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45 BEST Things To Do In Sarasota, FL (Fun & Unique!)

Experience the best of Sarasota, FL with our top 45 activities! From stunning beaches like Siesta Key to unique spots like Mote Marine Aquarium, there's fun for everyone.

Tobi Miles
August 31, 2022
45 BEST Things To Do In Sarasota, FL (Fun & Unique!)

Sarasota, Florida is an alluring beach city located south of Tampa along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Known for its culture and environment, the area was once a winter home to the Ringling Brothers Circus and currently possesses the Ringling Museum of Art.

Serving as a gateway to miles of beautiful beaches, including the famous Siesta Key, which is right off the coast, this city is perfect for a beach getaway. It is also home to unique spots such as the Sarasota Art Museum, The Fish Hole, Burns Court Cinema, Payne Park, and Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

It doesn’t matter whether you like the beach or not, there is so much you can do in Sarasota. Whether it’s a girls trip, destination wedding, or family vacation, this is the perfect place to have any getaway!

1. Drum Circle Siesta Key Beach

Credit: iSiestaKey / YouTube

📍Map It948 Beach Rd, Siesta Key, FL 34242 | Phone: (941) 861-5000  | Website | Hours: Sunday evenings, about one hour before sunset | Entrance: Free

If you’re looking to enjoy a bit of music on the beach, stop by to see the Siesta Key Drum Circle on the Siesta Key Beach. Relish in seeing this performance consisting of hula hoops, costumes, and of course, drums while watching the sunset on the beach.

Whether you want to sit and enjoy the performance, get up and dance, or bring your own instrument to join along, feel free to do it. This is perfect for bringing kids earlier on in the night, but know that an older crowd tends to dominate the spot as the sun sets. If you’re looking to create some memories while in the area, this is a show you need to see.

2. The Fish Hole

Credit: Must See Sarasota

📍Map It115 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL 34203 | Phone: (941) 778-3388 | Website | Hours: Monday-Sunday 9 am - 10 pm  | Entrance: $9.49 per person

Located on Anna Maria Island, The Fish Hole is where you want to go if you’re looking to play mini golf. This 18-hole adventure course can be found on the historic Bridge Street on the island, surrounded by places to eat, drink, and shop.

If you are on the east side of Sarasota, you can also find The Fish Hole’s waterfront course on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. Considered to be one of the prettiest courses in the area, you need to make sure to check out one of these amazing mini golf spots.

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Florida

3. The Ringling

Credit: Must Do

📍Map It5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243 | Phone: (941) 359-5700 | Website | Hours: Monday-Sunday 10 am - 5 pm | Entrance: $25 for adults, discounts for seniors, children, and members

The John and Mable RIngling Museum of Art is the official state art museum of Florida. Filled with various sculptures, paintings, drawings, photographs, and much more, this extraordinary art collection is a must see while in the area.

Not only can you explore the various galleries the museum has to offer, but you can walk around the beautiful grounds and see the Rose Garden, the Secret Garden, and the Millennium Tree Trail. Make sure to stop by this extraordinary museum to take in one of the city’s gems.

4. Burns Court Cinema

Credit: Business Owner /  Yelp

📍Map It506 Burns Ct, Sarasota, FL 34236 | Phone: (941) 955-3456 | Website | Hours: Times vary | Entrance: $10 for adults, discounts for children and members

Ran by the Sarasota Film Society, Burns Court Cinema is a small nonprofit movie theater. Offering a selection of foreign films, independent films, art films, and big name movies, this is a perfect spot if you’re looking to support a small local business.

This theater is also available for theater rentals perfect for hosting birthday parties or other large events. If you're looking for a quiet spot to enjoy a movie in an area with plenty of places to grab food and shop after, head to the Burns Court Cinema.

Related Read: 30 BEST Things To Do With Kids Key West, FL

5. Circus Sarasota

Credit: Wanda Vanish / YouTube

📍Map It2075 Bahia Vista St, Sarasota, FL 34239 | Phone: (941) 355-9335  | Website | Hours: Times vary | Entrance: Prices vary

If you are looking to enjoy a circus while in Sarasota, buy tickets for Circus Sarasota through The Circus Arts Conservatory. With various performances to choose from including a youth circus and one consisting of international stars, this is perfect for those who love circuses and those who have never been to one.

