Rainy Day Fun Near Riviera Dunes Marina

Rainy Day Fun Near Riviera Dunes Marina

Rainy Day Fun Near Riviera Dunes Marina

Rainy Day Fun Near Riviera Dunes Marina

Just because the sun is on vacation for a day or so doesn’t mean the fun stops near Riviera Dunes Marina! There are plenty of activities that you and your family will enjoy when in Palmetto and nearby Sarasota . . . even when it’s a rainy day! From museums to the local family skating center, a rainy day in Palmetto will certainly be well spent.

Head to the museum.

From classics cars to sharks, the museums here will provide much fun, rain or shine. At the Ringling estate, visit the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art for nonstop rainy day fun! Here you can view 21 galleries chock-full of Renaissance and Baroque art as well as American contemporary art. In addition, head to the Circus Museum on the property, which is included in your art museum admission, to view authentic costumes and other neat treasures from “The Greatest Show on Earth.” At the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, feast your eyes on rare and classic cars. See Paul McCartney’s Mini Cooper and even a car resembling the famous DeLorean from “Back to the Future.” For marine fun without getting wet, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is home to a sea turtles, manatees and a 135,000-gallon shark tank!

Create your own art.

There are several spots to exercise your creativity, especially when the weather isn’t cooperating. Once you peruse the gift shop and the lovely art by local artists at the Artful Giraffe gallery, head to their pottery studio where you can mold and paint your own works of art. The studio will glaze and fire your pottery, then you can take it home! At Arts A Blaze in Lakewood Ranch, try your hand at pottery making, glass painting and infusing, pallet painting and more! This walk-in studio has it all, no matter your age or skillset.

Release some energy.

Even though it’s wet out, there is plenty of rainy day fun to be had! From roller skating to speed skating, show off your skills and even get some exercise in at Astro Skate Family Fun Center in Bradenton. If you’re still working on your skating skills, the center also offers skating lessons. The fun doesn’t stop when you tire of skating! There are also dance rooms, inflatables, an arcade and so much more.

Next: 4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton

6 Tips for Prepping for Hurricane Season

6 Tips for Prepping for Hurricane Season

6 Tips for Prepping for Hurricane Season Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

6 Tips for Prepping for Hurricane Season

Did you know that hurricane seasons runs through Nov. 30? Even if you don’t live in the hurricane hot spots like Orlando or Jacksonville, it’s always good to keep in mind the precautions for hurricane season if you plan to vacation there. Here are six tips to make sure you’re ready for hurricane season.

1. Plan ahead for emergencies.

When you’re in the thick of hurricane preparation, it can be hard to gather your thoughts for what to do next. You’ll need emergency supplies for you and your family, insurance will need to be ready in case of an emergency, and you must have a plan for your vehicles in the event that you need to evacuate.

2. Determine your hurricane season risk.

How will your home stand during flooding or wind? Are there trees leaning toward your home? Flooding is known to cause the most damage to your home, and this is especially a greater risk during hurricane season. You can see how your home rates for flood risk with these helpful maps.

3. Make sure you have insurance coverage.

Insurance coverage can often take up to 30 days to take effect, so it’s important to make sure you are covered now! From special deductibles to private homeowners insurance, there are several varieties of coverage that you can look into for your home. Flood insurance is a separate type of insurance that must be purchased outside of your homeowners insurance.

4. Locate your evacuation zone.

Investigate whether or not your home or vacation home is located in an evacuation zone. Evacuation zones are essentially any areas that can be affected by flooding.

5. Form your hurricane emergency plan.

Hurricane season emergency plans are crucial to ensure the safety of you and your family. From knowing where the emergency supplies are to where your family will meet in the event that you are dispersed, there are several scenarios that must be discussed just in case.

Your emergency plan might include where you will evacuate to and the basic procedures for securing your home. These procedures might include boarding the windows, moving patio furniture indoors, gathering essential supplies and knowing the plan for caring for your pets.

6. Be prepared for evacuation.

There are a few steps you can take to ensure a smoother evacuation process. First, make sure you have a full tank of gas. In the event that there’s a power outage, you might be unable to fill your car’s tank. Pack one car that you and your family will be using. Since congestion is expected on the road, taking one car will ensure that you can exit the area together and safely.

