Sanford is one of Central Florida’s larger cities, more than 25 square miles, and sits about 20 miles north Orlando. It boasts a range of housing options, along with a charming downtown, sprawling lake, and ample shopping.

Sandford is an appealing option for a wide range of demographics, from recent grads to young families to empty nesters keen on an easy drive to the beach.

 It’s the county seat of Seminole County and was once the largest citrus shipping hub in the state because of its prime location on the South Florida Railroad. It is named for Henry Shelton Sanford, who predicted transportation would figure into its economy; he called it “the Gateway City to South Florida.” These days it is known more for the beautiful preservation and restoration of its lovely lakeside downtown and neighboring historic homes, many of which are very affordable. The city is growing here, rife with indie businesses and planned multifamily housing. Many compare it to nearby Winter Park for its charm and walkability.

 Sanford sits on expansive Lake Monroe and was once a major port on the St.John’s River. Now it boasts its own international airport and is still the southern terminal for Amtrak’s Auto Train, helping snowbirds get their vehicles south for the winter. It sits on the north end of the I-4 corridor, just off State Road 417 and has its own stop on the new SunRail line.

 Sanford is home to the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, which just announced an $85 million renovation plan. The city’s charming downtown –once primarily a haven for the antiquing and thrift-store crowd– is now a haven for hipsters, empty nesters and everyone in between. Funky shops (Washburn Imports and Magpies Modern General Store are just a couple) and a host of new eateries like the Tennessee Truffle, Sandford Brewing and Fuel BBQ, along with old favorites like they family-friendly Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe, Draw folks from all over the region.

There are many houses for sale, the area is known for its historical homes, but there are many waterfront property and new construction as well.