Festival and

Spring Fest, the Blueberry Festival, a Music Festival, the Annual Taste of Mount Dora, Bicycle Festival, and the Plant & Garden Fair. One of the newest is the Mount Dora Patriot Cruise & Salute, which benefits wounded, injured, and ailing veterans of the armed forces. It’s one of the prime areas for antique shopping, and you could stroll the streets for hours moving from one quaint shop or restaurant to another. Your stay can be a cozy good time at a bed and breakfast inn or a private rented cottage, or relax in history and beauty at the Lakeside Inn.

YA L A H A Population: 1,549 Size: 14.8 square miles

The name of the town is derived from the Seminole word for orange. Yalaha is home to the Yalaha Bakery. Designated “A bakery like no other,” the family-owned bakery founded in 1995 serves genuine German breads and old-world tortes and pastries. It also features

live entertainment in the German Beer Garden outside the restaurant. The Yalaha Bootlegging Company Craft Distillery uses family recipes for moonshine, brandy, and whiskey made from distilled organic blueberries. These products are also sold in area stores.

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Someplace Special

510 N. Baker Street | P.O. Box 176 | Mount Dora, FL 32757 | 352.735.7100 TO L AKE COUNT Y •

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South Lake

CL ER M O NT • G ROV EL A N D • M A S COT T TE • M I N N EO L A • M O NT V ER D E

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9

NORTH SHORE

OR

ID

CR

CR 5 61

SR 33 FL

A’

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455

SOUTH L AKE

LAKE APOPKA

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US 27

SR 50

MONTVERDE

1 CR 56

MASCOTTE

LAKE MINNEOLA

MINNEOLA

SR 50

CLERMONT

GROVELAND

SR 50

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US

CR 5 6 1

SR

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33 LAKE LOUISA

South Lake County’s pristine lakes and rolling hills—a unique characteristic in Florida—create an identity all its own. Without question, Clermont, Groveland, Mascotte, Minneola, and Montverde offer much for those looking to enjoy an adventurous vacation in Lake County.

LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

CR

561

US 27

GREEN SWAMP WILDERNESS PRESERVE

CR 474

FOUR CORNERS

SPLASH PAD ON 4TH OF JULY

CLERMONT Population: 34,667 Size: 16.82 square miles

LAKE LOUISA

Clermont is known as the “Choice of Champions” because of its international reputation as the training ground for elite athletes. The combination of beautiful lakes, challenging hills, and warm climate make it an ideal location to train and compete. In 2016, the Orlando Business Journal Reader’s Choice Awards named the City of Clermont “Best City to Live in.” Clermont is home to the National Training Center (NTC), which has a 37,000-square-foot fitness facility, a 400-meter outdoor track-and-field complex, PFXA softball complex,

an aquatic center, and a Human Performance Lab for sports-science testing. A cadre of elite athletes choose to train at the NTC, including Olympic hopefuls from various countries, as well as swimmers, triathletes, and track-and-field stars. The city of Clermont is a hotbed for investment opportunities thanks to the implementation of the city’s award-winning master plan, with the first capital project Victory Pointe and Triathlon Beach breaking ground in spring 2017. The city’s master plan won the 2016 Florida

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EXPLORE

Redevelopment State award for best master plan. “Clermont is a phenomenal community in which to live, and now we’re becoming one of Florida’s hottest investment opportunities,” said City Manager Darren Gray. The Clermont area boasts the county’s highest educational and income status. With the University of Central Florida, Lake-Sumter Health Sciences Academy, and Lake Sumter State College in the city, along with the nationally recognized South Lake Hospital, it is dedicated to a culture of health and wellness.

• Clermont is located at the center point of the state’s Coast-to-Coast Trail, 101 miles to the Gulf of Mexico and equal distance to the Atlantic Ocean, inviting ecotourists from across the globe to “Meet Us in the Middle.” • Visitors can enjoy Lake Minneola, one of the largest inland freshwater beaches. The city also boasts 23 parks and 14 lakes within the city limits. • The downtown waterfront enjoys a hip and historic vibe with unique shopping experiences, great restaurants, and watering holes surrounded by parks and community-based art.

Population: 12,077 Size: 14.98 square miles

Between 2010 and 2014, Groveland enjoyed a growth rate of 15 percent, making it the fourth fastest-growing Florida city, according to the AreaVibes Growth Index. Groveland is located in the southwestern corner of Lake County. This town is very scenic and home to Lake David Park, a wonderful venue for bird watching and fishing. It’s also where Groveland’s popular, longstanding Fourth of July celebration is held each year. The city hosts other events throughout the year, including

a Christmas parade and movie nights with food trucks. There are several dining venues to enjoy an excellent meal, including Red Wing Restaurant, Ikaho Sushi Japanese Restaurant, and Coyote Rojo II. The Groveland Historical Museum is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of the town’s rich and colorful past. Veterans Park, used by Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 188, features a monument to Korean War veterans who fought for our country.

FOUR CORNERS

MASCOTTE

Population: 26,116 Size: 50.1 square miles

Population: 5,401 Size: 2.8 square miles

Four Corners, also known as Citrus Ridge, is the only community in Florida to be located in four counties—right in the quadripoint formed by Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Polk Counties, which makes it a unique place to visit. The complete area of Four Corners is north along U.S. Highway 27 to Lake Louisa State Park (four miles north of U.S. Highway 192), south along U.S. Highway 27 to Heart of Florida Hospital (three miles south of I-4), west to State Road 33, and east to Walt Disney World. Four Corners is home to Showcase of Citrus, a great place to enjoy a day with the family picking fresh fruit and citrus, seeing farm animals, riding the Monster Truck, fishing, wine tasting, and shopping the Clermont Natural Market every Sunday.

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Located west of Groveland on State Road 50, Mascotte offers plenty to do and see. The Tedder/Thomas Civic Center playground features four lighted softball fields, a basketball court, soccer field, and swings. One of the town’s most popular mainstays is the Rainbow Restaurant. Opened in 1964, it offers a delicious home-style buffet that includes fried chicken, various vegetables, and mashed potatoes and gravy. The salad bar and menu items are equally enjoyable. Another wonderful dining option is Tacos De Don Ramon, which offers authentic Mexican food.

For some exciting nightlife, be sure to visit The Breeze, where live music, drinks, and food await. A great shopping experience can be enjoyed at Jot-Em-Down, a popular retail store with antiques, shabby chic, primitives, home accent pieces, yard art, and much more. RAINBOW FAMILY RESTAURANT


SOUTH L AKE

MONTVERDE Population: 1,472 Size: 1.8 square miles

MINNEOLA Population: 10,470 Size: 10.34 square miles

Minneola has received several accolades in 2016. First, the website niche.com ranked it as the best city in all of Lake County for millennials to live. Second, AreaVibes ranked Minneola as the most livable community in all of Lake and Sumter counties. There’s certainly plenty to do. A visit to Lake Minneola Inn Tiki Bar and Grill is a real treat. This restaurant serves an endless selection of enjoyable food, ranging from fried fish and seared tuna sandwiches to hot dogs and chicken. It’s a wonderful place to dine with family and friends and relish

the beautiful sunset over Lake Minneola. Other popular dining establishments include Minneola Grill, Napoli’s Pizzeria, and Jack’s Barbeque. The 17-acre Minneola Trailhead Park is a paradise for avid outdoor enthusiasts with a playground, basketball court, dog park, and pavilion. For health enthusiasts, the Minneola Recreation Department offers several activities, including an adult/senior walk program, belly dance classes, line dance classes, and adult floor hockey.

There’s no shortage of celebrated athletes in South Lake County, and Montverde has its share. In fact, the boy’s basketball team at Montverde Academy recently captured three straight national championships by winning the DICK’s Sporting Goods High School Boys National Tournament. The school’s basketball players now play collegiate basketball at powerhouse programs such as the University of Kentucky and the University of Florida. The school, which celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2012, is also home to the Soccer Institute of Montverde Academy.

Of course, that’s not the only thing to like about this town, which is nestled on the shores of Lake Apopka. It’s also home to Bella Collina, a golf club community situated in the rolling hills best known for its luxurious, awardwinning lakefront homes. Popular sites to see include Harper House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Truskett Park is an excellent venue to enjoy a family picnic, as well as stunning views of Lake Apopka.

BELLA COLLINA

MONTVERDE ACADEMY

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Boatf “When fishermen and their families come here for these tournaments, it allows us to showcase our beautiful area. We have awesome lakes, rolling hills, charming towns, and natural beauty. Plus, we’re close to Disney and both coasts. Lake County offers a little bit of everything, ” adds Tim. The area is no stranger to bass tournaments. In the past, the county hosted the Bassmaster Open Series Fish Tourney, the Fishers of Men National Championship, and the BASS College Tournament. These events draw people from as far away as Minnesota, New York, and Texas. Lake County has also attracted popular fishing shows. In 2015, “The Scott Martin Challenge” was filmed on the Harris Chain of Lakes and aired from on NBC Sports. In October 2015, “Jack Links’ Major League Fishing,” which dubs itself as the “most-watched fishing show on television,” was also filmed on the Harris Chain of Lakes. The county’s increasingly popular reputation as a bass fishing hotspot is hardly surprising to Grady Maynard. The 21-year-old lifelong Lake County resident provides guided fishing trips through his company, Gdawg Bass Outdoors, and has fished the Harris Chain of Lakes for 15 years. “The Harris Chain is the biggest chain in Florida, and each lake has its own characteristics,” said Grady, a 2014 graduate of Tavares High School. “Fishing on any of the lakes on a given day can be phenomenal. And it’s not just largemouth bass. Fishermen can come here and catch crappie, bluegill, catfish, striped bass, and shellcrackers.” Although Grady has competed in state and national fishing tournaments, he’ll be the first to admit that he has not mastered the sport. “I love taking people out almost every day on guiding fishing trips. Having the Harris Chain of Lakes makes it such an enjoyable experience. The best thing is I learn something new about fishing everyday.”

Lake County offers a

TIM FREDERICK

T

im Frederick is a professional fisherman who has competed in tournaments throughout the United States, including Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, New York, and Maryland. But when it comes to bass fishing, there’s no place the 47-year-old would rather cast a line than Lake County. “The great thing about the Harris Chain of Lakes is that you have an opportunity to catch a trophy bass, and when I say trophy bass, I’m talking about bass that weigh eight or more pounds,” says Tim, a 1987 graduate of Tavares High School. Tim has competed in bass tournaments since age 14. He is currently in his second year as a Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) touring professional and is sponsored by LakeBigBass.com. Since that time, he landed the biggest catch of his life—and it wasn’t a fish. Instead, he convinced FLW officials to hold one of its prestigious tournaments on the Harris Chain of Lakes. The 2017 FLW Wal-mart FLW Tour, which will be held March 9-12, is expected to attract 160 of the world’s top anglers to the area. The tournament will air on NBC Sports Network, the Pursuit Channel, and the World Fishing Network. “Between lodging, food, and gas, this tournament will likely bring $1 million to the local economy,” Tim says. “It will also put Lake County on the map because it will air on television and let everyone see what a nice place this is to live and work. And perhaps some of the anglers who own a business in Alabama or Tennessee will fall in love with the area while they are here and relocate their business to Lake County.” Of course, the county has also reeled in two other prestigious tournaments in 2017: the Bassmaster Southern Open Jan. 19-21 and the Bass Pro Shop Big Bass Tour Feb. 18-19.

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ful

Gone fishing!

Fish like a pro

Grady Maynard provid es fishing tips for novice and expe rienced anglers alike.

• Favorite lake: I love Lake Griffin because the natural vegetation on the north end of the lake. It’s a popular hangout for largemouth bass.

• Seasonal trends: The best time of the year to catch a trophy bass is fro m December through April. That’s because female bass are full of eggs and weigh an extra two or three pounds. Of course, in the summertime you can go out and catch mo re bass, but they likely won’t be as big. Bass prefer shallow water in the winter and go to deeper water in the summer.

• Fishing equipment: I prefer a Shimano Zodia s casting rod and a Shima no Curado reel.