Next: 7 Things We Love About Sarasota, FL

Don’t Miss these 4 Breweries near Sarasota

Don’t Miss these 4 Breweries near Sarasota

Don’t Miss these 4 Breweries near Sarasota Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

Don’t Miss these 4 Breweries near Sarasota

Calling all beer lovers! The craft beer scene has taken off in the Sarasota and Bradenton areas! There are several breweries near Sarasota where you can have a brew, have a bite and enjoy beautiful Manatee County. Here are four breweries you do not want to miss during your visit.

3 Keys Brewing and Eatery

2505 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton

3KeysBrewing.com

This family-owned brewery is known for their exquisite small-batch brews and fresh, wholesome menu! Unlike other breweries near Sarasota that partner with food trucks to provide delicious nosh, the folks at 3 Keys pride themselves in a well-rounded offering of appetizers, soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches. Bring the kids and pups and enjoy a visit at 3 Keys.

Darwin Brewing Company

803 17th Avenue West, Bradenton

DarwinBrewingCo.com

Inspired by exotic flavors and spices, Darwin Brewing Company translates this to their brews, too. From tropical pineapple and grapefruit notes in their Summadayze IPA to the Amazonian chocolate notes you’ll find in the Llama Mama Milk Stout, the brewers at Darwin Brewing always keep your tastebuds entertained.

Motorworks Brewing

1014 9th Street West, Bradenton

MotorworksBrewing.com

As Bradenton’s first craft brewery, you won’t want to miss a pint (or two) of their delicious brews amid the largest beer garden in the state! Their flagship lineup includes award-winning brews Rollcage Red Ale, Midnight Espresso, Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA and V Twin Vienna Lager. Of course there are specialty offerings that are offered seasonally such as their Pumpkin Ale.

JDub’s Brewing

1215 Mango Avenue, Sarasota

JDubsBrewing.com

What began as a homebrewing mishap by a soldier stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington is now JDub’s Brewing in sunny Sarasota. The brewers at JDub’s pride themselves in creating funky, wild brews that are also high-quality and distinctive. Flagship beers include Up Top! an IPA, the Kolsch-style ale Poolside, Bell Cow, a milk chocolate porter, and Passion Wheat brewed with passionfruit and mango. You’ll also find rotating limited releases such as En Haut, a French Oak aged IPA, a rye amber ale and many others.

Next: 4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton

4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton

4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton

4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton

There’s never a dull moment when vacationing in Bradenton! Next to our beautiful beaches and year-round sunny weather, there’s an abundance of unique, top spots to visit while you’re in Bradenton.

Manatee Village Historical Park

The history of Manatee County truly comes alive with a visit to Manatee Village Historical Park. From historic buildings to artifacts, learn about decades of Manatee County’s rich history and pioneer life. In the park, peruse 14 buildings and exhibits including Wiggins General Store, Blacksmith Shop, The Settler’s House, The 1860 Courthouse and so much more. Little ones will also love the Junior Junction play area. In addition, the park hosts several special events throughout the year including lecture and craft shops!

South Florida Museum

If you’re a natural and cultural history buff, then you’ve come to the right place! As one of the top spots to visit while here, it’s also the largest museum of its kind on the sunshine state’s Gulf Coast! From collections of historical archeological artifacts to  the Parker Manatee Aquarium, there’s never a dull moment when at the museum. For ultimate stargazing, you don’t want to miss the Bishop Planetarium, which showcases films, art performances and of course an interactive way for visitors to learn more about the universe!

De Soto National Memorial

Get out in nature to traverse Florida’s ecosystems with an afternoon at De Soto National Memorial. Take your bike or travel by foot along the park’s nature trails. Accompany a park ranger to learn about the area’s culture and heritage. Relive history at the park’s Camp Uzita, a replica village where costumed rangers and volunteers present historical talks and demonstrations. Then if you visit the park on a Saturday or Sunday, make sure to schedule an unforgettable kayak tour!

