NATURE & EDUTAINMENT
The Mote Marine Aquarium
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
City Island, Sarasota, FL 34236
Want to get up-close and personal with a shark? How about an eel, sea turtles or a manatee? Mote
Aquarium's exhibits are educational and fun for everyone.
Hundreds of knowledgeable trained volunteers lend the personal touch to Aquarium visitors, answering questions and explaining fascinating details about over 200 varieties of marine life. The Sea Life Encounter Cruise leaves 3 times daily, seven days a week, past rookeries, shelling and a nature walk on Edwards Island. The boat's trawl net scoops up an amazing assortment of marine life, which are explained and identified by the on-board naturalist. Forty-five minutes before sundown, board the ship to enjoy a stunning tropical sunset and perhaps a visit by local dolphins. Admission: Adults $12. Children 4-12 $8. Children under 4 & members admitted free. Prices subject to change without notice. Call for current information. Mote Aquarium, together with its laboratory's educational programs, makes the exciting world of oceans more understandable and accessible.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
3701 Bayshore Drive
Sarasota, Florida 34234
Toll Free: 877/861-6547
Bird lovers, garden enthusiasts, photographers and especially kids love this lush tropical jungle. The Jungle Trail winds pass through gardens, lakes and exhibits replete with monkeys, various reptiles, including American Crocodiles, birds of prey, flamingos, Wallabies, Imus, Rheas and much more. An entertaining high-wire bird show starring macaws and cockatoos.
Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary
1708 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, Florida 34236
Open 7 days a week, 10 am to 5 pm
Recognized as the 184th Point of Light by President George Bush, this wildlife sanctuary has rescued and rehabilitated over 50,000 injured pelicans, sea birds and other wildlife. Volunteer rescue teams respond 7 days a week to help injured wild birds and animals within a 50-mile radius. In 1981, Dale Shields noticed an injured pelican while fishing, and nursed it back to health, then returned it back to the wild. After doing this on his own for years, he became known as the "Pelican Man", and the City of Sarasota leased him 2 acres of land on City Island to establish a rehabilitation habitat, a hospital, a flight training facility, a baby bird nursery and aviary, a public viewing area and a welcome center. Admission is free, and donations for this worthy cause are most welcome.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
811 South Palm Avenue
Sarasota, Florida 34236
As if stepping into a Rosseau painting, the Selby Gardens enchant the visitor with an explosion of colorful orchids, heliconias, ferns and bromiliads, a tropical rain forest canopy research center and the world's most outstanding collection of epiphyte or "air" plants. A classic southern mansion, the Christy Payne House, is a museum which serves as a showcase for rotating exhibits of botanical illustrations and special events.
Photos courtesy of the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau