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

Learn About Bonito Fishing in Sarasota

Learn About Bonito Fishing in Sarasota

Learn About Bonito Fishing in Sarasota

Learn About Bonito Fishing in Sarasota

Do you know about the bonito fish? Let’s learn about this feisty game fish that you may encounter this winter.

The bonito fish is a game fish that is known to frequent the Sarasota area. You may hear these fish referred to as ‘bonita’ or even ‘bonehead.’ Bonito fish, named for their aesthetically pleasing exterior, are speedy and powerful game fish. Their speed and power often causes spools to empty very quickly since they put up quite a fight when you’ve hooked them.

Bonito often travel in schools and will remain in our waters much longer after most pelagics have migrated. You’ll find that seabirds easily spot them when an underwater commotion arises while they’re feeding on small baitfish.

Wondering how to catch them? You’ll be successful with small jigs, spoons and flies, which are often used by sportsmen. Try going to nearshore reefs and catching them by way of bottom fishing; you’ll be surprised when they’re suddenly hooked with a light tackle. The force of the bonito will quickly clue you in that you’ve caught this spirited species.

Though the bonito fish are cousins of the tuna, you’ll want to save these as bait for shark instead of for the dinner table.

Where to Fish Now

The Tampa Bay and Bradenton Area is currently brimming with flounder, large mackerels, black sea bass, grouper, pompano and bluefish.

Sarasota is where you’ll find trout, snook, ladyfish, sea trout and redfish, and bluefish are present as well.

When you’re in the Venice and Nokomis Beach area, expect grouper, snapper, speckled trout and more snook.

The Lemon Bay and Englewood area is bountiful with sea trout, snook, redfish, barracuda and cobia.

There’s much to catch this winter. Happy Fishing!

Learn more about snook here.

 

Free Fun in Sarasota and Bradenton

Free Fun in Sarasota and Bradenton

Free Fun in Sarasota and Bradenton

Free Fun in Sarasota and
Bradenton

Whether you’re vacationing here in Sarasota and Bradenton or a local to the area, knowing where to find free fun activities is always beneficial. Here are 10 free fun activities you’ll enjoy in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.

1. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon at Bayfront Park in Sarasota. In addition to the breeze you’ll encounter from the Sarasota Bay, the whole family will enjoy fishing, a play fountain and a fitness walking area. Bring a picnic, and settle in for a serene afternoon at the park.

2. Groove with the drum circles on the beach. Did you know that drum circles regularly gather on Siesta Key Beach and Nokomis Beach? On Sunday evenings at Siesta Key and on Wednesdays and Saturdays at Nokomis, sit back and enjoy this unique show. 

3. Brush up on your skills at North Port Skate Park. If you have a skateboard, bike or inline skates, you won’t want to miss our local skate park complete with jumps, rails, ramps and bowls.

4. Dive into the Florida Maritime Museum. The past comes alive in this 1912 Schoolhouse, where you can learn about those who lived in Cortez, a historic fishing village. The museum’s hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

5. Picnic along the beaches of “old Florida.” Guarded by tall pine trees, a trip to Coquina Beach is like stepping back in time. Picture-esque and serene, it’s the perfect place for a simple picnic or grilling out; just bring your supplies in a cooler, and you’re set to dine in a piece of paradise.

6. Channel your inner artist in Bradenton. In the Village of the Arts, immerse yourself in this creative community during their monthly Artwalk. Hosted on the first Friday evening and Saturday afternoon of each month, enjoy live music, galleries and other free fun surprises.

7. Take your pups to the only pet-friendly beach in the county. At Brohard Paw Park in Venice, your pup can freely roam the beach. You’ll be happy to know there are also dog-friendly drinking fountains and showers as well as leash posts. The park’s hours are 7 a.m. to dusk, daily.

8. Search for prehistoric sharks’ teeth. Did you know that Venice is known as the “shark’s tooth capital of the world”? Local or not, visitors flood to Caspersen Beach for these fossilized treasures on its shores.

9. Live music on Lakewood Ranch Main Street. Groove to the tunes of live music at Music on Main, held on the first Friday of every month from 6–9 p.m. From 60s to Motown, your ears will always be in for a surprise! Don’t forget your lawn chairs and leashed furry friends.

10. Get outside and bike through nature. Both scenic and rural, bikers will enjoy the Legacy Trail full of foliage and pastureland, as well as local neighborhoods. From its beginning at Sarasota to Venice, it’s about a 10-mile adventure.

Next: Fall Events Near Bradenton

The Best Freshwater Fishing in Bradenton

The Best Freshwater Fishing in Bradenton

the-best-freshwater-fishing-in-bradenton-riviera-dunes-marina

The Best Freshwater Fishing in Bradenton

Wondering where the best freshwater fishing can be found in the Bradenton and Sarasota areas? The secret’s out! Benderson Park Lake is just the spot.

Located off of I-75 and Cattlemen Road in the 600-acre Benderson Park, the lake has been kept a secret by local fisherman and other outdoorsmen.

At Benderson Park Lake, anglers will be in heaven as they’ll discover plenty of bluegill, shellcracker, speckled perch, catfish, largemouth black bass and many other treasured species.

The most lively area of the lake is the eastern side of the lake, where you’ll find that catfish, specifically, like to dwell. The best lures to use for these are Rattle Traps Tiny Trap and beetlespin lures. Fly casters will have good luck using nymphs, wooly buggers, sponge spiders and panfish poppers.

Along with the plentiful freshwater fishing, guests will benefit from the park’s fishing pier, picnic areas, bathrooms and a launching facility when on-site. You are also welcome to bring your non-motorized boats along for the fun!

Hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. from now through the winter season. Keep in mind that a Florida freshwater license is required for all participating anglers.

If you have additional questions, call the park at 941-861-5000.

For other freshwater fishing opportunities, it has been reported that there are mackerel, speckled trout and snook in the Tampa Bay area. Other fisherman have found that there are also bluefish and mangrove snapper in the Tampa Bay and Bradenton areas.

In Sarasota, sea trout, jack crevalle, bluegill, shellcracker and channel catfish are very prominent in this area.

When you find yourself in the Venice or Nokomis Beach areas, snook and trout are doing plenty well there.

One thing’s for certain; it’s a good time to cast a line in and around Bradenton!

Next: Snook Harvest Season has Began