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Sanford is a city of 61,000 people (2020) in Seminole County on the northern side of Greater Orlando, known as the "Historic Waterfront Gateway City". Sanford is home to Seminole State College of Florida and the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Its downtown attracts tourists with shops, restaurants, a marina, and a lakefront walking trail.


Downtown Sanford, Florida

Sanford sits on the southern shore of Lake Monroe at the head of navigation on the St. Johns River.


Native Americans first settled the area thousands of years before the city was formed.[citation needed] The Seminoles arrived in the area in the 18th century. During the Second Seminole War in 1836, the United States Army established Camp Monroe and built a road now known as Mellonville Avenue. Sanford is about 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Orlando.


Sanford has a humid subtropical climate, with mild weather during winters and hot weather during summers. High temperatures average 64 to 91 °F (18-33 °C) throughout the year. High heat indices are not uncommon for the summer months in the Sanford area. High temperatures can reach mid to high 90s with heat index ranges of 105-115 °F. The highest recorded temperature in Sanford was 103°F in July 1998. It is common for daily thunderstorms to erupt during a standard summer afternoon. These are caused by the heating of the land and water, combined with extremely high humidity.

During winter, the area can experience hard freezes during the night. Such cold weather is usually short lived, as the city averages only 15 nights below freezing. The coldest temperature recorded in Sanford was 19 °F on January 21, 1985, a day that still holds the record cold for many locations in the eastern half of the US. Even rarer in Sanford than freezing temperatures is snow. When snow does fall, it usually melts before touching the ground, or upon making contact with the ground.

Sanford has suffered less damage from hurricanes than most East Coast cities. Sanford has experienced hurricane or near-hurricane conditions more than a dozen times due to storms passing through the state from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, or passing to the north or south in the Atlantic and brushing the area. Rainfall averages around 50 inches a year, with the wettest months being June through September.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

See also: air travel in the United States of America

By car[edit]

  • I-4 serves as the main (toll-free) interstate to connect Sanford to Daytona Beach 39 mi (63 km) to the east/northeast and Orlando 26 mi (42 km) west/southwest. From I-4 there are 3 exits into Sanford (exit 101 - 104). I-4 goes along the western shores of Lake Monroe which divides Sanford (southshore) from Deltona (northshore).
  • US 17 connects Sanford to DeLand at 21 mi (34 km) north and to E Colonial Dr (SR-50) east of Orlando 19 mi (31 km) soutgh of town.
  • Central Florida Greenway goes from I-4 along the southside of Sanford (exit 101A), around the Greater Orlando Metropolitan Area as an eastern loop/beltway, and rejoins I-4 south of Celebration (exit 62).
  • SR-46 goes 19 mi (31 km) west to Sorrento. SR-46 ends at the toll booths of SR-429. Going east it follows US 17-92 and then on E 25th St out towards US 1 north of Titusville.

By train[edit]

See also: rail travel in the United States

Sanford is the southern terminus of the 2 Sanford Auto Train Station which carries passengers and automobiles directly between Sanford and Lorton, Virginia, effectively serving as a car-rail link from Florida to the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. The train does not make intermediary stops between Lorton and Sanford. The Sanford station is not as elaborate as its Lorton counterpart: passengers board the train on two tracks in Sanford. However, Amtrak and the State of Florida are working to replace the older station with a new terminal that can accommodate a larger numbers of passengers more comfortably.

  • 3 Sanford SunRail Station, 2720 W SR-46. generally M-F only. Check schedules. The nearest stations for the passenger only Amtrak Silver Service are in Winter Park (20 mi (32 km) south) and Deland (24 mi (39 km)) north. The Amtrak station in DeLand is a separate location from the DeBary Sunrail Station in Deltona while the Winter Haven Station is in a shared facility. Cross platform transfer between Sun Rail and Amtrak are in Winter Park, Orlando Heatlh, and Kissimmee. SunRail on Wikipedia
  • 4 Lake Mary Sunrail Station, 2200 W Lake Mary Blvd. is the next nearest station to Sanford, 5 mi (8.0 km) south. It is connected to Sanford by Lynx #45 bus.

