EUSTIS, FLORIDA

By  Mike Miller  Updated September 12, 2023

Eustis, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

Eustis, Florida is a town of 20,700 people about 38 miles northwest of Orlando. 

Along with Tavares and Mount Dora, it is one apex of what is known as Florida's "Golden Triangle"

Eustis Florida Ferran ParkFerran Park Eustis Florida

It is on Lake Eustis, one of largest of the Harris Chain of Lakes.

HISTORY OF EUSTIS, FLORIDA

Eustis is on the eastern shore of Lake Eustis, and was first known as Highlands and later as Pendryville.

It became known as Lake Eustis after the lake which had been named in 1825 for Abraham Eustis, an American general in the Seminole Wars.

General Abraham EustisGeneral Abraham Eustis

Before the railroad showed up in the 1880's, Eustis was a busy port for steamers traveling on Lakes Harris, Eustis, Dora and Griffin.

This chain of lakes had access to the world through the Oklawaha River to the St Johns River and the Atlantic ocean.

Steamboat AlligatorSteamboat Alligator

In 1883 the town dropped the "Lake" part of its name and became simply Eustis.

Citrus became an important crop in the area, but the great freeze of 1894 and 1895 nearly destroyed the industry.

Over the years, the fruit trees once again became prominent in the economy of the area.  

Tragically, more freezes in 1983 and 1984 were the latest major setbacks to the citrus crops, destroying most of the trees in this part of Florida.

Eustis Florida Historical MuseumEustis Historical Museum

Guilford David Clifford was an early pioneer whose house at the corner of Bay Street and Bates Avenue is now home to the Eustis Historical Museum and Preservation Society.

Fountain Inn Eustis, FloridaFountain Inn Eustis, Florida

Frank Waterman was a fountain pen manufacturer from New York who built the Fountain Inn in Eustis in the 1920s. 

Waterman Fountain PenWaterman Fountain Pen

It served later as the local hospital until it was demolished in recent years.  

It is the direct ancestor of today's modern Advent Hospital Waterman in nearby Tavares.

His home was known as Blue Lake Lodge and was located on east Orange Avenue at what is now the location of Blue Lakes Estates residential subdivision.

Frank Waterman Home in Eustis, FloridaFrank Waterman Home in Eustis, Florida

Waterman was a generous philanthropist who shared much of his wealth with the town of Eustis.  

Vintage Postcard Eustis, FloridaVintage Postcard Eustis, Florida

The downtown area along Lake Eustis has been developed into a wonderful park for fishing, picnics and concerts. Ferran Park is a great place to watch the Central Florida sunsets.

EUSTIS, FLORIDA TODAY

Eustis has many well preserved older homes and buildings. Its downtown area has been redeveloped and has many interesting shops and restaurants.

Downtown EustisMagnolia Avenue, Downtown Eustis
Flickr/Steven Martin

The renovated downtown area is the focal point for many community activities.  

They named this area the Downtown Waterfront Entertainment District and among the events are a Cruise In of Classic Cars on the fourth Saturday of every month.

Another standing event is on the first Friday of every month called Eustis Live that features street vendors and live music.  It's a large community block party.

Real Estate Eustis Home3Br 2Ba Home in Quiet Neighborhood, $349,000
Click Here to Inquire About Property ID E001

This city's location on large Lake Eustis has made it a favorite spot for sailing.  

It is the home of the Lake Eustis Sailing Club, an organization that is home to four one-design racing fleets.

The club has abundant boat storage facilities and a large club house for its many social and racing events.

The highlight of each year is Georgefest, one of the oldest festivals in the United States celebrating the birthday of George Washington.

 It is reportedly the longest running festival of any kind in the entire state of Florida.  

The Georgefest held in February, 2022 was the 120th consecutive celebration.

House on Hill, Eustis, FloridaHouse on Hill, Eustis, Florida

EUSTIS FLORIDA HONORS JIM "MALIBU" REYNOLDS, JR.

Captain Jim "Malibu" ReynoldsCaptain Jim "Malibu" Reynolds

There is a section of SR-44 on the east side of Eustis that connects US-441 to SR-44. 

It runs between Lake Joanna and Loch Leven and goes past the developments of Brookshire, Park Place and Loch Leven.

This segment of road is known as Captain Jim "Malibu" Reynolds Jr. Road.  

Captain Reynolds was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Reynolds, Sr. of Eustis. 

He was killed when his F-16 fighter jet crashed during a training mission at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.


THINGS TO DO IN EUSTIS FLORIDA

Visit the Trout Lake Nature Center: This 230-acre wildlife preserve offers a variety of activities for nature lovers of all ages.
Visitors can explore the many walking trails, view the wildlife from observation decks, and learn about the local ecosystem at the interactive museum. For more information about the Trout Lake Nature Center, visit their website.

Explore the Eustis Historical Museum: Housed in the historic Clifford House, the Eustis Historical Museum offers a glimpse into the city's past. The museum features a variety of exhibits showcasing the history of Eustis and its residents, including period clothing, photographs, and artifacts.

Attend the annual GeorgeFest: Established in 1902, GeorgeFest is a long-standing Eustis tradition celebrating George Washington's birthday. The event features a weekend full of activities, including a parade, carnival, live music, food vendors, and fireworks display. For more details about GeorgeFest and upcoming events, visit the official website.

Discover Ferran Park: Located on the shores of Lake Eustis, Ferran Park is a beautiful destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers a variety of amenities, such as playgrounds, picnic areas, walking paths, and a public swimming pool. 

Experience the Eustis Lake Walk: This picturesque walkway stretches along the edge of Lake Eustis, offering stunning views of the water and surrounding area. The Lake Walk is perfect for a leisurely stroll, a morning jog, or a romantic evening walk. 

Explore the Hidden Waters Preserve: This 90-acre preserve is home to diverse habitats, including wetlands, upland sandhill, and scrub. The preserve features several walking trails that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. For more information on Hidden Waters Preserve, visit the Lake County Water Authority website.

Attend a performance at the Bay Street Players: The historic State Theatre in downtown Eustis is home to the Bay Street Players, a community theater group that showcases a variety of performances throughout the year. Attend a play, musical, or special event and enjoy local talent in a unique, intimate setting. For more information on the Bay Street Players and upcoming performances, visit their website

Shop at the Eustis Village Market: Held every Friday, the Eustis Village Market features a variety of vendors selling fresh produce, artisan goods, and unique crafts. The market is a great place to find local products, support small businesses, and enjoy a vibrant community atmosphere.


OUR FAVORITE EUSTIS, FLORIDA RESTAURANTS

Takis Pizza House
Night Owl Caribbean/Jamaican
The Great Pizza Company

More area restaurants are at

Mount Dora Restaurants




INTERACTIVE GOOGLE MAP EUSTIS FLORIDA




Our Facebook page has more than 129,462 followers who love off the beaten path Florida: towns, tourist attractions, maps, lodging, food, festivals, scenic road trips, day trips, history, culture, nostalgia, and more.  We post articles every day.  Please check it out and if you like it, we would appreciate a "like" from you.


SHARE ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA