2014 Great Places in Florida Winner: Mount Dora

UPDATE: On Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 members of the Florida APA Executive Committee had the pleasure to present the first annual Florida Great Places – People’s Choice Award to the City of Mount Dora at Sunset Park in Downtown Mount Dora.


On, October 29th, APA Florida President Melissa Zornitta, President-Elect Andre Anderson and YPG representative Jacques Coulon presented the award in a ceremony in downtown Mount Dora. Pictured Left, from Left to Right: APA Florida President Melissa Zornitta (AICP), Mount Dora Mayor Cathy Hoechst, City Councilmember Ryan Donovan

This year APA Florida built upon the national program and with the help of the APA Florida Young Planners Group, launched the Great Places in Florida – People’s Choice Award. Anyone could submit a nomination and the public voted for the winner. Twenty-seven nominations were received and narrowed down to five finalists. With over 4200 votes cast for the finalists, Downtown Mount Dora emerged as the 2014 People’s Choice.


Below is the original nomination that Mount Dora Submitted into the Great Places in Florida – People’s Choice Award. To learn more about Mount Dora Click Here

Recently voted as one of Smithsonian Magazine’s “Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014”, Mount Dora is a quaint, historic, lake front community in Central Florida. When walking around town or down to the water’s edge of beautiful Lake Dora, you will quickly see why this location was chosen to create the small town in the early 1880’s. With its tagline, Someplace Special, the community has established a strong sense of place, along with a well-developed passion for relaxation, festivals and community involvement. Visitors are often struck by the genuine friendliness of everyone they encounter. There are no strangers in Mount Dora. As the sun sets each evening over Lake Dora, the downtown community comes alive with live music, art strolls and gallery walks around every corner. Quality cafes, restaurants and wine room are in full swing as visitors and locals mingle, laugh, swap stories and enjoy the moment.

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