All About Ted Sperling Nature Park in Siesta Key and What You Can Expect on Your Visit

Ted Sperling Nature Park is a must-visit destination when traveling to the Siesta Key area. Being just minutes away from condo rentals in Siesta Key, this park attracts visitors from all around. If you’re looking to be close to nature, but want to take a break from the beach, keep reading for more information and visit today.

mangrove trees


Ted Sperling Nature Park has blossomed into one of the top Siesta Key attractions, but it wasn’t always that way. Its roots stretch back to 1904 when Otto Zoldan settled the area. After a few short decades, the property was sold to John Ringling during the 1920s. Despite having great plans for the area, Ringling was never able to follow through as all his projects fell to the wayside during the great Florida land bust of 1926.

After decades of little development, Sarasota County elected to purchase the area in 1977 as part of a preservation movement happening at the time. Since that time, the area has been solely used as public land for parks and recreation. In 2009, the area was renamed to the Ted Sperling Park in honor of the gentleman responsible for the purchase and preservation of the land.


Throughout the park, you can view an abundance of wildlife in an up-close and personal way. Often times, if you look hard enough, you will have the opportunity to see a variety of fish, shellfish, birds, and other small animals as well. Some of the larger animals you may spot include the West Indian Manatee, which can sometimes approach kayaks depending on how curious they are, the Cormorant bird, which will often hop on kayaks in hopes of spotting fish in the water below, and the ever-curious dolphin.


Ted Sperling Nature Park itself, unfortunately, doesn’t have too many amenities to speak of. If you’d like to kayak or paddleboard, you’ll need to secure a rental or bring your own to the Park, where you can take off from the free kayak launch. You’ll also need to bring your own food and drinks if you plan to spend the afternoon here. 

Luckily, Ted Sperling Nature Park is just a short drive away from Lido Key Public Beach (also called Lido Beach), where you’ll find a much wider selection of amenities. To get to the beach from Ted Sperling Park, simply start on Taft Drive and turn right onto Benjamin Franklin Drive, which you’ll follow for almost half a mile. The beach will then be on your left. At Lido Key Public Beach, you’ll find a concession stand with shaded eating areas nearby, as well as a playground, restrooms, a gift shop, beach equipment rentals, outdoor showers, and more.

Things to Do

Despite being a nature reserve, there is still plenty of things to do near Siesta Key at Ted Sperling Nature Park. The area houses one of the top-rated kayak launching sites in the entire state.  From this launch site, visitors have the opportunity to kayak free of charge around the nature park to explore the wildlife. In the same vein, individuals can also paddleboard their way around the nature park if they so wish. Rentals and lessons for both paddleboarding and kayaking are available year-round.

If you’re looking for even more Siesta Key outdoor activities, you’re in luck! Ted Sperling Nature Park hosts a guided eco-tour twice a day for all its visitors who wish to participate. This tour is a fantastic opportunity to see the mangroves and Sarasota Bay with an expert on the area.

Plan Your Next Visit

With so much to do at Ted Sperling Nature Park, and in nearby Sarasota, it’s plenty easy to tire yourself out! Worry not! Peppertree Bay has a variety of Siesta Key vacation rentals close to the park to ensure that you can come back and relax after a long day with nature. Our friendly staff is committed to serving you night and day. Give us a call or visit us online to get started and book your home away from home.

Contact Us

Peppertree Bay Association
6056 Midnight Pass Road
Sarasota, Florida USA 34242

T 941.349.7777
F 941.346.0371


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