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8 Awesome Things To Do In Manasota Key, Florida

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We invite you to discover the ultimate bucket list of eight extraordinary activities in the sun-soaked paradise of Manasota Key, Florida.

Located along the mesmerizing Gulf of Mexico, it offers many exciting activities whether you're a nature enthusiast, a water sports aficionado, or simply seeking relaxation in an idyllic setting.

Aerial view of Manasota key, Fl

This hidden gem boasts a stunning coastline, abundant wildlife, and a vibrant coastal atmosphere that will captivate your senses.

Join us as we keep exploring the possibilities of yet another little-known Florida destination.

Why You Should Go to Manasota Key

Manasota Key is split partially between the community of Englewood Beach and Charlotte County.

It is home to one of the most stunning stretches of beach in the entire state.

It is also renowned for its fascinating wildlife. As you explore the area, you might spot dolphins frolicking in the waves or sea turtles gracefully making their way to the shore.

Manasota Key offers many thrilling water activities if you're an adventurer.

Dive into the pristine waters and discover a wonderland filled with vibrant marine life, hidden reefs, and even the occasional shipwreck.

Snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts will be in their element, exploring the colorful coral gardens and encountering tropical fish in their natural habitat.

For those seeking a slower pace, Manasota Key is a haven for beachcombers and shell collectors.

If you're a nature lover, you must visit the nearby Stump Pass Beach State Park. This pristine sanctuary is a treasure trove of ecological wonders.

Immerse yourself in the lush mangrove forests, hiking along scenic trails, or enjoy a picnic surrounded by breathtaking vistas.

With its diverse wildlife and untouched landscapes, Stump Pass Beach State Park offers an enchanting escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

But the wonders of Manasota Key don't end with its natural beauty.

Indulge in the local culinary delights by savoring fresh seafood from the Gulf.

Treat your taste buds to the flavors of Florida with mouthwatering dishes like succulent shrimp, juicy crab legs, and perfectly grilled fish.

Manasota Key's dining scene will leave you craving more, from casual beachside shacks to elegant waterfront restaurants.

For more hidden gems in Florida, check out our guide to surprising Florida beaches that you might not know about.

8 Awesome Things to Do in Manasota Key, FL

Natural beauty is a cornerstone of Manasota Key. There are plenty of beaches to visit and parks to explore.

You’ll be able to visit a winery and taste some excellent wine. Perhaps you’ll want to get some of the juiciest tropical fruits. Manasota Key Markets has got that covered!

1. Blind Pass Beach

Prepare to be transported to paradise as you gaze down the stunning length of Manasota Key's Blind Pass beach.

This awe-inspiring stretch of coastline will leave you breathless with its pristine sands and azure waters.

Entrance walkway to Blind Pass Beach on Manasota Key on the Gulf of Mexico in Englewood Florida

Embark on a stroll along the coast, immersing yourself in the sheer beauty of the surroundings.

As you meander, you'll discover an abundance of shells in various shapes, sizes, and colors, just waiting to be collected as treasured souvenirs.

Keep your eyes peeled, as luck may be on your side, and you might even stumble upon a precious shark tooth.

Unlike the cooler waters of the Atlantic coast, the Gulf water at Manasota Key is delightfully warm and inviting, tempting you to take a refreshing dip.

While the beach may not offer extensive amenities, fear not! Bathrooms are available, and ample free parking ensures comfort throughout your visit.

With its vast expanse, the beach provides plenty of space for those seeking solitude or a peaceful getaway with their loved ones.

As you take in the surroundings, be prepared to encounter a rich tapestry of wildlife.

The beach is a haven for nature enthusiasts, from graceful sea turtles to various fascinating bird species.

You can access the beach from 6 am to 10 pm, maximizing your time in this idyllic setting.

You can access the website here.

2. Stump Pass Beach

The park area has fun trails; from those, you can hike to beach areas to relax and enjoy the view.

Walkway to beach in Stump Pass State Park

You can enjoy a picnic right on the beach. Trees line the coast if you want to set up a hammock and lounge.

Enjoy fishing? Stump Pass is an ideal location where you can potentially hook some good catch.

There is a full list of available activities at the beach here.

A video on this webpage will give you a good idea of the scenery you can expect during your visit to Stump Pass.

There is a fee of $3 for all types of vehicles.

Here is a link to the main website: Stump Pass Beach State Park

3. Englewood Farmers Market

If you visit Manasota Key between October and May, you should dedicate a Thursday morning to the Englewood Farmers Market.

The Farmers Market is a non-profit, and the money raised is being put toward restoring and maintaining the local parks and beaches.

People living locally in the area look forward to this every week. You will be able to get the freshest locally grown food.

But it is not only limited to fruits and veggies. Some local fishermen sell fish that are so fresh because they were caught earlier that day!

You'll also find bakers selling delicious treats. Enjoy live music while you shop around.

The market is open from 9 am to 1 pm every Thursday from October to May.

If you’d like more information, take a look at their website.

4. Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park is a lovely location with an interesting back story.

Not so long ago, a group of arsonists decided to set the playground area ablaze.

The town's help and many residents raised funds to rebuild the park.

It is now complete, and it is better than it was previously! If you have kids, they will have a blast at this park.

See what it looks like now in this video:

You can sit and read on a bench and enjoy the weather. If you want to exercise, there are basketball and tennis courts available.

The park is accessible every day, opening early and closing around sunset. It’s free to access, so don’t worry about paying a fee.

