Sanford’s Best Destinations To Visit
Historic Downtown Sanford
Address: 230 E. 1st Street Sanford, FL 32771
Phone: (407) 302-2586
There’s no better place to begin your Sanford adventure than in the heart of downtown. This charming riverfront district is filled with locally owned shops, hip art galleries, and restaurants serving up eclectic global cuisine. Meander brick-lined streets dotted with lush gardens and gaze at colorful Spanish-style architecture. Stop for Cuban coffee and snacks at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café, browse African art imports at Maya Books & Music, or grab souvenirs at charming boutiques. Don’t miss the massive Lake Monroe mural depicting Sanford’s history. At night, the downtown scene comes alive with live tunes, craft brews, and young locals mingling along First Street.
Address: 801 W 1st St, Sanford, FL 32771
Phone: (407) 696-1044
Sanford has become a hub for Central Florida’s thriving craft brewery scene. That makes it the perfect place for a brewery tour! Orlando Brewing is one of the best in town, offering small-batch beers and a huge tasting room overlooking Lake Monroe. Sip IPAs, fruity sours, coffee porters, and more by the flight or pint. Tour the brewery to learn about the brewing process and ingredients that go into each distinctive brew. Outside, stretch out on the sprawling patio lined with picnic tables and strung lights. Enjoy views of the lake while you snack on pretzels, cheeseboards, and other tasty pub bites. An ideal spot for a laidback group outing!
Central Florida Zoo
Address: 3755 NW Hwy 17-92, Sanford, FL 32771
Phone: (407) 323-4450
Both kids and adults will love an exciting day at the Central Florida Zoo, located just north of downtown Sanford. This intimate zoo gives your group the chance to get up-close views of exotic wildlife, including lemurs, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, and more. Feed tropical birds in the free-flight aviary, pet gentle animals like donkeys and cows in the barnyard, then say hello to playful river otters and fearsome crocodiles. Be sure to hop on the train tour for behind-the-scenes glimpses of hippos, cheetahs, hyenas, and lions. Cool off at the splash park, then browse for souvenirs at the gift shop before boarding your Sanford coach bus.
Lake Monroe Park
Address: 820 N Lake Monroe Dr, Sanford, FL 32773
Phone: (407) 688-5673
Sanford’s greatest natural gem is the pristine Lake Monroe, the headwaters of the St. Johns River and the southernmost lake on the river’s chain. Lake Monroe Park offers panoramic views of this breathtaking freshwater lake set against a backdrop of moss-draped oaks and cypress trees. Stroll along the 550-foot fishing pier jutting out into the calm blue waters. Cast a line or look for herons, egrets, turtles, and other wildlife along the wooded shoreline trails. The park also has playgrounds, covered picnic areas, kayak launches, and volleyball courts for your group to enjoy. Truly an ideal lakefront oasis just minutes from downtown!
Fort Mellon Park
Address: 600 E 1st St, Sanford, FL 32771
Phone: (407) 688-5673
Soak up centuries of history at Fort Mellon Park, located at the south end of downtown along the Lake Monroe waterfront. This was once the site of Fort Mellon, an early 19th-century fortified settlement crucial to Florida’s development. Though the fort itself no longer stands, you can still see the remnants of its stone foundation and visit a museum filled with excavated artifacts. Outside, stroll through memorial gardens honoring the fort’s history, then walk out to the picturesque covered pier. From here, your group will love photo ops with unbeatable views of the lake. At night, stick around for a free concert at the bandshell or a showing at the park’s old-fashioned drive-in movie theatre.