Manasota Key Outdoor Activities: Ways to Explore Land and Water
A barrier island off Florida’s east coast, Manasota Key offers travelers a place to play and enjoy nature’s beauty. Most visitors come for the beach, but there are other Manasota Key outdoor activities perfect for all age groups. Scroll to learn more.
Popular Manasota Key Outdoor Activities and Vacation Fun
Plan a Beach Day
Looking for a quiet old Florida feel? That’s what visitors will find in Manasota Key. Most visitors come here to avoid crowded beaches and enjoy the tropical landscape. The most popular beach is Englewood Beach. This spot attracts families with children as it has a play area, lifeguards and picnic tables.
Those who prefer to bring a book and chill should visit Manasota Beach, Blind Pass Beach and Stump Pass Beach. Each has their own amenities, which may include showers, restrooms and picnic tables.
No matter which beach guests visit, they have access to water activities and fun things to do. Popular activities include boogie-boarding, snorkeling, swimming and parasailing.
Golf ranks among the best Manasota Key outdoor activities due to the number of beautiful golf courses located in the area. In nearby Englewood, players will find Myakka Pines Golf Club, Lemon Bay Golf Club, Boca Royale Golf and Country Club, and Oyster Creek Golf Country Club. For more options, head to Rotonda West. This area has The Links Golf Course, Pine Valley Golf Course and The Hills Course.
Players rave about the quality of the greens for the price and may even see alligators. Many courses also blend Florida’s natural scenery with the layout to ensure a scenic game.
Go Fishing With an Expert
This area offers more than 850 miles of shoreline that welcome anglers of all skill levels. In addition, much of area is protected by the state and preserved, providing a place for fish to thrive. A few species that live in the area include snook, redfish, tarpon and trout.
For a guided fishing trip in Manasota Key, try booking a charter with Manasota Key Outfitters. This company hosts backcountry, nearshore, offshore and tarpon fishing trips for small groups. Those with larger groups enjoy Captain Jack’s Fishing Charters. This guide hosts deep-sea fishing trips for all ages and welcomes guests to bring food and beverages.
To plan a more laid-back day of fishing, visit one of the nearby piers. Ainger Fishing Pier and Chadwick Park Fishing Pier are both located in Englewood and have fishing spots for a minimal fee. Past guests have also witnessed the occasional dolphin or manatee that swims by the piers.
Explore State Parks
In addition to spacious uncrowded beaches, there are four state parks located within an easy drive of Manasota Key. Some have beaches perfect for kayaking, fishing and swimming. However, it’s also the miles of hiking trails that welcome outdoor lovers. Here’s a quick overview of the top state parks:
Stump Pass Beach State Park: Features 1 mile of shoreline where shark teeth wash ashore. A hiking trail travels through five natural habitats.
Don Pedro Island State Park: Accessible by private boat or ferry only. Measures 100 acres total that is great for snorkeling, hiking and kayaking.
Myakka State Forest: Has more than 8,500 acres with 40 miles of trails open for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The forest includes a section of Myakka River and Myakkahatchee Creek.
Oscar Scherer State Park: Quiet oasis amongst housing developments. Has 15 miles of trails for biking and hiking. Some sections have water for canoes, kayaks and fishing.
Shop the Farmers Market
Since 2011, Englewood Farmers Market has showcased local growers and their products. More than 50 vendors set up shop here selling everything from fruits and vegetables to nuts, tea, herbs and flowers.
Visitors will also find prepared food such as pizza and guacamole as well as seafood, dog treats, and fresh baked goods. Aside from food, some vendors offer services such as knife sharpening and cooking demos.
Take Sunrise or Sunset Photos
Whether on the beach or looking out from a Manasota Key vacation rental, watching the sunset ranks among the top Manasota Bay outdoor activities.
One of the most popular spots is Manasota Key Beach. Couples will enjoy early morning walks to see the sunrise or bring a chair and wait for sunset. For something more interactive, book a sunset tour with Lemon Bay Dolphin Tours or Captain Blake Tours. Either way, stunning photos are guaranteed.