Sarasota Parks and Gardens

(Sarasota, Florida - FL, USA)

Sarasota also has plenty of greenery to complement its brilliant white sands, from forests and botanical gardens to park memorials. The first stop for nature lovers in Sarasota should be the well-designed Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, with their profusion of orchids and other exotic plants and gardens.

Myakka State Forest, close to Sarasota, is known for its many hiking, biking and horseback riding trails. Sarasota's premier beach on Siesta Key also boasts a well-equipped park where you can learn all about the original Spanish settlers to the area at the De Soto National Memorial.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Address: 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Florida FL, USA
Tel: +1 941 366 5731
These gardens are a must-see for those with green fingers and orchids are the main theme here, with 6,000 examples. There are also thousands of other exotic plants in the various gardens dotted around the site as well, as Selby's home and Payne Mansion, both of which are listed on the National Resister. The various gardens at Sarasota's Marie Selby Botanical Gardens include a bamboo pavilion, medicinal-plant garden, butterfly and hummingbird garden, waterfall garden, hibiscus garden, native shore-plant community, cactus and succulent garden, palm grove and two tropical food gardens.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children, children under six free

De Soto National Memorial

Address: 75th St. West, Sarasota, Florida FL, USA
Tel: +1 941 792 0458
The De Soto National Memorial is a park devoted to Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto who landed at this very spot and set up camp over 460 years ago. Sarasota has done a good job of recreating the park to its original 16th-century look, with its original camp and nature trail that leads to the ruins and original settlement in the area. You can view a film about de Soto's tenure in America at the visitor center and see park employees demonstrating how the settlers must have lived. The park is situated just west of downtown.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

Myakka State Forest

Address: 2555 South River Road, North Port, Florida FL, USA
Tel: +1 941 255 7653
Located to the south of Sarasota, Myakka State Forest is known for its excellent hiking and horseback riding trails, as well as bicycling tracks. The Myakka State Forest is close to Sarasota and allows visitors to get up close with the animals, while there is also camping and picnic facilities here.
Open hours: daily - sunrise to sunset
Admission: charge

Siesta Beach

Address: 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida FL, USA
Sarasota's Siesta Beach offers some of the finest and whitest beach sands of any beach in the world, while its 40-acre / 16-hectare associated park complements the beach with its excellent facilities and nature trails. Facilities in the park include a concession stand, playground, soccer and softball fields, tennis and volleyball courts, fitness trail and good picnic facilities.
Open hours: daily - sunrise to sunset
Admission: free