This tiny fishing village wedged between Bradenton and Anna Marie Island celebrates its rich heritage as a commercial fishing hub.
The Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota brings back those memories of yesteryear, when hawkers fill the streets with calls to see “The world’s grandest, largest, best, amusement institution.”
Selby Garden contains the most diverse living and preserved collection of of orchids and bromeliads in the world with thousands of species represented.
There are six fabulous beaches in the Venice area, including one set aside for canines. But the big attraction are ancient shark’s teeth that wash ashore in the surf.
This authentic fishing village near Bradenton is the perfect place to find classic Florida seafood shacks — open air, casual with the freshest fish.
Myakka is one of the oldest and biggest state parks, a great place for seeing wildlife, from huge gators to flocks of birds in winter. Go here for its log cabins, appealing camp sites, excellent kayaking, extensive hiking and good bike trails. It’s also a good spot for nature neophytes, who enjoy the airboat ride and canopy walk.
While neighboring Myakka River State Park lets you experience the natural beauty of this prairie country, the Crowley introduces you to the people who lived and settled here. Farm animals and historic houses help visitors picture the pioneer lifestyle.
The paved 11-mile Legacy Trail follows an abandoned railroad bed from Sarasota’s suburbs to Venice, where it links up with another 10 miles of trails in Venetian Waterway Park. At the halfway mark, the trail hooks into 15 miles of offroad trails within Oscar Scherer State Park.