If you enjoy the show and are interested in learning more, you can sign up for the various classes, camps, or team building activities that the conservatory has to offer. So, if you have the chance, make sure to plan a visit to see some world-class performances.

6. Sarasota Art Museum

Credit: Sarasota Magazine /  Pinterest

📍Map It1001 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 | Phone: (941) 309-4300  | Website | Hours: Closed Mondays, Tuesday - Sunday 11 am - 5 pm,  | Entrance: $15 for adults, discounts for children, members, and veterans/active military personnel

Located on the Ringling College Museum Campus, this museum opened to the public in 2019. Specializing in contemporary art, this 15,000 square foot venue boasts gallery space, a Bistro, Shop, auditorium, and a sculpture courtyard.

Not only can you look at the various art the museum has to offer, but you can participate in educational events, performances, and films presented in the museum's auditorium. Make sure to stop by and visit the beautiful art and extensive grounds of this museum!

7. Siesta Key Seaplanes

Credit: Business Owner / Yelp

📍Map It15 Paradise Plz Ste 320 Sarasota, FL 34239 | Phone: (941) 356-1121  | Website | Hours: Times vary | Entrance: Prices vary

If you’re looking for a little thrill in Sarasota, consider booking a trip with Siesta Key Seaplanes. This yellow boat and plane combo takes you out into the water before taking off into the sky to give you beautiful aerial views of the coast.

Though this may not be for you if you are scared of heights, this is perfect if you want to experience something exhilarating on your trip. With an experienced pilot operating your seaplane, you’re sure to feel safe while in the water and the air. Make sure to book a session in a seaplane to do something new in Siesta Key.

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Everglades National Park

8. Payne Park

Credit: missymulloy / Flickr

📍Map It2010 Adams Ln, Sarasota, FL 34237 | Phone: (941) 263-6386  | Website | Hours: Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day | Entrance: Free

If you’re looking to spend a day at a park, check out the circus themed Payne Park. This park is home to the Payne Park Skate Park, Circus Park, Cafe, Disc Golf Course, and Amphitheater. With so much to do here, one day at this park may not be enough!

This park possesses a small splash area, rock climbing, slides, swings, music makers, and a host of other amenities making it a perfect spot for anyone. You can also enjoy dinner at a restaurant located right in the park. Make sure to bring your family, friends, or pets to spend a day in this amazing and fun-filled park.

9. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

Credit: TheTimTracker / YouTube

📍Map It1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236 | Phone: (941) 388-4441 | Website | Hours: Monday-Sunday 9:30 am - 5 pm | Entrance: $26 per person 13 and up

The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is perfect for anyone who is interested in being immersed in aquatic life. Visit the aquarium, participate in their Animal Encounters programs, kayak with Mote, or go on an eco boat tour. No matter how you want to learn about aquatic animals, Mote has the perfect options for you.

You’ll be able to see a host of sea animals including manatees, sharks, sea turtles, and otters. Explore the aquarium's touch pools, hands-on exhibits, and look into windows to see what is going on in the Mote Marine Laboratory. Whether looking to learn something new or just want to look at some cool animals, this is the place for you!

10. CPonies

Credit: Nancy Drake /  Pinterest

📍Map It8400 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34209 | Phone: (941) 773-5196  | Website | Hours: Times vary | Entrance: Prices vary

If you are an avid horseback rider or have never been on a horse before, you need to make an appointment with CPonies. Watch the sunset, explore the Alafia River State Park Trail, or even take a swim all with your pony! Not only will you be enjoying this amazing experience, but know that you’re helping with the rescue, rehabilitation, and maintenance of all of the ponies.

These ponies are used to being road on so know that they’re very calm and you’re in safe hands with an experienced rider leading your journey. Make sure to book with CPonies to participate in this once in a lifetime experience.

Related Read: 20 Best Clear Water Beaches in Florida

11. Robin Hood Rentals

Credit: Management / TripAdvisor

📍Map It5255 Ocean Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34242 | Phone: (941) 554-4242  | Website | Hours: Monday-Sunday 9 am - 9 pm  | Entrance: Prices vary

Whether you are looking to rent golf carts, scooters, bikes, segways, kayaks, paddleboards, or more, Robin Hood Rentals is where you need to go. When in Siesta Key, you’ll want to explore and enjoy the area and renting vehicles and equipment is crucial to being able to do that.

