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SPONSORED BY

TO LAKE COUNTY

Perfect

THE

+

PICK

Lake County has bushels of berries and a bounty of agritourism sites.

ON THE WATERFRONT

GO FISH

MUTUAL ATTRACTIONS

Launch yourself into endless waterways and discover scenic wildlife areas.

Explore a fishing mecca with countless hot spots for anglers of all skill levels.

By land, sea and air, visitors can find adventure, sightseeing and recreation.


T H E E R C A R E YO U N E E D F R O M A H O S P I TA L YO U T R U S T.

U F H e a l t h T h e Vi l l a g e s ® H o s p i t a l Freestanding ER. Now Open. L O C AT E D A C R O S S F R O M B R O W N W O O D S Q U A R E The first full-service emergency department in the Wildwood area is now open. The freestanding ER offers quality care from seasoned health care experts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Learn more at thevillagesregionalhospital.org/er

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THE

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AWAY

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 Close. Real Soon. VisitLakeFl.com


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EXPERT ER CARE THAT’S CLOSE WHEN IT COUNTS. Emergencies are never convenient. But your emergency care can be. With 24/7 care that’s right in your community, Orlando Health South Lake Hospital has the experience and expertise to care for any emergency situation.

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36 Jump in and discover Lake County Recreational options abound across the Harris Chain of Lakes, where boaters may travel to seven different lakes. Launch a boat, kayak or canoe and experience Lake County’s scenic wildlife areas along the shores of endless waterways.

40 Take your pick

A trip to Lake County reveals its rural charm and a bounty of agritourism activities. Breathe the fresh air, get close to nature and enjoy the U-pick farms that offer organic blueberries, peaches and other fresh fruits and vegetables.

46 Fish tales

With more than 1,000 lakes and rivers, Lake County is a fishing mecca, hosting prestigious professional and amateur tournaments. Anglers of all skill levels love the unique fishing experiences at each lake and keep coming back for more.

KAYAKING AT LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

50 Natural attractions

Lake County’s classic roadside attractions and modern adventures provide exciting alternatives to the bustle of theme parks. Rumble across the land in a monster truck or ATV, cruise along the water in a CatBoat or take off into the air for a seaplane sightseeing tour.

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GROVELAND

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Lake County has bushels of berries and a bounty of agritourism sites.

ON THE WATERFRONT

GO FISH

MUTUAL ATTRACTIONS

Launch yourself into endless waterways and discover scenic wildlife areas.

Explore a fishing mecca with countless hot spots for anglers of all skill levels.

By land, sea and air, visitors can find adventure, sightseeing and recreation.

LAKE MINNEHAHA

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LAS COLINAS - LAKE COUNTY’S PREMIER GATED GOLF COMMUNITY.

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Come home to the beautiful vistas and mature oak and pine woodlands that surround the community of Las Colinas at the Mission Inn Resort and Club. Featuring classic modern and Spanish-style architecture, these new homes and condominiums capture the essence resort M O NofTcarefree VERD E living. Add on-site recreation amenities including golf, tennis, spa and dining, you have the perfect place to reflect on life.

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There’s always something exciting happening at Akers Media.

TO LAKE CO U N T Y SPONSORED BY

OCT '19

L AKE & SUMTER

An intervention program tackles

TIME TO STEP IN

PUBLISHING

opioid addiction

MAY '20

L AKE & SUMTER

face is cris FE ATURIN G

PRESIDENT | DOUG AKERS

The

The magazines of Akers Publishing – Welcome to Lake County, 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.

of the

doug@akersmediagroup.com

lives, Health-care professionals risk save lives on COVID-19 frontlines

From a former Blue Angel to athletes, actors, artists and more, Lake and Sumter produce extra-special talent.

PUBLISHER | KENDRA AKERS kendra@akersmediagroup.com

AL SO

THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

Crave Bakehouse in Eustis creates healthy doughnuts—honest.

OUTSTANDING STUDENT

Leesburg High construction class grad Ashley Rosenmund is handy around the house.

LEESBURG, CITY OF LIGHTS

Paris is the theme of the annual Fashion Designers Showcase and Modeling Competition.

AL SO

THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE craft beer

PAGEANT ROYALTY McLean

The Sunny Pint knows

Meet Miss Florida Michaela

A GOOD IMPRESSION unique prints

Artist Jennifer Harper creates

INSIDE!

SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

Capturing the spirit of Lake and

EDITORIAL

Men share the stories of their businesses, enjoy being in the kitchen, and always have fishing tales!

THE MEN’S ISSUE

Sumter counties for 15 years.

OPEN YOUR MIND

Mind Immersions puts you in the

virtual reality universe. IN THEIR

ELEMENT

Lake County band Made of Earth

is catching fire.

CHRIS GERBASI THERESA CAMPBELL chris@akersmediagroup.com theresa@akersmediagroup.com JAMES COMBS VICTORIA SCHLABIG james@akersmediagroup.com victoria@akersmediagroup.com

FE ATURIN G

to the

DESIGN

The unsung heroes of the local utility companies are often first on the scene but seldom receive recognition.

BUSINESS MEN OF STYLE

C R E AT I V E

Meet the men who put Lake & Sumter counties businesses on the map.

GANGSTERS, CARS, AND GUNS

Highlighting an era of fast cars, gun molls, and notorious gangsters, antique cars and period costumes created quite an attraction. AL SO

COOKING FAMILY

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

Branding Advertising Graphic design Broadcast media

• • • •

Interactive media PR and promotions Media placement Custom publishing

STUDIO

The old adage holds that a picture is worth a thousand words. Our philosophy is a thousand words are 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 by signing up on our Facebook page, following us on Pinterest, on Twitter (@GetStyleMag) or visiting our YouTube channel.

8•

TO L AKE COUNT Y

Ralph Rao knows food always brings the family together, especially if you’re all in the kitchen preparing a great Italian meal. AL SO

FE ATURIN G

NATURE TRIP

THE HOMES ISSUE

is one Vancouver, British Columbia, of the world’s greenest cities.

CATCH OF THE DAY

Bluefin Grill’s Zeke Springs specializes in seafood and socializing.

Lakeside Landings

Enter the doorway to historic sites, the Parade of Homes and trendy technology.

IN THE KITCHEN

Resort Living Close to Home

Papa Pineapples serves a different take on tacos.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR | STEVEN J. CODRARO GRAPHIC DESIGNER | VOLKAN ULGEN GRAPHIC DESIGNER | MEGAN MERICLE PRODUCTION DIRECTOR | MICHAEL GAULIN PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY FRED LOPEZ MARY ANN DESANTIS ANTHONY RAO NICOLE HAMEL VISIT LAKE FL ADOBE STOCK SHUTTERSTOCK

SPONSORED BY

SPONSORED BY

TO LAKE COUNTY

TO LAKE COUNTY

THE SHAPE OF WATER

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

+

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

Perfect

THE

+

PICK

Lake County has bushels of berries and a bounty of agritourism sites.

ON THE WATERFRONT

GO FISH

MUTUAL ATTRACTIONS

Launch yourself into endless waterways and discover scenic wildlife areas.

Explore a fishing mecca with countless hot spots for anglers of all skill levels.

By land, sea and air, visitors can find adventure, sightseeing and recreation.

SALES

AGRITOURISM Enjoy fruit and vegetables a fresh from the field or get taste of farm life.

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

VP OF SALES AND MARKETING | TIM MCRAE tim@akersmediagroup.com DIRECTOR OF MARKETING | MELANIE MELVIN melanie@akersmediagroup.com ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE | DILLON TRUE dillon@akersmediagroup.com ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE | AUBREY AKERS-SIMMONS aubrey@akersmediagroup.com

A D M I N I S T R AT I O N DIRECTOR OF CLIENT SERVICES | DEB MATLOCK ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT | SHAENA LONG

DISTRIBUTION DISTRIBUTION MANAGER | SCOTT HEGG scott.hegg@akersmediagroup.com

AKERS MEDIA IS A PROUD MEMBER OF

FLORIDA MAGAZINE ASSOCIATION

LEESBURG PARTNERSHIP

LEESBURG CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

TAVARES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

WINNER OF

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

Creativity at its peak.

SOUTH LAKE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

LAKE EUSTIS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

REALTORS ASSOCIATION OF LAKE & SUMTER COUNTIES

AMERICAN ADVERTISING ASSOCIATION

200+ AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE

Welcome to Lake County, April 2020. Published by Akers Media, 108 South 5th Street, Leesburg, FL 34748. All editorial contents copyright 2020 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.


Real Adventure is a vacation that gives you space and time to relax. Lake County, Florida is filled with a rich mix of natural wonders—more than 1,000 lakes, state parks, pristine reserves, boutiques, galleries and a calendar full of festivals and celebrations. Come see Real Florida. Real Close. Real Soon.

VisitLakeFl.com


W

Welcome to Lake County!

e thank you for choosing Lake County as your travel destination. Lake County offers something for everyone to enjoy, whether you are escaping for a weekend getaway, discovering a Florida “hidden gem,” soaking up the atmosphere at one of our exciting festivals or just looking for a relaxing alternative to an overcrowded vacation spot. Lake County is ideally located only a short drive away from world-famous attractions and beaches. But you’ll find no lines or wait times when you experience “Real Florida. Real Close” in Lake County. Discover inviting trails for hiking and birdwatching at our nature preserves and national parks, refreshing springs for swimming, peaceful blueways for paddling and more than 1,000 lakes for world-class bass fishing. Our friendly small towns and trendy downtown locales are perfect for shopping, followed by dining and drinks. Lake County’s diverse cultural experiences include eyecatching art galleries, fascinating museums,

music and food festivals, and a one-of-a-kind historic village. If you’re more of a thrill seeker, coast just above the water on an unforgettable seaplane ride or rumble through a gator-filled swamp on a monster truck. Lake County’s family-friendly events and activities offer fun and excitement geared for every generation. This Visitors Guide offers a calendar of events, business directories and a wealth of information on everything there is to explore during your stay. In addition to this guide, please visit www.visitlakefl.com for interactive maps, planning tools, itineraries and much more. We hope you enjoy your visit!

KENDRA AKERS PUBLISHER

KEND

PU

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KENDRA AKERS PUBLISHER


C ALENDAR

Save the date Communities across Lake County host a vibrant array of festivals and events focused on food, music, culture and the arts. F E S T I VA L S FEBRUARY

Renninger’s Civil War Reenactment Feb. 2021 Get a taste of history with live Civil War reenactments and weaponry demonstrations. Renninger’s Florida Twin Markets, 20651 US Highway 441, Mount Dora African-American Heritage Festival Feb. 6, 2021 This event celebrates cultural, educational, civic and charitable contributions to the community with live performances, music, food, arts and crafts and more. Wooton Park, 100 E. Ruby St., Tavares Paquette’s Historical Farmall Tractor Show Feb. 11-13, 2021 The annual event will offer a weekend of exhibits, pony rides, tractor pulls, vendors and entertainment ending with a tractor show. Paquette’s Farmall Museum 615 S. Whitney Rd., Leesburg Winefest Feb. 12-14, 2021 Winefest offers an opportunity to enjoy all the fruits of the year’s harvest while browsing the wares

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of 80 local artists and crafters and listening to live music. Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, 19239 US Hwy 27, Clermont

Mardi Gras Festival Feb. 13, 2021 The streets come alive with the sights and sounds of New Orleans. Downtown Leesburg GeorgeFest Feb. 26-28, 2021 Founded in 1902, GeorgeFest is one of the longest-running events in the country celebrating George Washington’s birthday. Ferran Park 250 Ferran Park Dr., Eustis MARCH

Fruitland Park Day March 2021 The city celebrates with a morning parade complete with local entertainment and marching bands. Downtown Fruitland Park Pig on the Pond March 5-7, 2021 This event, which returns in 2021 with live entertainment, carnival rides and fireworks, is a fundraiser for the Project Scholars nonprofit organization. Waterfront Park, 100 3rd St., Clermont

Mount Dora Scottish Highland Festival

Nov. 7-8, Mount Dora The festival celebrates Scottish culture with Highland athletics, pipe and drum music, dancing, clan tents and vendors. Donnelly Park, 530 N. Donnelly St.

Eustis Busker Festival March 27, 2021 The annual street show features a unique variety of performers including jugglers, mimes, living statues, acrobats, musicians, dancers, comedians and more. Downtown Eustis APRIL

Lake County Fair April 2021 The annual fair includes a carnival, midway rides, vendor booths, livestock shows and more. Lake County Fairgrounds, 2101 CR 452, Eustis

with dozens of artisans and food options. 12835 County Landfill Rd., Tavares

Mount Dora Plant & Garden Fair Nov. 14-15, 2020 Florida’s top growers bring more than 13,000 plants to the 26th annual event. Donnelly Park, 530 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora FOOD EXPOS AND COMPETITIONS APRIL

OCTOBER

Florida Black Bear & Wildlife Conservation Festival Oct. 10, 2020 This annual festival is a fun and educational event that increases awareness and promotes safe coexistence of humans and wildlife. Cadwell Park, 1 Cassady St., Umatilla NOVEMBER

Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire Nov. 6-8, 14-15, 2020 Step back in time and join the revelry of renaissance characters, medieval attractions and unique entertainment, along

Mount Dora Blueberry Festival April 24-25, 2021 Get ’em at the peak of blueberry season from local farms. Enjoy crafters, live music, a pancake breakfast and a blueberry pie-eating contest. Donnelly Park, 530 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora JUNE

Clermont Caribbean Jerk Festival June 13, 2020 This event, sponsored by the Caribbean American Association of Lake County, features great cultural food and entertainment. Waterfront Park, 100 3rd St., Clermont


SEPTEMBER

Clermont Sips & Salsa Festival Sept. 19, 2020 Enjoy cultural cuisine, live salsa music and dancing, family activities, chihuahua races, a domino tournament, a kids’ zone and more. Downtown Clermont Mount Dora Seafood Festival Sept. 26-27, 2020 Enjoy entertainment, fresh seafood vendors, more than 100 exhibitors and the Olde Port of Mount Dora Pirate Village. Elizabeth Evans Park, 100 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora NOVEMBER

Leesburg Craft Beer, Wine & Food Festival Nov. 20, 2020 This popular event allows attendees to travel booth-tobooth sampling more than 25 craft beers, wines and signature fare. The Lakefront, Dixie Ave.

Leesburg Bikefest April 23-25, 2021, Downtown Leesburg Feel the rumble of motorcycles and more than 200,000 visitors arriving downtown to enjoy live entertainment, demonstrations, shows and contests at multiple venues.

THE ARTS FEBRUARY

Mount Dora Arts Festival Feb. 6-7, 2021 This juried fine arts festival attracts 250,000 visitors annually and is consistently ranked as one of the top arts festivals in the country. Downtown Mount Dora

OCTOBER

Mount Dora Craft Fair Oct. 24-25, 2020 (rescheduled) The 36th 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. Downtown Mount Dora NOVEMBER

MARCH

Leesburg Art Fest March 13-14, 2021 This fine art and crafts show organized by Leesburg Center for the Arts has exhibitors, vendors, live music, cars, a kids’ area and a student art exhibit. Downtown Leesburg Mount Dora Spring Festival March 19-20, 2021 More than 200 vendors display treasures of all kinds throughout the streets of Mount Dora. Downtown Mount Dora

Art of the Deal Nov. 7, 2020 Celebrate the arts, enjoy catered cuisine, an open bar with wine and top-shelf liquor, dancing, and live and silent auctions. Donnelly Building at 5th and Donnelly, Mount Dora

Lake Minneola Half Marathon & 5K March/April 2021 Competitive and casual runs presented by Sommer Sports at Victory Pointe downtown. Races of three distances start in the morning. Downtown Clermont Sail Boat Regatta March 27-28, 2021 Celebrating 68 years in 2021, the Sail Boat Regatta is the oldest in the state and provides a full day of family fun. Mount Dora Yacht Club, 351 W. 4th Ave., Mount Dora OCTOBER

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

Leesburg BBQ & Blues March 20, 2021 Organized by the Downtown Leesburg Business Association, this festival offers all-you-caneat barbecue from the area’s best backyard competitors and electrifying blues music. Downtown Leesburg OCTOBER

Lake County Folk Festival Oct. 3, 2020 A time to relish America’s great music, including folk, Americana, blues and Celtic. Lots of great food, crafters, artists and more than 150 musicians are expected at this 23rd annual event. Downtown Tavares SPORTING EVENTS MARCH

Spring Thunder Regatta March 2021 The past comes alive as vintage and classic race boats of bygone eras return to Lake Dora, presented by the Florida Vintage Race Boat Club. Wooton Park, 100 E. Ruby St., Tavares

Mount Dora Bicycle Festival & Gran Fondo Oct. 8-11, 2020 Florida’s oldest and largest bicycling event celebrates its 46th year with rides of varying lengths and skill levels for cyclists of all ages. Downtown Mount Dora Great Floridian Triathlon Oct. 24, 2020 A scenic and challenging course awaits competitors who will swim, bike and run. Waterfront Park, 100 3rd St., Clermont DECEMBER

Mount Dora Half Marathon Dec. 19-20, 2020 The event offers two walk/run distances, a single-loop halfmarathon and a 5K walk/run. The half-marathon is on a USATFcertified course. Donnelly Park, 530 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora H O L I D AY E V E N T S APRIL

Earth Day Mount Dora April 2021 Celebrate Earth Day with free music, exhibits, a raffle and more. Donnelly Park, 530 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora

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C ALENDAR

Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival March 2021, Tavares

This event on beautiful Lake Dora will celebrate its 40th year in 2021, offering visitors an opportunity to view great classic boat restorations. Wooton Park, 100 E. Ruby St., Tavares

Clermont Earth Day & Lake Clean Up April 2021 Enjoy environmental education, Earth Kids Zone, DJ music, nonprofit food vendors, giveaways and more. Waterfront Park, 100 3rd St., Clermont

Red, White and Boom July 4, 2020 Traditional Americana-style activities for all ages with the evening ending in fireworks above Lake Minneola. Waterfront Park, 100 3rd St., Clermont DECEMBER

J U LY

Freedom on the Waterfront July 3, 2020 Festivities for all ages with fireworks at dusk. Elizabeth Evans Park, 100 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora

Light Up Mount Dora Nov. 28, 2020 Join the celebration with close to 2 million sparkling lights and a visit from Santa. Donnelly Park, 530 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora

Independence Day Parade July 4, 2020 Begins at Donnelly and Seventh and goes through Charles Avenue. Downtown Mount Dora

Mount Dora Christmas Walk Dec. 4, 2020 Enjoy free admission, live music, dancing and shopping at the 28th annual event. Downtown Mount Dora

Leesburg’s Fourth of July Celebration July 4, 2020 This celebration is a fun-filled evening with live entertainment, traditional summertime food, kids’ games, baseball and spectacular choreographed fireworks over Lake Harris. The Lakefront, Dixie Ave.

