“Did you know Mt. Dora is about 180 feet above sea level?” asked our chatty waiter serving us coffee on a recent trip to this charming town during the Christmas holiday. 

Florida is flat.

But northwest of Orlando near the center of the state lies

Mt. Dora with an elevation of 184 feet.

The historic district boasts coffee shops,

museums, and Queen Anne architecture

like the elaborate Donnelly House I walked by.

Bookshops and antique shops beckon too in downtown Mt. Dora.

More than once we spotted travelers on Segways

and hiked to the country’s only inland lighthouse.

Time for tea at the Windsor Rose Restaurant where Lord Essex eggs and Shakespeare’s Skillet are highlighted on the breakfast menu

Click for 18-second video of tea-pouring


We spotted a harmless alligator, OLD JOE, cast in bronze

Then we boarded the Royal Palm Railway Express traveling from small town Tavares to Eustis and back again, with just enough time for pizza and a drink. In December, the train took kids and parents on a Polar Express experience.

I’d go again!

Next time though I’d take a ride on a seaplane or a Segway.

Until then, I wish you smooth sailing in 2019!

Have you visited a small town recently? Somewhere else memorable?

Do you live in a small town or have a favorite one?


Coming next: My Word for 2019 and a Memoir update