Things to do
So many things, so little time. Sarasota is an incredible city to visit and explore. No matter what your favorite thing to do is in life, Sarasota will have it, match it or tweak your interest into a new area you had not experienced or pursued previously.
Listed below are just a few of the "things" you can do in the area. By no means is this list anywhere near complete. In the future I will take each of these items and give you more information in their own little article as you will see below. Maybe a good place for you start is a Segway tour of historic and scenic Sarasota or Sarasota Bay front and Lido Key with Ever-Glides Segway tours. Some of the other things to do would be snorkeling, scuba diving, jet ski, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, kite surfing, canoeing, kayaking, tennis, Polo, parasailing, boat trips, miniture golf, roller blade/roller skate (circuit), skate board (ramps), go-karting, race track, RC modeling track, RC aeromodelling field, ten-pin bowling, baseball, basketball, volleyball, paintball, fishing, deep-sea fishing, surf fishing, spear fishing, Bar/pub, discotheque, karaoke, park and garden, leisure park, zoo/animal park, circus, exhibition center, art gallery, festivals, antiques & bric-a-brac, local craftstore, cellar and wine tasting, natural spring baths, steam baths, fitness centers and more!!
Like other cities Sarasota has many places to go to the movies. In our downtown area on Main Street is a Hollywood 200, but I exaggerate and that may be a Hollywood 20. Additionally there are other movie houses scattered near malls and shopping centers where you can see the newest in first run movies.
Burns Court Cinema is not like the rest. Let's start with the fact that it is well hidden in an ally in Downtown Sarasota in the antique district and additionally that you can purchase a glass of wine or beer to enjoy with your movie. Am I getting your attention? This is not your kids movie theater! No siree Bob, this is your movie theater and don't plan on coming here to see Hollywood's newest and greatest as this cinema house specializes in art films, independent, classic and international cinema. This Sarasota cinema theater at Burns Court only comes along once in a blue moon. Don't blow an opportunity to experience a movie at this great Sarasota theater.
If you are on Siesta key on a late Sunday afternoon/evening you might find the drum circle interesting. A gathering of people with guitars, drums and other musical instruments play and dance to the beat of their music on the beach in front of the Siesta Key Public Beach concession stands. Great people watching and the Siesta Key drum circle is the largest in the country.
It began, or so the story goes, back in 1996, when a Bradenton man named David Gittens organized a drum circle on Siesta Key Beach. It was loosely based on a Native Amercian event Gittens had attended in northern California. Over the years the celebration every Sunday at Sunset has become an enduring way for people to connect with and their surroundings, or so the Sararasota Herald Tribune says.
Every year on the 4th of July Siesta Key is awash in celebration of this great holiday. Boat races are held on the Gulf of Mexico with pit walk through s and nightly parties held along the waterfront in Sarasota, Lido Key and Siesta Key. The night of the 4th of July Siesta Key provides an extravaganza fireworks display on the Siesta Key Public Beach. Many families plan their vacations around this celebration and display. The luxury of watching this display from your open balcony in condo 408 at Sunset Royale makes this a very special experience. The best I can come up with to give you a small understanding is this movie from my Sony Cybershot point and shoot camera of the July 4th , 2008 fireworks on Siesta Key. This condo is reserved way in advance of the 4th of July every year and this link will stay available until the condo is reserved for Saturday July 4th 2009. This will be another very special year. Because the 4th of July in 2009 falls on a Saturday, Friday July 3rd will also be a national holiday from work for most. The Penthouses at Sunset Royale have packaged a 4th of July, 2009 two week retreat from the word for a well deserved restorative fortnight of privcy and seclusion on the most incredible beach in the world.
Siesta Key Farmers Market
In 2009 the long awaited Siesta Key farmers market finally became reality and appears to be doing well in our village despite 24 hour a day, seven day a week construction on beatifying Ocean, our main street in Siesta Key Village. We are saying goodbye to overhead power lines, installing new street lights and adding brick crossing areas and intersections in the business areas. This project has seriously hampered the abiltiy for the village merchants to allow ample parking and access to their customers, who sometimes felt they should receive an award for just being able to find a way to get to their stores and restaurants. The farmers market is set up at 7:00 AM every Sunday and runs to about 1:00 PM. The theme is organic, laid back and easy going.
This market is very different than the Sarasota Farmers Market, although they do claim a few of the same vendors. Sunday at the market and breakfast at one of the many restaurants in the village that are open and ready to make your Sunday as good as it can get. Gosh, this is almost as good as going to church, not that we would recommend dropping one for the other. Certainly there is plenty of time on Sunday morning for both.
