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Mount Dora is Florida's Festival City, Creating Purposeful and Continual Diversions Within this Historic Community and here at Lakeside Inn  

Mount Dora has rightfully earned the reputation as Florida's Festival City, having created and hosted events that are now more than four decades old. Festivals such as the Fine Arts Festival in February and the Craft Fair in October have become the largest and most successful of their kind in the entire Southeastern United States. The Annual Mount Dora Bicycle Festival is the oldest such event in the State of Florida. Each December Mount Dora is transformed into a holiday wonderland as over two million lights create a movie-like setting in this quaint downtown area.

Located in the heart of the downtown historic district, Lakeside Inn is the ideal spot from which to enjoy not only these events, but the many others that are celebrated both in Mount Dora and here at Lakeside Inn throughout the year, such as with the Lakeside Inn series of free Summer Lawn Concerts and Street Paloozas. Lakeside Inn is the perfect spot to step back and relax, with endless diversions just steps away.

Check our posts for upcoming events so you can coordinate your visits.

image Lake Tavadora (The Trilogy)

Stacey Coverstone is Lakeside Inn’s HR Manager and Special Events Manager, but what many people don’t know is that she’s also a novelist. To date, she has 30 books published. One of her books, Lake Tavadora (The Trilogy), was inspired by and is set at Lakeside Inn and Lake Dora.

Image Historic Discovery

When Lakeside Inn’s construction team was recently renovating our Veranda, they came across a historic item buried deep in the ground—an old shuffleboard puck! Shuffleboard was one of the leisure activities offered to guests of the hotel in the 1940’s (see photo).

We no longer have a shuffleboard court next to the Inn, but the new and improved Veranda is still here for guests to enjoy!

Image Annie Donnelly

At a time in history when women were not known for business savvy or independence, Annie Donnelly was both. Annie started life in Toledo, Ohio, born in 1850 to Clark and Helen McDonald. At the age of 16, she was married to William Stone and had a baby shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, their marriage was not a happy one and, in fact, Annie separated from her husband twice. In May 1875, Clark and Helen decided to relocate to Florida and convinced Annie and William to follow, hoping their marriage would have a better chance in a new land where the sun shone every day.

Image award presented to the Lakeside Inn

The Lakeside Inn was recently recognized with the “We Noticed” award.

This award is presented periodically by the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce to organizations who significantly improve the exterior of their business.

Image Garden of the Month award

Lakeside Inn has been selected Garden of the Month by the Lakes and Hills Garden Club of Mount Dora for the 2nd time in two years! This distinction honors the hard work of Dan Sickles, horticulturist, Mia Saradin, assistant part-time horticulturist, and Jerry Hurlburt, assistant landscaper.

Image Lakeside Inn 135th Birthday

Whether you’re booking a stay in one of our historic rooms, eating in our acclaimed restaurant, or attending a special event or meeting, our goal at Lakeside Inn is to provide the highest quality of service to you, our guest.

Yair in Dining, Kimberly in Housekeeping, and Tomeka in Guest Services are a few of our friendly and qualified staff, who look forward to greeting you with a smile and assisting you while you’re here.

Lakeside Inn has been operating continuously as a hotel since 1883. Book your room or event and help us celebrate our 135th anniversary!

Image Legendary Trivia Scavenger Hunt

A visit to the historic 1883 Lakeside Inn is filled with a wide variety of activities such as swimming, guided boat tours, seaplane rides, bird watching, nature walks, shopping and… scavenger hunts!

When you stay as our guest, you’re eligible to play our legendary Trivia Scavenger Hunt.  Those who successfully complete the hunt win a prize and a lifetime of memories!

Image an old fashion Christmas

Santa’s elves have been busy decorating the historic 1883 Lakeside Inn, and we invite you to join us for all the festivities!

Music, charm, and your home away from home await you this holiday season.

We offer our fabulous Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day buffet yearly, then ring in the new year with our elegant four-course dinner on New Year’s Eve.

Call 352-383-4101 to speak to one of our Front Desk Agents, who will be pleased to book your reservations!

Image Halloween at the Inn

Halloween at the Lakeside Inn was filled with the smiles and laughter of children when the Inn’s family of employees enjoyed a ghoulishly gleeful party on the Great Lawn. Little and big people alike displayed their pumpkin carving skills and competed in a costume contest. Prizes included movie tickets, a restaurant gift card, and a candy basket. The Inn’s Chef also conjured up some devilishly good treats for all to savor.

Image President Calvin Coolidge Visits the Lakeside Inn

One of the highlights in Mount Dora’s social history was the visit by former President Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace. The couple arrived by train on January 10, 1930 for a month-long stay and became the stars of the social season.

While in Mount Dora, the Coolidges resided in the town’s most elegant hotel – the Lakeside Inn. According to a member of the Edgerton family who owned the Inn at the time, the President was a quiet man with not much sense of humor. Mrs. Coolidge, on the other hand, was a warm and friendly person who spoke to many guests. According to historic archives, she wrote in the guest registry: “Picked oranges from yard.”

Image Downtown Mount Dora

Just beyond the grounds of the Inn can be found the many shops, boutiques, restaurants and galleries of downtown Mount Dora. The core of the downtown area measures approximately 12 square blocks, so it is an easy adventure that can be enjoyed at your own pace and leisure. Please check out Visit Mount Dora for complete information, including information concerning the many festivals and events held throughout the year.  

Segway of Central Florida

Enjoy a guided, narrated tour of the downtown and lakefront areas of Mount Dora while riding a Segway. Tours run throughout the day and depart from the Segway Station, located about two blocks from the Inn. Please visit Segway of Central Florida for more information.

Premier Boat Tours Mount Dora

An ideal way to experience Lake Dora, the famed Dora Canal and Lake Eustis. Tours depart daily from the Lakeside Inn dock, offering an informative, narrated, approximately two hour trip. Sunset tours and special holiday tours are also available.

Image Jones Brothers Air & Seaplane Adventures

Enjoy an adventure that you continue to talk about for years to come. Flights depart daily from the Lakeside Inn dock, lasting about 15 minutes in duration. Just enough time to enjoy the thrill of taking off and from and landing on the water, plus the experience of viewing the beautiful Central Florida Lakes Region from above.

Image of wood board

Well, we haven't yet discovered the treasure buried behind one of these walls (ha, ha), but we'll keep looking. We did however discover the piece of wood pictured below. It was a baseboard in room 126 of the Gables Building. In tearing it out, one of our carpenters noticed there was some writing on the back. Written on the back is...

Put on by
Louis A. Pichette Oct 1928
Northampton  Mass  &  Mt Dora  Fla        

Pretty interesting and evidently a fairly common practice by carpenters, when building a house or commercial building. I did a quick Google search of the name and Northampton to see if anything popped up. Nothing obvious, immediate, or notorious, so it is probably safe to say that he was an average guy down here because there was work available and by October it was already getting a bit too cold up in Massachusetts.