Three times a year Mount Dora, Florida becomes a major destination for antique-lovers. This is when Renninger’s
, the famed Pennsylvania antique show promoter, hold their Extravaganzas.
Taking place in November, January, and February, Renninger’s Mount Dora Extravaganzas
live up to their name with about 800 dealers from all over the country selling vintage and antique wares. The Extravaganzas go on rain or shine; while not as pleasant in the rain, many of the dealers are set up in indoor spaces and covered sheds making it possible to get some serious antiquing done even when it’s raining (and being Florida, the rain usually passes quickly). It’s also fairly spread out with some booths climbing a gentle hill, so be prepared for a lot of walking.
The Town of Mount Dora
Mount Dora is about a 45 minute drive from Orlando and, for antique-lovers, worth a side trip even if your vacation doesn’t coincide with one of the Extravaganzas. The town itself is charming with a historic town center.
Renninger’s Mount Dora Antique Center
The large indoor building at the Extravaganza is open year-round and known as the Antique Center
. Though additional dealers set up in it during Extravaganza weekends, the 40,000 s.f. Antique Center is a substantial antique mall in its own right. Though I’ve only attended during Extravaganza weekends, I’ve purchased many items from the permanent Antique Center vendors. Renninger’s also operates a permanent indoor Flea and Farmer’s market nearby, but don’t confuse this with the Antique Center, the Flea Market mostly has vendors with new merchandise. The Antique Center is open Friday through Sunday, but I’d recommend checking their website if you’re visiting off-season.
Nearby: Morse Museum
Antique and art lovers who are visiting the Orlando area should plan a visit to the Morse Museum in Winter Park, a suburb of Orlando. The Morse Museum houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s work including jewelry, pottery, paintings, glass, lamps, and windows.
Tiffany Chapel Baptistry
However, what distinguishes the museum is the large collection of objects that were originally part Tiffany’s home, the Long Island estate known as Laurelton Hall. Two major architectural elements were salvaged from the estate, the Tiffany Chapel and the Daffodil Terrace and these pieces make the museum a world-class destination and unlike other collections of Tiffany’s work.