Discovering North Port, Florida Itineraries

Explore the best of North Port, an outlying locale brimming with Old Florida natural beauty, outdoor fun, cultural enrichment and eclectic dining.

Whether you're a nature enthusiast, arts lover, sports fan, traveling foodie or looking for something fun to do with the family, North Port has something for everyone. With its unspoiled naturalness and growing social scene, Sarasota County's quiet-yet-evolving community of North Port is worth the drive south to "get away from it all" and experience something offbeat and new with one of these local itineraries.

Stop 1

CoolToday Park: Baseball Bliss

CoolToday Babe Ruth Stadium

Start your day at the state-of-the-art Spring Training complex, CoolToday Park, home of the Atlanta Braves and their High-A affiliate, the Florida Fire Frogs of the Florida State League. Catch a game during spring training season and experience the excitement of America's favorite pastime, or check the facility's events calendar throughout the year for various community activities and special events such as live music, movie nights, weekly trivia and more! Whether you're a die-hard baseball fan or just looking for a good time, CoolToday Park offers a fun-filled day for a group of friends or the family. 

Don't miss a ballpark bite or tropical cocktail at Tomahawk Tiki Bar & Grill, overlooking the diamond and just steps away from the open-seating grass berm in left field!

Stop 2

North Port Aquatic Center: Splash & Swim

north port aquatic center

Cool off and chill on the Relaxahatchee Lazy River, swim laps in the heated competition pool or make a splash on the Barracuda Blast drop slide. North Port Aquatic Center is loads of fun for the whole family while enjoying a day of Florida sun. Concessions are available onsite to enjoy a sweet treat from the Sand Dollar Snack Shack while the kids make waves on the Pelican Splash ground. You can even sign your child up for swimming lessons with a variety of levels, certified by the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program. Be sure to check online for North Port Aquatic Center's updates on active weather alerts, hours of operation and admission fees before heading out.

Dry up and head for lunch or dinner to enjoy the outdoor seating at Savor 100x35, a popular food truck-turned-restaurant serving up delicious Caribbean cuisine and Build Your Own Bowls. On the weekends, catch a rotating lineup of local bands.

(photo courtesy of City of North Port, FL)

Stop 3

Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park & Greenway Nature Trail: Nature's Playground

myakkahatchee_creek_greenway

For outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen, North Port is a go-to to get outside. The area has retained that undeveloped, unspoiled natural beauty that is becoming harder and harder to find. Disconnect from socials and reconnect with yourself at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park or Oaks Park to explore miles of scenic hiking, birdwatching and horseback riding trails.

For those who need a more accessible path, check out the newly opened Myakkahatchee Creek Greenway Nature Trail where you can, meander along boardwalks through wetlands and keep an eye out for native wildlife in their natural habitat. Whether you're picnicking, mountain biking or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll, you'll find a true Old Florida "escape" just minutes from the main road. 

Before visiting the park, head to Que Rico Colombian Flavors for a quick pick-up of some to-go snacks to take with you to enjoy under the Oak canopy. This informal strip mall stop cooks up classic Colombian plates such as empanadas, tostones and sweet plantains—perfect for a finger-food picnic.

(photo courtesy of City of North Port, FL)

Stop 4

Myakka State Forest: Wilderness Wonderland

myakka state forest

Venture further into the wilderness and discover the pristine beauty of Myakka State Forest. Off-road bike or hike through towering pine forests, hunt for small game, paddle or fish the Myakka River—designated as an Outstand Florida Water—and camp riverside surrounded by an open canopy of Mesic flatwoods. With its diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife, Myakka State Forest is a peaceful yet adventurous haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Smart device mapping is possible and encouraged in Florida's State Forests. Download the Myakka State Forest map here and be sure to check FDACS for any special notices/closures, hours and entrance fees.

To fuel up after a full day of exercise and exploration, check out Dubz BBQ for a real hearty meal of authentic smoked barbeque dishes. Here, find the ultimate comfort foods like baby back ribs, pulled pork, chicken wings and more. 

(photo courtesy of City of North Port, FL)

Stop 5

Warm Mineral Springs Park: Healing Waters

warm mineral springs

Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, throw on your bathing suit and head out to Warm Mineral Springs Park, rumored to encompass one of the highest mineral contents of any natural spring in the United States. Taking a dip in the soothing, 85-degree-year-round waters is lovely in its own right, but soaking up the added therapeutic properties and purported healing qualities gives this spring double the reason for a visit. After relaxing and rejuvenating the body and soul, explore the surrounding park with its lush landscapes and perhaps spend the night at the onsite family-style motel. 

Before a dip in the springs, grab yourself a cup a coffee and pastry just down the road at K&K Bakery & Café. There are baked-fresh treats for everyone—including those who are gluten-free—and fun-flavored lattes as well. 

(photo courtesy of City of North Port, FL)

Stop 6

Downtown Wellen Park: Vibrant Community Hub

wellen park

Experience the activity, vibe and energy of Downtown Wellen Park, a vibrant master-planned community of retail and recreation brimming the waterside. From cute boutiques and local shops to modern restaurants and cozy cafes, there's a great deal to take part in and explore, including live music Friday–Sunday, weekly events and fitness classes, awesome amenities such as kayak rentals and recreational activities such as walking/running and cycling group meet-ups. 

