What To Do In Sarasota: Myakka River State Park

Florida is a wonderful place to visit both in winter and summer. From the sandy beaches to amazing wildlife, Florida is full of excitement! And Myakka River State Park is the perfect destination for your next trip.

Adventure awaits in Sarasota, Florida at Myakka River State Park. If you are in the mood to see a gator, experience the nature Florida has to offer, and have a wonderful time, then Myakka River State Park is for you. Below, you will find my quick guide for Myakka River and how to get the most out of your experience.

A Quick Guide To Myakka River State Park - The Witty Wife

A Quick Guide To Myakka River State Park - The Witty Wife

This past week, I was given the opportunity to experience Myakka River State Park, thanks to Visit Sarasota County and Ecko Tours,  and all it’s glory. Further more, this is a sponsored post based off of my experience with Ecko Tours. Nevertheless, all opinions and suggestions are my own! Additionally, this post contains affiliate links which you can read more about my participation here.

History of Myakka River State Park

State parks in Florida are all the rage. Myakka River State Park is ranked in the Top 5 Things to do in Sarasota from, Trip Advisor. From the waterways to the wild life, these parks are an amazing destination for families, couples, travelers, and groups. According to the Florida State Parks website, Myakka River is one of the largest and oldest state parks.

The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands.”

Before Myakka River State Park became what it is today, it was home to Bertha Palmer who was a cattle rancher. Over the years, fragments of the park were put together. During the Great Depression and after Mrs. Palmers death, the 17,000 acres were purchased by the government to create Myakka River State Park.  The Civilian Conservation Corps is the main developer of the park and Myakka is one of eight developed from the CCC in Florida. You can find a more extensive history of the park here. 

Things to Do

Myakka is beautiful pretty much any time of the year. It is known for it’s extensive wildlife, hiking trails, alligators, and other outdoor activities. I suggest setting up a kayak and bike tour with Ecko Tours! They have amazing tour guides, plan the entire day out for you, include lunch, and more! For kayaking, Ecko Tours partners with Wayne Adventures and makes the experience super memorable and easy. They provide you with life jackets, a kayak, personalized tour, and tons of knowledge. For bicycling, we had a park ranger named Michelle as our guide! She was fantastic, very knowledgable and friendly. We were provided bikes, helmets if wanted, and a private tour of the bike trails. Additionally, Ecko Tours provided us with lunch form the Pink Gator Cafe within the park!

Myakka River State Park - The Witty WifeMyakka River State Park - The Witty Wife
More things you can do at the park:

  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Kayaking/Canoeing
  • Camping
  • Boat Tour
  • Interactive Exhibit

Nevertheless, there are tons of other things you can do at the park. I would suggest taking a weekend trip or setting aside a couple days so you can do everything. Or, make it easy and camp out at one of there cabins! You can check out some other amazing photos for inspiration through Trip Advisor.

The Gators

Probably the most memorable part of the experience at Myakka River State Park is the alligators. The park is home to tons of these reptiles. As we kayaked down the river, we saw over 20 gators basking in the sun. At first, I was terrified. I thought for sure I was going to be eaten alive. But the tour guide, Wayne, made the experience more comfortable by really giving us some much needed knowledge about gators. They actually won’t bother you if you don’t get in their way. You can view the gators from the top of the bridge in the park from a distance. Or, you can kayak down the river and get a close up!

Myakka River State Park - The Witty Wife

Cost and Such

Since Myakka is a state park, it is quite affordable to enter! Better yet, it cost $4 for one person and $6 for car load. You can get a wonderful lunch within the park from The Pink Gator Cafe. You can check out some pictures of their food here or access there full menu! The park is tucked away off of State Road 72, just 30 minutes east of the beach. To camp, it is only $26 a night and to rent a cabin is $70 a night. Totally worth it to stay if you want to get the most out of your experience.

Myakka River State Park is a wonderful place to visit. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend you take a trip to the park. And be sure to book a kayaking and bike tour with Ecko Tours for a great time! Ready to book a flight to Florida? Check out where to find the cheapest flights!


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Have you ever been to Myakka River State Park? Do you have a favorite state park??

17 thoughts on “What To Do In Sarasota: Myakka River State Park

  1. This park looks awesome. I have been to Florida many times, but never knew this existed. I’m so glad you shared it. I’m ready to visit right now. 🙂
    xo, SC // SCsScoop.com

  2. My husband’s grandparents have a winter home in Venice, FL, which isn’t too far from Sarasota. I’m putting this on our list to check out this year when we’re in FL!

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