Life is a constant vacation in Southwest Florida. Serene beaches, world-class restaurants, and abundant destinations and attractions make the area a peaceful and pleasant place to relax and refresh. These five attractions around Sarasota, Venice, Naples, and Fort Myers are great destinations for visitors and locals alike.
1. Guided Boat Tours of Myakka River State Park
Located near Sarasota, Myakka River State Park is a beautiful showcase of local flora and fauna. A network of hiking trails for all skill levels gives visitors a unique look at Southwest Florida wildlife and visitors can rent cabins to enjoy peaceful nights in the state park.
For the best view of the Myakka River, consider a guided boat tour. The guided tour of Myakka offers insight into some of the unique animals that call the area their home. Tour participants may spot a rare roseate spoonbill and will likely see alligators in the water. The ride is smooth and provides a leisurely view of the park.
2. Naples Pier
For the best view of the Gulf of Mexico, consider a trip to Naples Pier. Originally built in 1888, the pier has been a staple of Southwest Florida. It has burned down and taken severe damage from hurricanes, but the important piece of Naples history has been rebuilt and restored to be enjoyed for years to come.
Those looking for the best sunset views need not look further than Naples Pier. The pier is also a great spot for fishing, and it is not uncommon to spot dolphins down below too.
3. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is an attraction that audiences of all ages can enjoy. The aquarium is the most comprehensive showcase of sea life in the region, and the expert staff at Mote do great work to preserve the local ecosystem to ensure the health of Florida's native species.
The manatee is one of Southwest Florida's most beloved creatures, and Mote has two of the gentle giants in their aquarium. Around midday, visitors can watch as the manatees enjoy a lunch of lettuce.
4. Sunset Cruise
Take in a sunset near Fort Myers during a tranquil cruise. The calm waters and vibrant colors of the sky make this a great way to end a day after relaxing on the beach or hiking the nearby trails. While the sunset cruises provide some of the most unique sights, other cruises in the area are available as well.
During a cruise, participants will have the chance to see wild dolphins swimming in the Gulf and wading birds like pelicans and bald eagles. Those who want to see manatees in the wild may encounter them during a cruise.
5. Horseback Riding on the Beach
For a different perspective of the Florida sunsets, consider a horseback riding tour of the beach in Bradenton. Participants will get to ride a horse while it swims in Palma Sola Bay. A guide will be present to ensure that riding tours are as comfortable as possible. Those interested will also be given time to meet the horses before the riding tour.
Guides will also show riders the wildlife in the area. Manatees, dolphins, and stingrays are commonly found in Palma Sola Bay. There are plenty of ways to see these animals in Southwest Florida, but seeing them on horseback may be the most exciting.
The natural beauty and vibrant culture of Southwest Florida ensures that there is always a new place to go and things to do.
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