Tavares (pronounced tuh-vair-ees) is a city in the central portion of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Lake County. The population in 2015 was 14,583, with a total of 5,000 households and an average household income of $40,000. It is part of the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area. The name is a popular Portuguese surname and toponym.