Four Top Attractions in Sunny Sanford, Florida


Surrounded by tourist favorites like Orlando to the south and Daytona Beach to the north, the historic city of Sanford, Florida, glistens like a hidden gem in the east-central part of the state. While everyone else heads to hotspots like Tampa or Miami, why not explore a low-key destination that’s somewhat off the beaten path? Even though Sanford isn’t on every tourist’s radar, it still has plenty of charm, sun and fun for creating an excursion that says “vacation” to you.

Return to a more romantic era aboard the Rivership Barbara-Lee

Return to a more romantic era aboard the Rivership Barbara-Lee

Waterfront Fun

Sanford parks give you access to two lovely bodies of water: Lake Monroe and Lake Jesup. The city has more than a dozen parks, but Fort Mellon Park offers great views of Lake Monroe and kid-friendly attractions like a playhouse and splash pads. Lake Monroe Wayside Park has a boat launch and fishing pier that let you get on the water for some fun, and Lake Jesup Park is mainly used as a boat launch for people who want to get out on the water.

Get Charmed by the Historic Downtown

Sanford’s history is closely tied to what was a thriving steamboat industry during the 19th century. To get a glimpse of that history, take a walk in the historic district, which is home to lovely architecture and a variety of antique shops. From there, you can easily stroll to the city’s quirky boutiques and restaurants.

A recreation of Henry S. Sanford’s 1880s library can be found at the Sanford Museum

Art and Culture Scene

Sanford is home to a variety of art galleries, including the renowned Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery, where you can see work from contemporary folk artists. Sanford also has several museums, including the Sanford Museum, which includes artifacts from the city’s founder and a gallery filled with exhibits devoted to local history, such as city planning and famous natives. For a more in-depth view of the region’s background, visit the Museum of Seminole County History to learn more about Sanford and the county’s history via Native American artifacts.

Spend a Day at the Zoo

The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens is fun for the whole family. Home to more than 400 animals from 200+ species, the zoo combines tropical surroundings with exciting animals and extras like the ZOOm Air Adventure Park, where you can test your nerves on the aerial adventure course. Or, cool off at the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground, a water playground at the front of the zoo.

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