By bus[edit]

See also: Orlando#By bus for a list of intercity bus companies serving the Orlando Metropolitan area from all parts of the state.

The 5 Sanford Sunrail (Bus) Station and the 6 Seminole Centre serve as bus stations for Lynx with the following serving as intercity routes:

  • Link 45 International Pkwy/H.E. Thomas Jr Pkwy in Lake Mary - Lake Mary Sunrail Station - Seminole Centre south of town. Lake Mary is the next city/town south of Sanford.
  • Link 103 Seminole Centre - Seminole State College - Fern Park Super Stop on Orlando Ave (US Hwy 17/92). From the Fern Park SuperStop passengers can transfer to the 102 bus which continues towards Orlando on US Hwy 17/92 via Winter Park. Bus 436S towards Orlando International Airport or 436N towards Apopka.

Greyhound/Flixbus no longer stop into Sanford. See 'By bus' under get around for an additional list of local bus routes in Sanford. Lynx does not operate cross-county services to Deltona in Volusia County to the north.

  • 7 VOTRAN (Volusia County Transit), (bus stop) DeBary Sunrail Station, +1 386 761-7700. VOTRAN is the name of the Volusia County public transportation, which connects the Debary Sunrail into Deltona and up to DeLand with the following: $1.75 for one-way fare, $3.75 for day pass.
  • 31 Debary Sunrail - Orange City - DeLand on Volusia Ave (US Hwy 17-92). Passengers transfer to the #60 bus in DeLand to continue towards Daytona Beach.
  • 32 Debary Sunrail - Deltona Plaza in Deltona
  • 33 Debary Sunrail - Dupont Lakes in Deltona

Votrans does not operate cross-county services into Seminole County to the south.

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

Locally Park Ave goes north-south and it divides east from west. SR-46/1st Ave goes east-west and it divides north from south. Lake Monroe separates Sanford from Deltona.

  • US 17/92 comes into town at its junction with I-4 at exit 104. It goes goes south on Monroe Blvd (County Road 15) to W SR-46. It then follows concurrently on SR-46 into downtown as W 1st St. From 1st Ave in downtown, US 17 goes north-south along French Ave/US 17-92 which is concurrent with SR-46 (see below).
  • W Seminole Blvd comes in from its junction with US 17, N/NW of town, along the southern shores of Lake Monroe and into town as N French Ave.
  • W SR-46 goes east-west between its junction with I-4 and Monroe St. East of Monroe St it goes concurrently on US 17 (but road is named 'W SR-46') into downtown. Going east, SR-46 follows US 17 on French Ave/US 17-92 to E 25th St where it turn east towards Titusville

By bus[edit]

  • Lynx offers public transportation for Sanford and the Greater Orlando Metropolitan Area with the following local routes:
  • Link 34 Seminole Center - Downtown - Sanford Sunrail Station
  • Link 45 International Pkwy/H.E. Thomas Jr Pkwy in Lake Mary - Lake Mary Sunrail Station - Seminole Centre south of town
  • Link 46E Sanford Sunrail - Downtown - True Health
  • Link 46W Seminole Towne Center - Sanford Sunrail on W SR-46
  • Link 851 NeighborLink (shuttle). Door to door service, appointment required.
  • Sanford 'Trolley' is operated by City of Sanford to shuttle visitors and locals between the Sanford Sunrail Station to Downtown and around downtown. Free.

By taxi[edit]


Map of Sanford (Florida)

Art galleries[edit]

  • Gallery on First, 211 East First Street, +1 407-323-2774. Working artist studios.
  • Jeanine Taylor Folk Art, 211 East First Street, +1 407-323-2774. Art from the Deep South.
  • Riverhouse Pottery, 118 Palmetto Avenue, +1 407-323-9272.


  • Cameron Wight Park, 5502 Old Geneva Road, +1 407-788-0405. This is a 3-acre park used as a boat launching facility into the beautiful St. Johns river basin. It is 5 miles (8 km) east of US 17-92 on State Road 46 at the Lake Jesup Bridge. This park is open daily 24 hours. It has a pavilion, lighting, and paved parking.
  • 1 Lake Dot Park, 100 Lake Dot Drive, +1 407-788-0405. This is a 15-acre park with benches and a fishing area located at the south end of Sanford. From Sanford, go south on U.S. 17-92, left onto Fairmont Dr., and right onto Lake Dot Dr. It is open 8AM to sunset daily.
  • 2 Lake Jesup Park, 5951 South Sanford Avenue, +1 407-788-0405. This park is a 6-acre park primarily used as a boat launching facility into Lake Jesup. The park is 4 miles south of State Road 46 at the end of Sanford Avenue. There is a pavilion and paved parking available under shade from the many oak trees. The park is open 24 hours daily.
  • Lake Jesup Wilderness Area, 5951 South Sanford Avenue, +1 407-665-7352. Wildlife lovers will find 3 miles (5 km) of trails in the 490-acre Lake Jesup Wilderness Area where lakeside benches provide a great viewing platform for spotting bald eagles and alligators.
  • 3 Lake Monroe Wayside Park, 4150 N. West US Highway 17-92, +1 407-788-0405. This is a 3.5-acre park used as a boat launching facility into Lake Monroe and the St. Johns River basin. This park is 1 mile north of Interstate 4 on State Road 17-92 on the St. Johns River. This park has pavilions and a historical swinging bridge used as a fishing pier. It is open 24 hours daily.
  • 4 Paw Park, 427 South French Avenue, +1 407-330-5688. The oldest off-leash dog park in Central Florida is well shaded with mature oak trees. Features include a small dog alternative play area, a time-out area, bag dispensers for disposal of dog waste, park benches, dog showers, self-watering bowls, historic lighting, and a community bulletin board.
  • 5 Sunland Park, 180 Collins Drive, +1 407-788-0405. This is a 15-acre park 1/2 mile south of Lake Mary Boulevard on US 17-92. There is a ball field, tennis & basketball court and playground available for public use. The hours of the park are from 8AM to 10PM daily.
  • 6 Sylvan Lake Park, 845 Lake Markham Road, +1 407-788-0405. This park is 5 miles (8 km) west of I-4 off State Road 46 on Lake Markham Road. This is a 126-acre park with a 188-acre lake adjacent to the park known as Sylvan Lake. Sylvan has become a soccer lover's delight, with a sport training facility and 6 soccer fields.
  • Wilson's Landing Park, +1 407-788-0405. 387 Malekean Trail. Wilson's Landing is a 19-acre facility developed in 2004 that includes a small pavilion, overlook pier of the Wekiva River, restrooms, and paved parking. This park is in the northwestern corner of the county off S.R. 46 on Malakean Road. Hours of operation is 8AM to sunset seven days a week, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • 7 Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park. An 18,000-acre (73-km²) Florida State Park on 6 miles (10 km) of the St. Johns River in Seminole County. The park forms a wildlife corridor to the Ocala National Forest along the Wekiva and St. Johns Rivers. Among the wildlife of the park are black bears, river otters, alligators, wood storks, and sandhill cranes. There are two sections to the park, north and south. The northern section's entrance is in Pine Lakes, off S.R. 44. This entrance leads to the multiuse trails, primitive horse camping and backpack camping areas. The entrance to the southern section, off S.R. 46 nine miles (14 km) west of Sanford, provides access to 5,000 acres (20 km²) of the park. There is no horseback riding in this part of the park. Neither section provides water access. Although canoeists can travel the Wekiva River through the park, they must launch from outside. Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park (Q6693891) on Wikidata Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park on Wikipedia


  • 8 Museum of Seminole County History, 300 Eslinger Way, +1 407-665-2489, . The museum highlights Seminole County, the historical gateway to interior Central Florida via the St. John's River. All artifacts housed in the museum have been donated.
  • 9 Sanford Museum, 520 East First Street, +1 407-302-1000. The museum collects and exhibits items dealing with the development of the city of Sanford from the time Florida became a U.S. territory to the present and to perpetuate the memory of Henry S. Sanford, founder of the city.





