Volume 2 Issue 11 | November 2022

As a Home Watch provider, we want each of your return trips to Sarasota to feel as refreshing as the first. Our "Piece of Paradise" newsletters provide a brief glimpse into Florida homeownership, followed by a featured activity for your next visit.

Homeowner Insight

Sandcastles aren't the only structures that suffer from cracking. Because many Florida homes are built with pest-resistant, wind-resistant concrete, many Florida exteriors are covered with stucco. If you notice a crack on a stucco wall of your home, contact a building professional to have it examined. There are a variety of causes and concerns related to stucco cracks. Even if the crack isn't a symptom of a structural problem, it could be letting in rainfall that can cause issues with moisture and mold.

November Piece Of Paradise

Siesta Beach and the Crystal Classic

Blue skies and blue waters at Siesta Beach.

Every November the call goes out to artists who descend upon Siesta Beach to display their skills working with one of the most unique mediums in the sculpting world: sand.

Siesta Beach is known for its wide, flat swaths of fine, white quartz sand. But it's not just the sand that has propelled the beach into the coveted first place ranking of U.S. beaches 3 times in the past decade - a $17.5 million renovation on the public park amenities was completed in 2016. The upgrades brought modern facilities to the main beach while honoring historic Sarasota School of Architecture principles.

In addition to the competition pieces, several completed sculptures are on display and available for photo opportunities throughout the festival.

That makes it the perfect beach for not only for sun soaking and surf bathing, but also for sand sculpting. The Siesta Key Crystal Classic has been bringing audiences to Sarasota for over a decade. A $12 daily admission fee provides access to vendors, a beer tent, live music, "quick sand" sculpting contests, DIY sand sculpting sessions, and of course - watching the master sculptors at work over a four-day period. Attendees also have the option of voting in the "People's Choice" award category.

The learner's tent offers free lessons for attendees.

A sculptor at work.

One word to the wise: if you plan to visit the Crystal Classic, wear appropriate beach footwear. Some areas have pooling water.

Walking among the sculptures is a cool treat for hot feet.

Nearby Considerations

Despite the expansion of the Siesta Beach parking lot, finding a space for your personal vehicle can still be a challenge. There are a few options available to those who want to reduce the hassle of driving over the bridge and searching for a parking spot on the island.

This trip Miranda parked her car at the Siesta Key Mall and requested a ride through OnDemand. The time between trip request and driver arrival was a speedy 10 minutes, at the low cost of $1.25 (note: the price is increasing to $2 on Dec. 1).

A screenshot of the trip request within the OnDemand by Sarasota County mobile app.

The OnDemand vehicles are minivans, and may pick up or drop off other passengers during your trip.

During the winter season, Sarasota County operates Bus Route #33, which travels onto Siesta Key and drops off at the beach.

Once on the beach, it's easy to move the length of the island (from Turtle Beach to Siesta Beach to Siesta Village) on the free Siesta Key Breeze trolley. The open-air trolley truly does create a refreshing breeze for passengers to enjoy! There are also many inexpensive, private on-island transportation providers.

The classic trolley interior on the open-air Siesta Key Breeze trolley.

Learn more about our Home Watch services, Florida homeownership, and activity ideas in and around the Sarasota area on the Coastal Haven website.

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