Sarasota Outdoor Activities For Kids and Adults

Sarasota offers a wide range of outdoor activities for kids and adults. Here are 6 fun year-round options. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com

Activities at Oscar Scherer State Park

Oscar Scherer State Park offers a plethora of outdoor activities and ways to explore the natural Sarasota, Florida environment.
Photo courtesy Oscar Scherer State Park

Oscar Scherer State Park is located approximately 30 minutes from downtown Sarasota and less than 15 minutes from downtown Venice. This wonderful state park offers a plethora of outdoor activities and ways to explore the natural Florida environment.

Kayaking at Oscar Scherer State Park  in Sarasota, Florida.
Photo courtesy Oscar Scherer State Park

It’s a great place for hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing!

Bike or Hike the Legacy Trail 

Visitors and locals looking to spend a bit of time exercising in the outdoors, Sarasota County’s Legacy Trail is an excellent choice. The multi-use trail is just over 10 miles long and is straight, smooth, and level. Additionally, there are only a few street crossings making it an excellent biking or walking trail for all age and ability levels. 

Bonus… the trail can also be accessed from Oscar Scherer State Park! 

The Legacy Trail paved muli-use recreational trail for biking, hiking in Sarasota and Venice, Florida. Photo by Nita Ettinger. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com
Photo credit Nita Ettinger
The Legacy Trail paved muli-use recreational trail for biking, hiking in Sarasota and Venice, Florida. Photo by Nita Ettinger. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com
Photo credit Nita Ettinger
The Legacy Trail paved muli-use recreational trail for biking, hiking in Sarasota and Venice, Florida. Photo by Nita Ettinger. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com
Photo credit Nita Ettinger

Need a bike? You can rent a bicycle from Ride & Paddle. Rent by the hour, day, week, or month.

Exploring Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park is a massive 37,000-acre nature preserve east of Sarasota; it is one of the largest state parks in Florida. There are a variety of outdoor activities and things to do including cycling, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping, fishing, and birding. There is a fantastic nature boat tour of Upper Myakka Lake, a safari tram tour, 39 miles of hiking trails, seven miles of scenic paved roads to bike and drive with several stopping points. Adventurous visitors will want to include the treetop canopy walk; climb the 74-ft. tower, or a hike (2 ½ miles) to Lower Lake aka Deep Hole, which is home to dozens of alligators. 

Myakka Outdoors boat tours of Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, Florida. Must Do Visitor Guides | Mustdo.com
Photo courtesy Myakka Outdoors
Myakka Outdoors tram tour at Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, Florida. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com
Photo courtesy Myakka Outdoors

Hunting for Shark Teeth at the Beach in Venice

With 14 miles of sandy beaches in Venice, Florida there are a lot of opportunities for finding shark teeth washed up along the edge of the water.

Prehistoric shark teeth from Venice, Florida beaches. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com
Photo credit Nita Ettinger
Search for Fossilized Sharks Teeth on Caspersen Beach in Venice, Florida. Photo by Nita Ettinger. Must Do Visitor Guides MustDo.com
Photo credit Nita Ettinger
Search for Fossilized Sharks Teeth on Caspersen Beach in Venice, Florida. Photo by Nita Ettinger. Must Do Visitor Guides MustDo.com
Photo credit Nita Ettinger
Shark tooth hunting Caspersen Beach, Venice Florida.
Photo credit Debi Pittman Wilkey

Here’s two blog posts with the rundown to some of the best beaches where you stand a good chance of going home with your own prehistoric collection of shark teeth–if you know how and where to search for them.

Hunting for shark teeth on Venice’s beaches.

Hunt for shark teeth on Caspersen Beach in Venice

Serene Siesta Key and Lido Key Kayak Tours

The 35-acre Jim Neville Marine Preserve in Little Sarasota Bay just off Siesta Key is great for novice paddlers, this trail has a maze of waterways where kayakers can observe a variety of birds and other wildlife.

Kayak tour in Sarasota Bay near Siesta Key, Florida.
Photo courtesy Ride & Paddle

Another great kayak experience to check out is Ted Sperling Nature Park and the surrounding waterways of Lido Key which offers exotic mangrove tunnels and opportunities to see and learn about birds, dolphins, manatees, and other native wildlife. 

Serene guided kayak eco tours of Lido Key mangrove tunnels Sarasota, Florida. Photo credit Andrew Fabian. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com
Photo credit Andrew Fabian

Book a kayak tour with either of these outfitters for a relaxing and family-friendly kayak tour: Kayaking SRQ and Ride & Paddle by Siesta Sports Rentals

Observe Wildlife and Experience Old Florida with Peace River Charters

Experience the nature and beauty of Old Florida on a scenic and exciting Peace River Charters airboat, canoe paddle, swamp buggy, or horseback trail ride tour with native Floridian, U.S.C.G. Captain Zac and his crew. Learn about the history of the Peace River and observe native wildlife such as alligator, deer, wild boar, turkey, and more. Tours are safe, enjoyable, and fun for the entire family. 

Peace River Charters airboat tour on the Peace River near Sarasota, Florida
Photo courtesy Peace River Charters
Alligator on the bank of the Peace River in Florida
Photo courtesy Peace River Charters
Swamp Buggy Tours Peace River Charters Sarasota, FL
Photo courtesy Peace River Charters
Horseback trail tours Peace River Charters near Sarasota, Florida
Photo courtesy Peace River Charters
Family on an airboat tour ride of the Peace River. Sarasota offers a wide range of outdoor activities for kids and adults. Here are 6 fun year-round options. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com
Photo courtesy Peace River Charters
Serene mangrove tunnel kayak tour. Sarasota offers a wide range of outdoor activities for kids and adults. Here are 6 fun year-round options. Photo credit Andrew Fabian. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com
Photo credit Andrew Fabian

Written by:

Nita Ettinger is Co-publisher for Siesta Publications Inc. and the Editor in Chief for Must Do Visitor Guides. Must Do Visitor Guides provides Southwest Florida visitor information through printed magazines and the website MustDo.com. Must Do magazines are published bi-annually and are available at no cost in Sarasota, Lee, and Collier County Chamber of Commerce, visitor information centers, select Southwest Florida hotels, and wherever free publications can be found.

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