Osprey Nokomis Florida Chamber of Commerce


Top Rated Osprey Restaurants


osprey-fl-restaurantsTop Ten Best Rated Osprey Restaurants

According to Trip Advisor’s Recent Reviews

There are many choices for dining in Osprey, FL and here are just a few:

Casey Key Fish House – 941-966-1901
801 Blackburn Point Rd, Osprey, FL 34229

Serving Seafood & Sandwiches
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Takes Reservations
Hours: Sun – Sat 11:30 am – 9:00 pm

Rosebud’s – 941 918 8771
2215 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229

lunch-dining-sandwichesServing Steak, Seafood, International and European Cuisine
Dinner, Late Night, Takes Reservations
Hours: Tue – Sun 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Mad Moe’s- 941-966-970

106 N Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229

American Cuisine, Bar
Lunch, Dinner, Drinks, Late Night

Norma Jeans Sports Bar & Grill – 941-786-1834
1272 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229

Serving Lunch and Dinner
Hours: Sun 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Mon – Thu 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Fri 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Sat 11:00 am – 10:00 pm


August 15, 2015 |

Casey Key Florida Information


casey key-florida-beachCasey Key is a narrow, secluded 8-mile-long barrier island located in Sarasota County, near the town of Nokomis and approximately 15 miles south of the city of Sarasota, Florida.

Casey Key is sandwiched between Sarasota Bay to its east and the Gulf of Mexico to its west. Less than 400 people are thought to live on the island, and there are no hotels or guest houses. All other parts of the beach are considered part of private estates.

Casey Key is a narrow 8 mile long barrier island in Southwest Sarasota County, Florida. The island is a conservation area and has several miles of unspoiled beaches, making it an ideal destination for a quiet, relaxing retreat. Located near Nokomis and about 10 miles south of Sarasota, and just North of Venice, Florida.

Getting to Casey Key

Two bridges connect Casey Key to the mainland, one at either end, and the north bridge — Blackburn Point Bridge — is one of only two swing bridges known to remain in the U.S. from the 1920s. The two roads that connect with Casey Key Road are Blackburn Point Rd to the North end and Albee Road West to the South.

Casey Key Road, which runs the length of the island, is canopied by massive old-growth subtropical vegetation, pines and oaks. And, you can catch a glimpse of huge mansion estates and a few remaining Florida Cracker beach homes along the Gulf. One estate is owned by author Stephen King, who drew inspiration for his novel Duma Key while staying here.


Beaches and Public Facilities

Access to the public beach area is available only near the southern tip of the island. Nokomis Beach is a large white sand beach, with Lyons Bay to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. It has a boat-launch ramp, boardwalk, pavillion with restroom/changing facilities, covered picnic areas and free parking. The town’s holds a drum circle event each week on Wednesday and Saturday from about 4pm to just after sundown.

At the southernmost point you’ll find the North Jetty Park beach and one of the best spots for surfing and snorkeling. The channel is a famous area for dolphin watching, and a resident pod often can be seen to the southeast of the jetty. The beaches are open daily and lifeguards are on duty during peak hours.

Wildlife Sanctuary

The Casey Key Conservation Act of 1970 designated the island as a marine and wildlife sanctuary. There are plenty of opportunities for bird-watching while biking or hiking as well as enjoying the island’s flora and fauna. Endangered sea turtles nest here and their nests are marked with stakes and orange tape. Endangered manatees also frequent the waterways here and visitors often spot dolphins swimming close to shore.


The Intracoastal Waterway is just to the east of Casey Key, which also offers opportunities for boating. Deep water boat docks are available on the bay side of the island. There are full- or half-day charters for boating in the bay and Intracoastal Waterway, with deck boats for parties of up to 10 people and pontoon boats for larger groups. Personal watercraft can be rented by people over age 18 and fees include wetsuits. Kayaking is another way to explore the area inlets and waterways, with both single- and two-rider craft available for rent.


The North Jetty Beach is a popular area for shore fishing, and many anglers also fish off the rocks around the Venice Inlet. Boat charters are available from the marina for deep-sea fishing in the Gulf. Fishing gear and bait are available from the North Jetty Fish Camp on the northern bank of the inlet.


Restaurants, cafes and bars are not allowed on Casey Key. However, their are several restaurants located at the west end of the north bridge and has 175 feet of deep-water dockage for patrons’ use.

Nearby Attractions

osprey-nokomis-florida-chamber-events-beach-attractions-15Oscar Scherer State Park

Oscar Scherer State Park is located on U.S. 41, two miles south of Osprey. A large acreage of scrubby flatwoods makes this park one of the best places to see Florida scrub-jays, a threatened species found only in Florida.

