Volume 8 | August 2021
August Piece Of Paradise:
Accolade Season
With the end of summer break rapidly approaching, our last four weeks meant squeezing in some escape time before the back to school bustle. We were fortunate to join our extended family for a week of exploration in Milwaukee (sidenote: have you checked out the list of destinations that fly direct from SRQ Airport? It's great and it's growing!), and a quick weekend getaway to the Kennedy Space Center with our kids.
First off, who would have guessed how much we would love Milwaukee? We "heart"ed it, a lot. But while we were relishing our time there, we were also seeing posts about some recent accolades awarded to Sarasota. This summer U.S. News and World Report ranked the Sarasota-Bradenton metropolitan area as ninth best place to live in the United States (among the country's 150 most populous metro areas). And Time Magazine named Sarasota among its 2021 World's 100 Greatest Places. You read that correctly: in the WORLD.
It got us thinking. What does Sarasota have that helps it stand up to, and out against, so many of the better known cities and destinations? Here are some general themes we find ourselves looking at when choosing a vacation destination:
We've heard Sarasota County's Manager of Historical Resources joke that people think nobody lived in Florida until "a little mouse" arrived in the swampy center of our state. It's true there have been a lot of cool things happening statewide in the last 50 and 100 years, but activity in Sarasota has been traced back to prehistoric times. A couple months ago we wrote about Warm Mineral Springs and some of its history; another great destination is Historic Spanish Point. There are guided and self-guided historic tours available in Sarasota and Venice, and an exciting recent push for an African American Cultural Center and Museum.
Food and Breweries
"The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." Amen! One of our favorite past times is testing the menus at new-to-us local restaurants. Dare we say there are too many to choose from? While we haven't yet checked out any of Sarasota's food tour providers (it's on our long list of Sarasota to-do's), we've done plenty of plate sampling on our own. There's a decent selection of local breweries, too. We've enjoyed the free "tour" (more of a stand, look and listen type setting) and samplings at the Siesta Key Rum Distillery. TripAdvisor has an eclectic list of food and drink experiences in the area.
The Arts
We also recently wrote about Florida Studio Theater and mentioned that theatrical performance venues abound in Sarasota. Yelp provides a fairly thorough overview. But let's not overlook musical masterpieces like the Sarasota Orchestra and the Venice Symphony, and of course your Friday night live music venues. The Ringling Museum of Art is free on Mondays and the Sarasota Art Museum has been open for just shy of two years. And there are the temporary, transformative arts like the 3D pavement paintings of the Sarasota Chalk Festival or the Siesta Key Crystal Classic: Sand Sculpting Competition. For a quirky art spot try the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsey.
Sarasota doesn't have its own major league teams... but they still do sports in their own major way. We've got spring training facilities for the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves, and the Pittsburg Pirates just up the road in Bradenton. Nathan Benderson Park often hosts World Rowing championship events and other rowing groups like the Dragonboat Festival. The Sarasota BMX Supercross track hosts world cup races. The Legacy Trail, a favorite among bicyclists, is in the midst of construction that will extend it from approximately 15 miles to 22 miles, connecting Venice to downtown Sarasota. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the opportunities to play a sport loved by many residents, Pickleball. (And by the way, did you hear we sent six athletes to the Tokyo Olympics?)
The Outdoors
Goodness gracious, isn't this article done yet? But one of THE BEST attractions in Sarasota is our outdoor spaces. Hello, Siesta Key Beach has been ranked #1 U.S. Beach by both Dr. Beach and Trip Advisor, and on more than one occasion. And what about the Wild and Scenic Myakka River? Or the mangrove tunnels? The beautiful bays?
Sarasota easily hits the mark for many destination selection criteria. True, we don't have the Kennedy Space Center... but another great feature of our town is its location. If you need a space fix, Cape Canaveral is less than 3 hours away. Disney and Universal: less than 2. Busch Gardens: less than 1. Dozens of other exciting locations: a 20-minute drive to the airport. We're not surprised Sarasota is getting noticed around the country and around the world. You knew what a great spot it was when you chose to buy your home here, and we're happy to help you enjoy it!
Homeowner Tip
Extend the life of your water heater with annual preventive maintenance
There are simple steps homeowners can take to extend the life of their water heater. Every water heater should have an owner's manual that identifies preventive maintenance activities. Often these activities involve checking the pressure relief valve and draining sediments from the tank. This article provides general instructions that may help you make sense of your owner's manual.
Coastal Haven Home Watch of Sarasota delivers peace of mind... for your piece of paradise. Share your Sarasota pieces of paradise with us! We'll include them in an upcoming newsletter for other Home Watch clients to consider during their next stay in Sarasota.