101 Things to Love About Sanford

101 Things to Love About Sanford

In the past weeks, Sanford has gotten some very negative publicity. People seem to have forgotten or simply never have experienced how beautiful and peaceful Sanford and its residents really are! Of course, there are always exceptions, but let’s focus on the positive and think about our community!

Please share this list with as many people as you know and let’s restore Sanford’s reputation, if not in the national media, at least among each other. I am proud to live in Sanford and I have no intention of moving. It’s the city we chose to raise our little family, the city my son was born in. It is a great place to live and here are just some of the many reasons…

101 Reasons to love Sanford (in absolutely no particular order! I may revisit the list in the future and organize it by categories…)

  1. We have an international airport
  2. Farmers Market on Magnolia Square (every Saturday!)
  3. Plenty of Art Galleries – Jeanine Taylor Folk Art, Gallery on First, Art Affair Gallery and more!
  4. Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe– Voted one of the best German restaurants in the entire US!!! What would Sanford be without “Das Boot” 😉 And of course Theo Hollerbach, one of the most influential people of Sanford! He has done so much for our city!
  5. Magnolia Square Market – a true German Deli – now how cool is that? Tons of people travel many miles just to get to this wonderful German supermarket, and we have it right here!
  6. Flea World – America’s Largest Flea Market
  7. The Sanford Fair, twice a year
  8. Seminole Towne Center Mall – we have our own mall! No long drives on I-4, it’s just around the corner!
  9. We have “our own lake” – Lake Monroe – this lake makes the perfect scenery for lots of events and romantic walks. It makes historic Sanford even more beautiful and special!
  10. The beautiful Victorian homes of the historic residential district
  11. Riverwalk (and all those romantic bench swings)
  12. Central Florida’s Largest Splash Pad (right next to Ft. Mellon Park)
  13. The Central Florida Zoo with tons of events and kids activities throughout the year
  14. Heart 2 Heart Birth Center
  15. The Central Florida Regional Hospital
  16. Easy Access to I-4, 417 and in the future 429
  17. The Sunrail will go through Sanford
  18. Alive After Five – Sanford’s popular street party every second Thursday of the month
  19. Bike Fest – one of Sanford’s biggest annual events
  20. Route 46 Entertainment District
  21. Historic Downtown with lots of historic buildings like the Meisch building and the N.P. Yowell and Garner Woodruff Buildings (you know, the really red brick building!)
  22. Truly Unique Bars like Little Fish – Huge Pond, The Sanford Wine Company, The Blues Alley, The Palette (inside Art Affair Gallery) etc. Sanford attracts truly individual and creative personalities!
  23. Home of the Sanford River Rats (who play baseball at the Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium)
  24. Larry A. Dale Aquatic Center – which can accommodate any aquatic competition in the world, including international water polo and synchronized swimming!
  25. Sanford Museums, including the Sanford High School Grammar Student Museum with its Sanford Highschool Clock Tower or the Sanford Museum
  26. Sanford Library – not just awesome because of storytime
  27. City Parks, like Centennial Park
  28. Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center
  29. Jazzed on Magnolia Square
  30. Sanford Art Walk – every fourth Friday of the month
  31. Maya Bookstore
  32. Celery Soup
  33. Central Florida Soap Box Derby
  34. Star Spangled Sanford on 4th of July
  35. Martin Luther King, Jr Parade and Rally
  36. Love Your Shorts Film Festival
  37. UA Seminole Movie Theater
  38. Aldi (one fo the first in Central Florida!)
  39. Super Target – who doesn’t love shopping at Target? So glad we have our own Super Target and the plaza offers so many more stores, including Ross, Marshall’s and Old Navy
  40. Sanford Historic Trust Holiday Tour of Homes
  41. Sanfordability: Sanford is affordable (not only real estate)!!
  42. Rivership Romance – take a cruise on beautiful St Johns River and Lake Monroe
  43. Only 40 minutes to the closest beach (New Smyrna Beach or Daytona Beach)
  44. Old town charm (barber shop, old fashioned grocery store, etc.)
  45. Seminole State College
  46. Sanford has its own Planetarium thanks to Seminole State College
  47. St. Johns River with bars like Captain’s Cove
  48. Zora Neale Hurston wrote her first novel, Jonah’s Gourd Vine in Sanford in the 1930s
  49. Mayfair Country Club Golf
  50. Tree lined streets of historic Sanford
  51. You can still see deer and bears close to the preserves (e.g. Astor Farms, Buchingham Estates, Wekiva Estates etc.)
  52. The art wall on First Street!
  53. Cross Seminole Bike Trail starts in Sanford
  54. The Sanford Marina and Marina Island
  55. Sanford was the setting for the movie My Girl (1991) and some more
  56. Alive After Five Oktoberfest – one of the biggest Oktoberfest events in Central Florida and always lots of FUN!
  57. The courtyard location of former Two Blondes and a Shrimp, future The Breezeway
  58. Many of the national food chains are here (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Hooters, Cracker Barrel, Outback, IHOP etc.)
  59. H&M opened in the mall (first store in Central Florida along with Florida Mall)
  60. Zip Lining at the Zoo
  61. Colonial Town Park (even though its technically a county address it is virtually in Sanford/Lake Mary)
  62. Sanford Downtown FREE Wi-Fi: The City of Sanford is providing wireless access as a public service, free of charge. Wi-Fi availability extends along First Street roughly from 17-92 to Fort Mellon Park, and within a few blocks of First Street to the south and to the waterfront on the north.
  63. Sanford Brew Ha-Ha, Pints’n Paws, Pirates of the Saint Juan’s Festival and more unique events
  64. Sanford Lighting of the Christmas Tree and Christmas Parade
  65. Trick or Treating in downtown Sanford on Halloween
  66. The fun seasonal changing straw figure on Park and First (e.g. the Mistle Toad)
  67. St Johns River of Art Fest – exciting!! this art fest debuts this year on May 5th and 6th, 2012 – more info on S365 soon!
  68. Nifty Trifty and other thrift fun stores in downtown Sanford
  69. The Sanford Pub Crawl (monthly)
  70. Sanford Food Truck Bazaar (every first Saturday of the month)
  71. Sitting on Magnolia Square and just enjoying our quiet little town. And look at that clock tower!
  72. Canvas and Cheers Art Classes at Seminole Town Center – so much fun and very relaxing!
  73. Pottery and Art Classes in downtown Sanford
  74. Fort Mellon Park – one of the best playgrounds and parks in Seminole County (with beautiful Lake Monroe as a backdrop)
  75. Taste of Sanford – a great culinary experience, organized by the Sanford Chamber of Commerce
  76. The Sanford Chamber of Commerce – Connections Breakfast, and lots of networking events to help your business!
  77. Sanford Veteran’s Memorial Park – with great views of Lake Monroe
  78. Kidtropolis and Bounce You – lots of fun for the kids
  79. Historic Sanford Welcome Center – they bring us lots of great events like Alive After Five and the Art Walk
  80. Sanford’s People – friendly and helpful, I have yet to run into someone who doesn’t fit those characteristics (sure, there are always exceptions, but I’m talking in general here!)
  81. Jackie Robinson lived here
  82. Seminole State Forest in Sanford
  83. Florida Family Consignment Sale – twice a year you will find lots of great deals for babies, kids and expecting moms
  84. Paw Park of Historic Sanford – DOG FANCY magazine readers recently voted Paw Park #2 out of the 10 best dog parks in the United States!
  85. Initiatives like “Hand in Hand in Sanford” which prove what a great community Sanford has!

