Skip to content

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 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…..

author profile picture

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.

50 great plans for romance, steamboats, dinner cruises, New Orleans
Best Romantic Date Ideas: 55 Great Plans for Romance
January 27, 2022

According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, over 50% of adult Americans report that they are in a serious romantic relationship. If you are one of these people, 50 great plans for romance are waiting for you….

Read More
Great Romantic Getaways in Florida: Go Now
January 20, 2022

What are the best places in the world for a honeymoon? Recently I collaborated with travel writers to discover the best places for romantic getaways worldwide. However, when people ask me, ” What is your favorite vacation place?”, I say…

Read More
Flagler Beach Florida: how to rekindle romance now
December 30, 2021

Picnicking on the beach, feeding each other chocolate dipped strawberries, soaking in a two person Jacuzzi, do these things conjure up images of a romantic getaway? Maybe you prefer stargazing while floating in a heated salt water pool, then stepping…

Read More
Discover Downtown Mount Dora: Live, Love, Explore
November 11, 2021

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…

Read More
Blueberry Wine: Learn How to Boost Your Immune System Now
August 30, 2021

Tired of theme parks? Looking for a more sophisticated trip for grown ups? Central Florida has more to offer than theme parks. On a recent trip to central Florida, my husband and I decided to check out some local wineries….

Read More
Small Town Florida: Now Discover the Hidden Magic
July 19, 2021

As we drove up Florida Turnpike towards small town Florida and away from our crazy South Florida lives, I began to relax. My tiki bar mix boomed out Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville from the stereo. I donned my vacation hairstyle. That…

Read More
shows limestone formations in Florida Caverns State Park
Discover Caverns in Florida: Introducing Nature a it’s Best
May 3, 2021

Did you ever want to try spelunking? Experience timeless caverns in Florida, and then go camping at Florida Caverns State Park. We initially stopped here for the night on our road trip to Louisiana. But it is an experience worth…

Read More
Islands of Florida: Discover a Unique Way to Vacation
April 12, 2021

Dan and I recently got out and traveled. Well, it was a two day road trip to one of the islands of Florida. We rented a sailboat through Airbnb on Merritt Island, located on the Space Coast. This may sound…

Read More
Romantic Rentals Panama City Beach: Places to Share the Love
April 5, 2021

When looking for a beach getaway, look for rentals Panama City Beach. The Florida Panhandle has approximately 200 miles of white powdery sand beaches. While Panama City Beach is located 112 miles west of Tallahassee, FL it is only about…

Read More

9 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.

  7. Downtown Mount Dora seems like a charming and idyllic destination! The small-town atmosphere, antique shops, and picturesque surroundings make it perfect for a relaxing getaway. The catboat tour on Lake Dora and the festivals add an extra layer of excitement. Thanks for sharing this delightful gem!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *