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Recommendations for a 4 week holiday

3 posts
Recommendations for a 4 week holiday


A family of 5 coming to Sarasota in June. The last two summer vacations we've spent in West Palm Beach, so we've covered a lot of the east coast, and now it's time to explore the Gulf Coast. We've done daytrips to Sanibel and Siesta Key from WPB and of course plan to go to both places again. SK more as it will be our "home beach" this time, our house is 15 minutes drive away.

Can you recommend cool places to visit? No Disney. Already planned to take couple trips to Ocala and swim in the 4 springs there. Also will be checking out AMI, Clearwater Beach. We have 2 teenagers and one 7 year old with us.

Personally I want to see the Manatees and also a good mexican restaurant recommendations in Sarasota/Bradenton-area is welcomed :)

15 replies to this topic
sarasota, FL
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
Level Contributor
11,279 posts
179 reviews
11. Re: Recommendations for a 4 week holiday

OK..wasn't sure if the entire trip was based in Sarasota.

Another day trip or overnight is to Everglades City..very Olde Florida..take an airboat ride.

Sanibel Island/Captiva has some really nice boat rides to other islands like Cabbage Key...get the cheeseburgers. Stop in funky Matlacha, too.

Boca Grande is a day trip.

Naples/Marco Island is another option.

For Puerto Rican food, try Sofrito Mama's on N. Beneva Rd.

Call ahead and talk to them about special request menu items.

Also, go to Owen's Fish Camp in downtown Sarasota for dinner.

Many fun places to eat in the downtown area.


sarasota, FL
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
Level Contributor
11,279 posts
179 reviews
12. Re: Recommendations for a 4 week holiday

Forgot to include Ft. DeSoto Park (fort, beach, nature trails etc.) and Pass a-Grille for lunch.

Both are worth your time.


Level Contributor
1 post
6 reviews
13. Re: Recommendations for a 4 week holiday

I see your post was for June vacation - Hopefully you can still take advantage of my suggestion.

I would plan a visit to Myakka River State Park. Great fun for both kids and adults. You are very close by and it is something not to be missed. Myakka River State Park is a photographer’s dream. Bring a camera (or your smart phone camera). Keep it with you at all times.

Here are a few of the things you should plan on doing while in the park:

Take a short tour of the Visitors Center (across the parking lot from the Ranger Station).

This will give you an overview of the park & it’s ecosystem.

Take an air boat ride on the Gator Gal or Myakka Maiden. This is a must! These are not your typical air boats.

They’re much bigger & safe for those who have physical limitations or young children.

You will have a narrated tour of the upper Myakka Lake and get to see a lot of wildlife (and yes, lots of alligators too)! Bring binoculars & camera. They also have a Tram tour they run from the same location. If you take an air boat ride, you get the Tram for half price.

Boats & Trams leave from the basin area next to the gift shop & restaurant. Check the scheduled times with the ranger station when you enter the park - they usually have 2 or three.

I suggest packing a picnic lunch to have afterward. There is a nice shaded picnic grove right there at the boat basin, they have grills too.

The food prices at the restaurant are high. Save your money & get an ice cream after your picnic instead.

While you’re at the boat basin, take a walk from the far end of the parking lot though the woods path & out to the weir area. It’s a short walk and well worth it. You will see vultures, herons, limpkins, alligators and more. Again - bring your camera.

Do the “Drive”. Drive the length of the park along the drive that goes from the south to north entrance.

Take your time and watch for deer, wild turkeys, pigs and other wildlife. Be prepared to stop and take pictures.

There is a pull over area at the bridge over the Myaaka River. Stop here and get out. There are almost always alligators basking on the river banks.

Plan to stop at the Bird Walk and walk out the short distance for a great view of the upper Myakka Lake.

Bring binoculars & camera.

If you’re able to do stairs (a lot of stairs) & are not afraid of heights (it’s very high), do the Canopy Walkway.

It’s an easy, short walk out to the Canopy Walkway. The Canopy Walkway consists of two towers with a suspension bridge in between.

The bridge is at tree canopy height. The climb to the top of the second tower will give you a 360º view of the park. They have a binocular stand at the top. It should go without saying by now, bring your camera.

There are often concerts in the park & park entrance fees are waived for the concert if you arrive after 5pm. Bring a chair and a picnic. These are sponsored by the Friends of Myakka River, which raises funds to help for park projects & equipment.

Canoes, Kayaks & Bicycles are also available for rent at the Boat Basin area.

Hope this was helpful!

Level Contributor
29 posts
85 reviews
14. Re: Recommendations for a 4 week holiday

If you're looking for a good restaurant, Maison Blanche on Longboat Key is a great option.

We go each and every time we visit Sarasota.


Lakewood Ranch...
Level Contributor
13 posts
114 reviews
15. Re: Recommendations for a 4 week holiday

Kayaking at Lido. Look for a tour through the mangrove tunnels.

Boat ride at Myakka River to see LOTS of alligators. Go early in the day.

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