Myakka River State ParkMyakka River State Park

BeachesHiking/Biking/Boating PreservesWineries, Breweries, DistilleryGolf
Spa ServicesArtsAdventureHorseback RidingShoppingBaseball Kids

Wildlife and Nature Preserves
    (see below)

    Myakka River State Park
    One of the oldest and largest state parks, Myakka River State Park is just ten minutes from us. It's the most popular day trip among our guests (and us). The park flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. Wildlife viewing can be had from trails, boats, canoes, kayaks, and even from the treetops along a short canopy walkway. The park has an excellent system of hiking and bike trails. Pontoon boat tours leave every two hours starting at 9 AM and ending at 5 PM. They recommend arriving 30 minutes in advance for the boat tour. The park is open every day of the year from 8 AM until sunset. We're near their north entrance, which is open on the weekends. General info is here.  For info on canoe, kayak, and bike rentals, see

    Lido Mangrove Tunnels Kayak Tour
    Tour through the protected clear waters of the Sarasota Bay where you can see tropical birds, manatees, dolphins, and other sea life. Perfect for beginners and advanced. 40 minutes from us. Tour is 2.5 hours.

    Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
    Small aquarium with big knowledge (it's a research lab). Best part is the boat tour of the mangroves. 35 minutes from us.

       Myakka Elephant Ranch
    Elephant Ranch
    Myakka Elephant Ranch
    Myakka is home to many conservaton centers, from little lemurs to enormous elephants. Here's your chance to get up close and personal with these incredible creatures. 15 minutes from us. Reservations required:

    Emerson Point Preserve
    Located on Snead Island, 45 minutes from us, Emerson Point Preserve is one of our favorite places owing to its diverse trails and beautiful views. The preserve offers hiking trails along the beach, through forested areas, on boardwalks, and to observation points. There are also bike, rollerblading, and canoe/kayak trails. On top of that, it's an archeological area with historic and prehistoric sites. You can't go wrong. Emerson Point Preserve

    Little Manatee River State Park
    30 minutes from us in Parrish. The park has shaded trails, short and long. It offers one of Florida's premiere hiking trails, a 6.5-mile loop that is well marked and mapped. Little Manatee River State Park

    Crowley Museum and Nature Center
    An old Florida treasure where you get nature and history in one. The Crowley is 190 acres of scenic beauty featuring hiking trails, an extensive boardwalk leading to a lookout tower, pioneer structures, wildlife, farm animals, museum and more. 10 minutes from us. $6.

    Bearadise Ranch
    Bearadise Ranch
    Ten minutes from Casa Calm lies a unique experience: Your own private tour of bears in a natural setting. Established in 1926, the Welde family's ranch provides a habitat for bears and a rare opportunity for animal lovers where you can gain awareness and affection for these magnificent beings. Advanced reservations are required, so call before your stay at Casa Calm. Open October through April. Info here: Bearadise Ranch

    Oscar Scherer State Park
    Birds are abundant in this 1,381-acre park, from blue scrub jays to bald eagles. You can view the wildlife while hiking one of their 15 miles of trails, or by taking a leisurely paddle down South Creek, or while cooling off with a swim in Lake Osprey. 40 minutes from us. Oscar Scherer State Park

    Old Miakka Preserve
    A few miles of very peaceful trails located just 5 minutes from us. Map.

    Nathan Benderson Park
    In addition to being a world-class rowing facility that hosts regattas, this 600-acre community park has hiking trails, a bike path, a fishing pier, a boat ramp, and a 500-acre lake. 25 minutes from us.

    Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
    Stunning tropical conservatory and an oasis of tranquil gardens along the Sarasota Bay. 35 minutes from us in downtown Sarasota. They've added another location in Historic Spanish Point in Osprey, 40 minutes from us.

    Nature Preserve
    Robinson Nature Preserve
    Over 600 acres of coastal preserve featuring hiking and bike paths, kayak and canoe waterways, bridges, mangrove forests, picnic area, children's playground, and a 53-foot-tall tower with a wide-open view of the Tampa Bay area. 45 minutes from us.

    Additional bike paths (or hiking):
    The following beaches are a string of barrier islands off the Gulf of Mexico. For your use on any beach excursions, we have complimentary beach chairs, umbrella, towels, sunscreen, cooler, ice, and thermos.