Palma Sola Botanical Park

Ten acres of lush, picturesque gardens, lakes and bridges await you at Palma Sola Botanical Park. From unique flowering trees to subtropical plants, there is no corner of this park that you’ll want to leave unseen. You might even bring your own picnic lunch so you can pause at one of the three lakes, each complete with stunning views. Then, throughout the year, the parks hosts educational programs as well as public events that are perfect for you and your family.

Next: 5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids

5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids

5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids

With the holiday weekend approaching, it’s one of the best times of the year to go boating with your kids. Though, this is sometimes easier said than done. Save yourself from the stress, and look to these tips to prepare for boating with your kids of all ages!

1. Make safety your No. 1 priority.

Everyone must have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket or personal flotation device, including the tiniest members of your family. The little ones that are under 6 years old must wear their lifejackets at all times when aboard a recreational vessel less than 26 feet long. These are just a few of the Florida regulations for lifejackets. See the full list here to know the various types one must wear if on a Jet Ski or operating the vessel outside of Florida, for example.

2. Pack more than enough supplies for your boat ride.

When bringing the little ones and the youngsters, there are much more supplies to bring than a few bottles of water. Make sure your diaper bag is stocked with extra pacifiers, swim diapers, baby formula, etc. Of course you’ll want to have plenty of sunscreen, snacks, water, juice and ice pops to keep everyone refreshed and hydrated! An extra change of clothes and plenty of towels are also notables items to bring.

3. Inform everyone of the basic boat rules.

Just like there are house rules, there are also basic boat rules that your children should keep in mind when riding on the boat. Here are a few basic boat rules:

  • Hands and feet should be kept in the boat at all times.
  • The lifejacket must be worn at all times.
  • No running on the boat is permitted since it is often slippery, and there are several places where one could be injured.

4. Create shade.

Bimini tops and covers are great for creating a shaded area when boating with your kids. This helps to shelter them from the heat to prevent them from becoming overheated. In addition, you could bring a beach umbrella or sun hat to add extra coverage.

5. Make it fun!

Boating with your kids is a memorable experience for all ages, especially when there are fun water activities. You may decide to bring your fishing poles and bait, snorkeling gear, water tubes or play a fun round of ‘who can find the most fish!’ If you decide to anchor, plan to bring some floats and beach toys as well!

 Next: 5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

Labor Day 2017 is right around the corner, and you do not want to miss all that will be happening near Bradenton. The holiday weekend will be chock-full of events from the annual Labor Day Regatta to an event dedicated to bacon and so much more!

Check out our round-up of Labor Day 2017 events near Bradenton:

71st Annual Labor Day Regatta

When: Sept. 2, 9 a.m. to Sept. 3 at 4 p.m.

Where: City Island, 1717 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota.

Admission: Free.

Make way for the Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s grand event! Every year, competitive sailors from around the country and Canada gather in Sarasota for the annual Labor Day Regatta! Hundreds of sailors spanning ages 8–80 are expected at this year’s event. In addition to the five race courses, there will be live entertainment, food, beverages and an awards ceremony to commemorate the winning sailors.

When Pigs Fly Bacon Fest

When: Sept. 2, 5–10 p.m.

Where: JDub’s Brewing Company & Tap Room, 1215 Mango Ave., Sarasota.

Admission: Free. 

Who doesn’t love bacon? What better way to celebrate International Bacon Day than at the When Pigs Fly Bacon Fest during Labor Day weekend? Sarasota’s own JDub’s Brewing Company will be hosting a bacon festival featuring food trucks serving dishes for the bacon lovers. Food trucks include Solid Slab BBQ, Mobstah Lobstah, Mouthole BBQ, The Schnitzel Trailer and Create bakery & gifts. If you’re still craving more bacon, you’ll even find it in some of their brews.

Florida Studio Theatre’s Family Day

When: Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Where: Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota.

Admission: Free.

Join in for the theatre’s first ever Family Day event! Florida Studio Theatre will be partnering with Selby Gardens and Sarasota Opera to present an action-packed day for children and adults to explore the arts through hands-on activities. You and your family will get to discover your opera voice, take the stage with the theatre company and even go on a safari.

9th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival

When: Sept. 2–3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Where: 220 Miami Ave. W, Venice.

Admission: Free.

