Destination Spotlight: Sarasota Florida

There are certain times in our lives where we need to step away from some of our daily responsibilities and reset our mind, body, and soul. There is no better cure for everyday stress than by escaping to a warm weather paradise. Located halfway down the Floridian Panhandle, Sarasota is the perfect city of surf and sunshine that will leave you relaxed, refreshed, and ready to tackle life. With pristine island keys located just outside the city along the Gulf waters, there is a new means to relax every day.

 

Beaches

This area of Florida certainly has no shortage of beautiful beaches, but there is one that we believe stands above the rest. Just a few miles outside of Sarasota, Siesta Beach on Siesta Key is home to white powdery sand and pristine clear waters that landed it the number 1 spot on TripAdvisor’s list of Top U.S Beaches. One of the reasons Siesta Beach stands out, is the sand composition is 99 percent quartz; this makes the sand always soft and cool to the touch regardless of the intense Florida heat. Just off the beach, there is a bountiful amount of shops and restaurants in Siesta village if you are seeking a break from the mid-day sun or need a bite to eat!

For a taste of nightlife, every Sunday evening locals and vacationers alike meet up on Siesta Beach for a community drum circle. This event is completely free and is non-commercial; it started as a local phenomenon that has become stabilized on its own. From about an hour before sun set and into night fall, people socialize by beach fires and the rhythm of many different percussion instruments. The drum circle is a fun way to experience the local culture!

 

Activities

Boat/jet ski rentals –

The Sarasota area is home to both wide open waters and a beautiful intercostal canal that runs between Sarasota bay and the different keys. One great way to explore the area is by renting either a boat or jet-skis for a few hours, cruising up and down the waterway, and stopping by a few of the water side restaurants! CB’s Saltwater Outfitters is one of the many boat and jet-ski rental companies that services both half day and full day rentals. Located just over the Stickney Point Bridge connecting Sarasota and Siesta Key, it is in the perfect location to start your adventure.

Fishing –

In addition to boat and jet-ski rentals, CB’s also offers guided fishing charters with a multitude of veteran guides who have extensive knowledge of fishing of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Within Sarasota bay, there is a bountiful amount of different fish species to target for beginners and experts alike. By monitoring the latest fishing reports, CB’s fishing guides always have the inside knowledge to put you on fish!

If you are a more experienced angler looking for the best bay fishing experience, you might want to plan your trip around Tarpon season, starting in mid-May and ending in mid-July. Tarpon are a large species of shallow water game fish growing upwards of 200+ pounds and offer intense battles that angler’s dream of.

Saint Armands Circle –

If you’re looking to take a break from the sand and surf, walking around Saint Armands Circle just off of Lido Key is the perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening. Saint Armands is a renowned marketplace filled with both unique boutiques and name brand name shops alike that was founded by John Ringling. This outdoor mall boasts a vast array of restaurants and sculptures and art galleries. With plenty of parking, and certain hotel shuttles available, getting to the circle is quite an easy feat!

Golfing –

With coastal warm weather year round, you can always get a great day out on the golf course no matter when you take your vacation. Luckily, there are a number of premier golf courses in the area.

Bobby Jones Golf Club has been a Sarasota institution from the time it was founded in 1927 and has serviced some high profile clients, such as Babe Ruth. The course itself has two full 18-hole championship courses and one nine-hole executive course. The diversity of the courses allows for a full day spent out on the green or a quick early morning round. If you’re new to golf, Bobby Jones Golf Club also offers lessons that will have you on your way to a Green Jacket in no time!

 

Accommodations

Hyatt Regency Sarasota

Located along the waterfront of Sarasota Bay, the Hyatt in Sarasota is a newly redesigned hotel featuring incredible views of the bay and the surrounding keys. From the décor of each of the 294 rooms to the lagoon style-pool, the hotel reflects on Florida’s lush tropical atmosphere. This property also boasts a 24-hour fitness center and a 32-slip private marina. If you need transportation, whether to the beach or downtown Sarasota, the hotel provides a scheduled shuttle service that will get you to your destination.

If you book a stay at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota we can offer you the following amenities:

  • Buffet breakfast for two daily
  • Upgraded room at time of check-in when available
  • Early check-in when available
  • Late check-out when available
photo from Hyatt

 

Dining

There is no shortage of amazing restaurants in the Sarasota area. No matter where you turn, there is guaranteed to be a restaurant that satisfies all different tastes.

Ophelia’s on the Bay – For an upscale dining experience look no further than Ophelia’s. This Siesta Key eatery sits along the intercoastal and offers both inside and outside waterfront dining. The menu at Ophelia’s features globally inspired cuisine that is both unique and delicious. From the moment you hand your keys to the valet everything at Ophelia’s is executed with elegance.

Owen’s Fish Camp – Known by locals and tourists alike as a must stop destination, Owen’s Fish Camp offers a casual and comfortable dining experiencing serving up the best seafood in the area. This down home eatery brings in local fish from Sarasota Bay daily. The restaurant describes their décor as “an ode to old Florida living,” and is centered on making Patrons feel at home. Owen’s Fish Camp is the perfect place to experience the area’s best seafood with some southern hospitality.

Old Salty Dog – Throughout the area, there are plenty of pubs that service their loyal patrons, competing for the number one spot. Our favorite in this competition is the Old Salty Dog. From the amazing chicken wings, to deep friend hot dogs, this pub serves bar staples with their own special twist. The Old Salty Dog has two locations in the area. Our preferred location is on City Island, right off of Longboat Key. It is the perfect place to sit by the water and enjoy good drinks and good food with good company.

 

Stay tuned to our blog for more to come on Sarasota! If you think a trip to Florida could be in your future, give us a call today!

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