The Annual Mt. Dora Christmas Walk
Some friends (Lynne and Margaret) and I took our first trip with a local bus tour company, Goodtime Getaways, to attend the 22nd Annual Mt. Dora Christmas Walk, located outside Orlando, Florida. The price of the trip was $33 per person which included transportation to the event from Vero Beach. The buses were in excellent condition and the tour was well organized. We each had assigned seats. Hostess and owner, Dottie, offered trivia games during our ride up to the Mt. Dora Christmas Walk.
The group was dropped off in the center of downtown Mt. Dora and were given four hours to enjoy the New England-style town. For one night only, the streets of Mt. Dora are blocked off for pedestrians, local entertainers, and vendors to enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas celebration. Stores stayed open late and there were plenty of restaurants to choose from. Many shops hosted open-house style events and offered a sampling of their products for us to try.
The Festive Decorations
Mt. Dora’s Donnelly Park was all decked out in lights and pretty holiday scenery. Most stores were fully decorated in a holiday them while some even had fake snow machines, which added to the holiday cheer. Musical entertainment was provided from steel drum bands to guitarists signing along to Bob Seger, and school drum corps. A huge Christmas tree stood in the middle of town to serve as the anchor of the festivities.
My favorite shops to browse in were Julianne’s Coastal Cottage, where I picked up some unusual gourmet food products, and Piglet’s Pantry Dog Bakery, where my dog Priscilla scored freshly baked muffins. Mount Dora’s shops are sprawled out between four or five streets so everything is easily walkable.
Delightfully Decadent Mt. Dora Food Options
My friend Lynne and I enjoyed an authentic German meal at Bavarian Haus, complete with waiters clad in Bavarian clothing and a talented accordion player. I ordered the pork schnitzel, sauerkraut, and potato dumplings, which were absolutely delicious! The prices were affordable and the service prompt and friendly.
For dessert, Lynne and I bought almond iced cookie cutouts at the Sweet Shop. The prettiest sight of the night was the Mt. Dora Masonic Lodge #238. Its house was framed and illuminated with hundreds of white twinkling lights. House tours were available for $3 or for $5, you could get a picture with Santa Claus.
A Must for Christmas Fans
Toward the end of the evening, we dropped in the gorgeous Lakeside Inn for a craft sale. This beautiful inn, Florida’s most historic of circa 1883, is on the National Register of Historic Places. I would love to come stay at the Inn for a weekend to enjoy its quaint cottage and lakefront views. A US president, celebrities, and dignitaries have stayed there over the years. Narrated eco-tours by boat and air tours are available on Lake Dora at reasonable prices. Mount Dora also features a lighthouse, which we did not have time to see.
Narrated eco-tours by boat and air tours are available on neighboring Lake Dora at reasonable prices. Mount Dora also features a lighthouse, which we did not have time to see.
All in all, it was a fun evening and kickoff to the joyous Christmas holiday season. I love attending holiday events and found the Mt. Dora Christmas Walk to be really charming. I will be back next year.