January 30, 2024

Discover the Perfect Balance of Sports Excellence and Florida’s Beauty in Lake County

13 min read| Published On: January 30th, 2024|

By Roxanne Brown

Discover the Perfect Balance of Sports Excellence and Florida’s Beauty in Lake County

13 min read| Published On: January 30th, 2024|

From Olympic training grounds to scenic retreats, discover the perfect balance of sports excellence and Florida’s beauty in Lake County.

Nestled in the heart of the state, Lake county offers a unique blend of natural beauty and top-notch training facilities, making it a haven for athletes of all kinds. Whether you’re gearing up for the Olympics or aiming for a personal best in a triathlon, the County welcomes you with open arms. 

According to Lake County’s Sports Tourism Manager Andrew Grant, the county boasts facilities that have hosted Olympians like Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and emerging star Noah Lyles at the National Training Center.

The National Training Center in Clermont serves as a hub for various sports, including track and field, swimming, soccer and weightlifting. 

For golf enthusiasts, Lake County offers premier courses at places like Howey-In-The-Hills’ Mission Inn Resort and Club and Montverde’s Bella Collina, a luxurious gated lakefront and golf community. Nearby, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy offers the world’s premier junior golf academy, summer and winter golf camps and training for pros, amateurs and adults. And the recently opened Clermont National, akin to Topgolf, provides a dynamic experience with a driving range, restaurants and renovated course dubbed ‘The Grove.’

For basketball enthusiasts, the Big House in Tavares stands tall as the largest facility for indoor basketball and volleyball tournaments. This venue has played a pivotal role in nurturing young talents, some who went on to make their mark in the NBA.

Lake County’s dedication to sports tourism includes hosting national championship events and attracting world-class and Olympic athletes.

But Lake County prides itself on being more than just a sports destination, hence its tagline: “Real Florida, Real Close,” a reference to our natural beauty. When athletes and their families take a break from training, they can explore historic downtowns in Mount Dora and Clermont or embark on ecotourism adventures at destinations like Alexander Springs.

Lake County offers a plethora of recreational activities. The Clermont Performing Arts Center is the county’s largest venue for outstanding performance of music, theater and the arts. Fishing enthusiasts can explore the Harris Chain of Lakes, known for both professional and amateur fishing. The county’s diverse landscapes also cater to thrill-seekers, with options like jet skiing, boating, and off-road experiences at places like Revolution Off-Road Experience in Groveland.

For those seeking a break from the adrenaline rush, Lake County presents numerous walking and biking trails and nature getaways like Clermont’s Lake Louisa National State Park and the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail, Leesburg’s Pear Park Wildlife Conservation Area and the Trout Lake Nature Center in Eustis.

Plus, Lake County, which is only a 30-minute drive from Orlando’s major attractions, provides visitors with the best of both worlds — training excellence and proximity to renowned theme parks.

As Lake County continues to grow and evolve, with new additions like Olympus—a community and global destination combining health, wellness, fitness, sports, hospitality and entertainment—on the horizon, it remains an ideal destination for athletes, families and nature lovers alike. 

“Lake County is turning into more of a fast-paced area, but it’s still a beautiful destination. It has a lot to offer and it’s fairly close to the major attractions that are in Orlando,” Andrew says.

The Discover Lake website, www.visitlakefl.com, serves as a comprehensive guide for planning your stay, with information on everything Lake County offers. If seeking prime sport opportunities, please visit www.sportsplanningguide.com.

The following lists, compiled with help from Lake County officials, highlight places to train and play throughout Lake County and beyond.

Lake County Sports Complexes, Training Facilities and Recreational Parks





Mount Dora: 




Places to visit when training is done




Mount Dora: 



Lake County is a popular destination for golfers of all skill levels, with numerous courses to choose from – many with stunning views of natural surroundings. Here are some of the top golf courses in the county:

Boat Ramps:

From the vibrant lakes of Clermont to the serene waters of Eustis and the peaceful canals of Mount Dora, Lake County offers a boat ramp for every type of boating adventure. So, set your compass towards Lake County and let those boat ramps be your gateway to beautiful waterways.  

Water Sports:

Lake County, Florida is home to over 1,000 lakes, making it a great destination for water sports enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. Here are some popular water spots in the county.

Hikes and Trails:

Whether you’re an avid hiker or a casual stroller, Lake County’s many trails offer an invigorating blend of nature, serenity and adventure. Step onto these trails and let the magic of the county’s natural beauty leave a lasting imprint on your heart. 

Northeast Lake County

Northwest Lake County

South Lake County

Seminole County and Orange County

Conservation areas:

Lake County’s conservation areas are living testaments to the region’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty. These sanctuaries provide an unforgettable experience, allowing visitors to connect with nature in its purest form. Whether you’re an avid hiker, birdwatcher, or simply a lover of the great outdoors, Lake County’s conservation areas await to offer you a truly remarkable journey. 

Dog Parks:

Lake County has several dog parks where you can bring your furry friends to socialize and play off-leash. The following are a few of them.

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About the Author: Roxanne Brown

Originally from Nogales, Arizona, Roxanne worked in the customer service industry while writing independently for years. After moving to Florida in 1999, Roxanne eventually switched her career path to focus more on writing and went on to become an award-winning reporter for The Daily Commercial/South Lake Press newspapers for 16 years prior to coming on board with Akers Media as a staff writer in July 2020 – her dream job come true.

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