People flock to Florida for the sun and fun. But, you will also find water as Florida has over 30000 lakes, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico.
So, with that many lakes, there are many Lake Towns in Florida, and each has a unique flavor. Some lakes are famous for fishing, and others are winter resorts and home to those who make Florida their winter home.
The one commonality of every lake town in Florida is plenty of sun all year long. The mild winters allow fishing through the cooler months of the year, swimming, and sun-bathing.
From the county with the most lakes to the counties with the largest lakes, continue for a list of Lake Towns in Florida worth visiting year-round.
What city in Florida has the most lakes?
Lake County in Central Florida is home to over 1000 lakes, and the county seat is Tavares. Many lakes in Florida are bordered by more than one city, and Lake County is home to 19 cities, some of which share the same lake.
Located east and northeast of Orlando, Lake County has over 65,000 acres of lakes and natural waterways, awaiting your exploration. It is the home of the Harris Chain of Lakes, which covers more than 50,000 acres. This chain of lakes runs to Lake George, into the St. Johns River, then to the Atlantic Ocean.
Lying at the apex of Lake Eustis, Lake Dora, and Lake Harris, the city of Tavares, is the geographical center of Florida. You would expect to find a city on the ocean with a title like America’s Seaplane City. Not so, and if you visit the events held here and in other Florida Lake areas, expect to have the time of your life on the water.
Lake Eustis, Dora, and Harris are part of the Harris Chain of Lakes that run through Lake and Orange County, Florida, and offer some of the best bass fishing in Florida. They also provide events that will keep everyone in your group happy, and renting a boat to fish, or see the sites, is easy to do with Boatsetter. You can get to the fish from shore, but you can find them where they live in a boat.
Mount Dora, Mount Dora Florida
Built on the shores of Lake Dora and a stone’s throw from Lake Beauclaire, Mount Dora is home to year-round and annual residents. Home to one of three freshwater lighthouses in Florida, Mount Dora is known as a “festival city” and is a must-see lake town in the heart of Florida.
Boating on Lake Dora includes bass fishing, waterskiing, and Mount Dora’s festivals offer the locals’ food and fare. Lake Dora is connected to Lake Eustis, to the north, by the Dora canal, and Lake Apopka, to the south, via the Apopka-Beauclair canal.
So, when visiting Lake Dora, you have access to a chain of lakes instead of one. This offers the opportunity to bass fish, paddleboard, sail, or cruise the shores of these central Florida lakes.
Not to be confused with Lake Kissimmee, the city of Kissimmee lies on the northern shore of Lake Tohopekaliga. This Lake in Central Florida is less than 20 miles from Orlando.
Covering 23,000 acres, Lake Tohopekaliga is the largest Lake in Osceola County and one of the larger lakes in Florida. Lake Tohopekaliga includes alligators, otters, turtles, and all manner of waterfowl and migratory birds.
Home to professional bass tournaments, too, anglers worldwide come here in search of trophy largemouth bass. There are many things to do in Kissimmee, Florida. Boating here allows you to try a different lake town and a lake in Florida.
Georgetown is the only large city on the edge of Lake George, aka Lake Welaka. The Ocala National Forest embraces the lake’s western shore, and the lake is fed by three springs from that area. Because so much shoreline is forest land, the shoreline is wooded.
Drayton Island fills the passage where Lake George enters St. Johns River. Homesites on Drayton Island are only approachable from the water, as there is no bridge from Georgetown. Lake George has an average depth of eight feet and is the second-largest Lake in Florida. Lake Okeechobee holds the title as the largest Lake in Florida, but like Lake George, it isn’t very deep, either.
Oddly enough, there is enough salt in the waters of Lake George for the salt spring and tidal flow of the St. Johns river to support blue crabs, striped bass, mullet, and stingray. The population of blue crab in Lake George supports a local fishery there. It is the only freshwater fishery in the world to harvest blue crab.
Lake Kerr, Kerr City
On the northern shore of Lake Kerr, Kerr city is off the beaten path, in a very rural area of north-central Florida. Not far from the north shore of Lake George and Georgetown, this is a different, less populated part of the state. Nevertheless, Kerr city has an exciting past, and the stories have followed it through the decades. Tales of haunted houses are still relayed.
There are few sites other than Kerr City, but there is fishing and boating. And the fishing in Lake Kerr is worth the visit because there are largemouth bass, bowfin, and Chain pickerel. The climate this far north in Florida is a bit different than it is south of Orlando. So the flora, fauna, and even the fish you catch are different than other lakes in Florida, and that’s a good thing.
The Lakes of Winter Park, Florida
In a suburb of Orlando, six lakes surround Winter Park. The lakes create a chain of lakes, including Lake Nina, Lake Minnehaha, Lake Osceola, Lake Mizell, Lake Maitland, and Lake Virginia. Like many Lake Towns of Florida, visiting this city offers more lakes and water to play on than other areas when visiting Florida lake towns.
Lake Maitland is the largest of this chain of lakes, and although they are all shallow lakes, the largemouth bass love their grassy rimmed shores. Anglers find large and smallmouth bass in these lakes, as well as bluegill and, of course, catfish.
The ultimate lake town, the City of Winter Park, offers you an option of fishing and boating and puts you in the proximity of Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios. Because, hey, you can’t fish all of the time, or can you?
The Towns of Lake Okeechobee
Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in Florida and has 730 square miles of surface area. That’s a lot of water, and at almost 30 miles wide and 36 miles long, it can take time to cross depending on your boat and speed, of course. There are four major towns on the shores of Lake Okeechobee.
Okeechobee, Belle Glade, Pahokee, and Clewiston are the most prominent cities around Lake Okeechobee. However, the lake is so massive that it dwarves these tiny hamlets. The area around the lake is predominately agricultural. The towns reflect this, which means you can find fresh produce and fruit to go with your catch of the day on Lake Okeechobee.
With the title of ‘bass capital of the world,’ you know people are visiting for the largemouth bass. However, sunfish, bluegill, and catfish are also fair game and fine for a fish dinner.
Whether you come for fishing or as a getaway, a visit to Lake Okeechobee should be added to your list of lakes to see because it is genuinely awesome.
Windermere at Lake Butler
Windermere at Lake Butler is located in the Orlando area. The Butler Chain of Lakes is comprised of thirteen lakes. These lakes are Lake Butler, Little Lake Down, Lake Down, Lake Louise, Fish, Isleworth, Chase, Wauseon Bay, Pocket, , Lake Sheen, Tibet-Butler, Blanche, and one no-name lake.
As one of the oldest communities in Orange country, Windermere is also one of the smallest. Windermere is a bedroom community in Orlando and has a small-town feel and all of those lakes to explore. Although the waters surrounding Windermere are fine for a day of fishing, cruising, or basking in the sun, there is no better way to do that than in a boat.
Can you swim in Florida lakes?
Yes, you can, but beware of alligators even if there is no warning sign. Florida’s warm weather and lakes are a perfect habitat for alligators, snakes, and insects, so prepare for the insects and beware of the other creatures lurking about.
Lake Boating in Florida
A boat is the best way to see any Florida lake, and boat owners in Florida offer their boats for rent through Boatsetter. You can choose a captained cruise or bareboat and choose between a rental of a few hours or an adventure of several days if that is what you want.
Florida has 8436 miles of shoreline, which is more than any other state in North America except Alaska. So whether your interest is to visit lake towns in Florida to find the location of largemouth bass or bask in the sun, there is a lake waiting just for you in Florida.