  • 1 Mayfair Country Club, 3536 Country Club Road, +1 407-322-2531. 18 holes over 6,400 yards with a par of 72 (public).



  • 1 Seminole Centre, 3601-3761 S Orlando Dr (Hwy 17-92). Aldi, Ross Dress for Less, Walmart, Arby's, Boost Mobile, Buddy's Home Furnishing, Cici's Pizza, Cajun Seafood, KFC, Ichigo Ichie Buffet, Yabi Sushi, Subway, Wendy's, etc.
  • 2 Seminole Towne Center, 200 Towne Center Circle. M-Sa 11AM-8PM, Su noon-6PM. Dick's Sporting Goods, Dillards, JCPenney, etc., in the main mall. Red Lobster, Steak 'n Shake, and Miller's Ale House are in freestanding, separate, buildings between the main Seminole Towne Center Mall and the smaller Towne Center Plaza.
  • 3 Towne Center Plaza, 100-400 N Entrance Rd (smaller mall in a separate building across from the north entrance (Dillards) to the larger Seminole Towne Center). Each store has a separate entrance and keep their own hours. Joann Fabrics, Shopfitters, Rack's Billards Sports Bar & Grill, Honey Baked Ham Co., Concept Salon Suites, etc.

ATMs can be found throughout Sanford. Usually larger hotels and convenience stores will have a "generic" ATM available; however, be forewarned about hidden service fees and the possibly of illegal card skimming devices installed to clone the user's card information & pin number.


  • 1 China Star, 4585 St. Johns Parkway, +1 407-302-1901. The menu at China Star features entrees, sides and quick bites. The restaurant is off of I-4 near Rinehart Road and adjacent to the Seminole Town Center.
  • 2 Colorado's Prime Steak, 3863 South Orlando Drive, +1 407-324-1741. M-Th 11AM-9PM, F 11AM-10PM, Sa noon-10PM, Su 4PM-9PM. Steaks and prime rib are on the menu here. There are also ribs, fish and shrimp on the menu and an array of sandwiches to choose from too.
  • 3 Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe, 205 E 1st St, +1 407 321-2204. German cuisine. Extensive indoor and outdoor seating, plus a bar, live music, and additional shops.
  • 4 St. Johns River Steak and Seafood, 550 N Palmetto Ave, +1 407 878-0980, . American cuisine. Restaurant is at the far end of the marina, in a small blue-colored building at the loop, with views from the back overlooking Lake Monroe.
  • 5 Zorba's, 115 E 1st St, +1 407 915-6082. Greek cuisine.


  • Jason's Martini Club, 300 Sanford Avenue, +1 407-322-6678.
  • Little Fish Huge Pond, 309 East First Street, +1 407-321-2264. Little Fish Huge Pond is a combination bar, art gallery and live music venue, with local acts ranging from reggae to rock and everything in between. They also host special events like drag and fashion shows.
  • 1 The Alley, 114 South Park Avenue, +1 407-328-0700. Unique biker bar with a cozy 1930s atmosphere and live blues every Friday and Saturday.
  • 2 West End Trading Company, 202 S Sanford Ave, +1 407-322-7475. Downtown bar with cheap drinks, live music, and a tropical laid-back beachy vibe.


Hotels and motels[edit]

Bed and Breakfast[edit]


Ten digit dialing is in effect for local calls in Sanford. The local area codes are 407 and 321. For calls within the US or Canada, dial 1+area code+number. There are some public pay phones scattered around the city, but they are becoming increasingly rare with the predominance of cell phones. It is not safe to assume you will be able to find a pay phone at any given time.

All ZIP codes in Sanford begin with 327.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Sanford
OrlandoLake Mary  W  E  CassadagaDaytona Beach
OrlandoLake Mary  S/W  N/E  Blue Spring State ParkJacksonville/Daytona Beach
ENDDeBary  N  S  Lake MaryOrlando

This city travel guide to Sanford is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.