You can take a look at their website if you’d like to get more information.

5. Indian Mound Park

This park has ancient roots linked to Native American culture from the area. The availability of seafood made this an ideal location for those inhabitants.

The launch point at Mound Park is where you can set out for a day of canoeing or kayaking.

There are hiking trails throughout, picnic areas, wildlife, and access to clean bathrooms.

Walking around the park, you’ll learn much about the area's history.

This area of Manasota happens to be one of the best places to enjoy the sunset.

It’s a small park; unfortunately, there is no swimming area. However, this is a must-see if you find the area's history interesting.

The park opens at 6 am and closes at sunset. You won’t need to pay a fee to access this park.

This is the park's official website.

6. Lemon Bay Park and Environmental Center

Lemon Bay Park is a big and beautiful nature reserve. There are plenty of different trails to hike.

Nicely built wooden pathways allow you to explore the area, providing lovely water views.

There are beaches you can access. As you journey through the trails, you’ll love the canopy that the trees create.

The deeper you go, the more it looks like a prehistoric forest.

Enjoy nature in the butterfly garden. There are multiple places where you’ll be able to launch boats.

The park is pet-friendly and offers amenities such as picnic tables and restrooms.

The calm water from the bay creates a serene vibe where you can see the sun's reflection.

Like Indian Mound, this is also an ideal sunset location.

The park opens at 6 am and closes after sunset. This park is free to access.

If you’d like additional information, you can check out their website.

7. Catania’s Winery

During your stay in Manasota, you’ll probably want to stop at Catania’s Winery because they offer award-winning bottles of wine and have done so for 30 years.

Almost everyone who visits this winery has good things to say. During the tasting portion, you can test multiple types of wines.

Although the winery is small, they have a variety. You’ll learn how the wine is produced and what makes it special.

There are classes available where you can learn to make wine. You can also purchase wine-making equipment.

Perhaps wine is not your thing. No matter, this can still be a worthwhile pit-stop for you! The winery offers gourmet coffee.

It could be a great way to start your days during vacation, ensuring you can enjoy all that Manasota has to offer.

There is also an amazing olive oil and vinegar available in the shop.

The Winery is open Wednesday through Sunday from Noon until 5 pm. Prices on tastings or individual bottles of wine vary.

If you’re considering this destination, give their website a look.

8. Cedar Point Environmental Park

Cedar Point has 115 acres of wonderful natural beauty in the area. It is equipped with plenty of amenities.

You can watch birds, and if you want to go out on the water, there are canoeing and kayaking launch points.

A Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) at the Lemon Bay Aquatic Reserve in Cedar Point Environmental Park

A guide can take you through the nature preserve, highlighting the different types of unique foliage and wildlife.

The trails are maintained well throughout the preserve.

The main hiking path, a little over 3 miles long, will take you about an hour and a half to traverse.

Throughout the hike, you will be treated to lovely views every few hundred feet.

The hike is not difficult; you won’t find yourself climbing up and down steep angles.

This park is free, and the hours of operation are similar to those of the parks listed above.

You can use the restroom at the Nature Center, purchase food and drinks, or get some souvenirs.

Keep an eye on the event calendar. There are various programs, including an educational hike for kids. They’ll learn all about the preserve and wildlife.

Be armed with bug spray if you plan to visit Cedar Point Park.

There is a pay station for parking, so depending on how long you stay, it can cost anywhere from $2 to $10.

You can check their website for more information.

Where to Stay

Lodging is a little bit tricky in Manasota Key.

Most available lodging in Manasota itself is not in the form of hotels or motels. For that, you may need to travel a bit outside the island.

Luckily, Manasota has plenty of houses for rent and Airbnb. These can be a bit more pricey than chain hotels, but the ratings are high, and it will guarantee a memorable and luxurious vacation.

The Island House

Located in Englewood, the Island House is going to ensure that you have the most relaxing stay possible

You won’t need to go far for a fantastic view. It’s right in the backyard. Walk out about 50 feet, and you’ll be on the beach.

There is free WiFi and private parking. The home's interior appears to have been recently remodeled and is in excellent condition.

Enjoy this apartment by booking here.

2810 North Beach Road

This is an excellent apartment in a fantastic location with solid value. The apartment complex has a pool, and it is right on the water.

There is a place outside the apartment complex where you can rent bicycles.

It’s a nice way to explore the outdoors. Inside is capacity for 5 people, a fully equipped kitchen, and a patio area with a beach view.

Secure your room with a stunning ocean view here.

Sun Coast Inn

This is one of the few hotels in the area. It offers an outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi.

The rooms are mostly equipped with at least two beds; you’ll be able to fit your family.

Each room has a tea and coffee maker. This hotel is of great value; you won’t need to break the bank to stay for a week or so.

Book your room here.

So there you have it; let's recap the best things to do if you ever decide to stay in Manasota Key:

  1. Blind Pass Beach
  2. Stump Pass Beach
  3. Englewood Farmers Market
  4. Pioneer Park
  5. Indian Mound Park
  6. Lemon Bay Park & Environmental Center
  7. Catania’s Winery
  8. Cedar Point Environmental Park

We hope you found a lot of interesting sites to visit in the area that suit your travel cravings.

If you prefer camping, consider exploring options near Miramar Beach, as highlighted in our article on camping near Miramar Beach.

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8 Awesome Things To Do In Manasota Key, Florida
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8 Awesome Things to Do in Manasota Key, Florida

8 Awesome Things to Do in Manasota Key, Florida

 
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