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“kayak manatee encounter” 5 of 5 stars
Review of South Lido Park

South Lido Park
2201 Ben Franklin Dr., Lido Key, Sarasota, FL
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Ranked #13 of 49 Attractions in Sarasota
Type: Beaches, Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Parks, Outdoors
Attraction details
Newton, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“kayak manatee encounter”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Despite the presence of many large buildings and trophy homes near St Armands and Lido Key, very close to downtown Sarasota, many acres of mangroves have been preserved here and apparently there is still enough sea grass in the coves to keep the manatees happy. We had an awesome kayak encounter with a mother manatee and her calf who seemed to be seeking our affection (we remained stationary and sang gently to them for a while), wrapping her flippers and tail around my kayak. I know it's not a good idea to have direct contact with manatees, as they are already in so much trouble from boaters; almost all of them seem to have scars from propellers. We want them to avoid people, for their own protection, but I must admit that this was one of the most touching wildlife encounters I have ever had, (and I have had a few). I suggest renting with one of the knowledgable and very pleasant local kayak and canoe outfitters, who will escort you through the mangrove tunnels. The cormorants are also very friendly here, and like to hitch rides on the kayaks while they look for fish.

Visited November 2012
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142 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Longboat Key, Florida
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
67 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Pretty Park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

So pretty, and a great place to kayak. Mangrove tunnels are awesome, watching the boats go by, nice picnic areas.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broadstairs, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
212 reviews 212 reviews
71 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
“GREEEEEEAAAAAATTTTTTT.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

Free parking, showers rest rooms, clean and tidy.
A welcome break from the bigger beaches in the area, sit in the shade from the trees around you, but still able to swim in the sea, but take care strong tidal currents on the inlet side and headland, Fishing is awesome, and plenty of room to spread out ,BBQ grills are placed around this area and seats and benches everywhere, great in the evening at sunset ,but watchout for the raccoons they raid the bins and your bags if your not watching.

Visited September 2012
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Sarasota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
“Pleasant park with bay, inlet and ocean sides”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

Plenty of free parking with over-hanging trees. Has 3 beach sides - bay, inlet and ocean. It's a pleasant walk around with the parking in the middle. Must be careful about swimming on inlet side due to strong currents. Seems to be good for fishing. picnic tables and grills for BBQs. Rest rooms available. Watch out for sharp seeds from casurina trees.

Visited September 2012
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Dukinfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Best of both worlds”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

Good clean beach with sand like white powder, the sea is azure, the beach is also fringed with pine trees. You have the best of both worlds here - you can sit in the sun or you can sit in the shade. They have picnic benches and barbecues, there is also plenty of parking - we hand never struggled to find a space. Whilst this is a beautiful place to have a picnic, watch the sunset, watch for dolphins, fish and paddle - I do not believe this is a place to swim and I have seen rip tides.

Visited September 2012
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