The historic city of Sanford lies on the shores of Lake Monroe in Seminole County, Florida. Surrounded by lakes and rivers, the city has much to offer lovers of the great outdoors. Sanford’s charming centre is abundant with Victorian-era residences, folk art galleries, independent shops and exciting culinary experiences.
On arrival in Sanford, head for Lake Monroe, as there is something for all the family to enjoy. Take a stroll on the Riverwalk, learn how to sail or take a riverboat cruise to view the city from a different perspective. Keen anglers will appreciate an opportunity to fish on the lake, as it offers an abundance of Bass and Bluegill. Alternatively, enjoy a stroll through Sanford’s historic downtown streets. Colourful Victorian residences flank tree-lined streets, harking back to a bygone era. The centre boasts art, antiques and handicraft shops which host a treasure trove of unusual gifts. All the family can enjoy a day at Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens. In addition to the 500 animals and over 200 species, visitors can cool off in the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground or zip through the air on an aerial adventure. Dining out in Sanford can be a thrilling experience, there are no chain restaurants, only locally owned establishments. Culinary delights range from American bistro and soul food to seafood and International gastronomy.
There are many ways in which to reach Sanford. Orlando Sanford Airport is only 12 minutes’ drive. Taxis and rental cars are available from the airport. Energetic visitors can walk to Sanford centre from the airport, and it will take around 1 hour. The port of Sanford and Monroe Harbour offers short, cross water sailings, and there is a rail station from which to access other cities in Florida. A great way to get around the city centre is by bike and the central area, and Lake Monroe can be explored on foot. To reach Orlando, shuttle buses are available, but car hire is the best way to get around, with a journey time of 30 minutes.
The shores of Lake Monroe were initially inhabited by Jororo or Mayaca Indians, followed by Seminole Indians. During the late 1800s, the cities of Sanford and Mellonville had become the world’s largest shipper of oranges. The arrival of steamers and the South Florida Railroad allowed the area to expand its trade. The citrus crops were destroyed by the Great Freeze of 1894. Residents had to diversify so began to grow vegetables, Sanford was nicknamed “Celery City”. Today, with a nod to its roots, Sanford is a haven for creative gastronomy, with a historic centre, beautiful waterways and a vibrant spirit.