A Winter Cultural Adventure in DeLand, FL

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A Winter Cultural Adventure in DeLand, FL

Artwork by Brenda Heim

Off The Beaten Path Florida Arts Tour

Create holiday memories and step “off the beaten path” and into the artists’ studios while exploring picturesque, Central Florida back roads. Truly, a cultural adventure for all ages.

Less than 50 miles north of Orlando, in Lake County, Florida, artists and cultural not for profits join together on the 1st weekend in December and welcome visitors, patrons, and art lovers for a holiday open house. On December 6th and 7th, “Off the Beaten Path Florida Arts Tour”, now in its 4th year, will feature professional artists and their guests, emerging artists and esteemed cultural venues. The Tour offers a glimpse inside private studios of the area’s finest “off the beaten path” potters, sculptors, painters, printmakers, photographers and woodworkers. Demonstrations and class/workshop information will be available at several Tour locations. It’s also an opportunity for holiday shoppers and the art connoisseur to purchase works in a variety of price ranges and mediums.

Most of the Tour takes place around the historic cities of Mount Dora, Tavares, Eustis and Leesburg, a perfect opportunity for a weekend getaway at any of the charming B & B’s or the historic Lakeside Inn on Lake Dora. (B&B’s: mountdora.com/members/lodging.php) Mount Dora, with its newly remodeled downtown area, is pedestrian-friendly and charmingly eclectic. Along with four Tour stops downtown, lunch or a coffee can be enjoyed casually at the artsy Baker & 3rd Café, PizzAmore, or the upscale Goblin Market (mountdora.com/members/dining.php). Worth noting is the new Modernism Museum (modernismmuseum.org). In the evening, downtown becomes enchanted with extensive light displays and carriage rides. While you’re in the area, there are two more Tour stops in nearby Sorrento.

North of Mount Dora, the lakeside city of historic Eustis will host five Tour stops, including the Lake Eustis Museum of Art. The downtown’s bricked streets, public art, Ferran Park on Lake Eustis, and the Historical Museum, is another delightful, downtown area to pause between Tour stops. Visit Olivia’s Coffeehouse, The 1884 Restaurant or the Cuban Place for food, libations, and live music (on weekends). Just north of downtown, heading toward the Ocala National Forest, visit Trout Lake Nature Center, Tour stop #12, with guest artists and displays. Further north you find the “Old Florida” small town of Umatilla and a couple authentic “off the beaten path” studios (www.eustis.org/visitors/public_art.html).

Tavares, “The Seaplane City”, features an active waterfront with a large children’s playground, restaurants, seaplane and boat dock, as well as a slow ride recreational train that travels to and fro neighboring Mount Dora. The city has several restaurants near the waterfront, a perfect place for lunch or dinner while watching the popular seaplane activity either before or after visiting Tour stop #14. (www.tavares.org) Travel a little further west to Leesburg for studios #6 and #22. Downtown treasures include the Leesburg Center for the Arts and the Saturday Market offers local produce, arts and crafts, music and more. (leesburgsaturdaymorningmarket.com)

TOUR Map and information:  www.FloridaArtsTour.com

VISIT Lake County:  www.lakecountyfl.gov/visitors/

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