Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday in Sanford -- Dog park, German food and more in the Historic District

This is Lulu.

I have no idea how she did that with her tongue.

We've been pretty lazy lately, and I decided I wanted to go for a long drive and check out something new. So we went to Sanford.

Sanford is a city on the shores of Lake Monroe in North Seminole County. Lately it's gotten some notoriety in the news, but if you're in Orlando and you're looking for a day trip, or if you're headed to the beach, it's a great place to stop. The Historic District is great, especially if you have a dog.

So Lulu and I hopped into the car and drove off to our first stop.

Sanford says The Paw Park is the oldest in Central Florida. It was first established in 2001. It has some good reviews from national magazines.

It's compact, with parking on three of the four sides. Each entrance is a double entrance, and the east entrance includes an entrance into a small dog play area off to the side.

In the center is a big downed tree and a community bulletin board. There is a walkway that wraps around the park, and there are benches and shade trees.

But the dogs are more interested in each other.

There wasn't a ton of running going among the dogs, but there was plenty of sniffing. And when it comes to sniffing, Lulu is a champ.

She walked the whole park and sniffed just about everything. And every one.

It's a nice little park. There were places for the dogs to climb, there were water areas and even a time out area.

My only complaint is the dirt. There were several dirt patches, and where there's dirt there's a dog who wants to jump and roll in it. The little doggy pool was full of dirty water, and I don't think there was anything that could be done to get that pool clean.

Conveniently though, there's a dog wash and groomers right across the street.

That's Paw Park Place, which also has a little mini area of its own for dogs to play at, grooming and a boutique with fresh baked doggy treats and a case full of frozen "dogurt." Unfortunately they wouldn't let me shoot any pictures inside.

After Lulu and I took a look around, we got back in the car and headed back onto First Street to a place I've always wanted to go.

Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe is very popular and well-known., but when I found out this German eatery was doggy friendly, I had to check it out. So Lulu and I got a seat on the patio, danced a little to the beer garden-style music playing, and ordered a schnitzel.

Before long the waitress brought an iced tea for me. Just water for Lulu, thanks.

Willowtree doesn't have a doggy menu, but they had no problems letting me order something for Lulu.

So my schnitzel came:

(It was yummy, by the way)
And Lulu got a bratwurst.

Cooked and cut to order.

And gone in 30 seconds.

The Willowtree Cafe is open for lunch and dinner every day and is located on East First Street in Downtown Sanford. They also have Magnolia Square Market around the corner, but the market doesn't allow dogs inside.

If German food is not your thing, there are several other restaurants along 1st Street that allow dogs at the table. There are also lots of lovely shops to window shop in, and the marina is right up the road if you want to sit out and enjoy Lake Monroe. In fact, Lulu and I drove right next to the lake on our scenic route home.

Paw Park Place is open Tuesday through Sunday, and is located on South French Street, right across from Paw Park.


  1. What a fun post!!! Loved it! Wish we had a park like that here in Michigan...
    Gotta tell you, not too smart on the part of the Yogurt place for couldn't take a photo inside? What's up with THAT!!?? If dogs are allowed there they should have let you take a photo, not to mention it is great publicity for them!! Duh!! lol
    I LOVE Schnitzel and kudos to that place for being so nice!
    This is Dakota's shows my other blog's name when I leave comments :)

  2. It is a really fun post, I agree with Cat Chat with Caren and Cody.

    Of course Lulu is a sniffing champ, she is a beagle after all.

    I wish you and Lulu a Great National Dog's Day (August 26th).

  3. That looks like quite an adventure. I love that you made a whole day that also included your pups. And I just loooooovvvveee me some beagles. We've fostered two so far with happy endings. Thanks for stopping by Poochie Project

  4. Yeah, I always try to make that happen. Central Florida has a lot of places that you can enjoy day trips to if you're there to see a park.

  5. Your blog about German is really awesome. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I like German food very much and i have tried many german recipes which i got from youtube and many other website. I like visiting German restaurants in weekend.

  6. Thank you for enjoying my story, Adam.

  7. Lulu...Gizmo brought his friend Sparky here for her birthday last year...there's a geocache hidden in the roof of that little shelter :) And we went for treats after the park at Paw Park Place too ...It was a nice afternoon but a long drive for us


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