13 Best Things To Do In And Near Rotonda West, Florida - Updated 2024

things to do in rotonda west florida
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Rotonda West sits near the Gulf of Mexico, in southwest Florida, between Sarasota and Fort Myers. It’s a great place for those who enjoy the warm weather and the outdoors. 30 miles (48 km) of ponds, lakes, and canals make their way through the city, offering plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water. There are beaches, wildlife, five golf courses, and community parks in Rotonda West to explore. Can you already see yourself swimming in the sea while catching some rays on the beach or enjoying the wildlife in the parks? Pack your bags and don’t forget the sunblock. Scroll down to find a list of the best things to do in and near Rotonda West, Florida.

1. Rotonda Community Park and Preserve

Full of history, Rotonda West in Florida is a fantastic destination with plenty of lovely parks, so keeping little ones entertained will not be a difficult task. Take them out for a leisurely walk and let them frolick the playground at Rotonda Community Park and Preserve. In fact, bring your entire family too for a bountiful picnic at the pavilion. Bike trails and barbecue grills are scattered all over the park, along with picnic tables and tennis courts. This may not be the most touristy thing you can do in the city, but it sure is a great way to bring your family together!

Rotonda Community Park and Preserve

Address: 100 Rotonda Blvd E, Rotonda West, FL 33947, United States

Website: Rotonda Community Park and Preserve

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2. Amberjack Environmental Park

roseate spoonbill amberjack environmental park 4.19.19 DSC_0066
Source: Photo by Flickr user Laura Wolf used under CC BY 2.0

Brighten up your trip to Rotonda by exploring the wonderful Amberjack Environmental Park, a 225-acre (91-hectare) preserve located in Cape Haze peninsula. Oak scrub and flatwood habitats fill the park, and some of the plants are myrtle oaks, wiregrass, palmetto, and slash pine. In the dry habitats of Amberjack live indigo snakes, tortoises, and Florida mouse. Kids will surely be amused by these peculiar animals, so bring them by! You’ll squeeze an easy workout too when you walk the trails of Amberjack.

Amberjack Environmental Park

Address: 6450 Gasparilla Pines Blvd., Rotonda, FL 33947

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3. Rotonda Golf and Country Club

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Rotonda Golf & Country Club on Thursday, April 8, 2021

Can’t think of what to do in Rotonda? To try your shot at a hole in one, head to the Rotonda Golf and Country Club. With five courses to choose from, there are opportunities for golfers of all levels to play. Booking a slot on the course is easily done online. Visitors to the club say the greens are well kept and that the staff are friendly. They’re challenging but easy to navigate, and there’s plenty to see along the way.

Ever seen a lynx or an alligator while golfing? Well, now’s your chance! There’s plenty of wildlife that frequent the courses, making this an exciting spot to play a round, while you’re in the Rotonda West area.

Rotonda Golf and Country Club

Address: 100 Rotonda Cir, Rotonda West, FL 33947, USA

Website: Rotonda Golf and Country Club

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4. Peace River Wildlife Center

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Peace River Wildlife Center is a compelling destination for nature lovers. As a hub for wildlife conservation, it’s not only a delightful attraction but also a noble cause. The center’s mission revolves around “Rescue, Rehabilitate, Educate,” where injured or orphaned wildlife is rescued, rehabilitated, and released into their natural habitat. Visitors get a chance to witness this impactful work up close and learn about the local flora and fauna through guided tours and educational programs.

Additionally, the center houses a wealth of native wildlife, such as raptors, reptiles, and songbirds. The beautiful location by the Peace River provides a serene backdrop for leisurely walks and birdwatching, while picnic areas and gift shops add to the overall experience.

Peace River Wildlife Center

Address: 3400 Ponce de Leon Pkwy, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Website: Peace River Wildlife Center

Opening hours: 11am - 4pm (daily)

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5. Stump Pass Beach State Park

Stump Pass Beach SP bdwk03
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Stump Pass Beach State Park is a must-see attraction for many compelling reasons. Its pristine shoreline offers exquisite seashells and memorable sunsets. Nature enthusiasts can indulge in birdwatching, fishing, and hiking, with diverse wildlife and lush mangroves to explore. The calm waters here invite kayaking and paddleboarding adventures, providing unique vantage points for the area’s scenic wonders.

The state park is not just a recreational paradise but also a conservation success story, where the commitment to preserving its ecological treasures shines. This coastal gem is a perfect retreat for those who crave a convenient break thanks to its shower and restroom facilities, six picnic tables, and parking.

Stump Pass Beach State Park

Address: 900 Gulf Blvd., South end of Manasota Key, Englewood FL 34233

Website: Stump Pass Beach State Park

Opening hours: 8am until sundown (daily)

Price: 3 USD per vehicle

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6. Phoenix Rising Kayak Tour

If you’d like to explore this part of southwest Florida by water, booking a kayak tour is a great option. Phoenix Rising offers eight different tours to choose from, in the area. The tour times and prices vary, and you can get a discount if you bring your own kayak. Choose the Woolverton Trail tour, to kayak through a maze of tunnels carved from the mangrove forest. You’ll see a pelican rookery, dolphin hunting grounds, and if the waters are warm enough, the Florida Manatee.

There’s an Early Riser Breakfast Tour, for the early birds. Departing an hour before sunrise, you’ll paddle through Gasparilla Sound and watch the wildlife greet the morning sun. You’ll end the tour by paddling to Waterside Grill for breakfast. Night owls will want to try the Sunset Serenity tour. On Gasparilla Sound, you’ll watch birds coming home to roost, with the pinks and yellows of the sunset all around you. Reviews hint at a champagne toast at the end of this tour!

