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SPONSORED BY

TO LAKE COUNTY

THE SHAPE OF WATER

Great places to fish, paddle, do a boat tour, or just have fun on the water!

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ENDLESS OUTDOOR OPTIONS Ride your bike, take a hike, grab a horse FLYING HIGH Enjoy wildlife, lots of different birds, or fly above it all AGRITOURISM Enjoy fruit and vegetables fresh from the field or get a taste of farm life.


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WELCOME TO LAKE COUNTY

Buying • Selling • Renting • Investing • Property Management Dave Lowe Realty, inc. is celebrating 50 years of servicing Central Florida! We welcome you to our beautiful area and look forward to earning your business. Come see why we are one of the oldest and most trusted names in real estate!

303 N Highland St., Mount Dora | 352.383.7104 DLR@davelowerealty.com | DaveLoweRealty.com

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A lifestyle that fits you!

A PLACE WHERE YOUR LIFESTYLE ALWAYS COMES FIRST.

This master-planned community carefully encompasses the lifestyle of both all-ages as well as those 55 and better. With a superior amenity package, you have the freedom to explore your passions at a value you can appreciate. Come discover why thousands of homebuyers are moving to Clermont!

Inspired 55+ Living 1010 Braewood Drive, Clermont, FL 32715 352-415-4237

1,722 to 2,930 Sq. Ft. 2 to 3 Bedrooms 2 to 3 Baths 1 Story Homes 2 to 3 Car Garage From the $230s

Single-Family Homes 516 Bellflower Way Clermont, FL 34715 352-415-4235

HIGHLANDRANCHFL.COM Old Highway 50 and Blackstill Lake Road Clermont, Florida 34715 Offer void where prohibited or otherwise restricted by law. All information (including, but not limited to prices, availability, incentives, floorplans, site plans, features, standards and options, assessments and fees, planned amenities, programs, conceptual artists’ renderings and community development plans) is not guaranteed and remains subject to change or delay without notice. Maps and plans are not to scale and all dimensions are approximate. Please see a Taylor Morrison Sales Associate for details and visit www.taylormorrison.com for additional disclaimers. Š February 2018, Taylor Morrison of Florida, Inc. All rights reserved.

1,838 to 4,180 Sq. Ft. 3 to 6 Bedrooms 2 to 3.5 Baths 1 to 2 Story Homes 2 to 3 Car Garage From the $250s


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W E LCOM E TO LA K E COUNTY 44 On the water, in the water, beside the water

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

40 A day on the farm

Agritourism is one of the most popular ways to visit many areas. In Lake County, you’ll find all kinds of farms, groves, orchards, and U-pick farms to enjoy fresh-from-the-garden vegetables and fruits.

48 Up close and personal with nature

Lake County is one of the best sites in the state to relish the joy of birdwatching, with more than 370 species. If wildlife is your favorite, enjoy seeing alligators, black bears, and even petting zoos to enjoy delightful, furry creatures. You also can see it all from the air on a seaplane tour.

52 On foot, on a bike, on a horse Hiking, bicycling, or riding a horse in the beautiful nature of Lake County can give you a kind of peacefulness you won’t find anywhere else. With a variety of trails, you can enjoy a great adventure on foot, on a bicycle, or on horseback.

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TO L A KE COUNTY

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GROVELAND

PHOTOGRAPHY | FRED LOPEZ

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SPONSORED BY

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There’s always something exciting happening at Akers Media.

TO LAKE COUN T Y SPONSORED BY

PUBLISHING

PRESIDENT | DOUG AKERS

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.

doug@akersmediagroup.com

Plus:

A taste of Mount Dora is on the menu Catch the Pig on the Pond in Clermont I always feel like Google’s watchin’ me!

YEAR IN

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 Videography

• Commercial • In-studio • On-location

Show Your Love. Become a fan of Lake & Sumter Style or Healthy Living by signing up on our Facebook page, following us on Pinterest, on Twitter (@GetStyleMag or @GetHLMag) or visiting our YouTube channel.

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

REVIEW

AND TRAVEL, ALL SPORTS, EVENTS, HAS COVERED IT OR CURRENT BER YLE CARTOONS—STREAD AND REMEM MISSED THIS YEAR. SEE WHAT YOU

EDITORIAL

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BATTLING OBESITY | Overweight

people should downsize

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WOOD IN WILD

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LAKE, WE’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER A numerical snapshot of the county’s health

their supersized bodies

p. 14

DEADLY PROTEIN

MARY ANN DESANTIS maryann@akersmediagroup.com

Testing for a fatal disorder

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| A mother loses weight so

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Tipping the scales toward a healthier weight

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PUBLISHER | KENDRA AKERS kendra@akersmediagroup.com

MEDICAL S MYSTERIE to sneeze at Nothing

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HIDDEN THEY’RE TIPPING OFF GEMS Former NBA player Pat

Gemstones can put your mind at ease

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Akers Apps! Visit the Apple or Android app store today and download the Lake & Sumter Style or 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.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR | JASON FUGATE GRAPHIC DESIGNER | JOSH CLARK GRAPHIC DESIGNER | VOLKAN ULGEN PRODUCTION DIRECTOR | MICHAEL GAULIN PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY FRED LOPEZ MARY ANN DESANTIS VISIT LAKE FL ADOBE STOCK SHUTTERSTOCK

SALES

Presented by

A K E R S M E D I A G R O U P. C O M

Creativity at its peak.

VP OF SALES AND MARKETING | TIM MCRAE tim@akersmediagroup.com

AKERS MEDIA IS A PROUD MEMBER OF

FLORIDA LEESBURG LEESBURG TAVARES SOUTH LAKE MAGAZINE PARTNERSHIP CHAMBER OF CHAMBER OF CHAMBER OF ASSOCIATION COMMERCE COMMERCE COMMERCE

WINNER OF

LAKE EUSTIS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

SUMTER COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

AMERICAN ADVERTISING ASSOCIATION

150+ AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE

Welcome to Lake County, March 2018. Published by Akers Media, 108 South 5th Street, Leesburg, FL 34748. All editorial contents copyright 2018 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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W

Welcome to Lake County!

e are very excited to welcome you and thank you for choosing Lake County as your destination. Whether you are escaping the weekday grind for a weekend getaway, discovering a unique Florida gem, dropping by to enjoy one of our exciting festivals, or just looking for a relaxing alternative to an overloaded vacation, we are confident Lake County has something for everyone to enjoy. You’ll find an abundance of opportunities to enjoy “Real Florida, Real Close” as you discover inviting trails for hiking and rare birdwatching through our nature preserves and national parks, refreshing springs for swimming, tranquil blueways for paddling, and more than 1,000 lakes for world-class bass fishing. Experience our friendly small towns and trendy downtown locales for dining, drinks, and boutique shopping. Don’t forget to include some of our diverse cultural experiences, from excellent art galleries, festivals, and museums, to a one-of-akind historic village. Maybe adventure is more your speed—take flight on an unforgettable seaplane journey or ride a monster truck through a gator-filled swamp!

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Lake County is the Real Florida experience, yet we are uniquely located only a short drive away from world-famous attractions and beaches. Our familyfriendly experiences offer fun geared for every generation. This tourism guide offers a wealth of information on all there is to experience and explore during your stay. Within these pages, you’ll find much of what makes Lake County “Real Florida, Real Close,” as you soon will discover for yourself. Please visit our website at www.visitlakefl.com for interactive maps, planning tools, a calendar of events, itineraries, and much more. We hope you enjoy your visit! Wishing you great travels,

KATHY PAGAN ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, LAKE COUNTY ECONOMIC GROWTH


WHERE FISH TALES AREN’T EXAGGERATED Lake County, Florida’s Best Bass Fishing

“The Harris Chain of Lakes is a big bass factory. I know I have the opportunity to catch a 10-pounder on every cast. Fishing in Lake County is a must for every bass angler’s bucket list!” — Tim Frederick, FLW Tour Angler To plan your next fishing trip visit: www.LakeBigBass.com/Welcome

TOP 6

MUST-FISH LOCATIONS:

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


C ALENDAR

Save the date Lake County is home to an array of vibrant communities that host various festivals year-round. Find a treasure, take a bite, or see something truly unforgettable. Here is a taste of local festivals, expos, and celebrations: F E S T I VA L S JANUARY

Renninger’s Civil War Reenactment Renninger’s Antique Center, Mount Dora Get a taste of history with live Civil War reenactments, weaponry demonstrations, cavalry, soldiers in period costume, and a Civil War-era ball.

to the community of Tavares. Live performances, music, food, arts and crafts, and more. Free admission.

Mount Dora Art Festival Downtown Mount Dora The Mount Dora Arts Festival is a juried fine arts festival for art lovers, casual festival-goers, and families with approximately 250,000 visitors anticipated over a two-day period.

FEBRUARY

Mardi Gras Downtown Leesburg The streets of downtown Leesburg come alive with the sights and sounds of New Orleans, including three parades, jugglers, fire eaters, stilt walkers, live music, festive foods, and vendors. African American Heritage Festival Tavares Providing cultural, educational, civic, and charitable contributions

FEBRUARY

Paquette’s Historical Farmall Tractor Show Leesburg Enjoy a weekend of exhibits, pony rides, tractor pulls, vendors, and entertainment. Event culminates with an antique tractor show. $15; children 10 and under admitted free. 615 S. Whitney Road.

GeorgeFest Ferran Park, Eustis Founded in 1902, GeorgeFest of Eustis is a three-day festival that celebrates George Washington’s birthday. MARCH

Pig on the Pond March 9-11, Waterfront Park, Clermont The annual Pig on the Pond event enables more than 20 local nonprofit organizations to conduct fundraising efforts at Waterfront Park. Attendance averages 27,000 people, and the event has raised $700,000 since 2003 for scholarships and education for the South Lake community. Leesburg Fine Art Festival March 10-11, Downtown Leesburg This fine art and crafts show organized by Leesburg Center for the Arts features exhibitors, food vendors, live music, a car show, kids area, and student art exhibit. Includes the literary festival presented by Leesburg Public Library. Mount Dora Spring Festival March 17-18, 9am–5pm, Downtown Mount Dora Stroll through the booths of more than 200 vendors with treasures of all kinds in the downtown streets of Mount Dora. Antique Boat Festival March 23-25, Wooton Park, Tavares The Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival on beautiful Lake Dora offers visitors an opportunity to view some great antique boat restorations.

