Frequently Asked Questions

Your Guide to Nathan Benderson Park

Is there a fee to enter the park?

There is no admission to enter the park. During special events, such as rowing regattas and Fireworks on the Lake, there is special pricing to park. Please check these events on our calendar of events for more information. 

Are dogs allowed?

Yes, dogs are welcome on a six-foot leash. Please clean up after your pet. 

What other wildlife can you find at the park?

At the park you can find plenty of wildlife.  Birds are plentiful. Visit the Sarasota Audubon Society to learn more about birds that can be spotted. Fish such as crappie, bass and blue gill are plentiful in the lake. There is also wildlife to watch out for such as snakes and alligators. If you spot an alligator, please let us know by emailing us at or calling 941-358-7275. 

Can I rent the park for a 5K walk or run?

Yes, we would love to host your 5K walk or run. Please reach out to us 

Can I swim in the lake?

Swimming in the lake is only allowed during special events such as sanctioned triathlons and swimming events. 

Are there bathrooms?

Yes, we have several public bathrooms conveniently located throughout the park. 

Can I use electric motors on a boat in the lake?

No. Powered boats are not permitted unless for official park operations or during training and special events. 

Do you have a lost & found?

Yes, please contact us at to inquire about lost and found items, or bring them to the staff offices on Regatta Island between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Can I fish at the Park?

Yes, fishing is allowed at the park but only in designated areas. Fishing is permitted off the shores of the west bank, south shore and east bank. Fishing is not allowed on the Island and any of the docks for the safety of the rowers and paddlers.

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