Mount Dora Christmas Parade Dec. 5, 2020 The 60th annual parade takes over the streets of downtown. Downtown Mount Dora

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Lighted Boat Parade Dec. 5, 2020 The boat parade on Lake Dora begins at the signature lighthouse. Local boat owners compete

for best in light show display and originality. Grantham Point 311 S. Tremain St., Mount Dora

and crafts vendors, food, children’s activities and more. Cadwell Park, 1 Cassady St., Umatilla

Children’s Christmas in the Park with Snow Dec. 12, 2020 Go snow sledding during this special night. It’s a free event for families. 530 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora

New Year’s Eve in Mount Dora Dec. 31, 2020 Ring in the new year with an evening of food and drink, live entertainment and fireworks at midnight. Downtown Mount Dora

Light Up Clermont Dec. 4-5, 2020 A live Christmas tree at City Hall Park will be the focus of the lighting ceremony, and the event also includes live carolers and food trucks. Waterfront Park, 100 3rd St., Clermont

RECURRING AND M O N T H LY E V E N T S

Main Street Christmas Parade Dec. 1, 2020 Enjoy an evening of holiday entertainment and fun for the whole family with performances by local groups, dazzling Christmas light displays, festive food, plus carnival rides and games for kids. Downtown Leesburg Light Up Lady Lake December 2020 Sponsored by the Lady Lake Chamber of Commerce, this celebration features more than 2.2 million lights decorating the chamber’s Log Cabin and Veterans Park. 106 US 27/441, Lady Lake Howey Christmas Festival December 2020 The annual festival is held downtown and features food vendors, a car show and a parade. Log Cabin, Downtown Howey-in-the-Hills Cracker Christmas Parade & Festival December 2020 This hometown celebration includes a Dog Jog, a parade and a festival featuring live entertainment, arts

Renninger’s Antiques Extravaganza Nov. 20-22 Renninger’s plays host to nearly 800 dealers from across the United States offering highquality antiques, collectibles, clothing and oddities. Renninger’s Antique Center, 20651 US 441, Mount Dora 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. leesburgpartnership.com/ foodtrucknflick/. Downtown Leesburg Music on Montrose Every first Friday gather to enjoy the free music series on Montrose Street, downtown Clermont. Features food trucks and local talent. clermontdowntownpartnership.com. Downtown Clermont Eustis 1st Friday Every first Friday from 6-10pm, downtown hosts family-friendly events featuring vendors and two stages with live entertainment. Downtown Eustis


YOU THER E SE

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April 2021

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Presenting Sponsor:

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DID YOU MOVE? Don't forget to update your voter registration record!

To learn more about all our voting services and options, please visit us at lakevotes.com 352.343.9734


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

Finding every corner of the county The cities and towns of Lake County warmly welcome visitors. Whether you’re looking for fun on the water, a nature trip or shopping in great boutiques, you can find what you’re looking for in Mount Dora, Leesburg, Eustis, Clermont, Lady Lake and elsewhere across the county. The possibilities are endless. LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK TO L AKE COUNT Y •

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561

TU

TU

RN

RN PI KE

PI KE

LAKE MINNEHAHA

LAKE MINNEOLA

1 C R 56

455

455

MINNEOLA MONTVERDE

27

27

FOUR CORNERS

FOUR CORNERS

LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

LAKE LAKE LOUISA LOUISA STATE PARK

LAKE LOUISA

S R 50

US

CR 47 4

CR 47 4

LAKE MINNEHAHA

LAKE APOPKA

LAKE APOPKA

MONTVERDE

CR

CLERMONT C R 561 US

561

S

S

1 C R 56

A’

A’

LAKE MINNEOLA

ID

ID

CR

27

CR

OR

OR

LAKE APOPKA NORTH SHORE

C L E R M OM NITN N E OS RL50A

South Lake

SR 50

SR 50

FL

FL

HOWEYIN-THE-HILLS

Y A LHAO HW A EYIN-THE-HILLS ASTATULA

YALAHA

LAKE HARRIS

US

27

GREEN SWAMP WILDERNESS PRESERVE

US 2 7 27

US

GREEN SWAMP WILDERNESS PRESERVE

U S 27 US

SR 50

U S 27

SR 1 9 27

MASCOTTE GROVELAND

48

48

SR 1 9

US

MASCOTTE

CR

CR

LAKE HARRIS

LAKE DORA

TAVARES

1

MOUNT DORA 46

TO LAKE COU NTY

SR 46

0

1

2

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

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.

SR CR 437

SR 50

K

48

’S

PI

CR

A

N

48

19 SR

ID 19

R

R SR

F

LO

TU 561 CR

CR

561 CR

CR 5 61

44

CR 5 61

7

C R 561

33

19


EXPLORE

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

LADY LAKE

CR 4 66

LAKE

FRUITLAND PARK CR

44

CR 4 66A

US

LAKE GRIFFIN

L

27 /4 41

SR

US

LEESBURG

441

44

US 27 LAKE HARRIS

FL O R 19

ID ’S

SR

A TU R

CR

N PI

48

K E

YALAHA CR

48

AS US 27

HOWEYIN-THE-HILLS SR 19

OR

ID

CR 5 61

SR 33

FL

A’

S

TU

RN

PI

KE

US 27

20 •

TO L AKE COUNT Y

SR 50

1 CR 56

MASCOTTE

LAKE MINNEOLA

MIN

SR 50

GROVELAND

CLERMONT LAKE MINNEHAHA

CR


LAKE GEORGE

F O R E S T G AT E WAY

S R 40

ASTOR

SR

19

CR

44

5A

Small, rustic towns that allow you to escape the hustle and bustle of metropolitan areas are a big part of Lake County’s charm. Few towns epitomize that more than the ones surrounding the Ocala National Forest. A visit to Umatilla, Altoona 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

ALEXANDER SPRINGS RECREATION AREA CR 44 LOWER WEKIVA RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK

S R 44

EUSTIS

LAKE EUSTIS

CR 4 37

SR 19

US

441

U

US 441

S 44

19 SR

CR

44

CR

8

561

HA ASTATULA

OWEYHE-HILLS

FL

OR

ID

CR 5 61

SR 19

LAKE APOPKA NORTH SHORE

A’

S

TU

RN

PI

CR

455 LAKE APOPKA

KE

MOUNT DORA

SR

46

CR 43 7

LAKE DORA

1

TAVARES

A LT O O N A Population: 123 Size: .5 square miles

CR 4 6A

Thanks to Altoona, tourists can SR 4 6 explore a phenomenal underwater world. Nearby Alexander Springs Recreation Area attracts divers from as far away as Germany and the Netherlands. “The water is crystal clear, so visibility is unlimited,” says Judy Holdrem, who serves as the state park’s area manager. “People who dive first thing in the morning say it’s one of the most peaceful feelings they’ve ever experienced.” 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. This museum gives visitors a glimpse of the life of a Florida Cracker family from the early 19th century. These cowboys also were called cow hunters because the cattle roamed free until it was time for branding or driving to the market. The homes were distinguished by their wood frames, metal roofs and straight hallways that went from the front to the back of the house, leading to their nickname of “shotgun houses” because a gunshot could go straight through the interior of the house.

US 27 1 CR 56 LAKE MINNEOLA

MINNEOLA

CLERMONT LAKE MINNEHAHA

MONTVERDE

SR 50

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

21

CR


EXPLORE

U M AT I L L A Population: 4,021 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. 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 is on the edge of an exciting and adventurous place: Ocala National Forest. At 40929 State Road 19, you’ll find great places to see coastal lowlands, swamps, lakes and ponds. There’s plenty of wildlife, so beware. But if you venture in, you’ll explore what Florida was like centuries ago. Another “sweet” place to visit is Sunsational Citrus, which will take visitors to a place in time when citrus production drove Lake County’s economic engine. The company, which is one of the few citrus packing houses remaining in the county, sells fresh-squeezed orange juice, local honey, jelly and candy. The retail store at Sunsational Citrus sells honey, jelly, chocolate treats, Florida wines and candles. Tourists to Umatilla also should visit North Lake Community Park, which features a 1.4mile loop trail and .75-mile nature trail.

22 •

TO L AKE COUNT Y

OCALA NATIONAL FOREST


F O R E S T G AT E WAY

BLACKWATER INN

CASTAWAYS RESTAURANT

ASTOR Population: 1,560 Size: 2.34 square miles

BLUFFTON RECREATIONAL AREA

From big bass tournaments to leisurely, narrated boat cruises, Astor’s location on the St. Johns River allows visitors to get close to nature. Step aboard a covered pontoon boat at Captain Ernie’s St. Johns River Tours and learn all about the local plant life and wildlife. Or paddle Blue Creek Run, a four-mile scenic trip that leads paddlers from Astor to the St. Johns River. You’ll likely see Florida’s most popular reptile, the alligator, along creek beds. Enjoy a memorable hiking and birdwatching experience at Bluffton Recreation Area, which offers a .75-mile nature

trail. Or, you can enjoy a multiday experience in Astor thanks to 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.

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

23


EXPLORE

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

24 •

TO L AKE COUNT Y


FOREST

CR 42

LAKE DORR

ALTOONA

NORTHWEST L AKE

SR

19

CR 42

UMATILLA

LAKE NORRIS

CR 450

LADY LAKE

CR 4 6 6

The communities in Northwest Lake feature appealing small-town charm. Boating, golf, art festivals, parades, 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

1

SR

SR 44

EUSTIS

LAKE EUSTIS

US 27 LAKE DORA

SR

SR

46

CR 437

MOUNT DORA

TAVARES

LAKE HARRIS

FL O R 19

ID

CR

’S

SR

A R N

GARDENS

44

8

K

561

PI

48 VENETIAN

CR

TU

CR

E

YALAHA 48

ASTATULA

Population: 23,163 Size: 42 square miles

CR

H O W E YLeesburg offers a relaxed, hometown I N - T H E - H Iatmosphere LLS and sense of community

U S 27

LAKE that make visitors feel welcome APOPKA NORTH H O City RE and at home, accordingSto Manager Al Minner. “What is best about Leesburg are our residents,” he says. “They have CR 455 such pride in our community and are FL OR actively working to make Leesburg ID LAKE A’ APOPKA S TU R N best place in Florida to live, the PI K workE and play.” Billed as the “Lakefront City,” Leesburg’s historic character, natural beauty, modern M Oelements, N T V Eyear-round RDE 56 1 and economic development C R events L Amake KE the city a great place to visit and MINNEOLA MINNEOLA reside, Al says. The city’s Venetian Gardens Master Plan involved construction of the C L E RVenetian M O N Center, T a new S R 5multicultural 0 community center, along with LAKE improvements to Rogers Park and Ski MINN EHAHA

SR 19

CR 5 61

S R 33

US

27

SR 50

LEESBURG

MASCOTTE SR 50

GROVELAND

Beach. As a picturesque 64-acre park on the west shore of Lake Harris, Venetian Gardens is the jewel of Leesburg. The park has several landscaped islands separated by serene, meandering canals, along with a pavilion, benches and wooden bridges that are popular with runners, cyclists and nature lovers. A boat launch at Venetian Gardens is one of Leesburg’s three boating and recreation access points to the Harris Chain of Lakes, and the nearby Kids Korner playground and splash pad are a big hit with children and families. The chain of lakes also attracts nationally known professional fishing tournaments and is also great for yearround fishing and water sports. Historic downtown Leesburg has an array of shops and restaurants and is home to Beacon College, an expanding, private, nonprofit college

US

CR 561

SR

27

33 LAKE LOUISA

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

25


EXPLORE

F R U I T L A N D PA R K Population: 10,122 Size: 6.8 square miles

LEESBURG TOWNE SQUARE

that is the first accredited institution of higher learning to award bachelor’s degrees exclusively to students with dyslexia, ADHD and other learning disabilities. The Leesburg Partnership sponsors a Food Truck-nFlick Night every month on the second Saturday. With a plethora of food offerings, families can enjoy a great movie at dusk sitting on blankets or chairs in Leesburg’s beautiful Towne Square. Lake Square Mall offers shopping, dining, movies and entertainment. Leesburg is perhaps best known for its three-day Bikefest, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the country. The 24th edition of the festival, slated for April 23-25, 2021, will be spread across 30 blocks downtown. The city’s annual

26 •

Fourth of July fireworks show on Lake Harris is also spectacular. Other popular events include many activities at Christmas, the Leesburg Black Heritage Festival and Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, Leesburg Art Fest, a festive Mardi Gras and the Juneteenth Celebration. Every year, the city also hosts a series of collegiate fast-pitch softball tournaments and youth baseball tourneys, as well as in-door kart racing, carnivals, car shows and other special events. The Leesburg Lightning collegiate summer league baseball team plays in historic Pat Thomas Stadium. Built in 1937, the stadium originally was the spring training home to a Philadelphia Phillies minor-league team.

TO L AKE COUNT Y

Movies on the lawn, family fun runs, Fruitland Park Day and Light Up Fruitland Park, a holiday lighting contest, are among the city’s most popular attractions. “We encourage people to come out and participate,” City Manager Gary La Venia says. “Fruitland Park offers residents and visitors an enjoyable small-hometown feel with friendly people.” Gary and residents always look forward to the city’s biggest annual event, Fruitland Park Day, which is typically staged in March. The day includes a parade, entertainment, marching bands, kids activities LAKE GRIFFIN STATE PARK

and a mouthwatering barbecue cook-off. “The event gets bigger and better than ever, and it’s exciting that it’s growing,” Gary says. 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


NORTHWEST L AKE

it may have been a landmark for Timucua American Indians, who frequented the area before settlement, and later the Seminole American 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, which has a full-facility campground, boat ramp and nature trails. Anglers and birders can rent a canoe or a kayak to explore Lake Griffin’s marshes. Among the wildlife and animals that visitors often see are osprey, bald eagle, blue heron, anhinga, alligator, raccoon, bobcat, coyote and even bear. A trip to Lake Griffin State Park is an opportunity to see Real Florida. Real Close.

HERITAGE PARK

UNCLE DONALD'S FARM

L A DY L A K E Population: 15,622 Size: 8.5 square miles

Lady Lake’s picturesque streets are lined with moss-draped oak trees that were planted in 1886-87, and the cathedral arch formed by the massive oaks on Lady Lake Boulevard remains a beautiful sight today, just as when it was pictured in the Saturday Evening Post in 1929. Lady Lake Town Manager Kristen Kollgaard cherishes all that her town offers residents and visitors. “Lady Lake has a friendly, hometown atmosphere where we have something for everyone, from shopping to recreational activities for the whole family,” Kristen says.

“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.” 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, the old Train Depot houses the Lady Lake Historical Society Museum, 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. Uncle Donald’s Farm is a large farm tucked away off Griffin Avenue. A guard goose lets the owners know when guests arrive. Visitors can see animals there that they don’t see every day: a red-tailed hawk, silkie chickens, a panther and even a baby alligator. Enjoy a hayride to see everything the farm has to offer. Dress the kids in their country finery and enjoy a day of farm life. Visitors can buy feed for many of the animals, though a sign reads, “Don’t feed animals fingers.”

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

27


LADY LAKE

CR 466

EXPLORE

FRUITLAND PARK CR 466A US

LAKE GRIF

27 /4 41

Golden Triangle

SR

LEESBURG 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

CR

N PI K CR

48

E U S 27

S R 33

SR 50

MASCOTTE

GROVEL

SR

28 •

TO L AKE COUNT Y

GREEN SWAMP WILDERNESS PRESERVE


UMATILLA

LAKE NORRIS

SR

44

CR 450

LAKE NORRIS CONSERVATION AREA

LAKE YALE

S R 19

GOLDEN TRIANGLE

AND K

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

ESBURG

19

LAKE HARRIS

SR

CR CR

CR

44

8

SR 46

46 SR

561

48

MOUNT DORA

CR 4 6A

CR 437

LAKE DORA

1

TAVARES

The Golden Triangle in Lake County offers outdoor activities from fishing to boating to flying, and celebrations of holidays and special events at the annual festivals staged throughout the area. The cities of Eustis, Mount Dora and Tavares make up the Golden Triangle, and a smaller triangle to the south includes the towns of Astatula, Howey-in-the-Hills and Yalaha.

YALAHA ASTATULA U S 27

HOWEYIN-THE-HILLS

FL

OR

ID

CR 5 61

SR 19

LAKE APOPKA NORTH SHORE

A’

S

TU

RN

PI

CR

EUSTIS

455 LAKE APOPKA

KE

Eustis may be best known for celebrating with Georgefest, honoring M O N TAmerican V E R Dhistory E 1 C R 56 President George Washington, but local history LAKE MINNEOLA M I N N E O Lalso A has a prominent place in the city. 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 CLERMONT Bandshell host the city’s big events S RMcClelland 50 and holiday celebrations along Lake Eustis. The LAKE MINNEHAHA 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. Georgefest is a time-honored tradition attracting about 30,000 visitors over three days LAKE each February. Started in 1902, it’s the oldest LOUISA Georgefest in Florida and the second-longestrunning festival of its kind in the country. The African American Heritage Festival and parade LAKE LOUISA also have been staged annually in February for STATE PARK more than 25 years. US

27

ASCOTTE S R 50

GROVELAND

US

C R 56 1

SR

27

33 CR

Population: 21,083 Size: 12.4 square miles

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. Music festivals and fairs—such as the Busker Festival, which features street performers each spring—also are popular attractions. The historic downtown area is home to the Bay Street Players Theater, unique shops and restaurants. Works of art are sprinkled throughout downtown, and the Lake Eustis Museum of Art offers fine art exhibitions and art classes. “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.”

561

FERRAN PARK TO L AKE COUNT Y • US 27

C R 47 4

29


EXPLORE

STANLEY POND ADVENTURE FARM

A S TAT U L A Population: 2,059 Size: 3.2 square miles

PALM ISLAND PARK

MOUNT DORA Population: 14,216 Size: 9.3 square miles

district in a historic Mount Dora offers a unique downtown area. Unique experience for visitors with shops and boutiques its New England architecture, specialize in handcrafted scenic views of Lake Dora and gifts, arts and crafts, spices, artsy downtown businesses. wines, sculptures, bath and Some of the best attractions body, flags, clothing, pets for visitors are the city’s and more. Shoppers who 30-plus festivals throughout love art can find the Mount the year, City Manager Dora Center for the Arts and Robin Hayes says. several art galleries on the The large events, such as the downtown streets. Mount Dora Arts Festival in “Visitors come to Mount February and the Mount Dora Dora to see the charm of Craft Fair in October, bring yesteryear in our city,” Robin upward of 250,000 people into says. “We have specialty the city, and smaller events boutiques, unique restaurants bring tens of thousands. with a range of flavors from Among the other crowdaround the world, and sights, pleasers hosted by “Festival which make us an excellent City” are the Bicycle Festival in October, the Scottish Highland walking city.” Mount Dora Plaza Live is Festival in November, the a new venue opened in 2019 Seafood Festival in September, that hosts touring singers Light Up Mount Dora and musicians, dueling during the Christmas pianos, Broadway and holidays, the drag shows, murder African-American mystery dinners and History Festival more. The Mount in February and Dora Community Independence Building Theatre has Day festivities that been renovated with a include fireworks state-of-the-art sound over the lake. system and books Mount Dora MOUNT DORA LIGHTHOUSE national musical acts also brands itself and tribute bands. as a great arts and shopping

30 •

TO L AKE COUNT Y

Astatula, considered the center point of Central Florida, is on the eastern shore of Little Lake Harris, one of Lake County’s finest areas for fishing and boating. The outdoors is the focus of many of the town’s attractions. The Clay Island area has six miles of multi-use trails and plenty of wildlife and birds to see from the trails or the

three observation towers. For off-road enthusiasts, the Central Florida Motorsports Park has motocross tracks, ATV trails and a mud pit. Stanley Pond Adventure Farm offers a variety of familyfriendly activities, including airboat rides, horse rides, a jumping pillow, slides, Halloween and Christmas celebrations, and more.