Phoenix Rising Kayak Tour

Address: Various meet points in southwest Florida depending on tour.

Website: Phoenix Rising Kayak Tour

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7. Little Gasparilla Island

Gasparilla Island Lighthouse
Source: Photo by Flickr user Patrick Kinney used under CC BY 2.0

Little Gasparilla Island is a tropical barrier island, just north of Gasparilla Island. It is connected to Don Pedro Island in the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Following a hurricane in the 1960s, which destroyed the island’s bridge, residents decided they liked it better without one. Now, the island is only accessible by boat or water taxi.

Little Gasparilla Island offers seven miles (11 km) of beach near Rotonda West to explore. In the summer, sea turtles nest and lay their eggs in the warm sand. Shelling and hunting for prehistoric shark teeth are popular activities on the island. Docks offer the opportunity to bring out your fishing pole. This beach near Rotonda West is the perfect place to enjoy cool tropical breezes in the summer and the warmth of the sun in the winter.

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8. Don Pedro Island State Park

Don Pedro Island SP land base02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Don Pedro Island is accessible only by boat or ferry and the 230-acre (93.1-hectare) State Park is a great space to enjoy the outdoors. The park boasts mangrove forests, dunes, and beaches, making Don Pedro Island a great spot for sunbathing, swimming, fishing, and kayaking. Hiking is another popular activity here and there are guided nature walks available.

Keep a lookout for the local fauna, including West Indian manatees, tortoises, bald eagles, and Loggerhead turtles. There’s a water taxi service which can bring you to other nearby islands if you’d like to continue exploring the beaches of Southwest Florida.

Don Pedro Island State Park

Address: 8450 Placida Rd, Placida, FL 33946, USA

Website: Don Pedro Island State Park

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9. Cape Haze Pioneer Trail Park

The Cape Haze Pioneer Trail is an 8-mile (12.9-km) trail, running along a former railroad corridor. It’s a popular spot to bike, walk, and run. There’s even a historic bunkhouse, previously owned and used by the railway company, which can be viewed along the trail. Trail users love taking in the wildlife while on their bike ride or run. You can see bald eagles, tortoises, racoons, bobcats, and rabbits.

Cape Haze Pioneer Trail Park

Address: 1688 Gasparilla Rd, Port Charlotte, FL 33981, USA

Website: Cape Haze Pioneer Trail Park

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10. Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park

Charlotte Harbor Pres SP02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park spans 46,000 acres (18,615 hectares) and is composed of islands and land. The third largest State Park in Florida, it offers plenty of opportunities to hike its trails and paddle in its waters. There’s much wildlife to be observed here, including mangrove forests, marshes, and the pine flatwoods. You can also catch glimpses of birds, manatees, and dolphins, as much of the park is shallow water.

Kayaking or canoeing is an excellent way to explore the park. There are trail systems winding through the park, perfect for following in a canoe. There are also pedestrians walkthroughs and three marked trails, for those who prefer to explore the park on foot.

Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park

Address: 12301 Burnt Store Rd, Punta Gorda, FL 33955, USA

Website: Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park

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11. Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Lemon Bay is one of five Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves in Florida. Long, narrow, and shallow, the bay covers over 7,200 acres (2,913 hectares). Flowing into the preserve are two Gulf passes and seven tributaries. This creates diversity in the preserve, including mangroves, marsh grass, and seagrass meadows. 150 bird species, 100 invertebrate species, and 200 fish species call Lemon Bay home.

So, what’s there to do at Lemon Bay? Fishing, kayaking, birding, wading, beachcombing, and boating are all popular pastimes at the preserve. The preserve also has a park, which offers educational classes, guided walks, and has a butterfly garden.

Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve

Address: Englewood, FL 34223, United States

Website: Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve

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12. Ann Dever Regional Park

If you like to walk, Ann Dever Regional Park is a good place to go. With three miles (4.8 km) of trails to explore, it’s a pleasant area to spend a couple of hours. The trails run through pine woods, providing a shady respite from the warm Florida sun. In addition to walking trails, the park has a picnic pavilion, a heated pool, a skate park, ball fields, and a playground. It’s a great place to take the family!

Ann Dever Regional Park

Address: 6791 San Casa Dr, Englewood, FL 34224, USA

Website: Ann Dever Regional Park

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13. Englewood Drum Circle

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

One of the fun things to do in Rotonda is watching the sun set while dancing and drumming your heart out. Every Sunday, people meet at Englewood Beach with drums and hula hoops, one hour before sunset. African, Brazilian, and belly dance beats are played, and you’re welcome to drum along, even if you’re not familiar with the music. What a lively way to watch the sunset!

Englewood Drum Circle

Address: Englewood Beach, FL, USA

Website: Englewood Drum Circle

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Flora and fauna in Florida

20170210 03 Rotonda West, Florida
Source: Photo by Flickr user David Wilson used under CC BY 2.0

Bustling with several tourist attractions, Rotonda West in Florida offers myriad ways of enjoying the great outdoors. Whether you’d like to paddle through a state park, look for wildlife while on a hike, or enjoy the sun and sand of island life, these Rotonda tourist attractions have it all. So book your trip, and make sure your bag is packed with a swimsuit, sunblock, and a beach towel.

Should you decide to venture out further into the neighbouring areas, you will find plenty of exciting things to do in Punta Gorda that will make your trip all the more memorable. Moreover, you can enjoy an indulgent stay in Port Charlotte by choosing one of its excellent Airbnbs with a pool.

Frequently asked question about things to do in Rotonda West, Florida

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Nicole is an American expat living in London, England. When she moved from the midwest to London in 2012, it was her first time leaving the US. She has traveled steadily since then, making trips...Read more

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