15 Best Things to Do in Northport (FL)

Located on the west coast of Florida in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, North Harbor had a population of just under 60,000 at the last census.

Northport is located in Sarasota County along the Tamiami Trail, which consists of the American Route from Tampa to Miami.

The city’s proximity to many of the state’s most popular natural and cultural areas makes day trips a convenient option, and for those who prefer to relax and soak by the sea, the area has no shortage of breathtaking beaches that rise up that The famous Florida Sun.

Here are 15 things to do in and around Northport, Florida.

1. Myaka River State Park

Myaka River State Park

Located east of Interstate 75 in Sarasota and Manatee counties, Myakka River State Park is one of the largest parks in the region and one of the oldest in the state.

Featuring a variety of natural environments such as wetlands, swamps, and cypress swamps, the park is also known for its 100-foot-deep sinkhole, aptly named “Deep Hole.”

Featuring pristine campgrounds and a variety of trails open to walkers, cyclists and horseback riders, the park is a particularly popular hotspot for amateur birders who come to catch a glimpse of a rare and reclusive bird or two, They are called regional homes.

2. Atwater Community Park

Atwater Community Park

Especially during the summer months, the combination of heat and humidity in much of the Sunshine State can feel downright depressing. For those traveling with kids, Splash Park is the perfect summer destination.

Atwater Community Park in Northport is one such place, with all the water-related activities you’d expect; known to keep kids engaged for hours.

For parents who would rather watch from a safe distance and not get wet, there are seating areas nearby, although some guests claim there isn’t enough shade, so consider bringing a pair of sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and some sunscreen.

3. Beigang Performing Arts Center

Beigang Performing Arts Center

A community performing arts center is a great place to escape harsh environments, support the local economy, and expose yourself to performing arts you might not otherwise be able to.

The Northport Performing Arts Association hosts a variety of concerts—from band, symphony, to chorus—with nearly 20 events a year; tickets can be purchased individually or for the entire season.

Featuring a state-of-the-art lighting and sound system, the auditorium has nearly 1,000 seats, is fully accessible, and has been open for nearly two decades.

Check out their website for fares and events calendar.

4. West Coast Auctions

west coast auction company

For adventurous travelers interested in exploring new horizons and experiencing something different, attending real estate auctions at West Coast Auctions is a great way to go.

As one of the largest and most successful auction houses in the region, West Coast specializes in commercial and real estate liquidations and holds regular auctions open to dealers, collectors and the public.

Real estate auctions may include art, jewelry, household items, electronics, and sports equipment. Like shopping at antique stores and flea markets, there may only be a rare treasure or two – that’s half the fun.

5. Warm mineral springs

warm mineral spring

The warm mineral springs on San Servando Avenue in the Nord Harbor may not be the fountain of youth sought after by Spanish explorers for centuries, but according to many who have immersed themselves in its healing waters, it’s pretty close.

In addition to their relaxing atmosphere and stress-relieving waters, these springs have an interesting geological history that many guests find fascinating.

Some previous guests have claimed it’s all hype and you’re better off dunking in a hotel hot tub, but they’re in the minority.

While not the cheapest attraction in town, it’s a local sign worth seeing, and tickets are good for all day use.

6. John & Mable Ringling Art Museum

John and Mabel Ringling Art Museum

Just one attraction on the sprawling Ringling Museum campus, the John and Mabel Ringling Art Museum is a popular local attraction, made up of thousands of artworks from the medieval, Renaissance and classical Greek and Roman eras.

If you recognize the name, you won’t be surprised to learn that the facility is named after the Ringling Brothers and one of the founders of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. In addition to original and reproduction art, there are a variety of architecturally unique buildings, beautiful grounds and gardens.

Facilities include a gift shop and café, and guided tours are available.

7. Mary Selby Botanical Gardens

Mary Selby Botanical Garden

Once the private garden of the amateur gardener, the Mary Selby Arboretum has been open to the public for nearly half a century and features thousands of species of plants, trees and flowers spread across many different gardens and conservatories.

The gardens are known for their peaceful atmosphere and stunning views of the nearby Sarasota Bay. For those traveling with young children, the rainforest and butterfly garden are a particular favorite, and many come here just to see bizarre exotics like orchids and banyan trees.

