Leesburg, Florida

Leesburg, Florida - a sprawling town in the heart of Florida.

Whenever you are in the south and you see the name “Lee” associated with a name, building, county or location, you quickly assume an association with Robert E. Lee, the famed confederate general. We found out that is not the case with Leesburg, Florida. A sister city of Leesburg, Virginia and a half dozen counties in an equal number of states use the name of the confederate general.
 
In our attempt to cover all the backroads of Florida, Leesburg was never one of those must see destinations. As we discovered, Leesburg has many characteristics of rural Florida and covers almost 25 square miles. Yet the population is just over 22,000 people.
 
Nestled between two very large lakes, Lake Harris and Lake Griffin, Leesburg has gone through economic ups and downs since its founding in 1875 by several Lee families unrelated to the more famous military leader. Surrounding sources of water and abundant natural resources fostered Leesburg’s fame as the watermelon capital of Florida in the early 20th century. Weather changes and devastating freezes saw growers of watermelon and citrus move their operations further south.
 
Some notable facts about Leesburg include;
  • a towered airport serving three counties and a large flight school.
  • two relatively well know small colleges,  Lake-Sumter State College and Beacon College.
  • the watersports industry around Lake Griffin and the famed bass lake, Lake Harris, account for a significant part of their economic structure.
  • The Villages, just a few miles northwest of Leesburg, employs a significant number of Leesburg residents.
Lake Harris and Lake Griffin to the north make Leesburg almost an island.

Waterways surrounding Leesburg offer year round sports including world class bass fishing, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing and lakeside camping at numerous private and state operated parks.

Nearby Tavares, under five miles away, on Lake Dora, has a seaplane port that launches regular flights seen daily on the many lakes around central Florida including the all around Leesburg.

Perhaps the most notable visitor draw in Leesburg is Venetian Gardens. This lake side botanical walk is notable for the beauty of landside vegetation and lake vegetation mingling together at the shoreline. An occasional alligator wanders through lily pads looking for a meal. The lengthy boardwalk keeps visitors safely away from wildlife or vice versa!

Leesburg’s location makes a visit likely when traveling around central Florida. Just about 45 miles northwest of Orlando. Route 27 and 441 traverse the city and the freeway (Rt. 75) is 10 miles west by route 44. Take the time to visit this central Florida city.

Leesburg, Florida
The City Between Two Lakes
The Center at Venetian Gardens Leesburg
The Center at Venetian Gardens offers classes and meeting rooms for residents.
Seaplane Leesburg
Seaplanes are a common sight around Leesburg and the many lakes in the area.
Venetian Garden Lake
Lake fauna meets land fauna at Venetian Gardens.
Leesburg airport
Leesburg International Airport is surprisingly large and supports flight schools and other services.

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