located on US 1792 about 4 miles west of downtown sanford is a very nice zoological park. the sanford zoo was established in 1923 in downtown sanford. it was moved to it's present location in 1975 due to the animal odor that perminated the downtown area. the current location is in a natural area that is better suited to a zoological site. community supported, the central florida zoo is a wonderful educational venue for school childred of central florida. disney's wild kingdom is a more impressive park but the central florida zoo has great animal exhibits at a fraction of the admission price.
just south of the commercial part of downtown sanford is the historic residental district. there several blocks of restored homes dating back from the late 1800's to the 1930's. back in the 1970's this was a blighted area but in the 1980's and 1990's many of these beautiful old homes were restored and now this is one of the more pricey areas of sanford. it is worth a drive around this beautiful oak lined area.
located in downtown sanford is the historic district. years ago sanford was an important port town on the st. johns river. today sanford is on the edge of orlando's urban sprawl. there are still a number of historic buildings to visit in downtown sanford. pictured is one of the historic buildings downtown. the historic district offers a number of interesting stores, restaurants, and bars. an interesting place to visit when in the orlando area.
pictured is the train station for the smallest railroad in florida. the central florida zoo offers a kiddie train that runs through the natural areas of the park. the central florida zoo is a wonderful place to take children to experience wild animals and to get a look at natural florida. disney's wild kingdom is more impressive but i think that children will get more out of the visit to the central florida zoo. when visiting the theme park area of orlando the central florida zoo is a worth while place to visit.
Sanford Historic Downtown Walking Tour is a good way to get acquainted with the town and touch base with history, shopping, art, and the waterfront. You can pick up a brochure with map and information at the tourist center located in the old post office on the main street of Sanford. The main street is First Street....makes sense.... and the intersecting streets have wonderful names like Palmetto and Magnolia.
The TOWN CLOCK originally hung on the First National Bank Building in 1931 before being moved a few times and finally incorporated into the new street scape which combines brick sidewalks, street trees, street furniture and the handsome clock.....about mid way through main street.
JEANINE TAYLOR FOLK ART ~ GALLERY ON FIRST
One of the business buildings was transformed into a consortium of artist's studios and exhibit area. There is a very talented group for you to visit, watch, and question about their work. Great collection of folk arts. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.
They specialize in contemporary folk art from Florida and the Deep South.
"The Sanford Museum houses exhibits illustrating the history of the City of Sanford and the life and times of City founder Henry S. Sanford.
Built as a memorial to Henry Shelton Sanford, the museum houses his library and manuscript collection as well as a collection of 19th century decorative arts which belonged to the Sanford family. Henry S. Sanford, 1823-1891, was a lawyer, diplomat, and innovator in the production of citrus. His papers reflect his entire career and contain information on diplomatic matters and business during the Victorian age. His library contains books and magazines in seven languages which cover law, politics, religion, science, and popular fiction.
Expanded in 1973 and in 1993, the museum serves as a repository for the city's history. Research collections are available to the public.
Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 4 p.m., and on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. unitl 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. "
Years ago this building was a hotel, where my husband and I stayed on the first night we arrived in Sanford. Prior to that it was the home of the Yankees when they used to do their camp in Sanford. Today it is the New Tribes Mission which is the home of a very large organization that works as missionaries throughout the world. The building is stunning and has wonderful waterviews of Lake Monroe.
an exerpt from my google...
"New Tribes Mission (NTM) is an international, theologically evangelical Christian mission organization based in Sanford, Florida. They have approximately 3,200 missionaries in more than 18 nations, second only to Wycliffe Bible Translators/SIL International. David Hasselgrave, Executive Director of the Evangelical Missiological Society, has said of NTM, "New Tribes Mission is in the vanguard of Christian missions. NTM sends out trained missionaries; they send them to the most needy peoples and places on earth; and they send them equipped with a missionary strategy that is second to none."
Here is just a taste of some of the houses, trees and moss on the side streets surrounding the business district. I couldn't begin to photograph all the interesting homes and 'picture perfect' vistas along those shady and wonderful streets.
There is a variety of shops along with the artists' studios and antique shops. It's a good place to poke around and see what you can find. The antiques are mostly early 1900's vintage, but lots of folks seem charmed with the "war years" era lately. You would probably find something interesting to catch your fancy.
The buildings are being restored beautifully. They date generally around the late 20's, early 30's.
They have done a nice job on the streets and sidewalks which have lots of brick, early lighting, trees and there is a restored "town clock" at the main crosswalk.
The river walkway is really beautiful. Sit, rest, walk, jog, or fish....it's perfect for all of it. The birds know where to go for the leftover bits of fish that may have been dropped by fishermen. There are well designed arbors with benches to sit away from the full sun. Stay a while. You'll be smiling like I always do. :-)
Here the store was transformed into exhibit space for an artist working mainly in ceramics...but there is also a collection of metal work on the patio to the side of the shop. Notice the interesting gator on the bicycle out front. :-)
Sanford transformed an old Post Office into a visitors' information center. They have a local organization that operated the center and plans various events to keep the community alive and interesting. There are samples of art work by various Sanford artists as well as plenty of brochures and information on the community and surrounding areas. I found the women manning the center to be wonderfully hospitable as well as informative.
(always good to know there is a pleasant and clean rest room in this building)
sanford is located on the banks of lake monroe. lake monroe is a large lake which is part of the st. johns river. pictured is the WWI monument in veterans memorial park on lake monroe.