Settled in Seminole County, Longwood is a quiet Florida town that sits in the metro area of Sanford, Orlando, and Kissimmee. Nature abounds here, as much of the urban city life consists of community-driven, close-knit neighborhoods, surrounded by parks, natural foliage, and native Florida wildlife. Almost everything you can do here is outdoors, so pack a good pair of comfy sneakers, some sunscreen, and plenty of hydrating water for your trip to Longwood. Much of this Florida city was once home to Seminole Native Americans, which means there is a rich culture, complete with a few museums, in the area. One of the best things you can do as a traveler would be to have a conversation with some of the locals, because there is no end to the quirky, cool, fascinating stories you might hear.
There are so many fun things to do in Longwood, FL; here's a recommended list!
For nature lovers, Big Tree Park is a must-stop destination. It marks the beginning of the Cross Seminole Trail and features a lengthy boardwalk between rows of thick, towering Cypress trees. Huge in comparison to you, these trees are older than most people living today. Bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring height of these natural giants. You can read up on the Cypress trees, and the area in general, with several informative plaques on the boardwalk. Kids will love the playgrounds, while parents will be thankful for the covered picnic areas and clean bathrooms.
Do you love a good arts scene? Longwood is home to some amazing artists, and many of them utilize the natural beauty of the Florida wilderness to create their artworks. For example, located on the Seminole Wekiwa Trail is a stretch of installed, ever-growing artworks known as Paint the Trail. On a plank fence that spans a huge expanse of the trail-side, artists come from miles around to add their drawings and paintings for walkers, hikers, joggers, and art lovers to admire. You never know what kind of fantastic artwork you might see, as much of them art focuses on the pop culture of the artist’s favorite era.
Longwood is a smaller Florida city, but locals and travelers alike have raved about the town’s southern charms and yummy cuisine. There are several restaurants in the city, but few are more popular than 4 Rivers Smokehouse on West State Road. This restaurant is all-American, serving up barbecue, homemade coleslaw, and cornbread by the proverbial truckload. Diners have dubbed this smokehouse responsible for making the best ribs in Florida, while others are more enamored with their pulled pork, slow-cooked briskets, and homemade bread puddings with creamy banana sauce. Plus, if you want a real dose of southern goodness, 4 River’s sweet tea is a must-try.
It is easy to get used to the laidback atmosphere and casual friendliness of Longwood, Florida. Luckily, for weary travelers, there are several excellent hotels in the city,
If you plan to book a stay in Longwood, choose from the following hotels:
Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham
First and foremost, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham on Raymond Avenue is a close Longwood favorite, located near Altamonte Springs which is a quick 30-minute or less drive to Orlando attractions. Famed for its beautiful, spacious, clean rooms, the hotel offers a plethora of awesome, homey amenities, such as a full-sized, well-equipped kitchen in each suite, excellent shower pressure, super-comfy and clean beds with plush pillows and fresh-scented linens, and a well-furnished living space. Guests here are often seeking relaxation, so they stray from the hub-bub of the big cities. Instead, past guests have cited the outdoor swimming pool as a point of leisure and fun, with sparkling waters and plenty of comfortable lounge chairs.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando-North
Constructed alongside Shorecrest Drive, Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando-North brings a bit of historic architecture to the modern accommodations that contemporary travelers expect when booking a hotel stay. Accommodation-wise, the hotel offers a slew of great amenities, such as an on-site restaurant with a bar and lounge, free high-speed internet, included daily breakfasts, a well-equipped and updated fitness room, an indoor swimming pool and hot tub, free parking for guests, and self-serve laundry services.
Guests also have access to conference facilities, meeting rooms, and a business center, as well as on-request shuttle bus services. Travelers to Embassy Suites usually stay here for the quick 8-mile access to Sea World, where they can watch whale shows, interact with dolphins, and get to know hundreds of beautiful sea creatures.
Hampton Inn & Suites
Located on Douglas Avenue, the Hampton Inn & Suites sits on the outskirts of Longwood, closer to Altamonte Springs. It is the top-ranked, number one best hotel in either city, which means business professionals, families, couples, singles, and weekend trippers all flock to the comfortable accommodations and simple, homey amenities. Close to restaurants, shops, and activities in both Altamonte Springs and Longwood, the hotel offers clean, spacious, well-furnished rooms, superb customer service, free cable and internet accesses, continental breakfasts, and a beautiful, clean swimming pool.
Orlando and Daytona Beach are less than 30 minutes from Hampton Inn & Suites, but travelers most often choose Crane’s Roost Park for their afternoon adventures. Described as romantic and gorgeous, the riverside park features nature trails, fountain shows, and plenty of shaded rest benches. Check out their over-the-water fireworks show on the Fourth of July.
The Residence Inn
The Residence Inn on Douglas Avenue has a positive reputation for top-notch customer service, super-comfy beds and accommodations, and a handful of luxurious, indulgent amenities. This hotel is very family-friendly, and families are encouraged to bring their pets for an additional fee per pup. Each room is equipped with a small kitchen, which includes counter space, a microwave, mini fridge, and breakfast bar. Other in-room amenities include a king-sized bed (or two queen-sized beds), an en-suite, well-stocked bathroom, and a dining area and comfy couches.
The Residence Inn is close to the star attractions of Orlando, Florida, such as Disney World and Universal Studios. However, if you prefer quieter entertainment, head to Congo River Golf Course, where putt-putt doubles as a fun, family-friendly scavenger hunt.