You do not have to be an expert angler or know all the hot spots to enjoy a wonderful day of fishing in Lake County. Simply kick back and let the experts show you where and how to land the big one. Have you own boat? There also are plenty of places to hit the water and drop a line. GUIDED FISHING TRIPS

Bass N Gal Guide Service 24140 SR 46, Sorrento 866.383.1893

Fishing Unlimited 24948 Butler St., Astor 352.759.2446

Bill Van Tassell Fishing Guide Services Mount Dora 352.725.1569

Gdawg Bass Guide Service Tavares 352.536.0855

of fishing opportunities

• Secret fishing hotsp ot: I love fishing off the B O AT R A M P S A N D M A R I N A S shore or fishing off the docks at Hickory Poi Though Tim Frederick can fish anywhere, nt in Astatula Boat Ramp Palm Gardenshis Marina Tavares. My buddies and 12703 Florida Ave., Astatula and RV Park favorite spots are in Lake County, and now the I have caught some big 352.253.4950 1661 Palm Gardens St., Tavares bass there. FLW Professional Bass Fishing Tour352.343.2024 is bringing its Get Wet Water Sports • Favorite baits:tournament to W. the great lakes area. I like 1000 Burleigh Blvd., Tavaresin this Tavares Seaplane the Bill Lewis Rattletrap 352.253.0585 Base and Marina Gold Tennessee Shad, the 150 E. Ruby St., Tavares STORY: JAMES COMBS // PHOTOS: FRED LOPEZ Zoom Ultravibe Sp eed 352.742.6267 Mount Dora Boating Worm, and the Smithwick Center and Marina Devil’s Horse. I also use 148 Charles Ave., Mount Dora Venetian Cove Marina wild shiners in the winter 250 Ballpark Rd., Leesburg to catch big bass. 352.728.0901 Nelson’s Outdoor Resort 19400 S.E. Hwy. 42, Umatilla 352.821.3474

“I love taking people out almost every day on guiding fishing trips. Having the Harris Chain of Lakes makes it such an enjoyable experience.” — GRADY MAYNARD

Palatlakaha River Park and Boat Ramp 12325 Hull Rd., Clermont 352.253.4950

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TIM FREDERICK

T

im Frederick is a professional fisherman who has competed in tournaments throughout the United States, including Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, New York, and Maryland. But when it comes to bass fishing, there’s no place the 47-year-old would rather cast a line than Lake County. “The great thing about the Harris Chain of Lakes is that you have an opportunity to catch a trophy bass, and when I say trophy bass, I’m talking about bass that weigh eight or more pounds,” says Tim, a 1987 graduate of Tavares High School. Tim has competed in bass tournaments since age 14. He is currently in his second year as a Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) touring professional and is sponsored by LakeBigBass.com. Since that time, he landed the biggest catch of his life—and it wasn’t a fish. Instead, he convinced FLW officials to hold one of its prestigious tournaments on the Harris Chain of Lakes. The 2017 FLW Tour, which was in early March, attracted 160 of the world’s top anglers to the area. The tournament will air on NBC Sports Network, the Pursuit Channel, and the World Fishing Network. “Between lodging, food, and gas, this tournament will likely bring $1 million to the local economy,” Tim says. “It will also put Lake County on the map because it will air on television and let everyone see what a nice place this is to live and work. And perhaps some of the anglers who own a business in Alabama or Tennessee will fall in love with the area while they are here and relocate their business to Lake County.” Of course, the county has also reeled in two other prestigious tournaments in 2017: the Bassmaster Southern Open Jan. 19-21 and the Bass Pro Shop Big Bass Tour Feb. 18-19.

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“When fishermen and their families come here for these tournaments, it allows us to showcase our beautiful area. We have awesome lakes, rolling hills, charming towns, and natural beauty. Plus, we’re close to Disney and both coasts. Lake County offers a little bit of everything, ” adds Tim. The area is no stranger to bass tournaments. In the past, the county hosted the Bassmaster Open Series Fish Tourney, the Fishers of Men National Championship, and the BASS College Tournament. These events draw people from as far away as Minnesota, New York, and Texas. Lake County has also attracted popular fishing shows. In 2015, “The Scott Martin Challenge” was filmed on the Harris Chain of Lakes and aired on NBC Sports. In October 2015, “Jack Links’ Major League Fishing,” which dubs itself as the “most-watched fishing show on television,” was also filmed on the Harris Chain of Lakes. The county’s increasingly popular reputation as a bass fishing hot spot is hardly surprising to Grady Maynard. The 21-year-old lifelong Lake County resident provides guided fishing trips through his company, Gdawg Bass Outdoors, and has fished the Harris Chain of Lakes for 15 years. “The Harris Chain is the biggest chain in Florida, and each lake has its own characteristics,” says Grady, a 2014 graduate of Tavares High School. “Fishing on any of the lakes on a given day can be phenomenal. And it’s not just largemouth bass. Fishermen can come here and catch crappie, bluegill, catfish, striped bass, and shellcrackers.” Although Grady has competed in state and national fishing tournaments, he’ll be the first to admit that he has not mastered the sport. “I love taking people out almost every day on guided fishing trips. Having the Harris Chain of Lakes makes it such an enjoyable experience. The best thing is I learn something new about fishing every day.”


Gone fishing!

Fish like a pro Grady Maynard provid es fishing tips for novice and expe rienced anglers alike. • Favorite lake: I love Lake Griffin because the natural vegetation on the north end of the lake. It’s a popular hangout for largemouth bass. • Seasonal trends: The best time of the year to catch a trophy bass is fro m December through April. That’s because female bass are full of eggs and weigh an extra two or three pounds. Of course, in the summertime you can go out and catch mo re bass, but they likely won’t be as big. Bass prefer shallow water in the winter and go to deeper water in the summer.

• Fishing equipment: I prefer a Shimano Zodia s casting rod and a Shima no Curado reel. • Secret fishing hotsp ot: I love fishing off the shore or fishing off the docks at Hickory Point in Tavares. My buddies and I have caught some big bass there. • Favorite baits: I like the Bill Lewis Rattletrap Gold Tennessee Shad, the Zoom Ultravibe Speed Worm, and the Smithwick Devil’s Horse. I also use wild shiners in the winter to catch big bass.

“I love taking people out almost every day on guided fishing trips. Having the Harris Chain of Lakes makes it such an enjoyable experience.” — GRADY MAYNARD

You do not have to be an expert angler or know all the hot spots to enjoy a wonderful day of fishing in Lake County. Simply kick back and let the experts show you where and how to land the big one. Have your own boat? There also are plenty of places to hit the water and drop a line. GUIDED FISHING TRIPS

Bass N Gal Guide Service 24140 SR 46, Sorrento 866.383.1893

Fishing Unlimited 24948 Butler St., Astor 352.759.2446

Bill Van Tassell Fishing Guide Services Mount Dora 352.725.1569

Gdawg Bass Guide Service Tavares 352.536.0855

B O AT R A M P S A N D M A R I N A S

Astatula Boat Ramp 12703 Florida Ave., Astatula 352.253.4950 Get Wet Water Sports 1000 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 352.253.0585 Mount Dora Boating Center and Marina 148 Charles Ave., Mount Dora Nelson’s Outdoor Resort 19400 S.E. Hwy. 42, Umatilla 352.821.3474

Palm Gardens Marina and RV Park 1661 Palm Gardens St., Tavares 352.343.2024 Tavares Seaplane Base and Marina 150 E. Ruby St., Tavares 352.742.6267 Venetian Cove Marina 250 Ballpark Rd., Leesburg 352.728.0901

Palatlakaha River Park and Boat Ramp 12325 Hull Rd., Clermont 352.253.4950

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If your vacation is a time to relax with your favorite sport, Lake County is the place to play golf (original and disc) and volleyball, participate in rowing, or see where Olympians train.

DIFFERENT STROKES

T

he nation’s fastest-growing participation sport is taking flight in Lake County as novice and experienced players alike are giving disc golf a spin. One of them is Clermont resident Joe Runnels, who serves as tournament director of the Lake County Disc Golf Club. He joined the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) in 2015. “I love the sport because it’s extremely challenging,” he says. “It’s us versus the course. You’re dealing with nature—wind, trees, and course conditions. There’s some calculus that goes into each shot.” The game is similar to golf, except participants attempt to get a disc into the hole—the

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“The first time I played, I threw a bunch of terrible shots and one really good shot. That one good shot is what got me hooked and kept me coming back.” — JOE RUNNELS

hole is a metal basket on a five-foot pole—in as few throws as possible. The sweet sound of plastic disc on metal chain means participants completed a hole and can move to the next one. Unlike golf, there are no balls or clubs. Instead, aerodynamic discs of varying

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weights serve as putters, midranges, and drivers. And the biggest obstacles are not bunkers and sand traps but rather trees and bushes. Most people discover the game through word of mouth. “I used to poke fun at disc golfers and told them to find a real sport,” Runnels says. “The

first time I played, I threw a bunch of terrible shots and one really good shot. That one good shot is what got me hooked and kept me coming back.” He’s not the only one to become an avid disc golf enthusiast. The PDGA now boasts more than 90,000 members, and 5,000 disc golf courses have popped up in the U.S. That’s good news for Runnels, a salesman who frequently travels around the country. He uses a PDGA app to locate nearby disc golf courses. “I can travel with six or eight discs and they take up very little room in my luggage. Disc golf is a very low-maintenance, portable sport. And no matter where I am, I can find a course to play on.” He doesn’t have to look far when he’s home. Lake County boasts several courses, including Lake Hiawatha Preserve in Clermont, Lincoln Avenue Community Park in Mount Dora, and Hidden Waters Preserve in Eustis. There are also private courses, as well as a course at Lake Okahumpka Park in Wildwood. The 150-member Lake County Disc Golf Club has already hosted several PDGAsanctioned events, including

the Lake County Trailblazer, which drew 214 players from 11 states in May 2016. “During that event, we tracked how many nights people stayed in hotels and how many people ate at our local restaurants,” Runnels says. “The economic impact was huge.” The Lake County Economic Development and Tourism Division’s ultimate goal is to create the Lake County Disc Golf Trail, a series of six 18-hole, championshipcaliber courses built in city and county parks. That would allow Lake to host prestigious tournaments and world championships while becoming one of the sport’s premier destinations. “If we could get the world championships here, that would mean 10,000 hotel rooms right away,” he says. “But we need more courses. The cost of a new course is very minimal because you only need a basket and tee bag. Also, our sport has no impact on nature because no fertilizer or pesticides are used to construct a course.” For more information about the sport, visit the Lake County Disc Golf Club Facebook page or call Joe Runnels at 352.551.6566.


HICKORY POINT RECREATIONAL COMPLEX

H AV I N G A B A L L Lake County has become a prime destination for sun, sand, and searing spikes. Two years ago, a partnership between the Lake County Water Authority, Florida Region of USA Volleyball, and Lake County government netted a $400,000 sand volleyball complex at Hickory Point Recreational Complex in Tavares. With 21 professional sand volleyball courts, it is Florida’s largest permanent sand volleyball complex. That’s why prestigious tournaments and events are being held there. They include the Florida USA Volleyball Beach Series opener, the first Florida high school beach volleyball league state championships, and the ROX VB Series National Championships.

“We are excited to do our part in continuing to grow the sport of sand volleyball,” says Steve Bishop, director of Florida Region of USA Volleyball. “It’s very exciting to have a state-of-the-art complex right here in our backyard that draws both high-caliber beach volleyball tournaments and world-class volleyball players.” In 2017, Hickory Point will be the site for events such as the Dig the Beach Series, the American Beach Tour (ABT) Championship, and the Sunshine State Athletic Conference State Championship. In addition, evening volleyball leagues and various camps are held throughout the year. The complex comes at a time when the sport’s popularity is skyrocketing.

From 2007 to 2013, participation among females ages 6 to 24 increased by 45 percent. In addition, sand volleyball became an official National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sport in 2016, and each season concludes with a tournament to determine the champion.

“It’s very exciting to have a state-ofthe-art complex right here in our backyard that draws both high-caliber beach volleyball tournaments and world-class volleyball players.” —STEVE BISHOP

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CLERMONT BOATHOUSE

R O W, R O W, ROW YO U R B O AT Clermont is quickly propelling itself as a prime destination for competitive rowing events. The city is home to the Clermont Boathouse, as well as a 2,000-meter, Olympicstyle sprint race course—one of only two in Florida. The 5,000-square-foot, $750,000 boathouse opened in February 2015 and was built on Lake Minneola. It houses 20 racing boats and features

University have also expressed interest in training there. “We’ve even had foreign national teams reach out to us because they want to train here in preparation for the world championships to be held in Sarasota in September,” says Paul McPherson, president of the Lake County Rowing Association. The appeal is understandable. Clermont enjoys warm weather year round, and its surrounding hills protect Lake Minneola from excessive wind that results in rough water. “We are just at the tip of the

“We are just at the tip of the iceberg for what will happen here in the future.” — PAUL MCPHERSON two large launching docks. Since its opening, Clermont has hosted several rowing regattas. The 2015 Leader of the Lake regatta attracted 3,500 competitors and spectators throughout the southeastern United States. The 5,000-meter race is held each year in the fall. In addition, collegiate and club teams in northern states use the boathouse as a training facility during winter months. Thirty athletes and five coaches from Grand Valley State in Michigan held a training camp at the Clermont Boathouse last December. Rowing teams from Yale University and Dartmouth

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iceberg for what will happen here in the future,” he said. “Our rowing association is also introducing youth to the sport of competitive rowing. It’s a great sport for them because you don’t have to be a certain size to compete, and they don’t have to worry about suffering from concussions or joint injuries.” Clermont is also attracting other types of rowing events. The city will host the USA Canoe/Kayak’s 2017 Sprint National Championship Aug. 2-5 on Lake Minneola. The event is expected to attract more than 1,000 athletes, coaches, and spectators from throughout the country.


