Sarasota FL Real Estate Blog

A Hidden Gem - Lido Key


Lido Key is full of intrigue with beaches, parks and many other great amenities. The beaches feels like private beaches, but are easy to get to. Both North Lido Beach and Lido Beach provide plenty of space, amenities and sunshine for a great day at the beach. North Lido Beach is found on Lido Key, 1/4th a mile from St. Armand’s Circle, while Lido Beach is about a half mile from St. Armand's Circle.

Lido Beach provides many features including rest rooms, a gift shop, meeting room, playground, beach chair and umbrella rentals, parking, a heated swimming pool and more. The swimming pool is open from 10am to 4:45pm daily and is $4 a day for adults and $42 a day for children. You will find a variety of delicious food at the Seabreeze concessions, along with plenty of beverage options. Food ranges from hot and cold sandwiches to hot dogs, burgers and even fish tacos. You can bring your own cooler complete with alcohol, but the beach doesn't allow any glass.

Another feature of Lido Key is the casino. It's been open for nearly 30 years and provides a great historic marker with plenty of information about this old Art Deco style building. It was opened in December of 1940 and torn down in 1969.

South Lido Park is also found here with plenty of great views of the downtown...

Upcoming Events in Sarasota for June

June is a busy month by the beach in Sarasota with plenty of great events going on. If you're looking for something to do with your significant other, kids or as a family, there are plenty of great events to choose from. Here's a breakdown of what's happening in June.

  • 10th annual "Embracing Our Differences" Exhibition - June 1st and 2nd at Island Park
  • The 18th Annual Loveland Follies - June 1st and 2nd at the Venice Theatre
  • Brindley's Wine, Beer and Cheese Tasting - June 7th at Brindley's Liquor, Wine and Gourmet Store
  • Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week- June 1st through June 14th throughout the city
  • Dome Flea Market and Farmers Market - Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Dome flea market and event center
  • Creative Kid's Summer Art Camp - June 3rd through 7th at the Art Center Sarasota
  • World Oceans Day Family Festival - June 8th at the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
  • St. Armands Circle Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale - June 9th at St. Armands Circle
  • Mariachi Band - Every Monday at Mi Pueblo at 5:30pm
  • The Sunshine Boys - June 13th through 16th at The Players Theatre
  • Stand Up Paddle Board with your Dad - June 16th at South Lido Beach Park
  • The Feast for Father's - June 16th at Duval's New World Cafe
  • Kid's Critter Camp - For Ages 7 and 8 at Cat Depot June 17th through 21st
  • Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Fund Raiser - June 18th at Golf Coast Eagle Distributing...

A Different Type of Cinema

Burns Court Cinemas is found in downtown Sarasota in the historic Burns Square. This raspberry-colored building provides some of the best independent, foreign and art films in the area. It's also the host of many annual festivals, series and other types of events held in Sarasota. Cine-World is the most popular of the events here and provides many films from around the world.

This isn't your average theater and doesn't play the mainstream films you find at the large Cineplex. However, if you love unique films with a different message, you will enjoy the films at Burns Court Cinemas. Obscure is the best word to describe these films and they don't have huge marketing and promotional teams behind them, but they still provide a great show. If you check out the films, you'll fall in love with a different type of movie.

The team as Burns Court Cinemas takes the time to research and track films from all over the world. This allows only the best films to make the cut. Each film playing at the cinema has a flyer in the lobby you can check out to find out more about it. The staff will also provide information you might need to make your viewing choice. The goal is to provide the obscure films in an easy viewing format, while helping you choose the right film for your taste.

Tickets for the films are $8 for non-members, $5.50 for children and $5 for members. Show times vary, depending on the film and the day....

Hours Changing for the Big Cat Habitat

Recently, the hours for the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary changed. They used to be open only Wednesday through Sunday from 12:30 to 4pm, but they have changed their hours to 4:30pm until 7pm. along with expanding their hours, they've added a daily educational demo at 5pm. The Sanctuary provides many types of tours, including:

  • School Tours - Perfect for field trips including both children and chaperones.
  • Corporate Tours - The Sanctuary provides a great escape from the office as a reward for all the hard work.
  • Private Tours - If you want the VIP treatment, you can book a private tour for your group.

file0001978273414_500The Big Cat Habitat is home to many different animals, such as Tigers, Ligers, Lions, Bears, Birds, Tortoises and Primates. Many beautiful tigers call this place home and you can meet them all. Two Ligers are found here, Mia and Brutus, along with eight lions, Lemurs and so many other animals.

Whether you want to visit with a group or enjoy the animals with your family, this is an si-highlight--primary part of Sarasota. The Big Cat Habitat has been rescuing cats for many years and gives them a permanent home. The facility includes three large indoor/outdoor complexes with exercise habitats. Swimming...

Five Courses and a Tasting

On May 30th, the Huneeus Vintners Wine Dinner will take place at Duval's New World Cafe. This is a true wine dinner with five courses of delicious food and wine tastings. Huneeus provides some of the finest appellations and wines found in the Americas. Some of the vineyard estates on hand will include Faust, Illumination, Saldo, Primus and many others.

The Menu Includes:

  • Yellow fin Tuna Au Poivre and Frisee, Fennel and Apple with a Roasted Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette - This course will be served with the 2011 Illumination Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Prosciutto wrapped Red Snapper with Roasted stone fruit and Goat Cheese - The 2010 Flowers Chardonnay will be served with this course.
  • Pressed Duck Confit, Fois Gras and Pan Seared Duck Breast with Truffled Risotto and a Bing Cherry Reduction - Served with the 2011 The Prisoner.
  • Espresso and Cocoa NY Strip over Crisp Potato with a Frangelico Cognac Cream - Enjoy this course with the 2009 Quintessa.
  • Dessert will be a Sea Salt Caramel Swirl Cheesecake.

All the wines are perfectly chosen to fit just right with each course. Diners will get to enjoy each course with the perfect wine pairing, as they compare notes on both the food and the wine.

This is a great opportunity to enjoy some of the finest wine and food pairings found throughout the area. The dinner will be limited to 60 people. Make sure to reserve your spot soon before all the...

Pairing Entertainment and Education of Jazz in Sarasota

jazz_002_250One of the most popular styles of music found along the southwest coast of Florida is Jazz. Most nights of the week, you can find live jazz somewhere. From jazz bars to cruises featuring top jazz artists, there's always something going on. One of the most active jazz centers in Sarasota is the Sarasota Jazz Club, which sponsors a number of events including, jazz seminars, lectures, concerts, cruises, the Sarasota Jazz Festival and many other events including jazz.

The Jazz Club of Sarasota was founded by Hal Davis after he retired in 1978. He used to be in charge of the Goodman Band, which was a very popular choice for many throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Mr. Davis passed in 1990 and he was also responsible for the Sarasota County Art Council and was very involved throughout the community.

The premier event of the Sarasota Jazz Club is the Sarasota Jazz Festival. This is one of the most popular events held throughout the year and started back in 1981. It has grown from a very small one-day event to an eight-day event with many venues throughout the city. The festival includes performances throughout the week, a huge outdoor concert, many educational programs and the Jazz Trolley. The festival provides all kinds of fun throughout the eight days and the Jazz Trolley...

Sarasota For Dogs, Too

When you believe your dog is an si-highlight--primary part of your family, you want to take your pet out and have fun with it. Sarasota is a great city for dog lovers because of the many places your dogs are welcome. From polo matches to restaurants, there are plenty of places you can take the entire family, including the dog.

Great Places for Water Loving Dogs

dog_swimming_500If your dog loves to swim, you can take him or her to the beach. Venice Beach is a dog-friendly beach with the perfect design for you and your dog. You can enjoy the sun, while playing with your dog on the beach and allowing him or her to play in the water.

