Monday, November 14, 2016

Tavares FL, America's Seaplane City

If you have been following along, I was in Mount Dora almost two months ago. We arrived  in Tavares on the Orange Blossom Cannonball, the vintage train that runs along Lake Dora. There was an event at the time but as we were enjoying that, I watched a seaplane launch down a boat ramp and take off.


There was not enough time on that trip to do it so I made a special trip just to fly. I have to say, there is a huge difference in this town between a festival day and a national holiday. I did not book ahead so I was taking a chance but I also only live 3 hours away and weather is a factor.


We had an event scheduled for the weekend so we took our chances and booked a room at the Key West Resort on Lake Dora. Perfect choice. The hotel is so new it's not quite completed. Actually a lot of the downtown was newly renovated or receiving those last minute final touches. When we arrived - it was a ghost town. We managed to walk right up and book one of the two planes. Total wait time - nothing.


There are several flights available from Jones Brothers at various prices so check ahead to decide what fits for you. We picked the middle of the road flight of $99.00 for a 30 minute tour of the lakes. Any longer would have exceeded my budget, but any shorter and I would have been right back in the office to fly again.


The plane flies low enough you can see every detail on the ground. We even skipped off a lake for that added thrill. You just have to say "This is better than an airboat ride" apparently. Our pilot was very accommodating. He even swung past the event were were going to the next day. I can not tell you how much I want to take flying lessons right now.


Sunset on Lake Dora is a magnificent site. This is now my third for the year. The locals tell me it never gets old. Speaking of which, this little daytime ghost town became a happening place right after the sun went down. There is plenty of parking which filled to the brim around 8:00 PM.


Sunrise from our hotel was far more spectacular than my cell phone could capture. Puddle Jumpers is right there in the photo. They made our lunch, dinner, and evening entertainment a truly special event. The manager took a special interest in us..... we seemed a bit lost when we were wandering around looking for a lunch place. It's not so much the place that's special in these tiny towns, it's the people.

The seaplane base is just a half block away. The train station just a bit farther. Everything we found of interest was a short walk. This was the perfect escape from our big town lives. Huge thanks to everyone who made us feel welcome.

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