Fun Things to do Outdoors in and around Lakewood Ranch

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Fun Things to do Outdoors in and around Lakewood Ranch

The Lakewood Ranch and surrounding areas have so much to offer to those who love to spend their leisure time outdoors. From fishing, zip lining or horseback riding, there is something for everyone. If you love being out on the water, there are several beaches close by where you can get your feet wet for sure!


If you live in Lakewood Ranch, you already know there are several lakes in the community. These lakes are full of bass, catfish and bream. You can stroll on down or ride your bike and enjoy a few hours or a day throwing your line in and catching. What a great way to get your kids out to spend good quality time outdoors. If it’s saltwater fishing you enjoy, you can take a short ride down to the beach for some shore fishing or to a pier where fish like mangrove snapper and sheepshead like to hang out. The Anna Maria Island Pier is always a good bet to catch something. We fish there quite often. This pier has a bait shop and a restaurant, The City Pier Restaurant. They serve up some delicious eats and drinks. This is a nice way to take a break from all the fun in the sun. Another great spot is under the bridge at Longboat Key, known as Longboat Pass. The water here is absolutely beautiful and we love to head down early in the morning and grab a great spot. You can cast in from shore and wait for those hungry fish to pass under the bridge. The water here is very swift, so you’ll want to stay close to the shoreline. Swimming is recommended on the Gulf side. This area offers picnic areas, pavilions and restrooms. Just remember, you’ll need either a salt water or fresh water fishing license. The cost is minimal, the fun is priceless. Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to purchase your license.


Ropes Course

If you love heights or you’re trying to get over your fear, head out to TreeUmphwhich is located on SR 70. Here you can spend the day climbing, zip lining, cross a monkey bridge, ascend and descend different types of rope ladders and cross a tight rope. There are many more courses that are offered. Before attempting these courses, the staff will go over a safety lesson and provide all the personal protective equipment you will need. You are also harnessed at all times to ensure safety.  So grab your kids and head out for a high flying adventure!

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is very popular in the Lakewood Ranch area. With so many farms and ranches, horses are abundant and there are several companies you can contact to take riding lessons or just trot along some back country trails.  My personal favorite is Myakka River Ranch My wife and I have spent the day enjoying some great sites out in the country and the owner taught us everything we needed to know before heading out on the trail.

Paddle Boarding and Kayaking

Paddle boarding and kayaking is a great way to get out on the water and tour the area. Several companies offer lessons and you can rent paddle boards or kayaks directly from the area you wish to launch from.  One great place to do this is the South Lido Mangrove Tunnels. We go there from time to time and launch at a public launch area. Get there early or you’ll need to park on the street. Either way, it’s well worth it as the mangrove tunnels lead you out onto crystal blue waters. There are a couple of beaches you can pull up to and take a rest or have lunch. If you don’t have your own paddle board or kayak, visit Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures and they’ll get you set up.


You can enjoy some of the World’s best rowing right down the road from Lakewood Ranch. Nathan Benderson Park, located right off of I-75 and University Parkway, offers World class rowing at its finest. The International Federation of Rowing Association hosted 136 countries to compete in the Masters Championship in September of 2013. This venue also offers lessons on rowing and other aquatic adventures.



If you enjoy Polo, the Sarasota Polo Club at Lakewood Ranch has been providing polo matches in one of the most beautiful settings in Sarasota. During season, the public gets to enjoy one of the most exhilarating games on horseback. The Sarasota Polo Club sits on 130 acres of pristine manicured grounds, with nine world class polo fields and a regulation size arena. Bring the family, bring a picnic, join in on the tailgating and have some fun!

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