A Place in Time . Just in Time
About Lakeside Inn ~ Mt. Dora, Florida ~ Historic Florida Hotel
At first glance, you aren't sure if it's real. Perhaps it's a painting. Or an antebellum fantasy where ladies twirling parasols will soon appear on the wide verandah to sit a spell in the old-fashioned rockers, sip mint juleps and gossip.
A visit to the Lakeside Inn in Mt. Dora is time travel of the most privileged sort. The 128-year-old historic landmark is rooted in a peaceful, romantic and genteel era yet offers the conveniences and activities of the modern times.
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The Inn's cluster of five buildings are grand in the quaint Old Florida style, built to last centuries and garnished with gables, balconies, porches and fanciful Victorian flourishes. The estate is graced with stately oak trees dripping with Spanish moss and an expanse of green that sweeps down to an Olympic-sized swimming pool and sparkling Lake Dora, one of Central Florida's more than 1,000 lakes that are legendary among boaters and fishermen. Many rooms and suites feature picture postcard views of the lake, dotted with sailboats, antique vessels, an occasional gator's snout, and home to the setting sun every evening.
The Inn's original, most historic building, which opened in 1883 as a 10-room inn, now contains a grand lobby and reception area, the Beauclaire dining room, and Tremain's Lounge, one of Mt. Dora's most popular gathering places and famed for its jazz entertainment.
The serene and convivial ambience of the Inn can easily sway its guests to never ever leave the grounds. But the adventures of Mt. Dora and the surrounding countryside are tempting.
Mt. Dora is known as the "Antique Capital of the South" and "Festival City," legendary for its throng of boutiques, antique shops and Renningers Antique Center. Many of the little village's shops have endured for generations of shopkeepers and house home and apparel treasures not easily found elsewhere. Among the many annual festivals held in Mt. Dora are the blockbuster Mount Dora Art Festival in February, Antique Boat Festival in March, the Bicycle Festival and Craft Fair in October, and Renningers' Antique Extravaganzas in January, February and November.
The surrounding countryside is fabled as "more water than land," beckoning boaters and fishermen from the world over. Guests can even play golf on 400-acre Deer Island, a championship golf course designed by Joe Lee.
Travelers book air transportation to Orlando, and drive 45 minutes northwest to arrive at this "world apart," one of the most precious destinations in Florida.