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Mount Dora: Live, Love, Explore

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 town 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
Shows the front of Maggie's Attic Wine Bar at night from the courtyard out front
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. 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.

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. 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. A calendar reveals some type of festival scheduled each month.

Love, The Heirloom Inn

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

My husband, Dan and I stayed at the Heirloom Inn, previously called Magnolia 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.

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.

Check out these sponsored links for some ideas of items to enhance your romantic weekend…..

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6 thoughts on “Mount Dora: Live, Love, Explore

  1. I love festivals. It’s always a plus when I visit a destination so the fact you added on here, is a good motivation to go there some day. Also, the lake sounds awesome.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

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