This haven for artists (and retirees) is also an enjoyable day trip, not to mention a wonderful alternative to all that is Disney. The town, established in 1874, has the genuine feel of Old Florida, with an authentic Main Street, far less crowded than the fake one Disney has re-created.
The 19th-century buildings lining the streets are picture-perfect, leading to the calm, dark-green waters of Lake Dora. Unlike most of Florida, this town actually has rolling hills, adding to the charm. Highlights include Renninger's Florida Twin Markets (352/383-8393 for the antique center, 352/383-3141 for the farmers' market; www.renningers.com). The hundreds of shops and booths are open Saturday and Sunday. Up to 1,000 dealers attend Renninger's 3-day antiques extravaganzas held the third weekend of January, February, and November. After you've worked up an appetite, take a lunch break at the Beauclaire Dining Room at the historic Lakeside Inn, 221 E. 4th Ave. (800/556-5016 or 352/383-4101; www.lakeside-inn.com). Enjoy lemonade and cookies while rocking on the front porch overlooking the lake.
All in all, it won't be the best antiquing you've done in your life, but the Old Florida setting is worth a few hours.