AQUATIC CENTER

TRACK-AND-FIELD COMPLEX

OLYMPIC SPRINTER TYSON GAY TRAINS AT THE NATIONAL TRAINING CENTER

NATIONAL TRAINING CENTER

GOLD TIMERS For many athletes seeking Olympic glory, the road begins in South Lake County. The state-of-the-art facilities, picture-perfect weather, and gentle, rolling hills make for ideal yearround training conditions. Last summer, South Lake hosted more than two dozen Olympic athletes vying for spots in Rio de Janeiro. They

represented different sports— track and field, swimming, and triathlon.; and they even came from different countries such as Jamaica, Zambia, and Trinidad and Tobago. The National Training Center, which opened in 2001, hosted 16 athletes. It features a 400-meter outdoor track-and-field complex, a 37,000-square-foot fitness

center, an aquatic center, and a Human Performance Lab for sports-science testing. In addition, there were 11 more Olympic hopefuls who trained at Montverde Academy, an international boarding school. Some of the more notable athletes include Tori Bowie, who became only the fifth U.S. female sprinter to win medals

in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, as well as in the 4x100 relay. Justin Gatlin took home a silver medal in the 100 meters after finishing second to Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.

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Fun Freshwater

in Lake County The calm water sparkling with sunshine is the perfect place to find peace. Whether you’re in your kayak, canoe, fishing or pontoon boat, or skimming the liquid bliss in an airboat, Lake County has a lake with the perfect spot just for you.

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W

ith more than 1,000 pristine lakes through the area, Lake County is aptly named. This means there are almost limitless possibilities to what you can do when you vacation in this beautiful part of Central Florida. The peacefulness of stepping outside into a refreshing morning with the calm waters of a lake just steps away is priceless. Whether you enjoy fishing, water skiing, kayaking or canoeing, cruising on a pontoon boat or even a little party aboard one, there’s a way to do that in Lake County. Lake Harris is part of the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin, which is a • Dead River connects Lake Harris to sub-basin of the St. Johns River. As Lake Eustis part of the Harris Chain of Lakes, this one lake gives you access to Little Lake Harris, Lake Eustis, Lake Dora, Lake Beauclair, Lake Griffin, Lake Yale, and Lake Carlton. Since these are some of the largest lakes in Florida, the recreation options are endless. Here’s how they connect:

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• Dora Canal connects Lake Dora to Lake Eustis • Haines Creek has a lock with a six-foot drop that connects Lake Eustis to Lake Griffin

TAVARES SPLASH PARK

Almost every city that borders these beautiful lakes has an exciting variety of things to do. The beauty is you can enter each town by car or boat—even by seaplane—to stroll through the downtowns of Mount Dora, Tavares, Eustis, and Clermont. There’s plenty of activity on the waterfront, but a walk into the heart of downtown means a day of discovering treasures and storing memories of a lifetime. On the shores of Lake Dora is Tavares, America’s Seaplane City, where you can land your plane to enjoy lunch or hop on a plane to eat at another destination. Wooton Park is nearby with


FERRAN PARK

WAT E R FUN Get Wet WaterSports 1000 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 352.253.0585. Dora Canal Premier Boat Tours 100 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora 352.434.8040

its seaplane-themed Splash Park, and there’s plenty of shopping and restaurants. Tavares hosts 18 festivals a year, which means there are few weekends without an event. The Spring Sea Plane Fly-in attracts seaplanes of all kinds from all over the country. Just up the road is Mount Dora, which really is The Festival City. From blueberries to BBQ and brew to arts and crafts, Mount Dora loves to crowd the streets with festival lovers. It’s easy to dock your boat and walk into a town filled with antique shops, colorful and unique boutiques, and everything from sidewalk cafes to fine dining cuisine. It’s also a dog-lover’s town, and you can drop by Piglet’s Pantry to shop for your favorite canine. Eustis has the beautiful Ferran Park on the panoramic Lake Eustis. If you enjoy a lovely stroll in the sunshine, you’ll love the lakefront walkway along Lake Eustis. Not only can you enjoy the calming influence of the water,

Firestorm Airboat Tours 407.463.8961 Central Florida Nature Adventures, LLC 352.589.7899 Clermont Waterfront Bikes and Boards 15 Second St,. Clermont 352.394.0535 Florida from a Kayak 352.406.0904

Almost every city that borders these beautiful lakes has an exciting variety of things to do. The beauty is you can enter each town by car or boat—even by seaplane—to stroll through the downtowns of Mount Dora, Tavares, Eustis, and Clermont. CAT BOAT TOURS OF MOUNT DORA

Rusty Anchor Mount Dora 400 W. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.3933 St. Johns River Tours 55716 Front St., Astor 866.349.0674 Cat Boat Tours of Mount Dora 311 S. Tremain St., Mount Dora 352.816.9339 Premiere Boat Tours The dock at the Lakeside Inn 100 N. Alexander Street Mount Dora, 32757 352.434.8040

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VENETIAN GARDENS

CHAMPION’S DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

you can learn a bit of history about Eustis and see the Alice McClelland Bandshell, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The park includes a playground, two gazebos, and picnic tables. The Eustis Aquatic Center is adjacent to the park and has two heated pools. Like the other lakeshore cities, Eustis has much to offer with shopping, dining, and exploring small-town Florida. Clermont is now known as The Choice of Champions due to the array of sporting activities and athletic facilities available.

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Voted “Best Local City to Live In” by the Orlando Business Journal in 2016, the city also was recognized as one of the Top 20 Cities in America for “Leading the Way” in economic development and quality of life. CLERMONT SPLASH Along the waterfront you’ll PAD ON 4TH OF JULY find the Splash Pad with its symbolic Olympic rings, and the Waterfront Park has a fitness trail that is part of a 30-mile system. There’s seasonal swimming and kayak and paddleboard rentals. Family events hosted at the park include Pig on the Pond and the Champion’s Dragon Boat Festival. Bicycles can be rented for $7 an hour for riding a trail that winds throughout the park. If your tastes for entertainment run a little more sophisticated, you can try one of the shows at the Clermont Performing Arts Center. Special events include The Great Clermont Campout at the Waterfront Park, and the National Night Out, when the Clermont Police Department joins the national campaign to promote police/community partnerships. Not to be outdone, the Clermont Fire Department hosts free family movies outdoors and shares fire prevention and safety tips. Fishing is fun, but it’s not the only way to explore and enjoy the waters of Lake County. The slow but educational pace of Heritage Lake Tours is a perfect way to get to know more about this area. Capt. D.J. and Lynne Hollander from the Palm Gardens


Fish Camp take the Sea Heaven out with tours six days a week. They inform and show you the wildlife and 25 bird species along the banks of the Dead River and Dora Canal. Among the many areas to enjoy picnics, waterfront fun, or launch your boat are Hickory Point Park in Tavares; Waterfront Park on Lake Minneola in Clermont; Singletary Park on Highway 27, and Venetian Gardens off State Road 44, both in Leesburg; and the Florida Avenue West ramp in Astatula. There are several local schools for learning to water ski: Sunset Lakes in Okahumpka, and Swiss Ski in Clermont. Flyboarding is another option for the adventure-minded. This sport involves using a jet pack or jet boots to propel the user into the air above the water. Yes, this is a real thing. Check out Quest Air in Groveland or Hanson’s World Wakeboard Center. If you’re into lazing on the water, Alexander Springs State Park, with its constant 72-degree water, is a great place to float or explore the water with goggles and a snorkel. Wekiva Falls in ALEXANDER SPRINGS Sorrento is an RV park with a two-slide water park that takes you into refreshing sulphur springs. What better way to enjoy a Florida vacation? The lakes of Florida make vacation options somewhat difficult because there’s so much to do and so little time. However, one thing is guaranteed—you’ll enjoy yourself whatever you decide!

TIKI BAR GRILL AT LAKE MINNEOLA INN

D I N I N G O N T H E WAT E R IN LAKE COUNTY Blackwater Inn Restaurant 55716 Front St., Astor 352.759.2802

Pisces Rising 239 W. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora 352.385.2669

Al’s Sand Bar 181 S. Joanna Ave., Tavares 352.742.1113

William’s Landing 55716 Front St., Astor 352.759.2802

The Beauclaire Dining Room at Lakeside Inn 100 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora 352.383.4101

Hurricane Dockside Grill 3351 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 352.508.5137

Castaways Restaurant 1575 SR 40, Astor 386.749.0187 Lilly’s on the Lake 846 W. Osceola St., Clermont 352.708.6565

The Veranda at Lakeside Inn 100 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora 352.383.4101

The Crazy Gator 402 N. Bay St., Eustis 352.589.5885

Tremain’s Tavern at Lakeside Inn 100 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora 352.383.4101

JB Boondock’s Bar & Grill 704 S. Lakeshore Dr., Howey-in-the-Hills 352.324.3600

O’Keefe’s Irish Pub & Restaurant 115 S. Rockingham Ave., Tavares 352.343.2157

Gator Bay Marina 10320 CR 44, Leesburg 352.365.2177

Al’s Landing 111 W. Ruby St., Tavares 352.742.1113

Tiki Bar Grill at Lake Minneola Inn 508 Main Ave., Minneola 352.394.2232

Tiki West Raw Bar and Grill 118 W. Ruby St., Tavares 352.508.5783

HURRICANE DOCKSIDE GRILL

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Yalaha Bootlegging Co.

Come experience moonshine in the making • tastings & tours • moonshine • brandy`

352.324.4069 www.yalahabootleggingco.com

WORSHIP SERVICE TIMES: 8:00a.m. 9:30a.m. 11:00a.m. fbcumatilla.org †

352.669.3214

† 550 Hatfield Dr., Umatilla

A Timeless Experience Florida’s Most Historic Hotel, Lakeside Inn, is Located in the Heart of Mount Dora and Features a Timeless Setting for Relaxing Getaways and Special Events. The Inn is Open to the Public and Features: – – – – – –

Nightly Entertainment Complimentary WiFi Casual & Formal Dining Lakeside Pool, Deck, and Bar The Gatehouse Gift Gallery Special Events & Catering

800.556.5016 or 352.383.4101 Lakeside-Inn.com 100 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora

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E X P L O R E • P L AY • S TAY • D I N E

Places to stay while you play It doesn’t matter if you want someone to park your car and handle your luggage or you want to throw your backpack in your tent, you’ll find staying in Lake County enjoyable. Avoid the traffic and congestion and enjoy vacation time in Lake County. You’ll find everything from an RV park with two water slides to a hotel that’s a house of games. Check in now!

MISSION INN RESORT & CLUB

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S TAY

Hotels and resorts When you’re visiting beautiful Lake County, the county’s luxury high-end resorts and hotels invite you to treat yourself to a relaxing day at the spa, get your exercise outdoors on the greens, and end the day in one of the fine dining restaurants. 58 •

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Angelina Lakeside Inn 21726 U.S. Hwy. 27, Leesburg 352.787.8876

Fairfield Inn & Suites 1750 Hunt Trace Blvd., Clermont 352.394.6585

Best Western Chain of Lakes Inn & Suites 1321 N. 14th St., Leesburg 352.460.0118

Crown Club Inn by Exploria Resorts 105 Summer Bay Blvd., Clermont 855.849.2205

Best Western Plus-Lake County Inn and Suites 1380 E. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 352.253.2378

Fiddler’s Green Ranch Resort 42725 W. Altoona Road, Altoona 352.669.7111

Days Inn & Suites Clermont 20390 N. U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.429.0483 Budget Lodge (previously e.Com) 18730 U.S. Hwy. 441, Mount Dora 352.383.2181

Fox Den Country Inn 27 S. Central Ave., Umatilla 352.669.2151 Groveland Motel 896 E. Myers Blvd., Mascotte 352.429.2655


LAKESIDE INN

Grand Oaks Resort & Museum 3000 Marion County Road, Weirsdale 352.429.2655 Hampton Inn & Suites-Clermont 2200 E. SR 50, Clermont 352.536.6600 Hampton Inn & Suites-Mount Dora 19700 U.S. Hwy. 441, Mount Dora 352.383.4267 Hampton Inn Leesburg 9630 U.S. Hwy. 441, Leesburg, 352.315.1053 Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Tavares 3601 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 352.742.1600

Holiday Inn Express, Clermont 1810 U.S Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.243.787

MISSION INN RESORT & CLUB

La Hacienda Hotel 1201 Avenida Central N. The Villages 352.750.6863

Mission Inn Resort & Club 10400 CR 48, Howey-in-the-Hills 800.874.9053

Lakeside Inn 100 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora 800.556.5016

Summer Bay Orlando by Exploria Resorts 17805 U.S. Hwy. 192, Clermont 855.849.2205

Inn on the Green 700 E. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 877.220.2687

Maison en Ville 644 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora 352.385.3919

The Castaways on the River 55530 Front St., Astor 352.759.3422

Key West Resort on Lake Dora 199 W. Ruby St., Tavares 352.508.5344

Microtel Inn and Suites 850 S. U.S. Highway 441/27, Lady Lake 352.259.0184

TownPlace Suites by Marriott—The Villages 1141 Alonzo Ave., The Villages 352.753.8686

Microtel Inn and Suites 9700 U.S. Hwy. 441, Leesburg 352.315.1234

Villa Lagoon Inn 1051 Lakeshore Blvd., Tavares 352.343.3377

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, The Villages 1205 Avenida Central N., The Villages 352.750.3888

KH Ranch Resort 18604 Demko Road, Altoona 321.356.3754

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B&Bs and vacation homes For some, the cozy hominess of a bed and breakfast makes for the perfect vacation stay. Not only do you get a great meal to start your day, but you often make friendships that continue through the years when you return to a favorite inn. For others, it’s nice to have the privacy and room of a house. However you enjoy your stay in Lake County, there’s a perfect place for it.

