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Downtown Clermont

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By Damon Duvall
Thu, Nov 30, 2023 at 3:25PM

Historic Downtown Clermont FL
Historic Downtown Clermont FL

Exploring Downtown Clermont: A Guide to the Heart of The Gem of the Hills

Welcome to Clermont, a charming and delightful city in Central Florida, known for generations as the gem of the hills. With a rich history dating back to 1884, Clermont offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, vibrant community life, and a plethora of experiences waiting to be explored. Ready for the ultimate day trip? Let’s embark on a journey through the heart of downtown Clermont and discover what makes it truly special.

Clermont FL | Homes For Sale in Clermont FL

Key Takeaways

  • Experience the vibrant culture of Downtown Clermont, featuring unique shops, eateries and attractions.

  • Enjoy outdoor activities such as Waterfront Park & Lake Minneola or a scenic paddle adventure across seven bodies of water.

  • Explore local history at Clermont’s Historic Village Museum and discover special events for all to enjoy!

Historic Downtown Clermont FL

Discovering Clermont's Downtown Area

Downtown Clermont, located along the beautiful Lake Minneola, covers approximately 10 city blocks from east to west and 6 from north to south. It provides a captivating experience for both residents and visitors. Easy to navigate with over 1,000 free public parking spaces, you’ll find local shops and attractions, including the stunning waterfront park. From the dynamic Montrose Street Market to the tranquil shores of Lake Minneola, downtown Clermont offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences.

As you stroll through the charming streets of the historic downtown Clermont, you’ll find yourself surrounded by unique boutique shops, art galleries, and delightful eateries. And don’t forget to visit the Clermont Historic Village Museum, a testament to the city’s rich heritage. So, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, downtown Clermont has something for everyone.

Waterfront Park and Lake Minneola

Scenic view of Lake Minneola at Waterfront Park

Positioned by the water in the scenic downtown Clermont, Waterfront Park provides captivating views and a tranquil environment for relaxation. The park offers:

  • Ample picnic areas

  • Benches for seating

  • Pavilions for shade

  • Restrooms for convenience

Waterfront Park is open from dawn to a peaceful 10pm, providing ample time to enjoy its picturesque surroundings. It is an ideal spot for a family outing or a romantic lakeside stroll.

On weekends, the park comes alive with delicious food trucks and live music during special events like Food Truck Fridays. And for those who seek adventure, Lake Minneola provides an incredible waterfront experience with a sand beach, children’s playground, and various watersports. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife, such as egrets and alligators, that call this beautiful lake home.

Montrose Street Market

Montrose Street Market with boutique shops and outdoor dining areas

Located in the heart of downtown Clermont, Montrose Street Market is a vibrant and lively hub that food connoisseurs should not miss. With seven delicious restaurants featuring an array of cuisines, it’s an ideal spot to satisfy your cravings while exploring the downtown area.

From unique dining experiences to delightful treats, Montrose Street Market, located on Montrose St, caters to all taste buds, promising a gastronomic journey. So, gather your friends and family, and indulge in the diverse flavors that make this market a must-visit destination.

A Taste of Downtown: Restaurants and Breweries

Food enthusiasts find a sanctuary in downtown Clermont, with its diverse assortment of local eateries and craft breweries offering a spectrum of flavors and experiences. From the delicious pretzels at Amish Pretzel Shop to the mouthwatering Mexican cuisine at Ay Jalisco Mexican Restaurant, there’s no shortage of options to satisfy your taste buds.

And for the craft beer enthusiasts, Clermont has you covered. Suncreek Brewery and Clermont Brewing Company provide a lively atmosphere and a selection of locally brewed beers that are sure to please. So, whether you’re craving a hearty meal or a refreshing beverage, downtown Clermont has something for everyone.

Local Eateries

The downtown Clermont dining scene features local favorites such as:

  • The Southern on 8th, which offers a diverse menu with vegan options and classic steak dinners. Popular dishes include House Candied Bacon Hanger, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Southern Deviled Eggs.

