I remember the first couple times I went to Lake Dora, and to be honest, was a tad lost and kinda confused. And that was about 15 years ago. My brain is half decomposed now, so I stick to what I know, and the loss of The Palm Gardens is a disaster because I need to change my routine. I will say though that the last time I went by there it was so packed with people that I just moved on to other places. Of which there are plenty. But be warned. It’s Florida, and no one lives in Florida to be your server. So you think you have problems at home? Well. You are on Florida Time. 1 hr = 2 hrs. And you know what? thats fine with me. With that said, here is a list of things that are fun to do, and maybe be able to find a room.
1. Copacabana Cuban Food – A MUST! Best mojitos on earth, genuine Cuban food and great service.
2.Gianni’s Italiano – Italian in Mt Dora. VERY GOOD! Small, make reservations. VERY GOOD, the chef is world class. Simple Italian.
3. On your boat there are some fun places on Lake Harris and Lake Eustis. The Picnic is always fun, and the big dinner event is always good. So you will not starve.
4. Also in town, some of the older places are nice and within walking distance of the show. Parking is always a bitch so get there and stay there if possible on Saturday.
Where to stay if you have not already made plans.
We always stay at the Comfort Inn in Tavares. It’s on the main drag and away from stuff. I need a break after all day in the tent. And many stay there and there always seems to be a room at a reasonable price.
Here is a list of other places to try.
The Mission Inn is a fancy resort and very swanky in A Lake Dora kinda way
The Lakeside Inn in Mt Dora. Has a dock etc, A great location since 99% of the cool stuff to do at night is in Mt Dora. I haven’t been there in over 12 years to be honest.
Any of the hotels on the main drag are fine. Some of us are flea baggers and have a routine. I need an upscale Flea bag so I can sleep.
What to expect?
Thursday night there is a casual get together. Its mostly hardcore folks that come for the week, and vendors. But its fun and a great way to see old friends. This was started as a Woodystock event and a thankyou to all. But became a normal thing. So the fun really starts on Thursday.
The Flea market is great and the as expected, the early bird gets the worms. Just circle around as folks unpack. Bring Cash.
There always seems to be something going on at someones house at night. I think. I am always so wiped out, that I fall asleep and miss them. But the time watching a sunset on the lake with pals is pure gold.
It’s Florida, and well. Crazy is all around. Embrace it, and take pictures. It’s like an entire state built like a boardwalk at the beach. Amazing people watching.
It’s hot, and it can be cold, rainy, and whatever. Expect it all. And even if its gloom and doom it will change. We will be there Rain or Shine.
And here is the Number one thing to do. Do whatever you can to do this thing. BOAT RIDES! GET A DAM RIDE OUT ON THE LAKE AND THROUGH THE DORA CANAL. NOT ON SATURDAY BTW. Its like LA and NYC, DC, Boston traffic all at once. The canal is small. And the show is packed, so boats are on lock down and folks are busy that have boats. Sunrise is an amazing time at the lake and folks are out. Like many water front communities, the real magic is out on the water. Do anything you can to get a ride.
If you want to bring a boat, plop it in at MOUNT DORA. There is a great ramp there, and its easy. The entire area is old boats and old folks, with old cars, and airplanes and even trains. Old trains. So just bask in the past, and enjoy. Before you know it it will be over and one more dam countdown will start. UGH.