Orlando Florida Dora Canal
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Dora Canal trip Orlando Florida
The city of Tavares, the geographical center of Florida, is just a few miles up Highway 441 from Mount Dora, and possibly the best location to start out on a tour of the Dora Canal. Several tour boats start from here, which is just about a half mile from the canal, and whichever starting point you choose, do not miss out on this marvel of nature. Pontoon boat tours to the Dora Canal from Tavares are from $20.Tavares is perhaps just 30 to 40 miles north of the Theme Parks, less than an hours drive up either Highway 27 to the West, or Orange Blossom Trail/441.
Please watch, enjoy and comment on the video of our Dora Canal trip recorded by myself.
Wildlife in the Dora Canal, Orlando, Florida
Otter in Dora Canal Orlando Florida
Dora Canal Trip Orlando Florida
Once through the canal you enter Lake Dora, turn around, and do it all again on the way back to base.
If you would prefer to pilot your own boat through the canal, Palm Gardens marina on the Dead River is just on the North side of the bridge crossing Highway 441. They charge only $60 for a half a day hire of a self drive boat, with full instruction. This allows you to spend as much time as you want in the canal, and also cruise the rest of the Harris chain of lakes.
Be sure to take a packed lunch with you, for if you see a lot of wildlife in the canal, I promise, you won't want to leave.
This is a great day out for the whole family, so make sure you don't miss out.
Melody Canal boating. Orlando Florida
Lake Eustis to Silver Springs
It may be worthwhile mentioning at this point, a really good place to eat, where we were frequent visitors, and this place is called Dead River Vics. You will find it directly across the Highway 441 from Palm Gardens Marina. After your meal, go out to the boardwalk and buy some food for the many turtles in the river below. This place has real fruit bearing banana trees growing in the grounds. This is also a good starting point to explore northwards up Lake Eustis, through Haines Creek and the Burrell Lock to Lake Griffin and on again up the Ocklawaha River to Nelson's Fish Camp and beyond. (A stop here is recommended to explore this really quaint place, or you can fill the boat up with gas here). Continue Northward and you would get to Silver Springs, and eventually arrive in Jacksonville. While travelling up Haines Creek, look for nesting Ospreys on the right at the sharp bend, and also the nesting herons in the trees while waiting to enter Burrell Lock.
Hungover Gator, Dora Canal, Orlando Fl
When leaving Haines Creek into Lake Griffin, turn sharp left and travel along near the reeds near the bank side. This is where the Gators breed, and if the season is right, you may see dozens of young gators swimming about. If you decide you need to do this trip on another day, I can recommend the fish restaurant at Eustis floating dock, which is free to use. The restaurant is called the Crazy Gator, and you tie up right outside. The menu is varied, but every Friday you can eat all the fish you want for around $8. Eustis is a great place to explore, with the main street running alongside the restaurant, a nice raised boardwalk to the Park, and an open air swimming pool jutting out into the lake. Action Tip: The Dora Canal is like no place on earth and teeming with wildlife. We used to travel through here at least twice weekly to video the wildlife.
Manatees of Blue Springs Orlando Fl.
Outdoor kit for Orlando Florida
earby, Mount Dora bills itself as the Festival City of Florida, hosting over 20 art, antique, craft, music or other festivals each year, antique boat shows, a sailing regatta in autumn, and into the holiday season with the 'Lighting of Mount Dora', a wonderland created by a million twinkling lights, and the annual Christmas Walk.Having more antique dealers per square foot than any other place in Florida it is also a Mecca for Antique Collectors. Throughout the year on the last weekend in each month there is also a huge Antique fair at Renningers on Highway 441 on the outskirts of town.
Mount Dora Antique Boat Festival is also held in March. This event, the Southeast's largest antique boat festival, takes place on the shores of Lake Dora. The festival showcases the history of boats built before World War II and feature more than 230 historic, antique and classic boats in the water and on land. Also featured are amphibian cars, antique outboard engines, a nautical flea market, the Antique and Classic Boat Society Ships Store, children's activities, and more than 100 dealers selling furniture, pottery, glass, jewellery, silver and advertising antiques.
The streets in Mount Dora are in a grid system of avenues and streets, with Donnelly Street as the main shopping area teaming with fascinating shops which defy description, tea shops and restaurants, and all housed in beautifully kept or restored historical buildings.
For a good narrated tour of the town, board the Mount Dora Road Trolley at the Lakeside Inn, or take a trip on the steam train which runs along the shores of Lake Dora to Tavares about 4 miles away. If you have always wanted to try a Segway, you can even hire one of those here, complete with instruction.
The Ice House Theatre in 11th Avenue has a monthly play or musical.
If you and your family are visiting Orlando Florida sometime this year and need some quality time away from the Theme Parks, why not visit this area of outstanding natural beauty and experience for yourself everything that is on offer.
DeLeon Springs Orlando Florida
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