Lakewood Ranch
Lakewood Ranch

10 Things to Do in Lakewood Ranch

Lakewood Ranch, located adjacent to Sarasota, gives visitors a chance to enjoy the loveliness of the area with a slightly different view. This newer region boasts golfing galore, as well as these 10 great ways to enjoy LWR.

Take a walk down Main Street

Stylish boutiques, acclaimed restaurants, miniature golf, a cinema, concerts, festivals and more. Come explore Main Street, a hub of exciting activities and family-friendly fun. Ask any local where to get good - no, great - BBQ and the answer will be unanimous. Li'l Nancy's at the Ranch will fulfill any burning desire for anything off the grill. Adjacent to Li’l Nancy’s at the Ranch is Craft Growlers To Go & Tasting Room. At this unique hot spot, 45 various beers, wines, and sodas are on tap, ready for your enjoyment. Fill a 32- or 64-ounce growler to go or enjoy on site. Feel free to sit inside or outside. The vibe is laid back and making yourself at home could not be more encouraged.

Go on an adventure

With 3,500 acres allotted to lakes, preserves, and parks, Lakewood Ranch boasts no shortage of parks and outdoor activities to do. My personal favorite is Greenbrook Adventure Park. With its large fields for soccer or football, shaded playground, enclosed inline skating court and paw park, there’s a little bit of outside for everyone.

Sarasota Polo


Every Sunday from December to April, Sarasota Polo at Lakewood Ranch opens its gates to the public for its weekly matches. Pull up your car, tailgate, and prepare to watch the gorgeous horses and their riders do their thing. Kids and leashed dogs are welcome, as well, so it’s a whole family affair. Their website kindly offers a glossary of polo terms so you can impress your friends with the correct usage of chukker.

Arts & Culture

Celebrate arts and culture in Lakewood Ranch with our local events showcasing artists, music, film and performing arts. In February you can see a sampling of performances from the local arts organizations. The Players Centre is hosting an array of events, including a children’s program; STAR, Storytelling Theatre at the Ranch. 

Go on holiday

A stay at Lakewood Ranch’s Holiday Inn will give you prime access to all the LWR activities you desire, as well as the opportunity to swim while looking at a lake and then dining at the onsite restaurant,Alamo Steak House. You’ll never want to leave.

Turn up the beat

Music on Main will be your new happy place. With live music, local food, shopping, and drinks amidst Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street, this free mega block party leaves little more to be desired. Kids can enjoy easy snacks, rides, dog watching, and dancing to the music. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to chat up the locals for more insider tips.

Take a Swing

Lakewood Ranch is known for its golfing scene, so it’d be a horrible waste to miss this opportunity. Enter University Park Country Club. This public course offers exquisite grounds with the Florida bonus of wildlife watching. Keep an eye out for wading birds or the occasional gator spot as you practice your backswing.

Be a Foodie

One look at the photo gallery on the website for Lucky Pelican Bistro, and your eyes will demand your stomach goes there immediately. This isn’t the standard fish restaurant; this is gourmet seafood. Think shellfish bar and yellowtail collar. Plenty of equally impressive options will satisfy the vegetarian or carnivore in the group. In addition, fresh fish is sold so you can experiment in your own kitchen.

Food Fest

The Suncoast Food and Wine Fest is held annually in the fall where visitors can sample a large selection of fine wines and small bites from the areas restaurants. 

Find your zen

Heron’s Nest Nature Preserve gives visitors of Lakewood Ranch the opportunity to explore the natural backcountry of the area. With various trails surrounded by oak trees and two massive lakes bursting with wildlife, it’s the perfect place to slow down and enjoy the peace within the natural LWR.

Walk on the wild side

We Floridians are well aware that the news abounds with the wackiness we provide, much of it wildlife-related. So for many, part of visiting Florida is searching out the critters about which the websites and newspapers inform the rest of the country. To find the snakes, spiders, gators, and birds, you need to go where they live. Walk the trail. Fish the lake. Paddle amongst their habitat. If you’re lucky, you’ll not only have a great story and picture for the friends back home, but an even more incredible moment with these amazing creatures.