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Athletes Challenge March 17-18 Waterfront Park, Clermont The 34th annual Florida Challenge Triathlon is a two-day event featuring the Half Iron Distance Triathlon. APRIL

Lake County Fair April 5-14, Lake County Fairgrounds, Eustis The ever-popular annual Lake County Fair, which runs 10 full days, includes a carnival, vendor booths, live entertainment, creative arts, horticulture displays, and livestock shows. Fruitland Park Day April 9, Fruitland Park Fruitland Park Day is an annual family event that begins with a Saturday morning parade complete with local entertainment and marching bands. The festivities continue with music, vendors, food, and games. Shiloh Street and North Dixie Avenue. Florida Storytelling Festival April 12-15, Mount Dora Enjoy storytelling concerts, workshops, swappin’ grounds, competitions, youthful voices, and a family fun tent. There’s also a Story Cruise on Lake Dora. Lakeside Inn, 100 N. Alexander St. AUGUST

Classic Florida Highwaymen Art Aug. 11-12, Mount Dora The beloved scenic renderings of Florida’s landscape in the ageless Highwaymen art style. Some of


APRIL

Leesburg Bikefest April 27-29, Downtown Leesburg Lake County comes alive with the roar of motorcycles and more than 200,000 visitors for Leesburg Bikefest, one of the most popular motorcycle rallies and music events in the world. The four-day event includes live entertainment, demonstrations, shows, and contests at 12 venues downtown.

the original Highwaymen artists will be in attendance and admission is free. Held at the Donnelly Park Pavilion at 5th and Donnelly. OCTOBER

Florida Black Bear & Wildlife Conservation Festival Cadwell Park, Umatilla The Florida Black Bear & Wildlife Conservation Festival is a fun and educational annual event that increases awareness and promotes safe coexistence of humans and wildlife. The festival focuses on appreciation of the Florida black bear and other native Florida species. Mount Dora Bicycle Festival Oct. 4-7, Downtown Mount Dora The Mount Dora Bicycle Festival, Florida’s oldest and largest bicycling event, is expected to attract more than 1,300 cyclists. With rides of varying lengths and skill levels, cyclists of all ages come to see why Lake County is recognized as one of the best places in the world to ride. Mount Dora Craft Fair Oct. 27-28, 9am–5pm, Downtown Mount Dora The 34th annual Mount Dora Craft Fair, a nationally ranked juried event, continues to attract more than 200,000 visitors and over 350 of the best crafters in the country. NOVEMBER

Art of the Deal Nov. 3, 6pm, Mount Dora Celebrate the arts in the Donnelly Building at 5th and Donnelly. Enjoy catered cuisine, an open bar with wine and top-shelf liquor, dancing, live and silent auctions, gaming tales, and entertainment.

Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire Tavares Step back in time at the annual Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire, recently expanded to two weekends at a new location in “Sherwood Forest.” SR 19 and CR 448. Mount Dora Plant & Garden Fair Nov. 10-11, 9am–5pm, Sunset Park, Mount Dora Florida’s top growers bring more than 12,000 plants to the 24th annual Mount Dora Plant & Garden Fair. The event features orchid growers and includes native plants, butterfly-attracting perennials, herbs, roses, camellias, and begonias with a complete selection of rare and unusual tropical plants. Mount Dora Scottish Highland Festival Nov. 17, Mount Dora The Scottish Highland Festival celebrates Scottish culture with Highland athletics, music, dancing, clan tents, and vendors at Gilbert Park and Simpson Cove. FOOD EXPOS AND COMPETITIONS FEBRUARY

Winefest Feb. 9-11 | 10am–5pm Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Clermont Winefest XXVI offers an opportunity to enjoy all the fruits of the year’s harvest while browsing the wares of 80 local artists and crafters and listening to live music on an outdoor stage.

MARCH

Taste in Mount Dora March 10, Sunset Park, Mount Dora Taste of Mount Dora presents a spectacular evening of culinary delights prepared by Mount Dora’s finest restaurants. Come dressed in country western attire, and be a “high roller” with blackjack, Texas Hold ’em, roulette, craps, and poker tables. BBQ , Blues and Brews March 17, 5–10pm, 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. APRIL

A Farm to Table Experience April 7, Groveland Taste of Lake County at Lake Catherine Blueberry Farm, 5849 Lake Catherine Road in Groveland. Enjoy specialty dishes from locally sourced fresh food prepared by experienced chefs. School Garden Farmer’s Market April 21, Leesburg Local author D.S. Venetta and the Leesburg Partnership are inviting local schools to the first-ever School Garden Farmer’s Market during the Leesburg Saturday Market in Towne Square. Blueberries Galore April 28-29, Mount Dora Mount Dora Blueberry Festival at the peak of blueberry season with fresh berries from local farms. Crafters, live music, pancake breakfast, and a blueberry pie-

eating contest are all part of this free event at Donnelly Park. AUGUST

Seafood Festival Aug. 25-26, 11am–5pm The annual Mount Dora Seafood Festival comes with entertainment, food vendors, and the Olde Port of Mount Dora Pirate Villages. Join the Landlubber Seafood Tasting Tour. NOVEMBER

Leesburg Craft Beer, Wine, & Food Festival November, 6–10pm Held at the beautiful Venetian Gardens in Leesburg, this popular event allows attendees to travel booth-to-booth sampling over 25 craft beers, wines, and signature fare. Tickets are $35 at the door. M U S I C F E S T I VA L S AND CONCERTS FEBRUARY

Mount Dora Music Festival Feb. 16, Mount Dora Community Building, Mount Dora The Mount Dora Music Festival is dedicated to presenting an annual, multi-genre, high-quality, cross-cultural celebration of music. MARCH

Blues-N-Groove Weekend March 31, Elizabeth Evans Park, Mount Dora The Mount Dora Blues-N-Groove weekend continues a tradition of bringing fabulous blues and groovy music to the Mount Dora waterfront at the gorgeous Elizabeth Evans Park.

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C ALENDAR

Lake County Folk Festival Oct. 6-7 A time to relish America’s great music with groups like Passerine, and Remedy Tree along with Larry Mangum and Rachel Grubb. Lots of great food, Amish furniture, Intertribal Spirit Designs, and much more. Indoor shows hosted by the Historic Bay Street Theater and Lake Eustis Museum of Art, and outdoor performances at Ferran Park. SPORTING EVENTS MARCH

Tavares Spring Thunder Regatta March 16-18, Wooton Park, Tavares The past comes alive as vintage and classic race boats of bygone eras return to Lake Dora, now a major stop on the CRA Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit. In addition to seeing and hearing these beautiful vintage boats run, spectators also can view them close-up in the pit area. APRIL

Sail Boat Regatta April 7-8, Mount Dora Yacht Club The 64th annual Sail Boat Regatta is the oldest in the state and provides a full day of family fun in Mount Dora.

H O L I D AY E V E N T S

Freedom on the Waterfront July 3, 5pm, Mount Dora An old-fashioned celebration in Elizabeth Evans Park with live music, activities for children, and fireworks.

Lighted Boat Parade Dec. 1, 7pm, Grantham Point The beautiful boat parade on Lake Dora begins at the signature lighthouse. Local boat owners compete for best in light show display and originality.

Independence Day Parade July 4, 10am, Mount Dora A red, white, and blue parade in beautiful downtown Mount Dora that goes from the corner of Donnelly and Seventh streets to Charles Avenue.

Children’s Christmas in the Park with Snow Dec. 8, 5-9pm, Mount Dora Go snow sledding in Donnelly Park during this special night. It’s a free event for families!

J U LY

Leesburg’s Fourth of July Celebration July 4, Shores of Venetian Cove Venetian Gardens, Leesburg Leesburg’s Fourth of July Celebration at Venetian Gardens is a fun-filled evening with live entertainment, traditional summertime food, kids’ games, baseball, and of course, spectacular choreographed fireworks over Lake Harris. Red, White, and Boom July 4, Waterfront Park, Clermont Traditional Americana-type activities for all ages with the evening ending in fireworks above Lake Minneola. OCTOBER

National Night Out Oct. 2, Clermont The Clermont Police Department joins law-enforcement agencies across the country celebrating this annual event. NOVEMBER

Light Up Mount Dora Nov. 24, 5-6:30pm, Mount Dora Join in the celebration as Mount Dora lights up Donnelly Park and downtown with close to 2 million sparkling lights, complete with a visit from Santa. DECEMBER

Mount Dora Christmas Parade Dec. 1, 10am, Downtown Mount Dora The 58th annual Mount Dora Christmas Parade takes over the streets of downtown, featuring

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Mount Dora’s finest and ushering in the arrival of Santa Claus.

Mount Dora Half Marathon Dec. 16, 7am The event offers two walk/run distances, a single-loop half marathon, and a 5K walk/run. The half marathon is a USATF Certified Course. New Year’s Eve in Mount Dora Dec. 31, 8pm–midnight An evening of celebration with food and drink and live entertainment in the streets of Mount Dora. Fireworks at midnight to ring in the new year. Light Up Clermont Waterfront Park, Clermont Clermont’s three-day holiday festival recently added a live Christmas tree at City Hall Park, which will be the focus of the lighting ceremony, live carolers, and food trucks. Leesburg Christmas Parade Downtown, Leesburg Enjoy an evening of holiday entertainment and fun for the whole family in historic downtown Leesburg with performances by local groups, dazzling Christmas light displays, festive food, plus carnival rides and games for kids. Light Up Lady Lake Log Cabin, Lady Lake At Christmastime, the Lady Lake Chamber of Commerce sponsors Light Up Lady Lake, featuring over 2.2 million lights decorating the chamber’s Log Cabin and Veterans Park. Howey Christmas Festival Log Cabin, Howey-in-the-Hills

The annual Howey-in-the-Hills Christmas Festival is held downtown each December and features food vendors, a car show, and a parade.

Cracker Christmas Parade & Festival SR 19, Cadwell Park, Umatilla A hometown Christmas celebration that includes the annual Cracker Christmas Parade & Festival in beautiful Umatilla. The day begins with a Dog Jog followed by the parade at 9:30am along Central Avenue (SR 19). The event continues throughout the day with the festival in Cadwell Park. It features 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

Renninger’s Antiques Extravaganza January/February/November 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, clothing, and oddities. Leesburg Food Truck Night This is a free monthly event that features a classic car cruise-in, live entertainment, a free movie, and food trucks lining downtown. Movie, musical performers, and trucks change out regularly. For dates and information, visit foodtrucknflick.leesburgpartnership.com. Music on Montrose Every first Friday gather to enjoy the free music series on Montrose Street, downtown Clermont. Features food trucks and local talent. To see the lineup of either, visit clermontdowntownpartnership. com/other-events/first-fridays. Eustis Live! Family-friendly events held downtown featuring vendors and two stages with live entertainment. Enjoy the lovely local shops and eateries. Every first Friday 6–10pm.

Sources: visitlakefl.com/Events/AnnualEvents,leesburgpartnership.com/events, clermontdowntownpartnership.com, eustis.org, mountdora.com

OCTOBER


Someplace Special

Shop | Play | Live Scenic Views, Perfect Sunsets, Nature Trails, Unique Shops & Restaurants, Parks, Festivals And So Much More! CityOfMountDora.com


“My knowledge and understanding of the people in this community help me provide customers with an outstanding level of service.”

— Esther de Pedro

352.314.0444

edepedro@allstate.com 9738 U S Hwy 441, Suite 107 Leesburg, Florida 34788

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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VS. 37.8%

EMAIL: ADMISSIONS@BEACONCOLLEGE.EDU

NATIONAL AVERAGE

4-YE AR GR ADUATION R ATE

National 10-year average for ALL students, with and without an LD (Source: NECS)

BeaconCollege.edu


E X P L O R E • S TAY • P L AY • 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. TO L AKE COUNT Y •

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27 /4 41

44

US

LEESBURG

LAKE GRIFFIN

US

441

U S 441

EUSTIS

C R 44

R

44

SR 19

TAVARES

S 44 1

MOUNT DORA

5

S R 44

C R 42

C

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

LAKE EUSTIS

LAKE YALE

UMATILLA C R 450

SR 19 U

SR

FRUITLAND PARK C R 466 A

CR 46 6

Northwest LADY Lake LAKE

THE VILLAGES

LAKE DORR

S R 40

ASTOR

SR

LAKE NORRIS

46

LAKE NORRIS CONSERVATION AREA

OCALA NATIONAL FOREST

Forest Gateway

ALTOONA 19 SR

19 SR

5A 44 CR

N

44 CR

CR 4 6A

CR 42

SR 46

44 SR

LAKE GEORGE

CR 437 CR 4

US 2

LOWER WEKIVA RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK


ID

A

’S

R

N

PI

27

SR 33

E

19

SR

561

TU RN PI KE

C R 474

LAKE MINNEHAHA

44 8

455 LAKE APOPKA

LAKE APOPKA NORTH SHORE

27

27

C R 561

33

FOUR CORNERS

LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

LAKE LOUISA

S R 50

MINNEOLA

MONTVERDE

CR

US

CR

S

1 C R 56

A’

LAKE MINNEOLA

ID

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 1 9 US

SR 50

K

48

R

TU

CR

561 CR

CR 5 61

O FL SR

LAKE DORA

TO LAKE COU NTY

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.

