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Clermont: A Well Kept Secret!

The City of Clermont is probably the most scenic in Central Florida. Its terrain consists of hills and lakes, which together create a beautiful landscape. It was recently named 'Choice of Champions,' due to the fact that Olympic hopefuls come to Clermont to train. The National Training Center features many facilities, including an Olympic size swimming pool, soccer fields, as well as areas for other sports. It's conveniently located adjacent to the local Hospital and it's surrounding medical community. In the downtown area, you'll find historic homes and buildings, as well as established neighborhoods surrounding it. In recent years, the city has experienced major growth, with numerous new communities, as well as commercial areas, under construction. Parks are plentiful and well maintained. The one closest to downtown features a pristine, sandy beach area with a swimming area on one of the lakes. Last year, the City opened a huge Community Center, which features an Olympic size swimming pool, a massive auditorium, and countless activity/meeting rooms. It sits on one of the highest hills, which allows for some spectacular views. Very few small towns can boast of having such a wonderful addition. Most of The public schools are rated in the 'A' and 'B' range. The teaching staffs are dedicated to achieving the best education possible. The number of restaurant choices is amazing. There are many ethnic, as well as locally owned, plus most of the well-known franchises, from which to choose. And, thankfully, finding places to shop is never a challenge. All roads, leading into and out of Clermont, have been widened recently, which has made access to other cities and towns quite easy. There are currently several exits, and ramps leading onto the Florida Turnpike, with a new one coming soon. Some of the featured attractions within a short distance, are Disneyworld, Universal Studios, Seaworld, and Downtown Orlando. Clermont is also located halfway between both coasts. The Atlantic Ocean offers vast amounts of beach, with some great waves for surfing. The Gulf of Mexico coastline is less crowded, but offers fewer beaches. Hopefully, this brief overview of The City of Clermont has tweeked your interest, as well as your curiosity. There's no doubt you'll be amazed and enthralled when you come for a visit. We'll be waiting for you!!

Historic Clermont

The main entrance to the Historical downtown area of Clermont. The tree-lined drive passes a small inviting lake featuring a lovely fountain located in the middle. Every Sunday morning, the main street is closed and a Farmer's Market opens. It's a popular event that attracts hundreds of local residents.

Clermont Waterfront Park

This Park is located a block north of downtown Clermont, on Lake Minneola. The city sponsors regularly scheduled events in the park. These events draw huge crowds. Other features of the park include a beach and swimming area, playgrounds, covered picnic pavilions, a brand new Splash Pond area, several piers and docks, as well as a section of the West Orange Trail. A new restaurant (Lillie's on the Lake) is currently under construction and will overlook Lake Minneola.

Downtown Clermont

Downtown Clermont streets feature many interesting areas. The City Hall, The Clermont City Center, The Center Lake, to name just a few of them. During the Holidays, the perimeter of the small lake is decorated by various businesses. The main street (Montrose) is often closed off to traffic in order to hold activities for various events throughout the year.

Clermont Historical Village

The Historic Village is worth visiting any time during the year. It's open to the public and admission is Free. The small village features two original homes, dating back into the mid-1800s, each one furnished with original items; a replica of a very small, one room schoolhouse; the original Clermont Library, complete with many donated items; a World War 2 museum, featuring memorabilia from local veterans; and the train depot where the cars were filled with citrus fruit. The portion of the West Orange Trail running along the lake, had originally been the location of the train track.

Lake Minneola Shoreline

Lake Minneola is the smallest of the three lakes located in Clermont. But it has more public access than the others, as well as several commercial businesses along the shoreliine. And, the sunsets are spectacular from almost viewpoint.

Shopping and Restaurants Area

This area has been developing for the last several years, and it continues to grow. Included in the shopping centers are an Epic Movie Theater, featuring multiple theaters, BJs Wholesale Club, Aldi's, JC Penney's, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Buffalo Wild Wings, Texas Roadhouse Grill, Michael's, TJ Maxx, Ross, I-Hop, plus many more shops and restaurants. Directly across the road, sitting high on a hill, is another center, which includes several restaurants and the Driver's License Bureau. Situated next to the center is a huge Harley dealership.

Clermont Arts and Recreation Center

The Clermont Arts and Recreation Center was recently purchased by the City. It had been constructed and used by a religious organization, that could no longer meet their financial obligations. The Center sits on a huge piece of land, high on a hill, south of the downtown area. It includes a huge auditorium (with excellent acoustics for concerts), an Olympic size swimming pool and two smaller pools, dozens of meetings rooms that can be rented by local organizations and at least two kitchen areas. Adjacent to this facility is a recently completed retirement complex, whose residents can walk to the Recreation Center.

Lake Louisa

Lake Louisa is the largest of the lakes in Clermont. It's located south of town, close to six miles from Hwy. 50. Across the lake from where the photos were taken, is the Lake Louisa State Park. It features lovely cabins available for rent, a large campground, a beach and picnic area, and a boat launch. For those who enjoy fishing, this lake provides some wonderful catches.

Hancock Recreational City Park

The Hancock Recreational City Park provides areas for many different sports, including tennis courts, as well as numerous baseball and soccer fields. The grounds and facilities are perfectly maintained, and lighting is provided for use after dark. There is also a playground area for small children. The location of the park is easily accessed and parking is plentiful.

Lake Sumter College/University of Central Florida, and Library

The City of Clermont is fortunate to have within it's borders, branches of both the University of Central Florida and Lake Sumter College on the same grounds. Many of the local residents attend these schools, which makes for a very affordable education. The multi-story library is shared by these schools and the city of Clermont. As with most of the other featured areas, this also sits high on a hill, with a beautiful view.

Citrus Tower and House of Presidents

Clermont was once known as The Citrus Capital. In order to honor this distinction, a tower was constructed 56 years ago. It features an elevator that goes up to a glass enclosed viewing area. On a clear day, you can see downtown Orlando, which is 22 miles to the east. Next to the tower is The House of Presidents, another interesting tourist attraction, built close to the same time as the tower. After the many freezes in the 1980s, which destroyed almost all the fruit bearing trees, the citrus industry collapsed. But the beautiful terrain, with the rolling hills and lakes, attracted developers. Very quickly, much of the land was purchased, and residential communities, as well as commercial entities began appearing. And, the building continued nonstop until the real estate crash in 2008. Many of the communities were left with unfinished homesites and clubhouses. They resembled ghost towns. Thankfully, however, the real estate market has recovered, and not only have the unfinished communities been completed, but many new ones have begun. And, as quickly as the new homes are built, they're sold. The developers are constantly seeking sites on which to begin new communities. The population of Clermont is increasing daily, and is the reason it's currently the most populated city in Lake County.

Barbara Edwards

Guide Author
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Clermont: A Well Kept Secret!