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BED AND B R E A K FA S T S

Adora Inn 610 N. Tremain St., Mount Dora 352.735.3110 adorainn.com Astor’s Floridian Inn Riverside Bed & Breakfast 55336 Claire St., Astor 352.759.3395 astorsfloridianinn.com Cara Mia Cottages 220 N. Baker St. and 225 N. Tremain St., Mount Dora 727.809.1360 Christopher's Inn Bed & Breakfast 539 Liberty Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.2244 christophersinn.net Cinnamon Inn 7241 Lake Ola Drive, Mount Dora 352.383.6541 thecinnamoninn.com Coconut Cottage Inn Bed & Breakfast 1027 McDonald St., Mount Dora 352.383.2627 coconutcottageinn.com

LAKE MINNEOLA INN

Heron Cay Lakeview Bed & Breakfast 495 W. Old Hwy. 441, Mount Dora 352.383.4050 heroncay.com Lake Minneola Inn & Tiki Bar 508 Main Ave., Minneola 352.394.2232 lakeminneola.com LePetit Suite 1174 E. Fifth Ave., Mount Dora 305.338.9931 lepetitsuite@gmail.com Lisa’s Cottages 311 N. Baker St., Mount Dora 561.613.5952 Magnolia Inn Bed & Breakfast 347 E. Third Ave., Mount Dora 352.735.3800 magnoliainn.net

Moss Gate Bed & Breakfast 210 Rose St., Umatilla 352.669.3557 mossgatebnb.com Mount Dora Historic Inn and Cottages 221 E. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora 352.735.1212 or 1.800.735.1212 mountdorahistoricinn.com Simpson’s Bed & Breakfast 441 N. Donnelly Road, Mount Dora 352.383.2087 simpsonsbnb.com VA C AT I O N R E N TA L S

Tremain St. Cottages 615 N. Tremain St., Mount Dora 352.638.0257 tremainSt.cottages.com

Farnsworth House Bed & Breakfast 1029 E. Fifth Ave., Mount Dora 352.409.0330 farnsworthhousebb.com

Bella Vista Golf and Yacht Club (semi-private) 26935 Bella Vista Blvd., Howey-in-the-Hills 352-324-3233

Grandview Bed & Breakfast 442 East Third Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.4440 grandviewbb.net

Fox Den Country Inn 27 S. Central Ave., Umatilla 352.669.2151 foxcountryinn.com

VIR Vacation Rentals 2468 U.S. Hwy. 441, No. 104 Fruitland Park 352.405.4495 thevirgroup.com IPG Florida Vacation Homes 9550 US-192, Clermont 863.547.1050 ipgflorida.com OurFloridaConcierge 10018 CR 561, Clermont 863.420.4088 ourfloridaconcierge.com Award Vacation Homes Inc. 1536 Sunrise Plaza Drive, No. 100, Clermont 800.338.0835 contempovacationhomes.com Swiss Vacation Houses 13114 Skiing Paradise Blvd., Clermont 352.429.2178 swissvacationhouses.com Sweet Escapes 11207 Guilford Road, Minneola 352.978.8730

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CAMPING

Alexander Springs Recreation Area In addition to a 67-unit campground, campers can swim or canoe in the crystal-clear spring. Restroom and shower facilities available. 49525 CR 445, Altoona 352.669.3522 Clearwater Lake Campground This relaxing campground offers 42 tent spaces under shady oak trees and bathhouses with warm showers. Guests can hike nature trails or rent canoes and enjoy a slow ride across the lake. 24511 CR 42, Paisley 1.877.444.6777 Doe Lake Campground This beautiful campground provides a large dining hall with full kitchen and a bathhouse with hot showers. Ocala National Forest, Umatilla 1.877.444.6777

Campgrounds and cabins Camping offers a nice reprieve from Florida’s overcrowded theme parks and tourist-filled beaches. Fortunately, Lake County is home to numerous parks and campgrounds that allow visitors to experience the real Florida—lazily flowing rivers, lakes, and streams, Spanish moss dangling from majestic oak trees, and great blue herons sitting statue-like on a riverbank. 62 •

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Lake Griffin State Park This 36-site campground allows visitors to canoe and kayak, hike nature trails, fish, and see one of the state’s largest and oldest live oak trees. 3089 U.S. Hwy. 441/27, Fruitland Park 352.360.6760 Nelson’s Outdoor Resort Spacious campsites are available for both RV and tent camping. Enjoy some of the best freshwater fishing in Florida on the Ocklawaha River and nearby Lake Griffin. 19400 SR. 42, Umatilla 352.821.3474 Ocala Forest Campground This family-owned campground nestled in the picturesque Ocala National Forest offers excellent opportunities for fishing, hiking, and horseshoes. 26301 S.E. CR 42, Umatilla 352.669.3888


LAKE NORRIS

Wekiva Falls Resort 800 RV sites and 100 tent sites are available. Enjoy picnicking, canoeing, and swimming in the beautiful Wekiva River. 30700 Wekiva River Road, Sorrento 352.383.8055 CABINS/VILLAS

Fiddler’s Green Ranch This magnificent ranch offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom ranch villas. Tent and RV camping also available. It’s also popular for guided horseback riding adventures near the border of the Ocala National Forest. 42725 W. Altoona Road, Altoona 352.669.7111 Lake Harris Lodge The lodge features 10 one- and two-bedroom cottages and a 27-space RV park. Visitors can

rent a boat for a day to fish and/or explore the beautiful Harris Chain of Lakes. 11924 Lane Park Road, Tavares 352.343.4111

Lake Louisa State Park There are 20 cabins that accommodate up to six people. Each cabin overlooks picturesque Dixie Lake. Guests may view wildlife, picnic, fish, kayak, and hike various nature trails that are home to 11 distinct natural plant communities. 7305 U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.394.3969 St. Johns River Campground Cabins available that sleep up to nine guests. Enjoy bass fishing on the St. Johns River, as well as shuffleboard, horseshoes, and a recreation hall for cookouts and bingo parties. 1520 SR 40, Astor 386.749.3995


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495 West Old US Highway 441, Mount Dora, FL 32757

Visit Lake County, Florida and get your fill of ripe strawberries, blueberries and citrus from our U-pick farms. Or take a day-trip to the vineyards, where wine is always in season. Get to know the real Florida, just outside Orlando.

PLACES TO VISIT Seaplane Base • Children’s Splashpark Wooton Park • Waterfront Entertainment District Visit Tavares.org to find out more about the area.

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E X P L O R E • P L AY • S TAY • D I N E

Places to go, things to do There will be days when you’ll enjoy lazing on the lake or shopping. Whatever you enjoy doing on vacation, you’ll find it in Lake County. There are galleries with some of the finest art in America, and the golf courses will make you feel you’re an artist with a club. Don’t forget the natural beauty of ecotourism. Plays, parties, picnics, and pubs—it’s all right here in Lake County. TO L AKE COUNT Y •

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Take a swing Lake County appeals to golfers of all pedigrees with its plethora of challenging courses, and there are a lot of places to swing locally. Of the 1,153 square miles that make up Lake County, roughly 99 miles are fairways and greens. There are

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26 courses in the county, giving every type of golfer multiple choices to find courses suitable for their game and their lifestyle. Here’s a snapshot of places to play, but be forewarned, you’ll want to play all 26 courses!


Key $ = $25 or less • $$ = $25-50 • $$$ = $50 or more

CENTRAL

Arlington Ridge Golf Club 4,877 yards from front tees, 6,610 from back tees Rating: 71.2 with slope of 117 $$ Designed by pro Gary Koch. Lots of nuances on course featuring winding river and centuries-old oaks. 4463 Arlington Ridge Blvd., Leesburg 352.728.4660 arlingtonridgegolfclub.com Mission Inn Resort & Club - El Campeón 6,923 yards, par 72 Rating: 74.2 with slope of 135 $$$ One of the oldest courses in Florida (1917), 85 feet of elevation change breaks the mold of traditional flat Florida courses. Signature hole is No. 17, a par-5 double dogleg full of obstacles. 10400 CR 48 Howey-in-the-Hills 352.324.3885 missioninnresort.com

MISSION INN RESORT & CLUB - EL CAMPEÓN

Mission Inn Resort & Club - Las Colinas 6,867 yards, par 72 Rating: 73.3 with slope of 132 $$$ Nominated as Best New Resort Course and rated four stars by Golf Digest. Recognized as Top Fairways by Golf for Women. Plenty of water hazards. Signature hole is No. 12, a 493-yard, par-5 along a tree-lined fairway. 10400 CR 48, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.324.3885 missioninnresort.com

Monarch at Royal Highlands 6,018 yards, par 72 Rating: 68.9 with slope of 119 $$ Member owned, semi-private course. Striking elevation changes and beautiful views. 5325 Saint Andrews, Leesburg 352.314.9000 monarchgolf club The Club at Pennbrooke Fairways $$ Two executive nines and one regulation nine. 32900 Countryside Blvd., Leesburg 352.728.3200 pennbrooke.org Plantation at Leesburg - Cranes Roost 6,005 yards, par 71 Rating: 68.0 with slope of 118 $$ Four tees challenge all skill levels. 4720 Plantation Blvd., Leesburg 352.365.0526 plantationleesburggolf.com Plantation at Leesburg - Otter Creek 6,264 yards, par 72 Rating: 70.0 with slope of 127 $$ Five tees challenge all skill levels. 4720 Plantation Blvd., Leesburg 352.365.0526 plantationleesburggolf.com

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NORTHWEST

Harbor Hills Country Club 6,910 yards, par 72 Rating: 72.5 with slope of 126 $$ Rated 4 stars by Golf Digest. Spacious layout. Hilly terrain, like that in the southern part of the county, is challenging but not overly difficult. Harbor Hills hosted numerous high school state playoff tournaments and National Golf Association tour events. 6583 Lake Griffin Road, Lady Lake 352.753.7000 harborhills.com Lakes of Lady Lake 4,174 yards, par 63 Rating: 59.3 with slope of 96 $ Good putting touch required on a course featuring elevation changes and water. 352.750.4474 503 Canopy Lane, Lady Lake Orange Blossom Hills Country Club 6,095 yards, par 72 Rating: 69.1 with slope of 117 $$ Opened in 1985. Daily fee golf course with “call for playing privileges” guest policy is on the original side of The Villages. Water Tower Circle, The Villages 352.753.5200 golfthevillages.com Water Oak Country Club Estates 5,944 yards, par 72 Rating: 68.4 with slope of 117 $$ Situated among 300 acres of unique terrain and large oak trees with 14 tree-lined holes and emphasis on accuracy. 605 Hickory, Lady Lake 352.753.3905 wateroakcountryclub.com

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EAST

Baytree Golf Course 3,752 yards, par 62 Rating: 57.8 with slope of 95 $$ 18-hole executive course opened in 1990. 129 Juniper Way, Tavares 352.343.7227 baytreegolf.com Black Bear Golf Club 7,002 yards, par 72 Rating: 74.7 with slope of 134 $$ One of the premier championship layouts in Central Florida. P.B. Dye design worthy of seven US Amateur Public Links tournaments. Practice facility boasts complete double-ended driving range and 40,000-square-foot short-game area. 24505 Caluso Blvd., Eustis 352.357.4732 blackbeargolfclub.com

Country Club of Mount Dora 6,571 yards, par 72 Rating: 72.1 with slope of 125 $$ Water comes into play on 16 holes. Raised greens present challenges. 1900 Country Club Blvd., Mount Dora 352.735.2263 ccofmtdora.com Eagle Dunes Golf Club 7,024 yards, par 72 Rating: 73.7 with slope of 135 $$ 4-star rating by Golf Digest. Elevations and beautiful fairways. 24000 Marbella Drive., Sorrento 352.357.0123 eagledunes.com

International Golf Club 6,852 yards, par 72 Rating: 73.8 with slope of 133 $$ Formerly known as Deer Island Country Club, it makes up a majority of Deer Island, a stretch of land between Lake Dora and Lake Beauclaire. Beauty and water come into play on every shot. Carves through protected wetlands. Joe Lee’s signature finger style bunkering. 18000 Eagles Way, Tavares 352.343.7550 deerislandgolf.com Mount Dora Golf Club 5,719 yards, par 70 Rating: 67.9 with slope of 114 $$ Opened in 1945. 1100 S. Highland St., Mount Dora 352.383.3954 mountdoragolf.com


