Mount Dora is a great day trip from the Villages of Citrus Hills for antique shopping, fine dining and a little bit of bass fishing.
Between its train rides and tours, as well as its fantastic antique shopping, gourmet dining, and over-the-top holiday celebrations, Mount Dora is another great place for residents of the Villages of Citrus Hills to spend a day.
Located just a little over an hour east in Lake County, Mount Dora sits right on the beautiful Lake Dora which is also an excellent spot for bass fishing.
The atmosphere around Mount Dora has been referred to as Florida Country Living, which means that it has that small town, “Old Florida” feel that many of us are crazy about. Visitors will be impressed to find a large number of local tours and events. There are also a large number of unique stores and local bistros in Mount Dora’s downtown district.
Trains and Tours
One of the biggest attractions in all of Mount Dora has to be the Orange Blossom Cannonball. This famous train that is powered by steam created from burning wood has been featured in popular movies like 3:10 to Yuma, True Grit, and Lincoln.
Visitors can hop on the train and take a one to two hour tour of Central Florida that allows them to see the area the way early pioneers might have.
If trains aren’t really your thing, you might want to check out the boat tours that are available on the Dora Canal from Premier Boat Tours. These two-hour eco-tours will bring you up close and personal with different types of foliage and wildlife.
Another fun option is to take a Segway tour that covers all of the historic locations throughout Mount Dora.
An extremely popular local tour that will spare you the hassle of boarding a train or boat or trying to handle a Segway is the Taste of Our Town Tour. These tours are held every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 2:00 pm and the guides will introduce you to a combination of great local food, wine, and history.
Like many of the small towns located throughout Florida, Mount Dora has a long history of being a great place for antique shopping.
There are at least 8 different places in this small town to shop for antiques including independent shops like Oliver’s Twist Antiques and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Antiques, as well as Village Antique Mall where more than 60 different vendors come together under one roof.
If you are looking for an intimate dining experience after a day of antique shopping, The Goblin Market Restaurant is the perfect fit. The restaurant features three different dining rooms that are all filled with well-stocked bookshelves that give each room a warm and inviting feeling. The menu is equally inviting with standout items like Tempura Dipped Artichoke Hearts, Filet Napoleon, and Asiago Chicken Roulade. There are also smaller plate options available for lighter appetites.
If a long day of train rides, tours, and antique shopping has you in the mood for something a little more casual, Sugarboo’s Bar-B-Que is an outdoor BBQ joint that serves up some outstanding ribs, chicken, pork, turkey, and beef brisket. Their pulled pork sandwiches also make a great lunch option if you are holding out for a more formal dinner.
Christmas in Mount Dora
While there are plenty of exciting things to do in Mount Dora year round, Christmas is one of the best times to visit because the town really comes together to put on one heck of a show. Visitors at Christmas time will see an unbelievable display of lights on local properties, have the opportunity to ride the Cannonball Christmas Express Train, shop for wonderful Christmas antiques, and still have a wonderful meal in any of the local restaurants.
Regardless of what time of year you choose to visit Mount Dora, there is almost always some type of exciting event happening. Between all of the great tours, shopping locations, and restaurants, there is always more to see and do in this part of Florida.