H O W E Y- I N -T H E - H I L L S Population: 1,175 Size: 3.7 square miles

When anyone thinks of Howey-in-the-Hills, iconic landmarks such as The Howey Mansion and the Mission Inn Resort and Club immediately spring to mind. The mansion has been 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. Mission Inn Resort continually receives high marks from travelers and locals for its procaliber golf courses, fine dining and spa. This rural village is also surrounded by lakes, rolling hills and the natural beauty of Griffin Waterfront Park and the Sara Maude Mason Nature Preserve. A newer site, Blevins Patriot Park, is a small but idyllic garden spot dedicated in 2017. THE HOWEY MANSION


GOLDEN TRIANGLE

YA L A H A

TAVA R E S

Population: 1,364 Size: 14.5 square miles

Population: 17,777 Size: 13.7 square miles

Two namesake businesses are not only synonymous with Yalaha, they are known throughout Lake County: Yalaha Bakery and Yalaha Bootlegging Co., next door to each other on County Road 48. 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 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 that sells homemade fruit pies, meat pies, produce and cheese. The owners also offer tours, u-pick blueberries and tastings of moonshine, brandy and other drinks. The town is known for other farms as well, such as Green Acres Fernery and Citrus on High Street, which offers u-pick blueberries each March and blackberries and peaches in April.

This city on the shores of Lake Dora is enjoying a major revitalization of its downtown area. The Ruby Street Stormwater and Beautification Project is boosting downtown’s retail and entertainment businesses, as several new restaurants and shops have opened. In addition to receiving new stormwater pipes, Ruby Street also has been repaved with handlaid ruby-red bricks. Tavares Ecological Park, part of the beautification project, opened in 2019. The scenic eight-acre walkable park has five small retention ponds that filter out stormwater pollutants before water is discharged into Lake Dora. Paved trails and wooden bridges that

lead around and over the retention ponds are designed to attract visitors to the park, the first of its kind in Florida. Tavares also continues to capitalize on its branding as “America’s Seaplane City.” On any given day, visitors to Lake Dora can look skyward and see seaplanes taking off or splashing down upon arrival. Seaplane-aPalooza is a fly-in event hosted each spring, and the annual Planes, Trains & BBQ festival typically is held in February or March. Wooton Park and Pavilion on the Lake host dozens of events and special occasions, including weddings, barbecues, dragon boat races and professional personal watercraft competitions.

YALAHA BOOTLEGGING CO.

TAVARES ECOLOGICAL PARK

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

31


EXPLORE

South Lake

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

32 •

TO L AKE COUNT Y


C

HOWEYIN-THE-HILLS

US 27

S R 19

LAKE APOPKA 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

South Lake County features lush rolling hills, a rare sight in Florida, and that gives the area its matchless beauty and outstanding topography. Add to that the city of Clermont, the “Choice of Champions,” plus pristine lakes and inviting small towns—Groveland, Mascotte, Minneola, Montverde and Four Corners—and you have an ideal destination for great fun.

LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

CR

561

US 27

GREEN SWAMP WILDERNESS PRESERVE

CR 4 74

FOUR CORNERS

CHAMPIONS SPLASH PARK

CLERMONT Population: 36,693 Size: 16.82 square miles

LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

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 makes it a perfect place to train and compete. Home to the National Training Center, a 37,000-square-foot fitness facility with a track-and-field complex that includes a 400-meter outdoor track, Clermont has athletes coming from around the world. Many Olympic hopefuls train at the NTC. An ongoing 243-acre development called Olympus will add multisport competition and training venues; leading-edge wellness, fitness and sports medicine facilities; and a lakeside town center with restaurants,

shops, hotels and cultural and community events. Clermont also offers a beautiful 10mile clay loop that has become a mecca for runners, bicyclists and those who love nature. Get away from the noise and traffic and run wild. The Champions Pointe Disc Golf Course in Lake Hiawatha Preserve is among the sites for the 2020 Amateur Disc Golf World Championships. Organizers of the event say the course has been a huge success for the city. Located at 450 N. Lake Minneola Shores, the 18-hole course is the longest in Florida at about 9,100 feet. Clermont is located at the center point of the state’s under-construction Coast-to-Coast Trail, 101 miles to the Gulf of Mexico and equal distance

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

33


EXPLORE

to the Atlantic Ocean, inviting ecotourists 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 u-pick blueberry farm, is a favorite among locals. Blueberry picking is conducted in April and May at 16651 Schofield Road. Clermont is a hotbed for investment opportunities, thanks to the implementation of the city’s award-winning master plan. A record 176 businesses, including 21 downtown, opened in Clermont in 2019. “The city of Clermont made strides like never before on the business front,” City Manager Darren Gray says. “That means more local jobs to fuel our economy.”

MONTVERDE Population: 1,675 Size: 1.8 square miles

On the west shore of Lake Apopka, Montverde is 17 miles south of Tavares and 30 miles from Leesburg. The town takes pride in its rural character and easy-going lifestyle. There’s no shortage of celebrated athletes in South Lake County, and Montverde Academy, a private college prep school, is home to its share. The girls varsity soccer team won the 2019 state championship, and the boys basketball program has won several national championships. The school, which celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2012, also is home to the Soccer Institute of Montverde Academy. Also nestled on the shores of Lake Apopka is Bella Collina, a golf club

RAINBOW FAMILY RESTAURANT

community situated among the rolling hills and best known for its luxurious, award-winning lakefront homes. It offers peaceful living just 30 minutes from Walt Disney World. Popular sites to see include Harper House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Truskett Park is an excellent venue for enjoying a family picnic and stunning views of Lake Apopka.

BELLA COLLINA GOLF CLUB

MASCOTTE Population: 5,873 Size: 11.38 square miles

Celebrating culture and community, Mascotte is located west of Groveland on State Road 50 and offers plenty to do and see. For recreation, the Park Road Complex has four lighted softball fields, a basketball court, soccer field and playground equipment. The Tedder/Thomas Civic Center playground and the Palmetto Drive Park also offer outdoor activities. Light Up Mascotte is an annual Christmas holiday event that features Santa Claus and free hot chocolate, popcorn and candy. One of the town’s most popular mainstays is the Rainbow Family Restaurant. Opened in 1964, the restaurant provides diners with a home-style buffet that includes fried chicken, vegetables and mashed potatoes and gravy. 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.

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TO L AKE COUNT Y


SOUTH L AKE

FOUR CORNERS Population: 26,116 Size: 50.1 square miles

LAKE MINNEOLA

MINNEOLA Population: 12,124 Size: 10.34 square miles

Minneola proudly uses the Native American interpretation of the area, as the town’s name means “much water.” U.S. Highway 27 intersects the city, providing a major corridor for convenient access to area attractions. The town has received several accolades in recent years: the most livable community in Lake and Sumter counties by the AreaVibes website; the best city in Lake County for millennials to live by niche.com; and the safest city in Lake County by alarms.org. The 17-acre Minneola Trailhead Park is paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with a playground, basketball court, ball field, 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.

SHOWCASE OF CITRUS

Four Corners was so named because it is the only community in Florida located in four counties—right at the quadripoint of Lake, Orange, Osceola and Polk counties. It’s certainly a unique place to visit. Also known as Citrus Ridge, the area’s boundaries are north along U.S. Highway 27 to Lake Louisa State Park, south along the same highway to Heart of Florida Hospital, west to State Road 33 and east to Walt Disney World. It’s home to Showcase of Citrus, where you can tour a

2,500-acre working citrus and cattle ranch on a monster truck in the "world's largest 4x4 outdoor adventure." Showcase of Citrus is open from 8a.m.-7p.m. every day of the year. There’s also a gem mine and a chance to pick Florida citrus in season. The nearby Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve is a place where visitors can enjoy natural Florida. It’s a favorite of master birders and those who enjoy exploring the rich plants and trees native to Florida.

GROVELAND Population: 14,677 Size: 14.98 square miles

Groveland, the “City with Natural Charm” is also one of the fastest-growing cities in Florida. In 2019, Kroger Co. broke ground on a $55 million, 375,000-square-foot high-tech customer fulfillment center, which is slated to open in 2021. The project is creating 300-400 local jobs and boosting the local economy. “We see it as another component to our overall

community development and it demonstrates the city’s commitment to foster quality jobs and provide exceptional livability,” Groveland Mayor Evelyn Wilson says. Dining establishments include Red Wing Restaurant, Ikaho Sushi Japanese Restaurant and Coyote Rojo 2. Lake Catherine Blueberries, off State Road 19, hosts Groveland’s popular Fourth of July celebration, one of the RED WING RESTAURANT

biggest events of the year. The city also hosts events such as a Christmas parade and movie nights with food trucks. The Groveland Historical Museum is a wonderful way to learn of the city’s rich and colorful past. Veterans Park, used by Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 188, features a monument to Korean War veterans. Groveland is located in the southwestern corner of Lake County. This town is very scenic and home to Lake David Park, a wonderful venue for birdwatching and fishing.

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LEESBURG 2020 VISITORS GUIDE

FLORIDA | THE LAKEFRONT CITY

In The Center of It All


welcome to the

Lakefront City!

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eesburg is in the heart of Lake County and a prime location for enjoying life in Florida. Less than an hour from famous amusement parks and within easy driving distance of the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, it’s the ideal spot to stay and enjoy the best of Central Florida. Perhaps the best description of this city comes from its motto: “A diverse community energetically working in collaboration to ensure that the city of Leesburg upholds its history, ambience and natural resources to become and stay a vibrant community.” Founded in 1857 by Evander Lee and his brothers, Leesburg was a hub of business. The city’s proximity to Florida’s fresh waterways made it an ideal location to get supplies from the North for the store built by the Lee brothers. Leesburg was a frequent stop for people who enjoyed fishing and hunting. In fact, famous sharpshooter

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Annie Oakley often came to hunt and is honored with a statue behind the Leesburg Public Library. The first city hall was built in 1926. From 1930 until 1957, Leesburg was known for its popular Watermelon Festival. The Leesburg Historical Museum, on Sixth Street in the historic Woman’s Club Building, houses more information about Leesburg and its contributions to industry and agriculture. Leesburg is an inviting city with much to offer visitors and residents. Nestled between Lake Griffin and Lake Harris, the city, though modern, holds on to its small-town values and sense of community. “We are proud of what we’ve accomplished through the years in Leesburg,” City Manager Al Minner says. “Part of our mission with what we’ve done is to keep Leesburg constantly moving forward.” Leesburg is home to a number of manufacturing businesses. As a result, the population swells to more than 50,000 during the work week,

according to the city’s website. It’s interesting to note that the number of area automobile sales reaches higher than the number of residents. Sales from the area’s award-winning furniture stores also contribute significantly to the city’s economy. Mayor Elise Dennison moved to Leesburg 12 years ago and has watched with pride as the city streets, buildings and institutions have been updated and modernized. “That has really helped a lot in bringing it to the attention of a lot of people in the entire state of Florida,” Elise says. “I really hope Leesburg continues to grow the way we have planned, to make it a better place to live and to have a population that is happy being here.” As a member of the board of directors for the Florida League of Cities, she frequently meets with officials from across the state. “I have to tell you, the mayors and commissioners are really sitting up and taking notice of what’s happening in our city,” Elise says. “We’re becoming a template for a lot of what they are starting to do. I’m pretty proud of our city. I hope this continues and keeps improving.”

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FOUNTAIN LAKE

Gateway to growth

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POPULATION (2017):

by

the

AVERAGE AGE:

21,570 42.7

numbers MUNICIPAL AREA:

WATER AREA:

37

10.08

(SQUARE MILES)

(SQUARE MILES)

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Leesburg

NATURE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY Among the trails you’ll find supported by the city of Leesburg are Magnolia Trail and Fountain Lake Trail. These are set for gateways and land improvements in the master plan. It is suggested that Magnolia Trail will be extended to Main Street along the former rail until the trailhead is at the new city pool location on Pine Street. A recommendation has been made for an on-street cycle track from Magnolia to Dixie Avenue/State Road 44. Plans are in place to expand Fountain Lake Park north and west so the Fountain Lake Trail can be incorporated into the space. With the trail extensions, the planned streetscapes at 2nd and 4th Streets and landscape improvements, the city will be more accessible to walkers and bikers. These areas will provide shade and amenities to encourage residents and visitors to explore Main Street and downtown.

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DOWNTOWN LEESBURG

Florida Department of Transportation. The Complete Streets concept is vital to improving roadway access. On Dixie Avenue/State Road 44, the improvements ran from U.S. Highway 27 to Main Street. This included resurfacing, sidewalk improvements and a beautifully landscaped median to separate opposing lanes of traffic. It also aided in refining access to the roadways leading to downtown. “We know people have access to everything they need at their fingertips,” says Joe Shipes, CEO of the Leesburg Partnership. “Our goal from the beginning was to return the focus to downtown—to the shops, businesses and cultural experiences. You cannot experience the kind of personal service you’ll get in a downtown shop when buying online.” With this focus came a resurgence of businesses, shops and restaurants in downtown. Better signage helped people to get around easier and enjoy walking the streets during downtown events.

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he need for economic growth required Leesburg to become more visible to travelers who might not be familiar with city roadways. Elegant gateways now introduce the city to drivers at the split of U.S. Highways 441 and 27, along with smaller but similarly designed gateways at 14th and Main streets, leading directly to historic downtown Leesburg. There’s also a welcoming gateway at Canal Street. The Dixie Avenue Complete Streets project was aided with a grant from the


Friendly skies

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eesburg International Airport is an essential part of the growth of business and transportation in this part of Central Florida. The busy airport handles more than 60,000 takeoffs and landings annually on two runways extending up to 6,300 feet and provides aviation fuel and supports health, welfare, emergency and safety-related services. “The airport is a special asset because of two things: it makes us a community that hosts aviation, which means it allows companies that locate here to use the airport as a job-creation center,” City Manager Al Minner says. “We’ve refurbished and torn down buildings to ensure aviation industries will locate at our airport. Our efforts have definitely paid off.” As an international airport, Leesburg offers U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The airport is a direct stop for in-bound flights from foreign countries with user fees for various services. An officer is on duty from 8am– 4:30pm on weekdays with an additional fee needed for after-hours services.

Recreational activities

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here’s always something exciting happening through Leesburg’s Recreation Department. Director Travis Rima, along with his staff and a host of volunteers, offers residents and visitors an array of activities in every corner of the city. “We’re really proud of where we’ve come from and what we’ve evolved to,” Travis says. “There has always been a strong rec department in the city of Leesburg, but most of it was focused on youth athletics. In 2014, we made it our goal to expand, knowing not every child or adult is into sports.” Creating a plan that included a variety of options for children and adults meant adding new and different things every year. The events include Rec’N Saturday, a monthly “hodgepodge of activities,” the Daddy-Daughter Dance in February, Mother-Son Nerf Wars in March, Brunch with

the Easter Bunny in April and Bounce-a-Palooza! with an array of bouncy houses and fun games scheduled for June 27. Halloween means a haunted house, and there’s Open Mic in November. Everyone is included in the recreational activities. The Start Smart Programs are for children ages 2-9. Whether the children are playing baseball, tennis, soccer or any other sport, they’re learning the basics of the game and understanding the rules of fair play and sportsmanship. There’s also Start Smart Move and Play to help small

children develop the motor skills that will aid them as they grow up. When searching for alternatives to sporting events, volunteers organized and trained the Royal Heat Dance Team. Designed for children ages 5-18, the dance team performs throughout the year at various city events. In addition, there are adult leagues for basketball, soccer, flag football and kickball for people ages 18 and older. “We’ve had a great response to many of the new programs we’ve offered,” Travis says. “Some of them even sold out.”

The Recreation Department also takes advantage of the beauty of nature in Leesburg. “We have some adventurous programs like a kayak and canoe trip to the island around Venetian Gardens and a fishing clinic that included participation from the (Florida) Fish and Wildlife Commission,” Travis says. “Every kid leaves with a fishing rod and some tackle.” When Travis was hired in 2014, one of his first big projects was getting the Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex in Sunnyside back in playing shape. He worked closely with city commissioners on plans. “There were three significant things we did to accomplish this goal: we budgeted money for revamping the fields, we lowered the rates they’d been charging and we began making connections to get tournaments scheduled here,” Travis says. Lowering the rental rates


The airport’s fixed-base operations are SunAir Aviation, which is open from 7am-7pm every day. SunAir has a pilot’s lounge, car rental and courtesy vehicle, and long-term and overnight tie-down rentals. Other services include pilot training and piston aircraft repairs. Airport Manager Tracey Dean says the airport is proactive in its focus on airport safety. “We’ve got rehab construction going for the primary runway to keep it safe and to stay ahead of potential rebuilding,” she says. Airport use has increased from prior years, partly due to student pilots. The Civil Air Patrol and the Experimental Aircraft Association both have programs for young people at the airport. Lake Composite Squadron SER-FL-021 is under the command of Florida Wing Civil Air Patrol. There are programs for cadets (ages 12-21) and senior members (ages 18 and up).

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“All of this was done with the goal of attracting people and business to Leesburg,” Al says. “So far, everything is moving forward with sustainability.” The grants are funded through the Leesburg Community Redevelopment Agency and general revenue sources. “This is for long-term redevelopment for city businesses,” Al says. “We’re working on a direct line to connect the downtown to all of the Leesburg area. This is an excellent way for small businesses to upgrade and make their buildings and landscaping more attractive to customers.” Eligible businesses must be in the three corridors defined by the CRA: U.S. Highway 441/Dixie Highway, U.S. Highway 27, and East Main Street and Griffin. The new budget year begins Oct. 1. Applications are available at City Hall, the Planning and Zoning Department and the Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Download an application at leesburgflorida.gov. For more information, call 352.728.9760.