The park also protects scrubby and pine flatwoods that were once widespread throughout Sarasota County. Fifteen miles of trails through these beautiful natural areas provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and wildlife viewing.

Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along South Creek, a blackwater stream that flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Freshwater and saltwater fishing are available along the creek. Anglers can fish along the shores of Lake Osprey, which is also the park´s swimming destination.

Picnic areas along South Creek are equipped with grills; pavilions can be reserved for a fee. The park has full-facility campsites and a youth/group campground.

The Oscar Scherer Park Nature Center also has exhibits and videos about the park´s natural communities.

Historic Spanish Point

Historic Spanish Point is a 30-acre archaeological and environmental museum in Osprey, Florida, located just across Little Sarasota Bay from the north end of Casey Key.

The facility boasts the world’s only museum exhibition built inside a prehistoric shell mound. There is also a collection of pioneer-era buildings, a butterfly garden, nature trails that wander throughout the landscaped gardens and native coastal habitats, and a long boardwalk that looks out over the bay.

June 16, 2015 |

Oscar Scherer State Park Earth Day Festival


oscar-scherer-park-celebrationCome celebrate Earth Day at Oscar Scherer State Park with live music, fun-filled activities for kids, environmental and informational booths, and more!

Each year, the Friends of Oscar Scherer State Park throw a party in honor of Earth Day.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Oscar Scherer State Park and the Friends of Oscar Scherer Park, Inc. are hosting the 26th Annual Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 19, 2015 from 10:00am – 4:00pm.

This fun and family-oriented event will feature live music, food vendors, tram tours ($5 per person and free for youth under 6 years of age), information and craft booths, demonstrations, native plants for sale, a photo exhibit featuring local photographers, as well as activities for kids including a coloring contest and a puppet show!

You can make a difference by participating in the service project, this years’ service project will be focused on Lake Osprey restoration.

Additionally, the park’s normal entrance fees will be waived on this date in celebration of Earth Day.

oscar-scherer-park-fl-5For more information or to request ADA accessibility, please contact Oscar Scherer State by phone at (941) 483-5956 or by email at Cristy.Disbrow@dep.state.fl.us.

To learn more about Oscar Scherer State Park, please visit: www.floridastateparks.org.

To learn more about the Friends of Oscar Scherer Park, Inc., please visit: www.friendsofoscarscherer.com.

Oscar Scherer State Park Essential Eligibility Criteria

Earth Day Festival

In order to participate in this event, one:

Oscar Scherer State Park: Florida Hiking & Biking Trails

  • Must have the ability to follow visual and/or verbal instructions independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors for up to 6 hours or for the duration of your stay
  • Must have the ability to traverse uneven and unstable terrain independently or with the assistance of a companion or mobility device for at least 100 fee

Tram Tour

In order to participate in this program, one:

Oscar Scherer State Park: Big Lake in Nokomis

  • Must have the ability to follow visual and/or verbal instructions independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Must have the ability to enter and exit the tram independently or with the assistance of a companion or with the use of adaptive equipment. The angle of the tram ramp is less than 30 degrees.
  • Must have the ability to withstand the exposure to the outdoors for up to 1.5 hours.
  • Must have the ability to remain seated, maneuver, and balance independently or with the assistance of a companion or with the use of adaptive equipment for up to 1.5 hours


April 6, 2015 |

Oscar Scherer State Park Video Tour


Hello, I’m Tony Clements, park manager of Oscar Scherer State Park.

On behalf of the Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Parks Service, and Oscar Scherer State Park, we are welcoming you here today. Let’s explore!

When you come to Oscar Scherer State Park, your adventure starts at the ranger station. There you can find out what we have to offer at the park. We have about fifteen miles of  hiking and biking trails, 104 campsites, a freshwater lake for swimming, several picnic areas, and 1,400 miles to explore within the park. Your adventure begins at the ranger station.

In 1955, Elsa Scherer Boroughs, donated 460 acres to the state to become a park, In 1956, the park was open to the public. At that time it was only 460 acres. Then in 1991, we added another 922 acres: part of the Mary Thaxton Preserve.

As you can see, Oscar Scherer is the type of place that you can go to get away and recharge your batteries. We also have canoes and kayaks available for rent here.

oscar-scherer-park-fl-13Oscar Scherer State Park is located at 1843 South Tamiami Trail, within Sarasota county, right on the border of the towns Osprey and Nokomis.

I like to say it’s close to it all but a thousand miles away because when you’re in here, it definitely feels like you’re a thousand miles away from everything else.

