Festive Florida Events: Part 2

Festive Florida Events: Part 2

Festive Florida Events: Part 2

By Hannah M.

Festive Florida Events: Part 2

There’s No End to The Coastal Christmas Fun in Florida

If you’ve been looking for the perfect holiday retreat, Sarasota and Manatee are the places to be! There’s plenty of festive fun to be had on your Florida getaway; however you choose to celebrate this year, seeing these breathtaking displays will be unforgettable!

Check out these dazzling holiday displays throughout Sarasota and Manatee!

Light Displays

Country Christmas

Hunsader Farms

5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, Florida

December 14th-16th, 21st-23rd 6-10 p.m.

A treat for the whole family, this farm is a thrilling adventure waiting! Tickets purchased for this event includes all activities offered, such as hayrides, mini train rides, Christmas movies, photo shoots with Santa, a petting zoo and more. The excitement doesn’t end there; snacks, beverages, and pony rides are available for purchase to make a perfect end to your family day!

Visit their website for admission prices and more!

Lights in Bloom

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

900 S. Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL

December 20th – January 6th 6-9 p.m.

900 S. Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

A dazzling display of over a million lights greet you from the garden and continue through the walkways, leading you into an enchanting evening. Explore the eye-catching gardens, fully decorated for the holidays. Take a leisurely walk through the maze of flowers filled with butterflies, dragonflies and other tropical attractions! This breathtaking excursion has everything to complete your holiday venture checklist. Nightly visits from Santa and his elves, kids activities and games, live performances, grilled food; this Sarasota tradition is one that you don’t want to miss.

Check out their website here for more information and admission prices

If you’d prefer to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view, trolley rides are available from 5:30-10 p.m.

Neighborhood Light Displays

Enander’s Winter Wonderland, Nokomis

2281 Mission Valley, Nokomis

This private residence is open to the public for their extravagant yearly holiday display. Before beginning the tour of over 2 acres filled with dazzling displays and lights, visitors are given a neighborly holiday greeting by the owner, Enander, dressed in a santa hat and handing out candy canes. There’s no end to the Christmas fun to be had here! Featuring toy soldiers, polar bears, and a plethora of other bright decorations, you will want to have your camera ready to capture these memories. The light displays go out at 10 p.m. every night – check out their Facebook page here for more information about this magical Christmas event!

Sarasota:

Cedar Hollow

Cedar Hollow Neighborhood is another community you don’t want to miss out on this Christmas! The entire neighborhood is fully decorated for the holiday; from brightly lit rooftops to shining tunnels to drive through, every corner you turn will offer new sights to marvel at. Keep the magic of Christmas alive for the whole family on this adventure – you may even see a few runways awaiting Santa’s sleigh visit. You’ll feel as if you’ve entered the North Pole in full holiday glory with weekend visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus and even the elves! Enjoy a cozy cup of cocoa and some popcorn with the family as you cruise through this Christmas attraction. Check out the neighborhood Facebook page for more information on special events and visits being held throughout the holiday season.

East Mark Drive

Journey down East Mark Drive for rows of houses brilliantly lit in anticipation of the holiday. From sparkling lights to fun decorations, this friendly Christmas competition is a community you have to visit! At the end of the drive is East Mark’s neighborhood gem, featuring radiant lights, Christmas creatures and other displays, all flashing to holiday tunes.

Colonial Gables

This neighborhood located on the corner of Bee Ridge and Woodmont Drive offers a remarkable coastal Christmas display. Stop for a cup of cocoa at the Bee Ridge Starbucks and be on your way to a remarkable holiday adventure! The displays are available to view by car or walking; regardless of how you want to start your exploration, this whole neighborhood is lit up with Christmas cheer. With sparkling archways, snow machines, gingerbread houses and snowmen, this captivating Christmas Town is the perfect end to any Sarasota winter day!

Bradenton:

Spinnaker Drive

Some of the most fascinating Florida homes can be found beautifully decorated for the holidays on Spinnaker Drive in Bradenton. The crowning jewel to this neighborhood is 4724 Spinnaker Drive, whose twinkling lights shine on time to Christmas music.

147th Street East

Lights, lights, lights! This Bradenton home is luminous under the Florida stars. Featuring fun, festive decorations, set your car radio to the station they have the lights timed to shine to, sit back, and watch the show!

Light Tours

If you’d rather sit back and relax this holiday season, there are trolley tour options available to view some of Sarasota’s most dazzling light displays. Private groups or public tours around 2 hours long are both available. You’re in for a treat with a seasoned trolley guide leading the tour; you’ll be brought to some of the most stunning neighborhoods and holiday displays.

SRQ Trolley

4041 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota, FL

Beginning the first Friday in December and continuing throughout the rest of the month, the SRQ Trolley runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and offers off-site pickup for groups – normal pick up location is at the corner of Bee Ridge and Cattlemen.

Visit their website here for more information on ticket prices and group booking!

Siesta Trolley

5804 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, FL 34233

The Siesta Trolley tours run through December 30th, departing at 7 p.m. nightly. Sarasota’s holiday lights are a beloved tradition, so the local drivers know the best routes to show you the most alluring holiday attractions!

Visit their website here for information on prices and group tours

Have a magical Christmas with the whole family exploring these spellbinding holiday events and displays!

Looking for more ways to spend the holiday? See Part 1 Here!

Original Article Here

Sarasota’s Coffee Culture: A Java Dream!

