8 Reasons Visitors Keep Returning to the Real Florida

Remember the feeling of visiting a new place and enjoying it so much you just can’t wait to return? At some point during the trip, mental notes were made of inspiring places to re-visit or new places to explore. Maybe it’s the fleeting sunset or the restaurant you wanted to try. Or maybe it’s the sense of closeness to a place that you get when you step back for a moment and watch your loved ones having the time of their lives. Whatever your reasons, you’re hooked and can’t wait to return. Sometimes these places are far away, but the Real Florida is just a short drive west of Orlando. It’s accessible, full of memories just waiting to be experienced, and it’s here for you.

So why do so many people make it a point to return to Lake County, Florida, time and time again? Here are eight of the top reasons visitors give for continuously returning to the Real Florida.


  1. Unique Beauty

    Lake County has a beauty all its own, from rolling hills to tree-covered tropical trails, natural spring waters and stunning lake views. The locations are peaceful and picturesque, and there’s always an awe-inspiring view around the next corner. It’s scenes like these that keep visitors coming back for more.

    Photo by @visitlakefl
  2. Friendly Locals

    Here in the Real Florida, the locals are some of the friendliest in the state. Stop at a roadside fruit stand for a taste of local flavor and make a new friend. Get insider tips from the locals as you enjoy a meal at area restaurants. And see friendly faces as you hike the many nature trails in the area. Everyone here has a welcoming spirit, and you’ll soon realize that this connection to the people is part of what makes the Real Florida so special.

    A woman holds binoculars and looks out at the top of the Florida Citrus Tower in Clermont, FL.
    Photo by @floridacitrustower
  3. Being Active is Easy

    Getting outside for some activity can be easier said than done in some locations, but here in Lake County, parks and trails are plentiful – both on land and on water. Pack your hiking shoes or load up your kayak for adventures that can only be experienced here. With so many parks and preserves, and more than 1,000 lakes, your options for activity will never run dry.

    Two people are walking in the distance on a boardwalk at Flat Island Preserve.
    Photo by @osbornfamilyhikes
  4. Endless Experiences

    The Real Florida is here for you in more ways than one. Shop the quaint markets and boutique shops of downtown Mount Dora, enjoy waterfront dining in Tavares, Leesburg or Clermont, rent a boat or take a boat tour to experience the area’s beautiful lakes and waterways, or stroll through picturesque vineyards. There’s so much to see and do in the Real Florida that allows visitors to experience something completely new visit after visit.

    Jerry and Howard navigate Lake Dora in the cat boat.
    Photo by @backroadplanet
  5. Good Times Prevail

    Part of the allure of returning to a familiar vacation spot is that you know you’ll have a great time. You’ve already found places you enjoy, and you can be confident you’ll have a great time when you return. Repeat visits to Lake County are also relaxing because you’ve already discovered that there is virtually no pressure at all in planning your trip to the Real Florida. Lodging selections are stress-free, traveling here is quick and easy, and good times are always had by all.

    Photo of the Lakeside Inn.
    Photo by @_christianrosario
  6. Uncover Hidden Gems

    Have you ever visited a place and uncovered a secret spot that you just loved? Lake County and the Real Florida are full of places like these waiting to be discovered, and with enough space to wander, you’ll soon discover that local gems abound here. Visit Astor in the northeast part of the county for a boat tour that will take you down the St. Johns River, and then head to nearby Alexander Springs State Park to discover tropical woodland trails. Launch a kayak into the water at any of the area’s public ramps and discover local wildlife above and below the water.  If you’re looking for adventure, book a flightseeing tour on a seaplane with Jones Brothers & Co Air and Seaplane Adventures. And for an extra special treat, pay a visit to the Yalaha Bakery to experience mouth-watering German flavors. Special tip: the Yalaha Bootlegging Co. moonshine distillery is right next door!

    Yalaha Bootlegging Co. Photo by @visitlakefl
  7. Fun with Friends

    With so many things to do, the Real Florida of Lake County is full of fun experiences to share with friends! Discover favorite breweries like Wolf Branch Brewing in Eustis or Brü Tap House in Tavares, catch a festival on the lawn at the Lakeridge Winery or take Insta-worthy pics among the citrus groves at a U-pick farm. Tee off at some of the finest courses in the region, rent a boat or jet skis and get out on the water together for a day of sunshine and laughter, visit the spa at Mission Inn Resort & Club, and treat yourselves to a delectable meal at a lively waterfront restaurant. For the more adventure-minded groups, rent kayaks at a local state park and explore the water ways before cozying up around the campfire at your very own private glamping site within Lake Louisa State Park.

    Close-up photo of a glass of red wine with picnic tables in the background. Photo is at the Lakeridge Winery.
    Photo by @lakeridgewinery
  8. It’s Real Florida

    We may be partial, but visitors agree: the Real Florida is an absolutely gorgeous place. Apart from the scenery and the many things to do, one of the most prominent reasons visitors give for returning over and over is the relaxing pace that the area offers. There is no rush for patrons in restaurants, shoppers can enjoy leisurely strolls on downtown sidewalks and traffic is minimal with abundant parking at events, parks and area hot spots. There is ample time to literally stop and smell the citrus groves while you’re picking delicious fruit, and lingering lakeside is not only acceptable but highly encouraged. Plan your first – or return – visit today and step into a more relaxed state of mind.

    Paved sidewalk with railing and benches along the waterfront of a lake with a pier located in the distance at sunset.
    Photo by @adventurewithlisamarie
    Bonus: Centrally Located

    We know we specified eight reasons why visitors love returning to the Real Florida, but here’s a bonus reason: the Real Florida of Lake County is centrally located just a short drive west of Orlando, and it’s so incredibly easy to access that sometimes it seems like all roads lead here.

The Real Florida is much closer than you think, and it’s here for you. Once you arrive, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to get here, but we know you’ll be back. See you soon!

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8 Reasons Visitors Keep Returning to the Real Florida