The Sarasota area is not a location for those who like to gamble and tempt Lady Luck, except for our local Greyhound dog racing track on University across from the airport. With racing every night but Sunday and three matinee races each week, you should be able to feed your gambling desires. If this is not enough then visit their state of the art One-Eyed Jack Poker Room with 32 tables, TV monitors throughout, walk-about tellers and table side beverage service.
The Sarasota Kennel Club provides menu and buffet dining in their clubhouse. You can also place bets on live simulcast horse racing with pari-mutual wagering in the clubhouse. Call the Sarasota Kennel Club for more information at 941-355-7744.
Horseback Riding Lessons and Academy
If you love to ride horses or have always wanted to learn how to horseback ride you will find two excellent riding academies within easy driving distance from your beachfront condo on Siesta Key. Ellian Rosaire's (Miss Ellian) Rosaire's Riding Academy & Pony Rides provides all that the name implies plus more for your close to Siesta Key Beach horseback riding experience. This is a great place for horseback riding lesson for kids and adults. Additionally a winter holiday day camp provides a multi-day camp around the Christmas and New Year holidays that is a perfect and memorable experience for 6 to 15 year olds. Horse camps are Pony rides at Rosaire'savailable during the spring and summer school breaks also. The daily charge is very reasonable and the memories and experiences will last forever. Additionally Miss Ellian provides pony rides most of the year for a unique break from the beach. Year round riding lessons in all riding disciplines whether you wish to ride English style-dressage, huntseat-or Western-trail, barrel racing-you will receive patient and clear instruction in the correct, balanced form of riding.
Just when you start to think how fortunate you are to be so close Rosaire's you now discover that for an additional 30 minute ride or just one-hour from your beach front condo on Siesta Key you can experience an incredible rare and unique experience at the Herrmann's Royal Lipizzan Stallions Ranch where you will not only be able to watch the famous original white Lipizzan Stallions of Austria that rival in color the white sands of Siesta Key, but you will also be able to take riding lessons on these beautiful horses. Founded in the 16th century for the exclusive use of the Hapsburg Royal family of Austria, the Royal Lipizzans are unquestionably the rarest, most aristocratic breed of horses in the world. The pride of the Hapsburg Empire, the Lipizzan breed was first established by Archduke Charles at Lipizza (now part of Yugoslavia). The story of these rare horses and how they were saved by General George Patton from extinction by the Russian advances in WW II is told in the Disney Movie "The Miracle of the White Stallions". Assisting Patton in the clandestine mission to rescue the regal Lipizzans, Colonel Herrmann and his father, Colonel Ottomar Herrmann, Sr., smuggled the horses out from far behind enemy lines, riding at night and hiding by day. "We moved out into the night with nothing," recalled Herrmann, "only a handful of horses". You can see the daily shows of these magnificent horses when they are not on tour and you can arrange for private lessons on their stallions at the Spanish American Riding School of the Herrmann's Original Royal Lipizzaner Stallions at the ranch. On another page on our website we have lots of information on having your wedding on our beautiful Siesta Key Public Beach, but for something very different you can also arrange to have your wedding at the Herrmann's Royal Lipizzan Ranch. Your Siesta Key choices can just boggle the mind.
Sarasota Friday evening walks
When you are on the beach or out on the water in a boat, the white beach sand and the surface of the water act like solar reflectors. UVA and UVB rays bounce off the sand and water and hit you from all sides and all angles. It's like being in a solar oven. That's why you will get sunburned even when you are under an umbrella.
Sarasota Friday evening walks are a social event that you will want to participate in when ever possible. Not only do you get to observe interesting art, antiques and people, but refreshments are provided to start your Friday evening plans with an upbeat and friendly lift. On the first Friday of each month Palm Avenue shops and galleries will be your host. You will also find this area to be a great location for a number of restaurants to satisfy whatever your taste in cuisine might be craving. The weather will be nice, the shops enjoyable and the ambiance friendly. On the third Friday of each month Towles Court artist area is another great find and unique artist community nestled between highway 301 and Osprey. Morrill Street is the center of this area which is located just below Ringling and east of Osprey. The artist will be there to discuss their work and techniques. The fourth Friday of each month is the St. Armand's Circle walk with shops and galleries galore along with many great restaurants that allow you to make this a St. Armand evening.