You are also able to purchase cool things from their store including shirts, necklaces, souvenirs, and more. Free delivery is also available on Siesta Key for most items. Before going on your next adventure on the island, make sure to contact Robin Hood Rentals so they can hook you up with what you need.

12. Mysterium Escape Rooms

Credit: Escape Room Nederlands

📍Map It: 1900 Main St #104, Sarasota, FL 34236, United states | Phone: +1 941-444-6766 | Website Hours: Open 7 days a week Sunday-Thursday 2:00 PM to 11:00 PM & Friday-Saturday 2:00 AM to 1:00 PM| Entrance: 30$ to 50$ per person

Located in front of The Hollywood 11 Cinemas on Main Street in Downtown Sarasota, Mysterium offers one of a kind escape rooms. These include virtual reality games, and a casual lounge atmosphere with retro arcade machinery to grab a drink and snack.

All these escape rooms are themed, real, physical environments. If you are looking for virtual reality escape games, it’s the right spot for you.

It is perfect for families or a group of friends. It has been reviewed as clean and visually interesting by past visitors.

13. Classic Car Museum Sarasota

Credit: Must See Sarasota

📍Map It: 5500 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243, United states | Phone +1 941-355-6228 | Website | Hours: Open 7 days a week Monday-Sunday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM | Entrance: Adult $18.00 , Senior (62+ years) $16.00 , Military $13.00, Child (6-12 years) $11.00, 5 years and under FREE

The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is a must see for car lovers. It houses about 100 classic cars of all kinds in a 5,600 m2 building with a collection that is constantly renewed.

The museum showcases vintage and popular cars. The Italian car collection at the museum features Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Rivolta vehicles.

Escape Countdown Sarasota. The museum is a definite stop over when visiting Florida.

14. Escape Countdown Sarasota

Credit: Management / TripAdvisor

📍Map It: 6526 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231, États-Unis | Phone +1 941-343-2829 | website | Hours: Open 6 days a week Tuesday-Sunday 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM | Entrance: Two Players Minimum, $25.00 Per Player

Escape Room Sarasota is a fun way to exercise and spend time with the kids. It is a great team-building activity, creating storylines where participants must count on each other, their communication skills, and their creative genius to escape a room.

If you're looking for something exciting to do with children, looking for something exciting to do during the work week, or weekend fun on ladies’ night, come try one of the escape rooms! Lots of fun and excitement awaits for friends, families, and people up for the challenge.

15. Made Restaurant

Credit: Made Restaurant

📍Map It: 1990 Main St. Sarasota, FL 34236 | Phone (941) 953-2900 | WebsiteHours: Open 7 days a week Monday-Sunday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM | EntranceBrunch Greens: $17- $21, Brunch On The Griddle $13-$22, Handhelds $15-$24, Brunch Eats $5-$27

Chef Mark creates dishes with audacious and deeply satisfying flavors at his restaurant MADE in Sarasota, on Florida's Gulf Coast. He also shares an ebullient and approachable style of cuisine, as well as his passion for the restaurant.

Made Restaurant provides a distinctive and exclusive approach to American cuisine for an accessible and affordable cost. They are committed to provide service that is redolent of excellent old school American hospitality.

16. Big Cat Habitat Gulf Coast Sanctuary

Credit: Jim Mulhaulpt / Flickr

📍Map It: 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240 | Phone +1 941-371-6377 | Website | Hours: Open 5 days a week Wednesday-Sunday 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM | Entrance: Adult One Day Pass $25, Child One Day Pass $10

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is an ever-expanding rescue for large wildlife in eastern Sarasota County. Originally established in 1987 by Kay Rosaire, the nonprofit Sanctuary is a lifelong and permanent shelter for several dozen exotic animals.

The Big Cat Habitat is a labor of charity, as all income earned from admission goes toward the nutrition as well as the care of the animals. You can see Tigers, Lions, Bears, Ligers , Primates and birds there.

17. Elvie’s Mini Golf Western Theme

Credit: Business Owner / Yelp

📍Map It:  4735 Bee Ridge Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233 | Phone +1 941-377-0990 | Website | Hours: Open 7 days a week Monday-Sunday 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM - Last round 1 hour before closing.| Entrance: Kids (12 and under) : $12.00, Kids (3 and under): FREE with paying customer, Adults: $13.00, Seniors (65+): $12.00

Located next to Schiavetta Golf Academy, the beautifully landscaped, par 40, Evie's Miniature Golf is not only fun but also challenging for all age groups and skills. It also has options for handicapped clients.

