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Parks & Recreation

Sarasota bustles with a multitude of recreational and leisure activities. Gulf and Bay waters invite boating, fishing, canoeing, swimming and a variety of other water sports. There are more than 60 golf courses and hundreds of tennis facilities. Numerous parks offer hiking, biking, bird-watching and eco-activities. Sporting activities include major-league baseball spring training games, polo, professional volleyball and ice hockey.

With its Gulf Coast location and subtropical climate, Sarasota is a natural center for the study of avian and marine life and tropical plants. Mote Marine Aquarium combines real research with opportunities to learn about sharks, pet stingrays in the touch pool, and view manatees, sea turtles and other marine life. Plants and birds are on display at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, which also holds regular reptile and bird shows. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens showcases tropical plants and more than 6,000 orchids.

Bishop Planetarium
Circus Sarasota
Ed Smith Stadium
Gulfcoast Wonder and Imagination Zone
Mote Marine Laboratory
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Museum of Cars and Music
The Parker Manatee Aquarium
Sarasota Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Sarasota Polo Club
South Florida Museum

Southwest Florida offers a number of parks and recreation areas, some of them along the waterfront. From shelling on Egmont Key to bird watching on Leffis Key to a treetop canopy walk at Myakka River State Park, numerous eco-activities await the nature lover.

Myakka River State Park
Myakka River State Park is Florida’s largest natural park, offering canoeing, fishing, camping, an airboat cruise, a canopy walk and biking among a diversity of bird and wildlife. Safari tram tours of the park’s back country are offered from mid-December through May. The Myakka River flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies and woodlands.

Historic Spanish Point
Historic Spanish Point, overlooking Sarasota Bay, provides a window into 5,000 years of human history, with Native American shell middens, preserved pioneer structures, nature trails and formal gardens.

Oscar Scherer State Park
Oscar Scherer State Park is one of the best places to see Florida scrub-jays, a threatened species found only in Florida. Hike or bike through 15 miles of nature trails or kayak or canoe along South Creek, a black water stream that flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing is available along the creek or the shores of Lake Osprey. The park has picnic areas; pavilions, full-facility campsites and a youth/group campground.

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Sarasota, FL 34239

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