It’s that time of the year again! Enjoy this two-day craft festival as vendors display their intricate masterpieces. From ceramics to stained glass and jewelry to metalworks and more, there will be many unique treasures for you to discover and purchase. In addition, there will be a Green Market with a variety of flora as well as food items including spices, sauces and kettle corn.

61st Annual Englewood Pioneer Days Parade & Festival

When:

  • Sept. 3, Noon–8 p.m.
  • Sept. 4, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Parade—Sept. 4, 9 a.m.

Where: Festival at Pioneer Park on Dearborn St.; Parade begins at St. Raphael’s Church.

Admission: Free.

Englewood’s Pioneer Days concludes its two-week celebration with the annual parade and festival! The fun kicks off on Sunday for the Parade Days Festival. Join in on delicious food, music, beard contests, car shows and so much more! Then on Labor Day—in addition to the festival—the parade will start at St. Raphael’s Church, continue down Olde Englewood Road and west Dearborn Street before turning on North McCall Road. Don’t miss this exciting annual extravaganza!

Next: August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota Riviera Dunes Marina

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

Looking for fun things to do this month? While summer is nearly over, there are still plenty of things to do in the Sarasota area! Here’s your guide for weekend fun in the Sarasota area for August 2017.

This weekend, Aug. 11–13, head to Historic Spanish Point in Osprey for a docent-guided walking tour! During this enriching tour, you’ll get to experience the history, architecture and nature of Old Florida.

For home goods lovers, you’ll enjoy perusing the vintage and antique goods at Vintiquity Lane’s European-style, monthly market on Aug. 19–20. It’s also important to note that this market opens every third weekend of the month in Sarasota’s Design District, which is located at 1540 N. Lime Ave. At the market, you will discover repurposed, kitschy home treasures, clothing and other unique artifacts from yesteryear. Here are the upcoming market hours:

  • Saturday—8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday—10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you haven’t heard by now, Venice, FL is known as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.” In addition to the vintage market, you’ll also have a better chance to find shark teeth in Venice since the kids will be back in school. Shark teeth are often found near the beach accesses that are south of the jetty. All you need is your shovel and strainer, and you’ll be equipped to find these local treasures. Happy searching!

End the month of August 2017 at Friday Fest on Aug. 25! Friday Fest is a family-friendly, outdoor music series held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. This month, groove to the R&B and funky tunes from local band Jah Movement Reggae Band as you enjoy a view of the Sarasota Bay. The show begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. Food and beverage vendors will also be on site, and the event will take place rain or shine! So, bring your beach towels or chairs and join in for this fun evening on the bayfront!

Next: Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017

5 Boating Safety Tips for Summer 2017

5 Boating Safety Tips for Summer 2017

5 Boating Safety Tips for Summer 2017 Riviera Dunes Marina

5 Boating Safety Tips for Summer 2017

With summer still in its prime, it never hurts to brush up on boating safety! Keep these boating safety tips in mind as you’re enjoying your fun in the sun in summer 2017.

1. Be watchful of the weather.

Before you head out on the boat, always make sure to check the weather forecast. From the TV and radio forecasts to nifty phone apps, like Weather Underground and DarkSky, there is a plethora of ways to obtain an accurate forecast to ensure boating safety. Of course, if you find yourself seeing dark clouds or in roughening winds, it’s best to head home. 

2. Make sure you have proper safety equipment prior to departure.

Your boat should be equipped with one Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each passenger. In addition, you’ll want to have additional throwable flotation devices such as rings and cushions. Lastly, make sure to demonstrate where the devices and life jackets are located as well as the proper way to use each. This is especially important for new passengers aboard your boat.

3. Identify your assistant captain. 

In the event that your primary captain becomes incapacitated, designate an assistant skipper that will be able to guard you and your passengers safely home. This person should be familiar with how your boat operates and knowledgable in boating safety.

4. Formulate a float plan. 

In the event that your boating trip goes unplanned, it’s important to formulate a float plan before departure. Your float plan entails the details of your trip, which you should leave with a family member or with a staff member here at Riviera Dunes Marina. Float plans typically include these details:

  • Captain’s name, address and contact information of the captain
  • All passengers’ names, numbers and boating experience
  • Detailed description of your boat (name, type, make, equipment aboard, etc.)
  • Trip details (departure date and time, destination, stopover ports, etc.)

