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The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014

From country music to herbal cocktails to horseshoe crabs to Rodin, our third annual list takes you to cultural gems worth mining

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14. Mount Dora, FL

(Downtown Mount Dora; photo by Julie Fletcher, VISIT FLORIDA)

Forget Orlando—the next time you're planning a trip to Central Florida, think about stopping by Mount Dora City, a town of about 13,162 nestled between hills and orange groves on the edge of Lake Dora.

Two of Mount Dora City's annual festivals are renowned throughout the country for their quality: the nationally ranked Mount Dora Arts Festival and the Fall Craft Fair, which is the largest outdoor event in the southeast United States. Mount Dora City also caters to antique enthusiasts, who come from all around the state—and country—to browse the town's offerings.

In the center of town sits Donnelly Park, a tree-shaded block that offers visitors a place to picnic or indulge in a game of tennis or shuffleboard. Nearby, visit Palm Island Park, home to one of the most beautiful nature walks in Florida.

The oldest structure in town is the 86-room Lakeside Inn, built in 1883. The Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce, inside the 1915 rail depot, attracts a large number of visitors each year, who come to marvel at its historic architecture. Mount Dora City is also home to the world-famous Renninger's Florida Twin Markets, a flea market and antique market held each Saturday and Sunday in the town.

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