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Local is lovely

You know those brand-new fake downtowns that planned communities in Florida are notorious for constructing? The kind with fake “old” things and chain restaurants? Well, downtown Sanford is pretty much the polar opposite of one of those places. It’s genuinely historic, and its downtown is home to an organically diverse assortment of galleries, antiques stores, restaurants and bars that exude the warm, quirky charm that makes Sanford’s
downtown one of our favorite places to while away an afternoon.


Shantell’s Café
406 Sanford Ave., Sanford

Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café
205 E. First St., Sanford

The Original Christo’s
107 W. First St., Sanford



The Alley
114 S. Park Ave., Sanford

Little Fish Huge Pond
401 S. Sanford Ave., Sanford

The Imperial at Washburn Imports
116 E. First St., Sanford

West End Trading Company
202 S. Sanford Ave., Sanford


Maya Books and Music
201 E. First St., Sanford

Sanford’s Nifty Thrifty
212 E. First St., Sanford

The Treehouse
222 E. First St., Sanford


Fort Mellon Park
600 E. First St., Sanford

Sanford Museum
520 E. First St., Sanford


Alive After 5
5-8 p.m., second Thursday of the month
East First Street, downtown Sanford
Once a month, downtown Sanford holds a street party with food, drink and live music. The parties are usually themed, so be prepared to party like a pirate, throw beads or drink green beer.

Food Truck Bazaar
5-8 p.m., first Saturday of every month
265 N. Palmetto Ave., Sanford
Hosted by, this monthly roundup of gourmet food trucks in downtown Sanford happens rain or shine, with to-go orders available for food truck diners who ain’t got time for that.

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