A Perfect Saturday In Mount Dora

There are some towns that capture you. Places that seem to speak into the best parts of your soul shielding you from the barrage of deadlines and beckoning you to explore on foot. Mount Dora, Florida is such a place. It is a town that time has forgotten in the best of ways. A city whose downtown seems to pulse with an artistic heartbeat that is every bit as vibrant as the people that call it home. I have lived here for more than 3 years and I still catch myself smiling as I walk down the quaint streets thinking, this really is “someplace special”.

For a town with a population just shy of 14,000 residents, it punches well above its weight. Mount Dora draws upon the best elements of Saint Augustine and Savannah without selling itself into the unbridled throes of tourism. In short, it is a hidden gem; still unspoiled by rampant brand saturation and clogged roadways. That time may come, but for now Mount Dora is a town with historical buildings, charming art shops, and superb bakeries.

To try and distill one perfect Saturday in this Central Florida village would be like trying to capture a Picasso in one brush stroke. The sheer variety of great things to do Mount Dora could easily take up many perfect Saturdays. But, once again as is my duty, I will attempt to provide one such Mount Dora day that can only be described as perfect.

1. 8:00 am – A Local Icon and Fresh Air in the Parks

Personally I find the mornings to be invigorating. A time when the air is still crisp (well if its not summer) and the excitement of a brand new day is in full bloom. That’s why I tend to favor being outside and experiencing that magic time of the day. Between the months of November and May that feeling is just magnified with the arrival of cooler weather. Fortunately a stroll outside can also lead you to a Lake County icon, the Mount Dora Lighthouse. This small picturesque lighthouse is the perfect place to start your day and grab a quick selfie. Is it tall? No. Can you tour it? No. Is it worth checking out? Absolutely. Park in the lot near Gilbert & Palm Island Park and make your way North to see the lighthouse. Snap your required pic and then take a walk along the Palm Island Boardwalk for a view of the lake wildlife including birds, squirrels, and the occasional alligator.

2. 9:00 am – Go European for a Light Bite

Now that you have had the opportunity to stretch your legs a bit, make your way to the center of downtown where the rest of your days adventure truly begins. If you’re like me, then you have probably worked up an appetite so its time do breakfast the European way. Make your way along 4th avenue until you run into Alyson A. Bakeshop. A relative newcomer to the Mount Dora bakery scene, this exquisitely designed bakery excels at creating incredible baked treats including cookies, cakes, and loafs. While those are all wonderful, you are here for the magnum opus of morning delights… the scone! Alyson A. Bakeshop makes some of the best scones you can find in a 500 mile radius. My personal favorites are the honey vanilla or the lemon scones, but I can assure you all of them will meet your mouth with satisfaction. If you need an additional  morning pick me up, pair said scone with an iced coffee.

For some, this light fare may not be enough to fuel for your busy day, so after the morning scone cross the street and stop in at Codys on 4th for an egg sandwich or other breakfast staple.

3. 10:00 am – Mid Morning ‘Putz’

Mount Dora does certain things very, very well. Shopping and sugar being a few of those things. Sure, in some context those could be considered vices but in Mount Dora there is no such thing.  For my wife and I, the mid-morning “putz” around the local shops is more than just a good time, it’s tradition!

Start at the Modernism Museum gift shop to find some unique gifts that are sure to brighten your day. If you have not been to the Modernism Museum, it is definitely worth a visit. The art installations change but this fairly small museum packs a great punch of quality exhibits including objects from the estate of David Bowie and furniture from renowned modernist furniture designers Wharton Esherick and George Nakashima. Head towards Donnelly but make sure you pay a quick visit to Julianne’s Coastal Cottage for a sample of frozen wine slushy (yes please) and a few quick laughs at the WOW Factory next door. At the corner of 4th and Donnelly visit the Mount Dora Marketplace where you will find a plethora of vendors all under one roof. The marketplace is relatively new, but is definitely worth a visit. For a touch of France cross the street and stop in at Black Swan Mercantile where you will find high end gifts in a smartly decorated store within the Renaissance building. The Black Swan is another one of those spots that I can lose my wife for an extended period of time. If you are headed towards the waterfront make sure you take a quick gander into the Checkered Moon. They have a diverse range of curated goods for nearly every stage of life.

