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Sarasota

Casey Key: Hidden treasure is ideal base for bicyclists, beach lovers

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.

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Myakka River State Park: 10 reasons to visit this big, wild Sarasota preserve

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.

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Crowley Museum & Nature Center: Charming stop near Myakka with animals, history

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.

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