Explore Sarasota’s Eat Local Week

Explore Sarasota’s Eat Local Week

October 17th – November 2nd

Eat Local Week is a special event featuring the best of Sarasota’s farm fresh food, complete with tastings, tours, and much more! 

The History Behind Eat Local Week

Transition Sarasota’s goal is to “create food and economic security by supporting local, sustainable sources.” – which they achieve through many ways, including Eat Local Week. This year marks the 9th annual event, themed “Exploring Food Waste”.

They aim to provide a different perspective on eating consciously, and do so in a fresh and delicious way! 

Don’t miss these exciting attractions:

Ortygia Restaurant 

Ortygia Restaurant, famed for ‘Zero Waste’ dinner, makes their return with more delectable treats in store. Make sure to register early for this one-of-a-kind experience!

Newtown Farmer’s Market 

Newtown Farmer’s Market is a highlight of Eat Local Week, hosting the popular Big Mama’s Collard Greens Fest. Featuring a variety of seasoned professional and local chefs, you don’t want to miss this unique extravaganza!

Green Path Veteran’s Farm

Green Path Veteran’s Farm returns with their yearly fundraiser farm-to-table dinner. This organization is an outspoken supporter of Operation Eco Vets. Enjoy a delicious, farm-fresh meal while learning about their great cause! 

Guided Tours

If you want a closer view of the freshest spots in Sarasota, join one of the fun group tours planned at Siesta Key Rum, Florida Native Plant Nursery, and Mote Aquaculture Research Park. 

Eat Local Week’s Freshest Events

Canning 101

A first-time event, you can learn to preserve your fresh food in “Canning 101” at Sunshine Canning.

Test Your Green Thumb

Are you interested in plants and their qualities? Take a guided stroll and learn all about medicinal and edible plants!

All Faiths Food Bank

Take a tour at All Faiths Food Banks and learn about their partnerships, recycling efforts, and more. 

Lucky’s Market

Don’t forget to check out Lucky’s Market, that hosts a local vendor fair with delicious tastings and great tips for conservation! 

Lastly, visit Transition Sarasota’s website, where you can see the entire calendar of events with details. Most of the events do require advance registration, though a few allow drop ins. Make the most of your vacation and start planning your Eat Local Week now!

Original Article Here

Seashell Season in Sarasota: Part 2

Seashell Season in Sarasota: Part 2

There’s no end of amazing discoveries to be made in Sunny Sarasota! Are you looking for some of the best shelling spots in Sarasota? Keep reading to find your unique vacation souvenir! 

Shelling Advice

Tidal Deposits

It’s no secret that Sarasota’s barrier islands have the best shells! A tip from shell experts: follow the tides. The best time to search for shells is an hour before and after low tide. Separating each island, you will find waterways that hold the best shell hauls! Each incoming tide brings fresh treasures to find. 

Beat the crowds

The further away from the crowds you get, the better your shelling prospects! It’s much easier to find a prime shell selection away from the busy areas of the beach.


Are you on the search for the famed sand dollar? Find a sandbar! Sandbars are known for having fresh shell deposits, full of sand dollars. Sand Dollar Island, found between Siesta and Lido Keys, promises fresh, breathtaking treasures every evening!

Don’t forget! The Golden Rule of Shelling: Never take a shell with a living creature still in it. 

Where to find the best shells in Sarasota

You’ve read some of the best shelling secrets, now you just need to know where to go! Below you will find Sarasota’s prime shelling spots.

Englewood shell display

Florida’s Barrier Islands

Siesta Key

Lido Key

Longboat Key

Casey Key

Venice, Manasota Key

Looking for a more unique souvenir to remember your Sarasota vacation by? Venice is famed for their fossilized shark teeth! 

Tips for cleaning your shells

To clean your shells, simply wash them with fresh water, or let them soak overnight for the ones that need a deeper clean. If your shell has algae stuck on it or is discolored, you can use a diluted clorox solution. 

Creative Ways to Use Your Shells

Shells make a great home decor item! There are many ways you can use your shells once you bring them home. A great way to repurpose shells is by placing a strand of christmas lights in a glass vase and filling it with sea treasures. This makes a beautiful room accent in any season! Other ways you can get creative with your shells is by gluing them to gift boxes, mirrors, lamps, and chairs. Anything you can glue it to, shells will turn it into a fun, tropical decoration. 

Original Article Here

Kid-Friendly Things To Do Near Palmetto, Florida: Part 2

Kid-Friendly Things To Do Near Palmetto, Florida: Part 2

adventure time

Kid-friendly things to do near Palmetto, Florida: Part 2

Have you been looking for the perfect family vacation? Look no further than Bradenton, Florida! No matter what your family likes to do for fun, this is the place to be. The overwhelming variety of family fun here can make it hard to narrow down exactly what you want to do on your vacation – keep reading to see some of the hot spots you definitely want to check out! No matter how big your family and how different their interests may be, there is a fun time to be had by all!

