Central Florida Zoo and Historic Sanford Lunch

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Tour Overview

Break away from the crowds of the tourist zone with Original Orlando Tours to visit the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, one of the area’s oldest attractions, and historic Sanford! From its humble beginnings in 1923, decades before the arrivals of Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World to the Orlando area, the Central Florida Zoo has grown into a manageable but fulfilling destination with modern zoological facilities to maximize your enjoyment and create lasting memories of your animal encounters.

You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the 116 forested acres of the zoo and its luscious gardens. Then we’ll make a stop in historic Sanford, an iconic town with a history that includes several U.S. presidents, and the site where Jackie Robinson famously broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.

Bring your appetite because we’ll treat you to a great lunch among the charming Southern setting of Sanford’s beautiful brick streets, restored buildings and sidewalk cafes near the Lake Monroe waterfront.

This tour is subject to availability and will be followed up for confirmation upon booking.

Central Florida Zoo and Historic Sanford Lunch Tour Includes:

  • Round-trip transportation from your hotel
  • Admission to the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens
  • Guided walking tour of the downtown area of historic Sanford on the way to lunch
  • Lunch at a historic Sanford café
  • Assortment of cold drinks and snacks on the trip
  • Professional guide with local commentary along the way
  • This Original Orlando Tours Explorer Tour includes an Orlando discount booklet for each guest
  • Confirmation will be sent within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • A minimum of 4 people per booking is required
    • Children Ticket: 4-12
    • Adult Ticket: 13+
  • The minimum age of all our guests is 4 years old

Exclusions and Extras:

  • UPGRADE your lunch to a three-hour cruise on an authentic sternwheeler sailing Lake Monroe from historic Sanford for an additional $60+tax/person (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday only)
  • This tour is not wheelchair accessible


Approximately 4.5 hours total (add three hours for the tour upgrade above). Please note that Orlando traffic conditions can vary widely while I-4 is under construction. This tour typically operates all year, although the sternwheeler upgrade option only operates on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Cancellation Policy:

You may receive a full or partial refund by notifying us via email at info@originalorlando.com of the cancellation. No refunds shall be issued for cancellations not received at least 72 hours in advance of the starting time and date of your tour. Please review your Terms and Conditions document for other cancellation provisions.

Sunny’s Local Tips and Bits:

By the first decade of the 20th century, Sanford was one of the largest vegetable shipping centers in the United States and received the nickname “Celery City” for its abundance of crops. Lake Monroe, bordering the north end of downtown Sanford, flows into the St. John’s river, which flows south to north, all the way to downtown Jacksonville and on out to the Atlantic Ocean.


This tour is only offered in English. Florida weather is unpredictable and may impact the tour. If the weather is deemed unsafe by our guide due to weather conditions prior to commencement of the tour, Original Orlando Tours will offer a substitute tour at the original day and time, offer a credit to be used on any future Original Orlando Tours adventure, or fully refund the tour fee, the choice of which is at the option of our special guests impacted by the weather disruption. There are no refunds once the tour has commenced (i.e., the vehicle has left your departure point). This tour also includes an Orlando discount savings booklet. We suggest wearing a hat, comfortable shoes and sunscreen to make your tour an enjoyable one in warm months as well as a jacket in cooler weather.

Not Available
Tour Type: Daily Tour
Duration: 4.5 Hours (7 with Upgrade)
Maximum number of people: 12


100% of guests recommend

4.8 of 5 guest rating

based on 3 reviews

  • "Best 2 For One Around"
    Make sure you feed the giraffes at the zoo! The walking tour of Sanford was a nice touch too. We added the sternwheeler cruise for lunch and were not disappointed!!
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  • "Did not want to leave"
    We were looking for something different and so glad we went with Dan and Original Orlando. Kids (9, 13, 15) all really liked this very manageable zoo. We're from Pittsburgh and I love our zoo, but it is on a hill and so spread out but this was easier to get around. We also upgraded the lunch to the ship and I was shocked at how good the food was...it's not the Gateway Clipper slop...you know what I mean if you are from the 'Burgh. It was all really nice and the history of the area on the ride to and just topped it all off.
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  • Georgianne from Atlanta

    1 Review
    "Zoo is fine; boat ride is the reason to go"
    First let me say I will never to a cattle call tour again and Victoria and Original Orlando, you have my business for life. We liked the zoo, but upgraded the lunch to the cruise and so glad we did. I could have stayed on that boat slow cruising the river all day. And like the other reviewers, I too was blown away by the quality of the food. I was expecting burgers and dogs.
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