Visit: Mount Dora, Florida

mtdorachair

Mt Dora, Florida.

Why should you visit?

Why not?

After spending a pleasant day in Mount Dora I have decided it may very well be the happiest little town in Central Florida and for sure the next Florida town you should visit.

From a stop at Under the Cherry Bloossoms  to a yummy cupcake at Cupcake Delights, a stroll along the lake or a craft beer at a local brewery; no matter where you stop or start or end you’re sure to find, friendly, welcoming people, warm atmosphere and tasty food.

If you’re a mom, I’d say leave the kiddos at home, but if that’s not possible Mt. Dora makes for a great day with kids of all ages.

So… here we are, the Frugal Travel Mom’s Why Mount Dora should be the next Florida town you visit.

My suggested itinerary…

Start at the-MOUNT DORA LAWN BOWLING CLUB

We parked on Edmonton Street, which is simply the far end of Donnnelly Street near the lake, at a public lot right next to the Mount Dora Lawn Bowling Club. After watching for a few minutes we walked over and struck up a conversation. Next thing I know my friend Emily and I are getting free lawn bowling lessons!

lawnbowlsign

mebowling

Here I am lawn bowling like a pro!

Per there website they do offer a tour of their facilities and maybe a free lessons.

Play or not play, you at least have to stop and watch it!

Next…

STROLL DOWN DONNELY STREET

Such a cute downtown, boutiques of all kinds, benches, map kiosks. We visited early, 10am, to avoid the crowds. We hit the bathrooms at the far end in Donnelly Park after a few stops along one side of Donnelly; then made our way back down cross crossing as we saw fit.

~ Under the Cherry Bloossoms

Under the Cherry Blossom is a unique store featuring 60+ artists, a tissue paper ceiling, free hugs and a positive vibe! Lynn the owner is a lovely lady and has provided opportunities all around her store for you to be encouraged and or to leave some encouragement for others.

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Under the Cherry Blossoms

 

~Next Door is Whispering Winds for everything Melissa and Doug and more!

~ Spice & Tea Exchange

With a large selection of fresh made spices this is the stop for all the cooks out there!! They even have a section of different flavored sugars!

spiceandtea

~Mt Dora Olive Oil Company

We didn’t stop in but I know there is a whole following of olive oil lovers out there, heres your spot!

~ One Flight Up

We ate at One Flight Up for lunch or you can too or simply visit for the best coffee and expressos in town {multiple people said this, I opted for tea and lobster bisque- both delish}

A unique coffee shop with several different seating options and rooms, we chose to eat out on the patio overlooking the street!

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Street View of One Flight Up

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Balcony seating at One FLight Up

~Map kiosk

Very helpful to find what you need, look for these map kiosks throughout downtown.

mtdoramap

 

While walking Donnely Street be sure to…

TAKE A SIDE STREET OR BACK ALLEY

You’ll find many a cute shop when you venture off the main street, we made it down a few side streets and alleys and here’s what we found…

~ Barrel of Books Bookstore

I usually want to buy just about every book I see when I enter a book store. Located on W 4th Ave.

~ Piece of Mind

An old garage turned cute, tucked away, garden nook entrance shop with the best candles around! A few doors down from the bookstore on W 4th.

~ Cupcake Delights

What can I say? It’s a cupcake store and not only a cupcake store but a yummy one at that. Since I have a sweet tooth I have learned that only the best quality cupcakes and sweets are worth eating; a good quality cupcake is worth it and this place delivers! We passed by the first time but Mount Dora is so accessable that it was nothing to just walk back after lunch. Located on E. 4th Ave.

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Cupcake Delights ~ A Must Visit

~ Modernism Museum and or Shoppe

Sometimes a visit to the museum store alone cuts down on the wallet and time budget! I found a great lightswitch at this one, it’s a piece of art and they always have cool kid toys at museum stores!! Located on E. 4th Ave.

sidestreet1

 

 

~ Mount Dora History Museum, Old Firehouse and City Jail

$2/adults, $1/students Located on Royellou between E 4th and E 5th Ave.

 

After visiting the hub bub of dowtown…

 

STROLL TO LIGHTHOUSE

From Donnely Street follow the sidewalk that follows Charles Ave to the lighthouse. It’s such a nice walk, see even the sidewalks are nice in Mount Dora.

picnicpath

port

 

Across the street from the Port of Mount Dora is…

GILBERT PARK AND PLAYGROUND

Had I visited with children I would have parked close to this park and then walked to lawn bowling and on from there. It’s pretty bad acid as far as playgrounds go and covers multiple ages, plus has a unique atom-like climbing structure. The park iself has a river running down one side of it, with bridges and a small path. This area would be tons of fun for the littles to explore and pretty photos for mom!

Don’t stay too long because next up is the…

BOARDWALK

The Boardwalk takes you along the shores of Lake Dora where both land and water wildlife abound. Gators, birds, ducks, squirels and more may greet you as you walk high above them, most of the time, on an awesome boardwalk. Located near Gilbert Park on the corner of Tremain and Liberty Streets.

boardwalk2

We walked to the end and then continued on to the dirt path that looped back around to the boardwalk. This was a nice stroll through Florida oaks, cypress, fruit trees and palms; be on the lookout for Cypress knees in the water. This “path” option ran somewhat parallel to the boardwalk and was easy to find and follow.

offbeatenpath

We found a fallen tree to climb.

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If you opt to be frugal and pack your own picnic lunch, Mount Dora is a great place to picnic, so…

GO AHEAD PICK YOUR PERFECT PICNIC SPOT

My top picnic spots are: Anywhere near the lake,  Park on the corner of Alexander and W 4th near the Chamber of Commerce, Gilbert Park, Donnely Street has benches and would be fun to people watch and eat, near the lighthouse at Port of Mt Dora or on the boardwalk there were several benches and even a few picnic tables.

Whereever you stop and eat, it’s sure to be plesant, after all you should be with some of your favorite people.


 

Before you go you may want to check out…

ORANGE BLOSSOM CANNONBALL TRAIN RIDE

Check their website for more info. Looks really cool.


 

Farther out from downtown is…

 

RENNINGER’S

Areas largest flea market and antique center. I did not visit but next time I am on the hunt for furnsihings I will visit for sure!

When I first heard of Mt Dora, Renninger’s was always in the same sentence.

It’s kind of a classic. If you go let me know what you find!

 

So why should you visit Mount Dora, Florida?

Why not?

If you go please let me know

and if you’ve been please share your favs because I will be returning,

I have the frequent cupcake buyer card and a hankering for some lawn bowling.

-Happy Trails,

-m


 

**BATHROOMS**

I will do my best to give a bathroom review at the end of each blog. We used two different public bathrooms and both were very clean. One older than the other but both well kept. Good job Mount Dora bathroom cleaners!!

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At least someone washed their hands… Donnelly Park bathrooms

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Gilbert Park bathrooms

 

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