Perched atop Lake Wales Ridge, Leesburg attracts both the traditional retiree and the urban refugee escaping the hectic pace of the big city. The economy, once solely based upon agriculture, has become more diverse, anchored by a first-class airport, and industrial parks, as well as new business incentive programs and fast track permitting to encourage new business investment. The main shopping venue, Lake Square Mall, features 80 specialty stores and a popular movie theatre. Leesburg’s location, between two of Lake County’s largest bodies of water, Lake Griffin and Lake Harris, make it no small wonder that boating and fishing are the two most popular pastimes. Lake County’s largest city, Leesburg has a downtown area that is a treat to the eye with its recently completed multi-million dollar streetscape project. The picturesque downtown is lined with old historical buildings, park benches, quaint restaurants, gift shops, antique stores and other businesses. The Leesburg Partnership hosts many public events and festivals which include the Mardi Gras Street Party, Mardi Gras Ball, Christmas Parade, Main Street Christmas Stoll, and the famous Leesburg Bikefest, to name just a few.
This 55+ community features three town squares that provide residents with numerous amenities and recreation options. The community also features multiple places to gather with friends and socialize with neighbors. Spanish Springs Town Square, Lake Sumter Landing Market Square and Brownwood Paddock Square offer free nightly entertainment 365 days a year. The assortment of retail shops, restaurants, movie theaters, and cafes provide the town squares with ample entertainment opportunity.
Mount Dora retains its small-town feel with rolling hills, stately oaks, beautiful lakes and historic buildings. The town is especially known for its spectacular Christmas decorations centered around the downtown park where every tree is covered with thousands of sparkling lights. Mount Dora is also known as having the best antique shopping in the state. The historic downtown area has a wide variety of antique specialty shops and restaurants most of which are open everyday. The popular Renninger’s Antique Mall is located nearly with it’s monthly antique shows and exhibits. Lake Dora, with it’s beautiful waterfront Gilbert Park and famous lighthouse, is just a short walk from downtown.
The Art Festival, Craft Fair, Car Shows, Live Theatre and more.
The City hosts many annual events such as the popular “Mount Dora Arts Festival”. This event attracts over 200,000 people each year and has been ranked among the top art shows in the country. Other events include craft shows, antique car shows, golf tournaments, bicycle festivals and plant and garden fairs. Throughout the year, Mount Dora also hosts many arts and cultural activities. You can enjoy live plays at the newly renovated Sonnentag Theatre at the Icehouse or concerts and recitals at the Mount Dora Center for the Arts. For fun and relaxation, fish off the dock next to the famous Mount Dora lighthouse, take a scenic cruise of the Dora Canal, enjoy a nature walk on Palm Island or just enjoy the sunsets on beautiful Lake Dora.
Eustis is a unique and charming waterfront City with a downtown area virtually on the shore of Lake Eustis. The City docks are open to the public and it is possible to dock your boat and walk a short distance to dine at restaurants and browse the many small shops that line the downtown streets. Downtown Eustis is vintage Norman Rockwell, where one can walk brick-laid streets, feel the breezes from majestic Lake Eustis, smell homemade sourdough bread or see a play at the Bay Street Theatre. In 1993 Eustis was named a Main Street City, one of only a handful in the State. History buffs will enjoy a visit to the Clifford House, a Neo-classical Revival house serving as the Eustis Historical Museum. Ferran Park on the shores of Lake Eustis is a popular retreat among locals, the site of sailing regattas, 4th of July festivals, the Lake Eustis Fine Arts Festival, held in November and the Light Up Eustis Christmas celebration. The Eustis downtown merchants sponsor frequent street festivals with live entertainment and a popular monthly classic car cruise. The Eustis Lake Walk is a popular destination in the town. It is a modern concrete boardwalk with beautiful iron gates and railings where you can walk the lakefront and may even see someone catch a fish or two. The City of Eustis’ motto is “The City of Bright Tomorrows”. Nowhere is a motto more fitting than on this beautiful Florida City on the Lake.
The City of Tavares, located on the north shore of Lake Dora, is the County Seat of Lake County. The Historic Courthouse, built in 1924, contains the Lake County Historical Museum, brimming with artifacts tracing the areas past. This waterfront City has gone through a major renaissance in recent years. As “America’s Seaplane City”, downtown Tavares has been transformed from the seat of government business to an attraction of major interest. A number of popular restaurants are worth a visit. The City of Tavares 4th of July fireworks display on Lake Dora is especially noteworthy. The fireworks are launched across the lake and the reflections off the water and the echoes from the surrounding hills make the show a unique experience. Another popular Tavares activity is a boat tour on the Dora Canal. The canal, which connects Lake Dora and Lake Eustis, runs through a protected wildlife area with towering cypress trees and abundant wildlife. Alligators are a common site, along with beautiful wood ducks, cranes, egrets and blue herons. In mid winter, you can occasionally observe a family of otters swimming and fishing in the canal.