Finally, no putz would be complete without a sweet treat at Le Petite Sweet. As soon as you walk into the charming patisserie you are greeted with warm smiles from the staff and a dessert case with hand crafted pastries that will blow your mind and taste buds with flavor. I have been to a number of pastry shops from France to Portugal to Napa (yes I have a sweet tooth) and I still believe that La Petite ranks up there with the best of them. If you are feeling like adulting today, try the Lavender cookies which are the perfect delight for someone who is aiming for refined yet subtle flavors without overwhelming sweetness. Want something a bit more decadent? Reach into the cooler for a macaroon ice cream sandwich. These beguiling behemoths are all made from scratch! Craving a classic? Select any of the rotating freshly made pastries in the case and savor each and every morsel… believe me, they go down easy.

There are so many great shops in downtown Mount Dora that we have barely even scratched the surface. Everything from custom spices to local art can be found along the main boulevard and the hidden alleys that make up the gridded downtown. My recommendation is to make this part of your day a “choose-your-own adventure” and explore with reckless abandon!

4. 12:30 pm – Cuban Lunch 

Once again, we find ourselves in a pickle for selecting a great place for lunch. While they’re are certainly no shortage of delicious options, my personal favorite spot is Copacabana. A little bit hidden from sight of Donnelly, “Copa” as I affectionately call it is a Cuban restaurant that you don’t want to pass up. The decor is simple and unassuming and the food is spectacular.

Try the cuban sandwich for a take on the classic or go for the bistec de palomilla, a thin steak marinated in garlic and covered in sautéed onions. Don’t forget to slather any of your meal choices with either the red or green sauce. The choice is yours but my favorite is the green (the red is spicier). Since it is also past noon go ahead and order yourself a Copa mojito. You deserve it.

5. 2:00 pm – Tour Lake Dora  

Now that you have a full belly and hands full of great gifts, it’s time to relax a bit… or not. Lake Dora from the shoreline is a beautiful sight but even more dramatic is the view from a boat. Take a tour around the lake and through the Dora Canal to experience old Florida in all of its natural splendor. The two most popular ways to make your way along the waterways are by a pontoon tour boat or in a small convoy of CatBoats. Never heard of a CatBoat? Well, imagine a miniature 2 person catamaran with an outboard strapped to the back. Lots of fun!  Whether you opt for a more relaxed pontoon boat cruise or the CatBoats the views are the same… spectacular. The Dora Canal in particular is a sight that you just have to experience for yourself. It is a small slice of pristine Florida nature that reminds you the value of being still.

6. 4:00 pm – The Happiest Hours or Dinner… Dealers Choice

Ok so I must make a full confession: I really enjoy Happy Hour. There is something so… well happy… about relaxing before dinner with a strong libation in my hand and good conversation. I will also admit though that not all happy hours are created equal. While there are an abundance of cheap drinks in Lake County, few places can truly capture the spirit of a spirit. One such place that brings together a refined sense of atmosphere, stimulating conversation, and may I say some of the best cocktails in all of Lake County is the restaurant 1921 Mount Dora. Located on 4th Avenue in the heart of downtown, it is a refined respite from the more casual restaurant choices usually found in the area. The restaurant brings together a flair for the dramatic with modern art plastered across the walls and velvet chairs crowded around natural wood tables. The food on the other hand tends to vacillate towards Florida favorites and upscale Southern comfort food. If you choose to dine here you will not be disappointed. While I have spent time many nights dining on delicious meals it is the bar that has brought us here tonight. Pull up a seat around the rather large rectangular bar or one of the many tables that surround the outer peripheries, you are in for a treat. What to order you ask? Let me be your guide, or better yet ask one of the knowledgable mixologists for an excellent recommendation. My personal favorite is the 1921 old fashioned, an enticing take on an American classic. The cocktail list may rotate but this drink is a staple. If you are feeling hungry reach for the happy hour food menu and try the 1921 burger or honestly anything else… no joke, they are almost all incredible.

I cannot begin to tell you how many nights we have come for happy hour but have ended up staying for dinner and dessert. 1921 is just one of those places that draws you in and keeps you coming back for more.