The place is very nice and fun, people are very welcoming, prices are great, bathrooms are clean and the location is good for people near the place. A lot of people recommend this attraction.

18. Fun Boat Tours

Credit: Out & About Sarasota / YouTube

📍Map It: 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240, États-UnisPhone +1 941-400-2763 | Website | Hours: Open 7 days a week Monday-Sunday 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM | Entrance: $57.50 Adults Ages 11+, $32.50Children Ages 1-10, Infants Ages 0-1 $52.50 Military

Next to Crescent Beach, this is a unique experience, all of the tours depart Siesta Key Marina daily. No matter if you seek the magnificence of an evening sunset, the frolic of a family of wild dolphins, Sarasota and Siesta Key boat tours can give you a vacation you'll never forget.

Experience the famous and gorgeous islands of Siesta Key and Anna Maria. If you are looking for a unique and special adventure or have questions about one of the adventures, please give a call or fill out the form on the website.

19. The Ugly Grouper

Credit: Ugly Grouper

📍Map It: 5704 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217, États-Unis | Phone  +1 941-896-8033 | Website | Hours: Open 7 days a week Monday-Sunday 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM | Entrance: Prices on the Menu

Next to Marina Dr Street, this is a very special restaurant, offering a very rich menu. There is takeout available unless there are high volumes of dine in guests. All seating is first come, first serve, and you must register for a table at the host stand, no reservations taken.

Ideal for families and solo travelers, the estimated wait times could change due to weather changes. Gluten free & vegan food is available.

There is also live music every day for more fun. The Menu is that of a great culinary art restaurant.

20. Bicycles International

Credit: playtrisarasota

📍Map It: 1752 S Tamiami Trail, Venice FL 34293 | Phone: (941) 497-1590  | Website | Hours: Monday - Friday 9:30 am - 5:30 pm, Saturday 9:30 am - 5 pm, Sunday 9:30 am - 1:30 pm | Entrance: Free

Bicycling enthusiasts will be in awe at the selection available from Bicycling International. Founded in 1986, this company has taken cycling activities to the next level with their excellent customer service team and outreach programs, including a unique December Glow Ride & Celebration event for charity.

Visitors can either rent or buy from Bicycling International during their trip to Sarasota. Seven-day rentals start at $125, and accessories such as helmets, baskets and Garmin travel guides can be secured for an additional fee. Bicycling International also provides maps of the bike routes nearby for consumers to explore the town on their two-wheeled transportation.

21. Siesta Key Paddleboards

Credit: Robin Elizabeth / Pinterest

📍Map It: 8969 Blind Pass Road, Siesta Key FL 34242 | Phone: (941) 301-8776  | Website | Hours: Open Daily 7 am - 7 pm | Entrance: Free

Front-door service with a smile is the promise when consumers select Siesta Key Paddleboards for their beach-day needs. Rentals from this company are delivered and picked up from your vacation home daily with rentals lasting from four hours to seven days.

New to paddleboarding and need lessons? The Siesta Key Paddleboards staff specialize in teaching individuals new to the water sport world how to handle the calm waters in Siesta Key. The company also provides two hour tours of Sarasota Bay and the canals running throughout the city for $60 per person.

22. Potter Park

Credit: Nick S / Yelp

📍Map It: 8587 Potter Park Dr, Sarasota FL 34238 | Phone: (941) 861-5000 | Website | Hours: Open Daily 6 am - 10 pm | Entrance: Free

Looking for a place to relax or practice your sport of choice while vacationing? Then look no further than Potter Park. This 37-acre neighborhood recreation area is located within the Palmer Ranch area and lies near the Sarasota Square Mall. Nature trails and a multi-use playfield are features you’ll find on your next visit to this city-ran park.

Planning a little larger get-together with friends and family during your trip? Potter Park provides a picnic pavilion, grills, open area picnic tables, restrooms and a large gazebo to host your next event. In addition to a playground, guests to Potter Park will find basketball courts and tennis courts that are open to the public.

23. Sarasota’s Farmers Market

Credit: Florida Fun Travel

📍Map It: 1 N Lemon Ave, Sarasota FL 34236 | Phone: (941) 225-9256 | Website | Hours: Saturdays 7 am - 1 pm | Entrance: Free

Start your Saturday morning out by visiting Sarasota’s Farmers Market. More than 70 vendors partake in this early weekend activity, selling wares and providing services to the thousands of daily visitors each Saturday. You will also find plants, produce or an assortment of food and beverage options at this weekly event.

Guests can find a variety of dining and dessert options to enjoy during their visit, such as authentic Lebanese cuisine, Caribbean pies, and multiple coffee and tea vendors. Free parking for the Sarasota’s Farmers Market can be found at the State Street Parking Garage or the 2nd Street Garage at Whole Foods. Metered parking is also available.

24. Brew Tours by Thirsty Pelican

Credit: Visit St Pete Clearwater / YouTube

📍Map It: 1745 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712 | Phone: (727) 201-8221 | Website | Hours: Sunday - Friday 3 pm - 6 pm | Entrance: Starting at $65.00 per person

Wander the streets of St. Petersburg with a “pour guide” from Brew Tours by Thirsty Pelican. Celebrating the local craft brew scene, these public brew tours take guests to three local breweries hand-picked by the Thirsty Pelican staff each Sunday through Friday between 3 pm - 6 pm. The tour will also include a behind-the-scenes look at how their favorite craft beverage is made at one of the tour stops.

Need a longer tour to quench your thirst? Brew Tours by Thirsty Pelican also provides four-hour bus tours, fitting up to 50 people on a first-class, air-conditioned private tour bus. For this tour, guests can help their pour guide plan ahead to what watering holes they want to dip their taste pallets into for an additional price.

25. Key Sailing

Credit: Sailing Siesta Key Beach Cats / YouTube

📍Map It: 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota FL 34236 | Phone: (941) 346-7245 | Website | Hours: Open Daily 9 am - 6 pm | Entrance: Rates start at $200 per hour

Owned and operated by Captain Tim and Jan Solomon, Key Sailing is an award-winning sailing charter located in the heart of Sarasota. Plan your day on Siesta Key where you’ll enjoy world-class sailing, chocolates and a few hours of peace on the seas. Guests can plan to eat while on the sea with the crew offering use of their onboard kitchen to customers.

Key Sailing also provides customers with a chance to take the helm, even earning sailing certificates and lessons on longer chartered tours. Tours take between two and four hours, and up to 12 people can be in the same party. The rate increases $80 per person after six individuals.

26. LeBarge Tropical Cruises

Credit: Florida Zone

📍Map It: Map It: 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota FL 34236 | Phone: (941) 366-6116 | Website | Hours: Open Daily 9 am - 7 pm | Entrance: Rates start at $32 per person, $28 per child ages 4-12

LeBarge Tropical Cruises provides a wide variety of options for Sarasota visitors to choose from during their next vacation. Daily, guests can choose from a tropical sunset cruise, sightseeing cruises and dolphin and manatee watch cruises, all starting around $32 per person. In addition to their regular cruise options, LeBarge also offers themed cruises around events such as Halloween, Fourth of July, and St. Patrick’s Day.

Customers can also choose private charters to explore the area. These private expeditions from LeBarge Tropical Cruise range from $2,200 - $3,700, but dozens of guests can join in on the fun. These private trips include live music and catering options, giving guests a chance to tailor their magical evening aboard a double-decker party boat.

27. YOLO Adventures

Credit: Michael Zych / YouTube

📍Map It: 4110 127th St W, Cortez FL 34215 | Phone: (941) 778-5000 | Website | Hours: Open Daily 8 am - 7 pm | Entrance: Starting at $39 per person, $29 per child ages 4-12

You only live once, so put YOLO Adventures on your itinerary of stops when visiting Sarasota. This company offers multiple water sports options for consumers, including parasailing, dolphin tours, sunset cruises and snorkeling. Additionally, fishing charters - starting at $200 per trip - depart daily on this catch-and-release expedition of the Sarasota Bay area.

Parasailing trips last roughly one hour, giving guests the chance to experience views from 400 feet above the water by flying solo or with up to two more individuals. Cruise times vary and require four individuals to book the tour. YOLO Adventures provides a large cooler for your adult or non-alcoholic beverages as well as storage areas for your light snacks.

