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Hidden Gems in Sarasota, Florida

Jennifer Thompson

Sarasota, Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant arts scene, and numerous recreational opportunities. However, there are also many hidden gems in the area that are worth exploring. Here are some of the top hidden gems in Sarasota.

Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park is a hidden gem for nature lovers. The park covers over 37,000 acres and features diverse habitats, including wetlands, pine forests, and prairies. Visitors can explore the park on foot, by bike, or by boat, and may encounter wildlife such as alligators, deer, and birds. There are also several hiking trails, a treetop canopy walkway, and a lake with boat rentals.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Located in downtown Sarasota, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are a hidden oasis of lush greenery and exotic plants. The gardens feature over 20,000 plants, including rare orchids and bromeliads. Visitors can explore the gardens on their own or take a guided tour. The gardens also host events such as art exhibits and live music performances.

Sarasota Classic Car Museum

Car enthusiasts will love the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, which is home to over 75 vintage cars, including classic muscle cars, antiques, and rare models. The museum also has an extensive collection of vintage circus memorabilia, as Sarasota was once a hub for circus performers.

Sarasota National Cemetery

The Sarasota National Cemetery is a hidden gem that honors the sacrifices of the men and women who have served our country. The cemetery covers over 295 acres and features beautiful landscaping, including a lake and a butterfly garden. Visitors can pay their respects at the on-site chapel and participate in memorial services and other events.

Celery Fields

The Celery Fields are a hidden gem for birdwatchers and nature lovers. The fields cover over 360 acres and feature wetlands, ponds, and hiking trails. Visitors can spot over 200 species of birds, including eagles, hawks, and sandhill cranes. The fields also offer panoramic views of Sarasota and the surrounding area.

Historic Spanish Point

Historic Spanish Point is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into Sarasota's rich history. The site covers over 30 acres and features archaeological sites, gardens, and historic buildings. Visitors can take a guided tour of the site and learn about the area's early settlers and Native American tribes.

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is a hidden gem for marine life enthusiasts. The aquarium features over 100 species of marine animals, including sea turtles, manatees, and sharks. Visitors can watch live animal feedings, participate in interactive exhibits, and learn about the important research being conducted at the laboratory.
In conclusion, Sarasota, Florida is home to many hidden gems that are worth exploring. Whether you're a nature lover, history buff, or car enthusiast, there's something for everyone in Sarasota. Take some time to explore these hidden gems and discover all that Sarasota has to offer.

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