  • Root & Branch

  • The Crooked Spoon

Root & Branch, open for dinner on weekdays and brunch on weekends, offers a cozy atmosphere and a delightful menu. Meanwhile, The Crooked Spoon serves up delicious gastropub fare in a relaxed setting. With so many amazing eateries to choose from, it’s easy to find the perfect dining experience in downtown Clermont.

Craft Breweries

For craft beer enthusiasts, downtown Clermont offers an abundance of choices. Suncreek Brewery offers a vibrant, market-style atmosphere reminiscent of a mini Plant Street Market, and the popular Clermont Champions Lager is just one of the many beloved beers you can enjoy.

Clermont Brewing Company, renowned as a top destination for craft beer enthusiasts, also offers a full food menu and craft cocktails, including delicious sushi. So, whether you’re in the mood to sip on a locally brewed beer or indulge in a tasty meal, these craft breweries provide the perfect setting for a memorable night out.

Shopping and Boutique Stores

Downtown Clermont features a multitude of boutique stores and art galleries, providing unique shopping experiences and displaying local art. With a variety of items, including:

  • clothing

  • accessories

  • home decor

  • handmade crafts

These shops are perfect for finding that special gift or indulging in some retail therapy.

From the quaint West Avenue Shops to the inspiring Art Walk, downtown Clermont’s shopping scene is a treasure trove of discovery. So, whether you’re looking to update your wardrobe or add a touch of local art to your home, be sure to explore the charming shops and galleries that make downtown Clermont truly special.

West Avenue Shops

Located in the historic district of downtown Clermont, West Avenue Shops provide an enjoyable shopping experience with an assortment of boutique stores. Here, you’ll find unique destinations like Pop Culture Soda Shoppe, where you can discover an exciting assortment of vintage candies, nostalgic memorabilia, and unique sodas.

Sugar Mama’s Candy Bar is another must-visit shop, offering a sweet selection of candies and treats. These charming stores and many others make West Avenue Shops a fantastic destination for those seeking one-of-a-kind items and memorable shopping experiences.

Art Walk

The downtown Clermont Art Walk provides an excellent platform to appreciate local artists and their work, fostering a lively and inspiring ambiance. With a variety of incredible art on display, including:

  • paintings

  • sculptures

  • photography

  • murals

The Art Walk is a feast for the eyes and the soul.

In addition to admiring the beautiful artwork, visitors can also purchase pieces from local artists, supporting the thriving arts and cultural scene in Clermont. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll, the Art Walk is a must-visit destination in downtown Clermont.

Outdoor Activities and Recreation

Cyclists enjoying the scenic South Lake Trail

The stunning landscape and natural environment of Clermont offer numerous outdoor activities and recreational opportunities for nature enthusiasts. Some of these activities include:

  • Exploring the scenic South Lake Trail

  • Enjoying paddling adventures on Lake Minneola and Palatlakaha Run

  • Engaging in various outdoor activities in downtown Clermont

These activities allow visitors to connect with nature and stay active in the beautiful surroundings of Clermont.

Whether you’re an avid cyclist, a casual walker, or a water sports enthusiast, downtown Clermont FL in Central Florida has something for everyone, including Clermont residents. So, put on your sneakers, grab a paddle, and get ready to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this charming city.

South Lake Trail

The South Lake Trail provides a scenic route for biking, walking, or jogging enthusiasts, connecting downtown Clermont to the neighboring areas. This 9-mile trail system provides a delightful paved path that is perfect for all ages and abilities.

As you traverse the trail, you’ll pass through Clermont and Minneola, enjoying gorgeous views of Lake Minneola and other nearby lakes. The trail also connects to various recreational areas, including Waterfront Park, Victory Point, Downtown Clermont, West Beach Park, and Lake Hiawatha. With its beautiful scenery and convenient connections, the South Lake Trail is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true.

Paddling Adventures

To actively engage with Clermont’s natural beauty, consider taking a paddling journey on Lake Minneola and Palatlakaha Run. With popular routes stretching across seven bodies of water, including Lake Minneola, Lake Minnehaha, and Lake Louisa, you’ll discover a world of aquatic wonders.

