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Discover Downtown Mount Dora: Live, Love, Explore

Do you like the feel of a small town, meandering through tree lined streets, finding hidden antique shops or a village market? If you answer “yes” then you will love downtown Mount Dora. This is the kind of place I picture an old fashioned 4th of July parade and picnic to take place. With Donnelly Park located in the center of the historic district in front of Donnelly House, you can make your dreams of a picnic a reality.

Located about 45 minutes north of Orlando, the quaint town of Mount Dora boasts numerous B&Bs, antique shops, specialty stores, and hosts several arts and crafts shows each year. When you get thirsty head to Maggie’s Attic for a nice glass of wine or specialty beer. The village itself looks like something out of Victorian upstate New York. Nearby is Lake Dora where you can explore the lake on a cat boat tour for two. This is the ideal setting for a romantic weekend.

Shows a cat boat on Lake Dora
Cat boat for two on Lake Dora

I need downtown Mt. Dora directions

Mount Dora is located in central Florida north of Orlando. The best way to get there from either north or south is to take the Florida turnpike. Then get off at the Apopka exit following the signs for FL429 N/Apopka. After that, take FL-453 N towards Mount Dora/Leesburg. Continue on, taking Highway 46 W to Highland Street. Then you can reach downtown Mt. Dora via 5th Avenue. There are several parking lots or parking along some of the streets.

map of downtown Mt. Dora
Mount Dora downtown map

This Mount Dora map shows all of the main streets, some downtown Mount Dora shops, downtown Mt. Dora restaurants, and some Mt. Dora bars.

Shows the front of Maggie's Attic Wine Bar at night from the courtyard out front in downtown Mt. Dora
Maggie’s Attic

Originally, we started visiting Mount Dora over a decade ago after a recommendation from my parents. Consequently, we befriended the owners of Maggie’s Attic, a charming wine bar. Once inside you will find latticework and vines decorating the ceiling, as well as a few bar stools, scattered couches and bistro tables, just like someone’s home decor. The restroom is located up a spiral staircase. In addition, they often host wine and beer tastings and live music in the courtyard out front on weekends.

Best restaurants in Mount Dora

These are some of our favorites.

As my husband and I had a tie-dye business at the time, the owners recommended we apply to participate in the fall craft festival.

Live, Mount Dora Festivals

Mount Dora hosts numerous festivals throughout the year. For example, the Annual Mount Dora Craft Fair which takes place each October attracts over 200,000 visitors annually. With that in mind, Dan and I considered ourselves privileged to participate in this festival which has been taking place for 36 years. We also participated in the Spring Festival for Arts and Crafts which takes place the 3rd weekend in March each year. As a result, we met many interesting and talented people during our visits to downtown Mount Dora. For example, check out Peggi’s Uniques for creative jewelry and Mike’s Metal Studio for one of a kind lawn art. Additionally, the Arts Festival takes place the 1st weekend in February. And in September, the Seafood Festival takes place. To find out the Mount Dora buzz, a calendar reveals some type of festival scheduled each month.

Love, The Heirloom Inn

Shows the front of the Victorian Heirloom Inn in downtown Mount Dora
The Front of the Heirloom Inn

My husband, Dan and I stayed at the Heirloom Inn. Located on Donnelly Street, The Heirloom Inn is within walking distance of specialty shops, antique stores, wine bars, and various restaurants. After exploring the town, relax out back. The Inn has several hidden gardens and sitting areas. We stayed in the Mahogany Suite. It housed a full kitchen where we cooked our meals, in addition to a sitting room, bedroom, and a private bath.

More Mt. Dora places to stay

These are additional places to stay, highly reccommended by people in the area.

Explore, Lake Dora

Shows the sign for Port Dora and a view of the lake

Nearby is Lake Dora. You can view the lighthouse or have a picnic lunch. However, we chose to take a catboat tour. Cat boats seat two. Even though neither of us had ever driven a boat, the controls are easy enough to learn. We followed behind a tour guide with a group of other couples. Highlights included fascinating historical information and many nature finds.

Things to do in downtown Mt. Dora

I am not much for shopping, but when visiting this village, you have to check out the quaint Mount Dora shops. There are quirky kitchen gadgets, vintage items, specialty shops, and lots of art. These are just some places for the best shopping in Mount Dora:

I already mentioned Lake Dora and the cat boat tours, but there are other things to do besides shopping and eating.

Don’t forget to check out these sponsored links for some ideas of items to bring along on your romantic weekend…..

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Donna Emperador is a travel and food blogger and copywriter. Donna believes in learning about different cultures while sharing good food and cocktails. She has lived in South Florida for over 20 years and enjoys spending time exploring the road to find unique places to share with readers. She can be found on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

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7 thoughts on “Discover Downtown Mount Dora: Live, Love, Explore”

  1. I love the idea of visiting a small town like Dora with antique shops and small quaint B&Bs. A romantic boat ride does sound like the perfect way to end the day. We do like to visit craft festivals and stock up on home made gifts! Another one for our Florida future visits.

  2. I had no idea that Mount Dora boasts so many attractions. I add it to my list. I want to visit it during the Seafood Festival most.

  3. Mount Dora seems like the perfect place for a couples getaway. The catboat tour on Lake Dora sounds exciting. I had a similar experience once, but it didn’t go so well. We got stuck in seaweed! But I would love to try again. I would also love to visit some of the antique shops.

  4. Mount Dora sounds like a dream town in a Hallmark Channel. Beautiful, has numerous B&Bs, antique shops, and specialty stores. Followed by festivals in the spring and the fall. I haven’t visited Florida yet, but Mount Dora will be a pretty stop to add to my Florida’s bucket list.

  5. I have never heard of Mount Dora but it sure sounds like a great place to explore. I’d love to rent a boat and take a ride on the lake. I love charming wine bars to it seems like I must visit Maggie’s Attic!

  6. All that I love exploring on an excursion are present in Mount Dora. Thanks for bringing this post. I will ensure that I visit it in October to enjoy the town during the festival.

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