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he city of Leesburg is partnering with businesses to improve the overall look of buildings. The Façade, Sign and Landscaping Grant Program provides businesses with financial help to make upgrades and meet the standards of the city’s master plan. “This encourages businesses to enhance the signage on their buildings,” City Manager Al Minner says. “They may go from the traditional pole-mounted sign to a more attractive, more eyecatching monument-style sign.” Participating businesses can receive up to $20,000 from the city. This money can be used for new signs, refreshing the building’s exterior with new paint or siding, adding architectural enhancements such as balconies, awnings or porches, or improving landscaping with floral elements or decorative shrubs and trees. For example, if a business receives $10,000 for improvements, the city provides 80 percent of that cost. The business would pay $2,000.

LE E S B URG: IN THE CENTER OF IT ALL

for the fields was a big step, as more tournaments began coming to town. Now the fields are busy most of the year, with 30-40 tournaments going on in Leesburg. With all the programs and events offered by the Recreation Department, Travis says the aim is to pair children with good mentors to help them get on the right path and stay there. “Our goal is to help all the kids, especially those who might need a little extra guidance,” he says. A complete list of recreational facilities and programs is available in the 2020 Program Guide at leesburgflorida.gov.

The squadron based at Leesburg Airport provides the tactical applications of the three Civil Air Patrol missions mandated by Congress: aerospace education, emergency services and cadet programs. EAA Chapter 534 offers the Young Eagles, a free program for children ages 8-17 who want to learn to fly. They’re offered free online courses and an hour of dual instructions on their way to a pilot’s license. During wildfires, the aviators at Firehawk Helicopters are available. This company, based at Leesburg International Airport, has nine Sikorsky S-70/UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for commercial aviation firefighting. The accomplished pilots also do flight testing for the U.S. Department of Defense to aid in research and development of new aircraft.


looking

Forward

CONCEPT FOR DOWNTOWN MAIN STREET

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he future for Leesburg is bright as the city and its leaders work to complete projects for the Leesburg Downtown Master Plan. Though the focus is on the historic downtown area, projects already are complete or under construction in other parts of the city as well. Historic Downtown Leesburg is vital to the future development of the city. Traffic to downtown businesses has increased, and more small businesses are finding the area a productive and active place to locate. “It has really helped the situation in Leesburg to bring it up to date and bring it to the attention of a lot of people in the entire state of Florida,” Mayor Elise Dennison says. Downtown plans include Laneway Places, areas that provide pedestrian walkways for people to enjoy activities and events. With the designated streets raised to sidewalk level, there will be easier access to Main Street and beautiful outdoor plazas with shaded areas and improved signage, lighting, public art sites and landscaping. More residential housing is planned in the higher floors of downtown businesses. This would allow more people to enjoy downtown living and be within walking distance of everything going on in Leesburg. “We’re not just focusing on downtown, though that was our original mission,” says Joe Shipes, CEO of the Leesburg Partnership. “We’re highlighting the experience of living and working in Leesburg.” Continued improvements at the Lakefront will make Venetian Gardens an even brighter jewel. With the demolition of an old pool,

there is additional space for retail businesses and restaurants. City planners also are looking at better ways to connect the Lakefront to Main Street. THE AQUATIC CENTER An exciting development in the Recreation Department is the planned Aquatic Center on Pine Street, east of downtown. It will include a competition pool, recreational pool, water slide and other features.

The eight-lane competition pool, with bleachers for spectators on each side, will allow the city to attract swimming tournaments. Plans also include recreational areas and picnic shelters. The development of a commercial and mixed-use node at the intersection of Pine and Childs streets will add business, shopping and other varied attractions in this area. Many of the projects are still on the drawing board. But every effort is being made to promote the diversity of experiences in the area, along with the unique character of Leesburg’s exciting downtown.

keeping Ou POWER FOR THE PEOPLE The city of Leesburg Electric Department has served residents since 1924 and currently has more than 26,000 customers. The goal of the utility company is to provide high-quality, low-cost, customer-driven electrical service. The city government serves twice as many people as the city’s population with its electric, gas, water and wastewater public utilities. The efficiency of the Electric Department is increased by having the distribution systems primarily underground, protecting it from the elements and improving the beauty of the neighborhoods and businesses. Leesburg Electric Department was awarded four national commendations by the American Public Power Association for providing support following hurricanes Florence and Michael. The latest upgrade is the implementation of a new phone system to ensure dispatchers are able to handle more calls in an efficient manner during an outage. A DROP AT A TIME Leesburg Public Works provides high-quality water, wastewater, stormwater and solid waste services to residents and businesses at competitive rates. D.C. Maudlin, director of Public Works, explains the unique process of turning wastewater into a usable resource again. “Leesburg water is drawn from the Floridan aquifer at 18 well locations scattered around the municipal area,” he says. “The raw water is very high quality, requiring only minimal treatment at one of six treatment facilities prior to distribution.”


g Our City running

find Leesburg Public Works among the highest level of service and among the lowest, if not the lowest, in cost.

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safe and enjoyable place to live and work,” the chief says. The department participates in community events, including National Night Out, Junior Athletic Games, Christmas Bike Give Away with Santa, Shop with a Cop, Citizens Police Academy, Coffee with a Cop, Crime Prevention and Safety Symposiums and Neighborhood Watch meetings.

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TO PROTECT AND SERVE The Leesburg Police Department is a progressive, full-service law enforcement agency with more than 100 employees and a great group of volunteers. Chief Rob Hicks joined the LPD almost 25 years ago and became chief of police in 2014. “I take pride in the fact that, throughout the trials and tribulations our field has faced, our agency has remained

PROTECTING LIFE AND PROPERTY The Leesburg Fire Department was founded in 1875 and, today, four stations protect more than 20,000 residents along with professional, commercial and industrial assets. Each 24-hour shift has 13 line firefighters, one battalion chief for any of the four stations, and a lieutenant, engineer or driver, and one firefighter at each station. Fire Station 63 at the Leesburg International Airport has an aircraft rescue firefighting vehicle on site. Medical transportation is provided by Lake Emergency Medical Services. The men and women of the Leesburg Fire Department are constantly training to provide fire protection and learning better ways to educate the public. In addition, the department also provides rescue services, advanced life support, fire inspections and disaster preparedness. David Johnson became fire chief in 2014 after joining the department in 1994 and rising through the ranks. In his message to residents from the website, the chief says: “The department takes pride in its ability to serve the needs of the community and visitors. Each day, our citizens call upon our 42 firefighters to respond to a variety of emergencies, including medical emergencies, structure fires and vehicle accidents.” To learn more about these and other departments, visit leesburgflorida.gov.

LE E S B URG: IN THE CENTER OF IT ALL

Wastewater is collected and sent to one of two wastewater treatment facilities. Approximately 85 percent of the wastewater, by volume, is recovered, further treated and distributed to customers as reclaimed water for irrigation. The solid waste division provides curbside, bulk debris and commercial dumpster waste collection, as well as residential recycling and cardboard pickup for businesses. “Our solid waste service is the best in the county. We collect residential garbage twice weekly and residential recycle materials once weekly,” D.C. says. Public works is not very glitzy, but it’s the meat and potatoes of local government’s mission. When there is no order, everyone notices public works, but its accomplishments generally go unnoticed. For example, the city’s Lake Lorraine project worked to help clean waterways by removing pollutants. These projects truly show how we all live “downstream.” When cost and level of service are compared, you’ll

true to our core beliefs (and) we protect and serve our community with integrity, courage, compassion and intelligence,” he says. The department uses a problem-solving philosophy supported by community relationships and intelligence-led principles. The department works closely with the community to nurture relationships, foster new relationships, promote safety and combat crime and the fear of crime. “With strong police/ community relationships forged on the foundation of mutual respect and trust, we can and will continue working together to make our city a


welcome,

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n the biggest economic development project for the region, the city of Leesburg is proud of becoming a part of the expansion plans of The Villages. Founded more than 40 years ago, The Villages is the largest retirement community in the world and the population grows daily, according to thevillages.com. “Economic development is generally thought of as increasing industrial base,” Leesburg City Manager Al Minner says. “Too often, our service economy does not receive the credit it should for job creation and investment. This sector of our economy has brought untold job growth in the construction industry, medical field, entertainment industry, education and uncountable service jobs. And the best organization at creating this kind of investment is The Villages.” When The Villages announced continued growth south of State Road 44, Leesburg city officials were eager to become partners and bring “The Villages lifestyle” to Leesburg. “The city and The Villages have partnered on a number of fronts, which will bring new housing development, commercial development and utility investment not only to our city but to the Lake County/Sumter County region,” Al says. “In Leesburg alone, Villages growth will inject over $750 million in new investment, double our natural gas system and bring countless other jobs and economic growth.”

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UF Health Leesburg Hospital

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In addition to utilizing the latest technology, the hospital also is dedicated to providing understanding and compassionate care to patients and their families. The primary goal of UF Health Leesburg Hospital is to serve the community by providing the best health care through the Community Health Needs Assessment. The future is now for health care in Leesburg. As the city continues to grow, the hospital’s growth will reflect that. With greater access to a variety of services and health care, Leesburg is in a unique place to provide the best health care offered to everyone, from newborns to geriatric patients.

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he face of health care in Leesburg recently changed. The former Leesburg Regional Medical Center is now UF Health Leesburg Hospital, part of UF Health Central Florida. The hospital continues to offer extensive and comprehensive health-care services to residents of Lake, Sumter and Marion counties. It is the largest, most comprehensive healthcare provider in the region, with 24-hour emergency care, adult inpatient psychiatric services, cardiovascular care, orthopedics, minimally invasive surgery, labor and delivery, neurosurgery and more.

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LEESBURG REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER IS NOW


Leesburg’s

Lakefront Enhancements

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THE VENETIAN CENTER

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With the completion of Phase III of the Venetian Gardens Master Plan, the natural beauty and enhancements of the grounds are stunning. The Venetian Center, unveiled in November 2019, is the perfect facility for any event. With 20,700 square feet, it offers a beautiful lobby and three meeting rooms, the largest of which seats 1,000 people in the auditorium layout and 450 people for a banquet. The covered portico and terrace include a walking bridge to Martin Luther King Jr. Island. The building was designed to enhance the views of Lake Harris, accentuating the natural beauty of the park. “Venetian Gardens is one of the intrinsic assets that Leesburg offers,” City Manager Al Minner says. “By investing in Leesburg’s


SKI BEACH

The addition of a splash pad to Rogers Park in 2017 significantly increased visits to this corner of Leesburg’s Lakefront. The splash pad has 20 play features and is aimed at giving participants a good soak. Children can cool off with spray tunnels, a blooming spinner, a fun-brella, flow puddles and a confetti sprayer. The 2,100-square-foot playground also has a LifeFloor surface that is slip-resistant, and a pavilion and picnic tables also are available. Add to that Kids Korner Playground, which is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it’s a great place for family fun. The addition of new swings includes Zero G swings to accommodate children with disabilities and even a swing for the generations, which allows parent and child to swing together. A 75-foot zip line has become the most popular part of the park. The seated rider on the zip line goes from one side of the park to the other. Surrounded by benches and plenty of beautiful shade trees, the park offers something for everyone.

With boat slips and access to Lake Harris, Venetian Cove Marina is a one-stop service zone complete with boat storage areas, fuel, supplies and public restrooms. The Dock Master Building has a 147-slip dry storage area along with 44 wet slips. What’s more, the city is in the planning phases of expanding the marina by adding additional wet slips.

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VENETIAN COVE MARINA

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Lakefront, not only do we improve this beautiful asset for residents of Leesburg, the investment has the ability to be a stimulus for the entire Lake County region.” Through a public/private partnership, another welcomed addition to the Lakefront will be a 9,700-square-foot restaurant similar to its companion restaurant, Eaton’s Beach Sandbar & Grill in Weirsdale. Situated near the Leesburg Boat Club and the Venetian Center, it will include a tiki bar, transient boat slips, waterfront dining and an extended boardwalk along the shores of Lake Harris. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.

ROGERS PARK

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This area, locally known as the “Point” of the Lakefront, boasts several new improvements as well, including sand volleyball courts, rentable pavilions, lakefront walking trails, boat ramps, a sand beach, boat dockage and public restrooms. Park users can access Ski Beach through walking trails, by water or the main entry located at the intersection of Lake Shore and Lake Harris Drive.


BIKEFEST

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A partnership of priorities

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alking down the heart of Leesburg on Main Street, you’ll find great shopping and dining as well as historic buildings now housing these modern businesses and shops. The Leesburg Partnership, celebrating its 25th year of service, is a diverse mix of businesses and organizations in the city. Founded by the Downtown Leesburg Business Association, the city of Leesburg and the Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the partnership—affiliated with Main Street USA and Florida Main Street—embraces the four components of these two programs: Outreach • Promotion • Economic Restructuring • Design The staff of Leesburg Partnership includes Joe Shipes, chief executive officer; Joanne Smalley, Main Street manager; and Cat Reel, operations manager. Outreach includes getting ideas from people who have a stake in Leesburg’s success and gathering a community consensus. Working closely with the Downtown Leesburg


CRAFT BEER, WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL

BBQ AND BLUES

variety of delicious offerings from food truck vendors. These events fill the annual calendar of the Leesburg Partnership: • Balloons on the Lakefront • Boo Bash • Christmas House • Christmas Parade • Christmas Stroll • Craft Beer, Wine & Food Festival • Leesburg Bikefest • Leesburg Art Festival • Leesburg Fish Fry • Leesburg Mardi Gras • Scarecrow Build-off & Expo

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Business Association, the partnership encourages shopping locally and highlights the advantages of supporting small business in the community. Leesburgeats.com lists the great dining places, and Discover Downtown at leesburgpartnership.com features a map of downtown that’s easy to download and take with you. The Leesburg Partnership promotes DLBA annual events, including the Chili Cook Off and BBQ and Blues. A popular monthly event in historic downtown Leesburg is Food Truck-N-Flick Night, where locals and visitors come together to enjoy a great family movie and a

FOOD TRUCK-N-FLICK NIGHT

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MARDI GRAS


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Commerce flourishes

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he Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce is a vital entity that focuses on building business— from starting businesses to helping existing ones expand or sustain, all depending on the goal of the business. “We do all this while offering a friendly welcome to visitors, residents and potential residents alike looking for information about the beautiful city of Leesburg,” says Sandi Moore, executive director of the chamber. Working with operations manager Danielle Parker, Sandi says the chamber has a finger on the pulse of the community’s needs and what businesses need to be successful. At the Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, advocacy is the No. 1 role. “We are here for our businesses to listen, to help guide and to fight for what they need, whether that is facilitating ways for the education systems to improve or facilitating a business owner to sit in front of each city department head to work out a problem,” Sandi says.

The chamber also offers networking opportunities for businesses and a virtual presence. Utilizing all social media platforms and having a stellar website, the chamber will help grow your business’ search engine optimization (SEO). In the networking world, there are a variety of options, including face-toface and virtual networking. Businesses can decide what works best for them, and the chamber has it covered. The Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to say that its focus every day is building strong business, strong community and, ultimately, a strong Leesburg. Visit the Welcome Center downtown or leesburgchamber.com. LOCAL TV Broadcasting since 2005, LakeFront TV is dedicated to providing information and programming for viewers in Lake County. A variety of programs on the schedule appeal to residents of Leesburg. They can see monthly updates from the mayor,

city commission meetings, information from various organizations and civic groups, news from the city, interviews with celebrities who come to town and many other programs. Viewers also can find exercise and health videos, as well as videos of local events like parades and festivals. Awardwinning LakeFront TV has entertainment and educational programming for all ages. LakeFront TV is available on Xfinity channel 22, Prism channel 21 and Spectrum channel 497, or subscribe at youtube.com.


at home with

A

the Arts

mong the goals of the Leesburg Partnership is bringing more of the arts to downtown. With the help of Leesburg Center for the Arts, that has happened. The center’s executive director, Maria Stefanovic, guides a staff that includes program director Patricia Gilmore and outreach director Sara Tremblay. “Our goal was to make Leesburg the creative hub for Lake County,” Maria says. “I believe our visions statement says it all. We keep that in mind with everything we do.” The visions statement reads: “To PROVIDE art education, awareness and opportunities to artists, creatives and dabblers in the North Lake County area. ENRICH and INSPIRE our community with art and culture and BE the sense of place for local artists, creatives and dabblers to gather, create and collaborate.” The 43rd Leesburg Art Festival, currently rescheduled to Oct. 24-25 from March, is the city’s artistic centerpiece. “We are the public arts arm of the city,” Maria says. “In addition to the annual arts festival, we sponsor the Boho Fest, Night Market and fundraisers like the Beast Feast and the Wine Pairing party.” Members and the public also can enjoy weekly and monthly events at the center, 429. W. Magnolia St. Try Coffee and

Convo at noon every Friday or join the coaching sessions for drawing, watermedia or acrylic painting. Classes are available for all ages. During summer breaks, weekly classes are offered for children to encourage art participation. Visit leesburgarts.com. For those who think art is their future, the Jan Smith Art Scholarship is available. Students who are working on a degree in art or art education in a college or technical school are eligible. To apply, you must submit an art portfolio and statement about your plans. Another unique aspect of Leesburg Center for the Arts is its Mobile Art Studio, or MAS. The studio shows up at afterschool programs, during school and in public places. Kids and adults not only create art, they also learn about art. The MAS has programs about famous artists who influenced various movements. Participants also meet local artists who ride along the streets in the Mobile Arts Studio. Artwork that everyone in town enjoys includes seven murals painted on public buildings, from the concrete in front of the substation at 14th Street to the painting that’s reminiscent of Old Florida above the parking lot on 7th Street and the CAF building, which has its own mural. Plans are underway to do more murals in other parts of the city.

L-R: JIM KEEGAN, JOANNA SMITHERMAN AND JENNIFER HARPER LITTLE BIG PRINT STEAMROLLER EVENT PARTNERSHIP WITH LEESBURG CENTER FOR THE ARTS, JENNIFER HARPER PRINTMAKING STUDIOS AND CITY OF LEESBURG.

15 LE E S B URG: IN THE CENTER OF IT ALL | 2 020 VI SITO R S GU ID E


OUR

natural BEAUTY

OUR

historic CHARM

OUR

festive ATTITUDE

Be in The Center of It All LEESBURG, FLORIDA • THE LAKEFRONT CITY

www.leesburgflorida.gov


water On the

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KAYAKS AND CANOES AT LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

r

STORY: VICTORIA SCHLABIG

Jump in and discover wet and wild Lake County.