    Lido Key
    The closest to our door, Lido Key is 35 minutes away and offers pristine beaches with lifeguards, trails, and a pool. Aside from being our favorite beach, Lido is best known for St. Armands Circle, a collection of 130 upscale shops and restaurants, providing for an enjoyable stroll, window gazing, dining, and maybe even a treat from their home-made chocolate, fudge or ice-cream shops.

    Siesta Key
       Siesta Key
    Siesta Key
    Rated the number-one beach in the country, Siesta Key is an eight-mile-long island with a public beach, condos, homes, shops, and restaurants. Our favorite spot is Turtle Beach. Located near the south end of the island, Turtle Beach is less crowded than the main public beach, more tree lined, and home to protected turtle nesting areas. Siesta Key is 45 minutes from us.

    Anna Maria Island
    Seven miles long, Anna Maria Island is known for its fishing piers, sugar-sand beaches (Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach), quaint strip of shops, restaurants and other family-owned businesses. Two spots worth checking out are Historic Bridge St (located on the mid to south end of the island) and Pine Avenue (on the north end of the island). Anna Maria Island is 45 minutes from us.

    Longboat Key
    12 miles of white sand beach. Need we say more. Like the other islands, it's called home to many residents. Located 40 minutes from us.

    St. Pete Beach
    20-mile-long barrier island located an hour north of us. Several neighborhoods to explore, ranging from the popular downtown area along Corey Avenue with its bars, shops and restaurants, to the quieter historic district of Pass-a-Grille on the south end of the island.

    Manasota Key
    An hour away, but a hidden gem. Just over the bridge to the island of Manasota Key lies Englewood Beach, with a boardwalk, restrooms, and nearby restaurants and shops. A couple of miles south of Englewood Beach lies the more secluded Stump Pass Beach State Park, where you can hike the trails in an area where tortoises and egrets call home. North of Englewood is Blind Pass Beach, where you might find some fossilized shark teeth along the shore. Blind Pass includes a nature trail that meanders through mangroves and sand dunes. Farther north, Manasota Beach offers tranquility and a popular snorkeling area.

    Boca Grande
    Located on Gasparilla island, Boca Grande is further (1.2 hours from us), but a favorite among guests who pass through our place. Boca Grande has managed to maintain idyllic old-Florida appeal with its charming historic small town, hiking and biking paths, sugar-sand beaches, beautiful blue water, and world-class fishing. (When we visited the beach, we saw a manatee.) Cayo Costa State Park is located off the island with access by boat or ferry. It offers miles of stunning beaches, acres of pine forests, and water that is rich with sea life.
Wineries, Breweries, and Distillery
    Fiorelli Winery
    Myakka River State Park
    Located 10 minutes from us.

    3 Keys Brewing & Eatery
    Family run. Locally sourced, freshly made food. Large vegetarian selection. Friendly, community atmosphere. Located in Bradenton, 30 minutes from us.

    Big Top Brewing
    Games. BBQ food truck. Outside area. Two locations: The one in Sarasota is 25 minutes from us. The one in Lakewood Ranch is 20 minutes from us.

    Calusa Brewing
    9,500-square-foot warehouse in Sarasota. Food trucks. 30 minutes from us.

    Bunker Hill Vineyard & Winery
    30 minutes from us in Parrish. Owners Larry and Lenora created an environmentally responsbile winery. They've achieved a master-level green certification for their sustainable business practices and another certification for their wildlife habitat. They're passionate about what they do and love sharing their knowledge with others.

    Siesta Key Rum Distillery
    Small distillery located 30 minutes from us in Sarasota (not on Siesta Key). Free tours every day except Thursdays. Tour is under an hour and ends with free samples in the tasting room. Gift shop and tasting room open daily.

    Henscratch Farms Vineyard, Winery and Country Store
    Well beyond wine, the Henscratch Farms country store has homemade preserves, sauces, syrups, salsas, pickles, ciders, raw honey from their hives, and infused grapeseed oil. You can pick your own strawberries, blueberries, muscadines and scuppernongs when in season. One hour of scenic country roads from us.
Fun and Adventure
    Located five minutes from us, ziplines are just the beginning in this elevated adventure park. Check their website for the several amazing courses. The pics alone will have you grinning ear to ear.