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

20 •

TO L AKE COUNT Y

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

Whether you wish to go camping, kayaking, or hiking, the rustic towns in Lake County surrounding the Ocala National Forest are an outdoor lover’s paradise. A visit to Altoona, Umatilla, and Astor allows locals and tourists to take advantage of the nature that abounds here.

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

A LT O O N A

CR 44

LOWER WEKIVA RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK

S R 44

EUSTIS

LAKE EUSTIS

CR 4 37

SR 19

CR 4 6A

U

US 44 1

S 44

19

SR

CR

44

MOUNT DORA

SR

46

CR 4 37

LAKE DORA

1

TAVARES

CR

8

561

ASTATULA LLS

RN

CR 5 61

LAKE APOPKA NORTH SHORE

PI

CR

455 LAKE APOPKA

KE

ALEXANDER SPRINGS

Population: 123 Size: .5 square miles Thanks to Altoona, tourists can enjoy an underwater adrenaline rush without visiting the Cayman Islands SR 4 6 or the Great Barrier Reef. The town is home to Alexander Springs Recreation Area, which attracts divers from as far away as Germany and the Netherlands. “Alexander Springs is a wonderful place to dive because the visibility is unlimited and it’s comfortable and relaxing,” says Robert Nolan, a Lady Lake resident and master scuba diver who has more than 3,000 logged dives. “Because it is not a dangerous dive, people of all ages can enjoy the experience.” Alexander Springs is one of only 27 first-magnitude springs in Florida, meaning it gushes 100 gallons of water per cubic second from under the ground. In addition to diving, families can swim in a large springfed pool, canoe down Alexander

Creek, walk along a hiking trail, and enjoy an afternoon picnic. The springs’ temperature remains 72 degrees year-round. Altoona also is the site of the McTureous Homestead and Museum, a 19th-century Cracker house and the childhood home of Medal of Honor recipient Robert M. McTureous. Robert was a U.S. Marine who suffered fatal wounds while fighting valiantly in Okinawa, Japan.

US 27

61

KE EOLA

MONTVERDE

MINNEOLA

MONT

SR 5 0

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

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U M AT I L L A Population: 3,908 Size: 3 square miles

Birds chirping, frogs croaking, and wild turkeys clucking make a wonderful soundtrack for Umatilla, which is appropriately nicknamed “Nature’s Hometown.” Brimming with historic charm and scenic beauty, Umatilla offers many benefits that big-city life cannot: shorter commutes and less time stuck in traffic, low crime levels, small-town hospitality, intimate churches, and friendly neighbors. That’s precisely why some residents make Umatilla their permanent home. “You can always tell when someone has never been to Umatilla because they usually pronounce it wrong,” says Kelsey Brown,

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a lifelong resident and 2009 graduate of Umatilla High School. “The best way to describe Umatilla is that it’s a place that has remained unaffected by the changing times. In other words, it’s Lake County’s version of Mayberry. The hometown feel is simply unrivaled. The town is a great place to live and raise a family.” It’s also a great place to enjoy outdoor opportunities such as boating, fishing, camping, and hiking. One of the most popular hiking destinations is Sawgrass Island, a 1,137-acre preserve where hikers take in breathtaking views of sawgrass marshes and longleaf pine communities. The preserve is home to an abundance of wildlife,

including gopher tortoises, Florida pine snakes, sandhill cranes, bald eagles, and migratory waterfowl. Be sure to have your camera available to capture the prickly pear cactuses seen along the preserve’s numerous hiking trails. Umatilla-based Airboat Rides Unlimited provides another great avenue to explore the area’s natural beauty. The company offers a one-hour airboat tour down the Ocklawaha River, as well as a 1.5-hour adventure ride that takes guests down the river’s backwaters. Justin Finser opened the company 20 years ago. “Tourists love our airboat rides because, unlike theme parks, they get to experience Florida’s natural beauty and

see wildlife in their natural habitat,” says Yvonne Finser, Justin’s ex-wife, who helps operate the company. “In the past, we’ve seen birds, turtles, bears, coyotes, bobcats, deer, and gators. Those who take our airboat rides for a first time end up coming back with family members and friends, and they say they never see the same thing twice. The airboat rides are a wonderful experience.” Tourists to Umatilla also should visit North Lake Community Park, which features a 1.4-mile loop trail and .75-mile nature trail, and the retail store at Sunsational Citrus, where patrons can purchase honey, jelly, chocolate treats, Florida wines, and candles.


F O R E S T G AT E WAY

ASTOR Population: 1,560 Size: 2.34 square miles

From big bass tournaments to leisurely narrated boat cruises, Astor’s proximity to the St. Johns River allows visitors to get wet and wild. Step aboard a covered pontoon boat at Captain Ernie’s St. Johns River Tours and learn all about the local plant life and wildlife. Enjoy a memorable hiking and birdwatching experience at Bluffton Recreation Area, which offers a ¾-mile nature trail. Or, you can enjoy a multi-day experience in Astor thanks to the Castaways on the River, which offers cozy cottages and boat rentals.

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat, consider stopping at Blackwater Inn, where diners can arrive by automobile or boat. Guests enjoy a panoramic view of St. Johns River while feasting on popular seafood items such as shrimp, fish, oysters, crab legs, and scallops. Castaways provides another great dining option and is known for its frog legs, grouper filet, snow crab legs, and popcorn shrimp. Astor also offers the popular Castaways and Sparky’s Place Restaurants.

CASTAWAYS

BLACKWATER INN

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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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LAKE DORR

ALTOONA

NORTHWEST L AKE

19

CR 4 2 SR

THE VILLAGES

UMATILLA

LAKE NORRIS

CR 450

LADY LAKE

CR 4 6 6

The communities in Northwest Lake have experienced population growth, while maintaining small-town charm. Golf, boating, motorcycle shows, art festivals, dancing, dining, music concerts, and activities in the area’s beautiful lakes and parklands draw visitors and residents alike. 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

SR 44

EUSTIS

LAKE EUSTIS

LAKE DORA

SR

46

CR 437

US 27

MOUNT DORA

LAKE HARRIS

FL O R 19

ID

CR

’S

SR

A R N

CR

TU

CR

44

8

K E

Population: 22,419 Size: 41.87 square miles

CR

48

YALAHA ASTATULA

U S 27

“Leesburg has a friendly, quaint, H O W E Yrelaxed, hometown atmosphere I N - T H E - H Iand L Lsense S of community that makes LAKE visitors feel welcome and A P O Pat K A home,” NORTH ORE City Manager Al MinnerS Hsays. Known as the “Lakefront City,” he says Leesburg’s historic character, natural beauty, modern elements, CR 4 5 and year-round events, economic 5 FL OR development components make ID L A K E the A’ APOPKA S TU R N a great place to visit and reside. city PI KE Among Leesburg’s prized attractions: Venetian Gardens, a picturesque 64-acre park on the west shore of Lake MHarris O N Twith V Eseveral RDE 1 56 R landscaped islands separated by C MASCOTTE L Aserene, KE meandering canals, along MINNEOLA MINNEOLA with a pavilion, benches, and wooden bridges popular with runners, cyclists, SR 50 and nature lovers. C L E R MAO N launch T GROVELAND boat at Venetian Gardens SR 50 is one of Leesburg’s three boating and AKE VENETIAN GARDENS M I NLNrecreation access points to the Harris EHAHA SR 19

CR 5 61

S R 33

US

27

SR 50

LEESBURG

561

PI

48

Chain of Lakes, and a Kids Korner playground and new Splash Pad are nearby, which are a big hit with children and families. “Leesburg’s Harris Chain of Lakes attracts nationally known professional fishing tournaments and is also great for year-round fishing and water sports,” Al says. Historic downtown Leesburg has an array of shops and restaurants and Beacon College, an expanding private nonprofit college that is the first accredited institution of higher learning to award bachelor’s degrees exclusively to students with dyslexia, ADHD, and other specific learning disabilities. Leesburg Saturday Morning Market is hosted on Towne Square from 8am-1pm on Saturdays by the Leesburg Partnership, and vendors offer fresh, organic produce, along

US

CR 561

SR

27

33 LAKE

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

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with made-from-scratch breads, chemical-free personal care and household items. Lake Square Mall offers shopping, dining, movies, and entertainment. “Leesburg is well known for its three-day Bikefest, which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the country,” Al says. “Our annual Fourth of July fireworks show on Lake Harris is also spectacular.” Other popular events include the many activities at Christmas. In addition, there’s the Leesburg Black Heritage Festival and Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, Leesburg Fine Arts Festival on Main Street, a

festive Mardi Gras, Juneteenth Celebration, and Food Truckn-Flick Nights. Every year, the city also hosts a series of collegiate fastpitch softball tournaments and youth baseball tourneys. “There’s Leesburg Lightning baseball in the historic Pat Thomas Stadium,” Al says. Built in 1937, it originally was where the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor-league team held spring training. The city also is home to “in-door kart racing, carnivals, car shows, and other special events throughout the year that are great for the whole family,” the city manager says.

FOOD TRUCK-N-FLICK NIGHT

LEESBURG BIKEFEST

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FRUITLAND PA R K Population: 6,018 Size: 6.8 square miles

“Fruitland Park has that nice, small hometown feel with friendly people,” says City Manager Gary La Venia, who believes it’s the town’s most appealing feature, and it attracted him to the area. He proudly notes the town’s most popular event that draws big crowds is Fruitland Park Day, slated to take place April 7. “It’s always nice with lots of vendors and a parade,” Gary says. “It’s our annual event celebrating Fruitland Park, and we usually get 2,000 people. Another attraction is our Hometown Christmas, which has really grown and is still growing.” The city has been experiencing its own growth spurt, he says, thanks to “our Villages friends” moving into the community. “Our town is going to double in population by the year 2019,” he says. “We are looking forward to commercial growth in the future, and it’s starting to come in now.” Fruitland Park is in the middle of building a new soccer field, and the community has started construction of a new library, which the city manager says will be double the size of the current facility. The new library is expected to be completed by January 2019. One of Fruitland Park’s longstanding attractions for

nature lovers is the 620-acre Lake Griffin State Park, 3089 U.S. Highway 441, where visitors often rave about the relaxing, beautiful scenery as well as the wildlife. One “must-see” sight at the park is a mammoth live oak tree, which is billed as the second-largest oak tree in Florida. A nearby sign reads that the tree is estimated to be 300 to 500 years old, and that it may have been a landmark for Timucua Indians who frequented the area before settlement and later the Seminole Indians. “Lake Griffin State Park is always a great place for people to go and enjoy the water, boating, camping,” Gary says of the park that has a full-facility campground, boat ramp, and nature trails. Anglers or birders can rent a canoe or a kayak to explore Lake Griffin’s marshes. Those who are not comfortable paddling alone can go on guided canoe, kayak, or pontoon boat tours. The park also has two hiking trails totaling about two miles, and visitors may call the ranger station at 352.360.6760 for availability of guided hikes.