5. Get a free vessel safety check.

Did you know that the US Coast Guard offers complimentary vessel safety checks? That’s right! They will carefully examine your boat to ensure that it is upheld by the state and federal safety regulations.

Next: 4 Tips for Staying Safe at the Beach

Local Beaches Among Top Family Beaches in U.S.

Local Beaches Among Top Family Beaches in U.S.

Local Beaches Named Top Family Beaches Riviera Dunes Marina

Local Beaches Among Top Family Beaches in U.S.

Three beaches near Palmetto, Florida were named among Reader’s Digest‘s top family beaches to visit in the U.S. and Carribean! You’re in luck when visiting our area because these top family beaches are just a short drive away. Below, you’ll get the scoop on each beach as well as the amount of travel time it takes to reach your destination from Palmetto.

Clearwater Beach

Travel Time: 57 minutes

With it’s pearly-white sand against the lucid ocean waters, what’s not to love about Clearwater Beach? Take the kids to a pirate ship cruise where they can hear pirate stories, play games, go on treasure hunts and much more. You may even spot a dolphin! Speaking of dolphins, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium also boasts a one-of-a-kind experience as you’ll get to meet the movie star dolphin Winter, who starred in Dolphin Tale

Sanibel Island

Travel Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes

When you visit Sanibel Island, there’s one pastime that might take over your entire day: shelling. That’s right—Sanibel is known for its spectacular shelling opportunities! You’ll be surprised to discover a variety of shapes, sizes and colors making this the perfect souvenir to remember your trip to Sanibel. When you’re taking a break from shelling, the Gulf is the perfect area for kids to swim since there’s no shore break. Kids will also enjoy the national wildlife refuge where they can see blue herons, pelicans, alligators and more!

Fort Lauderdale

Travel Time: 3 hours, 16 minutes

When in Fort Lauderdale, you and your family will have plenty of beaches to explore! In fact, there are six beaches; each has its own unique amenities. Deerfield Beach has a family playground and a fishing pier. Then, Hollywood Beach has a boardwalk spanning miles, where you can walk or bike! After the beach, don’t miss Butterfly World downtown where you will see nearly 2,000 caterpillars and butterflies in a screened-in aviary. Then, when you’re looking for a more scenic route to explore the area, hop in a water taxi and enjoy the ride!

Next: Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton Riviera Dunes Marina

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton

Are you on a budget this summer? While there is much to see and do in the Bradenton area, there are many affordable travel destinations nearby!

In fact, three cities in Florida were named among the Top 10 Most Affordable Travel Destinations in the country by AOL! Orlando ranked at No. 1 for the second consecutive year, Fort Lauderdale came in at No. 3, and Jacksonville ranked at No. 9.

For a family of four, the total vacation costs for three days and nights are $2,284 in Orlando, $2,560 in Fort Lauderdale and $2,852 in Jacksonville.

To find the most affordable travel destinations, AOL considered the average cost for a family of four and individuals using these four key factors: roundtrip airfare, hotel rates, car rental rates and dining.

If you’re on a budget and looking for an affordable getaway for you and your family, learn more about these cities near Bradenton: 

When in Orlando, located just a couple hours from Bradenton, you’ll certainly find extraordinary theme parks. But, that’s not all there is to do while visiting. Families will love seeing dinosaur fossils at the Orlando Science Center or stars at the Crosby Observatory. Golfers will also have their fair share of stunning courses when they’re looking to play a round.

In Fort Lauderdale, boat lovers—yacht lovers, especially—will relish in the Florida sunshine. The city is also home to major annual boat shows, museums and lovely beaches. However, Fort Lauderdale is nearly 4 hours away from Bradenton, so you may want to take this factor in consideration before traveling.

Lastly, Jacksonville is also a mere 4 hours away, but it is certainly worth the trip, especially when considering affordability. Take a day to kayak throughout the city, where you will experience the area’s breathtaking nature and gardens. On another day, you might rent some snokelling gear and explore Blackmar’s Reef.

Next: Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017