Tavares : Florida


What It Is Like to Retire in Tavares

Located on the north shore of Lake Dora in central Florida, Tavares is the county seat of Lake County, with a population of about 19,000 (2020 Census).  Known as “America's Seaplane City”, Tavares offers a unique downtown which features a seaplane airport and marina. Lake Dora is one of nine lakes of the Harris Chain which connects Mount Dora, Eustis, Leesburg and other nearby towns through waterways. The waterfront town has undergone a renaissance during the last few years, and is popular with seaplane enthusiasts.Tavares also has a historic district, several restaurants and pubs, boat tours, and steam engine train rides.


Where to Retire in Tavares and Home Prices

Zillow reports the median home value was $282,588, in early 2022 and up over 26% over the past year. There are several housing options which include 55+ communities, all-ages subdivisions and mobile home communities. There are active adult communities here-see link on left.


What Is Special about Tavares

Tavares is a lakefront town with a marina and seaplane airport.  It offers boat tours, fishing, and a walkable downtown. The town also has an award-winning hospital, a library, and is a golf cart friendly community.


What Is Not Special about Tavares

Boaters, fishermen, seaplane and steam engine train buffs would enjoy living here, but culturally the town does not have much to offer.


Who Will Like Retirement in Tavares

Tavares is a popular town for retirees as the average age is 51 years.  It has a low cost of living, great health care, a dog park, community gardens, boating and fishing, senior programs and events, and you can get around town in your golf cart.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Construction and retail drive the economy. Florida Hospital Waterman is a major employer.


Climate and Physical Environment

The average January temperature is 60 degrees, with July's average at 81. 


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

As a lakefront town, Tavares offers parks, boating, and seaplane rides. It is also home to the popular Orange Blossom Cannonball Express, (seen in several Hollywood movies), which travels to Mount Dora and offers special excursions using steam engines, including The Cannonball Christmas Express Train; the town has historic sites, and the Old Courthouse houses the Lake County Historical Museum, there is also a self-guided walking tour of other historic building throughout the town; Tavares hosts community events including a popular 4th of July fireworks display over the lake; there are some restaurants along the waterfront for watching seaplane activity, and the Tavares Pavilion on the Lake is a 8,000 sq ft event facility positioned over Lake Dora;  the charming town of Mount Dora located nearby, via a scenic 5 mile drive along the lake, offers more restaurants and quaint shops, and the Fun of Orlando is just 40 miles south.



The crime rate here is high, but mainly involves theft.


Medical Facilities

Florida Hospital Waterman is located in Tavares.



 The closest airport is in Orlando, about 35 miles away.


Valuable Links

Visit Tavares

Orange Blossom Cannonball Express

Florida Hospital Waterman


What people are saying about Tavares

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