On the streets and along the rivers and lakes of Sanford, you will find shady oaks draped in Spanish moss, older architecture mixed with newer tourist developments, and a collection of scenes straight out of Kenny Chesney's music video, “Young.” It's a hometown worth looking around, and a way of life almost impossible to describe, but we’re gonna give it a shot anyway.
The city limits of Sanford stretch out pretty far, and public transportation is pretty worthless when trying to get from one end of town to the other. If you dare to live here without a vehicle, you can attempt to get by on bus routes provided by Lynx, however, having a car, truck or motorcycle is strongly, strongly recommended. Traffic isn't too bad around here, though. Just beware of the high dollar toll roads and traffic along I-4, which gets pretty congested with Orlando-bound drivers.
Although apartment rental rates are low in Sanford, cost of living is still high. Car tags and insurance are ridiculously expensive, compared to other cities. Utility companies often require a couple hundred dollars for a deposit. Groceries are pricey as well, and, for some reason, locally grown produce is more expensive here than when it is sold up north. However, if you shop at Clemons for fresh fruits and vegetables, you will be able to find much better deals. For The Kids. Who needs Disneyland, when there's plenty of ways to entertain a kid right here in town? There's a great new playground at Fort Mellon Park, with a water park, twisting slides, and walking trails. There are about a million good places to swim and fish. Soccer fields and basketball courts can be found at parks throughout the area.
Goldsboro Community: An urban neighborhood where people walk to where they need to go, where bicycles coast over to the river walk and the downtown area, and where great little soul food restaurants keep families full and happy. $ - $$$
Downtown: An art-drinking-live-music-country-cooking-river-lake-tropical-beach combo of a vibe, this area, located along the river walk, is the best downtown you could hope for in your hometown. There are Key West-style bars, English pubs, sports bars, drag and fashion shows, concert venues, night clubs, historic shops, theaters, art galleries, fancy seafood places and old-style country cooking... the list goes on, but you get the idea. Besides the typical downtown life, there is also a great farmers market, a marina, some beautiful waterfront parks, and Paw Park, the oldest off-leash dog park in central Florida. $$$
Pinecrest: Old houses and air traffic noise. $
Dreamworld: Home to Fleaworld, the world's largest fleamarket, plus some nice apartments and single-family homes to rent, and few good fishing spots. $$
Midway: Surrounded by the airport, Lake Jesup and Lake Monroe, this is the perfect neighborhood for good fishing and cheap rentals. $
Cameron City: Bordered by the airport and Lake Jesup, with the Seminole State College of Florida nearby, this is a good neighborhood whether you like to spend your days studying, fishing, boating, or all of the above. There is a boat ramp in the area, plenty of public lakefront, and very affordable property to rent. Just watch out for them gators! $ - $$
Elder Springs: Right next door to the Seminole State College of Florida, with lots of small ponds and lakes and the Spring Hammock Preserve wrapping around the southern boundary. $$ - $$$
Idyllwilde: Mobile homes, old houses, and the Crooms Academy of Information Technology. $
Lake Monroe: Fish off of the historic swinging bridge at Wayside Park, play a round of golf at Mayfair Country Club, grab a coffee, catch a movie, or just browse the shops at the Marketplace at Seminole Towne Center, or check out the Route 46 Entertainment District for night life and live music. $$$$
Sylvan Lake: City limit living, between the prestigious Heathrow Country Club and the Black Bear Wilderness Area, meaning there’s a ton of small lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers. For soccer fans, the park known as Sylvan Lake has become a soccer lover's dream, with a sports training facility and 6 soccer fields. $$$ - $$$$
Sanford is not Disneyland, it’s not Daytona Beach, and it's definitely not Miami. No plastic mansions or plastic people around here. Just a real, down-home town for real people. Enjoy.