Nature Parks Near Siesta Key for a Day Trip

There’s so many things to do among the many Siesta Key attractions that you’ll be spoiled for choice. From the expansive and glorious quartz sand beaches to the nightlife, the key is a well-rounded encapsulation of all the best in Florida.

Just a short drive away from the main island, there are lots of beautiful Siesta Key nature parks that make the perfect destination for a day trip, whether you are traveling as a couple, with your family or with friends. Here are some of the parks you can easily access from most vacation rentals on Siesta Key.

Myakka River State Park

Location: 13208 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL 34241

Hours: 8 AM to 8 PM every day

Located just about 45 minutes from Siesta Key is the Myakka River State Park. The Myakka River flows through 58 square miles of unspoiled nature.

The types of terrain that can be found here are quite diverse, including cypress domes, prairies, pinelands, marshes, shrublands, and almost treeless plains. Hikers can explore the vast 39 miles of hiking trails through the various extraordinary types of terrain that can be found here.

Park visitors who are traveling from vacation rentals on Siesta Key can observe the wildlife from a safe and pleasant boardwalk stretching out across the Upper Myakka Lake.


Or choose to view the wildlife from above on the spectacular canopy walkway. For the anglers and boating enthusiasts, the river and two lakes are perfect for fishing, boating, and kayaking.

If you don’t feel like going out for a hike that day, take one of the daily scenic lake tours on an airboat and relax as you take in the spectacular surroundings.

This park is excellent for wildlife enthusiasts because of the wide variety of creatures and local plants that can be found there, from gators to osprey, spoonbills, storks, wading birds, and many other species.

Lake Manatee State Park

Location: 20007 E State Road 64, Bradenton, FL

Hours: 8 AM to 7:30 PM

A 30-mile drive from Siesta Key attractions, Lake Manatee State Park is a total of 556 acres and serves as a water reservoir for Manatee and Sarasota counties. The reservoir itself is known for its gorgeous pine flatwoods.

Facilities are available for camping, boating, fishing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming along with a picnic area and playground.

Lake Manatee has excellent freshwater fishing from a boat or the docks. If you are bringing a boat, bear in mind that the engine must be less than 20 horsepower.

If you’re more of a swimmer than an angler, there’s a designated swimming area, however there are no lifeguards. Just outside the park, you can find the TreeUmph! Adventure Course, which is perfect for an outdoor adventure for families with children seven and older.

This park is excellent for fishermen, with some of the best freshwater fishing for miles around. You can catch a variety of species such as speckled perch, sunshine bass, and catfish.

Oscar Scherer State Park

Location:  1843 S Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL

Hours: Open day/night year-round

state park sign

Oscar Scherer State Park is a short nine-mile trip from Siesta Key and one of the more convenient options for those staying in Siesta Key vacation rentals. It’s a haven of hardwood hammock habitats, and pine/scrubby flatwoods along with a 3-acre freshwater lake that’s open for swimming and fishing.

South Creek at the park offers the perfect place for canoeing or kayaking, and there are 15 miles of scenic trails for hikers, including the paved Legacy Trail that passes through the park. The trails are mostly quite shady and are suitable for hiking all year round.

The preserved scrubby flatwoods are home to large numbers of scrub-jays, making the park one of the best places in the country to see these lovely endangered birds. Other wildlife you can see here include gopher tortoises, indigo snakes, and alligators.

This park is perfect for hikers because of the scenic trails that are readily available. It’s also ideal for young families, because it has a lot of facilities for them such as a picnic pavilion, restrooms and playground as well as easy to access Siesta Key attractions nearby.

If you want to get out and make the most of the natural landscape and wildlife that southwest Florida has to offer, then make sure and plan a day trip to one of these beautiful nature parks near Siesta Key!


Siesta Key Luxury Rental Properties
5111 Ocean Blvd. Suite B, C & D
Siesta Key, Florida USA 34242
Hours of Operation: 9am - 5pm
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