Note: This story originally appeared in the May/June 2018 issue of PLAYGROUND Magazine. Read the digital version here.
Dreaming of jet setting this summer? The Downtown Sanford Small World Passport is your ticket to Germany, Belgium, The U.K., and beyond—no airfare required. Grab your passport and start globetrotting!
Created by Mike Smith, a Sanford local and general manager of The Imperial, the passport was put into print after an evening of brainstorming how local businesses could team up to inspire visitors to explore downtown. Today, the passport is a hyperlocal 21+ food and pub crawl throughout Sanford’s diverse dining and bar scene.
And if it’s been awhile since your last visit to Sanford, you’re in for several surprises.
“We have a beautiful turn-of-the-century downtown filled with hard-working and locally-owned businesses, that all work together for the success of the community as a whole. In the last few years, we have had a dozen quality bars and restaurants open up, as well as five breweries, all of them packed into one square mile,” Mike explains.
How it Works
Your Downtown Sanford Small World Passport includes trips to local bars, restaurants and markets, each representing a unique region.
The passport can be picked up for free at any of the participating locations. Simply visit each destination on the passport and make a purchase to receive a stamp. Any purchase counts. You’ll have two weeks from the time of your first stamp to complete the passport. Once you’ve traveled to each destination, turn in your passport at Magnolia Square Market for a commemorative Sanford Small World T-shirt.
Each edition of the passport has a corresponding T-shirt. Once the current run of t-shirts is gone, a new passport is created.
Your Travel Destinations
This Epcot-style passport will lead you on a global quest throughout one of Central Florida’s best downtowns. Escape to Belgium at Buster’s Bistro, sip pints in the U.K. at The Stranded Sailor, and savor Southern cuisine at The Tennessee Truffle.
Here’s where the current passport will transport you:
- India: The Imperial at Washburn Imports – This import furniture store by day transforms into a relaxing bar serving beer, wine, and cocktails by night.
- USA: Celery City Craft – A cozy craft beer bar with a spacious outdoor patio and 50+ beer taps.
- Germany: Magnolia Square Market – Hollerbach’s German deli, market and bakery.
- Belgium: Buster’s Bistro – Belgian beer bar and restaurant with 18 draught beers and 50 varieties of bottled beer.
- The South: The Tennessee Truffle – A Southern restaurant with the best biscuits and gravy in town.
- Conch Republic: The District – This rustic American restaurant features American fare, local craft beer and signature cocktails.
- Jamaica: West End Trading Co. – A lively neighborhood bar with live music and fun events.
- The U.K.: The Stranded Sailor – Sanford’s only traditional British Pub with beers from England, Ireland and Scotland.
Each destination is subject to change with new editions of the passport.
1. Extend your travels by completing the passport over the span of several visits or a leisurely staycation weekend.
2. Bring along your Central Florida Ale Trail map. Several breweries on the map are located in Downtown Sanford allowing you to collect stamps on more than one passport.
3. Travel by train to Sanford using the SunRail on weekdays. It’s an easy trip from Downtown Orlando and will only cost you a few dollars.
4. Document your travels with #sanfordSmallWorld.
For more information and to see where the current passport will take you, visit Downtown Sanford-Small World on Facebook.