Thursday, May 27, 2010

Explore Central Florida... Tavares

Tavares... "America's Seaplane City"

Look what's new in Tavares... An airport for sea planes!

Nestled alongside Lake Dora is Tavares, the county seat of Lake County, in Florida. It's a cool little town just down the road from Mt. Dora (known for its quaint shopping and art/crafts/antique festivals).

Since my first visit to Tavares, a year ago, I have observed wonderful development of the lakeside area. There is a fabulous water park for the kids....complete with a "plane" that has propellers which shoot streams of water! And now, there is the new "airport" for sea planes. All along the waterfront, new, interesting restaurants are opening. The lake views from these restaurants are spectacular... especially the sunsets and sunrises! There are also some fabulous water festivals...sanctioned Jet Ski competitions, bass fishing contests, speed boat racing...and more. There is even a "Planes, Train and BBQ" competition! (Check with the official website for a list of events... )

Here's a photo of the water park... Wouldn't you just love to play here!!! There's lots of shade in this park...provided by an abundance of oak trees. Picnic tables are also available.

Tavares is also known for it's natural beauty. The Dora Canal and other byways are wonderful places to canoe, kayak, or motor through. There is an abundance of wildlife just waiting to be enjoyed and photographed. Below, you will find some beautiful photos, borrowed from the Tavares website...

These wildlife photos were taken by Pat Johnson, a resident of Tavares and an avid photographer. She has captured the beauty of natural Florida in these photos.

This is one of my photos...taken in the late afternoon, along the shores of Lake Dora...just a short distance from the water district. I just love this drive... It's the lakeshore drive between Mt. Dora and Tavares.

This area is definitely worth a day trip...better yet, a weekend getaway. There are some wonderful B&Bs in the area...and it's only 40 minutes from the Big Mouse area of Orlando.

Get out and explore...

Be sure to visit Susan ( to see all the fabulous Outdoor Wednesday links.

***** Quick side note: This weekend is the 2010 Florida Folk Festival in White Springs, FL.
It's held at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. For more information, go to


The Quintessential Magpie said...

I drive this way when I drive from North Florida to Central. I love going through the small towns as opposed to the interstate.

Is that a Florida panther on that pier? They are so rare that it's a miracle if someone got a shot of one. NEAT!

I don't usually stop in Tavares, but I do stop in Eustis which is a very charming small town. I will have to go check out downtown Tavares the next time I'm through that way. Thanks for the heads up, Jane!

We have several paintings done by Katherine Stockwell who was from the Central Florida area, and she painted scenes like the one you took of the water. I don't think she's considered to be a member of the Highwayman school, but she did depict scenes of Florida before it was developed to the nth degree. Yet, her paintings could just as easily be today because some of those lakes (like Little Lake Harris) have those fabulous huge cypress trees on their banks. There is still definitely unspoiled wilderness in Florida, and I'm thankful for it.

Loved this post, Jane!


Sheila :-)

rjerdee said...

Mmmmm, cool post, Jane! I'm thinking that the next time we drive from Iowa to Florida, we'll have to take a side trip to see what you're seeing over there in Tavares.
Thanks for the heads up!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

How interesting, Jane! My daughter's in-laws live not too far away, so I will have to give her the heads-up for her next visit with them! And the funny thing...that's their last name! lol Is there a large Portugese community there? Lovely photos! Thanks for the little tour! Have a great weekend...hugs...Debbie

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Jane, what a great place this would be to visit. The name alone is interesting.. I'll share the pics with Mr. P.. his love for flying continues, I know he'll get a kick out of the plane in the park.... hugs ~lynne~

Shellbelle said...

Planes, train and BBQ? Now that's an interesting combination, lol.

I've never been to this area, but it looks wonderful. I have always wanted to go to Mt. Dora, but never made it, boo hoo, must be time for a roadtrip!

One Shabby Old House said...

Ok...I'm growing tired of FB now back to blogging. Of course I had to stop by to visit my dear friend.

Debbiedoos said...

Never been over that side of Florida. We lived in South Florida for nine years and funny we only stayed around there...went ot Orlando a couple of time. What wonderful photos. Glad you liked my idea on the house the mailman complimented them...I told him he can't make a mistake now lol!!

Deanna said...

Dear Jane,
The water park looks like a blast and if I were the only one there where I wouldn't be seen in a swimsuit, I'd spend alllll day!

Have a super week-end and God bless,

Eden said...

That's a beautiful place to visit. Thank you so sharing beautiful pictures of the place and information. Great photos.

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

I'd love to check it all out..., it sounds great (and looks great)!

Donna (Timeless Settings) said...

This looks like such a pretty place to visit. Thanks for taking us on a tour!


Linda Starr said...

Oh darn I missed the festival; will definitely have to visit Taveres, beautiful photos.