NORTHWEST L AKE

Among the wildlife and animals visitors may see at Lake Griffin State Park are osprey, bald eagle, blue heron, anhinga, alligator, raccoon, bobcat, coyote, and even bear. “Have grandkids in town and want to show them the

‘Real Florida’? Bring them for a paddle on the marshes of Lake Griffin,” park manager Rachel Nunlist says on the park’s website. Lake Griffin State Park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown year-round.

L A DY L A K E Population: 14,974 Size: 8.4 square miles

Lady Lake has picturesque streets lined with moss-draped oak trees planted in 1886-87, and the cathedral arch formed by the massive oaks on Lady Lake Boulevard was pictured in the Saturday Evening Post in 1929, but now the town has gained more acclaim as “the gateway to The Villages.”

The late Harold Schwartz started the mega-retirement community after purchasing Orange Blossom Gardens mobile home park, and The Villages has since expanded outward from Lady Lake to become home to 100,000-plus (and growing) residents spread across Lake, Sumter, and Mar-

ion counties. The Villages is a self-sufficient community filled with a plethora of restaurants, retail shops, entertainment, a hospital, recreation facilities, numerous golf courses, utilities, a newspaper, television and radio stations, charter schools for children of employees, and more. “Between Lady Lake and The Villages, you will find just about any restaurant or store you are looking for. It is a great place to live, work, and visit,” says Lady Lake Town Manager Kristen Kollgaard. Though Lady Lake has grown due to The Villages, Kristen says her town has maintained its “small-town friendly atmosphere.”

“We offer many activities and classes at our library for children and adults, and we have a fantastic Easter egg hunt with lots of goodies for the children,” she says. “This event averages approximately 3,000 people every year.” Visitors driving into Lady Lake on U.S. Highway 441 will see the historic log cabin built in 1935 as the original Town Hall and now site of the Farmer’s Market hosted on Tuesdays. Nearby is the Lady Lake Historical Society Museum housed in the old Train Depot with artifacts and educational exhibits showing Lady Lake’s earliest Native American inhabitants and pioneer families. The museum also has a train display that depicts how Lady Lake looked in the 1940s and ’50s. LADY LAKE PUBLIC LIBRARY

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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

E S R 33

SR 50

MASCO

GRO

MOUNT DORA LIGHT HOUSE

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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

CR 437

S R 19

US

441

U S 441

U S 44

URG

1

TAVARES

19

LAKE HARRIS

SR

CR CR

44

8

561

48

CR 4 6A

SR 46

SR

46

CR 437

MOUNT DORA

LAKE DORA

CR

Eustis, Mount Dora, and Tavares make up the Golden Triangle of cities in Lake County, and a smaller triangle to the south includes the towns of Astatula, Howey-in-the-Hills, and Yalaha. Visitors can find all types of outdoor activities, from fishing to boating to flying, and celebrate every holiday and special event at the annual festivals staged throughout the area.

YALAHA ASTATULA U S 27

HOWEYIN-THE-HILLS SR 19

LAKE APOPKA NORTH SHORE

FL

OR

ID

CR 5 61

A S TAT U L A A’

S

TU

RN

PI

CR

455

Population: 1,955 LAKE A P O P K A miles Size: 3.2 square

KE

DOWNTOWN EUSTIS

US

Astatula, considered the center point of Central Florida, is all about the outdoors. The town is located on the east shore of Little Lake Harris,M one OofNLake T VCounty’s E R D Efinest areas for 1 C R 56 fishing and boating. Stanley Pond Adventure LAKE Farm offers a variety of family-friendly MINNEOLA MINNEOLA activities, including Halloween and Christmas celebrations, airboat rides, horse rides, a jumping pillow, slides, and much more. The CLERMO N Island T Clay areaShas R 5 0 six miles of multi-use trails, and plenty of wildlife and birds to see LAKE M I N N E H A Hfrom A the trails or the observation towers. For off-road enthusiasts, the Central Florida Motorsports Park has motocross tracks, ATV trails, and a mud pit. 27

OTTE S R 50

OVELAND

US

C R 56 1

SR

27

33

STANLEY POND LAKE ADVENTURE FARM LOUISA

LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

CR

EUSTIS Population: 20,768 Size: 12.1 square miles

Eustis dates to the 1870s, and history forms a big part of the city’s identity. The Eustis Historical Museum details the stories of sites such as the Clifford House, the Citrus Museum, and the Unity Bell Pavilion, all related to the city’s early homesteaders. Ferran Park, named after Eustis pioneer and businessman Edgar L. Ferran, was the city’s first public park. Today, the park and the historic Alice

McClelland Bandshell host the city’s big events and holiday celebrations along Lake Eustis. Georgefest is a timehonored tradition with three days of all things George Washington attracting about 30,000 visitors each February. It’s the oldest Georgefest in Florida, and the secondlongest-running festival of its kind in the country. Also in February, the African American Heritage Festival

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US 27


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and parade have been staged annually for the past 25 years. Music festivals and street fairs also are popular attractions. “We’ve got great festivals and a lot of activities to bring people here,” City Manager Ron Neibert says. “Add to that the makeup of the community, the great location, and the makeup of downtown, and there are a lot of lifestyle activities for people.” The Lake County Fair is approaching 100 years, having begun in 1921 as

the Florida Sportsman Exposition. Eustis is home to the April event, which includes entertainment, carnival games, food vendors, educational activities, as well as competitions in crafts, cooking, baking, and livestock. Lake Eustis Museum of Art offers fine art exhibitions and art classes, and works of art are sprinkled throughout the historic downtown area, which offers unique shops and restaurants, and the Bay Street Players Theater. FERRAN PARK

H O W E Y- I N -T H E - H I L L S Population: 1,181 Size: 2.7 square miles

This rural village is virtually synonymous with iconic landmarks such as the Mission Inn Resort and Club and the Howey Mansion. The resort continually receives high marks from travelers and locals for its pro-caliber golf courses, fine dining, and spa, while the mansion is being restored to its former glory from the 1920s, when it was built by the

town’s founder, William John Howey. In fact, architecture of the ’20s is predominant in the town, which promotes itself as a quiet and safe community focused on family living. The town is surrounded by lakes and rolling hills, and evidence of its natural beauty can be found at Griffin Waterfront Park and the Sara Maude Mason Nature Preserve.

HOWEY MANSION

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MOUNT DORA Population: 13,818 Size: 9.3 square miles

Mount Dora is a friendly and clean city that offers a unique experience for all visitors. Some of the best attractions for visitors are the city’s 34 festivals throughout the year, City Manager Robin Hayes says. “We are considered a ‘Festival City’ and we offer a service in providing free festivals and events for the public’s enjoyment,” she says. “The large events bring upwards of 250,000 people into Mount Dora, and the smaller events bring tens of thousands to town, benefitting our small businesses and vendors.”  Among the city’s nine cornerstone events are Light Up Mount Dora during the Christmas holidays, the African-American History

Festival, and Independence Day festivities that include fireworks over Lake Dora. Mount Dora also brands itself as a great arts and shopping district in a historic downtown area.  “Visitors come to Mount Dora to see the charm of yesteryear in our city,” Robin says. “We have specialty boutiques, unique restaurants with a range of flavors from around the world, and sights which make us an excellent walking city.” And when visitors get tired of walking, the city has plenty of benches where they can sit and enjoy the views of Lake Dora, which can be seen directly from the downtown area.


GOLDEN TRIANGLE

LIGHT UP MOUNT DORA

TAVA R E S Population: 15,922 Size: 10.9 square miles

On the shores of Lake Dora, Tavares is known for its distinctive branding as “America’s Seaplane City.” On any given day, visitors can look skyward and see seaplanes taking off or splashing down upon arrival. The branding of the city has taken hold at numerous businesses—namely Jones Brothers & Co. Air & Seaplane Adventures—that display murals or logos incorporating seaplanes. The downtown area, featuring restaurants, bars, live music, and hotels, is in the midst of a major revitalization. The Ruby Street Stormwater and Beautification Project is intended to boost retail and entertainment businesses. The centerpiece is a scenic walkable park amid eight acres of stormwater treatment areas, while Ruby Street will be repaved with handlaid ruby-red bricks.

Tavares hosts more than 20 annual events, including the Planes, Trains & BBQ Festival in April and the Sunnyland Antique & Classic Boat Show, the largest of its kind in the U.S., each March at Wooton Park. The Royal Palm Railway Experience tourist train rolls between Tavares, Mount Dora, and Eustis, a pairing of the Golden Triangle and the “Golden Age” of travel that provides passenger rides and seasonal special occasions. “Tavares is a friendly, charming, historic community with a great deal to offer and experience,” says Bob Tweedie, the city’s economic development director. “The atmosphere is clean and family friendly, and Tavares has a small-town feel with some bigger-city amenities and features.”

YA L A H A Population: 881 Size: 14.5 square miles

Yalaha may be small but it’s known for two big names next door to each other on County Road 48: Yalaha Bootlegging Co. and Yalaha Bakery. Yalaha Bootlegging Co. sells genuine moonshine and brandy, all made from certified organic blueberries grown on 13 acres at Blue Bayou Farms. The site includes a farmhouse kitchen, a greenhouse for vegetables, and a rustic country store, where they sell homemade fruit pies, meat pies, produce, cheeses, and of course, tours and tastings of the moonshine, brandy, and other drinks.

Yalaha Bakery has a German motif and serves German-style foods that draw rave reviews: bread, schnitzel, bratwurst, sauerbraten, Reubens, and desserts including pies and cakes with streusel and Bavarian cream. YALAHA BAKERY


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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


9

NORTH SHORE

OR

ID

CR

CR 5 61

SR 33 FL

A’

S

TU

RN

PI

455

SOUTH L AKE

LAKE APOPKA

KE

US 27

SR 50

MONTVERDE

1 CR 56

MASCOTTE

LAKE MINNEOLA

MINNEOLA

SR 50

CLERMONT

GROVELAND

SR 50

LAKE MINNEHAHA

US

CR 5 6 1

SR

27

33 LAKE LOUISA

LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

CR

Clermont is a unique part of Lake County because it features lush rolling hills, a rare sight in Florida, and that gives the city its matchless beauty and outstanding topography. Add to that the pristine lakes and inviting small towns around it—Groveland, Mascotte, Minneola, and Montverde—and you have the perfect destination for good times.

561

CLERMONT

US 27

GREEN SWAMP WILDERNESS PRESERVE

Population: 35,807 Size: 16.82 square miles

CR 474

FOUR CORNERS

Clermont is known as the Choice of Champions because of its international reputation as a training ground for elite athletes. The combination of beautiful lakes, challenging hills, and warm climate make it an ideal location to train and compete. Clermont is home to the National Training Center (NTC), a 37,000-square-foot fitness facility with a trackand-field complex that includes a 400-meter outdoor track. A cadre of elite athletes, including Olympic hopefuls from various countries as

well as swimmers, triathletes, and track-and-field stars, train at the NTC. Natural clay trails offer another beautiful place to train away from the noise and traffic of the city. Athletes especially enjoy this 10-mile loop, and it helps make the town a mecca for runners, bicyclists, and nature lovers. The newest challenge for sports enthusiasts is the Lake Hiawatha Preserve Disc Golf Course. This permanent course was built last year and designed by World Champion Disc Golf Design. The mostly

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flat and wooded terrain offers plenty of challenges for the disc golfer. Located at 450 12th St., it’s not far from Florida’s Turnpike and Highway 50. There is plenty of room for carts on the 18-hole course, and restrooms are available. Clermont is a hotbed for investment opportunities thanks to the implementation of the city’s award-winning master plan, with the first capital projects, Victory Pointe, a new park area with walking trails and promenades, opens this summer. Clermont was named in the Top 10 percent of best cities to start a business by finance website WalletHub in 2017. “We are so excited to watch our citizens enjoy all our phenomenal community has to offer and share their excitement for all that is coming our way as our awardwinning master plan takes shape,” City Manager Darren

Gray says. “We treasure the history and the generations of families and business owners who made their homes here, and we welcome the new families and business owners who are laying down stakes and, as one business owner recently told me, ‘Hitching their star to the “Choice of Champions.”’ 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 eco-tourists from across the globe to “Meet Us in the Middle.” Visitors can enjoy Lake Minneola and its freshwater beaches. The city also boasts 23 parks and 14 lakes within the city limits. Southern Hills Farms, a Central Florida U-Pick Blueberry Farm, is a favorite among locals. Blueberry picking starts in March at 16651 Schofield Road.

