July in Mount Dora is the halfway mark to the Mount Dora Half Marathon & 5K races! The Christmas spirit exhibited in these marathons can never come too early. In honor of the Twelve Days of Christmas, we’re shining the red and green spotlights on twelve local spots for you to enjoy during your time in Historic Downtown Mount Dora. From must-see sunsets on the lake to mouth-watering grub, each location is a great option to check out any time of year.
Day 1: Renninger’s Flea Market
20651 US Highway 441, Mount Dora, FL
Open every Saturday and Sunday, Renninger’s Flea Market and Antique Center attracts people from all over the state to check out their unique inventory and killer prices.This indoor/outdoor venue houses thousands of items you can casually rummage through and let your creative streak go wild. In addition to the flea market, the property hosts independent shows such as antique car shows and steampunk industrial shows every weekend as well.
Day 2: Lake Dora
Mount Dora, FL
Beautiful Lake Dora is the focal point and reason for the success of the whole town of Mount Dora. Lake Dora is great for fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, photography, or simply admiring its beauty during a sunset stroll. Even if you come just for the lake, you’ll find countless activities to do while you’re here, including over 15 parks in the area to explore.
Day 3: Fiesta Grande Mexican Grille
421 N Baker St, Mount Dora, FL
If you’re looking for some of the best Mexican food in Florida, look no further! Fiesta Grande Mexican Grille is a family owned and operated business that prides themselves on their authentic options. Everything you order is prepared fresh and made from scratch. They offer different drink specials Monday through Sunday, so come thirsty! The mouth-watering food, friendly staff, and vibrant colors and decorations leave no secrets as to why it’s a local favorite.
Day 4: Jones Brothers Air & Seaplane Adventures
Lakeside Inn Dock, 100 N Alexander St, Mount Dora, FL
Kick your next adventure into high gear with the Jones Brothers Air & Seaplane Adventures! Enjoy breathtaking views as your pilots fly you over the Harris Chain of Lakes. Available excursions include the Harris Chain out of Mount Dora, Lake Weir Lunch Fly-In, St. John’s River and Springs Breakfast Fly-In, Harris Chain Bar Hop, and many others. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are recommended for optimal spots.
Day 5: Gilbert Park
310 S Tremain St, Mount Dora, FL
This recently renovated lakefront park is one of Mount Dora’s most popular facilities. Along with two new pavilions, upgraded restrooms, landscaping, and parking, the “Wood Wonderland” playground has been updated to include a new Kids’ Castle. Bring the family out for a lunch or dinner picnic, take advantage of the lakefront views, and don’t forget to check out Alexander Creek while you’re here!
Day 6: Magical Meat Boutique
112 W 3rd Ave, Mount Dora, FL
The Magical Meat Boutique is an English owned and operated, gastro-style pub open seven days a week. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and are open until midnight every night. The psychedelic 60’s vibe provides a one-of-a-kind experience while you’re jamming to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. True to form, they offer some of the most iconic British meals such as fish and chips, shepherds pie, and bangers and mash, as well as imported English draft brews. Fancy a bite? Check them out!
Day 7: Mount Dora Lighthouse
Mount Dora, FL
Located at the port of Mount Dora in Grantham Point Park, you’ll find the Mount Dora Lighthouse. Though many people think it’s a fake because of it’s smaller size, the lighthouse is actually registered as an inland navigational aid, and is the only one of its kind in Florida. The lighthouse, which is located minutes from downtown, sits in the middle of several parks and right beside the Palm Island Nature Preserve that demands to be explored. Pack a lunch, some fishing poles, and make a day of the peaceful surroundings.
Day 8: Rum Runner Train
305 E Ruby St, Tavares, FL
Strap on the eyepatch, swab the decks, and grab your booty! This swashbuckling pirate-themed train ride embarks every Saturday evening as a part of the Royal Palm Railway Experience. You’ll sample four flavors of Florida handcrafted rum, snack on tasty rum cakes, and enjoy their signature cocktail – The Pirate’s Booty Rum Punch. Dressing up in your favorite pirate-themed outfits and accessories is highly encouraged.
Day 9: Mount Dora Mountain Bike Trail
1550 E 11th Ave, Mount Dora, FL
Grab the ten-speed and cycle on over to the Mount Dora Mountain Bike Trail. This trailhead is maintained by the Ocala Mountain Bike Association and is intended for intermediate level riders. It’s a single track trail that twists and turns for four miles, mostly under shady hammocks. Test out your skills on a handful of wooden tracks including Skillsville, Helter Skelter, and Gravity Destroyer.
Day 10: The Goblin Market Restaurant
330 Dora Drawdy Way, Mount Dora, FL
The Goblin Market restaurant couldn’t look any more different than what it’s name suggests. A cozy eclectic bistro-style eatery, the Goblin Market offers food choices from around the world. Adorned with sophisticated bookshelves, fireplaces, and a cozy courtyard, you’ll feel like you’re in another space entirely.
Day 11: Under the Cherry Blossoms
443 N Donnelly St, Mount Dora, FL
Stop in at Under the Cherry Blossoms for their Christmas in July celebration from 5 p.m to 9 p.m. on July 30th! This quaint shop is the perfect place to find unique gifts for the family. Meet the artists, enjoy refreshments, test your luck with the giveaways, and cross some Christmas gifts off of your list early.
Day 12: Cat Boat Adventures
148 Charles Ave, Mount Dora, FL
Get out on the water with Cat Boat Adventures. Located at the Mount Dora Center and Marina, Cat Boat Adventures offers fully-narrated guided tours while you drive your own two person powered catamaran. It’s the perfect pastime to see all the nature Mount Dora has to offer and learn some of the local history along the way. Choose from three different tour routes including Lake Dora and Dora Canal, Lake Beauclair and Lake Carlton, or Lake Beauclair and Sunset Tour.
Christmas in Mount Dora, Florida
Looking for some real Mount Dora Christmas activities? Run or walk the Mount Dora Half Marathon & 5K race this Christmas season! Florida’s most beautiful race is a Christmas-themed marathon that winds through the gorgeous Central Florida landscape and charmingly historic downtown areas of Mount Dora. Whether you run, walk, or cheer on the racers, you can bring the whole family to this kid-friendly event.
The Mount Dora Half Marathon & 5K is the sixth race in the Big Hammock Race Series that crosses the United States, kicking off with the 5K on Saturday, December 21st, and finishing with the Half Marathon on Sunday, December 22nd. In addition to the standard race prizes, those who participate in both races will receive a special prize. Check out our registration information to learn more details about these festive and fun races.