Our first stop within the park is going to be at south creek picnic area. At this location it’s nice and shady, lots of oaks. You can come, have family reunions or picnics. This is also where our canoe rentals start.

Two of our recreational trails begin here at south creek. The first one I’d like to tell you about is the Lester Finley Trail. Lester Finley Trail was the first barrier free trail in the state of Florida. What we mean by barrier free is that people of all kinds can use this trail: whether you’re in a wheelchair, whether you’re blind or have hearing impairment, you can use this trail. It meanders aout a half a mile along the creek. It’s a nice shaded trail. You get a good chance to maybe see some osprey, king fisher, or maybe an otter swimming by.

We are out here on the Lester Finley Trail and this is one of the great stops along the trail: it’s one of our fishing docks. And right here that runs through the park about a mile and a half is an estuary called south creek. It’s great for fishing. There’s snook, red fish, and sheephead, so if you like to fish it’s a great place to come.

osprey-nokomis-fl-oscar-scherer-park1.pngWe also have two freshwater lakes in the park. One of them you can actually swim in.

The great recreational opportunity we have here at Oscar Scherer State Park is canoeing and kayaking. We have about a mile and a half of canoeable waters within the creek along this flat, easy estuary that runs along this park.

The wonderful things about here is that if you fell out of the canoe, all you need to do is stand up. The water is typically about four feet deep, that’s all. If you’ve never gone canoeing or kayaking before, Oscar Scherer State Park is a great place to come to start your adventure.

We offer Wednesday guided canoe trips at eight in the morning and also night paddles during the season. You can call (941)-483-5956 to get a more information.

The Florida Parks Service goes out of its way to provide access to all: to allow those in wheelchairs or to those who might have a hearing impairment, or whatever the disability is, the opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors and recreate.

One of the things that we offer here at Oscar Scherer State Park is a new launch. This allows those that use wheelchairs to get down and get in and out of a kayak or canoe safely. Oscar Scherer State Park is one of the best state parks in Florida.

Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL CampingWe’re here at south creek picnic area, nestled among these beautiful oak trees. It’s the perfect place to come relax with your family. If you’re looking to plan a family reunion, a child’s birthday party, Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, Florida is a great place to come. We provide the pavilions to be rented, grills and you can get out on the water and canoe. There’s a lot to do here at Oscar Scherer.

Welcome to site 86 at one of the best campgrounds in the whole state of Florida. Our campground is nestled in among the oak hammocks so it’s a nice shady spot, but it still gives you the opportunity to stare up at the stars at night. If you’ve never camped before or if you are a seasonal camper, Oscar Scherer State Park is a perfect place to come. We provide you with a grill, a picnic table, water and electricity: all you need to provide is a good time. I’ll guarantee you’ll have one here at Oscar Scherer State Park.

The nature center is typically manned by volunteers throughout the year, and it’s open typically from 9AM-3PM every day. So if you come in here you can learn a little bit about the park’s history. You can also learn about all of the trails that we have in the parks, and you can also learn about the activities that we have to offer here.

Oscar Scherer State Park is in the process of updating its nature center. One of the things we like to showcase here at the park is how time has changed the park. Back in the 60’s, the park didn’t have any development around it, but now you come all the way back to the picture of 2007, and we’re almost completely surrounded by development, so it’s really important that we do what we can to protect those green spaces and corridors to connect the park to other green spaces within Sarasota county.

Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Trail BridgeLake Osprey picnic area also showcases the only freshwater swimming lake in Sarasota county. So if there is red tide at the beach, Oscar Scherer State Park is a perfect place to come and get your feet wet and take the kids swimming in our lake. It’s about a five acre swimming lake. We’ve got a swimming area and a beach area; and we’re also in the process of restoring some of the native habitat around its boundaries.

The Legacy Trail runs right through Oscar Scherer State Park. The Legacy Trail goes all the way from Venice, Florida, all the way to Sarasota, Florida. And Oscar Scherer State Park is right in the middle in Osprey, Florida. If you enjoy a leisurely bike ride or walking a trail, the Legacy Trail is the perfect place to do it. Come on out and try it for yourself: you’ll enjoy it.

We also have a great youth camp here at Oscar Scherer State Park. In fact, we just moved it from where we were to our new location which is nice and shady and oaky, so it’s a perfect place to bring a church group or a volunteer group, scout group out to enjoy a weekend. There’s over 1400 acres here at Oscar Scherer State Park to explore. Come on out and check it out. You’ll enjoy your day.

When you’re looking for the very best in Florida hiking, biking, canoeing, recreation camping, Oscar Scherer State Park, located in Osprey, Florida is your best bet.