GROVELAND Population: 12,077 Size: 14.98 square miles city, according to the AreaVibes Between 2010 and 2014, Growth Index. Groveland is Groveland enjoyed a growth located in the southwestern rate of 15 percent, making it the corner of Lake County. This fourth fastest-growing Florida town is very scenic and home to Lake David Park, a wonderful venue for birdwatching 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

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trucks. Dining venues include Red Wing Restaurant, Ikaho Sushi Japanese Restaurant, and Coyote Rojo II. The Groveland Historical Museum is a wonderful way

to learn 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.

FOUR CORNERS Population: 26,116 Size: 50.1 square miles Four Corners was so on Highway 27 near Clermont, named because it is the only the Showcase of Citrus offers community in Florida located 100 percent “pure Florida in four counties—right at the fun.” The highly modified quadripoint of Lake, Orange, giant trucks are designed Osceola, and Polk counties. It for safe rides through native is also known as Citrus Ridge, woodlands, pastureland, and it’s certainly a unique swamps, and groves. place to visit. It’s located The nearby Green Swamp north along U.S. Highway Wilderness Preserve is a 27 to Lake Louisa State Park, place where visitors can south along the same highway enjoy natural Florida. It’s a to Heart of Florida Hospital, favorite of master birders and west to State Road 33, and east those who enjoy exploring to Walt Disney World. the rich plants and trees It’s home to Showcase of native to Florida. Please note, Citrus, where you can tour a certain areas are off-limits 2,500-acre working citrus and during hunting season. cattle ranch on the world’s See swfwmd.state.fl.us largest ATV. Open since 1961 for information. GREEN SWAMP WILDRENESS PRESER


SOUTH L AKE

chicken, various vegetables, and mashed potatoes and gravy. Another wonderful dining option is Tacos De Don Ramon, featuring authentic Mexican food. For exciting nightlife, be sure to visit The Breeze,

where live music, drinks, and food await. Enjoy a great shopping experience at Jot-Em-Down, a popular retail store with antiques, shabby chic, primitives, home accent pieces, yard art, and much more.

MONTVERDE

TIKI BAR & BRILL IN MINNEOLA

MINNEOLA Population: 10,470 Size: 10.34 square miles

Minneola 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, the AreaVibes website ranked Minneola as the most livable community in all of Lake and Sumter counties. 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.

MASCOTTE Population: 5,401 Size: 11.38 square miles Located west of Groveland offers plenty to do and see. on State Road 50, Mascotte The Tedder/Thomas Civic Center playground features RAINBOW FAMILY RESTAURANT 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

Population: 1,472 Size: 1.8 square miles home to the Soccer Institute There’s no shortage of of Montverde Academy. celebrated athletes in South Also nestled on the Lake County, and Montverde shores of Lake Apopka is home to its share. In fact, is Bella Collina, a golf the boy’s basketball team at Montverde Academy captured club community situated among the rolling hills three straight national and best known for its championships (2013-15) by luxurious, award-winning winning the DICK’s Sporting lakefront homes. Goods High School Boys Popular sites to see include National Tournament. Some Harper House, listed on the of the school’s basketball National Register of Historic players have gone on to Places. Truskett Park is an play collegiate basketball excellent venue to enjoy a at powerhouse programs family picnic, and stunning such as the University of views of Lake Apopka. Kentucky and the University of Florida. The school, which celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2012, also is

MONTVERDE ACADEMY


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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 a 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 and Economic Development Director. The next big thing we need to do is connect Venetian Gardens to Downtown Leesburg with restaurants, shops, and cafes in both locations.” Some 2600 acres of prime development area at Florida’s Turnpike and County Road 470 will undergo new construction. Everything is in place with a full complement of utilities that include water, sewer, electric, natural gas and high-speed fiber-optic communications. Florida has become 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 been taking place in the best ways possible, with the renaissance of Venetian Gardens. A boat ramp, boat dock, and restaurant building sites are in the works. A splash pad, state-of-the-art playground and covered pavilion are already completed.

SPLASH PARK AT VENETIAN GARDENS

RENDERING OF NEW CITY GATEWAY

According to City Manager Al Minner, Leesburg leadership is working toward vast improvement 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 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 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 a launching pad to the future and has ushered in a paradigm shift for great economic momentum,” 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 a gathering place for all ages, and there is 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 ends of Leesburg with the makeover of Lake Square Mall and its exciting entertainment complex and array of new stores. “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 well underway, Lessburg is headed to a great future filled with partnership, performance, and progress.


Welcome to Clermont W

ith its rolling hills and pristine lakes, Clermont has enchanted

people for centuries. Founded in 1884 as a “model town,” Clermont is one of the fastest-growing cities in Central Florida. The award-winning community has been named a Top 20 City in America for quality of life, retirement and economic development. Clermont was voted Best City to Live In. Clermont is known internationally as the home and training site for Olympians and other world-class athletes. Residents enjoy outstanding healthcare, A-rated schools and low taxes. As one reporter put it, “Clermont has it all.”

www.ClermontFL.gov

Clermont is proud of the Olympians and elite athletes who train here. We celebrate the champion spirit in everyone. DARREN GRAY – CITY MANAGER


Life

Experience country

DIRTY DOG ORGANICS

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Agritourism is flourishing in Lake County, allowing visitors to enjoy nature and fresh air, and savor the serenity of a picturesque countryside while touring local wineries. Sweet, fresh blueberries, blackberries, and other seasonal produce can be found at u-pick farms, and children can enjoy familyfriendly activities, farm animals, and other educational attractions at working farms. Lake County’s annual Farm Tour, a popular guided bus tour hosted by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension in Lake County, offers another opportunity to discover more of the county’s agricultural treasures and explore Real Florida. Real Close. ››

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Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards Complimentary wine tasting and tours offered daily. The 127-acre estate on rolling countryside features a wide array of festival and events throughout the year, including the popular harvest grape stomp. 19239 U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont 800.768.WINE lakeridgewinery.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. The farm has a country kitchen with u-roast hot dogs. Homestyle strawberry shortcake is available on weekends of strawberry season, from late December to late March. 32418 Avington Road, Sorrento 352.735.1996 berriesandwine.com Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest The farm offers private and seasonal events in late fall, Christmas-

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time, and at Easter, along with farm field trips and farm birthday parties. Horse and pony rides, farm animals and hayrides are among the farm attractions. 35317 Huff Road, Eustis 352.357.9863 santaschristmastreeforest.com

Scott’s Maze Adventures at Long and Scott Farms The corn maze and adventure activities are open to the general public during weekends in the fall and a few special events or private parties throughout the year. Scott’s Country Market offers farm-fresh produce and Scott’s Zellwood sweet corn in season. 26216 CR 448A, Mount Dora 352.383.6900 longandscottfarms.com Showcase of Citrus This citrus park features an oldtime store, 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

SANTA’S CHRISTMAS TREE FOREST

to see wildlife animals, including zebras, water buffalo, alligators, snakes, and exotic and native birds. 5010 S. U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.394.4377 showcaseofcitrus.com

Stanley Pond Adventure Farm Farm features family-friendly activities of catch-and-release fishing, mini-airboat rides, jumping pillow, giant sand pile, super slide, a tricycle track, and more. 15426 CR 48, Astatula 352.516.4937 stanleypondfarm.com Uncle Donald’s Farm A chance to pet and feed farm animals and see wildlife up close.

The farm resembles a small family zoo; ostriches and llamas can be seen on the hayride. The farm’s poultry patch includes many “heritage” breeds of chickens. 2713 Griffin Ave., Lady Lake 352.753.2882 uncledonaldsfarm.com


selection of blueberries, the farm’s picking season runs 12 weeks instead of the usual four-week season of most blueberry growers. 18900 CR 561, Clermont 352.394.2135

Sand Hill Blueberries Family farm with u-pick blueberries. 31614 Bottany Wood Drive, Eustis 352.483.1614

DIRTY DOG ORGANICS

A&A Country Orchard This family-owned and operated farm is home of the Lady Lake peach. Discover different varieties of southern peaches, including the Tropic Beauty. 2917 Lake Griffin Road, Lady Lake 352.217.8853 A Natural Farm and Educational Center The main focus of the farm is the production and selling of edible plants, fruit trees, fresh ginger roots, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. The second mission is offering free or low-cost educational classes for both children and adults on sustainable farming, gardening, and plant production through hands-on workshops. 23630 SR 19, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.536.3112 Blue Bayou Farms The farm grows and harvests its own fruit and vegetables daily, along with organic blueberries in the u-pick field when blueberries are in season in April and May. The farm also offers a variety of Amish products, including bacon, cheeses, jams, and pickles. 26921 Bloomfield Ave., Yalaha 352.324.4069 Chatterson Farms The farm offers a wide variety of produce. The selection and varieties change throughout the year since the farm rotates through

150-plus varieties annually, so customers can sample traditional favorites, heirloom variations, and exotic and unique varieties from around the world. 4401 CR 561, Clermont 407.342.9512

Dirty Dog Organics The Cash Family didn’t set out to be farmers, but a love of cooking, dealing with their daughter’s allergies, and wanting to know where the food came from led them into this big venture. They’ve gone from providing food for family and friends to their community and now working with other farmers have opened a new farm store providing fresh, local produce. 2026 Lewis Road, Leesburg 352.235.0760 Green Acres Fernery and Citrus The farm offers locally grown blueberries, blackberries, and homemade syrup and honey. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, the farm has a picnic area. 8635 High St., Yalaha 352.360.5445 H&H Berry Farms In addition to u-pick or we-pick blueberries, the farm has local honey and homemade jam available for purchase. 15217 CR 455, Montverde 321.436.5830

Heather Oaks Iris Farm Small family farm offers u-pick blueberries and blackberries. The farm also specializes in growing Louisiana irises and camellias and has more than 250 colors of irises and several varieties of camellias. 4240 Christmas Lane, Lady Lake 352.753.1184 Just Perfect Plants A variety of vegetables, leafy greens, and herbs are available for u-pick at the farm, including tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, corn, cucumbers, basil, and more. All items are chemical- and pesticide-free. 1910 Lewis Road, Leesburg 352.504.2481 King Grove Organic Farm The u-pick and we-pick organic farm features USDA-certified organic blueberries. 19714 CR 44A, Eustis 352.589.2469 Lake Catherine Blueberries The farm offers u-pick blueberries, pre-picked berries, farm-fresh raw honey, and blueberry lemonade. 5849 Lake Catherine Road, Groveland 352.536.4324 Mark’s U-Pick Blueberries The farm is a specialized grower that plants more than 20 varieties of blueberries that ripen as early as April and as late as July each year. Because of the wide

Southern Hill Farms The u-pick and commercially harvested blueberry farm of 120 acres also offers wholesale ornamental trees. 16651 Schofield Road, Clermont 321.239.3137 The Vintage Berry The farm provides u-pick blackberries from May through mid-July. 2230 Sloan’s Ridge Road, Groveland 352.636.3682 Promise Farms Farm provides u-pick blueberries. 36111 N. CR 44A, Eustis 352.408.1193 Valley View Vineyards This u-pick farm grows peaches, figs, pears, persimmons, lemons, limes, tangerines, tangelos, navels, and ponkan oranges. 22310 CR 455, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.243.4032 The annual Lake County Farm Tour Tour allows visitors to see several farms and agricultural attractions while on a guided bus tour hosted by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension in Lake County. The extension service provides free consultations, as well as educational programs on a variety of subjects. To learn about plans for the 2018 Lake County Farm Tour, call 352.343.4101.

