Located in peaceful Lake County, Florida, Leesburg is a popular destination for anyone who appreciates a rich history combined with lake-based water sports. Add in a focus on high-end cuisine in casual settings and it’s no wonder that this is quickly becoming one of the most popular Florida destinations for relocating baby boomers.
Let’s jump into Lake County and take a closer look at everything that Leesburg has to offer!
Leesburg was named after Evander McIver Lee, who originally settled the area along with a few of his brothers in the mid-1850s. It was incorporated as a city in 1875 and served as the county seat of Sumter County up until Lake County was formed in 1887.
Throughout most of the 1900s, the local economy was driven by local farmers, who specialized in growing watermelons. To this day, the annual Watermelon Festival is one of the biggest events of the year in Leesburg.
With more than 1,400 lakes to choose from, just about everything in Lake County revolves around enjoying the local waterways. And Leesburg offers its residents one of the best locations for accessing as much of those lakes and streams as possible.
Two of the most popular lakes in the area are Lake Harris and Lake Griffin. You can take in some of the Lake Harris action by spending a day at the 110-acre Venetian Gardens, or you can head up to the Leesburg Yacht Club to head out onto Lake Griffin for some outstanding bass fishing.
Leesburg is also big on festivals and community gatherings. Over the course of the year, there are very few weekends where there isn’t something exciting happening in town.
Some of the most popular annual events include Leesburg Bikefest, Mardi Gras Party in the Street, the Fine Arts Festival, the Spring Fish Fry, the Fourth of July Celebration, and the Main Street Christmas Stroll.
History and culture are also a strong aspect of life in Leesburg. Local attractions like The Leesburg Heritage Museum act as constant reminders about the area’s history. Here you can learn about Evander Lee, the history of the local citrus industry, and a local connection to the legendary Annie Oakley.
Another historic attraction that is special to Leesburg is the Mote Morris House, which was built in 1982. This beautifully restored home offers a unique window into what life was like for Leesburg residents back in the early 1900s.
With as much history as there is in Leesburg, it should be a surprise that there are some great antique dealers in town. Spending a day browsing through the shelves at Main Street Antiques or Victoria’s Antique Warehouse is the perfect way to spend an occasional rainy day.
There are also plenty of modern shopping options available at the Lake Square Mall, so you can always run there to grab whatever it is that you might need at the moment.
The history in Leesburg carries all the way over into the dining scene where the hottest spot in town is named after Evander Lee himself.
The Evander Lee is a casual restaurant that has been the talk of the town since it opened in 2018. The steaks are the star of the show here, and you can get one on a sandwich, on a salad, in pasta, or in a healthy bowl of quinoa.
Great dining is nothing new here in Leesburg, and local staples like Turners and Rodello’s Italian Restaurant have been doing it right for a very long time. If you are in the mood for a classy meal with friends, these are two can’t-miss spots.
Leesburg Area Communities
Located about 45 minutes north/northwest of Leesburg, is On Top of the World.
At On Top of the World Communities, active adults will find all they dream about and so much more. Located in beautiful Ocala Florida, On Top of the World residents can enjoy any schedule that suits their tastes – from activity packed to unhurried.
Leisure amenities include 54 holes of golf on three courses, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a 14-acre R/C flying field, bocce, racquetball and basketball courts, fitness center, health club and spa, restaurants, cultural venues, and much more.
Residents can also participate in over 150 clubs, leagues, hobbies, and lifelong learning opportunities.
New homes are of quality construction, often exceeding ENERGY STAR criteria while offering comfort, convenience, and a wide variety of design elements.
There are 23 floor plans available with prices ranging to suit every budget starting in the $200k’s.
Everything in Leesburg revolves around the combination of rich history and access to the water, and the way that boomers have taken to this little town in recent years has the local amenities racing to keep up. This is definitely one where you can get in just before the rest of the world finds out just how great Leesburg is.