The garden is open every day and features a café and tea room. Child tickets are much cheaper than adult tickets.

8. Sarasota National Cemetery

Sarasota National Cemetery

Open daily from sunrise to sunset, Sarasota National Cemetery covers nearly 300 acres and is the final resting place for many of the state’s veterans.

One of the region’s most poignant destinations, it has been open to the public for over 15 years.

The cemetery is free to visit, and military funerals are often held, which is a very striking sight, especially for those who have never seen it.

The cemetery features an amphitheater that showcases a variety of veteran creations and military-themed works, and free guided tours are available most Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m.

9. Wicked Dolphin Distillery

Wicked Dolphin Distillery

Although it’s only been open for a few years, Cape Coral’s Wicked Dolphin Distillery hasn’t wasted any time making a name for itself by producing some of the most drinkable and popular small-batch rums anywhere in the Bay Area .

Their products are made from Florida-grown sugar cane and have garnered a sizable following — and some notable awards as well.

For those interested in learning about the distillation process, guided tours are available, but you’ll need to call ahead or book online.

Distillery tours and wine tastings are the perfect adult activity for those who leave their kids on babysitting or lock them in hotel closets.

10. Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta

Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta

By their very nature, boats must repel water in order to float. On the contrary, cardboard absorbs water like a sponge and deteriorates rapidly when exposed to water. It’s this puzzling puzzle that makes the Cape Coral Cardboard Regatta such a lively and family-friendly event.

Held in April, when Florida’s weather is nearly perfect, the regatta is open to families, schools, churches and business teams who want to try their hand at amateur sailing.

Regatta includes a variety of other events and activities and is known for its delicious food and all-round festive atmosphere.

11. Mote Marine Lab and Aquarium

Mott Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

Located in North Harbor just outside Sarasota, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is an easy drive and filled with amazing exhibits and live animals, a favorite for those traveling with kids.

That doesn’t mean it’s just cute penguins and clapping seals; instead, some of its most popular inhabitants are alligators and alligators, as well as a variety of tusks living in a huge tank holding over 100,000 gallons of salt water shark.

Admission is on the high side and can be busy during peak hours, so plan accordingly.

12. Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden

Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden

Florida’s warm and humid climate is perfect for a wide variety of butterfly species, and for those visiting the North Harbor area, there’s no better place to see them in magnificence than at the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden.

Most garden occupants go through many different life cycle stages of growth and development before being released into the wild, and many guests find learning about their lives as fascinating as experiencing their beauty.

Tours are included with admission and are offered three days a week, so check their website for schedules, prices, and directions to the facility.

13. Cape Coral History Museum

Cape Coral Historical Museum

The Cape Coral Historical Museum consists of three different buildings containing a variety of historical exhibits, displays and memorabilia, the most complete repository of items related to the establishment and development of the city in the region and is very inexpensive to visit.

It also has a popular rose garden and a collection of Native American artifacts found at the area’s many archaeological sites, many dating back thousands of years — before European blood settled the area.

You can look around or take advantage of an inexpensive guided tour, which includes the Florida Friendly Gardens and Museum buildings.

14. Cultural Park Theatre

Cultural Park Theatre

The Cultural Park Theater at Cape Coral is a local attraction and is the oldest theater of its kind in Southwest Florida.

The venue includes nearly 200 seats and has been producing shows featuring local talent for over 50 years.

Many of their annual presentations feature classics like South Pacific, and in addition to live performances, there is an art gallery showcasing work by local and regional artists in a variety of mediums.

Most shows take place on weekends, so check the events calendar on their website to see when your visit is scheduled.

15. Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Monument

The Big Cypress National Preserve consists of more than 700,000 acres of nature preserve, established in the mid-1970s and located a few hours south of North Harbor.

Although a bit self-driving, its vastness, beauty, and numerous entertainment and cultural attractions make it a worthwhile place to visit.

Camping, hiking, and wildlife photography are popular activities, and reserve staff offer a variety of ranger-led instructional tours, a great way to learn about the people inside the park and its many animals.

Check the park’s website for important travel alerts and restrictions, directions, and available tours and activities.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Northport (FL), FL
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