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There's Something for Everyone - Myakka River State Park

Sarasota, FL, United States
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There’s a lot to do in Myakka River State Park. You can camp, canoe or kayak, fish, bicycle, bird watch or walk through the treetops on the canopy walkway. I was up and out early to arrive when they opened. Myakka Wildlife Tours is a company in the park that offers both a boat and a tram tour. They are scheduled so you can do both during the day. I did both and would do both again at a different time of year. Once you pay the entrance fee there is a small visitor center with parking right near the entrance. The visitor center is not staffed and they have some interesting information about the park and wildlife. There are also full toilets here. The road through the park is long and the ticket booth for the wildlife tours is 3 miles into the park. I was happy to be there early. There is plenty of parking by the concessions but it was crowded by midday. Once I parked I walked a short distance to the lake edge. There were hundreds of vultures sunning themselves in the rising sun. When I got down to the lake I noticed several photographers making their way along the shore. There is a weir a short distance from the parking lot where the river comes into the lake. There were limpkins, Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, Ibis, egrets and all kinds of herons along the shore and in the trees. They are very used to people so photographers can get close to take pictures. Not too close, there were also alligators every few feet. Big ones.
I stopped at the canopy walk on the way out of the park and also stopped at a bridge that crosses the river. I didn’t make it to the top of the tower. It was windy and I don’t like heights. There were lots of birds and alligators to see on either side of the bridge. I had a great day and would love to go back again. It was a two hour drive for me but well worth getting up early for.
Story Details

Culture and experiences

Myakka River State Park North Entrance
I arrived about 20 minutes before the park opens and there were already a dozen cars in line. There is plenty of parking and lots of different things to do in the park.

Entertainment

Myakka Outpost
You can rent kayaks and canoes here. There's lots of wildlife to see but I don't know that I'd want to be that close to all of the alligators.
Myakka Outpost
You can rent kayaks and canoes here. There's lots of wildlife to see but I don't know that I'd want to be that close to all of the alligators.
Myakka Wildlife Tours
They offer an airboat ride on the lake and a tram tour of the back country. They are scheduled so you can do both. I did both and thought they were both great.

Points of interest

Ringling Museum
Amazing, just amazing! There is so much to see here you can't possibly do it in one day.

Restaurants

Snook Haven Restaurant
A great restaurant that located in Venice, Florida right on the Myakka River. You can also take river tours from here. Great menu and fresh tasty food that you can enjoy inside or outside.

On The Map

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