Top 10 Siesta Key Place to Explore Wildlife

Life is wild on the Gulf coast of the Siesta Key area. Check out all the fun wildlife experiences to enjoy designed for the whole family in Siesta Key and the Sarasota area. Go on a wildlife tour, a dolphin watch cruise, or go kayaking in local waters to see nature up close. Check out the whole list and discover our natural side! ( This Top 10 list is now a Top 12 and growing!)

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
See exotic Siberian Tigers, Royal Bengal Tigers, African Lions, and rare White Tigers up close at Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary in Sarasota. Animal trainer Kay Rosaire began rescuing big cats back in 1987. Come enjoy the great animal shows!

Mote Marine Aquarium
See amazing exhibits up close including the Shark Zone, Manatees, Sea Turtles, Creatures from the Reef and much more. Buy a combo ticket that includes an Eco-Boat Tour and see nature up close as you see and learn about birds and marine natives that call our area home. For an added experience, make the Morning Rounds with aquarium staff biologists, feed the animals and get a first hand look at how the aquarium starts the day.

Kayak Eco Tours from Siesta Key Bike and Kayak 
Wilderness awaits you with a Kayak eco-tour where you may encounter the iconic manatees and bottlenose dolphins that call the area home. You’ll explore the shallow waters of lagoons and grass flats in protected waters. Perfect for beginners to experts and the entire family. Don’t forget your camera!

Siesta Key Watersports Dolphin Watch
Take an exciting dolphin watch tour! See up close the dolphins frolicking in the waters near Siesta Key. If you watch you may experience the whole pod swimming along. Sarasota waters are home to one of the largest populations of wild dolphins. Be sure to photograph the amazing sights in our waters.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens
One of the oldest attractions in Florida established in 1939, Sarasota Jungle Gardens offers home to more than 150 native and exotic animals including birds of prey, parrots, flamingos and macaws, primates, snakes, lizards, iguanas, alligators, and crocodiles. The kids will be amazed by the reptile show.

Canoe Outpost Peace River
Experience the true Florida and go back to the days of the Spanish explorers and Indians as you explore this piece of natural Florida. Get in a canoe and paddle the wilderness for half-day, full-day, and overnight camping trips from two to eight days. Located in Arcadia, Florida, Canoe Outpost-Peace River is approximately 45 minutes from Sarasota.

Myakka River State Park & Myakka Wildlife Tours
The Myakka River State Park in Sarasota has 58 square miles of wetlands and woodlands. Enjoy wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches out over the Upper Myakka Lake. Scenic lake tours of wildlife are offered daily on the world´s two largest airboats. Safari tram tours of the park´s backcountry are offered from December through May.

Horseback Riding on the Beach
BeachHorses.com offers the opportunity to not only ride horses on the beach in nearby Bradenton but also enter the beautiful waters of Palma Sola Bay where you can ride while your horse swims! You can also take part in their famous  HorseSurfing™ and much more!

Captiva Cruises /Cabbage Key Day Cruise
For a day trip, drive down to Captiva Island (just under 2 hours) to Captiva Cruises and board the boat for remarkable Cabbage Key, an”Old Florida” island hideaway. The nature/wildlife cruise will take just over an hour. It is said that Jimmy Buffet wrote the song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” while visiting the rustic fisherman’s pub at the beautiful inn and restaurant.

Coastline Snorkel trip
In nearby Bradenton, take a day trip to Egmont Key and Anna Maria Island for snorkeling. Enjoy the shallow sandbars of Anna Maria or head to Fort Dade at Egmont Key for shelling and viewing amazing tropical fish. Amazing half or full day trips!

Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures
This Tripadvisor top rated outfitter will take you on half day or full day kayak tours around the southwest Florida area. See exciting places like Anna Maria Island, Myakka River, Longboat Key, Egmont Key and many more! Enjoy the wildlife and scenery of our beautiful waters!

The Celery Fields
Wetlands restoration of 100 acres is now complete at the Celery Fields with 217 species of birds present. More than 200,000 aquatic plants have been planted, two boardwalks are complete, and Sarasota Audubon’s plan to build a nature center goes with this restoration. Take pictures and enjoy nature!