Whether you're looking to keep young children entertained or simply enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, the parks in our community can offer you a breath of fresh air and are a guaranteed boredom buster. Here are four of our favorite parks in Bradenton and Sarasota that are definitely worth visiting:
Once a salt marsh, the Robinson Nature Preserve is now nationally recognized as being a top family activity in the area. This coastal preserve stretches over more than 600 acres, making this the perfect spot for little explorers and adults alike to take in our area's natural landscape. Some of the most popular things to do at the nature preserve include hiking, running, kayaking, picnicking, and climbing the 53-foot tower that offers a wide-open view of Tampa Bay.
One of the best ways to experience all that Bradenton has to offer is to check out the Riverwalk, which is a 1.5 mile park that extends along the beautiful Manatee River. This park underwent a major renovation in 2012 to provide a sleek and modern outdoor living space complete with a playground and splash pad. This park also features a fishing pier, which is ideal for catching local fish such as snook, redfish, and trout.
If you're looking for a playground with a great view, Bird Key Park in Sarasota is the place to be! The playground looks to be practically new, and the kids can cool off afterwards in the splash fountains. While this park does not offer the best beach experience (it's mostly concrete instead of sand), it does make for easy access to drop in kayaks or paddleboards. And, for the active walker or runner, the park is conveniently located near the Causeway Bridge so you can get some scenic cardio in.
Anyone with young children living in the Bradenton-Sarasota area absolutely must check out the Sarasota Children's Garden. Located in downtown Sarasota, this hidden gem spans more than two acres and offers a whimsical and enchanting garden experience. Upon entering the park, visitors will follow the yellow brick road, make their way through the "Amazing Maze," and have tea in the Fairy Garden beneath the mushrooms.
The garden hosts a number of events geared towards children throughout the year, such as story time and character visits. It’s the best place in Sarasota for your child to explore, imagine, and play make-believe. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children between the ages of 3 and 12, and free for children 2 and under.
Did your favorite park make the list? Tell us in the comments section!