University Park, Florida: A Hidden Gem in the Sunshine State
Located in Manatee County, University Park is a small yet vibrant community just outside of Sarasota. Known for its beautiful parks, world-class golf courses, and stunning beaches, University Park has become an increasingly popular destination for travelers seeking a more laid-back Florida experience. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top ten places to visit in University Park, as well as a few places you might want to avoid.
1. Nathan Benderson Park
Nathan Benderson Park is a world-class rowing facility that has hosted multiple national and international championships. Visitors can enjoy a number of activities such as kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and walking and biking trails. The park also features a playground, picnic areas, and a fishing dock.
2. The Mall at University Town Center
If shopping is your thing, head over to The Mall at University Town Center. This upscale shopping destination boasts over 125 stores, including many high-end brands such as Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci.
3. Myakka River State Park
Myakka River State Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Florida. It’s known for its diverse wildlife and stunning views of the Myakka River. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and wildlife tours as well as camping and fishing.
4. Lakewood Ranch Main Street
Lakewood Ranch is a master-planned community that features an urban-style Main Street area. Visitors can enjoy restaurants, shops, and a movie theater as well as various events throughout the year.
5. Sarasota Polo Club
If you’re looking for a unique experience, head to the Sarasota Polo Club for an exciting match. The club hosts matches every Sunday during the season, and visitors can tailgate and watch some of the best polo players in the world.
6. Siesta Key Beach
Siesta Key Beach is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the world. With its powder-soft white sand and crystal-clear water, it’s no wonder why. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and various watersports in this picturesque setting.
7. Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club
The Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club is a private club that features three championship golf courses, a tennis facility, and other amenities. Visitors can book tee times and enjoy the beautiful Florida weather on the fairways.
8. Jiggs Landing
Jiggs Landing is a historic fishing village that offers boat rentals and fishing charters for visitors. The park also features picnic areas, playgrounds, and a bait shop.
9. Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a botanical garden that features exotic birds, reptiles, and other animals. Visitors can enjoy various shows throughout the day as well as educational programs.
10. The Ringling Museum
The Ringling Museum is a world-famous museum that features art, architecture, and history exhibits. Visitors can explore the extensive collection of European art and rare circus memorabilia as well as the stunning gardens on the property.
Places to Avoid:
While University Park is generally a safe and welcoming community, there are a few areas that visitors may want to avoid. These include:
- The eastern side of the city, which is more industrial and less developed than the western side
- The intersection of University Parkway and US-301, which can be congested and difficult to navigate during rush hour
- The area around the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, which can be noisy and crowded with traffic
- The northern edge of the city, which borders a more rural area and may lack some of the amenities of the rest of University Park
- The neighborhoods immediately surrounding the University of Florida, which may be crowded and noisy during football season
Overview of University Park
|Currency:||US Dollar ($)|
|Best Time to Visit:||November to April, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller|
|City Official URL:||https://www.tampagov.net/city-tampa/|