Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in North Port, FL

  • Published 2022/04/27

North Port is a city in Sarasota County, Florida.

It contains suburban homes and everything else you’d expect from a city, but that’s not all this place has to offer.

Underneath all the modern and practical amenities in the city is something more exciting and profound.

North Port still maintains close ties with the natural world.

Its beaches and nature preserves show off the area’s beautiful natural landscape and wildlife.

Here are the 15 best things to do in North Port, Florida:

Stop by Manasota Key Beach

People enjoying the Manasota Key Beach

Wirestock Creators /

Florida has several gorgeous beaches, and Manasota Key Beach is a great first stop on your ocean adventure.

The beach itself has an inspiring story.

Back in 1963, the beach had only four concrete shelters.

Sunset over Manasota Key Beach

Todd Webb /

The county government bought the place in the 1970s.

Thanks to government funding, the beach flourished into the popular destination you know today.

Manasota Key offers several amenities for its visitors, including a boardwalk, boat ramps, a canoe/kayak launch, picnic areas, and a volleyball court.

Waters of Manasota Key Beach

Shelby Lee Photography /

Rest and Relax at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park

Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park sits under the shade of a great oak tree, waiting to welcome new visitors.

Experience nature as Old Florida and its citizens experienced it hundreds of years ago.

Explore its winding rustic paths and rest in the pavilions scattered across the area.

The park also features a primitive camping site if you want to linger and appreciate nature for longer.

Bathe at the Warm Mineral Springs

Welcome sign of Warm Mineral Springs

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Warm Mineral Springs features a free-flowing artesian spring, making it unique to your itinerary.

Step in the water and let the warm water relax your muscles and bones.

History marker of Warm Mineral Springs

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rumor states that the spring contains one of the highest mineral levels in the country.

Thanks to its minerals and warm waters, the spring can heal all your aches and pains.

There are also various spa services available in the area, so take full advantage of that and feel all the bad energies around you dissipate.

Exterior of a structure in Warm Mineral Springs

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go Swimming at Atwater Community Park

End your North Port trip by going to Atwater Community Park.

Beat the heat at the park’s 25-acre swimming pool with an accessible zero-entry splash pad.

Take a dip and wash all your worries away with the pool’s clear and refreshing waters.

You can also take it up a notch and play games with your friends, like swimming races, splash battles, or water fights.

The atmosphere here is light and friendly, making it the perfect spot to wind down after your long journey across North Port.

Experience Magic at the Garden of the Five Senses

The Garden of the Five Senses is the Eden of North Port, so stop by and visit if you have time.

With forest woods to the south and manicured lawns to the north, The Garden of Five Senses sits at the edge of two different worlds.

A trip to this garden is a sensual treat that you won’t want to miss.

The ground overflows with colorful flowers and natural aromas.

Listen carefully to the gentle birdsong lulling its visitors into a state of calm and relaxation.

The ornamental gazebo inside the garden lets you can host weddings, anniversaries, or other gatherings.

Add some ambiance to your event with the garden’s fantastical vibe.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Lie Down and Sunbathe at Blind Pass Beach

Entrance walkway to Blind Pass Beach

Jim Schwabel /

Visit another beach to complete your unforgettable North Port stay. Your next stop is the Blind Pass Beach.

This beach offers nearly 3,000 feet of beach frontage and gulf-to-bay access.

Blind Pass Beach’s unique charm sets it apart from other tourist destinations.

People fishing at Blind Pass Beach

Natalia Manczyk /

One of its most notables features is the mangrove trail you can follow.

Start from the ocean and explore the mangrove wilderness.

Experience all the magic and mystery hidden behind those ancient and twisted tree roots.

Who knows what secrets you might find on your journey?

People admiring the sunset at Blind Pass Beach

Danita Delimont /

Visit Ann & Chuck Dever Regional Park

In 2008, the Ann & Chuck Dever Regional Park finished, occupying hundreds of acres.

Like many other sites in North Port, the park has a nature trail that lets you get up close and personal with the local flora and fauna.

The park also has a 25-yard competition pool begging for you to use.

Race with your friends and see who’s the best.

You don’t need a prize.

All you need are bragging rights you can bring back at your next get-together.

Have Fun at Englewood Beach

The shell sculpture at the entrance of Englewood Beach

H.J. Herrera /

North Port has no shortage of beaches, and you’ll want to visit all of them.

One of these beaches is Englewood Beach.

You can find this beach at Chadwick Park, covered with white sand that makes nearby beaches remarkable.

The waters of Englewood Beach

Don Donelson /

Take a dip in the sparkling blue waters and feel your worries flow away with the waves.

You can play basketball or volleyball with your buddies for an afternoon of sporty fun.

Likewise, you can enjoy grilling barbecues on the beach.

Enjoy a filling lunch with your family or friends at the beach’s picnic area.

People enjoying the sun at Englewood Beach

Guspederson, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Listen to The Venice Symphony Orchestra

North Port’s magic doesn’t just lie in its forests and beaches.