7. 6:30 pm – Dinner at a Mount Dora Favorite

Dinner is an epicurean affair; a time when chefs step up their game to showcase the best of what they can offer. Dinner at the Goblin Market is no exception. The food is central to the overwhelmingly pleasurable experience. Situated in a converted home, three book-lined dining rooms allow for an environment that is intimate and sumptuous as the food. The warm dimly lit theme carries up the narrow staircase into the second floor dining room and ultimately spilling into a beautiful “Hemingway-esque” bar lounge. The cocktails here are fantastic and innovative but it is the upscale cuisine that we seek. If you are feeling hungry go for the Cheshire Pork Chop. This bone-in beauty is every bit as tender as flavorful. Want to dance on the lighter side? Try any of the fish dishes. The salmon or the Idaho trout are both particularly delicious. The wine selection is somewhat limited but well curated with a wide variety to meet any palette. So grab a glass or better yet, why not a bottle?

The Goblin Market is just one of those places that you should be confident that no matter what you order on the menu the chef has ensured the quality will always be there. In short they are consistently wonderful. A little word of warning. The Goblin Market can get very busy especially on a Saturday night, so plan accordingly and get reservations.

8. 9:00 pm – Time to Go Home… errr probably not

Mount Dora has had a reputation for shutting down early. While that still holds true in many ways there are still a few great spots that stay open late for anyone looking to up the ante (as if the mojitos, happy hour cocktails, and wine with dinner weren’t enough). If you plan on staying in the heart of downtown swing by the Magical Meat Boutique for some great beers and a lively atmosphere that stays open until 2am. This British pub is a place that beckons a visit. If you don’t mind traveling a bit outside the core, head East on 5th avenue until you run into Highland street. This corner contains a number of busy late night bars but my personal favorite is Mermaid Juice. Everything about this place is funky and wonderful! Imagine grabbing a beer in your best friends garage who also happens to be an antique collector. Ummmmm….. yeah you just need to check it out to understand what I am talking about. Mermaid Juice also carries a HUGE selection of craft beers and wine so if you are looking to try something you won’t get at the neighborhood grocery, head to the Mermaid!

Once again, I must tell you that this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the great things that can be found in Mount Dora. It is a small town that has so much to offer for locals, visitors, or snow birds. Mount Dora is truly someplace special.

Have some other ideas for a perfect Saturday in Mount Dora? Drop us a line or tell us some of your favorites in the comment section below!

Join Us for the Lake County Brewery Crawl

Join us Saturday December 7th at your favorite Lake County brewery! Meet the Lake Rising team, enjoy a locally brewed drink and get a free Lake Rising T-Shirt (until they run out).

If you are in South Lake join us at Clermont Brewing Company at 3pm and if you live in North Lake join us at Wolf Branch Brewing in Eustis at 7:30pm.

It’s going to be a tight schedule but we will also be visiting a number other breweries. So if you are in the area take a look at the schedule and meet us for a beer!

Clermont Brewing Company (South Lake start location): 3pm- 4:30pm

Suncreek Brewing: 4:35pm – 5:05pm

Great Chicago Fire Brewery: 5:45pm- 6:15pm

Mount Dora Brewing: 6:45pm- 7:15pm

Wolf Branch Brewing (North Lake end location): 7:30pm- 9pm


Mount Dora Marketplace: Phase 1 is Officially OPEN

Great news! Mount Dora Marketplace, the long awaited multi-vendor venue at the corner of Donnelly St & 4th Ave in Downtown Mount Dora has officially opened it’s doors. This multi phase project has opened phase one with 12 vendors including fresh flowers, fresh beers, and fresh food.

When you enter the Marketplace from 4th Ave you’ll first see the adorable Yummm Pops, a cart full of gourmet popsicles with a massive selection of flavors and even some filled popsicles. To your right is The White Orchid which offers potted plants including beautiful orchids and fresh flower bouquet’s in the vase or by the bundle. These arrangements are exceptionally fresh so be sure to stop by the cooler to see these stunners (gentle nudge for you gents). Around a small corner you will find two more vendors including Ceviche Mix and Bubbles + Juice. Ceviche Mix is serving up fresh ceviche and guacamole while Bubbles + Juice will handle all things mimosa *swoon*.