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Wild Call to the

STORY: JAMES COMBS

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Eagles soaring majestically through the big, blue sky. Butterflies fluttering around fragrant flowers. Trees standing silent guard over a marsh. Lake County is brimming with natural beauty, and unlimited recreational opportunities allow locals and tourists alike to explore our outdoor wonderland. Put down that remote. Step away from the computer. Turn off that video game. It’s time to let nature work its magic by helping you feel healthier and happier.

HIKING

Put your best foot forward and explore Lake County’s natural beauty. A simple hike can bring about so much joy. There’s the fresh air, the scenery, the thrill of exploration, and the physical

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and mental stimulation. Lake features a vast array of trails, and each has its own personality. You may find yourself in a lush dense forest or meandering alongside a waterway. If you prefer going deep into a forest, then strongly consider hiking Flat Island Preserve in Leesburg. You’ll walk past marshes, swamps, and hardwood hammocks in this 2,300-acre conservation area. The vines hanging from trees make you feel as though Tarzan should be swinging wildly through the forest. Flat Island Preserve also features a 440-foot boardwalk leading to a canoe launch. A word of caution: Don’t spend too much time looking at the ground or else you may end up with a face full of spider web. Another popular hiking area is Umatilla’s Sawgrass Island Preserve, an equally massive 1,137-acre area where hikers will see sandhill cranes and blue herons, as well as horse enthusiasts riding their animals along the trail. A sign at the trailhead warns about the possibility of seeing black bears, so it’s always best to travel in groups. The much smaller and less wooded Sabal Bluff Preserve in Leesburg takes hikers along the shore of Lake Griffin where they see a variety of fruit trees. This 55-acre preserve features several short walking trails that are easily navigable. At Lake May Reserve in Eustis, hikers can enjoy a 2.3-mile loop around the pristine Lake May and through a mix of pine and hardwood forested areas. Eustis is also home to Hidden Waters Preserve, which is best known for a large sinkhole and pint-size, trickling waterfalls. The elevation changes found here make Hidden Waters Preserve more challenging than typical Florida hiking trails. Other hiking opportunities exist at Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont, Lake Griffin State Park in Leesburg, and Palm Island Park in Mount Dora.

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B I C YC L I N G

Shift into high gear and pedal down the path to a fun-filled, healthier lifestyle. What better way to enjoy your bicycle than by riding one of the scenic Rails-to-Trails in Lake County? One of the longest trails in Florida is the James A. Van Fleet State Trail, which spans 29 miles into parts of Lake, Sumter and Polk counties. Quiet and remote, it’s unquestionably the most rural local bike trail and offers scenic views of swamp land, cow pastures, and dense forests. Expect to see wildlife such as deer, turtle, and other wildlife. With the lack of traffic crossings, this is a great choice for beginning trail riders. It’s also straight and lacks the heartpounding climbs that might steer newbie cyclists away from the sport. Word of caution: do not travel this trail alone because it’s somewhat remote, and bring plenty of snacks and water. To access the Mabel Trailhead in Lake County, take State Road 50 west five miles past the intersection of County Road 565 and Bay Lake Road. For a more challenging ride, consider the 13-mile Lake Minneola Scenic Trail that runs through both Minneola and Clermont. It features the highest elevation of all Florida Rails-to-Trails projects. You’ll also enjoy stunning views of picturesque lakes, rolling hills, and wide-open vistas along the trail that was built on the railroad bed for the old Seaboard Coastline Railroad. You can access the Minneola Trailhead from Clermont by taking County Road 561 to Old Highway 50. Take a right (heading east) and follow until you see signs for the trail. Other popular trails include the 10-mile Green Mountain Scenic Byway in Montverde, which often is used in triathlon competitions, and the 22-mile Paisley Woods Bicycle Trail, an ideal destination for mountain bike enthusiasts.

HORSEBACK RIDING

Saddle up and giddy up. Few things can be more enjoyable than seeing Lake County’s abundance of natural beauty from atop a horse. Fortunately, numerous companies offer guided trips on horseback. Blue Moon Ranch 4605 CR 134, Wildwood 352.578.4947 bluemoonranchfl.com

Lake Louisa Trail Rides 7305 U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.241.2046 lakelouisastatepark.com

Cypress House Ranch Bed and Breakfast 5175 CR 631, Bushnell 352.568.0909 floridahorseranch.com

Rock Springs Run Trail Rides 31700 CR 433, Sorrento 352.266.9326 rockspringsruntrailrides.com

DreamCatcher Horse Ranch and Rescue 10639 Toad Road, Clermont 407.702.8332 dreamcatcherhorses.com

Southern Cross Stables 14910 Lost Lake Road, Clermont 407.758.7346 southerncrossstables.com

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Feel the sparkling waters of Lake County STORY: LEIGH NEELY

Whether you prefer the speed of a jet ski or the luxury of a pontoon boat tour, you can find a way to enjoy more than 1,000 lakes in Lake County.

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ALEXANDER SPRINGS

L

ake County is a place with more than 1,000 lakes dotting the landscape in every direction. If your vacation includes water activities, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you enjoy the speed of a jet ski, the leisurely cruise of a pontoon boat, or the privacy of a kayak ride, Lake County has the right place to make your vacation perfect. Lake Harris is part of the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin, which is a sub-basin of the St. Johns River. As 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: Dead River connects Lake Harris to Lake Eustis 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 Almost every city that borders these beautiful lakes TAVARES SPLASH PARK 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. 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. Nearby Wooton Park with its seaplane-themed Splash Park is great for kids, and there’s plenty of adjacent shopping and restaurants. Tavares hosts 18 festivals a


year, and 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 and barbecue to brew and 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. Not only can you enjoy the calming influence of the water, you can learn a bit of history about Eustis and see the Alice McClelland Bandshell, which is on the national historic registry. 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. Along the waterfront you’ll 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

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Festival. Bicycles can be rents for $7 an hour for riding a trail that winds throughout the park. 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 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 the 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’s also The Wet Zone at Family Adventure Camp on the Withlacoochee River, and the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground at the Central Florida Zoo. There are several local schools for learning to water ski: Benzel Ski in Groveland, Sunset Lakes in Okahumpka, and Swiss Ski in Clermont. Flyboarding is another option for the adventureminded. This sport involves using a jet pack or jet boots to propel the user into the air above the water. Yes, this is a for real thing.


Check out Quest Air in Groveland or Hanson’s World Wakeboard Center. If you’re into lazy 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 Sorrento is an RV park featuring a two-slide

water park that takes you into a refreshing sulphur springs. 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!

F I N D YO U R F U N ! B O AT T O U R S

Premier Boat Tours 100 Alexander St., Mount Dora 352.434.8040 doracanaltour.com Rusty Anchor 400 W. 4th Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.3933 rustyanchormountdora.com CraigCat Tours 311 S. Tremain St., Mount Dora 352.816.9339 catboattours.com Justin’s Jungle Airboat Rides 19400 SE Hwy. 42, Umatilla 352.636.4060 justins-jungle.com Captain Ernie’s St. Johns River Tours (Departs at Blackwater Inn) 55716 Front St., Astor 866.349.0674 stjohnsrivertours.com Bartholomew’s Yesteryear Boat Cruises 12121 Canal St., Tavares 352.343.7047

B O AT A N D J E T S K I R E N TA L S

Get Wet WaterSports 1000 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 352.253.0585 watersportsrentals.com Gator Bay Marina 10320 CR 44, Leesburg 352.365.2177 Palm Gardens Restaurant and Marina 1661 Palm Garden St., Tavares 352.343.2024 palmgardensmarina.com Mount Dora Boating Center and Marina 148 Charles Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.3150 mtdoraboats.com Cypress Cove Marina 10233 Cypress Cove Lane, Clermont 352.636.2643 cypresscovemarina.com Lake Harris Lodge 11924 Lane Park Road, Tavares 352.343.4111 lakeharrislodge.com

WAT E R S P O R T S

Clermont Boathouse 1050 Victory Way, Clermont 352.227.6997 rowlcra.org Clermont Waterfront Park 330 3rd St., Clermont 352.394.3500 clermontfl.gov World Wakeboard Center 19022 Orange Ave., Groveland 352.429.3574 worldwakeboardcenter.com Jack Travers Waterski School 20225 SR 33, Groveland 352.429.9027 jacktravers.com Lake Eustis Sailing Club 1310 CR 452, Eustis 352.589.5417 lescfl.com Mount Dora Yacht Club 351 W. 4th Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.5414 mountdorayachtclub.com

Swiss Waterski Resort 13114 Skiing Paradise Blvd., Clermont 352.429.2178 swisswaterskiresort.com Venetian Gardens 201 E. Dixie Ave., Leesburg 352.787.8018 leesburgflorida.gov FISHING GUIDES

One Cast Away 837 Lock Road, Leesburg 321.722.3134 onecastaway.com Largemouth Central 5405 Bettys Court, Tavares 518.578.9273 largemouthcentral.com Gdawgbass Fishing LLC 352.536.0855 gdawgbass@gmail.com centralfloridabasscharters.com Revolution Off Road 400 SR 33, Clermont 352.400.1322 revolutionoffroad.com

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Great Enjoy the

outdoors

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Flying 135 mph in a seaplane five feet above the surface of a lake is about as “Real Florida. Real Close” as it gets. Unless, of course, you spot a Florida black bear up close at a nature preserve—then things get real, too. Or you may get real close to the natural habitats of the Florida scrub-jay and countless other native bird species. All of these adventures await visitors and residents in Lake County, a veritable paradise for anyone who wants to explore nature, wildlife, and scenic locales.

BIRDING

Lake County’s many wildlife preserves and parks make it a birder’s haven for spotting more than 200 different species of birds. No visit to Lake is complete without seeing the Florida

scrub-jay. The species is found only in Central Florida and is limited to areas that have dry, sandy soil with oak scrub trees, such as Ocala National Forest in northeast Lake, according to the Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society. Several other county spots, such as Sawgrass Island Preserve in Umatilla and

Palatlakaha River Park in Clermont, also are known for Florida scrub-jay habitats. The Florida scrub-jay typically is about 11 inches in length, primarily eats acorns, seeds, and berries, along with some insects, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals, and its song is one of trills and high warbles. The bird is a threatened species, however, and the public is encouraged to report sightings to the Lake County Parks & Trails Division, which is conducting a survey of the scrub-jay.

