Top 5 Best Parks in Sarasota

Top 5 Best Parks in Sarasota

        It is no secret that Sarasota is one of the most desirable counties in Florida for homebuyers. Sarasota boasts some of the most special features in the state, with warm climates year round. Sarasota is home to the world-famous Siesta Key beach, where you can swim in sparkling turquoise waters. The area is known for its preserved natural environment. Sarasota is home to plenty of nature parks, trails, and preserves for you to discover. Needless to say, Sarasota is a tropical paradise, particularly for the avid nature lover. There are so many options in the area. We took the guess work out and narrowed it down to the top 5 best parks in Sarasota.

Payne Park

        Any Sarasota native would agree that Payne Park is THE park to visit for family fun. It all began when Calvin and Martha Payne donated 60 acres of land, which would later become the Ed Smith Stadium we know today. Between 1924-1989, Payne Park was a professional baseball field and spring training home to the NY Giants, Boston Red Sox, and the Chicago White Sox. The field closed down in 1989 and was later replaced by Ed Smith Stadium in 2010. This is now the spring training field for the Baltimore Orioles. If you are a fan of baseball, this stadium is a true landmark in sports history. Today, it also serves as a great place to bring the whole family!

You will find a wide variety of features here, including an amphitheater, disc golf courses, and walking paths, but that is not all. The circus-themed playground in the park offers a splash pad, a rock climbing wall, slides, music makers, and swings. Payne Park is a true childhood dream! The Tennis Center features not one, not two, but twelve Har-Tru hydro grid tennis courts. These courts include a hitting wall and covered benches. Furthermore, you will find some amazing public art by artist James Evans throughout the park. His work depicts community figures, made from steel with coat powered finish. Other amenities here include an amphitheater, picnic tables, and a water fountain. Forgot to bring lunch? Not to worry. The Café in the Park continues the old tradition of the ‘urban café terrace’, making this a charming place to relax, refuel, and enjoy Sarasota’s naturally warm climates.

Bayfront Park

        You may have seen or heard of the famous “Unconditional Surrender” statue which stands tall in Bayfront Park. This statue was derived from an old photograph taken at the 

end of World War II. In 1945, the Japanese spontaneously surrendered to the US, officially ending World War II. US soldiers were so surprised and overjoyed about the war’s abrupt end, they stormed Times Square in celebration. Originally, Alfred Eisenstaedt captured the moment on film, only for it to become an iconic and historic memorial statue for fallen soldiers.

        Bayfront Park is definitely a favorite among Sarasota residents. Not only can you gaze upon this amazing monument, you can also find a plethora of park amenities here. The park features a playground, public art, rental venue, restrooms, transportation, and a walking path. The town recently installed a bioswale, which is designed to catch and treat storm water runoff. There are plenty of native plants in the bioswale, like the Cabbage Palm, Railroad Vine, Mangrove Spider Lily, Trailing Porterweed, and Sea Purslane. These plants provide a valuable source of food and a livable habitat for local wildlife and insects. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind park, totally worth the visit!

Urfer Family Park

        The Urfer Family Park is well-known for preserving and protecting Sarasota’s natural ecosystem. Although the park was not established until 2008, it is up at the top of the list of historic “green” spaces for outdoor recreation in Sarasota. Moreover, you will find plenty of amenities here to enjoy. Not only is the Urfer Family Park ideal for sightseeing, it is also a great spot to bring the kids. The Urfer Family Park has a playground, picnic area, trails, and outdoor fitness equipment. This is a park with an interesting back story. The Urfer Family Park is home to the Legacy Trail visitor center, which is inside the old Wilson House

        The Wilson House was a safe place to house severely ill patients around the year 1913, with care from Dr. James Wilson. The architect for this home was likely Edgar Ferdonk, who was doing a lot of construction in Sarasota around that time. Originally, The Wilson House stood at the corner of Ringling Boulevard and South Orange Ave. Dr. Wilson was a well-established Sarasota native with a passion for helping the people. Dr. Wilson was a pillar in the community. Additionally, The Wilson House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Whether you want to learn about Sarasota’s rich history and relish in the area’s beautiful atmosphere, this is one of the best parks in Sarasota to do so.

Myakka River State Park

        The Myakka River State Park is one of the best parks in Sarasota because of its incredible natural beauty. Originally used for cattle ranching between the 1850s-1920s, the Myakka River State Park hosts 66 miles of history. The Civilian Conservation Corps made this an accessible park in the 1930s. They dedicated the park to preserving Sarasota’s ecosystem and uniting the community. The 38.9 mile hiking trail is a main feature in the park, with an abundance of other unique amenities available to the public.

        There is something for everyone here, whether you enjoy horseback riding on 12 miles of dedicated horse trails, paddle boarding down the sparkling Myakka River, or camping with friends and family. Enjoy river boat tours, a bird walk, amphitheater, exhibits, and a playground in Sarasota’s warm climates here. 

Nathan Benderson Park

        Nathan Benderson Park is a pet friendly, 600-acre park that is open to the public all year long. The park includes North America’s premier 2,000 meter sprint rowing course, and is well-known as the top natural environment for rowing. There is an inviting 400-acre lake sparkles in the Sarasota sun at the park offering plenty of space to kayak or canoe. The amenities in Nathan Benderson Park include a trail around the lake, a small boat ramp, picnic areas, and events. This park is adjacent to University Town Center, which boasts plenty of shops, dining options, and entertainment. Nathan Benderson Park sits in an incredible natural environment, which is what makes it one of the best parks in Sarasota.


Sarasota is a favored destination among homebuyers in Florida. Not only will you find plenty of incredible homes, a bustling downtown area, and dazzling beaches, but also many amazing parks. Having trouble finding the perfect place for you? BRG Real Estate is here to help! Get in touch with one of our agents so you can enjoy the tropical lifestyle you have always dreamed of in Sarasota!