February is an exciting month full of events in Sarasota! After you’ve enjoyed yourself kayaking on the beautiful waters of Lido Key, explore the island with these fun things to do!
Sarasota Events

The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees are back for another exciting season with their water ski team! Free shows take place on Sunday’s at 2pm. The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees a non-profit organization. Membership in the organization is open to youth interested in learning about and developing skills related to water skiing and water safety, and to adults who desire to educate, coach and supervise these youth.

The 30th Annual Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts takes place Saturday February 10th and Sunday February 11th from 10am -5pm on Main St. in Sarasota, FL. Admission to this outdoor art show is free! Sunshine Artist Magazine consistently ranks this as one of the top 100 Fine Art Shows and is one of the area’s biggest and best art events. Meet some of the best artists in the nation, displaying life-size sculptures, spectacular paintings, one-of-a-kind jewels, photography and more.

Thunder by the Bay is rolling back into Sarasota from February 15-18. This event continues to honor veterans, active duty military and first responders at this 2 day festival. It is full of events around Fruitville, the Sarasota Fair Grounds, and Main Street. This year, there is also full service camping available at the Sarasota Fair Grounds.  From a wide variety of live music, to bike shows, food vendors, and block parties, there is plenty to do all weekend long! Check out the schedule of events here.

Don’t miss the 24th Annual Siesta Key Craft Festival on Saturday February 24th and Sunday February 265th from 10am -5pm on Ocean Blvd in Sarasota, FL. Take in the sand and sea as you discover beautiful creations from over 100 crafters exhibiting and selling their work in this outdoor gallery which is sure to be a spectacular festival!

There’s no shortage of fun events in Sarasota during the winter months, or in “season” as the locals like to call the winter months. January is a month full of festivals and events to get the New Year started off right. With average high temperatures between 71-75 degrees during winter months, it’s the perfect time to take in some festivals.

Spring Training

Single game tickets for all 16 games at Ed Smith Stadium are on sale now! Ed Smith Stadium, the spring training home to the Baltimore Orioles, will have their opening game in February.  If the Oriels aren’t your team, right down the road in Bradenton are the Pittsburgh Pirates at Lecom Park. Both teams kick off spring training with games on February 23rd.

3rd Annual Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival

The Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival will be held the weekend of January 20th. The event takes place on Gulfstream and Main, near JD Hamel Park. General admission is free, as well as downtown weekend parking.

There will be plenty of seafood dishes to choose from such as grouper, mahi-mahi, stone crabs, oysters, shrimp, soft-shell crabs and more. It is also meat and vegetarian friendly as well. Plus there will be an array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Some of Florida’s top musical groups will be performing live onstage in such genres as R&B, rock, soul, jazz and Caribbean to entertain us as we dine!

Festival hours are 10am-6pm both Saturday and Sunday.

15th Annual St. Armands Circle Art Festival

Every year the Annual St. Armands Circle Art Festival is listed in Sunshine Artist Magazine’s top art shows in the country. The festival has a large gathering and has easily become a favorite in Sarasota County.

Admission is free. The event is located in St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, FL, and takes place Saturday January 27th and Sunday January 28th from 10am – 5pm.Fun Events in Sarasota

Having fun doesn’t have to cost money. There are so many things to do in the Sarasota area, and since you can’t put a price on happiness, here are a few things you can do in Siesta Key that are free!

Go to the Beach!Siesta Key Beach Sarasota

Our beaches are free! There is no charge to get into the beach, or to park your car in the lot. This is
pretty amazing because Siesta Beach has some of the finest, whitest and in the world. The water is also very calm and clear which makes it perfect for swimming. Grab your sunblock, a towel, a good book and anything else you need to complete your perfect beach day. Stay through till the evening to see one of the best sunsets on the west coast!

Collect Shells

Anther fun thing to do is to collect shells. Turtle Beach on the south end of Siesta Key will have the most shells on the island. Shells can be found on all of Siesta Key’s beaches (Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach), but Turtle Beach has more due to its location, and because it’s much less crowded than Siesta Beach.

Go Diving

Also located on the southern end of Siesta Key is Point of Rocks. This is arguably the best place on the west coast of Florida for snorkeling. There are more than 100 yards of limestone ledges to explore. The calm waters make for a perfect beginner dive. Parking can be difficult, so it is best to go in early morning and get a spot at beach access No. 12. Parking spots are limited and are usually filled by mid-morning.

Stay tuned to catch our next edition of “Things to do in Sarasota”.

Things to do in Sarasota

Things to do in SarasotaWhen you hear of Sarasota, Siesta Key Beach, beautiful Gulf Coast Waters, and gorgeous white sand beaches probably come to mind. All of those are true, but there is so much more to do; All year long. This is especially true during the holiday season. Some people might think that being in a warm gorgeous place, that it wouldn’t feel like the holidays. Between decorations, holiday gatherings and local events, there’s not a chance that you can’t get caught up in it all.

Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, home of the circus king John Ringling and his wife is one of those places. Thursday nights in December, starting at 5pm are the Holiday Nights at Ca’ d’Zan. Admission is free with museum admission. The Ca’ d’Zan is all dressed up for the holidays. The decorations feature festive fireplace mantels, balconies, doors and a gorgeous 10-foot-tall tree that stands in the Grand Court.

Another holiday special is Lights in Bloom. This takes place at the beautiful Selby Gardens from December 16th through December 30th from 6pm - 9pm (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Visitors can stroll through magical gardens filled with beautifully lit flowers, butterflies, dragonflies and more. Also included in this tropical paradise are miniature garden trains, Santa and his elves (before Christmas Eve), plus live entertainment nightly.

While not a holiday tradition, you don’t want to miss out on the Siesta Beach Seafood & Music Festival taking place December 3rd and 4th. This unique event blends food, music and visual entertainment offering tastes of delectable seafood creations and delicious drinks prepared by the top restaurants in Siesta Key and Sarasota.  Not only that, but there will be outstanding musical performances by local and regional musicians in a diversity of genres. Finally, there is an outdoor gallery of arts, crafts and food products. So while it might not be a holiday themed activity, you can complete your holiday shopping with some one-of-a-kind items!

Stay tuned to catch our next edition of “Things to do in Sarasota”.

Most people are familiar with Sarasota because of our beautiful white sandy beaches, specifically Siesta Key Beach. However, there are many other reasons to love our area. We are on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico with exquisite blue waters, warm temperatures and we are abundant with wild life. We see many examples of wildlife on our kayak tours, such as:

• Bottle Nosed DolphinsWildlife
• Manatees
• Black Mangrove Crabs
• Pelicans
• Osprey
• Egrets
• Sea Stars
• Sea Urchins
• Herons
• Roseate Spoonbills

There are so many more, this is only a few.

When you kayak through the exotic mangrove tunnels, you are taking an adventure on the very habitat that sustains many of tmangroveshese beautiful creatures. In Florida, we have three native species of mangroves.

Rhizophora mangle — red mangrove
Avicennia germinans — black mangrove
Laguncularia racemosa — white mangrove

Mangroves are like a protected nursery for fish, crustaceans, and shellfish. They are also vital to our fishing industry, both sporting and commercial. An estimated 75% of the game fish and 90% of the commercial fish species in south Florida depend on the mangrove system. The branches of mangroves also serve as nesting areas for coastal and wading birds such as the ones listed above. Not only do they provide habitat and shelter for animals, but mangroves also protect uplands from storm winds, waves, and floods.

The seeds or pods that float in the water looking for their next sprouting ground can also be used to brush your teeth! Try it the next time you take a kayak adventure in the exotic mangroves of South Lido Key.

Whether you are local to the Siesta Key area, or visiting, Siesta Key should be on your to-do list. There really is something for everyone.

Beach Siesta Key Beach

If you are looking for powder soft white sand, that’s the place to go. The sand is not only soft, but it isn’t hot. So while you’re running from the water to your blanket, your feet won’t get burnt! The sunsets there are amazing – the thing postcards are made of. The water is beautiful and calm. The beach goes on for miles, as mentioned the sand isn’t hot, so it’s perfect for walking and running. If you’re paying attention, you can see dolphins swimming from time to time. On Sunday nights, locals get together for a drum circle. This takes place every Sunday, (even holidays) and begins a few hours before sunset. Siesta Key SunsetVisitors can simply sit and watch, or even jump in on the fun.

Shopping

Right next to Siesta Key is Lido Key. St. Armand’s Circle on Lido Key has some of the most elegant shopping and dining anywhere.  John Ringling of the Ringling Brothers Circus used to call this place home. He dreamed to make this area a major tourist attraction and didn’t live to see it happen, but today his dream is a reality.

Activities

The possibilities are endless when it comes to activities in this area. There are miles of canals, and beautiful lush tropical landscape everywhere. If you are a nature enthusiast or bird watcher, this is the place for you. Travel down to the point of rocks to find some of the best snorkeling in the west coast of Florida. Turtle Beach is the place to go looking for shells, and is located on the southern tip of Siesta Key. Go to Lido Key for water sports of all types. Tournament class fishing, both inshore and offshore is available too with the almost 1000 species of fish we have. Sailing, boating and sunset cruises are available too.  Lido Key is also the place to go kayaking. Paddlers will find a lush mangrove forest for lazy

Mangrove Tunnels
Kayaking Lido Key Mangrove Tunnels

paddles, as well as open water areas where viewing of dolphins, manatees, and other wildlife will occur. We offer kayak tours twice daily. It is always an adventure, so bring your camera!

You can visit the Siesta Key area and do it all. If you’re looking for relaxation, sit on our beautiful beach and take in some rays. If you want excitement and dining, we have all of that too. Your adventure awaits!