Lake County is an “incredible” place for birdwatching because of its natural environment, says Linda Kochanowski, a board member with the Audubon Society, which is based in Mount Dora. “Lake is not as developed as some areas. There are a lot of natural areas, plus all the lakes that we have, which are really important areas, especially for birds,” Linda says. Birders’ favorite spots include Lake May Reserve and Pine Meadows Conservation Area, both in Eustis, Palatlakaha

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WILDLIFE

Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) in Leesburg, and Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area, a 7,089-acre preserve in Leesburg where renovations include a new 4.3-mile wildlife drive that takes visitors deep into the habitats of a large and diverse wildlife population. One of four sections of the Great Florida Birding Trail is the East Section that extends from Jacksonville to Cocoa Beach and includes many sites in Lake County. The trail combines prominent birding sites with smaller local sites, according to the Audubon Society.

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Among the many species commonly seen in Lake are the sandhill crane, Northern cardinal, anhinga, wood duck, blackbird, grackle, cormorant, osprey, red-shouldered hawk, heron, egret, ibis, Northern bobwhite, European starling, Northern mockingbird, tufted titmouse, vulture, woodpecker, and wren. During the winter migratory season, birders can expect to see kites, ducks, hawks, bald eagles, and smaller birds like warblers. “You have water, canals, big open areas. Lake is a really great area,” Linda says.

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One of the most storied native creatures in Florida is the black bear. In Lake County, the city of Umatilla devotes its Florida Wildlife Festival to raising awareness and appreciation of the Florida black bear. The 19th annual festival, which is a free, family-oriented educational event, is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 20 at Cadwell Park, 4 Cassady St., Umatilla. When the festival started in the 1990s, the Florida black bear was listed as an imperiled species. More recently, the bear’s population numbers have increased to the point where it is no longer in danger of disappearing, festival organizers say. The festival also offers field trips to Ocala National Forest, where visitors can learn

about bear habitat, biology, behavior, and management from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists. Mike Orlando, assistant bear program coordinator for the FWC, is a regular presenter at the festival and tries to educate humans about living in bear country—and Lake is bear country. “We have a very robust, growing Florida black bear population, in Lake in particular,” he says. More than 1,000 black bears live in the Ocala National Forest and the surrounding areas, which includes Lake County. Male bears average about 400-450 pounds and have a home range of 60 square miles, while smaller female bears weigh about 250-300 pounds and have a 15-mile home range. While bear sightings occasionally are reported in


AIR ADVENTURES

Lake County neighborhoods, sightings in the wild are somewhat rare. “They’re one of those animals that generally like to be out of sight,” Mike says. “I call them shadows. You don’t get to see bears that often except if they’re going in and out of a dumpster. They really don’t want to be around people.” But bears can become accustomed to finding food left out around homes, which can lead to dangerous situations for both the bears and humans. So, Mike emphasizes, please don’t feed the bears!

Just about any preserve in Lake County is home to bears and other wildlife, such as coyotes, bobcats, whitetailed deer, raccoons, gopher tortoises, and foxes. If you want to try to catch a glimpse of a bear, one spur of the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway starts on State Road 19 in Umatilla, heading north into Ocala National Forest and other highly populated areas. Bears are most active at dusk and dawn, Mike says, and if you look hard enough, chances are you’ll see one eventually, but half the fun is in the pursuit. “It’s like an adventure,” he says.

A seaplane ride at Jones Brothers & Co. Air and Seaplane Adventures in Tavares takes off from Lake Dora as owner and pilot Rob Galloway guides a Cessna 206 six-seater airborne to a few hundred feet. The bird’s-eye view magnifies the expansiveness of the Harris Chain of Lakes. The scenery is spectacular as Rob glides low past Fishermen’s Cove and Horseshoe Island, and the seaplane feels like a blue heron skimming for fish above Lake Harris. The Cessna then heads over Mission Inn Resort and the Howey Mansion in Howey-inthe-Hills, and in the distance is Sugarloaf Mountain, the highest point—312 feet—on the Florida peninsula. On Little Lake Harris, Rob takes a dip for a “splash and dash,” a brief water landing and immediate takeoff all in one smooth motion. As the seaplane heads east, glistening Lake Apopka comes up on the right and the Orlando skyline is just visible on the horizon. Rob takes the Cessna up to 1,000 feet for a more panoramic view above Lake Beauclair, Deer Island,

and downtown Mount Dora. The flight turns homeward with a peek at Lake Eustis and Lake Griffin just beyond, capturing a glimpse of the whole chain in 15 minutes. The popular Splash and Dash flight is one of about 15 sightseeing rides and daytrips available at Jones Brothers, which operates five seaplanes and conducts about 1,500 flights a year. Travelers can head to St. Johns River and De Leon Springs for breakfast and swimming, Eaton’s Beach on Lake Weir for lunch, Hillstone Restaurant on Lake Killarney for a romantic dinner, or party on the Harris Chain Bar Hop, with four to five stops at lakefront bars. “We get tourists from all over,” Rob says. “We get a lot of international people, the people who come to the Orlando attractions and want to get out of there for real Florida stuff. And we do a lot of local business, too, like residents who want to show their friends and family the area.” Jones Brothers also provides eco tours, gator sightseeing, and combo packages with boat tours on the Dora Canal—all staples in the world of wildlife available in Lake County.

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Reviewed May 25, 2017

Great hotel in downtown Tavares Wonderful hotel in a great location. Clean, friendly and walking distance to many restaurants and bars.Balconies have amazing lake views. Loved watching seaplanes flying in and out! Lots of paths through the lakeside park and even a fun waterpark for the kids. Love this place!

Stayed: May 2017, traveled with family Value Rooms

Service

-Ileanne B, via TripAdvisor

The Key West Resort on Lake Dora 199 West Ruby Street Tavares, FL 32778 (352) 508-5344 keywestlakedora.com


ASTOR’S FLORIDIAN INN

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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 • S TAY • P L AY • 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!

LAKESIDE INN

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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. 60 •

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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


MISSION INN RESORT & CLUB

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

LAKESIDE INN

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.

HERON CAY LAKEVIEW BED & BREAKFAST

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MOUNT DORA HISTORIC INN & COTTAGES

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 Farnsworth House Bed & Breakfast 1029 E. Fifth Ave., Mount Dora 352.409.0330 farnsworthhousebb.com Grandview Bed & Breakfast 442 East Third Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.4440 grandviewbb.net Heron Cay Lakeview Bed & Breakfast 495 W. Old Hwy. 441, Mount Dora 352.383.4050 heroncay.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

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

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

Award Vacation Homes Inc. 1536 Sunrise Plaza Drive, No. 100, Clermont 800.338.0835 contempovacationhomes.com

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

Swiss Vacation Houses 13114 Skiing Paradise Blvd., Clermont 352.429.2178 swissvacationhouses.com

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

Sweet Escapes 11207 Guilford Road, Minneola 352.978.8730 Clermont Cabanas 875 Osceola St, Clermont 352.978.5856 clermontcabanas.com

Lake Minneola Inn & Tiki Bar 508 Main Ave., Minneola 352.394.2232 lakeminneola.com

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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. 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 Lake Griffin State Park This 36-site campground allows visitors to canoe and kayak, hike

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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 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

Astor Landing This campground, RV resort, and marina is located on the banks of the St. Johns River and surrounded by the Ocala National Forest in the heart of Central Florida. Accommodations include a campground with full hookups, boat docks with water, sewer and electric, a boat ramp on the river, a boat and RV storage yard, and a bath house with hot showers. 25934 Holmar Drive, Astor 352.759.2121


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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‘‘

This was our first experience with a pool, and that’s why I’m so grateful we went with Wiseman Pools because the company has an extremely friendly and talented staff. They were readily available throughout the project and enthusiastically answered our questions or addressed our concerns. I would highly recommend the company to anyone who wants a pool.

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—VALERIE RHOADES, THE VILLAGES


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Florida’s most picturesque lakefront towns and one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants are just 30 minutes from downtown Orlando. Experience the charm of Real Florida, real soon. VisitLakeFl.com/RealAdventure


E X P L O R E • S TAY • P L AY • 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.

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P L AY

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 - 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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MISSION INN RESORT & CLUB - EL CAMPEÓN

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

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

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

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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 74 •

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trails, 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

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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.

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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.


MELON PATCH THEATRE

STATE THEATER

CLERMONT

The Clermont Performing Arts Center in downtown

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. LEESBURG

The Melon Patch Theatre

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.

SONNENTAG THEATRE

EUSTIS

MOUNT DORA

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.

Mount Dora Live features live

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.

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 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.

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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. 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.

EUSTIS HISTORIC MUSEUM

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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,

PAQUETTE’S HISTORICAL FARMALL MUSEUM

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

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 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

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 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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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) ART MUSEUMS & GALLERIES

MOUNT DORA MUSEUM OF SPEED

Museum of Speed Described as the “ultimate man cave,” Mount Dora’s Museum of Speed not only features a 46year 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 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

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Florida Carriage & Car Museum Located only 2.5 miles from The Villages, this museum is under renovation until fall 2018 as it transforms from the Grand Oaks Carriage Museum into the Florida Carriage & Car Museum. The new museum will have consignment, collectible carriages and cars to illustrate the impact on transportation, as well as the trend in investment and collectible vehicles. Grand Oaks Resort will continue to provide fine dining, events, sporting activities, and equestrian competitions. 3000 Marion County Road, Weirsdale thegrandoaks.com 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

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.


RENOWNED ARTIST WENDELL CASTLE AT THE MODERNISM MUSEUM

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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.

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—

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 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 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 AYA 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

Each trail offers different experience levels for blueway

GREEN MOUNTAIN SCENIC OVERLOOK

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users. The Golden Triangle along Lake Dora’s shorelines in Tavares and Mount Dora is suitable for novices and casual use; the trails along 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. B I C YC L I N G 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.

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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 often-challenging 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:

Start: Hancock Road & CR 50 End: Cooper Memorial Library & National Training Center

Lake Apopka Loop Trail Distance: 18 miles Start: Green Mountain Scenic Overlook & Trailhead End: Magnolia Park (Orange County)

Wilson Lake Parkway Trail Distance: 3.0 miles Start: Wilson Lake Parkway, Clermont End: Wilson Lake Parkway, Clermont

Fountain Lake Trail Distance: 2 miles Start: Canal St., Leesburg End: 13th St., Leesburg

Venetian Gardens Trail Distance: 0.5 miles Start: Venetian Gardens & Canal St., Leesburg End: Magnolia Trail and Bourley Historic Nature Preserve

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

Tav-Lee Trail Distance: 3.5 miles Start: Downtown Tavares End: Lake Square Mall

Hancock Trail Extension Connects to South Lake Trail Distance: 2.4 miles

Black Still Lake Trail Distance: 0.5 miles Start: Black Still Lake Road, Clermont End: Black Still Lake Road, Clermont

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

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

Benton’s Antiques 352 N. Highland St., Mount Dora 352.735.2790

EUSTIS

Legacies Antiques Books & More 20651 U.S. Hwy. 441, Mount Dora 352.406.4848

Inspired 365 1400 S. Bay St., Eustis 352.483.7467 MINNEOLA

3rd Generation Antiques 121 N. Bay St., Eustis 352.483.4367 Old South Stained Glass 320 S. Grove St., Eustis 352.589.0034

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

CLERMONT

Choice Collections Home Furnishings 664 W. Montrose , Clermont 352.394.7817 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

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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. At Encor Home Décor, you’ll find items you won’t see anywhere else. Give your home that special touch with Encor.

