Visiting the world-famous attractions in Orlando? Tired of being treated like a tourist? Do you desire to give your wallet a much deserved rest but still want to enjoy Florida and the rest of your vacation? Well, hop in the car and head East on Interstate 4! Come visit Sanford, Florida, home of the Central Florida Zoo!
Located on heavily-alligator-populated Lake Monroe, The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, ( http://www.centralfloridazoo.org) is over 100 acres of dense trees, swamp and tropical landscape. It’s a relaxing, educational adventure for the entire family which is why it’s tops on the list for inexpensive fun things to do while visiting Orlando, Florida. While at the zoo, be sure to visit the Herpitarium. It houses the largest collection of venomous snakes and non-venomous reptiles in the Southeast. Which seems appropriate because you’ll most likely see an alligator or two when you’re driving along the Highway or as your exiting I-4! There are over 400 animals including Maude(the elephant), goats, sheep, and plenty of bugs in the insect zoo. Parking is free and fares start at $7.95 for ages 3-12, free for ages 2 and under. They are located at 3755 NW Hwy 17-92 in Sanford, Florida. Call (407) 323-4450 for directions or visit email@example.com for directions and more information about planning your day at the Zoo.
Second on the list, Downtown Sanford, is just down Hwy 17-92 about 2 miles or so, East of The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Sanford is situated on Lake Monroe, which is part of the Historic St. Johns River, and offers a refreshing place to casually walk along the waterfront and absorb the natural beauty that surrounds you from every angle. You’ll see an interesting display of indigenous wildlife from alligators to red-shouldered hawks and wood storks. Most days there are fishermen on the banks patiently waiting for a Brim, Mullet or Shell-cracker to nibble on their bait. Occasionally, you’ll even see someone catch a Ray too! Due to brackishness of the St. Johns River, even fish that are predominately thought of being saltwater fish are found in the river, too. There is a marina and several restaurants that are easy on the budget. Also relax in the covered swings along the bank or cross the street and enjoy the shade at Fort Mellon Park. The exercise, scenery and parking are all free. Once you have finished your walk, you might want to check out the third adventure on the list and actually go out on the river!
Rivership Romance where you can “Watch Florida’s Natural Beauty Unveil Itself As You Relax…” and enjoy lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch. It ranks third on the list of fun things to do in Sanford, Florida. So, you’ve taken my advice. You started your day at the zoo, then went for a walk along the riverfront and now your ready for dinner and maybe a little dancing. The Rivership Romance dinner cruise is the perfect way to end the day. All meals aboard the 98′, triple-decked Riverboat Romance are prepared on board by an award-winning chef and served in true southern hospitality style by the friendly staff in a climate controlled environment or under cover of the deck. Reservations are required and there are Internet discounts available. Go to http://www.rivershipromance.com for schedules, times, rates and general information. Credit cards are accepted but not through the website. A dinner cruise aboard the RivershipRomance is a memorable way to watch the sunset and reflect on the day’s activities.