28. Island Time Boat Tours

Credit: Island Time BVI / YouTube

📍Map It2653 Gulf Dr S, Bradenton Beach FL, 34217Phone: (941) 877-1885 | Website | Hours: Daily 9:00am-7:00pm | Entrance: $325 per 2 hrs, $425 per 3 hrs

Island Time Boat Tours offers a once-in-a-lifetime sailing experience. You’ll be able to admire the beautiful wildlife and breathtaking views around the Anna Maria coastline. The boats are equipped with a fully covered deck, and offer the chance to swim, snorkel, and paddleboard.

You and 5 friends can experience this amazing boating experience complete with coolers, ice, and water. Paddle boards, snorkel gear, water shoes, water mats, and nets are provided on each trip.

Along with a three hour excursion, you can also choose to take a dolphin tour if wildlife especially interests you. If you’re in it for the view, you can also book a sunset tour that’ll provide you with memories that will last you a lifetime. Call or visit the website to book your experience!

29. Calusa Brewing

Credit: Sarasota Magazine

📍Map It5701 Derek Ave, Sarasota, FL 34233Phone: (941) 922-8150 | Website | Hours: Tues-Fri 12:00pm-10:00pm, Sat 11:00am-10:00pm, Sun 11:00am-8:00pm

This veteran-owned brewery is a must-do in Sarasota. Calusa brewery houses an enormous collection of home-crafted beer. Here, you have the option to pre-order beer or visit the store to browse the collection in person.

Inside, you can visit the taproom which exhibits some of the most popular brews. The taproom also features great food from local food trucks.

Calusa offers merch as well. On their website under the “store” tab, you can find t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and more. Visit the website today to check out the newest brews and to find out how to order a souvenir.

30. Bahi Hut

Credit: Herald Tribune

📍Map It4675 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34234 | Phone: (941) 355-5141 | Website | Hours: Daily 12:00m-12:00am

Sip on some delicious cocktails at the oldest tiki lounge in Florida. For adults looking for a fun place to partake in some drinks, the Bahi Hut is highly recommended.

Visitors at the Bahi Hut rave about the drinks and the atmosphere online. It’s also well known for its authentic drinks and live music. Reviewers also love the quiet, chill atmosphere.

31. Ken Thomson Park

Credit: KierunekFloryda / YouTube

📍Map It1700 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236 | Phone: (941) 263-6386 | Website Hours: Daily 5:00am-11:00pm

Ken Thomson Park offers activities both on land and in the water. The park, dedicated to and named after the city manager Ken Thomson, offers boating, fishing, and walking on the designated trails. The park also is home to a playground, water fountains, and restrooms.

One of the most interesting aspects of the park is the mangrove boardwalk. This doubles as a new and unusual form of walking trail, and a way to protect the forest and surrounding area from damage. Enjoy a peaceful walk under the mangrove canopy by visiting the park today!

32. Centennial Park

Credit: Jessica Swift / Pinterest

📍Map It1059 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 | Phone: (941) 263-6386 | Website | Hours: Daily 5:00am-11:00pm

Perfect for families with kids and pets, Centennial Park is a wonderful place to visit to enjoy the outdoors. Get yourself out on the water using the double boat ramp provided within the park, or just enjoy the view from shore if that’s more your style.

Centennial Park also houses the Lawn Bowling facility as well as the Bayfront John Chidsey Community Center. If you’re looking for indoor activities, Centennial Park offers them as well. After taking a walk in the sun, you can enjoy some bowling, or check out the amenities offered at the community center.

33. Ringling Bridge Causeway Park

Credit: Tim Malaney / Flickr

📍Map ItJohn Ringling Causeway, Sarasota, FL 34236 | Phone: (941) 365-2200 | Hours: 5:00am-11:00pm

Ringling Bridge Causeway Park offers not only several fun activities for you and the family, but also will have you in awe of the breathtaking views, especially during the sunset. Take a walk around the beach and pier, you have the chance to see some amazing wildlife as well.

The park’s namesake is the Ringling Causeway. The Ringling Causeway is a bridge that towers over Sarasota bay. From the park, you can access the pedestrian friendly bridge. If you look hard enough, you might be able to see the Gulf of Mexico!

34. Unconditional Surrender Statue

Credit: mrbrkly / Flickr

📍Map ItUnconditional Surrender,, Sarasota, FL 34236Hours: Daily 24 hours

If you’re looking for a more historical attraction, you should definitely visit the unconditional surrender statue in Sarasota. This statue commemorates the sacrifice made by the soldiers that have laid down their lives for their country’s victory in WWII. The statue has now become a well-known landmark in Sarasota, drawing in dozens of visitors each day.