T

hough Lake County is well known for its fishing options, the opportunities for exploring the waters of the area are endless. Recreational options abound across the Harris Chain of Lakes. Lake Harris, located in the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin, a sub-basin of the St. Johns River, gives visitors easy access to seven of the largest lakes in Florida. From Lake Harris, boaters may travel to Lake Eustis, Little Lake Harris, Lake Dora, Lake Beauclair, Lake Griffin, Lake Yale and Lake Carlton. Among Lake County’s many spots where visitors can launch a boat are Hickory Point Park in Tavares; a new ramp near Waterfront Park on Lake Minneola in Clermont; and Venetian Cove Marina and Singletary Park, both on Lake Harris in Leesburg. In addition, the Lake County Office of Parks & Trails maintains at least 16 other boat ramp sites. Kayakers and canoers can experience Lake County’s scenic and wildlife areas along the shorelines of nine blueway trails. A blueway is similar to a hiking trail; physical and geo-positioned markers guide kayakers, canoers and paddleboarders 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 and St. Francis/Dead River Run. Blueway users can find a trail for different experience levels. For example, the Golden Triangle Run along Lake Dora’s shorelines in Tavares and Mount Dora is suitable for

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ALEXANDER SPRINGS RECREATION AREA

novices and casual use; the trails along the St. Johns River are considered wilderness areas and are more appropriate for experienced users. Palm Gardens Restaurant & Marina on the Dead River offers deck boat and pontoon rentals for visitors to explore the Dora Canal and the Harris Chain of Lakes. Native Boat Tours also depart from the marina. Captains inform passengers and show them the wildlife and 25 bird species along the banks of the river and canal. The canal is lined with cypress trees and provides one of the best waterways for views of wildlife such as nesting ospreys, herons and egrets. Lower Wekiva River Preserve, which has an entrance in Eustis, is a system of backwater streams and wetlands that provides habitats for black bears, river otters, alligators, wood storks and sandhill cranes. For people interested in watersports, check out World Wakeboard Center and Jack Travers Waterski School, both in

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Groveland; Swiss Waterski Resort in Clermont; the Lake Eustis Sailing Club, which conducts club and regional racing events; the Mount Dora Yacht Club, which hosts an annual regatta each March; and Lake Harris Lodge, a 6.5-acre park in Tavares on the eastern shores of Big Lake Harris where guests can enjoy a swimming pool as well as boating and fishing. For vacationers who like to relax, visit Alexander Springs State Park in northern Lake County. Float in the clear blue waters that remain at 72 degrees year-round or check out what’s under the water with snorkel gear. If you can’t make it to the big bodies of water, children’s splash parks are popular attractions in the cities of Leesburg, Tavares, Clermont and Eustis. While the numerous recreational options on Lake County’s waterways may seem overwhelming, visitors and residents can be sure there is something for everyone to enjoy.


ROGERS PARK SPLASH PAD

CRUISING IN A CATBOAT ON LAKE DORA

F I N D YO U R F U N ! FOR A COMPLETE LIST, GO TO VISITLAKEFL.COM

B O AT T O U R S

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

WAT E R S P O R T S

Captain Ernie’s St. Johns River Tours (Departs at Blackwater Inn) 55716 Front St., Astor 866.349.0674 stjohnsrivertours.com

Cypress Cove Marina 10233 Cypress Cove Ln., Clermont 352.364.9798 cypresscovemarina.com

Jack Travers Waterski School 20225 SR 33, Groveland 352.429.9027 jacktravers.com

Gator Bay Marina 10320 CR 44, Leesburg 352.365.2177 gatorbaybar.com

Lake Eustis Sailing Club 1310 CR 452, Eustis 352.589.5417 lescfl.com

Lake Harris Lodge 11924 Lane Park Rd., Tavares 352.343.4111 lakeharrislodge.com

Mount Dora Yacht Club 351 W. 4th Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.3188 mountdorayachtclub.com

Palm Gardens Restaurant and Marina 1661 Palm Garden St., Tavares 352.343.2024 palmgardensmarina.com

Swiss Waterski Resort 13314 Skiing Paradise Blvd., Clermont 407.968.3481 swisswaterskiresort.com

Premier Get Wet WaterSports 1000 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 352.253.0585 watersportsrentals.com

Venetian Cove Marina 250 Ball Park Rd., Leesburg 352.728.9786 leesburgflorida.gov

CatBoat Adventures Mount Dora Boating Center and Marina, 148 Charles Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.3150 catboattour.com 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

World Wakeboard Center 19022 Orange Ave., Groveland worldwakeboardcenter.com Waterfront Park 100 3rd St., Clermont 352.394.3500 clermontfl.gov

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Lake County has a splendid crop of agritourism businesses. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL

ake County is where you can pick your own organic blueberries, peaches and other delicious fresh fruits and vegetables at U-pick farms. It’s also where you can savor quality time with family and friends at agricultural attractions, including wineries, citrus groves and working farms with small shops and cafés on site. So, breathe the fresh air. Get close to nature. Relish the moments while enjoying the beauty of Lake County’s rural charm and its agritourism bounty. DIRTY DOG ORGANICS A former nurse-turned-farmer, Aubrey Cash runs Dirty Dog Organics, a community-based family farm at 2026 Lewis Road, Leesburg. It’s her grandfather’s old farm, on the land her family has owned since 1942, and where grandma still lives, too. The story behind the farm’s name: The Cash family’s English springer, Target, “really enjoys helping me garden and rolls around in the dirt,” says Aubrey, who jokingly calls him “dirty dog.” The farm’s co-op shop is where people can buy fresh produce and other goods during October to May, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. “We like to have colorful things that you typically wouldn’t see otherwise in stores,” Aubrey says. “Instead of red watermelons, we typically have orange watermelons or sorbetcolored watermelons. We also have black radishes over your traditional red, and we do that to expose people to all the colors of the rainbow that are essential to health.” Dirty Dog Organics also has been used as an educational platform for homeschooling, and Aubrey is proud the farm has provided skills for her two daughters with disabilities. “The farm really got started as an effort to give back to our community and give my children some community enhancement that they otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to experience,” Aubrey says. “There’s real-life skills that you gain from a retail place. They manage the business just as well, if not better, than I do.”

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The shop showcases the farm’s produce, from asparagus to zucchini, along with locally sourced breads, honey and cheeses. “It’s all a community effort and it’s all local, it’s all clean. We support, right now, 46 farmers and makers underneath our roof,” Aubrey says. “We are most known for being a community and local food hub of where people come to the farm, take time to relax, shop, sip on locally roasted coffee and meet up with old friends.” Dirty Dog Organics recently hosted a farm-to-table dinner prepared by culinary students from Leesburg and Eustis high schools, and the event raised funds for school gardens. Dirty Dog Organics plans on hosting this event twice a year. BOUNTIFUL FARMS AND BISTRO People who savor the fresh produce in a farm-to-table dining experience are bound to enjoy Bountiful Farms and Bistro, 27314 County Road 33, Okahumpka. The bistro offers serene outdoor dining underneath a massive, centuries-old oak tree that provides great shade for diners to enjoy an array of appetizers, salads and sandwiches. “This is the closest you can get farm-totable. This is daily picked, daily cooked,”

“The farm really got started as an effort to give back to our community and give my children some community enhancement that they otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to experience.” — AUBREY CASH, DIRTY DOG ORGANICS

2020 U-PICK GROWER LIST

BLUEBERRIES (March-April) AQUAPONICS Chatterson Farms 4401 CR 561, Clermont 407.342.9512 chattersonfarms.com BLACKBERRIES (March-May)

H&H Berry Farms 15217 CR 455 Montverde 800.716.4740 facebook.com

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Artisan Acres

(formerly Sand Hill Farms)

31614 Bottany Woods Dr., Eustis 407.915.4122 artisanacres.com

Atwood Family Farms 36111 N. CR 44A, Eustis 352.630.0145 atwoodfamilyfarm.com Blue Bayou Farms 26921 Bloomfield Ave., Yalaha (next to Yalaha Bakery)

352.324.4069 bluebayoufarm.com

Blueberry Hill Farm 5000 Berry Groves Rd., Clermont 863.944.1401 blueberryhillfarm.net Far Reach Ranch 1255 S. Dora Blvd., Tavares 352.343.7389 farreachranch.com H&H Berry Farms 15217 CR 455, Montverde 800.716.4740 facebook.com

Heather Oaks Farm 4240 Christmas Ln., Lady Lake 352.753.1184 heatheroaksfarm.com King Grove Organic Farm 19714 CR 44A, Eustis 352.589.2469 kinggrove.com Lake Catherine Blueberries 5849 Lake Catherine Rd., Groveland 352.551.4110 lakecatherineblueberries.com Southern Hill Farms 16651 Schofield Rd., Clermont 407.986.5806 southernhillsfarms.com


says Jessica Gentry, who owns the farm and bistro with her husband, Gareth. The bistro menu reflects the fresh organic produce harvested daily from the farm’s 120plus seasonal crops. The Gentrys were chefs before they decided they wanted to grow safe, healthy foods and help people understand how food can be the medication a body needs for wholesome healing. The farm belonged to Gareth’s grandfather, and the family now lives in his former home. They’ve owned the farm for six years, while the bistro made its debut in 2018. Among the menu offerings: fresh corn chips and heirloom tomato salsa; roasted beet skins filled with Gruyère cheese, scallions, bacon and sour cream; egg rolls filled with shredded carrots, bok choy, scallions, cilantro and cabbage; a fried heirloom BLT featuring breadcrumb-fried green tomato, smoked bacon, romaine and avocado; and the Bountiful Burger, featuring an aged, locally sourced 100 percent grass-fed, half-pound beef burger, lettuce, tomato, onion and choices of cheese and additional toppings. The bistro is open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday from October to May. Reservations are requested. However, the farm’s shop is open from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-

The Vintage Berry 2230 Sloans Ridge Rd., Groveland 352.242.7443 facebook.com

Lady Lake Peach 2917 Lake Griffin Rd., Lady Lake 352.217.8853 ladylakepeach.com

PEACHES (March-April)

Peachy P’s 600 Crescent St., Umatilla 352.267.0149 facebook.com

Graham Farms 14803 Lake Yale Rd., Umatilla 352.636.3821 grahamsupickfarms.com

Southern Hill Farms 16651 Schofield Rd., Clermont 407.986.5806 southernhillsfarms.com

Friday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday during October to May. Summer hours are to be announced. “Bountiful Farms and Bistro is more than just going out for lunch. It’s an experience not to be rushed,” says Marianne Third, a snowbird from Toronto, Canada, who recently made three visits to the bistro because she loves the food, the al fresco dining experience, touring the farm with friends and shopping at the store for organic produce. “The market is a pleasure to shop in and stock up on the freshest Florida produce, and you can’t get any fresher than just picked from the fields,” she adds. “Everybody seems to really love it,” Jessica says of her family’s farm and bistro. “We’ve gotten great reviews and repeat customers, people bringing their families, and the atmosphere of the restaurant is calming and relaxing. We’re always changing the specials each week to give people a little bit of flair in their diet.” The farm recently started a meal-plan program for customers who are too busy or no longer want to cook, and they also offer farm-totable tours for groups. “We have lots of tours scheduled for children and homeschoolers,” says Jessica, “and when the children come through, they like to plant things.”

OLIVES (August)

S T R AW B E R R I E S (November-March)

A Natural Farm 23630 SR 19, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.536.3112 anaturalfarm.com

Far Reach Ranch 1255 S. Dora Blvd., Tavares 352.343.7389 farreachranch.com Oak Haven Farms & Winery 32418 Avington Rd., Sorrento 352.735.1996 berriesandwines.com

Southern Hill Farms 16651 Schofield Rd., Clermont 407.986.5806 southernhillsfarms.com

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“This is the closest you can get farm-to-table. This is daily picked, daily cooked.” — J E S S I C A G E N T RY, BOUNTIFUL FARMS & BISTRO

2020 U-PICK GROWER LIST

VA R I O U S F R U I T S Heather Oaks Farm

Blueberries, grapes, aquaponic vegetables, eggs, irises and olives.

4240 Christmas Ln., Lady Lake 352.753.1184 heatheroaksfarm.com

Valley View Vineyards

Grapes, figs and various fruits in season.

22310 CR 455, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.243.4032

Santa’s Farm & Christmas Tree Forest

V E G E TA B L E FA R M S TA N D S Bountiful Farms

35317 Huff Rd., Eustis 352.357.9863 santaschristmastreeforest.com

27314 CR 48, Okahumpka 352.978.5904 bountifulfarmsinc.com

U-cut Christmas trees, pumpkin patch and seasonal events.

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Organic vegetables and bistro

(CONTINUED)

Dirty Dog Organics

Includes produce, eggs, cheese and meats from local cooperative farms as well as its own organic vegetables.

2026 Lewis Rd., Leesburg 352.235.0760 dirtydogorganics.org

Laura’s Sweet and Spicy Emporium

Honey, hot sauce, spices, jams, jellies and more.

42341 Hwy 19, Altoona 352.669.5010 laurasweetandspicyemporium.com

Long & Scott Farms

Corn maze, farmer’s market, café and special events.

26216 CR 448A, Mount Dora 352.383.6900 longandscottfarms.com


Hank Scott (left) and his father, Frank, who founded the farm with his childhood friend, Billy Long, in 1963.

The Gentrys also keep busy by providing fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs to the farm’s local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members, residents and restaurants. CSA members purchase shares of the farm’s crops, which guarantees them a weekly “bounty” of vegetables. Among the different staples available November to May are Cherokee Purple and Brandywine tomatoes, cabbage, kale, several varieties of lettuce, broccoli, carrots, bok choy, sprouts, onions and peppers. The Gentrys grow blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, too, depending on the season, and they have fresh eggs, honey on tap and tinctures made with the pure, organic items—all at the store on their property. SCOTT’S COUNTRY MARKET & CAFÉ Long & Scott Farms offers tasty foods from the field right to the tables of Scott’s Country Market & Café on the farm’s grounds at 26216 County Road 448A, Mount Dora. The café features farm-fresh breakfast and lunch specials.

Over the Hill Farm

Organic fruit and vegetables, U-pick and farm stand.

3921 Britt Rd., Mount Dora facebook.com

Organica World 3145 Austin Merritt Rd., Groveland 352.435.4570 organicaworld.com Sunsational Farms

Vegetables and strawberries.

40541 Roger Giles Rd., Umatilla 352.771.2013 sunsationalfarms.com

The signature dish is Zellwood sweet corn chowder, made from the farm’s sweet corn, potatoes, onions, red pepper and bacon. “Once people taste for themselves, they realize fresh tastes a whole lot better,” says Rebecca Tyndall, whose late father, Frank

WINERIES Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards 19239 US Hwy 27 N., Clermont 800.768.9463 lakeridgewinery.com

Lake Seneca Farms 36047 E. Lake Seneca Rd., Eustis 352.589.6100 lakesenecafarms.com Oak Haven Farms & Winery 32418 Avington Rd., Sorrento 352.735.1996 berriesandwines.com

Scott, started the farm in 1963 with his childhood friend Billy Long. “People just love the food because it’s fresh and they love how it’s fixed,” she says. “They probably haven’t had it like that before or haven’t realized how much better it tastes when food is fresh off the farm.” Scott’s Country Market & Café is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday during the spring season, April 21-June 13, and in the fall from Sept. 29-Dec. 12. In October, the farm opens its popular Scott’s Maze Adventures, featuring a seven-acre corn maze, jumping pillow, zip line, super slide and more. At that time, the farm also is open from noon-5 p.m. Sunday for families to enjoy. The café is adjacent to the market, where a wide array of produce, dressings, jams and Florida specialty items are available. The most popular item is Scott’s Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. All generations can enjoy the farm, Rebecca notes. “A lot of people were raised on a farm and they have been away from it for so long that it takes them back to their childhood,” she says.

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Lake County is one of the country’s most popular bass fishing destinations. STORY: JAMES COMBS

I

t’s no secret that fishing stories can be exaggerated. Or, in other words, anglers sometimes tell a whopper about catching a whopper. But there’s nothing fishy about Lake County’s reputation as a premier bass fishing destination. In fact, that reputation was cemented many years ago when Leesburg hosted what some historians believe was the first organized bass competition in the country’s history. The National Fresh Water Bass Tournament was held in 1928. The City of Leesburg sponsored the event, which drew anglers from around the country and lasted from Jan. 10-March 10. The competition categories included largest bass caught on a 16-pound line, largest bass caught using a fly rod and largest bass caught

while trolling, according to bassmaster.com. With more than 1,000 lakes and rivers, Lake County remains a fishing mecca today. During the past 10 years, Lake has hosted prestigious professional and amateur tournaments, including the Big Bass Tour, the Bassmaster Open Series, the Fishers of Men Team Series National Championship, the Bassmaster Elite Series, the FLW Pro Circuit and Major League Fishing. Make no mistake. Once anglers fish here, they’re eager to return. “One of the things I hear fishermen talk about is how each lake offers a unique fishing experience,” says Steven Clenney, manager of sports development for Visit Lake. “Some lakes accommodate fishermen who grass fish along the shore, and

other lakes are great for deepwater fishing in the middle of the lake. Because our lakes differ in size, they suit a variety of fishing styles that anglers excel at.” Local support also plays a role in recruiting large tournaments to the area. “The fandom from local residents gives the tournaments that we host here a different vibe,” Steven says. “They love showing up at the weigh-ins and interacting with the anglers. The anglers are down-to-earth and very approachable.” Tim Frederick, a Leesburg resident who is in his fifth season as a professional angler, played an instrumental role in bringing the Big Bass Tour to Lake County. He has fished throughout the state and ranks the Harris Chain of Lakes as one of Florida’s top three bass-fishing destinations,

alongside South Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. He backs up that claim by citing the two-day haul of Matthew Robertson, who in December 2018 won the Bassmaster Team Championship on the Harris Chain of Lakes with an impressive total of 57 pounds, 9 ounces. “I grew up here, and I think it’s great to let everyone see what I’ve known for years— that our bass fishing here is about as good as it gets,” Tim says. “I’ve caught plenty of bass over the years that weighed over 10 pounds.” Of course, novices can have an equally fun time fishing in Lake County. Numerous charter companies are available to give newbies some pointers and introduce them to Lake County’s vast waterway system. One of them is

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REEL FUN

The largest bass caught in Lake County as part of the TrophyCatch program include:

LAKE HARRIS

captain Mark Bass, who owns Lakeside Guide Service in Tavares. “I recently took one man out on Lake Yale who had never held a fishing pole,” Mark says. “Within the first hour, he caught a 7-pound bass. People are excited to learn about the sport, and many end up taking tours again with me when they return to Lake County.” Captain McCoy Borja is owner of BassSoldiers Guided Fishing and Scenic Tours in Fruitland Park. While he enjoys seeing the excitement people derive from reeling in largemouth bass, watching them take in Lake County’s natural beauty is equally entertaining. “First, they enjoy the sunshine because many of them are coming from a cold place,” McCoy says. “They’re blown away by how subtropical the area is compared to where they live. I do not use live bait, so they are astonished when they realize

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you can catch large bass on artificial bait.” Captain Austin Sawchuk, owner of Monster Bass Fishing Charters in Leesburg, has introduced local lakes to visitors from South Africa, Switzerland, Bermuda, Ireland and Canada. “They’re really surprised by how massive our lakes are and how they’re all connected by canals,” Austin says. “They also love the wildlife. We see everything from manatees and alligators to exotic birds and otters. The people who make repeat trips with me always say they never get the same experience twice when it comes to the Harris Chain of Lakes.” Fishing in Lake County is also popular for Orlando tourists who need a day of relaxation from the hustle and bustle of theme parks. “Whether it’s a family fishing trip or a father and son who want to get away for the day, coming to Lake County

12 pounds, 11 ounces in Lake Yale in January 2020.