On Sunday mornings, don't miss the Fresh Harvest Farmers Market to gather your fresh produce, seafood, flowers and more for the week. Any other day of the week, check out Villani & Co Steak Seafood Raw Bar for a vibey yet upscale experience. This is the perfect spot to enjoy oysters on the half-shell, seasonal seafood, grilled steaks and decadent desserts with friends or a loved one. For more of a lakeside view, make reservations at The Banyan House Restaurant, a beautifully decorated eatery serving creative craft cocktails and elevated cuisine under the limbs and leaves of banyan trees.

(photo courtesy of City of North Port, FL)

Stop 7

Garden of the Five Senses & Boundless Adventures Playground: Sensory Serenity

garden of five senses

Step into a world of sensory play, education and exploration at North Port's Garden of the Five Senses. The garden's lush landscapes, fragrant flowers and interactive exhibits are designed to engage all five senses and get lost in the learning of nature. The park is also home to the Boundless Adventures Playground, which offers inclusive play spaces where children of all abilities (including those with physical, developmental, cognitive and sensory disabilities) can laugh, learn and play in a safe and welcoming environment. In addition to the playground, a paved nature trail is located nearby for families to roam and enjoy quality time away from the screens.

(photo courtesy of City of North Port, FL)

Stop 8

City Center Front Green: Community Events & Entertainment

city center front green

In the heart of North Port, don't miss an outing on the beautifully landscaped 1-acre green space, the City Center Front Green. Simply walk the paved trails with the dog, picnic at one of the tables with friends or family or plan to attend one of the various community events and entertainment. From live music performances and cultural festivals to Movies on the Green and outdoor markets, the Front Green is the place to be for family-friendly fun, fundraisers, festivals and entertainment. Upcoming events can be found at NorthPortFL.gov/Playbook.

Keep the family fun going just up the road at Bocca Lupo Coal Fired Pizza for coal-fired wings, pizzas and calzones, as well as subs, salads and saucy pastas. This local favorite also has a great selection of beers which you can get in pitchers to keep the good times flowing.

(photo courtesy of City of North Port, FL)

Stop 9

Legacy Trail North Port Connector: Scenic Cycling

legacy trail connector north port

Hit the trails and explore the scenic beauty of the Legacy Trail North Port Connector. Power walk, stroll, bike or rollerblade the newly finished, paved section of the popular Legacy Trail. The entrance to the connector is at 1045 Calera Street, at the end of West Price Boulevard in North Port. At this location, trail users will find a new bridge that leads to a natural surface trail that will take you through Deer Prairie Creek Preserve. Or, continue westbound to stay on the paved, tree-lined trail. For those who want to go the extra mile(s), pack enough water to ride the entire length of the Legacy Trail from North Port all the way up to downtown Sarasota to complete much of the 18.5-mile trail system. Rest assured, you'll find rest stops, trailheads and free parking approximately every mile.

For a quick bite before jumping on the trail, fuel up at Zio’s Twelve 21 Pizzeria & Restaurant, a 15-min bike ride or 6-min car ride to the North Port Connector trailhead. From fried calamari, stromboli and toasted heroes to fresh salads and wraps, Zio's is a great lunch spot before an afternoon outing.

Stop 10

North Port Performing Arts Center: Cultural Enrichment

north port performing arts

If you have an appreciation for musical performances of all walks of life, there is a flourishing and collective arts scene at the Performing Arts Center, located at North Port High School. From classical and contemporary concerts to Broadway hits and theatrical productions, the state-of-the-art venue offers a vast variety of events and entertainment throughout the year while showcasing both local performers and visiting artists alike. Catch a concert while in town to hear the synchronized sounds of NPPAA Band, North Port Symphony, or The North Port Chorale. Or snag Season Tickets to be able to see a number of shows, including tribute bands, touring artists, Sarasota Contemporary Dance, rising high school talents and much more.

Make it a perfect date night by making a reservation right down the road at IKOI Sushi & Hibachi before your show. The trendy Japanese restaurant has a small sushi bar to savor some rolls and saki, as well as cozy booths to enjoy a hibachi dinner or perhaps a poke bowl.

(photo courtesy of City of North Port, FL)

Stop 11

North Port Art Center: Creative Inspiration

Unleash your creativity and explore a world of art at the North Port Art Center. Discover rotating exhibitions featuring works by local artists to find creative inspiration or browse the gift shop for unique handmade treasures. For a more hands-on experience for aspiring and longtime artists alike, participate in one of the many adult art classes and workshops or grab your latest work and attend an Open Studio. From acrylic and watercolor painting to pottery and wood carving, North Port Art Center is an all-ages creative zone to fully express yourself.

After attending a class, catch happy hour or grab dinner with friends at Blue Tequila Mexican Restaurant, Grill & Cantina, just a half mile up the road from the Art Center, or at its sister restaurant, Pink Tequila, a short drive east. Both are the perfect spot to share some chips and guacamole with a round of margaritas before ordering a skillet of sizzling fajitas or enchiladas.