    Premier Escape Adventures
    Escape room and virtual reality center located 20 minutes from us. Great for a rainy day or evening fun.
    Casa Calm is located in horse country. We're surrounded by horse farms of every variety (i.e., breeding, training, therapeutic riding, recreational riding, lessons in dressage, jumping, barrel racing, trick riding, and playing polo). Here are some options.

    Myakka River Trail Rides
    Myakka River Ranch offers a wide variety of trail rides and lessons for everyone from beginners to advanced. Appropriate for kids of all ages. 20 minutes from us.

    Lipizzan Stallion Performances
    Catch Lippizzan stallions in action Thurs, Fri, Sat from December through April at Colonel Herrmann's Royal Lipizzan Ranch, where the horses are trained and the shows take place for the public. 10 minutes from us. $10. Herrmann's Royal Lipizzan Stallions

    Sarasota Polo Club
    Ever been to a polo match? Well, now's your chance. Located 15 minutes from us on 130 acres, matches at the Sarasota Polo Club are open to the public every Sunday at 1 PM from mid-December through mid-April. General admission is $15 per adult and free for children 12 and under.
    Sirius Day Spa
    15 minutes from us. Massages, facials, drybar salon, waxing, mud wraps, mani/pedis, body wraps, more.

    Organic Skin and Body
    Also 15 minutes from us. All organic products. Facials, peels, microdermabrasion, microneedling, dermaplane, massages, waxing. Full line of organic skin-care products.
    Downtown Sarasota
    Big-city skyline with a charming small-town feel. Boutiques, art galleries, nightlife, and plenty of free parking. 30 minutes west of us. More info here:,

    St. Armands Circle
    Adjacent to Lido Key, and right off the beach, St. Armands Key has a large selection of upscale shops and restaurants. Much fine dining, strolling, and window shopping to be had. Highly enjoyable. 35 minutes from us.

    Mall at University Town Center
    Manhattan comes to Sarasota. Shiny new mall with every store you could possibly desire. It's beautifully done and only 25 minutes from us.

       Towles Court
    Towles Court

    Towles Court
    Hidden artist colony in nice section of historic downtown Sarasota. Best to go during their monthly art walk, when you can tour the open studios, meet the artists, and enjoy live music. Good restaurants nearby. 30 minutes from us., TripAdvisor Info

    Oneco Farmers Market
    Brand new air-conditioned market in Bradenton open year round with 115 vendors, located 30 minutes from us. Far more than just fresh produce, baked goods and local seafood. They have clothing, hand-made jewelry, a hair salon, barbershop, ice cream shop, game room, Boost Mobile, 10 restaurants, Habitat for Humanity Restore, a play area for kids, and more. 5108 15th Street East, Bradenton. Open 7 AM to 7 PM, 7 days a week.

    Red Barn
    Huge indoor air-conditioned flea market with over 600 booths of shopping, groceries, entertainment, and prepared foods. A unique experience. Check hours on website. 40 minutes from us.

    Sarasota Farmers Market
    Every Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM. Downtown Sarasota.

    Lakewood Ranch Farmers Market
    Every Sunday, 10 AM to 2 PM, at Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch, year round. Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch

    Bradenton Farmers Market
    Oct through May, every Sat, 9 AM 2 PM, on Old Main St in Downtown Bradenton, right off the Riverwalk, a 1.5-mile park. Fresh produce, local art, live music, and demonstrations by local chefs. 40 min from us.

    Ellenton Premium Outlets
    Over 100 outlets in one spot.  Ellenton Premium Outlet Stores is 25 minutes from us and includes Steve Madden, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach, J.Crew, DKNY, Guess, Gap, Kate Spade, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Lucky Brand, Ralph Lauren, Movado, Nike, Saks Fifth Avenue, and 100 more. For a full list, see

    Arcadia Antiques
    Built in the 1800s, the historic downtown district of Arcadia is lined with 24 antique shops, restaurants and other specialty stores. An outdoor antique fair is held on the fourth Saturday of every month. Located 30 minutes east of us.
The Arts
       The Ringling
    The Ringling

    The Ringling
    Much more than just a circus museum, the Ringling estate has 66 acres of gardens, 28,000 works of art, special performances, and the Ca' d'Zan (a Mediterranean Revival mansion, which served as the winter home of circus owner, developer and art collector John Ringling and his wife Mable). They chose the site for its vistas overlooking the Sarasota Bay. Located 35 minutes from us, the Ringling is rated the number-one attraction in Sarasota. Free admission on Mondays.

