Manatee-200_jFor those who enjoy the quiet solitude of nature, or the opportunity to learn more about the plants and animals of Southwest Florida, there are several outstanding opportunities near Santa Luz.

Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium is approximately 12 minutes from Santa Luz.  The 105-acre site has a museum, three nature trails, a Planetarium, (the only one south of Bradenton and west or Miami) butterfly and bird aviaries, a gift shop and meeting and picnic areas.   Visitors can  learn about  Southwest Florida’s natural history and enjoy daily educational programs that allow visitors an up close and personal view a variety of animals including bobcat, raccoon, white tail deer and birds of prey.


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Lee Parks operates the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve a 2,500-acre wetland that is nine miles long and about one-third of a mile wide.  The Preserve includes a 1.2 mile long boardwalk where visitors can observe nature or enjoy guided walking tours.  Located just 15 minutes from Santa Luz, the park includes an 11,000 sq. ft. interpretive center,amphitheater and picnic areas.

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Visitors to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary will enjoy a 2.25 mile boardwalk thatmeanders through pine flatwoods, open prairies, and finally into the largest forest of ancient bald cypress in North America. These impressive trees, relatives of the redwood, tower 130 feet into the sky and have a girth of 25 feet. Their massive branches are draped with mosses, lichens, air-plants, orchids and ferns.  The forest is also home to hundreds of alligators, otters, Florida black bears, white-tailed deer and red-bellied turtles and more than 200 species of birds.

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