Tree Umph

Have you been searching an adventure that will give your kids an unforgettable experience? With over 30 football fields of challenges and hundreds of aerial adventure games, Tree Umph is packed full of entertaining places to explore and endless fun. You wanted an adventure to rock their socks and you found it! By the time you’re done zipping through the trees and navigating their obstacle courses, the whole family be ready to relax.  

Bridge Street Pier

After a day of ziplining and adventure, head over to Bridge Street Pier for the perfect evening to unwind. Perched at the North End of Sarasota Bay, this pier features breathtaking views and a serene dinner atmosphere inside Anna Maria Oyster Bar Restaurant. If you wanted a complete family day out – this is the way to end it! If you’re looking for a better family bonding experience over dinner, then just head to end of the pier where beautiful, shady fishing spots are located – you can take your time showing your kids the ropes and enjoy your fresh catch for dinner! If everyone didn’t get enough of the view at dinner, deep sea fishing charter trips are offered for the whole family!

Beaches and Water Sports

If your kids need a reprieve from the exciting adventures filled with fun, Sarasota’s local beaches are renowned across the world for the crystal clear waters and sparkling white sands – a day out near the water is sure to bring plenty of fun for the kids and a relaxing day for you! There’s endless exciting possibilities for the kids to explore with the various water sports offered in the area. Jet skis, boat rentals, kayaking, paddle boarding, and kite surfing are just the beginning of the list of fun things to do! Here is a list of companies that offer lessons and rentals sure to give your vacation some jazz.  

Holmes beach is a lively spot to explore, as they are famous for their beach volleyball and home to some of the best cafes on the island, where a sweet treat is the best way to cool off!

Endless amusing activities, breathtaking and serene views, beautiful weather, stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear water – what are you waiting for? The Gulf Coast is the perfect place for an unforgettable adventure, with all kinds of fun to be had for every family. The quintessential family getaway awaits you!

Original article here

Top Ways To Clean Up The Beaches Around Palmetto

Top Ways To Clean Up The Beaches Around Palmetto

It’s not unusual to find balloons, plastic bags, and paper napkins littered on the beach. Beach clean-ups are often done by locals and environmental groups, but unfortunately, trash can travel from miles and miles away. If you are looking to enjoy a nice relaxing day at one of the beaches around Palmetto though, then keeping it clean is the number one priority.

Keeping beaches clean is everyone’s responsibility. Here are five ways you can keep the beaches around Palmetto clean for all to enjoy!

1. Don’t bring plastic shopping bags, plastic straws, plastic water bottles, or Styrofoam plates to the beach. Many animals will mistake plastic items for food and will eat them. This can result in starvation, because the animal’s stomach is filled with plastic that can’t digest. In addition, since plastic never degrades, we need to reduce the amount of plastic that we throw away.

2. Don’t release balloons into the sky. When a balloon’s helium leaks out, it will probably end up in the ocean. Animals can eat balloons or become entangled in the balloon’s string. This string can injure an animal and even take off a limb. Entangled animals are also at risk of drowning.

3. Pick up after your pet. If your pet goes to the bathroom on the beach, pick up the waste and throw it in a trash can. Pet waste adds viruses and bacteria to the environment. Who wants to swim in that?

4. Throw away cigarette butts. Dispose of cigarette butts properly. Nicotine from cigarettes can have a negative effect on the environment.

5. Throw your trash into a designated trash can. Do the same for any other trash you encounter on the beach. The more trash we can remove from the environment, the better. Trash can leach harmful chemicals into the sand or sediment. However, always use common sense when picking up trash on the beach. Don’t pick up sharp objects or anything that could make you sick.

Florida Is Number 1 For Fishing and Boating Spots

Florida Is Number 1 For Fishing and Boating Spots

There are now nine locations in Florida recognized as ideal places for outdoor summer fun for the entire family.

Florida topped the Take Me Fishing 2016 “Top 100 Family Friendly Places to Boat and Fish in the U.S.” list. Florida was in the top four locations, with nine total locations on the list.

The top four locations are: Everglades National Park, Bahia Honda State Park, Blue Springs State Park, and Lake Kissimmee State Park.

Blu-Mangrove-GrillThe other five Florida locations are: Suwannee River, Harris Chain of Lakes, Lake Osborne, Lake Okeeheelee and Katheryn Abbey Hanna Park.

Recreational boating, combined with saltwater and freshwater fishing, contribute more than $20 billion annually to Florida’s economy. Fishing and boating are wholesome activities that bring families together and get more people outdoors. Overall, they’re fun hobbies that positively impact both the community and the economy.