In addition to the breathtaking scenery, you can also spot a variety of wildlife, such as:

  • herons

  • egrets

  • ospreys

  • turtles

  • alligators

  • various fish species

Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a beginner, these waterways offer a refreshing and invigorating experience that you won’t soon forget.

Clermont's Historic Village Museum

Visiting Clermont’s Historic Village Museum is essential for appreciating the city’s rich history. This cooperative effort between the South Lake County Historical Society and the City of Clermont celebrates the area’s past by preserving and maintaining historic buildings and artifacts.

From the early days of Clermont’s pioneering families to the impact of World War II, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the city’s storied past. With its beautifully preserved structures and engaging exhibits, Clermont’s Historic Village Museum provides a captivating journey through time.

Townsend House and Kern House

Inside Clermont’s Historic Village Museum, two historic homes, the Townsend House and the Kern House, provide a glimpse into the city’s early days and the lives of its pioneering families. James and Sally Townsend, the original owners of the Townsend House, were the pioneering African-American couple to make their home in Clermont and founded the St. Marks African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Alexander and Eleonora Kern, along with their two children, were integral parts of Clermont’s history. Alexander was one of the original signers of the Clermont charter, and the Kern House, built in 1885, was relocated to the Clermont Historic Village in 2006. These historic homes provide a fascinating look into the lives of those who helped shape the city we know today.

World War II Quonset Hut

The World War II Quonset Hut, part of Clermont’s Historic Village Museum, houses a collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the war era. Renovated in 2012, the Quonset Hut was originally used for bunks, the mess hall, and offices during the war and now provides a fascinating glimpse into this significant period in history.

As you explore the museum, you’ll find incredible artifacts donated by the military, showcasing the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought during World War II.

The Quonset Hut is an important reminder of the town’s participation in the war effort and the impact the war had on the local community.

Special Events and Entertainment

Crowd gathered at Food Truck Fridays event in downtown Clermont

Beyond its beautiful landscapes and intriguing history, downtown Clermont also hosts a wide range of special events and entertainment, contributing to a vibrant atmosphere for both residents and visitors. From Wine Walks and Wine Strolls hosted by Bacchus Vino Etcetera and Corelli’s to the popular Food Truck Fridays, there’s always something happening in downtown Clermont.

Seasonal festivals, such as the Annual Downtown Clermont Harvest Festival and Clermont Hometown Holidays, add to the vibrant community spirit, offering fun-filled experiences for the whole family. So, whether you’re a local or a visitor, be sure to check out the exciting events and entertainment that make downtown Clermont a lively and engaging destination.

Summary

From its charming downtown area to its picturesque waterfront park, Clermont is a gem of a city that offers a diverse array of experiences and attractions. With its rich history, vibrant community life, and endless opportunities for adventure, there’s no doubt that Clermont is a destination worth exploring. So, why wait? Plan your visit to the heart of the gem of the hills today and uncover the magic of downtown Clermont.

Frequently Asked Questions

What events take place in downtown Clermont throughout the year?

Experience the best of Clermont by attending events like Wine Walks, Food Truck Fridays, the Annual Harvest Festival, and Clermont Hometown Holidays throughout the year in downtown Clermont.

Are there any guided tours available for the South Lake Trail?

Yes, guided tours are available for the South Lake Trail, so come explore the beauty of this scenic trail with an experienced guide.

What types of wildlife can be spotted on the South Lake Trail?

Enjoy a variety of wildlife on your visit to South Lake Trail, from quail and doves to deer, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, bobcats, and coyotes.

Can visitors rent kayaks and canoes for paddling in Clermont?

Yes, you can rent kayaks and canoes for paddling in Clermont at Clermont Watersports Complex and Dixie Lake Outpost.

What are the operating hours for the World War II Quonset Hut in Clermont's Historic Village Museum?

The World War II Quonset Hut in Clermont's Historic Village Museum is open on weekends from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, with free admission for all.


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