Since I have forgotten about a dozen (minimum) things I love about Sanford now it’s up to you, Sanford residents: Why do you love Sanford? Post your reasons here and I will add them to the list! Come on, I know we can make is way past 101 😉

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About The Author


Hi, my name is Claudia! I live, work and play in Sanford, FL. To top it all off, I am also totally in love with Sanford! My husband Jose and I are Realtors in Sanford, FL and help people realize their dreams of home ownership. We have two sons, Nicolas (2011) and Lukas (2013). I am originally from Germany, moved here in 2004. In 2008 I started Sanford365.com. I love everything that says creativity. Design is my passion, no matter if Graphic, Web or Fashion Design - and I am also into photography :) I'm also very social and love to hang out with my family and friends, be it for a kids play date or a fun night out ;)


  1. Marilyn Daly

    What happened here to give Sanford bad press could have happened any where .I feel it is wrong to boycot Sanford and punish everyone for what one man did. I have called it home for 33 years and have great memories here. Where else can you walk a few blocks and enjoy the sun set over the water and great places to walk and just a few blocks from some of the best places to enjoy lunch with family or a friend. There are many beautiful old homes with a great history at a glance as you walk through town. We have a wonderful dog park which my dogs enjoy daily and look foward to that visit.

    • Claudia

      I couldn’t agree more Marilyn! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  2. Di

    Sanford is a great place to live. We see lots of nature in our neighborhood. We love going to Lake Monroe to walk and see the lake. Please don’t let the stores and restaurants close due to no business.

  3. Patrick O'Brien

    Baggs produce on 25th and Sanford ave.(live worms and cane poles)

  4. IM

    There are tree reasons why I moved to and still love Sanford.

    1. The diversity of its people. There are a few places in Florida where you can see blacks, whites, asians, hispanics, rich people, poor people, middle class people, young people, old people all living in the same city and all wanting the same goal of making it a nice place to live.

    2. It is probably the only city in central Florida where you can still see the stars at night.

    3. Its wildlife.

  5. Bob

    I entered your site 4/21/12 looks good, don’t you think reason #9 should include you can navigate your craft to and from Jacksonville from 1 of our 2 Marinas, I believe both have storage to keep your craft here while abroad or for transient boaters and you head north or south once you reach the Ocean,( the trip use to be app. 4 hours but with all the “No Wake Zones” obviously the trip takes much longer) but then head south towards the keys or north all the way to Maine, or due east if you want to go to across the pond or Northeast and Plot a course to Bermuda or any of the hundreds of islands south of Nassau for hundreds of miles? Sounds like a plan to me?
    Thank you, Bob

    • Claudia

      Thanks Bob!! That sounds absolutely wonderful and makes our little town even more special 😉 I will be sure to add this to the list!

  6. AnnieLou

    Of course I am going to mention the Feed Store located on Laurel Ave. It has been a part of Sanford since 1972! It is like stepping back in time with the old brick and original wood floors. The sweet smell of molasses and fresh hay welcomes you when you enter. It is more than just a store for people that own horses. If you have never been there, you got to check it out!

  7. Tiffany

    I am excited to have found this blog!! We are moving to Sanford (aster farms) completely blind so we needed to see some positive things 😉 thank you!!

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