Through a door on your left you will enter what I’ve affectionately named ‘the sweet tooth room’. In here there is Cassie’s Cupcakes, who is baking up irresistible cupcakes in traditional and mini sizes. Next you’ll see Aunt Gingibread’s Bakery with a variety of sweet treats including cookies, bars and an option I think is absolutely brilliant…scrap cups; a cup full of cake scraps topped with icing. It is an ingenious way to use cake scraps instead of wasting them and trust me, they look scrumptious. Your last stop in the den of sweets is Keto on 4th, a keto, paleo and gluten free donut shop using organic coconut flour, coconut oil, eggs and zero glycemic sweetener.

Your next right turn will bring you to the linchpin of the marketplace, Wolf Branch Brewing; a stellar brewery with an ever changing list of creative drafts. This local brewery also has a location in Eustis and has gained a loyal following for their innovative beers using fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Next you’ll find European Breads who’s offerings include ciabatta bread, bagels, and an array of European pastries. Also in this space is Claire’s Creperie, with everything from breakfast to dessert in a crepe. Right next door you’ll smell the sweet aroma’s of candle’s that look good enough to eat. Sugar & Geek Candle Company hand pours stunning candle’s and offers an especially fun ‘selfie’ wall so you can capture your fun moments at the Mount Dora Marketplace. Last and certainly not least is Cheese to Share, your one stop shop for all things cheese. You can order a cheeseboard served with the appropriate accoutrement, cheese fondue, and they have burrata on the menu-yum.

It is thrilling to consider how this exciting venture is going to grow. In fact, phase 2 is going to be open soon with 20+ additional vendors. Some of the stalls we have to look forward to include a wine bar, coffee kitchen, arepa’s, poke bowls, beauty, shoes and so much more. Cheers!

Halloween in Lake County, FL

Hi October; welcome; I’m so glad you’re here. This month is amazing for a few reasons:

  1. There SHOULD be a dip in temperatures this month (at least mornings and evenings)
  2. It’s my birthday month (don’t you dare ask how old I am 🙂 )
  3. Allllll the spooky things!!

I am a sucker for fall. I love that the holidays are around the corner and it’s a fun and eventful season packed with opportunities to spend time with friends and family. October is the beginning of the BEST time of the year in Lake County, Florida. 

Halloween will be here in no time, so I propose we begin making our plans. From haunted houses to dances, pumpkin patches and parties-let’s make this month SO. MUCH. FUN.

Without further adieu, I have tracked down some of the upcoming happenings and am serving them to you on a (proverbial) silver platter below:

Mount Dora:

Haunted Pub Crawl of Mount Dora
Fri, Oct 11, 7 PM – 10 PM
Sunset Park
339 N Alexander St, Mt Dora, FL

The Haunted Pub Crawl of Mount Dora has all the spirits you’re looking for. This three-hour tour takes you to three of Mount Dora’s premier haunted watering holes. Along the way you will hunt ghosts, learn the haunted history of Mount Dora from your tour guide and receive special offers such as samples, BOGO deals and discounts. The evening begins at a historic haunted hotel and tavern built in 1883. Then it’s off to a paranormal underground pub. The last stop is at British Gastro Pub where you will board a derailed 1940’s train car with a dark past.


Folklore of Haunted Hometowns
Fri, Oct 25, 11 AM – 12 PM
W.t. Bland Public Library
900 N Donnelly St, Mt Dora, FL

Just in time for Halloween, adults are invited to explore the spookier side of Florida through local ghost legends being told across the state. Part history lesson, part folklore, and part ghost story, author Christopher Balzano (author of the Tripping on Legends podcast) takes you on a journey from the Gulf Coast to the Space Coast, from the swamps to the haunted attractions, from the whispers on college campuses to the roads the kids visit on a dark Saturday.   

No registration required. Refreshments will be served.

Howl-O-Ween Parade
Sat, Oct 26, 2 – 3 PM
W.t. Bland Public Library
900 N Donnelly St, Mt Dora, FL

Children ages 12 & under are invited to wear their favorite costumes to the Library for a parade throughout the Butterfly Garden and the Library.  They will be joined by the PAWs therapy dogs who will also be in costume! Afterward, children are invited to read stories to PAWs therapy dogs and enjoy free treats as well as a free book. 


Night in the Pumpkin Patch
Fri, Oct 25, 1:00 – 4:30 PM
Trinity Church
890 Abrams Rd, Eustis, FL

You are invited to join in the annual pumpkin patch! There is a short corn maze, pumpkins for sale, a live band, food trucks, and some other fun things going on during this Friday night event.
Make sure you wear your halloween costume! 


Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest Pumpkin Patch
Sep 28 – Oct 27
Santa’s Farm & Christmas Tree Forest
35317 Huff Rd, Eustis, FL

$6 General Admission includes Santa’s Farm pumpkin patch and photo ops, a hayride, and the farm animal petting zoo.  Activities available as add-ons include a giant slide, giant bounce pillow, horse rides, zip line rides, three mazes and a play area. Food, beer and wine will be available.

Phantasmagoria X – “Reckoning”
Thu, Oct 31, 8 – 11 PM
Bay Street Players
109 N Bay St, Eustis, FL

Called “One of the most unique theater troupes in the country.” by Good Day Atlanta, and direct from its ongoing sold out performances in multiple cities and states, Phantasmagoria is proud to present their 10th Anniversary main stage installment of their long running critically acclaimed series PHANTASMAGORIA X “Reckoning” – bringing their unique brand of “Whimsical Macabre” terrors to the 2019 Halloween Season!



5th Annual Boo Festival!
Fri, Oct 25, 6 – 9 PM
Tavares City Hall
201 E Main St, Tavares, FL

The City of Tavares invites you for an evening of family fun at the 5th Annual Boo Festival! Live music, carnival games, trunk or treat, hayride, giant inflatable corn maze, food vendors, a lumitron stilt walker and more! 


City of Tavares Annual Trunk or Treat
Fri, Oct 25, 6 – 9 PM
Wooton Park
100 E Ruby St, Tavares, FL

Welcome to the 4th Annual City of Tavares Trunk or Treat Festival, on Friday October 25th, 2018 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm in downtown Tavares. This event features Live Entertainment and much more. Come and enjoy Free Family Fun with classic car show, story-telling, kid’s costume contest, food vendors and much, much more!


Halloween Costume Dinner & Dance (21 & older only)
Sat, Oct 26
Hurricane Dockside Grill
3351 W Burleigh Blvd, Tavares, FL

Mix N’ Mingle – Meet new local friends. Costume Contest  – Dress up in your FAVORITE & imaginative attire. Dancing – DJ Martin – Playing ’80’s dance tunes on the patio. The Hurricanes’s Restaurant/Bar in Lake County is HUGE and right on the Dead River so come on out and join in on the fun! No Cover Charge or Drink Minimum – This Halloween Costume Party is Free to attend


Halloween Party at Puddle Jumpers
Sat, Oct 26, 8 PM – Sun, Oct 27, 12 AM
Puddle Jumpers
111 W Ruby St, Tavares, FL

Halloween Party with live music from September Dogs.


The Royal Palm Ghost Train Phantasmagoria
Oct 1 – Nov 3,
The Royal Palm Railway Experience
305 E Ruby St, Tavares, FL

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes. . . .”

The Royal Palm Railway celebrates the Halloween Season as critically acclaimed Victorian Horror Troupe “PHANTASMAGORIA” brings its unique brand of “Ghostly” storytelling for it’s first ever “Royal Palm Ghost Train”!

Called “One of the most unique theater troupes in the country” by Good Day Atlanta, this evocative troupe will weave their tapestry of haunting tales in a very special custom performance for passengers . . . if you dare!

Departs: Tavares Union Station
Every Sunday at 3:45pm and 6:15pm


Halloween Havoc on the Hill Car Show
Sat, Oct 5, 10 AM – 2 PM
Stormy Hill Harley-Davidson
2480 US-27, Clermont, FL

Stormy Hill Harley Davidson is having a Car, Bike, and Truck Show. On Saturday, October 5th from 10am to 2pm. Open to all Cars, and Trucks of every year, make and model. There will be awards, DJ, 50/50 drawing, food, dancing and vendors. $10.00 registration fee for all vehicles. The Award Presentation is scheduled for 2:00pm. 


Halloween Month! Zombie Night
Sat, Oct 5, 7 PM – Sun, Oct 6, 2 AM
Tower Arcade and Lounge at Citrus Tower
141 US-27, Clermont, FL

It’s our favorite time of the year! Come out and participate in our costume contest to see who can be the best Zombie! Zombie shots available for one night only. All zombies participating in costume contest will receive 10% off their tab, and the winner will receive 4 free entries! Halloween decor everywhere, don’t miss out!


