Located just south of Bradenton is Sarasota, which is home to many things to do and could quickly turn into an overnight stay.
The Mote Laboratory & Aquarium is a research lab and learning facility dedicated to ocean preservation. Public areas have exhibits that allow visitors to learn more about and observe otters, sharks, manatees, turtles and alligators. They even have a pre-historic Megalodon jaw fossil are where you can sift for fossils. Sarasota Jungle Gardens is 10 acres of bird exhibits and botanical gardens. There are flamingo feedings, animal shows and trails to explore; all focused on educating visitors on its inhabitants. Plant lovers should visit Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Located directly on Sarasota Bay, their downtown location has over 20,000 plants on-site, art exhibits, and various gardens. The largest museum in the Sarasota area is The Ringling. Originally the home of one of The Ringling Bros. Circus owners, the 66-acre museum grounds are located on Sarasota Bay. Areas that visitors have access to see are the original 36,000 square foot house, Ca d’Zan, a 21 gallery museum of art containing the Ringling’s vast collection and the circus museum, which houses historic circus memorabilia. There are also gardens to visit through the estate.