12 pounds, 10 ounces from a community pond in March 2015.

12 pounds, 10 ounces from the Harris Chain of Lakes (unspecified lake) in January 2014.

12 pounds, 8 ounces from Lake Harris in January 2016.

12 pounds, 8 ounces from Lake Desire in June 2018.


gives them a much-needed break,” Steven says. “They get to experience Lake County’s breathtaking scenery and get away from manmade attractions.” GET WITH THE PROGRAM

When a fisherman catches a large bass, it’s almost second

nature to prominently mount it on a wall. Some anglers, however, are releasing them back into the lake. No, they’re not crazy. They are part of a program called TrophyCatch, which was established in 2012 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Anglers involved in the program are

GET HOOKED FOR A COMPLETE LIST, GO TO VISITLAKEFL.COM

Charter companies offering guided fishing trips on Lake County waterways: Bass 2Bay Fishing Charters 27341 SR 19, Tavares 813.928.3661 Bass N Gal Guide Service 24140 SR 46, Sorrento 352.267.0062 BassSoldiers Guided Fishing and Scenic Tours 3510 Sailfish Ave., Fruitland Park 352.267.3652 Bill Van Tassell Fishing Guide Services Mount Dora 352.725.1569 Due North Outdoors 1000 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 833.446.3474 The Florida Angler 786 W. Montrose St., Clermont 352.708.8290 Gdawgbass Guide Service Tavares 321.370.9123

Jason’s Fishing Adventures Leesburg 833.446.3474 Lake Adventures 402 N. Bay St., Eustis 844.525.3386 Lakeside Guide Service 1000 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 352.255.9706 Largemouth Central Bass Fishing Charters 15405 Betty’s Court, Tavares 518.578.9273 Monster Bass Fishing Charters 10432 CR 44, Leesburg 352.431.9451 Z.S. Fishing Charters Leesburg 352.255.3474

essentially citizen-scientists who photograph or video any bass over 8 pounds and report where it was caught to the FWC. The goal of the program is to gain biological data for freshwater bass research and to promote the state’s bass fishing industry. Participants who register at trophycatch.com will be entered into random drawings with opportunities to win a Phoenix bass boat, Bass Pro Shop gift cards and fishing merchandise. Since the program’s inception, more than 9,000 largemouth bass have been caught, documented and released in Florida.

“Many folks don’t know that this program was created because the FWC biologists didn’t truly have a good way to measure these largemouth bass,” says K.P. Clements, director of TrophyCatch. “This program is providing us with valuable information that we’ve never had before. For instance, we’ve had 17 Hall of Fame fish—fish over 13 pounds—and half of them were caught in the Ocala and Gainesville area. That blew our biologists away.” In Lake County, there have been 487 approved catches as of Feb. 1, with 122 of them coming from Lake Harris.


The sky’s Lake County has attractions to suit all interests—on the waterways, across the landscape and in the air. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI AND JAMES COMBS

B

efore Disney, Central Florida was home to roadside attractions. Tourists found thrills at stops featuring snake handlers, alligator wrestlers and swimming mermaids. Decades later, a big attraction in Lake County is still standing—226 feet high, to be exact. The Citrus Tower is one of the numerous attractions in Lake that offer sightseeing, recreation or adventure. The Citrus Tower opened in 1956 in Clermont to pay homage to the area’s thenblossoming citrus industry. The monolithic structure is located where orderly rows of orange groves used to stretch as far as the eye could see.

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The tower’s height is equivalent to a 22-story building, and tourists can get a bird’s-eye view of the landscape by taking an elevator ride to an observation deck at the top. On a clear day, eight counties and more than 2,000 square miles of land are in sight. To the west is the Clermont Chain of Lakes. Lake Apopka, the state’s largest spring-fed lake, and Sugarloaf Mountain, the highest point on peninsular Florida, are to the north. Gazing southward, look for Magic Kingdom’s famous castle and Epcot Center’s iconic Spaceship Earth. Orlando’s skyline can be seen to the east. Freezes in the 1980s cooled interest in the citrus industry, but Scott and Heather Homan took over ownership of the


the limit Citrus Tower in 2019 and are restoring the attraction’s appeal. They added a coffee shop in the lobby and seating and air-conditioning in the observation deck. A popular holiday light show is planned for Nov. 27, when the tower will be decorated with 50,000 lights that are synchronized to music. Scott says the Citrus Tower can complement the theme parks rather than compete against them. “We are the day-off attraction for people who are visiting Orlando theme parks,” he says. “After they’ve experienced the hustle and bustle of Disney World, they need a break. They can come here and see a piece of old Florida and relax while doing so.”

CITRUS TOWER 141 N. U.S. HWY 27, CLERMONT 352.394.4061 CITRUSTOWER.COM

SHOWCASE OF CITRUS 5010 U.S. HWY 27, CLERMONT 352.394.4377 SHOWCASEOFCITRUS.COM

Showcase of Citrus is another attraction capitalizing on Lake County’s historic roots as a citrus producer. John Arnold, a third-generation citrus farmer, and his wife, Tara Boshell, are co-owners of the Clermont business. Showcase’s Monster truck tour is a must-see agritourism adventure, Tara says. Four monster trucks—modified school buses that sit 12-14 feet high—hold 25, 30, 35 and 40 passengers, respectively. The hourlong tour through the 2,500-acre ranch begins in the citrus grove and then moves through native woodlands, swamps and pastureland. “Since we are a working citrus and cattle ranch, guests will see and feed our cattle, as well as see our exotic animals,” says Tara,


listing animals such as ostriches, emus, kangaroos and miniature horses. “We try to make the tour an educational and entertaining experience for everyone.” Tour reservations are encouraged, especially during the spring when Showcase attracts a few thousand people a day for a wide variety of ripe u-pick citrus.

A natural sulfur spring is the centerpiece of a unique attraction, Wekiva Falls Water Park, in Sorrento. The spring’s mineralrich water, which stays at 72 degrees year-round, is channeled into a swimming lagoon which has a sandy beach, two water slides and a concrete 360-degree “waterfall.” Visitors can gather around the lagoon for cookouts and picnics, says property manager Billi Jo Young. The spring flows to the Wekiva River, and the park offers canoe and kayak rentals. The Wekiva Falls RV Resort also is at the beautiful locale. More than 800 RV sites and 40 tent sites are available, and campers can enjoy the springs as well. The RV Resort is fully equipped and hosts groups and rallies. “People that come in from the other countries, they’ll rent an RV and they’ll pop in from the Netherlands and all kinds of places,” Billi Jo says. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, shuffleboard, pickleball and other activities for adults and children.

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CATBOAT ADVENTURES

MOUNT DORA BOATING CENTER & MARINA

148 CHARLES AVE., MOUNT DORA 352.325.1442 CATBOATTOUR.COM

A fleet of 10 new boats is powering a new business, CatBoat Adventures, to waves of success in Mount Dora. Guests can tour beautiful Lake Dora, the cypress tree-lined Dora Canal and Lake Eustis while piloting their own two-seat CraigCat Elite boats. “Can they move? They can go 30 to 35 miles an hour,” says Paula Nejame Tucker, co-owner with husband John Tucker and another couple, Brian Young and Janet Gamache. They started the business in May 2019.

WEKIVA FALLS RV RESORT & WATER PARK

30700 WEKIVA RIVER RD., SORRENTO 352.269.6615 WEKIVAFALLS.COM

The excursions include a two-hour Lake Dora and Dora Canal Tour; a 2½hour Lake Dora, Dora Canal and Sunset Tour; and custom tours for groups of six or more. The journeys are narrated and guided as visitors enjoy nature, learn the history of the area and make stops at points of interest. “The boats themselves are fun, but then the overall experience we give you is a blast,” Paula says. “Our captains share all sorts of fun stories with you. They make it a good time for everybody.”


JETSURF ACADEMY ORLANDO

O T H E R AT T R A C T I O N S O T H E R AT T R A C T I O N S FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF ATTRACTIONS GO TO VISITLAKEFL.COM

Adventure Outdoor Paddle 100 E. Ruby St., Tavares 352.217.5012

Jones Brothers Air and Seaplane Adventures 210 E. Ruby St., Tavares 352.508.1800

The Presidents Hall of Fame 123 US Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.394.2836

Kayaking Florida’s Waters 1910 Lewis Rd., Leesburg 352.504.2481

Revolution Off Road 4000 SR 33, Clermont 352.400.1322

Central Florida Glides/Segway Tours 430 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora 352.383.9900

Lake Adventures 402 N. Bay St., Eustis 844.525.3386

Seminole-Lake Gliderport 4024 Soaring Ln., Clermont 352.394.5450

Discovery Gardens 1951 Woodlea Rd., Tavares 352.343.4101

Lake Griffin State Park Pantoon Tours 3089 US Hwy 441, Fruitland Park 352.360.6760

St. Johns River Scenic Boat Tours 55716 Front St., Astor 866.349.0674

The Dora Queen 100 E. Ruby St., Tavares 352.533.3380

Lazy Daze Boat Rental 25131 Blackwater Inn, Astor 352.759.2515

Tavares Skate Park 2770 Woodlea Rd., Tavares 352.742.6319

Florida Scrub-Jay Trail 11490 Montevista Rd., Clermont 352.429.5566

Mount Dora Trolley Co. 3rd and Alexander Streets, Mount Dora 352.385.4473

JetSurf Academy Orlando 6010 Cook Rd., Clermont 800.538.9198

Orlando Balloon Rides 5010 US Hwy 27, Clermont 407.894.5040

Cat Boat Tours of Mount Dora Mount Dora Boating Center & Marina 148 Charles Ave., Mount Dora 352.235.1442

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Central Florida’s Grove-Fresh Citrus Fresh Seasonal Citrus Varieties Florida Made Wines Fresh Hydroponic Produce Unique Treats & Gifts Fall Festival and Outdoor Family Activities

ides lane R Seapar $6 4 at g tin st p e Barho Seaplang at $198.75 star tin , st, Lunch Breakfa r Fly-ins ne and Din at $118.75 star ting

View beautiful Lake Dora and the Harris Chain of Lakes, Eco Tours, Gator and Bald Eagle Sightings, See Disney World and Orlando Attractions, Takeoff and Land on the Water, rides from 15 minutes to an hour.

Wooton Park 210 E Ruby St, Tavares Lakeside Inn 100 N Alexander St, Mt Dora

Home of #TheBigOrangeUmatilla Family Owned & Operated

40541 Roger Giles Rd., Umatilla SunsationalFarms.com @sunsationalfarmsumatilla 352.771.2013 // 866-FLGROWN

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

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

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

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MOUNT DORA HISTORIC INN

Make yourself at home For visitors to Lake County who want to see Real Florida, places to stay are Real Close. With a range of accommodations that includes high-end resorts, family-friendly inns, bed-and-breakfasts, vacation rentals, and cabins in the great outdoors, Lake County makes visitors feel comfortable. Kick off your shoes and stay awhile.


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


Hotels and resorts FOR A COMPLETE LIST, GO TO VISITLAKEFL.COM

Whether visitors are looking for luxury and pampering or affordable, family-friendly accommodations, the hotels and resorts in beautiful Lake County are part of a landscape that includes lakefront views and watersports, golf courses and spas, and popular attractions and fine dining.

Angelina Lakeside Inn 21726 US Hwy. 27, Leesburg 352.787.8876 Best Western Plus Chain of Lakes Inn & Suites 1321 N. 14th St., Leesburg 352.460.0118 Budget Lodge 18730 US Hwy. 441, Mount Dora 352.383.2181 The Castaways on the River 25130 Blackwater Ln., Astor 352.759.3422 Comfort Inn & Suites 1380 E. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 352.253.2378 Exploria Express Orlando 105 Summer Bay Blvd., Clermont 855.849.2205 Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham 20390 N. US Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.429.0483 Fairfield Inn & Suites 1750 Hunt Trace Blvd., Clermont 352.394.6585 Fox Den Country Inn 27 S. Central Ave., Umatilla 352.669.2151 Grand Oaks Resort 3000 Marion CR, Weirsdale 352.750.5500 Groveland Motel 896 E. Myers Blvd., Mascotte 352.429.2655 Hampton Inn & Suites Clermont 2200 E. SR 50, Clermont 352.536.6600 Hampton Inn 9630 US Hwy. 441, Leesburg 352.315.1053

MISSION INN RESORT & CLUB

Holiday Inn Express 1810 US Hwy. 27, Clermont 352.243.7878 Holiday Inn Express & Suites 3601 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 352.742.1600 Inn on the Green 700 E. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares 877.220.2687 Key West Resort on Lake Dora 199 W. Ruby St., Tavares 352.508.5344 KH Ranch Resort 18604 Demko Rd., Altoona 321.356.3754 Lakeside Inn 100 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora 800.556.5016 Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Lady Lake 850 S. US Hwy 27/441, Lady Lake 352.561.8038 Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Leesburg 9700 US Hwy. 441, Leesburg 352.315.1234 Mission Inn Resort & Club 10400 CR 48, Howey-in-the-Hills 800.874.9053 Siena at Bella Collina 16300 CR 455, Montverde 407.469.4992 Summer Bay Orlando by Exploria Resorts 17805 US Hwy. 192, Clermont 855.849.2205 Villa Lagoon Inn 1051 Lake Shore Blvd., Tavares 352.343.3377

Hampton Inn 19700 US Hwy. 441, Mount Dora 352.383.4267

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B&Bs and vacation homes FOR A COMPLETE LIST, GO TO VISITLAKEFL.COM

For a home away from home, Lake County offers cozy bed-andbreakfast inns and spacious rental houses for the perfect vacation site. Visitors can enjoy all the great sights and activities in the area, and then come “home” at the end of the day. 58 •

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Adora Inn 610 N. Tremain St., Mount Dora 352.735.3110 adorainn.com

Magnolia Inn 347 E. 3rd Ave., Mount Dora 352.735.3800 magnoliainn.net

Cara Mia Cottages 220 N. Baker St., 225 N. Tremain St.,and 244 E. 3rd Ave., Mount Dora 727.809.1360 caramiacottages.com

Moss Gate Bed & Breakfast 210 Rose St., Umatilla 352.669.3557 umatillachamber.org/mossgate

Christopher’s Inn 539 Liberty Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.2244 christophersinn.net Coconut Cottage Inn 1027 McDonald St., Mount Dora 352.383.2627 facebook.com Farnsworth House 1029 E. 5th Ave., Mount Dora 352.409.0330 farnsworthhousebb.com Grandview Bed & Breakfast 442 E. 3rd Ave., Mount Dora 352.383.4440 grandviewbb.net The Heirloom Inn 644 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora 352.402.9667 Heron Cay Lakeview B&B Inn 495 W. Old US Hwy. 441, Mount Dora 352.383.4050 heroncay.com

MOSS GATE BED & BREAKFAST

Lake Minneola Inn & Tiki Bar & Grill 508 S. Main Ave., Minneola 352.394.0134 lakeminneolainn.com

Mount Dora Historic Inn and Cottages 221 E. 4th Ave., Mount Dora 352.735.1212 or 1.800.927.6344 mountdorahistoricinn.com Simpson’s Bed & Breakfast 441 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora 352.383.2087 simpsonsbnb.com VA C AT I O N R E N TA L S

Award Vacation Homes 1536 Sunrise Plaza Dr., #100, Clermont 800.338.0835 contempovacationhomes.com Bella Vista Golf & Yacht Club (semi-private) 26935 Bella Vista Dr., Howey-in-the-Hills 352.324.3233 Clermont Cabanas 875 W. Osceola St., Clermont 352.978.5856 clermontcabanas.com The Ever After Estate 9512 Oak Island Ln., Clermont 352.978.8730 theverafterestate.com

Fox Den Country Inn 27 S. Central Ave., Umatilla 352.669.2151 foxdencountryinn.com IPG Florida Vacation Homes 9550 US Hwy. 192, Clermont 863.547.1050 ipgflorida.com Lake Louisa Villa Events & Resort 11450 Nellie Oaks Bend, Clermont 407.625.4655 lakelouisaeventsresort.com Our Florida Concierge 10018 CR 561, Clermont 863.420.4092 ourfloridaconcierge.com Sweet Escape Mansion 11207 Guilford Rd., Clermont 352.250.4220 sweetescapehouse.com Swiss Vacation Houses 13114 Skiing Paradise Blvd., Clermont 352.429.2178 swissvacationhouses.com Tremain Street Cottages 615 N. Tremain St., Mount Dora 352.638.0257 tremainstreetcottages.com

CLERMONT CABANAS

Le Petit Suite 1174 E. 5th Ave., Mount Dora 305.338.9931 lepetitsuite.com Lisa’s Cottages 32593 Lakeshore Dr., Mount Dora 561.613.5952 MOUNT DORA HISTORIC INN & COTTAGES

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ALEXANDER SPRINGS RECREATION AREA

Campgrounds and cabins FOR A COMPLETE LIST, GO TO VISITLAKEFL.COM

Lake County is home to numerous parks and campgrounds that give visitors the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of large cities or overcrowded theme parks and beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of rivers and lakes, the scenery of Spanish moss dangling from majestic oak trees, and the sights of birds and wildlife in their natural habitat. 60 •

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CABINS/VILLAS

CAMPING

Alexander Springs Recreation Area In addition to a 67-unit trailer campground and sites for tents, campers can swim or canoe in the crystal-clear spring. Restroom and shower facilities available. 49525 CR 445, Altoona 352.669.3522 Astor Landing This campground, RV resort, and marina is on the banks of the St. Johns River and surrounded by the Ocala National Forest. Accommodations include a campground with full hook-ups, boat docks with water, sewer, and electric, a boat ramp on the river, a boat and RV storage yard, and a bathhouse with hot showers. 25934 Holmar Dr., Astor 352.759.2121 Black Horse Resort Ranch The resort has accommodations for RVs and horses. Enjoy horseback riding in a scenic location. The ranch also offers riding and shooting clinics. 22651 S.E. CR 42, Umatilla 352.434.1204 Clearwater Lake Campground This relaxing campground offers 42 tent spaces under shady oak trees and bathhouses with warm showers. Guests can hike nature trails, rent canoes, enjoy a kayak ride across the lake, or go mountain biking. 24511 CR 42, Paisley 1.877.444.6777

Lake Griffin State Park This 40-site campground allows visitors to canoe and kayak, hike nature trails, fish, and see one of the state’s largest and oldest live oak trees. 3089 US 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-friendly campground nestled in the picturesque Ocala National Forest offers excellent opportunities for fishing, hiking, and horseshoes. 26301 S.E. CR 42, Umatilla 352.669.3888

Lake Harris Lodge The family-owned lodge features 10 one- and two-bedroom cottages and a 27-space RV park. Visitors can rent a boat for a day to fish or explore the beautiful Harris Chain of Lakes. 11924 Lane Park Rd., Tavares 352.343.4111 Lake Louisa State Park Twenty cabins overlook picturesque Dixie Lake, plus there are 60 fullfacility campsites. Guests may view wildlife, picnic, fish, kayak, and hike nature trails through the park’s 11 natural communities. 7305 US Hwy 27, Clermont 352.394.3969 St. Johns River Campground Enjoy bass fishing on the St. Johns River, as well as shuffleboard, horseshoes, and a recreation hall for cookouts and bingo parties. Cabins that sleep four to nine guests are available, along with RV sites. 1520 SR 40, Astor 386.749.3995

Wekiva Falls RV Resort More than 800 RV sites and 40 tent sites are available. Enjoy canoeing, hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, and a water park at the beautiful river locale. 30700 Wekiva River Rd., Sorrento 352.269.6615 LAKE GRIFFIN STATE PARK

Doe Lake Campground A beautiful campground provides a large dining hall with full kitchen, shaded tent sites, and a bathhouse with hot showers. Ocala National Forest, Umatilla 1.877.444.6777

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OPEN SEASONALLY!

