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“Pretty and quiet, great for fishing and Canoeing”

Lake Manatee State Park
Ranked #20 of 77 things to do in Bradenton
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Reviewed 26 November 2011

We went for 4 nights with our 7, 11, 14 year old children. One of our main disappointments was that there actually isn't anywhere where it is safe to swim, although the website says there is swimming. There is a beach set aside to swim in, but there are alligators in the Lake and when I asked the ranger he said he wouldn't let small children swim and wouldn't let children swim if there was anyone fishing or a dog around. He said he couldn't say it was safe or not safe but that you swim at your own risk. This is Florida after all and we did see an alligator on the other side so we opted to not let our children in the water.

But there is a beautiful dock and the lake is stunning. We brought Kayaks and the kids enjoyed kayaking and fishing off of the dock. They have canoes for rent... $10 for 2 hours and $5/hr after that. The bath houses are very clean. We were in space 48 and found it to be more private than most campgrounds we have been to. There is water, electric, a fire pit, picnic table and pole for a clothes line or hammock at each site. There are plenty of paved paths for walking and biking. There is a playground for younger children. There is also a walking trail that goes around the perimeter of the park.

There is no camp store, but publix, walgreens (with a Redbox) and walmart are just about 15 minutes up the road.

If you are there to fish or canoe...this is the place. It got really hot and there wasn't anywhere to swim so my kids got bored. We went to Obrien's family farm (just a few minutes outside of the park) and they picked strawberries. It's a neat place opened Nov- April. They have pick your own strawberries, milk shakes and smoothies. They also have in season veggies. We found it to be a fun excursion.

We also took a day trip to Siesta Beach. What a STUNNING beach! Just under 40 minutes from the park. There is a public beach with free parking, concession stands and free bathrooms. The water is calm, with the softest, whitest sand I have seen in Florida. I would recommend you stay for the sunset, which is amazing. Pack a cooler and it's a cheap and really memorable day trip. Would highly recommend it.

9  Thank Nogranny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 July 2017
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Thank Roel0709Bos
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Reviewed 9 January 2013
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1  Thank joesie1608
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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