Red Tail Golf Club 7,152 yards, par 72 $$ Located in Heathrow Country Estates. Private, nonequity course. 26026 Member Lane., Sorrento 352.383.5692 redtailclub.com Wedgewood Golf Course 1,400 yards, par 27 $ Opened in 1989. 12635 CR 44, Grand Island 352.589.0072 SOUTH

Bella Collina Golf Club 7,500 yards, par 72 $$$ Designed by pro Nick Faldo, it is at a premium. Valley-style layout provides open fairways but provides a true test. 16355 Vetta Dr., Montverde

407.469.4000 bellacollina.com

Clerbrook Golf Club 5,154 yards, par 67 Rating: 63.4 with slope of 108 $ Opened in 1981. 20005 N. U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.394.5513 clerbrook.com Green Valley Country Club 6,645 yards, par 72 Rating: 71.8 with slope of 128 $$ Founded as nine-hole course in 1967, expanded to 18 holes in 1989. Member owned, semi-private club with full driving range. 14601 Green Valley Blvd., Clermont 352.394.0632 gvcountryclub.com

Kings Ridge Golf Club 6,269 yards, par 71 $$ Course capitalizes on naturally rolling terrain. Greens are a true test of putting skills. 1950 Kings Ridge Blvd., Clermont 352.242.4653 kingsridgegc.com Legends Golf and Country Club 6,652 yards, par 72 Rating: 72.5 with slope of 133 $$ Recognized as one of Florida’s finest courses. Hosted Hooters Tour event in 2003 and National Football League Player’s Association tournament in 2004. 1700 Legendary Blvd., Clermont 352.243.1118 legendsgolfcc.com

Sanctuary Ridge Golf Club 7,005 yards, par 71 Rating: 74.2 with a slope of 139 $$ Link style course with significant elevations and 18 uniquely different holes, it’s nicknamed Florida’s mountain course due to an elevation change of 190 feet with water on seven holes. 2601 Diamond Players Club Drive, Clermont 352.243.0411 sanctuaryridgegc.com Swiss Fairways 6,725 yards, par 70 Rating: 72.3 with slope of 126 $ Unique course has 135 sand traps and 10 water hazards. Large greens. 13144 Skiing Paradise Blvd., Clermont 352.429.9065 swissskischool.com

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Down on the farm Agritourism is thriving in Lake County, allowing visitors to reconnect with nature and the outdoors through tours of local wineries, working farms, citrus groves, U-pick farms, horseback trails,

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and a variety of educational activities. This includes Lake County’s annual Farm Tour that takes visitors on a guided bus tour to see some of the county’s diverse agricultural businesses.


Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards Complimentary tours and wine tasting offered seven days a week. The winery features a wide array of festivals and events throughout the year. 19239 U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont 800.768.WINE lakeridgewinery.com

Uncle Donald’s Farm A chance to go on a hayride, pet and feed farm animals, and see wildlife up close. 2713 Griffin Ave., Lady Lake 352.753.2882 uncledonaldsfarm.com

Oak Haven Farms and Winery Visitors can pick their own strawberries, and the winery offers a variety of locally produced fruit and grape wines. 32418 Avington Road, Sorrento 352.735-1996 berriesandwine.com

A&A Country Orchard 2917 Lake Griffin Road, Lady Lake 352.217.8853

Fiddler’s Green Ranch Resort 42725 W. Altoona Road, Altoona 352.669.7111

A Natural Farm and Educational Center 23630 SR 19, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.536.3112

Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest The farm offers private and seasonal farm field trips along with farm birthday parties and events. 35317 Huff Road, Eustis 352.357.9863 santaschristmastreeforest.com

Blue Bayou Farms 8222 CR 48, Yalaha 352.324.4069

The Grand Oaks Resort and Musuem 3000 Marion County Road, Weirsdale 352.750.5500

Scott’s Maze Adventures at Long and Scott Farms The corn maze and adventure are only open to the general public during weekends in the fall and for a few special events or private parties throughout the year. 26216 CR 448A, Mount Dora 352.383.6900 longandscottfarms.com

Green Acres Fernery and Citrus 8635 High St., Yalaha 352.360-5445

Showcase of Citrus Citrus park features an old-time store and marketplace and more than 70 varieties of citrus. Visitors can pick citrus from a tree and experience a 4X4 Monster Truck ride through the spacious property to see wildlife animals on site, including zebra, Watusi, water buffalo, alligators, snakes and exotic and native birds. 5010 S. U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.394.4377 showcaseofcitrus Stanley Pond Adventure Farm Farm features family-friendly activities of catch-and-release fishing, mini airboat ride, jumping pillow, giant sand pile, and more. 15426 CR 48, Astatula 352.516.4937 stanleypondfarm.com

U - P I C K FA R M S

Chatterson Farms 4401 CR 561, Clermont 407.342.9512

H&H Berry Farms 15217 CR 455, Montverde 321.436.5830 Heather Oaks Iris Farm 4240 Christmas Lane, Lady Lake 352.753.1184

EQUESTRIAN AT T R A C T I O N S

Al-Marah Arabian Horses, 11105 Autumn Lane, Clermont 352.536.1502 DreamCatcher Ranch 10639 Toad Road, Clermont 407.702.8332

Rock Spring Run Trail Rides 31700 CR 433, Sorrento 352.266.9326 EQUESTRIAN TRAILS

Lake Louisa State Park 7305 U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.394.3969 Lake Norris Conservation Area Lake Norris Road, Eustis 352.343.3777 Lower Wekiva River Preserve 38015 Fechtel Road, Eustis 352.884.2009

King Grove Organic Farm 19714 CR 44A, Eustis 352.589.2469

Ocala National Forest, Seminole Ranger District 40929 SR 19, Umatilla 352.669.3153

Lake Catherine Blueberries 5849 Lake Catherine Road, Groveland 352.536.4324

Rock Springs Run State Reserve 30601 CR 433, Sorrento 352.383.3311

Mark’s U-Pick Blueberries 18900 CR 561, Clermont 352.394.2135

Sawgrass Island Preserve 12050 Sawgrass Island Road, Umatilla 352.343.3777

Valley View Vineyards 22310 CR 455, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.243.4032

Seminole State Forest 9610 CR 44, Leesburg 352.360.6675


P L AY

Let us entertain you! There is no shortage of live entertainment in Lake County, and a variety of venues offer well-known performers from comedy to Broadway to the symphony to stars like Johnny Mathis, Amy Grant, and Kenny Rogers.

THE VILLAGES

The Villages Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center at Spanish Springs Town Square

has seating for just over 1,000 and magnificent audio, visual, and theatrical rigging systems that create an entertainment experience. It’s at 1051 Main St., The Villages. A virtual tour, the schedule, and ticket information are available at thesharon.com or call 352.751.7799.

The Studio Theatre at Tierra Del Sol is one

of the newest venues in The Villages. The slogan, “Think outside the box, inside the box,” says it all. Programs are for adult audiences and may contain violence, language, nudity, or adult content. Get more specific information at thesharonstudio.com or by calling 352.751.7799. The address is 806 San Marino Drive, The Villages.

The Savannah Center is a favorite venue for live entertainment in The Villages. It is unique in that it offers not only nationally known entertainers, but also resident performances and plays. To learn about the schedule of performances, check with The Villages Entertainment Department, 1070 Canal St., The Villages or call 352.750.5411. Spanish Springs Town Square and two

other town squares in The Villages offer live entertainment nightly from 5-9 p.m. in a casual atmosphere including food, drink, and dancing. Directions are available at thevillagesentertainment.com or you can call 352.750.5411.

STATE THEATRE

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THE MOONLIGHT PLAYERS

CLERMONT

LEESBURG

The Clermont Performing Arts Center in downtown

The Melon Patch Theatre

Clermont has an amazing array of stars and live shows on the schedule. Located at 3700 S. U.S. Highway 27. Email is info@ clermontperformingarts.com, or call 352.394.4800. Information and a map are online at clermontperformingarts.com.

The Moonlight Players Warehouse Theater is in

Historic Downtown Clermont at 735 W. Minneola Ave. The Moonlight Players are a community group that presents small-stage play revivals and also works with young people. Information about performances and tickets is available at moonlightplayers.com. Call 352.319.1116 for ticket information.

in Leesburg is celebrating its 65th season. Located at 311 N. 13th St., ticket or performance information is available at 352.787.3013 or at melonpatchplayers.com. The theater includes Patchwork Productions with classes in drama, dance, comedy, and musical theater for children.

Leesburg Town Square has

a variety of annual events like Mardi Gras, Bikefest, and many other town square events that feature wellknown live entertainment.

EUSTIS

The Historic State Theater is home to the Bay Street Players in Eustis. The Bay Street Players offer educational opportunities that include classes in acting, set production, costuming, and front house management. It’s at 109 N. Bay St., 352.357.7777.

The Town of Eustis has regular town square programs that include live music and other performers. Last year, Eustis hosted the first Busker Festival in this area. Buskers are street performers who entertain in public places for donations. The daylong event is scheduled for April 8 this year. MOUNT DORA

Mount Dora Live features live

entertainment and fun outdoors on weekends.

Sonnentag Theatre at the IceHouse is the delightful community theater in Mount Dora. Information is available at icehousetheater.com. It features a program for children and teens with workshops and productions. The address is 1100 N. Unser St., Mount Dora; box office is 352.383.4616.

entertainment throughout the year at various locations in Mount Dora. There are concerts and shows almost every month. The Festival City, as Mount Dora is called, is already set for a year of

MELON PATCH THEATRE


P L AY

RENOWNED ARTIST WENDELL CASTLE AT THE MODERNISM MUSEUM

Exploring local treasures A GUIDE TO LAKE COUNTY’S DIVERSE MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

Lake County has an illustrious and colorful past, and an array of cultural museums sprinkled throughout the county lets visitors literally walk through history. Keeping our heritage alive and honoring the pioneers who settled here is the mission for many of these privately and publicly owned institutions. 76 •

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In addition, several museums and galleries are devoted to arts—from painting and sculpture to eclectic modernism. Spend afternoons or entire weekends exploring these treasures, but be sure to check websites or call ahead as hours do change seasonally.


year collection of auto antiques (cars, gas pumps, signs) but also autographed guitars and backstage passes from many legendary rockers. No children under age 14 are allowed. 206 N. Highland St., Mount Dora classicdreamcars.com 10 am–5 pm, Monday–Friday Call ahead for Saturday hours

Lake County Historical Museum On the first floor of Lake County’s Historical Courthouse, this museum is a treasure trove of Central Florida memorabilia, period antiques, murals, and historical artifacts. Discover Walt Disney’s tie to Lake County and how Tavares almost became the state capital. Admission is free. 317 W. Main St., Tavares lakecountyfl.gov 10am–2pm, Thursday, Friday, Saturday EUSTIS HISTORIC MUSEUM

HISTORICAL

Leesburg Heritage Museum Conveniently located in the former Lassiter-Ware Insurance Building in downtown, this museum is packed with 150 years of history, including such keepsakes as former Leesburg visitor Annie Oakley’s 1886 suitcase. Learn about the first watermelon festival as well as how Venetian Gardens got its start. 111 S. Sixth St. Leesburg leesburgflorida.gov 1-4pm, Monday-Friday Clermont Historic Village The South Lake Historical Society operates this enclave of historic buildings, which includes the old train depot and an actual WWII Quonset Hut, near Lake Minneola. Go through the seven buildings to learn more about the

history and pioneering families of South Lake County. 4880 W. Ave., Clermont clermontvillage.org 1-4pm, Saturday, Sunday

The Presidents Hall of Fame One of Lake County’s most unusual museums, the Presidents Hall of Fame next to the Citrus Tower has garnered attention from national magazines and television shows. Displays include replicas of the State Dining Room, the White House’s Blue Room, and even the Oval Office. Many gowns worn by first ladies are also displayed. 123 US Hwy. 27, Clermont thepresidentshalloffame.com Museum of Speed Described as the “ultimate man cave,” Mount Dora’s Museum of Speed not only features a 46-

Mount Dora Historical Museum Operated by the Mount Dora Historical Society, this museum is housed in the city’s first fire station and city jail, which opened in 1923. The exhibits highlight activities from the 1880s to the 1930s, but the restored jail cells are the most significant feature. The right-hand cell contains original artwork from a former prisoner while the middle cell contains a painting depicting the one and only jail break, where the prisoner left a note stating he had gone home and would return for his trial. 450 Royellou Lane, Mount Dora 1-4pm, Tuesday–Sunday

