7 Things We Love About Sarasota, FL

7 Things We Love About Sarasota, FL

7 Things We Love About Sarasota FL Riviera Dunes Marina

7 Things We Love About Sarasota, FL

From secret shops to manatees, what’s not to love about Sarasota, FL? Whether it’s your first visit to Sarasota or your fiftieth, there are many things to discover about this beloved county.

Here are our top seven things we love about Sarasota:

1. Foodie paradise

Catering to everyone from the vegans to the meat lovers, Sarasota has it all. If you’re looking for the freshest vegetables in season, there are also plenty of local farmers markets where you can find delicious, artisanal goods. Our local Sarasota Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 7 a.m.–1 p.m. at Main Street and Lemon Avenue.

2. Scenic adventures at the river

The Manatee River is the perfect place to embrace nature and get up-close with wildlife for the afternoon. Go on nature tours, swim with manatees and have a picnic, among many more exciting opportunities to get some fresh, Florida air while at the river.

3. The boat life

One of our top things to love about Sarasota, FL is the boater’s lifestyle. Feast at waterfront restaurants beneath the night sky, hop aboard your boat to reel in your dinner, or take a sunrise cruise. These are just a few things to love about the boat life in Sarasota, FL. 

4. The state park

The Myakka River State Park offers another fantastic opportunity to explore wildlife and the great outdoors. Traverse the trails, go fishing and kayaking, then end the day in one of the park’s log cabins!

5. The arts

At The Ringling museum, live music events, exhibits and a step back into history await you. Don’t miss the lovely gardens and of course the circus museum! It’s truly a marvelous place that all ages will be able to enjoy.

6. Secret shops

The Sarasota area boasts a wealth of pop-up shops and dining spots that you will not find anywhere else. The pop-up shops here are certainly one of the many aspects that set our area apart from others.

7. Local events

From Sarasota to nearby Bradenton and Palmetto, there’s always a fun local event to attend. Taste exotic wines at wine festivals, head to an outdoor concert or attend a sporting event. The local events here celebrate every interest you could imagine! 

Next: Where to Eat, Shop & Play in Sarasota, FL

Free Holiday Events Near Bradenton

Free Holiday Events Near Bradenton

free-holiday-events-near-bradenton-riviera-dunes-marina

Free Holiday Events Near Bradenton

With Thanksgiving almost here, it’s time to start planning for the wondrous holiday events, and there is much to see and do in and around Bradenton!

Marvel at trails of lights and parades or participate in reindeer games or toy drives. Free holiday events near Bradenton are plentiful, and you do not want to miss out on all the fun this season!

Here’s a list of free holiday events near Bradenton that we’re most excited about:

Nov. 26: Free Outdoor Movie and Tree Lighting

6–10 p.m., Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach

Head to Bridge Street for an evening of live music from the Sweet Adelines, a free showing of the 1966 cartoon “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and popcorn and refreshments. All you need to bring is a chair and blanket! 

Dec. 2: 38th Annual Holiday Night on St. Armands

6–9 p.m., St. Armands Circle Park, Sarasota

Usher in the holiday season with a Christmas Carol Sing-a-long, special performances and the arrival of Saint Nick himself! Capture a photo with Santa, then enjoy the many store promotions in the shopping center.

Dec. 2–3: A Village Christmas Artwalk Weekend

Friday 6–9:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Village of the Arts, Bradenton

Village of the Arts will host a special, holiday-themed art walk during their monthly event. While admiring the holiday decorations, peruse unique art in galleries and studios, enjoy live music and food and much more!

Dec. 3: Palmetto’s Christmas in the Park

3–8 p.m., Manatee County Agricultural Museum & Palmetto Historical Park

Join in in Palmetto’s annual Christmas event! This year’s theme is ‘A Country Christmas.’ Chockfull of reindeer games, kids’ crafts and entertainment, Santa will also be arriving at 4 p.m.! And no need to worry about dinner! Food vendors will offer BBQ, lemonade and much more delicious goodies.

Dec. 10: Anna Maria Island Privateers Annual Christmas Parade

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Bay Front Park to Coquina Beach

You won’t want to miss the annual Christmas Parade hosted by the Anna Maria Island Privateers. Come and see their private ships as they sail from Bay Front Park to Coquina Beach. Then, Santa will hop aboard their Flagship “Skullywag” for a great photo opportunity.

Dec. 10: Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade

6:30–7:30 p.m., Riverhouse Reef & Grill

Follow the illuminated and decorated boats in the annual holiday boat parade! At dusk, you can enjoy the parade from the Green Bridge Fishing Pier and Riverhouse Reef & Grill as well as the Riverwalk in Bradenton. Boats will also compete for cash prizes!

Dec. 17: 2nd Annual Marty’s Toy Drive

9–11 a.m., Pirate City, 1701 27th St. E., Bradenton

Get into the holiday spirit by joining Bradenton Marauders for their 2nd annual toy drive! Please bring new, unwrapped toys, which will be given to Salvation Army to distribute to those in need. Donators will receive a complimentary breakfast, a promo item and entry into a raffle for four tickets to a 2017 Spring Training game!

Next: Free Fun in Sarasota and Bradenton