Updated: Apr 6
Ever wonder what there is to do outside of the Central Florida bubble? Well Chris and I had the opportunity to work with @DoOrlandoNorth on a 1-day itinterary featuring all there is to do for the perfect day in Northern Orlando. Before we ventured out we decided to sit down and plan out our full day. We visited DoOrlandoNorth.com which was full of a ton of information, perfect for planning out the day date of our dreams.
Caffe Di Riverwalk
First up on our itinerary was one of Sanford’s must-see coffee shops, Caffe di Riverwalk. At first glance, we were completely blown away by the diverse menu choices, fresh ingredients, and artsy decor. Add in the stunning views you get of Lake Monroe when sitting outside on their patio and you will never want to enjoy your morning coffee anywhere else! As if that wasn’t enough, the owners of Caffe Di RiverWalk are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people you will ever come across. We ordered the croissant sandwich as well as a hot chocolate with hazelnut and a vanilla latte. All three menu items were delicious, plus eating in the café made you feel like you were sitting inside the home of one of your closest friends. Free Wi-Fi makes it a great place to get some work done, if you’re not too distracted by the gorgeous views. If you’re into cozy and unique coffee shops, I am sure you will love this place from the minute you walk in.
Monroe Harbor Marina
Located just steps away from the café, this area is home to a beautiful marina and a boardwalk made for roller blading, biking, running, and more. Monroe Harbour Marina on Lake Monroe is part of the St. Johns River. Sanford’s RiverWalk meanders along the lakeshore on both sides of the marina. If you are looking for a wonderful place to relax on a swinging bench just to take in the sights and sounds then this is the place for you. You will find yourself surrounded by families, pets, fishermen and women and boats as far as the eye can see.
Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Upon entering the zoo, we quickly hurried over to the giraffe encounters. We were able to watch several families feed the two giraffes, and although we ran out of time to do this activity ourselves, we know we will come back just to try out this experience. Chris and I were not prepared for all of the animals that we were going to encounter. We were able to see a variety of animals, including some of the rarest and most endangered species on the planet. Everything from Nigerian Dwarf Goats to Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros, this place definitely exceeded our expectations. Some of our favorite exhibits were the wild cats which included: servals, leopards, cougars, and cheetahs. At the time of our trip the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens transformed at night into the Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild! The dates for last year’s event were November 19-January 16th. Even though we experienced their beauty during the day we were still able to see over 30 different, hand constructed illuminated lantern displays around the Zoo. The beauty, art and wonder of the traditional Asian lanterns was a sight to see and a wonderful addition to the zoo. When events like these go on the tickets are sold separately.
Downtown Sanford- Food Truck Night
We ended our night in Historic Downtown Sanford. Every 3rd Saturday the streets of Sanford turn into a pet and family friendly event where you can grab some amazing food from 20+ of Orlando area’s top food trucks. There is plenty of FREE parking available in adjacent lots and with a larger footprint this year there is plenty of room to be socially distant from others, if you choose. We loved having the option to try craft beer and cocktails from local bars. You can also enjoy live music outside all while shopping through craft artisans and vendors located all along the streets. We ended up sharing a steak hibachi plate (@ooishimotto), an Alaskan Ice snow cone (@alaskanicetruck), and an Amish cinnamon sugar pretzel (@amishpretzelshop). We ended our night with a few drinks from The Station Bar &Grub, a super fun firehouse themed bar located downtown. This bar was one of the oldest fire departments in Florida. I personally loved the Ace Guava Cider I tried there. Chris and I already talked about going back.
Here is another fun article featuring my itinerary!
Where should we go next? Let me know in the comments below!