Visit us and experience locally grown fruit and create fun family memories • U-Pick Peaches early May • U-pick Citrus December • Wild Flowers & Sunflowers • Event Venue and Field Trips • Stay tuned more to come!

352.735.4059 ccofmtdora.com 1900 Country Club Blvd., Mount Dora

352.636.3821 14803 Lake Yale Rd, Umatilla

@upickpeaches grahamsupickfarms.com

GET STARTED AT LSSC.EDU

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Let’s play Kayaking down a river. Shopping for hard-tofind antiques. Playing a challenging game of golf. Exploring art galleries brimming with creativity. Lake County is home to all of these fun-filled activities and many more.

ALEXANDER SPRINGS RECREATION AREA

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In full swing Do you have the “drive” to get out and experience Lake County’s 99 miles of fairways and greens? The county boasts 26 golf courses that are popular for both residents and tourists. The unique layouts—including tree-lined fairways, sweeping vistas, sloped greens, and strategically placed bunkers—will excite

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and challenge novice and experienced golfers alike. Whether you’re looking for some leisure, beauty, or spirited competition, be sure to book those tee times and fine-tune your game on some—or all—of Lake County’s most beautiful golf courses.


CENTRAL

Arlington Ridge Golf Club 4,877 yards from front tees, 6,610 from back tees Rating: 71.2 with slope of 117 $$ Designed by pro Gary Koch. Lots of nuances on course featuring winding river and centuries-old oaks. 4463 Arlington Ridge Blvd., Leesburg 352.728.4660 arlingtonridgegolfclub.com The Club at Pennbrooke Fairways $$ Two executive nines and one regulation nine. 32900 Countryside Blvd., Leesburg 352.728.3200 pennbrooke.org 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.

MISSION INN RESORT & CLUB - EL CAMPEÓN

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 $$ Member owned, semi-private course. Striking elevation changes and beautiful views. 5325 Saint Andrews, Leesburg 352.314.9000 monarchgolfclub.com Plantation at Leesburg – Cranes Roost 6,005 yards, par 71 Rating: 68.0 with slope of 118 $$ 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

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

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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 has hosted numerous high school state playoff tournaments and National Golf Association tour events. 6583 Lake Griffin Rd., Lady Lake 352.753.7000 harborhills.com

BELLA COLLINA GOLF CLUB

E A S T

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. 503 Canopy Ln., Lady Lake 352.750.4474 golf-fla.com

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

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 treelined holes and emphasis on accuracy. 605 Hickory Hill, Lady Lake 352.753.3905 wateroakcountryclub.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 U.S. 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

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Country Club of Mount Dora 6,571 yards, par 72 Rating: 72.1 with slope of 125 $$ Water comes into play on 16 holes. Raised greens present challenges. 1900 Country Club Blvd., Mount Dora 352.735.2263 ccofmtdora.com Deer Island Country Club 6,852 yards, par 72 Rating: 73.8 with slope of 133 $$ The course, which was designed by renowned architect Joe Lee, opened in 1994. In addition to experiencing 18 wonderful holes of golf, golfers enjoy beautiful views of Lake Dora and Lake Beauclair, as well as majestic magnolias and towering oak trees. 18000 Eagles Club House Way, Tavares 352.343.7550 deerislandcc.com

Eagle Dunes Golf Club 7,024 yards, par 72 Rating: 73.7 with slope of 135 $$ 4-star rating by Golf Digest. Elevations and beautiful fairways. 24000 Marbella Dr., Sorrento 352.357.0123 eagledunes.com Mount Dora Golf Club 5,719 yards, par 70 Rating: 67.9 with slope of 114 $$ 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 Red Tail Luxury Golf Community. Private, non-equity course. 26026 Member Ln., 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 S O U T H

Bella Collina Golf Club 7,500 yards, par 72 $$$ Premium course designed by pro Nick Faldo. Valley-style layout features 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. US 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, semiprivate club with full driving range. 14601 Green Valley Blvd., Clermont 352.394.0632 gvcountryclub.com

Kings Ridge Golf Club 6,269 yards, par 71 $$ Course capitalizes on naturally rolling terrain. Greens are a true test of putting skills. 1950 Kings Ridge Blvd., Clermont 352.242.4653 kingsridgegc.com Sanctuary Ridge Golf Club 7,005 yards, par 71 Rating: 74.2 with a slope of 139 $$ 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 Dr., Clermont 352.243.0411 sanctuaryridgegc.com

Swiss Fairways 6,725 yards, par 70 Rating: 72.3 with slope of 126 $ Unique course has 135 sand traps and 10 water hazards. Large greens. 13144 Skiing Paradise Blvd., Clermont 352.429.9065 swissskischool.com

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Sowing the seeds of agritourism Pick your own blueberries. Carefully navigate your way through a cornfield maze. Agritourism is blossoming in Lake County, showcasing the agricultural attractions the county has to offer. Wineries, working farms, citrus groves, and U-pick farms are among the county’s diverse agricultural businesses. Thanks to this wide range of activities, visitors to Lake County can immerse themselves in natural surroundings and get a glimpse of rural life. 68 •

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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 US 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. 32418 Avington Rd., Sorrento 352.735.1996 berriesandwine.com Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest The farm offers private and seasonal farm field trips along with farm birthday parties and events. 35317 Huff Rd., Eustis 352.357.9863 santaschristmastreeforest.com Scott’s Maze Adventures at Long and Scott Farms The corn maze and adventures are open to the public during weekends in the fall and for special events or private parties throughout the year. 26216 CR 448A, Mount Dora 352.383.6900 longandscottfarms.com 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, including zebra, Watusi cattle, water buffalo, alligators, snakes, and exotic and native birds. 5010 S. US Hwy 27, Clermont 352.394.4377 showcaseofcitrus.com

Stanley Pond Adventure Farm Farm features family-friendly activities of catch-andrelease fishing, mini-airboat ride, jumping pillow, giant sand pile, and more. 15426 CR 48, Astatula 352.516.4937 stanleypondfarm.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 U - P I C K FA R M S

A&A Country Orchard 2917 Lake Griffin Rd., Lady Lake 352.217.8853

Mark’s U-Pick Blueberries 18900 CR 561, Clermont 352.394.2135 Southern Hill Farms 16651 Schofield Rd., Clermont 407.986.5806 southernhillfarms.com Valley View Vineyards 22310 CR 455, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.243.4032 EQUESTRIAN AT T R A C T I O N S

Al-Marah Arabian Horses 11105 Autumn Ln., Clermont 352.536.1502 Black Horse Resort Ranch 22651 S.E. CR 42, Umatilla 352.434.1204

EQUESTRIAN TRAILS

Lake Louisa State Park 7305 US Hwy 27, Clermont 352.394.3969 Lake Norris Conservation Area Lake Norris Rd., Eustis 352.343.3777 Lower Wekiva River Preserve 38015 Fechtel Rd., Eustis 352.884.2009 Ocala National Forest, Seminole Ranger District 40929 SR 19, Umatilla 352.669.3153 Rock Springs Run State Reserve 30601 CR 433, Sorrento 352.383.3311

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

DreamCatcher Ranch 10639 Toad Rd., Clermont 407.702.8332

Sawgrass Island Preserve 12050 Sawgrass Island Rd., Umatilla 352.343.3777

Blue Bayou Farms 8222 CR 48, Yalaha 352.324.4069

The Grand Oaks Resort 3000 Marion County Rd., Weirsdale 352.750.5500

Seminole State Forest 9610 CR 44, Leesburg 352.360.6675

Chatterson Farms 4401 CR 561, Clermont 407.342.9512 Green Acres Fernery and Citrus 8635 High St., Yalaha 352.360.5445

Rock Spring Run Trail Rides 31700 CR 433, Sorrento 352.266.9326 BLUE BAYOU FARMS

H&H Berry Farms 15217 CR 455, Montverde 321.436.5830 Heather Oaks Iris Farm 4240 Christmas Ln., Lady Lake 352.753.1184 King Grove Organic Farm 19714 CR 44A, Eustis 352.589.2469 Lake Catherine Blueberries 5849 Lake Catherine Rd., Groveland 352.536.4324

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P L AY THE HISTORIC STATE THEATRE

Raise the curtain Lake County’s entertainment venues host productions of well-known Broadway plays and musicals, popular singers and musicians in every genre and performances by unique comedians and stage acts.

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LEESBURG

Leesburg Towne Square has a variety of annual events,

including Mardi Gras and Bikefest, as well as occasional live entertainment.

The Melon Patch Theatre, at 311 N. 13th St., is celebrating its 67th season. The theater includes Patchwork Productions with classes in drama, dance, comedy, and musical theater for children. Ticket and performance information is available at 352.787.3013 or melonpatchplayers.com.

LEESBURG TOWNE SQUARE

THE MOONLIGHT PLAYERS

EUSTIS

The Historic State Theatre is home

to the Bay Street Players. The troupe offers educational opportunities that include classes in acting, set production, costuming, and front house management. It’s at 109 N. Bay St. Call 352.357.7777.

The City of Eustis has regular town

square programs that include live music and other performances. The annual Busker Festival features street performers such as musicians, dancers, comedians, jugglers, mimes, living statues, artists, acrobats and more.

MOUNT DORA

SONNENTAG THEATRE

CLERMONT

The Clermont Performing Arts Center

has an amazing array of stars and live shows on the schedule. The center is located downtown at 3700 S. U.S. Highway 27. Information and a map are online at clermontperformingarts.com or call 352.394.4800.

The Moonlight Players Warehouse Theatre is in the historic downtown

at 735 W. Minneola Ave. The Moonlight Players is 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.

Mount Dora Plaza Live, a new venue that opened in 2019, features bands, tribute singers and drag shows throughout the year at 2728 W. Old Highway 441. The renovated Community Building Theatre, 520 N. Baker St., also hosts concerts and shows during most months. Sonnentag Theatre at the IceHouse is a delightful community theater featuring a program for children and teens with workshops and productions. Information is available at icehousetheater.com. The theater is at 1100 N. Unser St. Call the box office at 352.383.4616.

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EUSTIS HISTORICAL MUSEUM

Exploring local treasures Museums and galleries in Lake County provide visitors an opportunity to explore all the culture, history and art the area has to offer. Museums keep our rich and colorful history alive, while galleries help foster an appreciation of beauty, creativity, and originality. Spend afternoons or entire weekends exploring these treasures but be sure to check websites or call ahead as hours do change seasonally. 72 •

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ART MUSEUMS & GALLERIES

Lake County Museum of Art LCMA is an art museum, community art center and a 501(3)(c) registered nonprofit institution serving Lake County since 1995. Available programs include regularly changing fine art exhibitions, art classes for adults and children, and membership. Volunteer opportunities also are available. The museum is free to the public. Donations are accepted in lieu of admission fees. 213 W. Ruby St., Tavares lakeartmuseum.com Leesburg Center for the Arts The mission of the Leesburg Center for the Arts is to provide a central location where artists, musicians, and patrons gather. Located in a historic downtown building, the center hosts numerous activities, exhibitions, classes, and the annual Leesburg Arts Festival each March. 429 W. Magnolia St., Leesburg leesburgcenter4arts.com 10am-4pm Monday-Thursday Modernism Museum Mount Dora This small, private 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. Open since 2013, the museum contains a unique and expansive collection of modernist art by iconic and influential American masters of the craft. The artwork marries form and function, and visitors will wonder, “Is it sculpture or furniture?” 145 E. 4th Ave., Mount Dora modernismmuseum.org 10am-5pm 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

LAKE COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART

Dora Arts Festival, which brings more than 250,000 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. 5th Ave., Mount Dora mountdoracenterforthearts.org Gallery 10am-4pm MondayFriday; 11am-4pm SaturdaySunday

Montrose Gallery The gallery, operated by the South Lake Art League, hosts art and photography shows in the fall and spring each year. Founded in 1966 to encourage and promote all forms of art, the league offers a variety of classes. Check its website for exhibition and class schedules. 776 W. Montrose St., Clermont southlakeartleague.com Hours vary

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. 6th 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 a World War II quonset hut, near Lake Minneola. Go through the seven buildings to learn more about the history and pioneering families of South Lake County. 4880 West Ave., Clermont clermontvillage.org 1-4pm Saturday-Sunday

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-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.

Lake County Historical Museum Located on the first floor of Lake County’s Historical

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

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LADY LAKE HISTORICALSOCIETY MUSEUM

The “dealership” is a replica of an International Harvester store from the 1940s. Many family-friendly events are held throughout the year. 615 S. Whitney Rd., 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. One cell contains original artwork from a former prisoner while another cell contains a painting depicting the one and only jail break, when a prisoner left a note stating he had gone home and would return for his trial. 450 Royellou Ln., 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 Groveland Historical Museum Many residents have donated memorabilia about this small town, including a miniature replica CLERMONT HISTORIC VILLAGE

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of the high school and how it looked in 1937. 243 S. Lake Ave., Groveland grovelandhistory.org 11am-1pm Saturday and by special appointment

Lady Lake Historical Society Museum The former Lady Lake train depot houses exhibits depicting the area’s history from the earliest Native American inhabitants to present-day events. The model train layout has contributed to the museum’s increased popularity with its depiction of Lady Lake in the 1940s and ’50s. 107 S. Old Dixie Hwy, Lady Lake ladylakemuseum.org 10am-1pm Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (closed in August)


The great outdoors Who needs overcrowded theme parks when you can hear the peaceful sounds of birds chirping overhead, bicycle along picturesque trails or kayak peacefully down a river and see wildlife in its natural habitat? With more than 1,000 lakes and endless miles of hiking trails, Lake County is a natural paradise for avid outdoor enthusiasts. Sometimes, it’s nice to escape the hustle and bustle of life and bask in nature’s glow. BIRDING

Lake County is one of the top destinations in the nation for birdwatching. 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:

Alexander Springs Recreation Area 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. The Florida National Scenic Trail runs 66 miles through the Ocala National Forest and is a popular location for beginning and advanced birders. Florida Scrub-Jay Trail in Clermont is named for the elusive,

ALEXANDER SPRINGS RECREATION AREA

rare species whose estimated population is 4,000. Birding enthusiasts come from as far away as England, Germany, Japan and Canada to visit the 15-acre property. The trail is home to 135 other species, including painted buntings, warblers, herons, sandhill cranes, Carolina chickadees, red-bellied woodpeckers and purple martins. The trail hosts tours and educational programs.

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LAKE COUNTY BLUEWAY

The Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead 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 watching birds and butterflies, with dozens of species of birds and butterflies observed at the property. Located at 20700 County Road 455 in Montverde, the overlook is open daily from 7am-dusk.

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 8am-sunset.

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

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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 6:30am-dusk. K AYA K I N G AND CANOEING

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.

Experience Lake County’s scenic and wildlife areas along the shorelines of nine blueway trails. A blueway is similar to a hiking trail. Physical and geo-positioned markers guide kayakers, canoers, and paddleboarders through the waterways. The following trails are within the areas of the St. Johns River, Golden Triangle, Palatlakaha Basin, and Oklawaha Basin:

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, the Showcase offers 100 percent “pure Florida fun” with the highly modified giant trucks that are designed for safe rides through native woodlands, pastureland, swamps, and groves. The farm is at 5010 U.S. Hwy. 27 in Clermont. Visit showcaseofcitrus.com.

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

Blueway users can find a trail for different experience levels. The Golden Triangle along Lake Dora’s shorelines in Tavares

Dora Canal – Any visit to Lake County

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


B I C YC L I N G

Most avid cyclists know about Lake County’s 12.6-mile South Lake Trail, which 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 under construction. 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 trails:

Black Still Lake Trail

Distance: 0.5 miles Start and end: Black Still Lake Rd., Clermont

Fountain Lake Trail

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

The Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead

End: Cooper Memorial Library & National Training Center

Start: Lake Blvd. & Lake County Line End: Silver Eagle Rd. & CR 565A

Lake Apopka Loop Trail

Tav-Lee Trail

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

Magnolia Trail

Distance: 1 mile Start: CR 455, Montverde End: Truskett Park

Designed for walkers and bikers, lined with benches and outdoor exercise equipment. Distance: 0.7 miles Start: Mote-Morris House, Leesburg End: Palmetto St.

Hancock Trail Extension

South Lake Trail

Connects to South Lake Trail. Distance: 2.4 miles Start: Hancock Rd. & CR 50, Clermont

Connects to West Orange Trail at Old CR 50 and Lake Blvd. Distance: 12.6 miles

Distance: 3.5 miles Start: Downtown Tavares End: Lake Square Mall

Venetian Gardens Trail

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

Wilson Lake Parkway Trail Distance: 3.0 miles Start and end: Wilson Lake Parkway, Clermont

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Let’s talk shop

DOWNTOWN EUSTIS

Art galleries, clothing stores, home décor shops, and antiques are just some of the treasures you’ll find throughout the downtown streets of Mount Dora, Leesburg, Eustis, Clermont, and other Lake County communities.

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 decor. Terri’s Eustis Flower Shop has specialty items, too, and has been serving Lake County’s floral needs since 1928. Merry Jewelers has been a popular Eustis store for 64 years, and My Favorite Things features craft supplies, rubber stamps, and coordinating card stock, inks, ribbons, and buttons.

