Welcome to A Girl and Her Dog Travel Blog
I’m hoping to share my road trip adventures with my dog River to showcase dog friendly attractions and accommodations with other pet owners. Our home is in Ft Lauderdale, FL. River is a 4-year old Rottweiler, so the places we visit are unlikely to have any weight limits or breed restrictions. Here we go…
On January 2, 2022, River and I drove up to Mount Dora, FL for a 3-day getaway. River and I arrived in the early afternoon and checked in to our cottage. This is our second stay with Mount Dora Historic Inn. Their Oasis and Veranda cottages are dog friendly and very comfortable. Best of all, the cottages have a shared yard and outdoor grilling and seating area. Shopping and restaurants were a block away. Mount Dora’s downtown is a charming place to find unique shops and yummy eats. Many of the shops and restaurants are dog friendly as well.
Day One Sunday:
Jimmy from Mount Dora Transit, picked us up at our cottage for our golf cart tour of Mount Dora. Yes US! River and I sat comfortably in the cart for our historic tour. Jimmy took us to all the local attractions and shared stories and interesting trivia. Jimmy was great about being our cameraman too.
After dropping River off at our cottage, I had dinner and drinks at the bar at Pisces Rising, just in time for the spectacular sunset. You can see the lake from the outdoor bar area. They have live music on Sunday evenings, and the bar was filled with tourists and locals. Once I finally got the attention of the bartender, I had a lovely entrée of mushroom ravioli with a fabulous cream sauce and a few pinot grigios.
Walking home from dinner, I ran into Jimmy and his golf cart and decided to take him up on his offer of the Christmas light tour. Mount Dora takes its Christmas light display very seriously and Jimmy made sure I didn’t miss anything.
I took River for a walk and then we enjoyed a cocktail on our awesome front porch before turning in for the night.
Day Two Monday:
A cold front came through overnight and the morning boat canal tour I booked called with news of white caps on the lake. We re-booked for Tuesday.
We drove about a half hour to Apopka to visit Wekiwa Springs State Park. Although the springs were off limits to dogs, River and I enjoyed the great trails on a sweatshirt weather day. We explored 4 miles of woods and eventually found the lake (much area for improvement on trail signage).
Our friends from the Orlando area came to visit and met us at our cottage. We walked to lunch at One Flight Up Café and had some yummy soups and sandwiches. We spent the afternoon shopping at in town.
Some notable favorites:
The Wow Factory
The Spice and Tea Exchange
Home and Garden Treasures
Day Three Tuesday:
A must do in Mt Dora is a lake and canal tour. Rusty Anchor Mount Dora offers a beautiful tour, friendly captains and check in staff, lots of local trivia and history, AND they are dog friendly! Our amazing captain was totally cool with River meting willing guests… we only had 2 other guests on the tour. Everyone was so kind to us. River is now totally attached to that lovely couple on our tour. The lake is pristine and the canals are the best of Florida nature and recreation and beautiful residential properties all in one.
I walked River back to our cottage and went back to the lake for a lovely lunch at the Lakeside Inn on the veranda. I did a little more shopping then had a fantastic dinner at 1921, just steps from my cottage. They have dog friendly outdoor dining, but I chose to eat inside without River. The flatbread was great!
Our cottage has an outdoor seating area with a fire pit. I tried my best to light a fire on this cold night, but was unsuccessful and went to bed.
Day Four Wednesday:
Check out day. We made sure to leave our cottage as if we wanted to be invited back. I got to chat with the neighbors in the Oasis Cottage and hear about their fun adventures in Mt Dora. River and I took one last hike at Palm Island Park, which is a short walk from the cottage. Lots of dog friendly shaded trails and boardwalks along the lake. We saw turtles and on my last solo visit I saw a gator.
River and I left Mt Dora wanting to stay more, but, after all, we live in paradise and were happy to sleep in our own beds that night.
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