Why Mount Dora

The Jewel of Lake County-Long on History

Settled in 1874, the weather, wildlife, fishing, and the beauty of the part of Florida also made it a popular winter destination.  Travelers would arrive by wagon train, steamboat, and by 1887, by rail. Often people have called Mount Dora "New England in the south".  Often Florida is thought to be flat terrain, however, in Mount Dora, hills abound.

Today, visitors also find themselves enchanted by the many live oaks with moss hanging off them, Arts and Crafts homes and cottages, and the quaint downtown area filled with shoppes and restaurants.  Mount Dora has also been known as the Antique Capital of Florida, with Renninger's Twin Markets drawing thousands to their Antique Mall an Flea Market, as well as the antique shops scattered about Mount Dora.

Mount Dora is home to several festivals and events each year, such as the downtown Art Shows, Craft Fairs, Music Festivals, Theatre, Classic Wooden Boat Shows, Sailing Regattas, Holiday Lighting Ceremonies and Parades. The steering committee is pleased to now be a part of Mount Dora's Festival History with The Jane Austen Fest.  We believe Jane would have loved Mount Dora!

The Lakeside Inn
The Historic Lakeside Inn opened in 1883 and is the oldest continuously operated Hotel in Florida.  Overlooking the picturesque Lake Dora, it is the last of the Grand Victorian Era Hotels still remaining in Central Florida.  The Inn has hosted many dignitaries and celebrities through its 130 year history, such as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.  President Calvin Coolidge and First Lady Grace Coolidge stayed for a month in the winter of 1930 after his presidency was over.  It was also the set for the 1981 John Schlesinger movie, Honky Tonk Freeway.  The Veranda is one of the best places to catch the sun setting over Lake Dora.  This wonderful Inn will be our hub for the Fest.

Room availability is limited. Make your reservations early.
CALL THE LAKESIDE INN: 800-556-5016. Mention the Jane Austen Fest to get a fest discount.

Donnelly House
John P. Donnelly, Mount Dora's first mayor 1910 built this 3-story Queen Anne Home in 1893 as a gift to his wife, Annie.  Listed on the National Register of Historic places, the Donnelly House is now owned by Mount Dora Lodge #238 F&Am.  Located on Donnelly Street, it is the site of our Afternoon Tea during the Fest.
 
Annie Donnelly Park
Located at the intersection of Donnelly Street and 5th Avenue.  Donnelly Park is officially known as the Annie E. Donnelly Park.  The land was bought from Mr. Donnelly for $45,000 by ladies of the Woman's Club in 1924. Located across the street from the Donnelly House, it is considered to be one of the "jewels" of Lake County's Parks & Recreation system.  It is also the location of Mount Dora's famous annual tree lighting.  Ladies will be walking through Donnelly Park during the Fest.  Several activities are planned there as well as the vendors.  It will be a wonderful place to take photos.

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