When you get the chance, catch a performance from the Venice Symphony orchestra at the Venice Performing Arts Center.

Let their music bewitch you like the sirens from old myths.

Listen to this local symphony orchestra bring classical compositions to glorious life.

It’s hard to draw yourself away from the power of classical music, but then again, would you want to?

Come back for another show to feel the magic again.

Head Over to Jelks Preserve

Scenic view at Jelks Preserve

Jim Schwabel /

Jelks Preserve should be your next stop if you’re looking for an extreme outdoor experience that you can’t get at other sites.

Located at 2300 North River Road, the place has more than eight miles of trails.

You’ll never run out of places to explore or things to discover.

View of a river at Jelks Preserve

Jim Schwabel /

It also has a fishing area, so be sure to get your rods ready.

Compete with your friends by seeing who can catch the most fish!

A trail at Jelks Preserve

Jim Schwabel /

Relax at the Don Pedro Island

Scenic sunset over Don Pedro Island

Rachel Niskanen /

Witness the natural beauty and grace of North Port by visiting another gorgeous island.

Stop by Don Pedro Island if you can.

You can find this island between Little Gasparilla Island and Knight Island, and you don’t want to miss it.

A dock at Don Pedro Island

Joe McCray /

One of the first things you’ll see is a mile-long expanse of white beaches.

The beach has a pavilion for you to sit and relax.

However, you can just run freely on the sand.

Feel the sun on your skin and the wind against your hair.

It’s not just beaches that’ll greet you on Don Pedro.

Walk a little further and find the tangle of trees and water unique to mangroves.

Colorful sunset over Don Pedro Island

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Marvel at The Pop Culture Antique Museum

Visit the Pop Culture Antique Museum for a unique attraction.

Join the museum in reveling in the weird and nostalgic.

The museum also caters to “the freaks, geeks, and gamers” with its displays of pop culture oddities.

If you’re a self-proclaimed nerd, this museum is your paradise.

Step inside the place to find a room overflowing with unique and hard-to-find antiques.

Whether you’re a fan of British royalty or Star Trek, this place will have something for you. They’re all for sale, too, a collector’s dream.

Appreciate Nature at the Sleeping Turtles Preserve North

A trail lined with lush trees at Sleeping Turtles Preserve North

Jim Schwabel /

Sleeping Turtles Preserve North spans 174 acres of land dedicated to promoting appreciation and love for the natural area it protects.

The place gets its name from a landmark on the Myakka River, recorded on naval maps from the 1800s.

Still waters of a river at Sleeping Turtles Preserve North

Jim Schwabel /

The preserve has many hiking and river trails you can follow.

Go deeper into the woods and connect with nature.

The facility also provides resources for wildlife and birdwatching.

It’s difficult not to fall in love with the tiny creatures on the preserve’s floor and the soaring birds in the sky.

Enter the Myakka State Forest

An owl on a tree at Myakka State Forest

CMKEnterprises /

The Myakka State Forest sits on the southwest coast of North Port, straddling the river and creating a magical sight for every visitor.

Lose yourself in the open forest teeming with towering pinewood and vast prairies. Step into the forest’s wetlands and uplands; you’ll feel like you never want to leave.

The woods of Myakka State Forest

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Civilization is never really too far from sight, with suburban communities surrounding the edges of the woods.

The suburbs at the edge of the forest reminds travelers that they’re not alone in their journey.

There’s always a community to welcome them back when they find what they’re looking for.

Step into Cape Haze Pioneer Trail

Bridge markings on Cape Haze Pioneer Trail's bike trail

grenierb /

Explore the historical Charlotte Harbor and Northern Railroad by following the Cape Haze Pioneer Trail that runs alongside it.

This trail was Anne Mercer’s brainchild, and it officially opened on November 20, 1999.

The railway it followed served Gasparilla Island, existing from 1907 to 1981.

You’ll pass several historical sites while you follow the trail, such as the McCall Section House and the Placida Dunk House.

Bring your cameras to help preserve the area’s history.

You can also review brochures for more information about these places.

Head to Little Gasparilla Island

Scenic view of Little Gasparilla Island


Little Gasparilla Island is a barrier island just off the Southwest coast of Florida.

This hidden spot is perfect for peace and relaxation.

You have to take a 15-minute Water Taxi ride or take your own boat to the magical island.

Exterior of a beach house at Little Gasparilla Island

Blake McLane /

Once you get there, you’ll see fine sand and seashells bordering the clear blue seawater.

Spend the night at the private beach. Wake up to miles of long, uninterrupted beachfront.

Collect seashells, lie down on the sand, and bathe in the sun’s gentle warmth as you feel your worries fade away on this island’s own little world.

Final Thoughts

Every journey you take should carry just a little bit of magic. So, it’s essential to find places that’ll steal your breath away.

North Port, Florida, has many great spots to go if you’re looking to get in touch with nature.

Feel touched and enchanted by the mystical qualities of the places you visit.

Find your sense of wonder and seek out the beauty in every second of your journey.

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