This is a lovely park with oyster shell paths and bridges through the mangroves and beside the beach. It's never crowed after the tourist season when we normally go there to walk out two Maltese and not too bad even dduring the top tourist times. Most people seem to head out to Anna Maria Island where the traffic is terrible, so we cut the trip short and turn out to the deSoto Memorial. There's a visitor's center there with lots of history and with clean restrooms. Benches are placed along the path, some of them right beside the water. It's one of our favorite places to go about an hour from home, so we do it often. Dogs love it--so there are many of them there on leads. does have "doggy bags" and you are expected to use them. Beautiful water, beautiful place.