Monster Mash Halloween Party @ Growler USA Orlando West (18 & older only)
Sat, Oct 12, 8:30 – 11:30 PM
Growler USA – Orlando West
2507 S Hwy 27, Clermont, FL

Growler USA presents its first ever Halloween party! Dress up in your best costume and head out for a night of brews, tunes and grooves! This is an Adults Only party!

There will be a DJ playing your fave dance tunes, beer and drink specials, bites menu for munchin, and brewery prizes for best costumes.

Seating is limited, so reserve your table now. Call 352-988-5795.


Halloween PotLuck Costume Party!
Sat, Oct 19, 6 – 9 PM
Family Martial Arts Center
638 FL-50, Clermont, FL

The Family Martial Arts Centers of Mount Dora and Clermont would like to invite you to the event of the year! This is no ordinary costume party. Games, prizes and oh yes bobbing for apples! Make sure you bring great food to share. 


Nightmare on the Clermont Trails 5K
Sat, Oct 26, 6:30 – 9:30 PM
490 West Ave, Clermont, FL

A Spooktacular 5K Night Run in the spirit of Halloween!  The race starts & finishes in Historic Downtown Clermont.  A minimum of eight Spook Zones will line the out and back course on the South Lake Trail, with a spooky loop through Hiawatha Preserve.

Costumed runners will compete for lots of great prizes!


Haunted Hike
Sat, Oct 26, 7 – 10 PM
Lake Louisa State Park
7305 US-27, Clermont, FL

You are invited to a haunted hike at Lake Louisa State Park. This is not for the faint of heart or those below 13 years of age.  Join us for a night of things that go bump in the woods.

Please NO children or scared husbands, we can’t afford to provide therapy.

$4 donation per person for the hike. All donations help to make improvements in the park and provide events like this one. 


Halloween High Tea
Thu, Oct 31, 11 AM – 4 PM
Erika’s Tea Room And Gifts
787 W Montrose St, Clermont, FL

Avoid the ghosts and goblins lurking around every corner and celebrate Halloween at Erika’s Tea Room. Enjoy our multi course high tea with featured teas for the day. Who knows what tricks or treats may await. 



Sat, Oct 19, 1 – 9 PM
Florida Army National Guard
400 W Meadow St, Leesburg, FL

In today’s world we are all looking for affordable fun, whether for the kiddies or the adults. When searching for that affordable fun, look no further than PumpkinPalooza!

How about two wrestling shows and Live music? Anyone for games, raffles and costume contests? That’s right a full schedule of fun for all.

The wrestling portion of the day is being split in two. Doors will open at noon. The first wrestling show is from 1pm-3pm and is more for the kids. There will be a costume contest for the young ones. Cash and prizes will be given out to the winners. The second wrestling show is from 6pm- 8pm and includes several “creative” matches. Everyone is highly encouraged to come in costume, as this is Lake County’s Halloween Party!

CREATE’s Grown-up Halloween
Sat, Oct 19, 7 – 10 PM
Starlight Ballroom & Dance Center
414 W Main St, Leesburg, FL
Come in costume, and prepare for a fabulous evening of dinner, drinks, contests, prizes, and fun!  Your $40 ticket purchase, which will serve as a fundraiser for CREATE Conservatory, gets you a full dinner, dessert, one drink, and entrance into our costume contest and silent auction.  Tickets can be purchased on their website. We hope to see you there!

Electronic Dreamz Halloween LAN Party – Leesburg, FL – Lake County
Fri, Oct 25, 11:00 AM – Sat, Oct 26, 8:30 PM
101 North Blvd E, Leesburg, FL

Come to Electronic Dreamz to celebrate spooky day. Wear a costume and have a chance at winning the grand prize for our costume contest.

Bring your own PC or just enjoy our VR and Consoles. Either way you’ll have lots of fun. Be sure to invite your friends too!


Spooktacular Halloween Dance
Fri, Oct 25, 7 PM
32624 Blossom Ln, Leesburg, FL

Join in for a SPOOKTACULAR evening. Get your costumes ready for the spirit of Halloween & enjoy ghoulish brews, a costume contest, and more dance festivities on Friday, October 25th at Anastassia Ballroom & Dance Studio. 


