Escape to Lake County for a Romantic Getaway

Escape to Lake County for a Romantic Getaway

The Real Florida is a vibrant, awe-inspiring place filled with adventures that are perfect for sharing with your special someone. To make things a bit easier, we’ve gathered four of the area’s best date ideas and added in some options to make them your own. Go ahead, be inspired. And get out there with your favorite person. You’re going to have a wonderful time.

Photo of the Dora Queen paddlewheel boat at sunset on Lake Dora.
Photo by Dora Queen.

Set Sail on the Dora Queen

The Real Florida contains more than 1,000 lakes, and one of the most gorgeous – Lake Dora – is home to the Dora Queen, a restored paddlewheel boat that offers a variety of cruises for those looking to set sail and leave the world behind. Sunset cruises include live entertainment and gorgeous views of Lake Dora. Drinks are also available in two bar areas, one of which is inside the temperature-controlled salon. If you’re looking for a way to ‘wow’ a loved one who enjoys being out on the water, this is it.

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There are many other ways to take in the breathtaking views of the area, including boat tours of varying sizes as well as two-person cat boat experiences. However, nothing is more special, or more personal, than a two-person flight-seeing tour above the Real Florida. Jones Brothers and Co. Air and Seaplane Adventures offers area tours, special excursions and day trips to almost anywhere in Florida. While any option you choose to share with your sweetheart would be perfect, we recommend the Romantic Dinner Fly-In excursion for extra special occasions.


A young couple enjoys dinner al fresco at Mission Inn Resort & Club.
Dinner at Mission Inn Resort. Photo by @missioninnresort on Instagram.

Reserve a Table and Savor the Moment

Nothing says romance like food, wine and the perfect setting, which is why dinner dates are a favorite for couples the world over. In the Real Florida, this means amazing dining options that cater to a wide range of palates with experiences ranging from casual to classy. If it’s views you want to give your loved one, opt for the Tiki Bar and Grill at Lake Minneola Inn. This casual dining option offers unforgettable lake views, especially at sunset. Lilly’s on the Lake or the Crooked Spoon Gastropub in Clermont are other casual options. For a more upscale dining experience, try Root and Branch Bistro and Bar in Clermont, The Goblin Market or Pisces Rising, both in Mount Dora.

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Prefer drinks over a sit-down meal? The Real Florida has a number of fun-filled bars as well as a growing brewery scene that features favorites like Suncreek Brewery in Clermont. The real star of the show, however, is the ongoing Weekends at the Winery event at Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards in Clermont. Bring a blanket or set of chairs for a picnic on the lawn complete with wine bar, food trucks, outdoor games and live music. While you’re there, stop into the winery for a free tour and wine tasting, and leave with a souvenir of your favorite bottle.

Photo of the Mount Dora Lighthouse at sunset. Several couples are seated on nearby benches; one couple stands.
Mount Dora Lighthouse. Photo by @jmass54 on Instagram.

Explore the Charming Towns of Real Florida

Charm your loved one with a day of exploration. Whether you opt for one town or go all-in, the Real Florida will take you both back to an easier time with walkable downtown areas full of shopping, restaurants, parks and more. In Mount Dora, explore the ins and outs of cobblestone-paved streets lined with galleries, boutique shopping and cafes, and then walk over to Grantham Point Park for views of the marina and a working inland lighthouse. In Tavares, check out Ruby Road and favorites like Puddle Jumpers Lakeside Grill and Bar as well as Wooten Park, which lines the north side of Lake Dora. In Clermont, check out the Citrus Tower for aerial views of the Real Florida and then head to historic downtown for breweries and a stroll along the waterfront. In Leesburg, get your fill of pubs, cafes and boutique shopping before heading to nearby Venetian Gardens for a walk along the Lake Harris waterfront.

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For a more relaxed experience, visit any of the above cities and bring a blanket and a picnic along to enjoy from their waterfront parks. Pro tip: make the occasion extra special by getting there in time for sunrise or sunset, and you’ll both be treated to views and memories that you’ll treasure forever.


An lovely older couple sits and smiles at each other.
Photo by @coffeebricksanddreams on Instagram.

Make it a Date Weekend

Sometimes, the best dates are when the two of you can get away for a little rest and relaxation. Book a weekend stay for two at one of Real Florida’s best luxury accommodations, including Mission Inn Resort and Club, Lake Minneola Inn, Lakeside Inn, Heron Cay Bed and Breakfast Inn or Magnolia Inn Bed and Breakfast. Though amenities vary by location, available experiences include couples’ massages, boat rentals, sunrise and sunset walks on the shoreline, and much more.


Fall in love for the first time or revive the romance with these date ideas in the Real Florida. All you need is your special someone.

Looking for the perfect spot to pop the question? Get inspired by our proposal blog and discover the most romantic and memorable proposal locations in the Real Florida.

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Plan the Ultimate Family Vacation in Lake County
Escape to Lake County for a Romantic Getaway