On sweltering Florida summer days, it doesn’t get much better than cooling off with a favorite icy cold brew with friends. The summer of 2020 has made it challenging for local bars, but one local micro brewery and bar is making sure it’s still able to satisfy beer lovers’ cravings. Read more
ABOVE: Dora Queen docked at Wooton Park in Tavares. (Photo by Lisa Kilgore Davidson)
Lake County’s wait is almost over. The much-anticipated Dora Queen has started booking reservations for August and September pleasure cruises. Although the stately replica of a paddle-wheel riverboat comfortably holds up to 108 passengers, it will only book up to 50 passengers per cruise to safely allow for adequate social distancing. Read more
It’s always one of the hottest local topics in Mount Dora and Tavares -- the Tav-Dora trail, a bike trail that would connect the two communities to each other and to Florida’s Coast-to-Coast Trail. Recently, the railroad was sold, so it’s an opportune time for Mount Dora Buzz to provide an update with current information from the trail’s long-time advocate and spearhead, Tavares City Administrator, John Drury. Read more
There always seem to be new businesses popping up in downtown Mount Dora, but rarely is one so long overdue.
A new bike share and rental company, Mount Dora Bikes, plans for its fleet of new bicycles to hit the road by mid-August or early September. The business will launch with twelve custom aluminium bikes, six of them available for hourly rentals, while the others will be for daily rentals. Read more
One of the Mount Dora area’s most anticipated recreational projects is the Wekiva Trail. The large project is a cycling and hiking trail that would connect Mount Dora to other existing trails through thousands of acres of preservation land and destinations such as Rock Springs Run, Wekiva Springs State Park, as well as both coasts of Florida. Read more
Florida Black Bears have long been residents of Mount Dora and the surrounding areas. However, bear sightings have been a more frequent occurrence in recent months. In addition to nearby construction projects in bear habitats, it’s also the season when older cubs are pushed out on their own so their mothers can find a new mate. However, the sighting of a Florida Black Bear doesn’t necessarily represent a threat. In mid-July, a young, non-aggressive,105 pound female bear was tranquilized, transported and euthanized by officials after it climbed two trees near downtown Mount Dora. Read more
Take an evening stroll on a downtown Mount Dora sidewalk and you’re bound to hear a sultry siren’s voice that gently lures music lovers into one of the many live music venues in the historic district. Once inside, all eyes are on the young artist projecting the light, yet soulful vocals.
In a short time, free-spirited Christina Adinolfi has connected with a diverse audience and developed a following. She selects covers that range from old-school classic rock standards to more current pop and country. Her song choices often have deeply emotional lyrics that, at first, may seem to lie beyond her age, but she always pulls it off. Along with her vocal talent, Adinolfi’s lightheartedness and humility are also on open display in the intimate venueswhere she performs. Read more
Making Mom feel appreciated on her special day is easy in Mount Dora. Whether she loves a big brunch, breakfast in bed, a thoughtful gift, or an outdoor hike, this cheat sheet with helpful links can help you plan the perfect Mother’s Day.
1. BRUNCH & BREAKFAST This is the first time Lake Receptions will be hosting a Mother’s Day brunch buffet, and they’re going all out. In addition to dishes like herb-crusted tenderloin, chicken prosciutto with fresh mozzarella and basil, grilled salmon, and ham with Jezebel sauce, there will be a saxophonist and a photographer providing family portraits for purchase. We're guessing you should make reservations soon.
If Mom prefers to order off a breakfast menu, the Rocking Rabbit Cafe next to Mount Dora Brewing is the place to be. Their eggs Benedict, blueberry pancakes and omelettes always impress. The free mimosa for all ladies is a great touch. For the mom that loves a hearty traditional British breakfast, Magical Meat Boutiqueis also offering moms a free Mimosa.
2. BREAKFAST IN BED This year there is a foolproof way to serve Mom breakfast in bed. Cody’s On 4th in downtown Mount Dora is taking orders for take-out quiches in a choice of three flavors. A whole quiche and fruit cost $30 and must be ordered by noon on Friday, May 11. Mom is going to wonder how you pulled it off! Of course, if you would rather take her to Cody’s, they’re offering a $10 “all you care to drink” mimosas-with-entree-purchase promotion.
3. NOT YOUR EVERYDAY FLOWERS They are a must on Mother’s Day, but they don’t have to be a big, costly bouquet. Noni at the Olive Branch is a Donnelly Street store that sells beautiful, blooming orchids at great prices. Dudley, one of the owners, will even tell you how to easily care for them.