More than 100 state parks in Florida offer fishing as a family-friendly, year-round activity. Visit FloridaStateParks.org to find one in your area. This summer is a great time to get outside, soak in the sunshine, and appreciate nature. What are you waiting for?

If you are ready to take your family fishing trip or boating excursion to the next level then be sure to stop by the Manatee River and Riviera Dunes Marina. We are the premier luxury marina on Florida’s Gulf Coast. With 219 wet slips ranging from 35 to 110 feet, we have everything you need to enjoy a trip to Palmetto. Come on out and explore the beautiful west coast of Florida and we know that you will want to stay forever. Contact one of our talented marina staff members today to see just how Riviera Dunes Marina can help to make your summer of boating and fishing one to remember!

Top Fun and Free Things To Do In Sarasota

Top Fun and Free Things To Do In Sarasota

Fun in Sarasota doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, many activities in Sarasota are free! Check out this extensive list below.

1. Get to the beach. Sarasota has 35 miles of beaches, all open to the public.

2. Siesta Key Drum Circle. Watch the beautiful sunset and listen to the drummers on Siesta Key Public Beach on Sunday evenings.

3. Catch a wave. North Jetty Park makes this one of the most exciting surfing beaches in Florida.

4. Tune in. Free “Summer concerts in the park” are offered throughout Sarasota County!

5. Go fly a kite on Siesta Beach. The colorful kites and powerful Gulf breeze will amaze you!

6. Appreciate the art. Admission is free on Mondays to the Ringling Museum of Art.

7. Pick a pet. Visit the Humane Society of Sarasota County and become a Match Maker, Kennel or Office Assistant, or even a Cat Cuddler.

8. A Day at the Guide Dog School. Visitors and volunteers are welcome for puppy hugging, walking, and grooming.

9. Catch a cricket game. The Sarasota International Cricket Club’s grounds are recognized as the best in the Southeast!

10. Catch a fish. Go fishing on one of Sarasota’s many fishing piers and bridges.

11. Start horsing around. At InStride Therapy for Therapeutic (Horse) Riding, volunteers are needed for numerous tasks!

12. Go to the park. Some Sarasota parks and beaches even allow pets on leashes!

13. Go bike riding in Myakka State Park.

14. Watch alligators in Oscar Scherer State Park.

15. First Friday Art Walks on Palm Avenue are filled with dining, art, and antiques.

16. Stroll Towles Court. Towles Court is a privately owned artist colony.

17. Explore fun and funky Rosemary District in Downtown Sarasota.

18. Bum Around Burns Court, a collection of 1920s bungalows.

19. Browse St. Armands Circle, a world-renowned complex with upscale clothing and jewelry stores, art galleries, and restaurants.

20. Check out Bradenton Beach’s Scenic Highway.

21. Check out the Tamiami Trail Scenic Highway.

22. Visit Mixon’s fruit farm, browse the gift shop, or walk around the grove.

23. Snag-a-tooth. The South Jetty is the shark tooth capital of the world. The fossils appear all over the beach!

24. Take a dip at Lake Manatee State Park.

25. Frolic in the Myakka State Forest.

26. Visit the Red Barn Flea Market, one of Florida’s most popular flea markets.

27. Shop the Prime Outlets in Ellenton.

28. Book’em Dano. Brant’s Books is one of Florida’s largest used, independently owned stores.

29. Relax on the North Beaches. Anna Maria Island & Bradenton area beaches often offer secluded spots with beautiful dunes.

30. Go shopping. Historic Bridge Street at Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island is a stunning shopping hub.

31. Keep shopping. St. Armands Circle has more than 130 fashion boutiques, cafes, restaurants, pizzerias, and art galleries.

32. Walk around Downtown Sarasota and check out the buildings on Main Street.

33. Check out Siesta Key Village for great beaches, beer, and souvenirs!

34. Shop historic Venice. Venice has many nice boutiques, gift shops, and restaurants.

35. Seek an Antique. The women’s Exchange Consignment Shop on Orange Avenue has many treasures!

36. Watch the ships sail at Marina Jacks.

37. Walk the plank at the historic Cortez Fishing Village.

38. Go to Selby Botanical Gardens, which was named one of America’s Ten Top Botanical Gardens.

39. Go fish! Charter a boat or hang out in Sarasota Bay.

40. Tee off. Although this might not be free, some Golf courses are very affordable.


And of course, once you are in Sarasota be sure to stop by the #1 luxury marina in Central Florida, Riviera Dunes Marina. With multiple slips available for rent, you will be in the safest marina possible right on the Manatee River. Contact Riviera Dunes Marina today to see just why we are the premier marina in Central Florida.