Groveland Historical Museum Many residents have donated memorabilia about this small town, including a miniature replica of the high school and how it looked in 1937. The museum will move to a new location in the near future. 243 S. Lake Ave., Groveland grovelandhistory.org 11 am–1 pm, Saturday; and by special appointment Grand Oaks Resort & Museum Located only 2.5 miles from The Villages, the Grand Oaks Carriage Museum is home to one of the world’s largest private collections of carriages and equine artifacts. More than 160 European and American carriages are displayed, including the elaborate 1850 Armbruster Dress Chariot once owned by Emperor of Austria Franz Joseph, and his wife Elisabeth. 3000 Marion County Road, Weirsdale thegrandoaks.com 10am–4pm, daily Lady Lake Historical Society Museum The former Lady Lake train depot houses exhibits depicting the area’s history from the earliest Native American inhabitants to present-day events. The model train layout has contributed to the museum’s increased popularity with its depiction of Lady Lake in the 1940s and 1950s. 107 S. Old Dixie Hwy., Lady Lake ladylakemuseum.org 10am–1pm, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (Closed in August)

Eustis Historical Museum The former Clifford House contains memorabilia about the 19th century resort town of Lake Eustis and how it became just Eustis in 1883. 536 N. Bay St., Eustis eustishistoricalmuseum.com 1-5pm, Friday–Saturday

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PAQUETTE’S HISTORICAL FARMALL MUSEUM

Paquette’s Historical Farmall Museum Everything you ever wanted to know about tractors and International Harvester equipment can be found in the tractor barns. The “dealership” is a replica of an International Harvester “Store” in the 1940s. Many family-friendly events held throughout the year. 615 S. Whitney Road, Leesburg stewsihstuff.com 9am–4pm, Tuesday–Saturday

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ART MUSEUMS & GALLERIES

Modernism Museum Mount Dora This small, private, and focused museum in downtown Mount Dora is devoted to collecting, exhibiting, and promoting the work of the American Studio Arts Movement, which combines high art with craftsmanship. The artwork here marries form and function, and you’ll wonder, “Is it sculpture or furniture?” Open since the fall of 2013, the museum contains a unique and expansive collection of Modernist art by

iconic and influential American masters of the craft. 145 E. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora modernismmuseum.org 10 am-5 pm, Tuesday–Sunday

Mount Dora Center for the Arts The center provides diverse fine art exhibitions, educational programs, an annual auction, art strolls through downtown, and the nationally acclaimed Mount Dora Arts Festival, which brings more than 200,000 visitors annually to the downtown area. A community-based, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the center is dedicated to fostering an appreciation of art and culture in the region. 128 E. Fifth Ave., Mount Dora mountdoracenterforthearts.org Gallery 10am–4pm, Monday–Friday; and 11 am–4 pm, Saturday-Sunday

Lake Eustis Museum of Art Located in Ferran Park in downtown Eustis, this museum was Lake County’s first art museum with a donated collection of 18 paintings of Australian Aborigines as its cornerstone. The LEMA collection has grown and includes artworks from many different sources. In addition to changing exhibits, the museum also offers art classes for children and adults. 1 W. Orange Ave., Eustis lakeeustisartmuseum.org 10am–4pm, Tuesday–Friday; and noon–4pm, Saturdays. Leesburg Center for the Arts The mission of the Leesburg Center for the Arts is providing a central location where artists, artisans, musicians, and appreciative patrons gather. Located in a historic downtown building, the center hosts numerous activities, exhibitions, classes, and the annual Leesburg Arts Festival every March. 429 W. Magnolia St., Leesburg leesburgcenter4arts.com 10am–4pm, Monday–Thursday South Lake Art League The Montrose Gallery, operated by the South Lake Art League, is the site for two art and photography shows in the fall and spring each year. Founded in 1966 to encourage and promote all forms of art, the SLAL offers a variety of classes. 776 Montrose St., Clermont southlakeartleague.com Hours vary. Check website for exhibition and class schedules.


MOUNT DORA MUSEUM OF SPEED

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PP LL A AY Y

If you love the outdoors and getting back to nature, Lake County is the place with more than 1,000 lakes and rivers and thousands of unspoiled acres in preserves, state parks, and a national forest. From quiet time to thrilling nature rides, you’ll find a variety of popular ecotourism activities in Lake County. BIRDING

Lake County is one of the top destinations in the nation for bird watching. The lakes and natural areas have attracted more than 200 different species of birds. Some of the most popular places for spotting multiple bird species include the following:

Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve—

Sounds of nature Leave the theme park crowds behind, and discover a more peaceful journey through Florida’s lush landscapes. Hear your children’s giggles and squeals aboard a “monster” truck sloshing through wetlands and blazing across pastures. Or simply listen to the birds chirping in overhead tree branches as you kayak or canoe along one of Lake County’s pristine waterways. And maybe it’s the sound of your own breath as you bicycle along our picturesque trails that you will most remember when you get home. 80 •

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also known as PEAR Park—is filled with native plants, wildflowers, and migrating birds as well as a Florida scrub jay restoration area. The 318-acre park offers several miles of hiking trails, a nature center, and a new Wildlife Watch Post. Located off U.S. Highway 27 in Leesburg, the park is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to dusk.

Green Mountain Scenic Overlook is a 132-foot elevated

boardwalk that offers exceptional views of Sugarloaf Mountain, Lake County’s highest point. Popular with bicyclists traversing the Green Mountain Scenic Byway, the overlook is an ideal location for bird and butterfly watching with nearly 100


Each trail offers different experience levels for blueway users. The Golden Triangle along Lake Dora’s shorelines in Tavares and Mount Dora is suitable for novices and casual use; the trails along

species of birds and 20 species of butterflies already observed at the property. Located at 20700 County Road 455 in Ferndale, the overlook is open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk.

Alexander Springs has been popular with nature enthusiasts for years. Located in northern Lake County, the springs recreation area is an excellent destination for swimmers, hikers, campers, birdwatchers, and wildlife lovers. The Timucuan Trail is a 1.1-mile interpretive loop trail that highlights vegetation used by early Native Americans. Florida National Scenic Trail runs 66 miles

through the Ocala National Forest and is a popular location for beginning and advanced birders.

Lower Wekiva River Preserve is a system of backwater streams and wetlands that provides habitats for black bears, river otters, alligators, wood storks, and Sandhill cranes. The Sand Hill Nature Trail offers a self-guided hiking tour. There is no

the St. Johns are considered “wilderness” areas, more appropriate for experienced users. For more information about the Lake County Community Blueways Project, visit paddlelake.com.

admission fee at the Fechtel Road entrance in Eustis and the park is open daily from 8 a.m. until sunset. Lake County is one of the most popular places in the state for birdwatchers. There are a number of events throughout the year showcasing the county’s best birdwatching areas. K AY A K I N G AND CANOEING

Experience Lake County’s scenic and wildlife areas along the shorelines of our nine blueway trails. Physical and geo-positioned markers guide kayakers, canoers, and paddle boarders through the waterways. The following trails are within the areas of the St. Johns River, Golden Triangle, Palatlakaha Basin, and Oklawaha Basin: • • • • • • • • •

Blue Creek Run Golden Triangle Run Helena Run Lake Eustis Run Lake Griffin Run Lake Harris Run Palatlakaha Run Stagger Mud Lake Run St. Francis/Dead River Run

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P L AY

ECOTOURISM ADVENTURES

Showcase of Citrus—Tour a

2,500-acre working citrus farm and cattle ranch on the world’s largest ATV. Open since 1961 on Highway 27 near Clermont, the Showcase offers 100 percent “pure Florida fun” with the highly modified giant trucks designed for safe rides through native woodlands, pastureland, swamps, and groves. Visit showcaseofcitrus.com

Dora Canal—Any visit to Lake

County should include a boat ride, especially on the Dora Canal. Lined with cypress trees, the Dora Canal is one of the best waterways for wildlife viewing because it is a safe haven for nesting ospreys, herons, and egrets.

B I C YC L I N G

Most avid cyclists know about Lake County’s 12.6-mile South Lake Trail that runs from the West Orange Trail to Silver Eagle Road in Clermont. The picturesque and oftenchallenging trail will be the heart of the Coast-to-Coast Connector—a 250-mile trail across Florida that is currently being completed. In the meantime, there are 25 more miles of bicycle trails around Lake County. Pack some water and sunscreen and find your starting point on these Lake County trails: Lake Apopka Loop Trail Distance: 18 miles Start: Green Mountain Scenic Overlook & Trailhead

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End: Magnolia Park (Orange County)

Venetian Gardens Trail Distance: 0.5 miles Start: Venetian Gardens & Canal St., Leesburg End: Magnolia Trail and Bourley Historic Nature Preserve Tav-Lee Trail Distance: 3.5 miles Start: Downtown Tavares End: Lake Square Mall Wilson Lake Parkway Trail Distance: 3.0 miles Start: Wilson Lake Parkway, Clermont End: Wilson Lake Parkway, Clermont South Lake Trail Connects to West Orange Trail at Old CR 50 and Lake Blvd. Distance: 12.6 miles Start: Lake Blvd. & Lake County Line End: Silver Eagle Rd & CR 565A Hancock Trail Extension Connects to South Lake Trail Distance: 2.4 miles Start: Hancock Road & CR 50 End: Cooper Memorial Library & National Training Center Black Still Lake Trail Distance: 0.5 miles Start: Black Still Lake Road, Clermont End: Black Still Lake Road, Clermont Fountain Lake Trail Distance: 2 miles Start: Canal St., Leesburg End: 13th St., Leesburg Green Mountain Trail Distance: 1 mile Start: CR 455, Montverde End: Truskett Park Magnolia Trail Designed for walkers and bikers, lined with benches and outdoor exercise equipment. Distance: 0.7 miles Start: Mote-Morris House, Leesburg End: Palmetto St.


Antique stores Lake County has an amazing number of antique shops and malls that make “going antiquing” a delightful experience. Everything from furniture, jewelry, fine art, primitives, and other hidden treasures can often be found at local antique sites, stores, and malls. Here is a listing of some of the most popular antique shops in Lake County. LEESBURG

Main Street Antiques 201 W. Main St., Leesburg 352.460.4806 Victoria’s Antique Warehouse 113 N. 7th St., Leesburg 352.728.8668 MOUNT DORA

Village Antique Mall 405 N. Highland St., Mount Dora 352.385.0257 Oliver’s Twist Antiques, Estate Sales, and Appraisals 404 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora 352.735.3337 Benton’s Antiques 352 N. Highland St., Mount Dora 352.735.2790 Legacies Antiques Books & More 20651 U.S. Hwy. 441, Mount Dora 352.406.4848

Renninger’s Antique Cemter 20651 U.S. Hwy. 441 Mount Dora 352.383.8393 EUSTIS

3rd Generation Antiques 121 N. Bay St., Eustis 352.483.4367

TAVA R E S

Through the Years Vintage Market 102 E. Alfred St., Tavares 352.508.9727 Hoity Toity Mercantile 206 W. Main St., Tavares 352.205.5992

Old South Stained Glass 320 S. Grove St., Eustis 352.589.0034 Inspired 365 1400 S. Bay St., Eustis 352.483.7467 MINNEOLA

Hen’s Nest 127 W. Washington St. , Minneola 352.242.9484 CLERMONT

Choice Collections Home Furnishings 664 W. Montrose , Clermont 352.394.7817

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DOWNTOWN LEESBURG

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Sunglasses courtesy of Doggibags

P L AY


DOWNTOWN MOUNT DORA

Retail therapy Stroll the downtown streets of Mount Dora, Leesburg, Eustis, Clermont, and other Lake County communities, and you’re bound to find unexpected treasures at dozens of quaint and unique retail shops. MOUNT DORA

LEESBURG

Mount Dora’s downtown is bustling with a variety of shops, including Secret Garden, a Parisian-inspired boutique with frilly feminine apparel—some fashions reminiscent of the 1920s, along with a variety of stylish hats, and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Matamo Design is filled with unique tropical home furnishings and accent pieces, and the Cozy Nest has a mix of vintage, shabby chic, inspirational signs, and baby gifts. The Checkered Moon, Patrick’s Fine Art, Home and Garden Treasures, Noni and the Olive Branch, Under the Cherry Blossom, Amy Sellers Art Gallery, Julianne’s Coastal Cottage, The Spice and Tea Exchange, The Willow Tree Gifts, Desire, Whispering Winds, KaDee Kay Gourmet Kitchen, and Piglet’s Pantry are among fun shops to browse and see a variety of specialty items, and there’s the Rafiki Exchange in a side strip of Renaissance Shops off Donnelly Street that is filled with one-of-a-kind handcrafted items made by African widows.

Downtown Main Street in Leesburg has several specialty shops, including Alada’s China & Gifts, a fine gift shop filled with seasonal items for holidays, weddings, baby gifts, and Pandora jewelry. Doggibags Boutique has the latest fashions designed by Clara S., Joseph Ribkoff, Valentena, Krazy Larry, Damee, Jana and Rebel Jeans, along with unique handbags and accessories. Everything a University of Florida fan could possibly desire can be found at Grand Gator, and other Leesburg shops to check out are Shabby Chic, Linda’s Soapbox, Willowbee’s, Le Attitude, Mayan Experience, Lacy Ladybug, Karen’s Canine Kitchen, Two Old Hags Wine Shoppe, and Getzel’s, which has been around for 67 years as Leesburg’s oldest downtown clothing store. Enchanted Days Gift Emporium is filled with incense, jewelry, sage, essential oils, pendulums and more.