The statue is located near the waterfront in Sarasota, so you’re more than able to partake in the other activities in the area after stopping by the statue. Visiting the Unconditional Surrender statue not only provides some insight on our country’s history, it will also draw you in with the passion behind its meaning.

35. Bayfront Park

Credit: Dieter Müller / Flickr

📍Map It5 Bayfront Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236 | Phone: (941) 263-6386  | Website | Hours: Daily 5:00am-11:00pm

The newest addition to Bayfront Park is the recently installed bioswale. A bioswale is an ecofriendly way to capture and filter stormwater from sidewalks, roads, and buildings. Placing rocks around the edge of a shallow basin helps remove debris and pollution from stormwater before it is moved elsewhere.

Of course, the bioswale isn’t the only attraction located inside Bayfront Park. This park has tons of great amenities, such as fishing, food, picnic tables, and public art. Explore the park and check out the bioswale and cool artwork that it houses!

36. Manatee Village Historical Park

Credit: Phil Wilson / Flickr

📍Map It1404 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton, FL 34208 | Phone: (941) 749-7165 | Website | Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00am-4:00pm| Entrance: Free

The Manatee Village Historical Park will let you time-travel back to the founding days of Sarasota. This attraction contains 14 immersive exhibits that will have you gaining a little bit of knowledge about the history of Manatee County. You’ll know you’ve found the right spot when you see Old Cabbagehead, the 1900’s locomotive train that greets visitors entering the park.

The newest exhibit, titled “The Wars of Manatee”, will be open until October 2022. This part of the museum highlights the wars the settlers of Manatee County fought in, and how the aftermath affected their daily life.

Another great place to visit in the museum is the cemetery. The Manatee Burying Grounds, established in 1850, is the oldest cemetery in the county. Here you can pay respects to the settlers of Sarasota and learn more about the families that lived here centuries ago.

37. Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Credit: Sarasota Magazine

📍Map It3701 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34234 | Phone: (941) 355-5305 | Website | Hours: Daily 10:00am-4:00pm | Entrance: $21.99 per adult, $14.99 per child

Families that love animals will have a great time at Sarasota Jungle Gardens. The gardens are home to many different animals that you can either walk around and visit, or learn more about in an interactive showcase. Either way, you’ll have the chance to hang out with some awesome creatures.

Just a few of the cool things you can do here range from holding a snake to feeding a flamingo. The gardens can also be rented out as an event venue, so you and your guests can have the animals all to yourself for a day! Check out the Sarasota Jungle Gardens website to see what events and shows are taking place.

38. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Credit: Sarasota Magazine

📍Map It1534 Mound St, Sarasota, FL 34236 |Phone: (941) 366-5731 | Website Hours: Daily 10:00am-5:00pm |Entrance: $20 per adult, $10 per child

Nature lovers visiting Florida should 100% visit the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. This 45 acre property contains sanctuaries for visitors to check out plantlife that’s native to Sarasota as well as plants that are grown around the world.

When you visit the gardens, take a walk around the property and check out any plants that catch your eye. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and bring sunglasses and sunscreen as some parts of the gardens are not shaded. You can choose between a self-guided tour, or taking part in a guided tour by a professional.

Events are also held at the gardens as well. Check out the website to see which upcoming events are being hosted on site!

39. Smuggler’s Cove Adventure Golf

Credit: Smugglers Golf

📍Map It3815 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34234 | Phone: (941) 351-6620 | Website | Hours: Daily 9:00am-11:00pm | Entrance: $15.99-$16.99 per adult, $13.99-$14.99 per child

Stop by Smuggler’s Cove Adventure Golf for a fun pirate-themed golf activity. Bring three of your friends to complete the golf course and see who has the skills to win.

One of the coolest parts about this attraction are the live alligators. Guests can check out the animals while they play. If you’re brave enough, for a fee you can feed one of the alligators yourself!

Do be aware that the course is held outside, so make sure to check the weather before you go. On sunny days, you can rent out a table for you and your group to relax under the blue skies after a round of golf!

40. Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy

Credit: MustDo

📍Map It2121 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34234 | Phone: (941) 364-3399 | Website | Hours: Thurs-Sat 1:00pm-4:00pm| Entrance: Free

Artists visiting Florida absolutely must visit the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy. During your visit, you can take a self-guided tour to learn more about the history and interesting facts behind the displayed art. Alternatively, you can ask a volunteer to help you find an art piece that piques your interest.