Another great place is Bayfront Park. This park provides plenty of area for you to take your dog on a walk or let them run. You can throw a tennis ball or frisbee with your dog and they can enjoy the shallow water. Stop in at O'Leary's for a great cocktail to enjoy while you're spending time playing fetch at the nearby shore.

Other Dog Friendly Places in Sarasota

Bird Key Park is another popular spot for dogs and gives you plenty of area to exercise near the bridge. You can let them cool off in the water and spend time playing with them in this park. Another great dog park, especially for those dogs that don't care for the water, is the...

New Downtown Restaurant in Sarasota

A new layer to downtown Sarasota was recently added with the opening of Louies Modern and The Francis at 1289 North Palm Avenue. This venue features a restaurant, outdoor lounge, barista bar, private dining room, special event space and a regular indoor bar. It overlooks the road lined with palm trees and includes over 11,000 square feet of total space.

With the vibrant downtown area already seeing many improvements, this was like icing on the cake. After the new Palm Avenue Parking Garage was erected and the new roundabouts were added, it wasn't much surprise that businesses were lining up for the spaces in the area. The streetscape has improved and it's attracted this great new restaurant.

The restaurant is the Louies Modern part of the business, while the special event space is called The Francis. It opened recently with both owned by Jeff Greco, Joe, Pat and Steve Seidensticker. These are the same guys behind the success of Libby's Cafe and Bar in the Southside Village. They certainly know what they're doing and success is expected from Louies Modern and The Francis.

The open layout features a contemporary design with a classic atmosphere. The ownership group says Louies Modern is for their father and pays homage to his era. With an open kitchen and plenty of open views, those loving people watching will enjoy dining here. Watch your chef prepare dishes on a wood burning grill as you enjoy the intimacy provided at every table.


M.A.D.E. is Experiencing Success

burger_500M.A.D.E. stands for Modern American Delicious Eats and is a restaurant located at 1990 Main Street. It's owned by Michael Ripatranzone and Mark D. Woodruff. With many upscale and comfort food selections, this is a restaurant perfect for those looking for a casual taste of Americana. It's cozy, with plenty of space for eating and drinking.

The menu features many dishes in the American comfort food category, but with a twist. Some examples of what's found on their menu include:

  • Ribs - Choose from applewood smoked, dry rubbed or peach BBQ glazed.
  • Scallops - The scallops are pan seared and served with a micro wasabi green salad and jalapeno cream corn.
  • Empanadas - Baked until they're a perfect golden brown and made with duck, radish slaw, orang, cherry and sweet potato, these are flavorful and rich.
  • Double Dipped Fried Chicken - Made with a buttermilk batter and served with Gruyere and black pepper waffle.
  • Classic Burger - With their own meat blend, barbecued peppers, onions, pepper jack and a number of other toppings. It's served with cheese tots and malt mayo.

Many other dishes, from salads to desserts are featured on the menu. Diners can enjoy the fresh taste of a delicious grilled Caesar salad or choose one of the other great salads from the menu. If you're looking for something sweet,...

Water Show Fun with the Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show

ski_500Since 1957, the Ski-A-Rees show has been putting on performances in the Sarasota area. This is a non-profit organization with the mission of educating youth interested in water skiing. Every event the team participates in is community driven and features many local business sponsors. Many of the athletes on the team often finish high in the state and national tournaments.

The team has placed high in the Florida State Water-ski Show Championships many times and in the Southern Region Water-Ski Show Championships, as well. They've finished as high as fourth at the National Championships and many individuals from the team have been awarded the Betty Bonifay Award for Outstanding Female Skier. Many other team members have won awards and many have become professionals featured in shows including:

  • Tommy Bartlett Shows
  • SeaWorld
  • Cypress Gardens
  • Callaway Gardens
  • Universal Studios
  • The Starts of Florida
  • Indiana Beach

This team of volunteers does more than just put on water ski shows. They are also involved in the community with many things including:

  • SORA Boat Parade
  • Keep Sarasota Beautiful
  • Adaptive Skiing
  • Special Olympics
  • Florida Costal Clean-up Program
  • Make a...