    Sarasota Art Museum
    Modern art museum that opened December 2019 in a former high school. Their bistro opened in 2020. 30 minutes from us.

    Clyde Butcher Art Gallery
       Clyde Butcher
    Clyde Butcher
    Photography Gallery

    A legendary photographer and national treasure, Clyde Butcher is the foremost landscape photographer in America today. He is awarded as a humanitarian for acting for the betterment of our communities, and is recognized as a conservationist for bringing issues to the forefront of public consciousness through his art. His gallery is located 45 minutes from us in Venice. Historic downtown Venice is quaint and Venice beach is divine, so perhaps make a day of it.

    Sarasota Opera
    Five-star rated opera company with performances housed in an ornate circa-1926 theater. The venue is on the intimate scale of European opera houses, with not a bad seat in the house. Located 35 minutes from us. Check their website for the current season offerings and tickets:

    Sarasota Ballet
       Sarasota Ballet
    Sarasota Ballet Co.

    Several ballet companies make Sarasota their home. For performace schedules, see their websites: Sarasota Ballet, Cuban Ballet, and International Ballet.

    Van Wezel Performing Arts Center
    Music concerts, Broadway shows, comedians, more. 30 minutes from us. See schedule of upcoming performances here:

    The Dali Museum
    Unparalleled collection of Salvador Dali art on a waterfront setting in St. Petersburg. (Bonus: A popular vegan cafe, Love Food Central, is five minutes from the museum.) They're an hour from us.
    Catch any of the following Major League teams in spring training during March.   Minor League games take place at the ballparks below from April through August:

    Baltimore Orioles at the Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota (30 minutes from us).

    Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field in Bradenton (30 minutes from us).

    NY Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa (1 hour from us).

    Phillies at Bright House Field in Clearwater (1.25 hours from us).

    Toronto Blue Jays at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin – a beautiful town to visit in itself (1.5 hours from us).

    Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Park in Port Charlotte (1 hour from us).

    Major League info:

    Minor League info:
    We're near so many golf courses, we dedicated a full page to them.
    All of the excursions on this page – except perhaps the wineries and opera – have activities perfect for kids, from playgrounds to petting zoos, plus a few sandcastles in between. Here are a few more....

    Livingston's Amusements
    50,000-square-foot arcade center in Sarasota with go-karts, billiards, bazooka ball, bumper cars, video games, ticket games, a full bar and pub grub. 30 minutes from us.

    The Fish Hole – Miniature Golf
    An 18-hole miniature golf course with a fish theme throughout, including a moving water wheel and a 3,000-gallon pond filled with brightly colored Koi fish. Kids can get fish food from the feeders to keep themselves busy between holes. The Fish Hole has two locations in the area. The one nearest to us is 20 minutes away in Lakewood Ranch:

    Florida Railroad Museum
    30 minutes from us in Parrish. Go on the weekend, when they operate the train ride. Little Manatee River State Park is just ten minutes from the museum. If you go there too, try the short, shaded Oxbow Nature Trail along the river. It's less than a mile long.

    Petting Zoos, Playgrounds and Farms

    Hunsader Farms
    An adorable experience for kids (and adults) that's just ten minutes from us. In addition to picking your own fruits and veggies, Hunsader offers a large petting zoo, playground, picnic area, country store, ice cream shop, antique shop and, in the fall, a pumpkin festival. Closed summer.

    Dakin Dairy Farms
    Less than ten minutes from our door, Dakin is a sustainable family-run farm with some great attractions for kids. Oct through May, Wed through Sun, Dakin offers daily $15 tours in which children take a hayride deep into the farm, bottle feed a calf, and witness all of the following:
    • butter making
    • milk traveling from cow to bottle
    • a pig race
    • and a cow train ride.
    In the fall, they have a six-acre corn maze open Mon though Sat. They also have a market, cafe and gift shop open to the public year round.

    Fruitville Grove
    Family-owned market offering produce, petting zoo, playground, Amish-made goods, cheeses, jams, and a pumpkin festival in the fall. Closed summer. 20 minutes from us.

things to do
Things to do in the Sarasota-Bradenton area.

Or, you could just lounge by our pool....

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Reservations: 1-347-467-0515.   Address:  83rd Ave E, Myakka City, FL, 34251.