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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
- Baltimore Orioles

Gulf Coast Wonder and Imagination Zone 
Mote Marine Laboratory
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Museum of Cars and Music
The Parker Manatee Aquarium
Sailor Circus
Sarasota Convention & Visitor's Bureau
Sarasota Polo Club
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
South Florida Museum


Southwest Florida offers a number of parks and recreation areas, some of them along the waterfront.  From shelling on Egmont Key and 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 blackwater stream that flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

Lakewood Ranch
With half of the land at Lakewood Ranch set aside as open or recreational space, it’s no surprise that our community parks are a popular focus of neighborhood life enjoyed by all.

Nathan Benderson Park
Facilities for private functions and events. Athletic, recreational and educational programs.

Summerfield Community Park has 15 acres that include ball fields, lighted tennis courts, basketball courts, playgrounds and a pavilion with charcoal grills.

Herons Nest Nature Park is a tranquil nature park set on 110 acres. Twelve-acre Lake Heron and 27-acre Lake Summerfield, encourage fishing and boating. Soft-mulched trails meander through the park and feature wooden bridges and interpretive stations along the way that explain the pristine Florida habitat.

Braden River Nature Trail in Riverwalk connects to the Herons Nest trails, creating a virtual state park within Lakewood Ranch. Trophy and Otter lakes, are perfect for fishing and a stocking program is underway in 15-acre Trophy Lake where an underwater habitat was created for bass and other fish.

The Country Club Community Park is located adjacent to The Athletic Center. Its sand pit volleyball courts, basketball courts, tot lot playground and picnic area make this a popular destination for Lakewood Ranch residents.

Greenbrook Adventure Park provides challenging play areas for both children and adults with an inline skating track, ball fields, even a "paw park" for dogs and their owners. Adventure Park also provides picnic pavilions for parties and special events and offers access to miles of pristine nature trails.

Lakewood Ranch District Park occupies approximately 150 acres and surrounds Lakewood Ranch High School. Facilities include tennis, basketball and racquetball courts as well as softball, baseball, soccer and football fields. Little League, soccer and football teams compete here year-round.

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.



100 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236

Toll Free 800.469.5077, Phone 941.487.2450

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