Thank you for riding along with us today and we hope to see you back out here at Oscar Scherer State Park in Sarasota county very soon. We’ll see you next time.

December 15, 2013 |

Oscar Scherer State Park Trails


Looking for a Florida Trail that your family can safely bike or hike on? The Oscar Scherer State Park Trails in Osprey Florida have everything you need for a great day of adventure!

Explore six scenic trails that meander throughout a scenic nature preserve and park with two lakes and a large creek that are a favorite for swimming, kayaking and canoeing year ’round. Campgrounds are available for those that want to stay awhile. And, the park is pet-friendly too!

Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Oscar Scherer State Park | Welcome Center Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Trail Oscar Scherer State Park: Big Lake in Nokomis Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Trail Bridge Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Hiking Trail Osprey Nokomis Florida: Lake Osprey, FL Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Camping Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Playground Oscar Scherer State Park | Nokomis, FL Walking Trail Oscar Scherer State Park: Florida Lakes Oscar Scherer State Park: Florida Hiking & Biking Trails Oscar Scherer State Park

The Oscar Scherer State Park was voted “America’s Best” State Park and two time National Gold Medal Winner!

Oscar Scherer State Park has over 15 miles of Florida trails for you to enjoy.

The trails range in length from one-half of a mile to five miles. All of the hiking and biking trails are marked and easy to follow. Maps of all of the trails are available in the Nature Center or click the printer-friendly link below.

Oscar Scherer Park TRAILS MAP  (PDF)

Blue Trail

The Blue Trail is a 1 1/2 mile hike through Florida Scrub-Jay habitat. It passes through mesic pine flatwoods and scrubby flatwoods. It begins at the same trailhead as the Red Trail and then follows the fence line north along a housing development. It later joins the Yellow Trail parallel to the Rails-to-Trails before returning to the starting point. Much of the Trail can be sandy in dry weather and provides little shade during the hike. Biking is allowed but can be difficult in spots. (mountain bikes can easily handle this trail)

Yellow Trail

The Yellow Trail takes about 2 1/2 hours to complete. It is 5 miles of mainly level and sandy trails. It passes the Mary Thaxton memorial and explores this remote part of the Oscar Scherer Park. it passes through mesic pine flatwoods, prairie hammocks, and scrubby flatwoods. Shorter hikes of 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 miles can be taken by following the shortcut indicated on the trail map. Many service roads intersect the trail allowing for other self-constructed routes. Benches are located along the trail. Biking is allowed but can be difficult in the soft sand. (unless you have a bicycle suitable for mountain bike trails)

Red Trail

The Red Trail can be either a 1 1/2 mile or 2 mile hike that explores the northwestern portion of the Oscar Scherer Park. It begins at the same trailhead as the Blue Trail and later splits off following the boundary of the Park along a housing development to the western boundary. Biking can be difficult in spots.

Green Trail

The Green Trail begins behind the Nature Center. It can be either a 2 or a 3 mile hike by following the marked trails but several well marked service roads allow many self-determined routes through scrubby flatwoods and mesic pine flatwoods. It crosses South Creek over the bridge leading to the Campground. After passing by a few campsites it enters Floriday Scrub-Jay habitat. The hike passes through sections of past controlled burns which are now restoring themselves to scrubby flatwoods. There is very litter tree canopy cover in this area of the park. The trail follows the boundary with a housing development which borders the park on the south. It is the best biking trail in the Oscar Scherer State Park.

South Creek Nature Trail

The South Creek Nature Trail is a 1/2 mile, one way trail, that can be started at either the picnic area across from the Nature Center or at the South Creek Parking lot. It follows South Creek and crosses the road leading into the Campground. Several markers along the trail point out aspects of the natural environment. An extensive tree canopy provides shade during the mid-day heat. It can be combined with the Lester Finley Trail for an easy hike of 1 1/2 miles. Foot traffic only is permitted on this trail.

Lester Finley Trail

The Lester Finley Trail meanders through a hardwood hammock along a tidal reach of South Creek, a blackwater stream that eventually empties into Dryman Bay. This is a “barrier-free” trail offering superb hiking opportunities for those with disabilities. Round trip distance is about a 1/2 mile and takes about 20 minutes. There is an extensive tree canopy offering shade during the heat of mid-day. There is a handicapped equipped fishing pier, two butterfly gardens, several benches, two picnic tables, and a water fountain along the trail. Additionally, there are 5 audio boxes along the trail that explain various aspects of the different  habitats. Foot traffic only is permitted on this trail.

Webpage for Oscar Scherer State Park with More Information about Trails and Facilities


June 3, 2013 |
Skip to toolbar