Visit a State Park
Sarasota County is home to one of Florida's oldest and most scenic parks, Myakka River State Park. East of Sarasota, this expansive piece of natural Florida encompasses acres of shady moss-covered oak trees, riverine forests, wetlands, and prairies with walking trails and birding vistas. Myakka's treetop canopy walk opens a panorama of bromeliads, lichens, birds and wildlife. And don't miss a ride on the old-timey Myakka airboats to spot the alligators, the real "stars" of Myakka.
Another park, south the city of Sarasota, along the banks of South Creek, is Oscar Scherer State Park. Here you'll get a glimpse of Florida's scrub pine flatwoods that once covered much of the state. Oscar Scherer is also one of the best places to experience an up-close encounter with the Florida Scrub-Jay, an authentic Florida native bird, and a threatened species. Campers delight in the shade of old oak trees while hiking, biking and kayaking.