Witness 5,000 years of history through a glass wall at this Indian midden at Spanish Point, and learn about the Palmer family’s profound impact on Sarasota County.
Casey Key, a skinny 8-mile-long barrier island south of Sarasota, is a great destination for someone who wants to pedal a great bike trail in the morning, beachcomb amid natural beauty in the afternoon and then enjoy an authentic waterfront fish house for dinner.
This paved bike trail system has it all — spectacular scenery, a smooth paved surface with few road crossings and great amenities and stops along the way. And it keeps getting better. July 6, a new section opens extending the rail north.
The Lido Key Mangrove Trail is a well-known scenic kayak trail in Sarasota. In addition to friendly cormorants and shaded mangrove tunnels, this trail is popular in summer because there is a sandbar where you can swim.
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.
The Gamble Mansion has white columns to rival Tara and was the site of a dramatic Civil War event. It’s the only antebellum mansion left in South Florida.
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.
You’ll discover a natural world without traffic and crowds when you’re kayaking Deer Prairie Creek in North Port. This tributary of the Myakka River is quiet, off-the-beaten track and not widely known outside its neighboring area.
This authentic Florida fishing village near Bradenton is the perfect place to find classic seafood shacks — open air, casual with the freshest fish.
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.