Matt Kelland

photo: Matt Kelland

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Overview

When you leave the main road behind and wander down Old US 441 or Donnelly Avenue towards Lake Dora, time shifts a little. Gone are the strip malls, the fast food, the gas stations. Beneath the grand old live oaks on this knoll that slopes down to the lake, you’ll find a village reminiscent of New England, with steep streets and brick buildings and an imposing turn-of-the-century railroad hotel on the shores of the lake. This is Mount Dora, best known as Florida’s mecca for antiques. Established in the 1880s, it started as the settlement of Royellou and was renamed to honor its first homesteader, Dora Ann Drawdy. While the railroads and ...

When you leave the main road behind and wander down Old US 441 or Donnelly Avenue towards Lake Dora, time shifts a little. Gone are the strip malls, the fast food, the gas stations. Beneath the grand old live oaks on this knoll that slopes down to the lake, you’ll find a village reminiscent of New England, with steep streets and brick buildings and an imposing turn-of-the-century railroad hotel on the shores of the lake. This is Mount Dora, best known as Florida’s mecca for antiques. Established in the 1880s, it started as the settlement of Royellou and was renamed to honor its first homesteader, Dora Ann Drawdy. While the railroads and steamships no longer bring travelers here to soak up the sun each winter, it’s still a happening place, with bistros and a broad selection of B&Bs, live music at sidewalk cafes, a lovely lakefront with a tiny lighthouse, art galleries, and the famed antique stores. Best of all, it’s walkable — once you’re settled into your accommodations, there’s no need to drive except to see the big weekend bonanza of antiques at Renninger’s.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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Sandra Friend for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Year-round