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Where is Tavares Florida Seaplane City USA or Seaplane Capital of the World?

America's Seaplane City

In Florida’s lake country, you would expect to see plenty of boats, but in Tavares, Florida, America’s Seaplane City, there are seaplanes competing for the waterways.

Just where is Tavares Florida and directions to get there? 

Simply stated, Tavares is just off Route 441 in central Florida along the west end of Lake Dora. See the map of Tavares Florida below.

It’s hard to ignore the beauty of the lakes that surround towns and villages around north central Florida. In fact, you can easily miss Tavares, the Seaplane City, nestled between Leesburg to the west and Mount Dora to the east while all three towns border some large popular lakes?

From the Air You Can See Lakes Everywhere

Just looking at a map and you can see why Tavares has the reputation of being a seaplane city. Four large bodies of water for landing these flying pontoons are within a couple of miles.

A block or two from the county courthouse is the center of seaplane activity with docks, fuel and restaurants to support the seaport.

Tavares, Florida was founded by Alexander St. Clair-Abrams in 1880.  

St. Clair’s dream that Tavares would become the capital of Florida never came true. But people don’t ask where is Tavares Florida anymore since it became the county seat of Lake County. 

Tavares has that old Florida charm of stately homes built along the lakefront. A trip along Lakeshore Drive hugging Lake Dora will highlight the charm of quiet waterfront living with a pace enjoyed by many Southerners.

Tavares, The Seaplane City Has Plenty of Things to See and Do

Wooten Park is a must-see for visitors of Tavares, just steps from the seaport. The recent opening of the Tavares Museum adds to the old rail station, newly built docks, and large pier side meeting and wedding facility built well out into the lake. 

Just walking a few paces along the lake will see why residents love the style of a life well insulated from the challenges of big city life.

Clearly, the main activity in Tavares revolves around watersports. Fishing appears to be high on the activity list, but boating, waterskiing and the ever-present jet skis abound. Still, you are never far from the sights and sounds of the many seaplanes.

things you need when flying

If you can imagine yourself floating over the lakes and communities around Tavares, we highly recommend a ride in a seaplane.

For more information about seaplane rides around Tavares Florida to can find that information here.

There are several restaurants near the seaport, including Puddle Jumpers Bar and Grill, that front the water. A cool refreshment on their deck will offer plenty of action at the lakefront as planes arrive and depart from the docks.

More Things To Do in Tavares Florida

Places to Stay in Tavares Florida


Tavares Pavilion in the lake seaplane city
This Lake Pavilion is the site of dozens of weddings annually in Tavares Seaplane City.
Tavares, Florida, America's Seaplane City day trip
Tavares Seaplane City has plenty of these floating pontoon planes.
Tavares, Florida, America's Seaplane city road trip
These planes act like boats at Tavares Seaplane City.
Tavares Wooten Park Americas Seaplane City
Wooten Park along the Lakefront is a nice stroll in the shade,
Tavares Vintage Boats
Seaplanes are the only thing in Tavares. Vintage Boats invade the city in an annual event.
Tavares Tunes Festival
Like most Florida towns, Tavares has many festivas and events throughout the year.

Tavares Florida Seaplane Capital of the World?

The designation of the “Seaplane Capital of the World” is often attributed to several different locations, each with its own claim to the title based on factors such as the number of seaplane operations, infrastructure, and historical significance. Here are the top locations discovered in our research that are commonly associated with the title:
  • Tavares, Florida, USA: Tavares, a small city in central Florida, has been dubbed the “Seaplane City” and lays claim to being the “Seaplane Capital of the World.” It hosts the annual “Seaplane-A-Palooza” event, one of the largest gatherings of seaplane enthusiasts in the world. Tavares boasts a seaplane base and marina on Lake Dora, where seaplane pilots and enthusiasts gather to celebrate the aviation heritage and lifestyle associated with seaplanes.
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Vancouver, situated on Canada’s west coast, is renowned for its scenic waterways and bustling seaplane operations. Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (VHFC) is one of the largest seaplane terminals in the world, serving as a hub for seaplane tours, charters, and commuter flights to destinations throughout British Columbia’s coastal regions.
  • Anchorage, Alaska, USA: Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, is a major hub for seaplane activity, serving as a gateway to the state’s vast wilderness and remote communities. Lake Hood Seaplane Base, located near downtown Anchorage, is the busiest seaplane base in the world, with hundreds of seaplane operations daily during the peak summer months.
  • Key West, Florida, USA: Key West, the southernmost city in the continental United States, is known for its tropical climate, turquoise waters, and vibrant seaplane operations. Seaplanes are a popular mode of transportation for visitors traveling to and from Key West, providing convenient access to the island’s attractions, beaches, and nearby destinations.
While these locations are often recognized for their significant seaplane activity, other coastal cities and regions around the world also boast thriving seaplane operations and contribute to the global seaplane community. Ultimately, the title of the “Seaplane Capital of the World” may be subjective but we believe Tavares Florida is the best contender for the title.
Tavares Florida Seaplane capital of the world
If taking a seaplane ride is on your bucket list, Tavares Florida the Seaplane Capital of the World is the place to do it. We have the information.

Seaplanes Still Dominate the Things To Do in Tavares

If you want to be part of the seaplane action, walk over to the Seaplane base and book a ride. “Flightseeing” is a great way to view the Harris chain of lakes. Lake Dora, Lake Harris, Lake Eustis and Lake Griffin are just a few of the very large lakes easily viewed from the air. It’s easy to see why Tavares, Florida, America’s seaplane city gets its name with huge lakes all around.

There are also several places where pilots can get their seaplane ratings in Tavares.

Just a couple of miles from Taveras is Mt. Dora which we have chronicled here at Florida Travel Blog a couple of times. If you like quaint shops in a small-town atmosphere, Mount Dora offers some of the best. A neat day trip would be a   morning at Tavares and the afternoon at Mt. Dora. 

A little further down the road is The Villages. Many of the visitors around the seaplane base and Mt. Dora are residents of one of the fastest-growing communities in America, The Villages.

Tavares is located about 40 miles north of Orlando on Rt. 441. The seaplane base is about in the center of the state which means it is about 50 miles from the Gulf and 50 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Tavares Seaplane City makes a good road trip from cities in all directions.

Check the Tavares Florida map below. Now you know where is Tavares Florida.

Map of Tavares Florida Seaplane City

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