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 Noni at the Olive Branch offers such variety—fragrances, clothing, jewelry, and décor items. The Willow Tree Gifts and More is filled with such variety, tote bags, jewelry, and wonderful unique gift ideas, KaDee Kay Gourmet Kitchen has whatever you need—or want—to make your kitchen a chef’s delight.

Downtown Main Street in Leesburg has several specialty shops, including Alada’s China & Gifts, a fine gift shop filled with seasonal items for weddings, baby gifts, and Pandora jewelry. Doggibags Boutique has the latest 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, The 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

L A DY L A K E

Days Gift Emporium is filled with incense, jewelry, sage, essential oils, pendulums and more. EUSTIS

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 cardstock. CLERMONT

The Broom Tree is 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

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. 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 Clothing 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 Jewelers so you think of Lake County every time you wear it. Both of these shopping centers offer a variety of wellknown stores and shops.

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FARM FRESH.

FAMILY FRIENDLY. Real Florida. Real Close.

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. VisitLakeFl.com/RealAdventure

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E X P LO R E • S TAY • P L AY • 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.

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DINE

GOBLIN MARKET

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

Goblin Market & Lounge 330 Dora Drawdy Way, Mount Dora 352.735.0059

801 City Grille 801 W. Montrose St., Clermont 352.394.6911

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

El Conquistador Restaurant, Mission Inn Resort 10400 CR 48, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.324.3911

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

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 Turner’s Kitchen & Bar 114 S. 5th St., Leesburg 352.530.2274

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 Legacy Restaurant at The Nancy Lopez County Club 17135 Buena Vista Blvd., The Villages 352.753.1475


Casual dining 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: A S TAT U L A

Race Car Diner 25641 Monroe St. 352.253.6940

Devenney’s Irish Pub 16909 High Grove Blvd. 352.432.3925

ASTOR

Flippers Pizzeria 2523 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.242.2214

Blackwater Inn 55716 Front St, Astor 352.759.2802

G’s NY Pizza 12346 Roper Blvd. 352.243.8900

Sparky’s Place 24646 SR 40 352.759.3551

Green Garden 1790 E. Hwy. 50 352.243.2077

William’s Landing 55716 Front St. 352.759.2802

Legends Grille & Tavern 1700 Legendary Blvd. 352.242.1910

CLERMONT

Akina Sushi Bar & Asian Fusion Bistro 4300 S. Hwy. 27, Ste. 101 352.243.8988 Calabria Ristorante 13900 CR 455 407.656.5144 Cheeser’s Palace 707 W. Montrose St. 352.404.9431 Clermont Fish House 110 W. Hwy. 50 352.708.5563 Corelli’s Italian Restaurant 1042 E. Hwy. 50 352.989.5924

Lyn’s Ice Cream & Sandwich Shoppe 824 W. Montrose St. 352.536.9935 Napolis Pizzeria 556 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.243.7500 Robata Japanese Steak House And Sushi Bar 1500 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.404.9688

Sanctuary Ridge Golf Club Restaurant 2601 Diamond Club Dr. 352.243.0411 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 Night Owl Caribbean Restaurant 929 S. Bay St. 352.589.0256 Stavro’s & Sons of Eustis 2100 W. CR 44 352.589.9100

Taki’s Pizza House 2824 S. Bay St. 352.357.0022 Thai Sushi America 925 N. Bay St. 352.357.1949

Legends Cafe 2468 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.728.0006

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

GROVELAND

Outback Steakhouse 710 N. Hwy. 441 352.430.2590

Coyote Rojo 2 214. W. Broad. St. 352.557.8999 Red Wing Restaurant 12500 S. SR 33 352.429.2997 H O W E Y- I N THE-HILLS

The Crazy Gator 402 N. Bay St. 352.589.5885

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

The Great Pizza Company 23 E. Magnolia Ave. 352.357.7377

La Hacienda Restaurant 10400 CR 48 352.324.3910

The Oyster Troff 936 N. Bay St. 352.357.9939

L A DY L A K E / THE VILLAGES

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

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

FRUITLAND PA R K

Fruitland Park Cafe 3180 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.435.4575

El Ranchito 1 La Grande Blvd 352.750.3335 Harbor Hills Country Club 6538 Lake Griffin Rd. 352.753.7000

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

TIKI WEST RAW BAR AND GRILL

Sarah’s Greek Cuisine & More 16640 Cagan Crossings Blvd., Ste. 305 352.404.8031

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La Palma Mexican Grill 1690 Citrus Blvd. 352.323.1444 Lilly’s Super Subs 2339 CR 473 352.343.4663 Magnolia’s Oyster Bar 201 W. Magnolia St. 352.323.0093 Naples Italian Restaurant 1107 W. North Blvd. 352.323.1616

The Latin Cafe 400 N. 14th St. 352.365.0089

Café Gianni 425 N. Alexander St. 352.735.3327

Wolfy’s 918 N. 14th St. 352.787.6777

Cecile’s French Corner 237 W. Fourth Ave. 352.383.7100

MASCOTTE

Cody’s On Fourth Café 111 E. Fourth #1 352.735.8426

Rainbow Restaurant 704 E. Myers Blvd. 352.429.2093 MINNEOLA

Osaka 1401 Citrus Blvd. 352.728.0788

Jack’s BBQ 100 US-27, Minneola 352.394.2673

Stavros Pizza 755 N. 14Th St. 352.326.4202

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

Sully’s Smokehouse 10820 CR 44 352.483.7427

Tiki Bar And Grill 508 S. Main Ave. 352.394.2232

Takis Pizza Restaurant 1205 N. 14Th St. 352.787.2344

MOUNT DORA

The Florida Porch Cafe 706 W. Main St. 352.365.1717

Anthony’s Pizza 17195 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.357.6668 Bocce Pizzeria 925 E. First Ave. 352.385.0067

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

TAKIS PIZZA RESTAURANT

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PUDDLE JUMPERS

Jeremiah’s 500 N. Highland St. 352.383.7444

Pizzamore 722 E. Fifth Ave. 352.383.0092

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

Shiva 140A W. Fifth Ave. 352.735.4555

Magical Meat Boutique 112 W. Third Ave. 352.729.6911

Sidelines Sport Eatery 315 N. Highland St. 352.735.7433

Mr. Cebiche 411 N. Donnelly St. 352.735.8106

The Bavarian Haus 433 N. Alexander St. 352.735.8387

Mount Dora Pizza And Subs 2718 W. Old U.S. Hwy. 441 352.383.5303

The Frog and Monkey Restaurant and Pub 411 N. Donnelly St. 352.383.1936

One Flight Up 440 N. Donnelly St., Ste. 100 407.758.9818

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


352.508.5137

Lake Dora Sushi & Sake 227 E. Main St. 352.343.6313 Mary’s Country Kitchen 15945 CR 448 352.343.6823 O’Keefes Irish Pub 115 S. Rockingham Ave. 352.343.2157 Palm Gardens Restaurant And Marina 11801 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.343.2024 Puddle Jumpers 111 W. Ruby St. 352.508.5862 Ruby St. Grill 220 E. Main St. 352.742.7829 Sunrise Grill 462 E. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.7744 Lisa’s Kountry Cafe 23911 CR 46 352.735.3380

Thai Jasmine 1010 E. Alfred St. 352.742.0956

Momiji 24400 SR 44 352.357.2285

Tiki West Raw Bar And Grill 118 W. Ruby St. 352.508.5783

TAVA R E S

Main Street Diner 505 W. Main St. 352.253.4663

Kalua Hale Sand Bar 111 W. Ruby St. Angelo’s Italian Restaurant 2270 Vindale Rd., Tavares 352.343.2757

U M AT I L L A

China Wok 342 W. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.5188

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

Hurricane Dockside Grill 3351 W. Burleigh Blvd.

The Mason Jar 37534 SR 19 352.589.2535

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

Wolf Branch Brewing 119 N Bay Street, Eustis 352.602.4564 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

Lilly’s on the Lake 846 W. Osceola St., Clermont 352.708.6565 Sun.-Thu. 11am-9pm Fri.-Sat. 11am-10pm Suncreek Brewery 790 W. Minneola, Clermont 407.850.8810 Opening fall 2017

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DINE

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 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

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

Two Old Hags Wine Shoppe 410 W. Main St., Leesburg 352.435.9107 Mon.-Fri. 11am-close Sat. 11am-2am

The Pickled Parrot Restaurant & Bar 1455 SR 40, Astor 386.759.0001 8am-9pm

Shamrock Lounge & Package Store 1120 W. North Blvd., Leesburg 352.787.4309 10am-2am

Steel Around Forest Tavern 21918 SR 40, Astor 352.759.3991 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

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Margarita Republic Spanish Springs Town Square 1102 Main St., Lady Lake 352.753.4660 Daily 11am-1am

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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

LAKERIDGE WINERY & VINEYARD


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.


DINE

YALAHA BAKERY

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-ofa-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 Donut King Handmade, fresh doughnuts including red velvet and Boston cream. 208 U.S. Hwy. 27, Minneola 352.243.4046 thedonutking.com Yalaha Bakery German breads, old world tortes, and pastries 8210 CR 48, Yalaha 352.324.3366 yalahabakery.com

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Oscar’s Original Donuts Freshly made doughnuts and pastries. 708 S. 14th St., Leesburg 352.315.0476 Le Petit Sweet French macaroons, iced cookies, cake cones, and cream puffs. 110 W. Fifth St., Mount Dora 352.729.2453 lepetitsweet.wixsite.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 Scoops on 5th 36 flavors of Hershey’s ice cream, fresh-baked 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

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 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 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 Mount Dora Confectionary Large array of gourmet treats, fudge, gelato, soft-serve ice cream. 450 N. Donnelly, Mount Dora 352.735.6555 mountdoracandy.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 High Five Frozen Yogurt Customers can build personalized dessert treat. 18997 U.S. Hwy. 441, Mount Dora 352.383.9175 highfivefrozenyougurt.com Twisted Flavors Baked Bar Edible cookie dough gets the Facebook raves along with the shop’s cupcakes, truffles and cookies. 736 W.Montrose St., Clermont 352.432.5484 twistedflavorsbakedbar.com AnnOlivia’s Sweet Shop and Bakery Shop features wide array of desserts, including cupcakes loaded with different fillings and toppings. 12302 Roper Blvd., Ste. 103, Clermont 407.371.2052 annoliviassweetshopandbakery.com Tavares Ice Cream Wide variety of Hershey’s ice cream, Italian ice, and dairy-free ice cream. 214 E. Main St., Tavares 352.508.5342 facebook.com/tavares-ice-cream


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

Energy Lab Cafe 528 8th St., Clermont 352.432.8985 energylabcafe.com

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

Village Coffee Pot of Mount Dora 425 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora 352.383.3334 villagecoffeepot.com

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

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

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

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

CODY’S ON 4TH

Coffee Branch Café 144 W. Fifth St., Mount Dora 352.242.8896 facebook.com/coffee-branch-cafe Troy’s Cuban Deli 1200 Oakley Seaver Drive, Clermont 352.241.4295 troyscubandeli.com

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Real Adventure is a vacation that gives you space and time to relax. Lake County Florida is blessed with both in a rich mix of natural wonders— 1000+ named lakes, state parks and pristine reserves, boutiques, galleries, and a calendar full of festivals and celebrations. Come see real Florida, real close‌real soon. VisitLakeFl.com/RealAdventure


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Welcome to Lake 2018  

A Visitor's Guide to The Place We Call Home

Welcome to Lake 2018  

A Visitor's Guide to The Place We Call Home