The museum also holds artist talks, where featured artists can showcase their pieces, and go into detail about their inspiration and creative processes. Visit the museum today to check out some beautiful art pieces, listen to showcased artists, or even pick up an application to volunteer.

41. Urfer Family Park

Credit: Road Trippers

📍Map It4012 Honore Ave, Sarasota, FL 34233Phone: (941) 861-5000 | Website | Hours: Daily 6:00am-10:00pm | Entrance:

Yet another beautiful park located in Sarasota is the Urfer Family Park. The park hosts a ton of amenities that will let you and your family have a wonderful day outdoors.

Outside, you can bike, bird watch, or even work out with the outdoor fitness equipment. The park also contains a playground, and both paved and unpaved walking trails. You can also share the fun with your pets, but do keep in mind that leashes are required.

If you’re looking for indoor activities, you can check out the history and cultural resource center, or you can take a break and chill under the pavilion.

42. Jumpin’ Fun Inflata-Park

Credit: JFI Park

📍Map It7321 Trade Ct, Sarasota, FL 34240 | Phone: (941) 388-5867 | Website | Hours: Mon 3:30pm-8:00pm, Tues 9:00am-11:00am, 3:30pm-8:00pm, Wed 3:30pm-8:00pm, Thurs 9:00am-11:00am, 3:30pm-8:00pm, Fri 3:30pm-9:00pm, Sat 10:00am-10:00pm, Sun 9:00am-6:00pm   | Entrance: $14.95 per 1 hour, $18.95 per 1.5 hour, $22.95 per 2.5 hour

If you’re looking for a fun way to get some exercise, bounce on over to Jumpin’ Fun Inflata-Park! This park doesn’t only house trampolines. Some other attractions include a 250 ft zip rail coaster, dodgeball, climbing walls, and many obstacle courses.

Have some friends that you want to take with you? You can reserve a slot for parties and events as well. Jumpin’ Fun Inflata-Park will help you host the best birthday parties ever for your kids too!

One of the best events at the facility is glow night. Jump around in the dark after the lights turn off and the UV glow lights turn on! You’re sure to want to visit again after the experience.

43. Bradenton Riverwalk

Credit: Sarasota Magazine

📍Map It452 3rd Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205Phone: (941) 301-8445 | Website | Hours: Daily 24 hours

Enjoy the most mesmerizing sunset view at Bradenton Riverwalk. Located in downtown Bradenton, the riverwalk is not only a great place for the view, you can connect with the community at one of many hosted events here!

The Bradenton Riverwalk also hosts a ton of attractions. You can take a look at some of the public art, learn more about the local history, or check out some of the restaurants and coffee shops in the area.

Most visitors turn up for the 1.5 mile riverwalk overlooking the Manatee River. Bring your kids or your pets for a beautiful outdoor adventure.

44. Turtle Beach

Credit: Joe K / Flickr

📍Map It9000 Blind Pass Rd, Sarasota, FL 34242Website

Located on Siesta Key, Turtle Beach is a favorite among beachgoers. The area is also home to a variety of restaurants, hotels, and guided tour programs to make your visit even better.

Turtle Beach’s namesake are the nesting turtles that find their nesting spots in the sands of the beach. In addition to the wildlife, you can swim, bike, boat, or grill on one of the provided barbecues. The beach is also home to playgrounds for the kids, and volleyball nets for anyone looking for a game in the sand.

In addition to the turtles, the water is home to other wildlife such as schools of fish. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot one of the local manatees!

45. Coastline Dolphin and Snorkeling Excursions

Credit: Destin Snorkel

📍Map It12312 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34209Phone: (941) 201-8429  | Website | Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-8:00pm, Sat 9:00am-5:00pm | Entrance: $60-$90 per person, $325-$485 per group

Dive into an awesome experience at Coastline Dolphin and Snorkeling Excursions. Led by licensed, insured, and CPR certified captains, this excursion is not only safe, it’s eco-friendly as well! Bring yourself and up to 5 friends and family members for an unforgettable day out on the water.

Board the Boston Whaler Center boats for a quick trip out to explore the waters around Anna Maria Island, and hopefully catch a glimpse of some dolphins and manatees. Snorkeling gear is provided for both adults and children, but make sure to bring your own towels and reef-safe sunscreen.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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