EUSTIS

L A DY L A K E

Peddler’s Wagon in downtown Eustis entices the senses as it’s packed with more than 7,000 square feet of home accent pieces, silk floral designs and one of the largest arrays of unique Christmas décor. Terri’s Eustis Flower Shop has specialty items, too, and has been serving Lake County’s floral needs since 1928. Merry Jewelers has been a popular Eustis store for 64 years, and My Favorite Things features craft supplies, rubber stamps, and coordinating card stock, inks, ribbons, and buttons.

In the northwest part of Lake County, you’ll find plenty of good shopping in Lady Lake. In addition to great stores like Kohl’s and Target, there are also shops with local owners that offer unique gifts, clothing, and services. In La Plaza Grande just off U.S. Highway 27/441 on Bichara Boulevard, get your new clothing monogrammed at Gotta Get Your Name On! Browse the lovely sparkles at Jewelry Design with its distinctive diamonds and gems as well as singular mountings. In addition, you can find tools and supplies for beading and making your own jewelry. Shoe Biz is a family-owned business that has two other stores in Lake County in addition to the one at La Plaza Grande. You’ll find brand names, perfect fits, and great service at this Lady Lake favorite. Just down from La Plaza Grande is Spanish Springs Town Square, home of Main Street in The Villages. Bermuda Bay offers all the clothing you’ll need for wearing on a cruise, at the beach, or just enjoying the beautiful Florida sunshine. Find that special souvenir at Sparks Jewelry so you think of Lake County every time you wear it. Both of these shopping centers offer a variety of well-known stores and shops. You’ll always find something special when shopping in Lady Lake.

CLERMONT

The Broom Tree is one of the newest quaint stores to open in downtown Clermont, filled with collectibles from yesteryear, modern items, jewelry, furniture pieces, and more. Rabbit’s Hole is a combination bookstore, comic book shop and coffee shop with a mix of new and used books. Erika’s Tea Room and Gifts features an array of special tea sets and more than 80 teas from around the world, and Encore is filled with a great selection of home décor items, while Livi & Tate is the place to go for makeup, bath indulgences, contemporary apparel, swimwear and accessories.

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E X P LO R E • P L AY • S TAY • D I N E

An occasion for every meal If your bucket list includes enjoying some of the best food in Central Florida, Lake County is a great place to cross off some entries. Give yourself a little culinary tour during your vacation in Lake County.

THE CROOKED SPOON

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DINE

Casual dining

Night Owl Caribbean Restaurant 929 S. Bay St. 352.589.0256

Casual dining abounds in Lake County. Casual doesn’t mean less quality. The following restaurants serve fare that is fresh and delicious, but you can wear shorts and flip-flops while you chow down: Calabria Ristorante 13900 CR 455 407.656.5144

A S TAT U L A

Race Car Diner 25641 Monroe St. 352.253.6940

Green Garden 1790 E. Hwy. 50 352.243.2077

ASTOR

Cheeser’s Palace 707 W. Montrose St. 352.404.9431

Legends Grille & Tavern 1700 Legendary Blvd. 352.242.1910

Blackwater Inn 55716 Front St, Astor 352.759.2802

Clermont Fish House 110 W. Hwy. 50 352.708.5563

Lyn’s Ice Cream & Sandwich Shoppe 824 W. Montrose St. 352.536.9935

Corelli’s Italian Restaurant 1042 E. Hwy. 50 352.989.5924

Napolis Pizzeria 556 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.243.7500

Sparky’s Place 24646 SR 40 352.759.3551 William’s Landing 55716 Front St. 352.759.2802 CLERMONT

Akina Sushi Bar & Asian Fusion Bistro 4300 S. Hwy. 27, Ste. 101 352.243.8988

Devenney’s Irish Pub 16909 High Grove Blvd. 352.432.3925 Flippers Pizzeria 2523 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.242.2214

Burger Craft 2447 U.S. Hwy. 27 352.404.8924

G’s NY Pizza 12346 Roper Blvd. 352.243.8900

ATHENA NEW YORK

Robata Japanese Steak House And Sushi Bar 1500 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.404.9688 Sarah’s Greek Cuisine & More 16640 Cagan Crossings Blvd., Ste. 305 352.404.8031

Sanctuary Ridge Golf Club Restaurant 2601 Diamond Club Dr. 352.243.0411 Spiro’s Pizza 1203 W. Hwy. 50 352.394.5538 The Crooked Spoon 200 Citrus Tower Blvd. 352.404.7808 Troy’s Cuban Deli 1200 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.241.4295 EUSTIS

Kiku Japanese Steakhouse And Sushi Bar 15211 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.483.8288 Maria’s Latin Diner 1 N. Eustis St. 352.357.5555

Stavro’s & Sons of Eustis 2100 W. CR 44 352.589.9100 Taki’s Pizza House 2824 S. Bay St. 352.357.0022

La Hacienda Restaurant 10400 CR 48 352.324.3910 L A DY L A K E / THE VILLAGES

The Crazy Gator 402 N. Bay St. 352.589.5885

Athena New York 360 S. U.S. Hwy. 441 352.750.5227

The Great Pizza Company 23 E. Magnolia Ave. 352.357.7377

Carrabba’s 650 U.S. Hwy. 441 N. 352.430.1304

The Oyster Troff 936 N. Bay St. 352.357.9939

El Ranchito 1 La Grande Blvd 352.750.3335

Tony’s Pizza And Subs 2760 E. Orange Ave. 352.589.9001

Harbor Hills Country Club 6538 Lake Griffin Rd. 352.753.7000

FRUITLAND PA R K

Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant 504 S. U.S. Hwy. 441 352.753.2722

Fruitland Park Cafe 3180 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.435.4575 Legends Cafe 2468 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.728.0006 GROVELAND

Red Wing Restaurant 12500 S. SR 33 352.429.2997

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JB Boondocks Bar & Grill 704 S. Lakeshore Blvd. 352.324.3600

Thai Sushi America 925 N. Bay St. 352.357.1949

Coyote Rojo 2 214. W. Broad. St. 352.557.8999

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Outback Steakhouse 710 N. Hwy. 441 352.430.2590 LEESBURG

Bloom’s Baking House & Restaurant 610 W. Main St.352.787.1004 Cedar River Seafood 8609 S. U.S. Hwy. 441 352.728.3377


Cousin Vinnie’s Family Sports Restaurant 10700 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.253.2442 Gator Bay Bar And Grill 10320 CR 44 352.365.2177 Habanero’s 3 Mexican Restaurant 10601 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.315.1777 HP Grill 1403 S. 14h St. 352.314.0006 Kountry Kitchen 1008 W. Dixie Ave. 352.323.0852

The Florida Porch Cafe 706 W. Main St. 352.365.1717 The Latin Cafe 400 N. 14th St. 352.365.0089 Wolfy’s 918 N. 14th St. 352.787.6777 MASCOTTE

Rainbow Restaurant 704 E. Myers Blvd. 352.429.2093 MINNEOLA

Copacabana Cuban Café 320 Dora Drawdy Way 352.385.9000 Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill 421 N. Baker St. 352.385.3540 Highland St. Cafe 185 S. Highland St. 352.383.1446 Incredible Edible Cakes 4295 W. Old Hwy. 441, Ste. 2 352.223.3581 Ivory’s Take Out 1325 N. Grandview St. 352.735.6797

La Palma Mexican Grill 1690 Citrus Blvd. 352.323.1444

Jack’s BBQ 100 US-27, Minneola 352.394.2673

Lilly’s Super Subs 2339 CR 473 352.343.4663

Lil Anthony’s Pizza 205 N. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.394.1516

Let’s Do Lunch 426 N. Donnelly St. 352.735.4577

Magnolia’s Oyster Bar 201 W. Magnolia St. 352.323.0093

Tiki Bar And Grill 508 S. Main Ave. 352.394.2232

Magical Meat Boutique 112 W. Third Ave. 352.729.6911

Naples Italian Restaurant 1107 W. North Blvd. 352.323.1616

MOUNT DORA

Mr. Cebiche 411 N. Donnelly St. 352.735.8106

Osaka 1401 Citrus Blvd. 352.728.0788 Stavros Pizza 755 N. 14Th St. 352.326.4202 Sully’s Smokehouse 10820 CR 44 352.483.7427 Takis Pizza Restaurant 1205 N. 14Th St. 352.787.2344

Anthony’s Pizza 17195 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.357.6668 Bocce Pizzeria 925 E. First Ave. 352.385.0067 Café Gianni 425 N. Alexander St. 352.735.3327 Cecile’s French Corner 237 W. Fourth Ave. 352.383.7100 Cody’s On Fourth Café 111 E. Fourth #1 352.735.8426

Jeremiah’s 500 N. Highland St. 352.383.7444

Mount Dora Pizza And Subs 2718 W. Old U.S. Hwy. 441 352.383.5303 One Flight Up 440 N. Donnelly St., Ste. 100 407.758.9818 Pizzamore 722 E. Fifth Ave. 352.383.0092 Shiva 140A W. Fifth Ave. 352.735.4555

LA PALMA MEXICAN GRILL

Sidelines Sport Eatery 315 N. Highland St. 352.735.7433 The Bavarian Haus 433 N. Alexander St. 352.735.8387 The Frog and Monkey Restaurant and Pub 411 N. Donnelly St. 352.383.1936 The Health Basket 18834 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.735.1166

Windsor Rose Tea Room & Restaurant 142 W. 4th Ave. 352.735.2551 Zellie’s Pub 4025 N. U.S. Hwy. 19A 352.483.3855 SORRENTO

China Chef 24430 SR 44 352.357.2242

Del Franco Pizza Place 31436 CR 437 352.383.8882 Gigi’s 25444 SR 46 352.735.4000 Lisa’s Kountry Cafe 23911 CR 46 352.735.3380 Momiji 24400 SR 44 352.357.2285

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DINE

TAVA R E S

Puddle Jumpers 111 W. Ruby St. 352.508.5862

Al’s Sand Bar 111 W. Ruby St.

Ruby St. Grill 220 E. Main St. 352.742.7829

Angelo’s Italian Restaurant 2270 Vindale Rd., Tavares 352.343.2757 China Wok 342 W. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.5188 Hurricane Dockside Grill 3351 W. Burleigh Blvd. 352.508.5137 Lago Dora Ristorante 124 S. Joanna Ave. 352.508.1111 Lake Dora Sushi & Sake 227 E. Main St. 352.343.6313

Sunrise Grill 462 E. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.7744 Thai Jasmine 1010 E. Alfred St. 352.742.0956 Tiki West Raw Bar And Grill 118 W. Ruby St. 352.508.5783 Zac’s Pressed For Time Café 505 W. Main St. 352.253.4663 U M AT I L L A

Mary’s Country Kitchen 15945 CR 448 352.343.6823

The Mason Jar 37534 SR 19 352.589.2535

O’Keefes Irish Pub 115 S. Rockingham Ave. 352.343.2157

Nicky D’s Pizza 356 N. Central Ave. 352.669.2400

Palm Gardens Restaurant And Marina 11801 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.343.2024

Fine dining Lake County offers an extensive variety of fine dining establishments to please any palette. Whether it’s fresh seafood or fine aged steak, you’ll find the perfect meal in any one of these restaurants. Guru Restaurant 2400 U.S. Hwy. 27, Ste. 101, Clermont 352.251.9884 801 City Grille 801 W. Montrose St., Clermont 352.394.6911 El Conquistador Restaurant, Mission Inn Resort 10400 CR 48, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.324.3911 Goblin Market & Lounge 330 Dora Drawdy Way, Mount Dora 352.735.0059 The Beauclaire Dining Room, Lakeside Inn 100 Alexander St., Mount Dora 352.383.4101 Pisces Rising 239 W. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora 352.385.2669

HURRICANE DOCKSIDE GRILL

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1921 by Norman Van Aken 142 E. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora 352.385.1921

1884 Restaurant and Bar 12 E. Magnolia Ave., Eustis 800.856.1884 The Rose Plantation 200 Rose Ave., Fruitland Park 352.805.4340 Chesapeake Bay Grille at Arlington Ridge 4467 Arlington Ridge Blvd., Leesburg 352.315.0066 SIP Restaurant Jazz and Wine Bar 707 W. Main St., Leesburg 352.435.7840 Turner’s Kitchen & Bar 114 S. 5th St., Leesburg 352.530.2274 Legacy Restaurant at The Nancy Lopez County Club 17135 Buena Vista Blvd., The Villages 352.753.1475

1884 RESTAURANT AND BAR


BRÜ TAP HOUSE

Neighborhood bars They’re the best places to go for great craft beer, draft beer, or specialty cocktails—the neighborhood bars. Everybody may not know your name, but you’ll feel like you’re among friends in these local establishments. The Crooked Spoon Gastropub 200 Citrus Tower Blvd., Clermont 352.404.7808 11am-2am

Lilly’s on the Lake 846 W. Osceola St., Clermont 352.708.6565 Sun.-Thu. 11am-9pm Fri.-Sat. 11am-10pm

