Englewood Beach

Englewood is so lovely that two counties – Charlotte and Sarasota along Florida’s Gulf Coast – insist on sharing in its beauty.

Englewood's uncrowded beach is pure and wide and has excellent facilities. Just south, you'll find Blind Pass Park, a fantastic place for shelling and finding sharks' teeth.

Plenty of golf is available in and around Englewood, and the birding is great.

You can also try parasailing or rent a jetski. Fishing in Englewood is also outstanding and several companies will take you out on their boats.

Absolutely embark on an eco-tour of Lemon Bay. You’ll almost certainly see dolphins, manatees, and all kinds of shorebirds and wildlife.

Siesta Key Beach

Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida continues to rank highly on the “Top Beach” lists curated by worldwide travelers and renowned coastal experts. Its nearly 100% quartz-crystal sand is like walking on a cloud that never gets hot under the Gulf Coast sun and tropical weather. Its energy is palpable and made even more so by the many activities that it invites. Jogging, throwing Frisbees, volleyball and picnicking compete with the bliss of simply floating in the clear, calm waters of the Gulf.

In Siesta Village you'll find an assortment of boutiques, bars and restaurants for quiet dinners and more raucous pub-crawling. But if you are on Siesta Key on a Sunday evening, you'll be magically drawn to the mesmerizing beat of the Siesta Key Drum Circle, where you will find tribal style drummers next to sword balancing belly dancers and an array of beach life that takes one back a few decades.

Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park

Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park spans 46,000 acres (18,615 hectares) and is composed of islands and land. The third largest State Park in Florida, it offers plenty of opportunities to hike its trails and paddle in its waters. There’s much wildlife to be observed here, including mangrove forests, marshes, and the pine flatwoods. You can also catch glimpses of birds, manatees, and dolphins, as much of the park is shallow water.

Kayaking or canoeing is an excellent way to explore the park. There are trail systems winding through the park, perfect for following in a canoe. There are also pedestrians walkthroughs and three marked trails, for those who prefer to explore the park on foot.

Ann Dever Regional Park

The aquatic facility at Ann & Chuck Dever Regional Park is a heated, eight lanes, twenty-five-yard competition pool with a shallow water play area and attached dive well-equipped with a one-meter diving board and a wheelchair ramp for accessibility. Recreational amenities include a water basketball hoop and a splash pad area for children.

Open sunrise to sunset. Leashed dogs are welcome on the trails and at the dog park, but not inside sports or recreation facilities.

The Red Trail is a natural surface accessible trail with a limerock bed under the pine needles.

If you like to walk, Ann Dever Regional Park is a good place to go. With three miles (4.8 km) of trails to explore, it’s a pleasant area to spend a couple of hours. The trails run through pine woods, providing a shady respite from the warm Florida sun. In addition to walking trails, the park has a picnic pavilion, a heated pool, a skate park, ball fields, and a playground. It’s a great place to take the family!

Phoenix Rising Kayak Tour

If you’d like to explore this part of southwest Florida by water, booking a kayak tour is a great option. Phoenix Rising offers eight different tours to choose from, in the area. The tour times and prices vary, and you can get a discount if you bring your own kayak. Choose the Woolverton Trail tour, to kayak through a maze of tunnels carved from the mangrove forest. You’ll see a pelican rookery, dolphin hunting grounds, and if the waters are warm enough, the Florida Manatee.

There’s an Early Riser Breakfast Tour, for the early birds. Departing an hour before sunrise, you’ll paddle through Gasparilla Sound and watch the wildlife greet the morning sun. You’ll end the tour by paddling to Waterside Grill for breakfast. Night owls will want to try the Sunset Serenity tour. On Gasparilla Sound, you’ll watch birds coming home to roost, with the pinks and yellows of the sunset all around you. Reviews hint at a champagne toast at the end of this tour!

Little Gasparilla Island

Little Gasparilla Island is a tropical barrier island, just north of Gasparilla Island. It is connected to Don Pedro Island in the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Following a hurricane in the 1960s, which destroyed the island’s bridge, residents decided they liked it better without one. Now, the island is only accessible by boat or water taxi.

Little Gasparilla Island offers seven miles (11 km) of beach to explore. In the summer, sea turtles nest and lay their eggs in the warm sand. Shelling and hunting for prehistoric shark teeth are popular activities on the island. Docks offer the opportunity to bring out your fishing pole. The island is the perfect place to enjoy cool tropical breezes in the summer and the warmth of the sun in the winter.

Don Pedro Island State Park

Don Pedro Island is accessible only by boat or ferry and the 230-acre (93.1-hectare) State Park is a great space to enjoy the outdoors. The park boasts mangrove forests, dunes, and beaches, making Don Pedro Island a great spot for sunbathing, swimming, fishing, and kayaking. Hiking is another popular activity here and there are guided nature walks available.

Keep a lookout for the local fauna, including West Indian manatees, tortoises, bald eagles, and Loggerhead turtles. There’s a water taxi service which can bring you to other nearby islands if you’d like to continue exploring the beaches of Southwest Florida.

Englewood Drum Circle

Englewood Beach Drum Circle gathers every Sunday, year-round (weather permitting) about one hour before sunset. Everyone is welcome to drum, hoola hoop, dance or just enjoy the rhythm as they drum the sundown. They play specific African, Brazilian, and belly dance rhythms but you don’t have to know them to drum along.
Go fairly early as gets crowded, parking cheaper than Sanibel, clean facilities, playground, boardwalk, and shaded areas, can rent chairs and umbrella, Soft sand unlike Ft Myers for walking. Would go back. The water nice and not brown due to red tides issues other beaches have been having lately.
There will be a short rhythm class beforehand for those wanting to learn a new rhythm that we'll start out with, or if you need a refresher.
Rhythm Class 6:15
Pot Luck 7:00
Drum Circle begins 7:30

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