Monday, February 1, 2016

Day Trip to Mount Dora

We got to meet up with Tim at a good Italian Restaurant in Sanford FL the other night.  We missed seeing his wife Wendy who was out of town.  Tim recommended Chianti's which was a great choice. We were neighbors back in the 1990s when our kids were in grade school and mid-school.  Their boys are now in the world of academia with both holding PhD's.

Tim had another great recommendation which was to visit Mount Dora.  We took off mid morning and drove the 30 miles to the place and found it to be a very charming little town with some history.
It was a big of a foggy and drizzly day, but the temps were in the 60's so it was not at all unpleasant.

We drove around the town first, then parked our car and walked it.

A great thing about the soggy weather was that it wasn't too crowded.  I think I read that this small place somehow handles 250,000 visitors at their annual Arts and Crafts festival!  Yikes..  Glad we missed that.

It looks as if it is mostly a tourist town with a historic area that is thriving.  Many times old downtown areas have empty stories and are neglected.  This place looks like it is thriving.
 In one store we saw this display of orchids.  In fact as we drove from Lakeland to Sanford, we took some back roads that were along 10-15 orchid nurseries.  There are lots of those here.
We'd probably get a couple, but we have a trip north to Virginia Beach into the cold weather in two weeks so we declined.

We had a nice lunch at the Lost Parrot Cafe that was great.  The atmosphere at mid day was terrific.  It has some 70's music playing in the background (Linda Ronstadt, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor etc)that made you want to linger and take it all in.
It was fun.

The town is on the shores of Lake Dora and there are a couple of old tourist hotels still in full operation.
 Now too, there are a lot of bed and breakfast places which look like a nice option.

We wanted to see the local museum and found it after a little bit of hunting.
 It is housed in the old firehouse and police station on one of the older streets that is now almost an alley.
Inside the small museum there were all kinds of interesting pictures and displays.  One area on the wall had a number of small signs with Florida Orange / Citrus companies that were in the area at one time.
 Fire was a devastating issue in the early days of our country.  Often times in these days, we don't seem a lot of fires.  Back in the late 1800's and into the first part of the last century - city fires affected almost every community.
 The Firehouse where the the City Museum was located also included the city jail with some cells.
When we showed up in the early afternoon, the docent volunteer there was only too glad to show us around.
It was a great way to spend the rainy day in Mount Dora - walking around, checking out the shops and historical buildings, having a nice lunch and spending some time in the small hometown museum.  Tim was right about this place.  It was well worth the visit and there was lots to see.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. Sounds like a cute little town. Sure would want to be there when that Arts and Crafts festival is going on though!

  2. Glad you enjoyed Mount Dora your pictures brought back a lot of memories. We truly enjoyed exploring the community in 2013 but we really impressed with the civil war re-enactment which takes place yearly near the Flea Market on the highway.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.