MOUNT DORA

MAIN STREET ANTIQUES

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


LEESBURG

AGELESS ANTIQUES & GARDENS, MOUNT DORA

CLERMONT

LEESBURG

The Broom Tree is one of the newest quaint stores to open in downtown Clermont, filled with collectibles from yesteryear, modern items, jewelry, furniture pieces, and more. Rabbit’s Hole is a combination bookstore, comic book shop, and coffee shop with a mix of new and used books. Erika’s Tea Room and Gifts features an array of special tea sets and more than 80 teas from around the world, and Encore is filled with a great selection of home decor items.

Downtown Main Street in Leesburg has several specialty shops, including Alada’s China & Gifts, a fine gift shop filled with seasonal items for holidays, weddings, baby gifts, and Pandora jewelry. Doggibags Boutique has the latest fashions designed by Clara S., Joseph Ribkoff, Valentena, Krazy Larry, Damee, Jana, and Rebel Jeans, along with unique handbags and accessories. Everything a University of Florida fan could possibly desire can be found at Grand Gator. Other shops to check out are Shabby Chic, Linda’s Soapbox, Willowbee’s, Le Attitude, Lacy Ladybug, and Two Old Hags Wine Shoppe.

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STYLE_MIR_9x10.875WelcomeRC_3.20.indd 1

3/13/20 6:01 PM


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

1921 MOUNT DORA

Bon appétit! If your bucket list includes savoring a variety of good food while vacationing in Lake County, you’re in for some wonderful dining experiences. The county is home to a plethora of great restaurants offering a wide array of cuisines to please any palate. TO L AKE COUNT Y •

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DINE

GOBLIN MARKET & LOUNGE

Fine dining Lake County offers an extensive variety of fine dining establishments to please any palate. Whether it’s fresh seafood or fine aged steak, you’ll find the perfect meal in any one of these restaurants. 1921Mount Dora 142 E. 4th Ave., Mount Dora 352.385.1921 The Beauclaire Dining Room, Lakeside Inn 100 Alexander St., Mount Dora 352.383.4101 Chesapeake Bay Grille at Arlington Ridge 4467 Arlington Ridge Blvd., Leesburg 352.315.0066

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El Conquistador Restaurant, Mission Inn Resort 10400 CR 48, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.324.3911 Goblin Market & Lounge 330 Dora Drawdy Way, Mount Dora 352.735.0059 Guru Restaurant 2400 US Hwy 27, Suite 101, Clermont 352.251.9884

Nicker’s Restaurant 10400 CR 48, Howey-in-the-Hills 352.324.2718

The Rose Plantation 200 Rose Ave., Fruitland Park 352.805.4340

Olive Branch MediterraneanItalian Grille 115 W. 3rd St., Mount Dora 352.729.6734

SIP Restaurant Jazz and Wine Bar 707 W. Main St., Leesburg 352.435.7840

Pisces Rising 239 W. 4th Ave., Mount Dora 352.385.2669

Turners Kitchen & Bar 114 S. 5th St., Leesburg 352.530.2274


Casual dining Lake County’s waterfronts and laid-back locales provide plenty of spots where you can wear shorts and flip-flops while you dine: A S TAT U L A

Race Car Diner 25641 Monroe St. 352.253.6940 ASTOR

Blackwater Inn 55716 Front St. 352.759.2802 Castaways Restaurant 23525 SR 40 352.759.2213 Sparky’s Place 24646 SR 40 352.759.3551 William’s Landing 55716 Front St. 352.759.2802

Calabria Ristorante 13900 CR 455 407.656.5144

G’s NY Pizza 12346 Roper Blvd. 352.243.8900

Cheeser’s Palace Café 707 W. Montrose St. 352.404.9431

Green Garden 1790 E. Hwy 50 352.243.2077

Clermont Fish House 110 W. Hwy 50 352.708.5563

Green Mountain Pizza 303 W. Hwy 50 352.432.3380

Corelli’s Italian Restaurant 1042 E. Hwy 50 352.989.5924

Lilly’s on the Lake 846 W. Osceola 352.708.6565

The Crooked Spoon 200 Citrus Tower Blvd. 352.404.7808 El Cerro 811 W. Hwy 50 352.242.4669

CLERMONT

Flippers Pizzeria 2523 S. US Hwy 27 352.242.2214

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

Friar Tuck 16640 Cagan Crossings Blvd. 352.404.6818

FRIAR TUCK

Robata Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar 1500 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.404.9688 Root & Branch Bistro and Bar 1200 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.708.4529 The Ridge Grille 2601 Diamond Club Dr. 352.243.0411 San Jose Original Mexican Restaurant 4315 S. US Hwy 27 352.536.2006

Sarah’s Greek Cuisine & More 16640 Cagan Crossings Blvd., Ste. 305 352.404.8031 Troy’s Cuban Deli 1200 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.241.4295 EUSTIS

Combat Café 1602 N. Hwy 19 352.483.0250 The Crazy Gator 402 N. Bay St. 352.589.5885 The Great Pizza Company 23 E. Magnolia Ave. 352.357.7377 Kiku Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar 15211 US Hwy 441 352.483.8288

LaCasa Mexican Bar and Grill 2060 Bay St. 352.602.7390 Nalan Sultan Mediterranean Grill 1 N. Eustis St. 352.357.4444 Night Owl Caribbean Restaurant 929 S. Bay St. 352.589.0256 The Oyster Troff 936 N. Bay St. 352.357.9939 Stavros & Sons of Eustis 2100 W. CR 44 352.589.9100 Taki’s Pizza House 2824 S. Bay St. 352.357.0022 Tillie’s Tavern and Grill 31 E. Magnolia Ave. 352.602.7929 Tony’s Pizza and Subs 2760 E. Orange Ave. 352.589.9001


DINE

FRUITLAND PA R K

Fruitland Park Café 3180 US Hwy 441 352.435.4575 iBar-b-que Express 3170 US Hwy 27 352.315.4227 Legends Café 2468 US Hwy 441 352.728.0006 Rae Rae’s Restaurant 2468 US Hwy 441 352.323.1595 Stavros Pizza 3223 US Hwy 441 352.315.0028 GROVELAND

Red Wing Restaurant 12500 S. SR 33 352.429.2997

First Watch 1568 Bella Cruz Dr. 352.633.1520

H O W E Y- I N - T H E HILLS

Harbor Hills Country Club 6538 Lake Griffin Rd. 352.753.7000

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

Keke’s Breakfast Café 498 US Hwy 441 352.801.3996

Restaurants at Mission Inn Resort & Club 10400 CR 48 El Conquistador 352.324.3911 Nicker’s Clubhouse 352.324.2718 La Hacienda 352.324.3910 La Margarita 352.324.3911 L A DY L A K E / T H E VILLAGES

Coyote Rojo 2 214. W. Broad. St. 352.557.8999 Ikaho Sushi Japanese Restaurant 7965 US Hwy 50 352.557.8988 James Barbeque 262 E. W. Orange St. 352.557.4050

Carrabba’s Italian Grill 650 US Hwy 441 N. 352.430.1304 El Ranchito 1 La Grande Blvd. 352.750.3335

MARY’S KOUNTRY KITCHEN

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Margarita Republic 1102 Main St. 352.753.4600 Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant 504 S. US Hwy 441 352.753.2722 LEESBURG

Brick & Barrel Public House 209 W. Main St. 352.431.3069 Cafe Ola 400 N 14th St., 352.365.0089 Cedar River Seafood 8609 S. US Hwy 441 352.728.3377

KALUA HALE SAND BAR

Cousin Vinnie’s Family Sports Restaurant 10700 US Hwy 441 352.253.2442 The Florida Porch Café 706 W. Main St. 352.365.1717 Gator Bay Bar and Grill 10320 CR 44 352.365.2177

God Café 300 W. Main St. 352.801.7447 HP Grill 1403 S. 14th St. 352.314.0006 Ichiban Chinese and Japanese 10301 US Hwy 441 352.728.6669


Kountry Kitchen 1008 W. Dixie Ave. 352.323.0852

Wolfy’s 918 N. 14th St. 352.787.6777

Highland St. Cafe 185 S. Highland St. 352.383.1446

La Palma Mexican Grill 1690 Citrus Blvd. 352.323.1444

MASCOTTE

The Frog and Monkey 411 N. Donnelly St. 352.383.1936

Lilly’s Super Subs 2339 CR 473 352.343.4663 Magnolia’s Oyster Bar 201 W. Magnolia St. 352.323.0093 Main Street Cantina 205 W. Main St. 352.435.7279 Mrs. T’s Place, Southern Restaurant 305 Pine St. 352.431.3217 Naples Italian Restaurant 1107 W. North Blvd. 352.323.1616 Osaka 1401 Citrus Blvd. 352.728.0788 Plantation Diner 25327 US Hwy 27 352.805.4054 Ramshackle Cafe 1317 N. 14th St. 352.365.6565 Rodello’s Italian Restaurant 26736 US Hwy 27 352.319.8093 San Jose’s Original Mexican Restaurant 1337 S. 14th St. 352.805.4174 Sully’s Smokehouse 10820 CR 44 352.483.7427 Takis Pizza Restaurant 1205 N. 14th St. 352.787.2344

Rainbow Restaurant 704 E. Myers Blvd. 352.429.2093 MINNEOLA

Jack’s BBQ 100 US Hwy 27 352.394.2673 Lil Anthony’s Pizza 205 N. US Hwy 27 352.394.1516 Napoli’s Pizzeria 556 S. US Hwy 27 352.243.7500 Tiki Bar and Grill 508 S. Main St. 352.394.2232

Jeremiah’s 500 N. Highland St. 352.383.7444 Lake House Bar and Grill 315 N. Highland St. 352.735.7433 Let’s Do Lunch 426 N. Donnelly St. 352.735.4577 The Loft Cafe 411 N. Donnelly St. #212 352.720.3195 Magical Meat Boutique 112 W. 3rd Ave. 352.729.6911

Mount Dora Pizza and Subs 2718 W. Old US Hwy 441 352.383.5303

Wave Asian Bistro & Sushi 301 N. Baker St., Suite 106 352.383.9283

One Flight Up 440 N. Donnelly St. 407.758.9818

Windsor Rose Tea Room & Restaurant 142 W. 4th Ave. 352.735.2551

PizzAmoré 722 E. 5th Ave. 352.383.0092 The Pizza Shop 925 E. 1st Ave. 352.735.3411

China Chef 24430 SR 44 352.357.2242

The Salted Fry 342 Dora Drawdy Way 352.720.3755

Del Franco Pizza Place 31436 CR 437 352.383.8882

Shiva Indian Restaurant 140A W. 5th Ave. 352.735.4555

Lisa’s Kountry Café 23911 CR 46 352.735.3380

MOUNT DORA

Anthony’s Pizza 17195 US Hwy 441 352.357.6668 The Bavarian Haus 433 Alexander St. 352.735.8387 Café Gianni 425 N. Alexander St. 352.735.3327 Cody’s On Fourth Café 111 E. 4th Ave. 352.735.8426 Copacabana Cuban Café 320 Dora Drawdy Way 352.385.9000 Duke’s Dogs 237 W. 4th Ave., Ste 4 352.729.6549 Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill 421 N. Baker St. 352.385.3540

SORRENTO

SAN JOSE’S ORIGINAL MEXICAN RESTAURANT

Momiji Sushi Bar 24400 SR 44 352.357.2285


DINE

TAVA R E S

Angelo’s Italian Restaurant 2270 Vindale Rd. 352.343.2757 BTW—Burgers Tacos Waffles 115 E. Main St. 352.508.9287 China Wok 342 W. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.5188 The Deli Llama 124 E. Alfred St. 352.508.5044 Eduardo’s Lokos Tacos 226 W. Alfred St. 352.742.1181 Havana 1959 1080 E. Alfred St. 352.609.5247

Ruby Street Grille 220 E. Main St. 352.742.7829 Sunrise Grill 462 E. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.7744 Tiki West Raw Bar and Grill 118 W. Ruby St. 352.508.5783 U M AT I L L A

Kalua Hale Sand Bar 111 W. Ruby St. 352.609.5910

Gator’s 9 N. Central Ave. 352.669.6969

Lake Dora Sushi & Sake 227 E. Main St. 352.343.6313

Greg’s Haystax 526 Umatilla Blvd. 352.669.1555

Mary’s Kountry Kitchen 15945 CR 448 352.343.6823

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Puddle Jumpers 111 W. Ruby St. 352.508.5862

Fish & Chix 100 N. Central Ave. 352.669.7145

Main Street Diner 505 W. Main St. 352.253.4663

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Palm Gardens Restaurant and Marina 11801 US Hwy 441 352.343.2024

Hurricane Dockside Grill 3351 W. Burleigh Blvd. 352.508.5137

Lake Harris Hideaway 11912 Lane Park Rd. 352.343.3585

PUDDLE JUMPERS

O’Keefe’s Irish Pub 115 S. Rockingham Ave. 352.343.2157

The Mason Jar 37534 SR 19 352.589.2535 Old Crow Restaurant 41100 US Hwy 19 352.669.3922 Shanghai 531 N. Central 352.669.2004


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. CLERMONT

Clermont Brewing Co. 750 W. Desoto St. 321.430.2337 The Crooked Spoon Gastropub 200 Citrus Tower Blvd. 352.404.7808 11am-2am Crown Restaurant & Lounge 1340 SR 50 352.394.3888 11:30am-2am Even Par Bar 20329 US Hwy 27 352.429.9033 2pm-2am Suncreek Brewery 790 W. Minneola 407.850.8810 11am-midnight EUSTIS

Wolf Branch Brewing 119 N. Bay St. 352.602.4564 Hours vary

MINNEOLA

Tiki Bar Grill at Lake Minneola Inn 508 Main Ave. 352.394.2232 11:30am-12am MOUNT DORA

Big Dog Saloon 4060 N. Hwy 19A 352.589.2442 Noon-2am Froggers Grill & Bar 4931 Lake Park Ct. 352.385.3555 11am-1am McGregor’s Bar 502½ N. Highland St. 352.735.7443 4pm-2am Mermaid Juice 458 N. Highland St. 352.556.1030 4pm-1am Tremain’s Tavern at Lakeside Inn 100 Alexander St. 352.383.4101 11am-8:30pm

LEESBURG

Brick & Barrel Public House 209 W. Main St. 352.431.3069 11am-11pm Great Chicago Fire Brewery & Tap Room 311 W. Magnolia St. 352.474.2739 11am-10pm Mammoth Oak Brewing 1107 W. North Blvd. 352.315.0198 11am-1am

TAVA R E S

Brü Tap House 143 E. Main St. 352.508.9321 Hours vary

BRÜ TAP HOUSE

TO L AKE COUNT Y •

87


DINE

Bakeries & sweets Lake County offers an array of places to go for delicious bakery goods, desserts and sugary confections. Here are some of the places worth visiting to satisfy those sweet cravings. CLERMONT

GRAND ISLAND

AnnOlivia’s Sweet Shop and Bakery Shop features wide array of desserts, including cupcakes loaded with different fillings and toppings. 12302 Roper Blvd., Ste. 103 407.371.2052 annoliviassweetshopandbakery.com

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

Scoops on 5th 36 flavors of Hershey’s ice cream, freshbaked cookies, and individual cakes. 130 E. 5th St. 352.800.9381 scoopson5th.com

LEESBURG

TAVA R E S

Corelli’s Dolceria Italiana Shop features Italian cupcakes, custom cakes, cookies, and more. 736 W. Montrose St. 352.432.5484 facebook.com/corellisdolceria/

Donut King of Leesburg Handmade, fresh doughnuts. 708 S. 14th St. 352.805.4888 thedonutking.com

Ritter’s Frozen Custard Custard made fresh daily—higher protein, less fat than ice cream. 2560 E. Hwy 50, No. 114 352.536.2979 ritters.com

MINNEOLA

Tavares Ice Cream Wide variety of Hershey’s ice cream, Italian ice, and dairyfree ice cream. 214 E. Main St. 352.508.5342 facebook.com/tavares-ice-cream

Donut King Handmade, fresh doughnuts including red velvet and Boston cream. 208 US Hwy 27 352.243.4046 thedonutking.com

Twistee Treat Shaped like an ice-cream cone, offering variety of frozen treats. 397 E. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.6177

Twistee Treat Shaped like an ice-cream cone, offering variety of frozen treats. 700 Hwy 27 352.243.1170 twisteetreat.com Yummi’s Frozen Yogurt and Café More than 50 different flavors of frozen yogurt, sorbet, and gelato. 650 8th St. 352.243.4529 yummisfrozenyogurtandcafe.com

MOUNT DORA

Allyson A Bake Shop 122 East 4th Ave. 352.383.2200 allysona.com

F R U I T L A N D PA R K

Le Petit Sweet French macaroons, iced cookies, cake cones, and cream puffs. 110 W. 5th St. 352.729.2453 lepetitsweet.wixsite.com

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

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

88 •

TO L AKE COUNT Y

YA L A H A

Yalaha Bakery German breads, Old World tortes, and pastries. 8210 CR 48 352.324.3366 yalahabakery.com

LE PETIT SWEET


ONE FLIGHT UP

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: CLERMONT

F R U I T L A N D PA R K

MOUNT DORA

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

Fruitland Park Café 3180 US Hwy 441 352.435.4575 facebook.com/Fruitland-ParkCafé

Cody’s on 4th 111 E. 4th St. 352.735.8426 codyson4th.com

Erika’s Tea Room and Gifts 787 W. Montrose St. 908.670.2305 erikastearoom.com Mountaineer Coffee 141 US Hwy 27 352.238.0066 facebook.com The Outpouring 2560 E. Hwy 50, Suite 107 352.989.4406 opcoffee.co Troy’s Cuban Deli 1200 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.241.4295 troyscubandeli.com

LEESBURG

The Coffee Snob Café 201 W. Main St. 352.460.4570 thecoffeesnobfl.com MONTVERDE

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

Le Petit Sweet 110 W. 5th St. 352.729.2453 lepetitsweet.wixsite.com One Flight Up 440 Donnelly Ave. 352.735.1446 facebook.com/OneFlightUp Serendipity 144 W 5th Ave. 352.729.2213 facebook.com/serendipitybrews

Village Coffee Pot of Mount Dora 425 N. Donnelly St. 352.383.3334 villagecoffeepot.com The Windsor Rose Restaurant and British Tea Room 142 W. 4th St. 352.735.2551 windsorrose-tearoom.com TAVA R E S

Jonesy’s Escape by Coffee Shop of Horrors 508 S. Duncan Dr. 352.609.1157 coffeeshopofhorrors.com

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89


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 is thea big bass “The Harris Chain of Lakes opportunity to catch a 10-pounder factory. knowFishing I haveinthe opportunity to on everyI cast. Lake catch a 10-pounder on every County is a must for every bass cast. Fishing inangler’s Lake County is a must for every bass bucket list!”

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WELCOME TO LAKE 2020  

2020 LAKE COUNTY FLORIDA VISITORS GUIDE - A visitor's guide to the place we call home.

WELCOME TO LAKE 2020  

2020 LAKE COUNTY FLORIDA VISITORS GUIDE - A visitor's guide to the place we call home.