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5 Nature Parks Close to Siesta Key

While there are numerous prizes and treasures hidden on Siesta Key, there are many joys to be had in just a short drive away. We look at the five nature parks you should visit when staying the top hotel near Siesta Key.

South Lido County Park

Between beautiful water views and long stretches of shallow, walkable waters, South Lido County Park is one of the most impressive locales in the area. The park has clean restrooms and light hiking trails for novice adventurers. A picnic area by the water makes for a great lunch stop. You will find locals and visitors fishing along the white sands at just about all hours of the day.

South Lido Key is such a fascinating park because it is influenced by multiple extensive bodies of water, notably the Gulf of Mexico, Big Sarasota Pass, and Sarasota Bay. Overall, there are 100 acres for you to explore, including the nearly-magical Bushy Bayou, an alluring spot towards the middle of the park frequented by kayaks and canoers.

South Lido Park is open every day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. There is an on-site parking lot with a pay-per-hour.

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Neville Wildlife Preserve

This often overlooked little gem is a wonderful place for eager kayakers who want to get off the beaten path. Perhaps its most famous feature is its small but preserved population of manatees. Visitors, quiet and focused, often manage to see manatees floating peacefully through the tight waterways.

The Neville Wildlife Preserve is about 34 acres of uninhabited lowland. The extremely low elevation gets you deep in the marshes of the area.

The park is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. There is no park accessibility via vehicle. You can only access the area through the water, via kayak, canoe, or other non-motorized vessel. Reach out to a favorite local kayak rental provider for access and details, such as Ultimate Kayak or Ride & Paddle.

Robinson Nature Preserve

Robinson Preserve is massive- over 600 acres of untapped wetlands, with a number of landmarks to watch the fish bounce atop the waters and the birds feed over the wetlands. Robinson is an ideal location for eco-travel, as kayakers scour the waterways providing no footprint. Kayak and canoe rentals are available by reservation only. Contact a local provider near our Siesta Key beach resort for price details.

One of the coolest sites is 53-foot-tall tower you can climb with a view of Tampa Bay. Robinson is also home to hiking paths, bridges, quiet picnic spots, and dense forestry right off the trail. 

Robinson is open at all times, 24/7 and seven days a week, and is completely free to visit. One of the best ways to enter the reserve is through the Surferbus, which picks you up and drops you off. The main pickup is at 9800 Manatee Ave West. This drop-off is also famous for its population of dolphin and manatee, particularly during manatee season of early February and March.

The main entrance for most vehicle traffic is at 1704 99th Street NW Bradenton. Due to construction some park areas may be closed.

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Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park is, without a doubt, the most gigantic park on this list. At 37,000 acres, the park is a dense wetland jungle of intricate trails, navigable waterways, and long sandy stretches. While large portions of the park are inaccessible by foot, you can still walk the trails through many parts of the hammocks and prairies. The river itself navigates through 58 square miles of the park.

It is located at 13208 State Road 72 in Sarasota and is open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to sundown. There is a $6 fee per vehicle.

Oscar Scherer State Park

This campground and state park in Osprey is a delight for off-the-road travelers. It spans about 1380 acres and features dense pine flatwoods and multiple freshwater lakes ideal for some afternoon swimming.

It is located at 1843 South Tamiami Trail. There is a $5 fee per vehicle. Be cautious through the trails, as dense rainfall has made them rather wet. The hiking paths are recommended for intermediate and above.

Pet-Friendly Siesta Key Resort

No matter where you wind up for your next getaway, review our available hotels near Siesta Key. Many of our rentals are pet-friendly and give you and your pup plenty of things to do

Contact us today for more details on any of the listed siesta key hotels on the beach or simply secure your stay today through our website.

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