Sarasota’s Coffee Culture: A Java Dream!

Sarasota’s Coffee Culture: A Java Dream!

By Hannah M.  

Sarasota's Coffee Culture: A Java Dream!

Sarasota is a Destination Vacation for Coffee Connoisseurs!

If you’re planning a beach vacation for the holidays, there are plenty of cozy corners to find the best cup of joe in Sarasota. Get ready for your dream java vacation with this coffee connoisseur’s guide to Sarasota!

Craving a Caffeine Kick? Here are Sarasota’s favorite locations for roasted beans:

Cafe Venice Restaurant and Wine Bar

The perfect end to any evening, Cafe Venice is famed for their wine selection. After tasting their collection superb wine, don’t forget to finish the night with an aromatic Italian espresso and some dessert!

Columbia Restaurant

Try Columbia Restaurant for some fantastic local beans! Roasted in Tampa, Florida – their cafe con leche with one of their fresh baked treats is highly recommended.

C’est La Vie

The ideal artist’s getaway, C’est La Vie in downtown Sarasota offers a sidewalk view of Main Street with an array of authentic French sweets. Have a macaroon with your macchiato while sketching the day away!

La Dolce Vita

Who doesn’t have a soft spot for affogato? Don’t miss La Dolce Vita for your best espresso yet! Known for their gelato affogato el cafe, satisfy your sweet tooth with the array of Italian desserts found here.

Justin Banister’s Out & About Coffee

For a quick cup of joe on the go, check out Justin Banister’s Out & About Coffee mobile coffee cart! Typically found around the east end of downtown Sarasota or near outdoor events, Banister brings a classic coffee house experience with his cold brews and espresso.

Perq

Do you consider yourself a coffee connoisseur? Perq is a coffee shop you must visit! A sophisticated spot for espresso and desserts, you will also find brewing equipment and more; Perq will meet all of your coffee needs.

Are you a bookworm? Don’t miss these locations – perfect for cozying up with a cup of fresh coffee and a good book!

The Green Bean: A Hidden Gem!

A favorite local study spot, The Green Bean is a quaint and quiet shop hidden in north Sarasota. With plenty of cozy corners, grab an espresso, your favorite book and take it easy!

The Reserve Coffee House and bookshop-cafe

Built around 1920, this historical gem is a great place for local coffee and tea! Learn about the history of The Reserve while sipping on some kombucha or craft beer.

Shelf Indulgence Used Bookstore Cafe

Newly opened in 2017, this used bookstore is the ideal day away from the hustle and bustle! Brewing local roasts from Latitude 23.5°, this serene Sarasota coffee spot is where a book lover’s heaven and coffee connoisseur’s paradise meet.

Satisfy Your Caffeine Craving at one of Sarasota’s Many Cozy Coffee Corners!

The holidays just got sweeter planning an exploration through Sarasota’s coffee culture.

With these savory Sarasota coffee corners in mind, you’re ready for a dream java vacation!

Original Article Here

 

Where to Eat, Shop & Play in Sarasota, FL

Where to Eat, Shop & Play in Sarasota, FL

where-to-eat-shop-play-in-sarasota-fl

Where to Eat, Shop & Play in Sarasota, FL

Just a short drive away from Riviera Dunes Marina is Downtown Sarasota with many places to eat, shop and play! From galleries to Vietnamese cuisine, here’s a list of fabulous recommendations when you’re thinking about taking a day trip to Sarasota.

Where to Eat

Downtown Sarasota offers a splendid variety of cuisine, from Vietnamese to seafood. Enjoy a mouthwatering seafood stew or more casual bites at Marina Jack. Accompanied by live music, it’s a fun place to spend some time even after dinner’s well over.

Pho Cali Vietnamese Noodle House is perfect for chillier days when you want to be comforted by a bowl of one of their homemade, signature noodle soups. They also have authentic dishes including rice vermicelli bowls and boba tea for an after-meal treat.

For Latino cuisine, you won’t want to miss Selva, a modern spot where you can lounge and enjoy exquisite tapas, a variety of ceviche and other sensational bites.

Where to Shop

Sarasota is known for its exciting and unique shopping experience! Have you been looking for one-of-a-kind glassware and fine linens for your next dinner party? Look no further than Malbi Décor offering an assortment of Italian items for your home.

For artisanal gifts, Artisans’ World Marketplace is the best spot in town. Products hail from Africa to Asia, so you’ll be sure to find a rare treasure.

The latest fashion trends can be discovered with just one visit to RUE SRQ, where Natalie Rue Morgan offers a carefully curated selection of items including handbags, cocktail rings and much more.

Where to Play

Live music lovers will enjoy The Gator Club! Depending on the evening you visit, you’ll hear Top 40 hits to reggae tunes or rhythm and blues. There’s even something for the whiskey aficionados! In their bar, discover 180 whiskey varieties.

Adorers of art will want to visit Art Center Sarasota, which is home to three galleries with many juried exhibitions. There are also youth programs and classes on Saturday if you and your family are looking for a fun weekend activity. Historic Burns Square is also chockfull of galleries, boutiques and shops.

Get out in nature at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to see rare orchids among more than 20,000 plant varieties. The young ones will enjoy their own rainforest garden as well, so it’s certainly perfect for the whole family!

If you’re in the Bradenton area, make sure you check out our list of Top Things to Do in Bradenton, FL

Next: Free Holiday Events Near Bradenton