Boo Bash
Sat, Oct 26, 10 AM – 1 PM
510 W Main St, Leesburg, FL

Towne Square comes alive as kids of all ages come out for our Annual Boo Bash. Costume Contests, pumpkin painting and more await.


10/31 Safe Trick or Treating Lake Square Mall
Thu, Oct 31, 6 – 8 PM
10401 US-441, Leesburg, FL 34788

It’s that time of year again! Want to beat the Florida heat and bring your children somewhere safe to Trick or Treat? Then come out to the Lake Square Mall Thursday October 31st from 6-8 pm for their annual Trick or Treating event! 

*The first 100 children will receive a FREE Lake Square Mall and VIA Tote!


Have a fun and safe Halloween, and let’s meet back here soon to chat all things fall in Lake County. 


Clermont and Mount Dora Marketplaces

It is a very exciting time to be in Clermont and Mount Dora as both are soon welcoming new marketplaces. This concept of having multiple vendors under one roof is far from new but for Lake County it’s a great step toward an increased diversity of retail options that are both economical and enjoyable. Businesses can thrive being surrounded by each other and guests enjoy the convenience of easily meandering from one ‘storefront’ to the next. Both Clermont and Mount Dora are expected to feature delicious local food as well as unique novelty stores. 

For a sneak peak into the potential success of these marketplaces you only have to look as far as Orlando. Winter Garden and the Audubon Park neighborhood both have market’s which have become anchors for locals and visitors alike. 

Clermont’s Montrose Street Market will occupy the historic building on the corner of 793 West Montrose Street; a perfect location for engaging the growing Clermont population. Although the grand opening was delayed due to construction hiccups, the wait shouldn’t be long for those in South Lake.

The Mount Dora Marketplace is preparing for its big debut in the heart of downtown. Occupying the former Pisco Sour/ Lost Parrot building the market should offer a curated list of vendors and food offerings that will differentiate itself from the surrounding (and might I say delicious) traditional restaurants that Mount Dora is known for. A craft beer bar known as the The Filling Station is expected to be the central vendor with a variety of others taking up the first floor. As this project is still brand new, things could change as more details come to light. The first phase of the Mount Dora Marketplace is slated to be complete August 1st and the second phase shortly after.

As usual we will keep you up to date with the exciting additions to our local Lake County business scene. More to come on these great new ventures in the near future.

Must. Have. Coffee: Mount Dora Edition

The obligatory, daily cup o’ joe options are numerous when in Mount Dora. I would recommend either one: having easy access to downtown Mount Dora coffee shops or, two: having a cup in front of you while reading this article because your about to crave some caffeine. Let’s begin.

Cafe 334, inside Every Nook and Cranny on Donnelly St. in Downtown Mount Dora roasts all of their coffee in house and you can buy a bag to bring home with you. They have unique combinations and the classics available to satisfy every coffee preference. They also happen to have delectable vegan treats and kombucha but we’ll have to dig into that further in another post. Don’t forget to stick around and sip your coffee while staring at fascinating pieces of local art. Did I mention that Every Nook and Cranny is a fantastic art store? Check them out on facebook if you haven’t already.  

Le Petit Sweet is a bit of an institution in Mount Dora. They have incredibly delicious french desserts and beyond (we’re talking cakes, cookies, pies, cream puffs, macarons, and many other special treats). For today’s sake I will focus on the java. Their coffee is great and they do a few special things like coffee ice cubes as an option so on hot Florida days your iced coffee doesn’t get watered down. Oh yeah and they offer affogato which is a nice strong espresso poured over top of ice cream, soooooo ya know, enough said.

A new addition to the Mount Dora coffee scene is Allyson A Bake Shop and man am I proud to have them in Lake County. First off, the shop is beautifully designed and picture perfect. Owner, Terese named the shop in memory of her mother Allyson who loved to bake and passed the passion along to her highly talented daughter. Along with their baked goods which yet again I’ll have to come back to, they offer latte’s and bottled cold brew coffee. So sit down and admire the sheik design while you sip on your java.

Finally some other great spaces to get your “coffee on” in downtown Mount Dora include Village Coffee Pot and a more recent arrival, Serendipity. No matter where you prefer to brew, Mount Dora offers a wide selection of options. From treats to art to cozy escapes, Mount Dora does coffee right.