5 Ways to Explore Sarasota This Winter

5 Ways to Explore Sarasota This Winter

Are you planning your winter getaway to Sarasota? The Gulf Coast is full of year-round fun for all! Keep reading for Sarasota’s top 5 winter adventures. 

Englewood Pioneer Days Festival

Oct. 12 – Nov 3

This historic festival will be one for the books! Englewood Pioneer Days takes place in Florida’s secret slice of paradise, Englewood. This festival is a celebration of Englewood’s history and has endless events full of fun for the whole family. Featuring car shows, historic tours, boat races, food trucks, and much more!

Sarasota Country Music Festival

Nov. 1-3

Are you a lover of country and southern comfort? Sarasota Country Music Festival is the place for you! Featuring a variety of genres, including Bluegrass, Cajun, Zydeco, and Blues, this festival is truly a unique experience. Peruse the various creative booths available while enjoying some delicious BBQ at this authentic Southern event!

Sarasota Medieval Fair

Nov. 9-Dec. 1 

Sarasota Medieval Fair promises a day full of entertainment for all. View the armored knights wielding their lances in an exciting jousting match, or get in on the fun by playing a game of human chess! This event runs through the beginning of December and features fun medieval comedy troupes, acrobats, musicians and more. 

Siesta Key Crystal Classic

Nov. 15-18

The Gulf Coast is known for a variety of unique artists and creatives. Siesta Key Crystal Classic is a distinctive event focussed on celebrating the transient art of Florida. All of the sculptures in this friendly competition are made from Siesta Beach’s crystalline sand. Don’t miss this stunning attraction on your winter vacation this year!

Chalk Festival

Nov. 15-18

If you wanted an event to satisfy your creative cravings, the Chalk Festival is what you are looking for! This event is purely to commemorate temporary art. Many of the pieces are done in color and are mesmerizing optical illusions. The illusions you can view here are breathtaking – art like this cannot be found anywhere else!

There are many ways to spend your Sarasota vacation, but to truly make the most of it, check out some of these intriguing events planned this winter! 

Original article here

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

Sarasota Memories: How to Take The Perfect Family Portrait

Sarasota Memories: How to Take The Perfect Family Portrait

Sarasota Memories: How to Take The Perfect Family Portrait

If you’ve been searching for tips on how to get the perfect family picture without a professional, look no further! See below for some photography tips to help you get that album-worthy family photo.


  • Timing is Key!

Finding the right timing for your family photo is the key for getting the best shot. Sarasota beaches have some of the most pristine sunsets in Florida; but that’s not when you want to take your family portrait. The best time to shoot? The “golden hour” is what you want to aim for; about 45 minutes after sunrise or prior to sunset. There is a very slim window of time when the light will be ideal, so be ready! 

  • Location, location, location!

Location is another key factor you will want to include in your family photo. A unique location in your background that has a special memory associated with it can make the entire shot! Not sure where to take the perfect family portrait? Some ideas are: 

-Siesta Beach

-Longboat Key

-Celery Fields

-Local Nature Preserves 

-Downtown Sarasota

  • Appropriate Attire 

Are you preparing for your Sarasota vacation this year? When you’re going down the checklist, don’t forget: family portrait outfits! If your family likes to color coordinate, that’s recommended, but stay away from khakis and white tops, as those can blend in with many tropical backgrounds. The most important thing about finding the right attire is to be yourself and comfortable. 

  • Consider Booking a Professional Photographer

Taking family portraits can be stressful! If you just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy your vacation, it’s recommended to consider booking a professional. Summer in Sarasota can get busy, so be sure to book four to six weeks in advance. Research your preferred photographer before booking, to ensure their style and technique match well with your own unique style. 

Some things to keep in mind before booking a professional: 

  • Get to know a little about your photographer! 
  • Make sure the photographer can work well with kids and your unique family dynamic. 
  • Read photographer reviews
  • Share any special needs with the photographer prior to booking to ensure they can accommodate.

The key to working with a professional is cooperation; so make sure they are the best fit for your family first. 


Regardless of how you spend your vacation, sunny Sarasota promises an eventful retreat! Keep these photography tips in mind to take the best shots of your most memorable vacation yet! 


Feel like you are forgetting something for your vacation? See here for a complete road trip checklist, so you don’t miss a thing! 


Original Article Here

Valentine’s Day In Sarasota: The Ideal Date Night!

Valentine’s Day In Sarasota: The Ideal Date Night!

Valentine’s Day In Sarasota: The Ideal Date Night!

By Hannah M.

Valentine’s Day In Sarasota: The Perfect Date Night!

Have you been searching for the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day on your Sarasota vacation? There are so many enchanting events to explore throughout the evening; read below for some ideas to get your Valentine’s Day ventures started!


H2O Bistro

H2O Bistro is one of the many restaurants in Sarasota that will be having Valentine’s Day specials. Seating from 4-10 on Valentine’s Day with a special price fixed menu, H20 Bistro is your go-to romantic date night.

JDubs Brewing Company

If you’re looking for a more laid-back Valentine’s Day date, head to JDubs Brewing Company for pleasant pairing of cheese, chocolate and beer. This intimate evening promises to be an appetizing affair!   

Marina Jack

Watch the sunset over the surf from Marina Jack II on their special Valentine’s Day sunset dinner cruise. Don’t forget to call (941) 365-4232 to reserve your spot on this romantic rendezvous for two.


Enjoy a picturesque picnic on the beach with your loved one for the perfect Valentine’s Day evening. Place your order at Boca ahead for two unique dining options: dine in with a bottle of Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries or order their take out menu, including a filet, lobster tail, and much more. Call ahead (941) 256-3565 for reservations!

Pier 22

Head over to Pier 22 for a heavenly house-made roll of sushi, New Zealand rack of lamb, or their mouth-watering wasabi-crusted ahi tuna. Try out their special Valentine’s Day cocktail menu or end the evening with one of their scrumptious desserts. Call (941) 748-8087 to reserve your place ahead of time.

Date Night On The Town: Sarasota Opera House

Are you searching for some after dinner activities to complete the night with your sweetheart? Spend Valentine’s Day on the Sarasota Stage for an elegant experience you won’t want to miss! With several different shows to choose from, ranging from comedies to dramas, Sarasota Opera House is reputed for their stunning shows and sure to be an entertaining evening.


Make This Valentine’s Day One To Remember in Sarasota!

From simple and special Valentine’s Day plans such as picnics on the beach, to lavish cruises over the water; there are so many ways to celebrate love in Sarasota this year. Get ready for an adventurous Valentine’s Day date night on the town with your significant other!


Original Article Here