Lake Dora is the most prestigious of the Harris Chain Lakes. This is due to the fact that the historic lakefront town of Mount Dora sits on its eastern shore. Mount Dora was settled in the 1860s and many of it's historic buildings are still standing. The Mount Dora Art Festival attracts over 200,000 people to this one event. Numerous other fairs, festivals and shows are held at this popular tourist destination. Side walk cafes, antique shops and upscale restaurants are open to visitors year round. A highly recommended ritual is to have an evening drink on the back deck of the Pisces Rising Restaurant. Here visitors and locals alike share a drink and view the incredible sunsets over Lake Dora.
The Harris Chain of Lakes consists of seven lakes, including Lake Dora. This chain of lakes covers 4,475 acres in Lake County in central Florida and is a popular fishing and boating destination. Located in the center of Lake County, Lake Dora and Lake Eustis are connected by the Dora Canal to the north, and Lake Dora to Lake Apopka to the south by Lake Beauclair and the Apopka-Beauclair Canal.
Mount Dora, which sits along the eastern and northern shorelines of Lake Dora, offers a lovely, picturesque setting nestled against the hills rising to the east. Tavares lies on the north shore. Direct boat access to Lake Dora is available from two public boat ramps: one at Tavares on the northern coast and the other at Mount Dora on the eastern shore. The ramps are lovely, with plenty of parking for cars and trailers. A wetland surrounds the southwestern part of Lake Dora, while a narrow piece of land separates Lake Dora from Lake Beauclair on the southeastern side.
Tavares and Mount Dora hold festivals that celebrate antique wooden boats and antique furniture each year. Thousands of visitors attend the celebrations from all over Florida and the Southeast. Fish, waterfowl, reptiles, and mammals inhabit Lake Dora, including a wide variety of fish. Several guided tour boats ply the waters of the Dora Canal as the area is famous for bird watching.