Florida Scenic Highway: Green Mountain Byway, Mount Dora to Winter Garden
Length: 19 miles.
How to get around: Car, bicycle or motorcycle.
Fun fact: Central Florida is one of the state’s premiere destinations for antiquing and flea markets.
For more info: Check out greenmountainbyway.org.
First things first: There are no mountains in Florida.
“Except there are,” contends Greg Gensheimer president and chairman of Green Mountain Scenic Byway Inc.
By “mountain,” Gensheimer means Sugarloaf Ridge, which at 312 feet above sea level has bragging rights as the highest point in Central Florida. Folks may quibble as to whether Green Mountain deserves its name (the moniker refers to the town of Montverde on the outskirts of Orlando), but one thing’s certain: the view doesn’t disappoint.
“It’s pretty spectacular when you’re up there, because everything else is ironing board flat,” said Gensheimer. The scenic overlook offers spectacular views of Orlando, Lake Apopka and the surrounding nature preserves below.
Speaking of birds’-eye views, the byway is one of Florida’s most attractive spots for birdwatching, with more than 360 species of birds nestled in its canopy.
The area’s hills, curves and picturesque views make it a popular destination for motorcyclists and triathletes in training. In fact, one of the biggest events of the year is the Horrible Hundred bicycle race in November.
Athletes looking to replenish their energy can head for a cold pint of craft beer at Crooked Can Brewing Company in historic Winter Garden. And for a family-friendly option there’s, Gensheimer said you “can’t go wrong” with brunch on the front porch of the picturesque Lakeside Inn.