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Love Florida, but Miss the Small-Town New England Charm? Mount Dora Is the Perfect Place for You

January 18, 2022

You’re looking to take your next step in a place that’s filled with sunshine and a culture that fulfills and inspires you. You also know you’re tired of bundling up for the winter and managing the icy weather. However, you still love the northern lifestyle filled with fantastic local cuisine, beloved events and experiences, and a rich history. If you opt to leave the northeast, where can you go to enjoy a familiar lifestyle while taking advantage of a vacation-like retirement?

You’ll find some familiar and breathtaking opportunities in Mount Dora. When retiring here, you’ll enjoy all the wonders of New England without worrying about the harsh winter. Instead, you can have fun in the sun year-round in a town that feels homey yet energetic. Here are some reasons that Mount Dora, dubbed the “New England of the South,” makes for a prime retirement destination.

Exceptional restaurants

Because Mount Dora is in Florida, it’s easy to access some of the finest and freshest seafood and enjoy the cuisine you’ve grown to love. You’ll truly feel at home at Tony’s Chowder House, where you’ll find some of the best clam chowder in Florida. However, if you’re looking for a new culinary adventure, plenty of options are available to you. At the fantastic Windsor Rose Tea Room and Restaurant, you’ll find a quaint atmosphere to enjoy high tea service and British-style dining. Or try a mojito with authentic, homestyle Cuban cuisine at the Copacabana Cuban Café. You can get some of the freshest sushi you’ve ever eaten at the Wave Asian Bistro & Sushi. This restaurant even offers unique sushi options, such as sushi pizza, sushi donuts and sushi burritos. Maybe you’re craving a warm bratwurst, pretzel and a cold German beer. You’ll find that at The Bavarian Haus, a casual restaurant with a beautiful patio to enjoy the great outdoors while eating.

Year-long festivals

The restaurants aren’t the only feature that Mount Dora has to offer lovers of New England culture. Mount Dora is also known as the “Festival City” because of its many intriguing celebrations. Visit the Florida Storytelling Festival to revel in delightful tales from across the state of Florida. Later this year, visit the historic downtown for the Annual Mount Dora Arts Festival, where artists from across the country showcase their works of art. Don’t forget about the Annual Blueberry Festival, a celebration of the growing blueberry agriculture business in central Florida. Enjoy all things blueberry, from fresh berries to pie and even wine at this free event with more than 100 vendors. Mount Dora has even more festivals planned for 2022, so get excited for the impressive happenings around town.

Rich history and culture

If you’re looking for some quieter ways to engage with Mount Dora, those opportunities also exist. This charming town hosts many historic sites where you can expand your knowledge about the town. Visit the Mount Dora History Museum to learn about the rich background of this lakeside town. This museum is in one of the most historic sites in Mount Dora: the first fire station and city jail, which opened in 1923. Plus, plenty of historic sites can be seen in town, including the popular Lakeside Inn, the oldest hotel in the state of Florida, and the Donnelly House, home of the town’s first mayor.

If you’d rather experience the town’s culture through local artwork, Mount Dora is full of opportunities to engage with the excellent craftmanship of artists from around the world. You can enjoy the popular museum, the Modernism Museum of Mount Dora, showcasing art by American masters. Or you can view a live show at the Sonnentag Theatre at the IceHouse. Further, the Mount Dora Center for the Arts gives creative individuals the chance to attend classes or view a beautiful gallery featuring exhibitions from award-winning artists. There are more artistic endeavors to discover in this engaging town, so you’ll always get a taste of the celebrated arts.

Natural beauty

What’s more is that Mount Dora has plenty of beautiful, natural sites for you to visit at any point during the year. Many trails are close to the town, making it perfect for afternoon hikes. If you enjoy sleeping under the stars, Mount Dora also has plenty of parks where you can camp. Plus, the Harris Chain of Lakes and its most popular body of water, Lake Dora, has become a favorite spot for recreational boating. Because of Florida’s mild climate, you’ll enjoy visiting these outdoor locations even in the winter.

Differences between New England and Mount Dora

A few differences exist between Mount Dora and your favorite northeastern city. With a total population of around 15,000 people, this town is much smaller than the dense cities you may be used to navigating, but it’ll likely remind you of your favorite small towns. The small population not only allows for easy traffic flow when exploring the area, but it also allows for townsfolk to form lasting and meaningful bonds with nearly everyone they meet. Plus, with Mount Dora’s amazing location in central Florida, you’ll never have to deal with shoveling snow again.

Does all this excite you for a retirement in Mount Dora? You’ll find the perfect place for your next step at Lakeside at Waterman Village. Located on the beautiful landscape of Lake Margaret, you’ll have the elegance of nature right by your front door. Plus, with our resort-like dining, exceptional fitness center and relaxing social amenities, you’ll feel like you’re on a vacation while living here. Future neighbors are quickly becoming fast friends at our lively events, so you’ll always have a friend to explore your new town. Construction of our community is expected to be completed this year, and we have fewer than 15 residences remaining. Contact us at 352-385-1120 if you want to take advantage of a vacation-like retirement while enjoying a hometown that feels like, well, home!

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