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“At least 3 boat tours in one ...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Rusty Anchor

The Rusty Anchor
400 W. 4th Ave, Lake Dora, Mount Dora, FL
1 (352) 383-3933
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Ranked #7 of 12 activities in Mount Dora
Type: Boat Tours
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Come join us for a 2 hour Eco Boat tour of Lake Dora and the Dora Canal. See the most beautiful mile of waterway. See Florida wildlife, flora and fauna like you never have seen before. Tour Lake Dora and the Dora Canal through the eyes of Captain Scott a born and raised Mount Dora Business man who has been on the waterways for over 30 years.The Tours leave at 10am,12:30,and 3pm at the docks by the yacht club. We also have a 1 hour sunset cruise that goes out each day. Please call to make your reservation and remember to be at the docks 15 minutes before you are scheudled to leave, you don"t want to miss the boat.
Orlando, Florida, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“At least 3 boat tours in one ...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

I rarely write reviews because I've made some great experiences and it gets harder and harder to impress me. But I was impressed by this 2 hour boat tour. It's really more like 3 tours in one. The first part let's the passenger experience boating across a nice sized lake. The next part follows along the bank of the lake with a view of how the waterfront homes and businesses take advantage of what the lake has to offer. Then the tour takes the passenger back to nature along a narrow canal with trees, birds and a multitude of reptilian wildlife on all sides. At the halfway point, the boat turns around and it all happens in reverse order before returning to the dock it departed from.

A visit to Mount Dora isn't complete without a tour on the Rusty Anchor.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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26 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Deltona, Florida, United States
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Loved the sunset cruise!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

We took the hour-long sunset cruise, and it was wonderful! My SO and I were the only people on the tour, so I actually expected the captain to offer us a refund to save the gas money of going out for an hour, but he seemed delighted to make the trip. He even kept the talk to a minimum, so that we could enjoy a romantic cruise. I wouldn't recommend this for small kids, because part of the charm is the quiet and there isn't a lot to keep them entertained. A great experience!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“OK, but not the most beautiful mile of waterway on earth”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

The Dora Canal is sometimes billed as The Most Beautiful Mile of Waterway on Earth, but I would be embarrassed to say that in Florida, with beautiful blue natural spring runs all over the place. The Rusty Anchor Tour was on a fairly spartan large ponton type boat that seemed in good shape. The captain was very polite and just friendly enough, but he added no spice at all to the tour. He gave no local history or lore, no information about Mt Dora and how it was founded or by whom; no regaling passengers with tales of the waterskiing elephant that was trained on the lake we traversed to get to the canal; no fascinating details of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy filming the African Queen under the draping Spanish Moss along the Dora Canal. He did describe a little about anhinga birds and a few details about the cost of shoreline real estate in Mt Dora. He pointed out a Bald Eagle nest but we could barely see the residents if there were any at home - don't know for sure. Saw a big, a medium, and a little alligator, and lots of wading birds and anhingas. The biggest disappointment was the trailer park along the beginning of "The Most Beautiful Mile of Waterway on Earth" ... can you say "not"?

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eustis, Florida
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“An Interesting and Relaxing Nature Tour”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We had been planning to take the Rusty Anchor Dora Canal tour for a while, so when it came up as a Groupon offer, I grabbed it. They ask that you reserve your specific tour 78 hours in advance and that you give at least 24 hours' notice for cancellation.

We took the 12:30 tour on Sunday, the regular 2-hour tour. They have 1-hour tours also, such as the moonlight cruise. We were able to park right near where the tour boat was docked, but I don't know if that is normal or because it was Sunday. We had two guides, the captain of the boat and a second man who had extensive knowledge of nature: animals, birds, plants, etc.

It was overcast that day, and a bit breezy, but it never rained except for a few sprinkles when we returned to the dock. It being a covered pontoon boat, even a shower wouldn't have been tragic. The little boat seemed to be half-full on our tour.

For the longer tour, the first half-hour involves crossing Lake Dora to reach where you enter the canal. There is not much to see close up for the half-hour, but at the least it is a pleasant interlude cruising along. You might see water birds, sea planes, and if you bring binoculars, you can check out the boathouses along the shore for the birds who invariably sit on the roofs looking out, or at the eagles and Great Blue Herons' nests if those are pointed out to you.. The captain spoke for a few minutes about the boathouses and shoreline, but the rest of it was a quiet and relaxing interlude.

When you enter the canal itself it gets more interesting. At first there are houses along the banks, but then nature takes over. Between the two guides we learned a lot about the canal, the region and the creatures and flora and fauna. We saw a few alligators and plenty of long-neck water birds. The scenery is lovely - even the cypress trees can be interesting with their bases taking different shapes as they age.

We rode to the end of the canal where it opens into Lake Eustis and then turned around for the trip back, so you can stay on one side of the boat and see everything on both sides during the tour (though you may go to the opposite side briefly if there is room when something interesting is spotted).

If you haven't been to Mt. Dora, try to plan to combine the boat tour with a walk around the downtown area. There are a lot of shops and restaurants in a small area.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Davenport, FL
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Mount Dora From a Different View”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We spent a delightful two hours today not only very slowly cruising the Mount Dora canal, but also being told about the homes and buildings along the shoreline of the lake on our way to the canal. Captain Scott went very slowly and allowed time for taking photos and enjoying sightings of birds.It was exciting to see 3 eagles and 2 piliated woodpeckers and many herons. First Mate Tim did a very good job of telling us about shore sights, alligators, and birds, about which he knew a great deal. Don't miss this. But be sure to bring a jacket as it does get chilly crossing the lake to get to the canal, even when temps are in the low 70s. We brought our neighbors to share our Groupon coupon and they loved it.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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