Area Attractions

Neartest & Attractions

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Pic FLORIDA STATE PARK

One of the oldest and largest state parks, Myakka protects one of the state's most diverse natural areas. The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches out over the Upper Myakka Lake, then take to the treetops with a stroll along the canopy walkway. The park´s river and two lakes provide ample opportunities for boating, freshwater fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; a boat ramp provides access to Upper Myakka Lake. Hikers can explore trails that cross large expanses of rare Florida dry prairie. Scenic lake tours are offered daily on the world´s two largest airboats. Safari tram tours of the park´s backcountry are offered from mid-December through May. Full-facility campgrounds and primitive campsites are available. Five palm log cabins, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, have been modernized for comfortable lodging. Located nine miles east of Sarasota on State Road 72.

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Siesta Beach is located on Beach Road on Siesta Key. Siesta Beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in the world.[citation needed] At the "Great International White Sand Beach Challenge" held in 1987, it was recognized as having the "whitest and finest sand in the world."Unlike beaches elsewhere that are made up mostly of pulverized coral, Siesta Beach's sand is 99% quartz, most of which comes from the Appalachian Mountains. Even on the hottest days, the sand is so reflective that it feels cool underfoot. It's estimated that the sand on Siesta Beach and Crescent Beach on Siesta Key is millions of years old, having its origin in the Appalachians and flowing down the rivers from the mountains until it eventually was deposited on the shores of Siesta Key.

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HISTORIC SPANISH POINT

Historic Spanish Point is a 30-acre (120,000 m2) museum and environmental complex located in Osprey, Florida. It is operated by the Gulf Coast Heritage Association, Inc. Located at 337 North Tamiami Trail, in Osprey, Florida, the museum includes an archeological exhibit of a prehistoric shell mound known as a midden, a turn-of-the-century pioneer homestead historic house museum, a citrus packing house, a chapel, boatyard, gardens and nature trails. An archaeological record exists on the site from approximately 5,000 years of Florida prehistory. Habitation of the site spans the Late Archaic period (5,900-3,200 years ago) through to the Manasota and Late Woodland periods (3,200-1,000 years ago.) Prehistoric people living on Tampa Bay's shoreline began using ceramics and transitioned from nomadic hunters and gatherers to settled subsistence societies

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MYAKKA STATE PARK

Myakka River State Park is a Florida State Park, that is located nine miles (11 km) east of I-75 in Sarasota in Sarasota County and that includes portions of southeastern Manatee County. A small portion (1,920 acres) of the park was the gift of the family of Bertha Palmer to the state. The park is named after the Myakka River. Myakka River State Park is in the southeastern conifer forests ecoregion. Plant communities in areas of the park with drier soils are a mixture of pine forests, scrub, and prairies. Florida longleaf pine sandhills are woodlands dominated by longleaf pine (Pinus palustris).

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RINGLING ART MUSEUM

Here, in an extraordinary place is an extraordinary collection of art. From the Rubens Galleries to the Turrell Skyspace, view the permanent collection’s treasures, the fascinating exhibitions from around the world and the classical sculptures that fill the grand courtyard. The State Art Museum of Florida, this awe-inspiring palace was originally built by famed circus impresario John Ringling as a legacy to the citizens of Florida. This is a place of beauty and wonder.The Ringling is in the process of reinstalling the Museum of Art’s original 21 galleries. Hundreds of works of art from The Ringling’s permanent collection will be examined, interpreted, and arranged in new ways. As the reinstallation project progresses, certain galleries may close temporarily and objects may be removed from the galleries where they are normally displayed.

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MOTE AQUARIUM

Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent, not-for-profit marine research organization based on City Island in Sarasota, Florida. Founded in 1955 by Eugenie Clark in Placida, Florida, it was known as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory until 1967. The laboratory aims to advance the science of the sea, both through its marine and estuarine research labs and through the public Mote Aquarium and its affiliated educational programs.

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SIESTA KEY DRUM CIRCLE

The community drum circle at Siesta Key Beach plays every Sunday in Sarasota, about 1 hour before sunset, just south of the main pavilion between lifeguard stands 3 and 4 on Siesta Public Beach. Just follow your ears. This is not a commercial event but local phenomenon that began spontaneously and now has a life of its own.