Even Par Bar 20329 U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.429.9033 2pm-2am

Suncreek Brewery 790 W. Minneola, Clermont 407.850.8810 Opening fall 2017

Crown Restaurant & Lounge 1340 SR 50, Clermont 352.394.3888 Open till 2am Vineyards of the World 712 W. Montrose St., Clermont 352.404.8997 Wed.-Sat. till 2am Devenneys Irish Pub 16909 High Grove Blvd., Clermont 352.432.3925 Noon-2am

The Surf Bar & Grill 650 U.S. Hwy. 27, Minneola 202.527.0100 Noon-2am Tiki Bar Grill at Lake Minneola Inn 508 Main Ave., Minneola 352.394.2232 11:30am-Midnight Tremain’s Tavern at Lakeside Inn 100 Alexander St., Mount Dora 352.383.4101 11am-8:30pm

Froggers Grill & Bar 4931 Lake Park Court, Mount Dora 352.385.3555 11am-1am Zellie’s Pub 4025 N. Hwy. 19A, Mount Dora 352.483.3855 11am-9pm McGregor’s Bar 502½ N. Highland St., Mount Dora 352.735.7443 4pm-2am Mermaid Juice 458 N. Highland St., Mount Dora 352.556.1030 3pm-1am Big Dog Saloon 4060 N. Hwy. 19A, Mount Dora 352.589.2442 11am-2am

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DINE

Mount Dora Brewing’s Rocking Rabbit Brewery 405 S. Highland St., Mount Dora 352.735.1111 8am-11pm O’Keefe’s Irish Pub & Restaurant 115 S. Rockingham Ave., Tavares 352.343.2157 11am-Midnight Buzzard Beach 2050 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 352.552.8849 Sun.-Wed., 10am-9pm Thu.-Sat., 10am-10pm Brü Tap House 143 E. Main St., Tavares 352.508.9321 Noon-1am Journey’s Saloon Bar & Grill 4117 CR 561, Tavares 352.742.3572 11am-Midnight Al’s Sand Bar 181 S. Joanna Ave., Tavares 352.742.1113 11am-10pm Buster Tubbs 110 N. New Hampshire Ave., Tavares 352.742.7676 Sat.-Tue. 7am-3pm Wed.-Fri. 7am until the music stops

Ruby Street Grille 221 E. Ruby St., Tavares 352.742.7829 11:30am-2am Pug’s Pub 925 N. Bay St. #7, Eustis 352.357.8028 11:30am-11pm 1884 Restaurant and Bar 12 E. Magnolia Ave., Eustis 800.856.1884 11am-2am Two Old Hags Wine Shoppe 410 W. Main St., Leesburg 352.435.9107 Mon.-Fri. 11am-close Sat. 11am-2am Shamrock Lounge & Package Store 1120 W. North Blvd., Leesburg 352.787.4309 10am-2am SIP Jazz and Wine Bar 707 W. Main St., Leesburg 352.435.7840 Mon. 11am-5pm Tue. 11am-7pm Wed.-Thu. 11am-9pm Fri.-Sat. 11am-11pm The 24 Tap Room 1107 W. North Blvd., Ste. 26, Leesburg 352.315.0198 Mon.-Thu. 3pm-Midnight Fri. 3pm-1am Sat. Noon-1am Sun. Noon-Midnight Great Chicago Fire Brewery & Tap Room 311 W. Magnolia St., Leesburg 352.474.2739 Mon.-Thu. 11am-10pm Fri.-Sat. 11am-Midnight Sun. Noon-6pm

McCall’s Tavern Spanish Springs Town Square 999 Alverez Ave., Lady Lake 352.750.9441 Daily 11am-11pm Margarita Republic Spanish Springs Town Square 1102 Main St., Lady Lake 352.753.4660 Daily 11am-1am The PUB at the Bowl 890 Avenida Central, Lady Lake 352.753.0043 Mon.-Tue. 11am-9pm Wed.-Thu. 11am-10pm Fri.-Sun. 11am-Midnight The Pickled Parrot Restaurant & Bar 1455 SR 40, Astor 386.759.0001 8am-9pm Steel Around Forest Tavern 21918 SR 40, Astor 352.759.3991 10am-2am Umatilla Tavern 605 N. Central Ave., Umatilla 352.669.1325 10:30am-11:30pm Krazy 8 20271 S.E. 142nd Pl., Umatilla 352.288.0500 10am-1 or 2am Oasis Saloon 23800 SR 46, Sorrento 352.383.4047 10am-1:45am JJ’s Lounge & Package 24433 SR 46, Sorrento 352.383.1400 10am-2am


The invisible spirit of wine Lake County wines complement any meal and make it a delightful event. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Wine is poetry.” According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, wine was being made in Florida before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. If you want to see how wine is made, you don’t have to leave Lake County to learn. Tour Florida’s premier winery in Clermont in South Lake. And if wine made from Florida’s sweet strawberries is more to your taste, you may want to check out Lake County’s newest winery in Sorrento. Oak Haven Farms & Winery 32430 Avington Road, Sorrento 352.735.1996 berriesandwines.com Oak Haven specializes in locally produced fruit wines, including strawberry, blueberry, and muscadine. The newest addition to the Sorrento wine family is Southern Belle, a semi-sweet Rosé that pairs well with barbecue or seafood. Taste up to five wines for $1 at this small, familyowned farm that also offers u-pick opportunities during strawberry season (December-April/May). Hours are limited so call ahead for times. Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards 19239 U.S. Hwy. 27 N. Clermont 800.768.WINE lakeridgewinery.com As you drive along Highway 27 in South Lake County, you can’t miss acres and acres of grapevines on the rolling hills and the French-style chateau that’s at the heart of the vineyards. Since 1989, Lakeridge

Winery & Vineyards has been Florida’s largest premium winery, and remains a pioneer in the development of table and sparkling wines from muscadine and hybrid grapes. More than 160,000 people visit the winery annually, enjoying its extensive tasting room, festivals and gift shop. With an overall production of more than 1 million bottles, Lakeridge Wines are sold under the Lakeridge and Lakeridge Reserve brands wines at the winery and at major supermarkets and wine shops throughout Florida. These Lakeridge labels have won more than 600 awards for winemaking excellence. Complimentary tours and wine tasting are offered seven days a week, Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm and Sunday, 11am-5pm. Last tours are offered at 4pm daily.

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DINE

CUPCAKE DELIGHTS

Bakeries & sweets Lake County offers an array of places to go for delicious bakery goods, desserts, and sugary confections. Here are some of the one-of-a-kind places worth visiting to satisfy those sweet cravings. Cupcake Delights, Inc. Has 18-22 different flavors a day: red velvet and carrot cake are most popular. 122 E. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.2200 cupcakedelights.com Bloom’s Baking House and Restaurant Baking display case filled with eight homemade cakes, nine pies, a variety of cookies and Hershey’s ice cream. 610 W. Main St., Leesburg 352.787.1004 leesburgeats.com

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Donut King Handmade, fresh doughnuts including red velvet and Boston cream. 208 U.S. Hwy. 27, Minneola 352.243.4046 thedonut.king Yalaha Bakery German breads, old world tortes, and pastries 8210 CR 48, Yalaha 352.324.3366 yalahabakery.com Le Petit Sweet French macaroons, iced cookies, cake cones, and cream puffs. 110 W. Fifth St., Mount Dora

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352.729.2453 lepetitsweet.wixsite.com

Scoops on 5th 36 flavors of Hershey’s ice cream, freshbaked cookies, and individual cakes. 130 E. Fifth St., Mount Dora 352.800.9381 scoopson5th.com Ritter’s Frozen Custard Custard made fresh daily—higher protein, less fat than ice cream. 2560 E. Hwy. 50, No. 114, Clermont 352.536.2979 ritters.com

Mystic Ice Cream Cafe Up to 40 flavors, including adult ice cream with favorite liqueurs. 1217 W. Miller St., Fruitland Park 352.801.0411 mysticicecream.com

A Wish or Two Ago French Bakery and Market Place Fresh-baked breads, assorted pastries, and other sweets. 13810 CR 44, Grand Island 352.483.5074

Mount Dora Confectionary Large array of gourmet treats, fudge, gelato, softserve ice cream. 450 N. Donnelly, Mount Dora 352.735.6555 mountdoracandy.com

Yummi’s Frozen Yogurt and Café More than 50 different flavors of frozen yogurt, sorbet, and gelato. 650 Eighth St., Clermont 352.243.4529 yummisfrozenyogurtandcafe.com

Simka’s Sweets Kosher ice-cream parlor with 12 flavors of premium ice cream. 600 Cagan Park Ave., Clermont 352.243.2230 simkasweets.com

Twistee Treat Shaped like an ice-cream cone offering variety of frozen treats. 397 E. Burleigh Blvd, Tavares 352.343.6177 700 Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.243.1170 twisteetreat.com

High Five Frozen Yogurt Customers can build personalized dessert treat. 18997 U.S. Hwy. 441, Mount Dora 352.383.9175 highfivefrozenyougurt.com

Oscar’s Original Donuts Freshly made doughnuts and pastries. 708 S. 14th St., Leesburg 352.315.0476


Coffee & tea The aroma and flavor of fresh-brewed coffee is one of the satisfying pleasures of life—a great way to get an energy boost to start the day. And, of course, it’s often delightful to savor your favorite beverage with friends at a local coffeehouse or tearoom. Here are some of the popular places in Lake County to enjoy the experience: Wild Bear Coffee 123 E. Main St., Tavares 352.508.5580 wildbearcoffee.com Donut King 208 U.S. Hwy. 27, Minneola 352.243.4046 thedonut.king Village Coffee Pot of Mount Dora 425 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora 352.383.3334 villagecoffeepot.com Le Petit Sweet 110 W. Fifth St., Mount Dora 352.729.2453 lepetitsweet.wixsite.com Cody’s on 4th 111 E. Fourth St., Mount Dora 352.735.8426 codyson4th.com

Fruitland Park Café 3180 U.S. Hwy. 441, Fruitland Park 352.435.4575 facebook.com/Fruitland-Park-Cafe

Troy’s Cuban Deli 1200 Oakley Seaver Drive, Clermont 352.241.4295 troyscubandeli.com

Erika’s Tea Room and Gifts 787 W. Montrose St., Clermont 908.670.2305 erikastearoom.com

One Flight Up 440 Donnelly Ave., Mount Dora 352.735.1446 facebook.com/OneFlightUp

The Windsor Rose Restaurant and British Tea Room 142 W. Fourth St., Mount Dora 352.735.2551 windsorrose-tearoom.com

Coffee Shop of Horrors 16937 Lakeside Dr., Montverde 321.244.8668 coffeeshopofhorrors.com

THE WINDSOR ROSE RESTAURANT AND BRITISH TEA ROOM

Coffee Branch Café 144 W. Fifth St., Mount Dora 352.242.8896 facebook.com/coffeebranch-cafe

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Tri-County Heart Institute is the home of Dr. Nitza I. Alvarez, a female Cardiologist who is also an avid runner. She is keenly aware of the importance of staying active in order to maintain a Nitza Alvarez M.D., FACC

satisfying quality of life. In her practice, Dr. Alvarez is devoted to ensure you receive the highest standard of cardiovascular care, work with you in prevention of cardiovascular disease and help you to stay healthy and active. She is committed to assisting her patients to ensure they get appropriate screenings testing

including

before

pre-exercise

engaging

in

your

preferred exercise programs. At Tri-County Heart Institute, Dr. Alvarez and her staff are dedicated to provide you with comprehensive cardiac care which includes management of cardiovascular diseases, heart rhythm, and other vascular problems. Dr. Alvarez believes the care of your heart starts with prevention and that your cardiovascular problems should not limit you in staying active.

352.504.3500 1440 US HWY 441 North, Suite 537, The Villages, FL 32159 TC-Heart.com


UNWIND the GRIND f ro m

Experience ‘Real Florida. Real Close.’

www. R eal F lorida R eal C lose.com/Welcome

Lake County is known for its picturesque lakefront downtowns and unique, exciting attractions. Discover the “Real Florida,” just 30 minutes from metro-Orlando.


LIVE THE LIFESTYLE

LAKE COUNTY’S PREMIER GATED GOLF COMMUNITY Come home to the beautiful vistas, mature oak and pine woodlands that surround the community of Las Colinas at the Mission Inn Resort and Club. Featuring classic modern and Spanish-style architecture, these new homes and condominiums capture the essence of carefree resort living. Add on-site recreation amenities including golf, tennis, spa, marina, dining and you have the perfect place to reflect on life.

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& INVESTMENTS

NO ONE KNOWS LAKE COUNTY LIKE WE DO. 352.435.HOME // 10135 U.S. Hwy. 441, Suite 3, Leesburg, FL 34788 352.530.2665 // 1217 W Miller St., Suite 6, Fruitland Park, FL 34731 MorrisRealtors.com

Welcome to Lake County  

A Visitor's Guide to The Place We Call Home