4. RELAXING LUNCH If Mom loves relaxing lunch, there is no shortage of places downtown. The delicious Italian fare at Olive Branch Mediterranean Grill makes it a great choice. Las Palmas Cuban Restaurant with its bountiful seafood paella and wide variety of authentic Cuban dishes also provides live music in the background, plus a free rose and specialty mimosa for mom.
5. THOUGHTFUL GIFTS: Finding Mom thoughtful gifts in Mount Dora is a snap if you know where to start.
For the nester: Cozy Nest, an adorable downtown boutique has a section specifically for moms, like cute frames and signs. Their Face Plant line of soft, lightweight robes and sleep accessories are perfect for Florida summers
For the creative mom: If your mom loves non-traditional gifts, you’re bound to find something she’ll love at Every Nook + Cranny artist collective downtown. This large labyrinth of original art features everything from paintings and artisan jewelry to pottery and furniture made by local artists.
For the cook: For the mom that loves to entertain or whip up amazing meals, a gift from Mount Dora Olive Oil Company is a no-brainer. Not sure what to get? Their staff always make great recommendations.
For the sporty mom: Anyone that’s been to a sporting event recently knows there are plenty of moms in the stands. Ashley’s Flags & Sports Shoppe has tons of choices for Mom’s favorite collegiate and professional teams.
For the bling-lover: Lake Cares Food Pantry has 1000 raffle tickets available for a stunning 3.51-carat diamond necklace by Gold In Art Jewelers. The elegant tickets come with a printed explanation of the fundraiser, so Mom will understand the thoughtfulness of the gift and the necklace she may win.
For the lighthearted: Take a stroll into Julianne’s Coastal Cottage to find coastal decor, whimsical gifts and top gourmet food brands. They will even offer you a free wine smoothie sample while you shop.
For the shoe and handbag lover: After all, a girl can never have too many accessories. For a great selection of leather purses and shoes to add to her growing collection, head to Becker’s Best Shoes (formerly Donnelly Euro Footwear).
6. PAMPER HER Moms take care of others all year. What better way to make her feel special than to provide some pampering. Saving Face Esthetics offers gift cards for luxurious and relaxing facials that will de-stress any mom. You can always throw in some bath bombs and soothing body butter from Naples Soap Company, too.
7. MOM’S TIME-OUT No doubt, sometimes the daily problem-solver of the family just needs a break. If she enjoys her wine, grab a gift card from Maggie’s Attic where she can choose to use it on a glass or bottle of wine, a fun Wine Tasting Walk, or even a useful “wine purse.”
8. THE GREAT OUTDOORS If Mom loves nature, exercise and the great outdoors, Palm Island Boardwalk is the place to take her after a Mother’s Day meal. The elevated wooden walkway winds through old cypress trees along Lake Dora. There are plenty of shady resting spots, too.
Ever wonder what Florida art shows are worth the trip?
The 2017 rankings of the top 100 art festivals in the country are out and 26 Florida festivals made the cut. Placement was determined by compiling ballots submitted by professional artists who rated the festivals according to their own gross sales at the events. That's a valuable metric because top producing festivals for artists attract the country’s best talent.
The annual ranking is conducted by the national magazine, Sunshine Artist, which prides itself on being the leading publication for art show exhibitors, patrons and promoters.
Here are the 26 Florida art festivals that ranked among the Top 100 nationally: 1. LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival (Tallahassee) 2. Under the Oaks Fine Arts & Crafts Show (Vero Beach) 7. Mount Dora Arts Festival 15. Naples National Arts Festival 17. Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts 18. Coconut Grove Art Festival 21: Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival (Fernadina Beach) 24. Cape Coral Festival of the Arts 27. Downtown Venice Art Classic 32. Ocala Arts Festival 39. Images: A Festival of the Arts (New Smyrna Beach) 40. Gasparilla Festival of the Arts (Tampa) 45. Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival 50. Bonita Springs National Art Festival, Show 3 57. St. Armands Circle Art Festival (Sarasota) 58. Coconut Point New Year’s Art Festival (Estero) 64. Downtown Delray Beach Festival of the Arts 65. Downtown Delray Beach Thanksgiving Weekend Art Festival 66. Boca Fest, Boca Raton 71. Las Olas Art Fair, Part 1 (Ft. Lauderdale) 74. The Sanibel Masters Art Festival 82. Art Fest By the Sea (Jupiter) 95. Bonita Springs National Art Show 1 96. Downtown Art Festival (Gainesville) 97. Estero Fine Art Show 100. Boca Raton Fine Art Show