LAKE COUNTY TODAY!
Lake County is the retirement capital of the world. It boasts of beautiful rolling hills for motorcycle riding, bicycling and a gorgeous chain of lakes for fishing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing surrounded by championship golf courses. With close proximity to The Villages, a world renowned retirement village for Baby Boomers, Lake County offers an affordable way to play in The Villages but yet live just outside of it with a short 10 minute drive to Center Square.
Whether you are enjoying downtown Mount Dora for its charming one-hundred plus year old historic village on the shores of Lake Dora, or visiting many of the antique shops, art festivals, craft shows, or live entertainment, you certainly won’t be disappointed. For the fishermen, you will be able to fish in the Lake known as the “Bass Capital of the World” Mount Dora is the ‘Someplace Special’ to Play, Shop, Dine, Stay…. & so much more.
Maybe you want to spend a little time in Tavares and visit Wooten Park that provides a Children’s Splash Park, Seaplane Rides, Steam Train Rides, Boat Tours, Seaplane Training, Covered Picnic Areas with children’s playground, Seaplane base & boat docks. Or just Sit and watch the seaplanes land and take off or watch the antique boat shows (annual event) and regatta races or just enjoy a great bite to eat at one of the many fine restaurants.
Leesburg is known for the Leesburg Bike Fest on the 3rd weekend of April, over 400,000 motorcycle enthusiasts spend the weekend enjoying the many festivities on Main Street as well as the shopping cuisine and of course the lakes.
Eustis has plenty of fun at Ferran Park and the Alice McClelland Memorial Band Shell where they always have music in the park. Eustis is known for its very social lake with lakefront restaurants and sunset dinners and cocktails on the lake.
There are several more small towns, villages and communities in Lake County to explore. We are the friendliest area in Central Florida.
LAKE COUNTY FUN FACTS!
- Only 56 minutes from Tavares to Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom
- Only 24 minutes from Tavares to Lake Griffin State Park in Fruitland Park
- Named for its approximately 1,400 lakes and was created from portions of Orange and Sumter Counties.
- Agriculture was the main industry in Lake County and reached $101 million until the freezes of 1983, 1985 and 1989. Today the county continues to draw agriculture related tech businesses, along with healthcare and light manufacturing.
- Lake County is known for its diverse landscape and terrain, especially its hills, which are unusual for Florida. Its highest point (and the 2nd highest in the state) is Sugarloaf Mountain at 312 ft above sea level.
- Triathletes around the world consider Lake County prime training ground and has become a magnet for training in cycling, running and swimming.
- South Lake Hospital opened the National Training Center in Clermont in 2001. Today its facilities include a 37,000 square foot fitness center, an aquatic center, athletic fields, track and field complex, cross-country course and a human performance lab for sports science testing. Thousands of youth and adult athletes from more than 25 countries have trained there.
- Two-time Olympic gold medal softball pitcher Dot Richardson serves as on of the center’s top executives.
- Tavares, one of the municipalities in Lake County, is known as America’s Seaplane City” and is home to a city owned 50 acre seaplane base on Lake Dora (which is also part of the famous Harris Chain of Lakes)
Municipalities in Lake County are Astatula, Clermont, Eustis, Fruitland Park, Groveland, Howie in the Hills, Lady Lake, Leesburg, Mascotte, Minneola, Montverde, Mount Dora, Tavares, and Umatilla
Lake County, Florida was founded in 1887 and has a population of 308,034 (2015 Census), the county seat is in the Seaplane Capitol of North America, Tavares, FL and its largest city is Clermont, Florida.
LAKE COUNTY HISTORY!
The region of Central Florida that is now know as Lake County has been inhabited for thousands of years. For the same reasons that still bring people to this area, namely mild weather, excellent growing conditions and an abundance of fish and game, the Timucan Indians called this region home. There evidence of their presence throughout Lake County. In fact, there are more than 1,000 identified archeological sites in Lake County as recognized by the state.
A French Huguenot colony was established at the present site of Astor on the St. Johns River in 1562 and was wiped out by the Spanish in 1566. In the late 1560s, the Spanish then set up a system of missions throughout the Lake County area with the goal of trying to convert the Indians to Catholicism, but instead it became a massacre of uncooperative villages and spread European diseases to the rest of the area.
Many events happened such as a trading post was set up in Astor in 1763 by James Spaulding; William Bartram came to this area to study the “flora and fauna” and made the first sighting of a royal palm tree in 1774; during the Revolutionary war all of Florida belonged to the British but there were a few white hunters and traders living in Lake County, along with runaway slaves and Freedmen; and many towns grew and vanished and other towns took their place up through the Civil War. At this time a Homesteading Act was in place offering 160 acres of land to settlers who would live on the land for five years and improve it. Both Rebel and Yankee soldiers were eager to get on with their lives and this offered a fresh start to many men who came to Lake County to make their new home
In July 1887, Lake County became a county and was carved from Orange and Sumter counties. The courthouse, known as the Pioneer Building was dedicated in 1889.