Category Archives: Outdoor Activities

So many ways to enjoy the outdoors in Sarasota. Enjoy great eco-vacations with many locations for hiking and camping, kayaking, paddle boarding. You can also enjoy events like world class rowing, BMX bike competitions, beach volleyball, competitive skateboarding and boat races.

Siesta Beach 4th of July

2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the Siesta Key Fourth of July fireworks display on Siesta Beach. This annual free event is sponsored by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, chamber members and volunteers.
Ticket sales for a pre-fireworks VIP party contributed to the annual fund raising for this free public event. First Watch was the presenting sponsor for the celebration.

The fireworks display from Zambelli Fireworks is one of the largest in Florida. Chamber members and volunteers put on the big event for over 800 attendees, which included a catered dinner, bar, live music and a preferred viewing area. Live music was provided by Ted Stevens and the Doo Shots.

 

Siesta Key Fourth of July Fireworks 2014

Annual spectacular fireworks on Siesta Key Beach, the #1 beach in Florida.  Be there for the fun.  Sponsored by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, this family event is the best place in Sarasota to see fireworks.

Be a VIP – get reserved parking, a gourmet meal, open bar, live entertainment and more.  Call the SKCC chamber and buy your VIP tickets now!  Only $150 per couple.  Party starts at 5:30 PM on the 4th.    Tickets are on sale now!  Call the Chamber at 941-349-3800 or visit the website: http://www.siestakeychamber.com

 

Sarasota County Horse Shows at Fox Lea Farms

Fox Lea Farm is a 46 acre horse show facility in Venice, Florida. Less than a 30 minute drive from downtown Sarasota, it hosts more than 30 horse shows annually.
Spectators are welcome, and the admission fee is only $5 per person (no charge for parking).  The facility has bleachers and a viewing pavilion for spectators. Seats can fill up quickly at big events, so spectators are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs. There’s even a cafe onsite for food and beverages.
This is a great Sarasota County location for a fun, family event.  You can see exciting shows most weekends.  See the current event calendar at the Fox Lea Farm website.  Call: 941-484-4321 for additional information.

Siesta Key Florida – Crystal Classic Master Sandsculpting Competition 2011 Winners

The 2nd annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic Sandsculpting Competition was held in November 2011 on Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida. This contest drew international sculptors and over 40,000 visitors to Siesta Beach. This video features the World Sandsculpting Doubles Champions – Karen Fralich and Dan Belcher. This team won First Place, the People’s Choice award and the coveted Sculptors’ Choice award.
The 3rd annual event will take place on Siesta Key Beach from November 9-12, 2012.
Make your plans now to attend.

Siesta Key Corona Wide Open Beach Volleyball

Siesta Key, the #1 rated beach in the country, was the first stop on the Corona Wide Open elite beach volleyball tour. This tournament with a $50,000 purse was the first of four events leading up to the US Open of Beach Volleyball. The event, which drew top professional players in both men’s and women’s divisions, was sponsored by the Sarasota County Sports Commission, a division of the Visitors and Convention Bureau.  Several teams included local area players.  Beach volleyball is fun and exciting to watch, plus it’s free!  Two more tournaments are planned in June, so come on out and see them!

Siesta Key Drum Circle

Every Sunday evening, a circle forms on the beach at Siesta Key. Drummers begin, both talented local players and visitors with small percussion instruments. Belly dancers, hoop dancers and gymnasts join in. No special talent is required, just enthusiasm. Everyone is welcome to join the circle – from toddlers to retirees. When you’re in the circle, it’s almost impossible to be still! Locals do this year round, and – during tourist season – the circle grows tremendously. It’s fun, free and relaxing, so come on over when you’re in Sarasota.

Sarasota Payne Skate Park

The Sarasota Payne Park skating facility is now operated by Sk8skool. In 2010, they took over operation of the skate park from the city of Sarasota. Sk8skool operates it as a not-for-profit organization. Sofia Maldonado is a New York muralist and a skater. Recently she designed a mural and worked with students from Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences, Booker High School and Southeast High School to execute the design in the Payne Skate Park bowl. This new mural is a vibrant addition to a park that already has skater inspired art. Extended hours and lower rates draw local skaters. And if you’re vacationing in Sarasota, add the skateboarding at the park to your list of things to do.

Siesta Key Dig the Beach Volleyball

Siesta Key beach hosts the adults and juniors volleyball tournament on May 21-22.  See them compete for cash prizes on the white sand of Siesta beach. Watch hard bodies hit the sand to the sound of house/dance music…a unique experience.   Details at Dig the Beach.

Sarasota Bayfront Island Park

Drive through Sarasota, and you can’t miss our beautiful Bayfront Island Park.  Right on Sarasota Bay, this lively park is surrounded with water.  The winding sidewalks run all along the perimeter of the park and invite you to walk, jog, roller blade, or walk your dog.  In fact, this park is a favorite with local dog owners who often congregate on weekends for some doggy socialization.

With huge grass play areas, picnic tables in the shade, trees made for climbing and plenty of benches and swings, Island Park appeals to all ages.  Children love splashing in the water fountains and birthday parties are frequent in playground area.  It’s located right across 41 from downtown, so this park is convenient.  There’s plenty of parking, so whether you walk, drive, bike or boat to the park, you’re sure to enjoy you time here.

And stop in at the tiki bar at O’Leary’s  for a drink or a meal.  It’s a great place where you can listen to music, enjoy the tropical breeze and watch the boats go by.  Your four legged friends are welcome, too.

Make sure you add Bayfront Island Park to your list of great things to do when you vacation in Sarasota.

Sarasota Florida Beaches Best Rated in The US

Plunge your bare feet into the pure white sand of Siesta Key beach, and you’ll understand how beach sand can be trademarked: Worlds Finest, Whitest Sand™.   In fact, in the Great International White Sand Challenge, this sand was scientifically proven to be the world’s finest, whitest finest beach sand.  First time visitors are amazed by the temperature of this perfect barefoot beach.  The sand is 99% pure quartz, so regardless of the temperature – this incredibly soft sand never heats up!

You just can’t beat this location for a vacation.  This wide, flat, crystal white beach is truly kid friendly with its gentle gulf waves.  There’s a large shaded pavilion with food, changing rooms and retail shops, a number of picnic areas, tennis courts and a playground.

Dr. Beach ranks beaches using 50 criteria from softness of sand, condition and temperature of the water, slope, currents and sand and water color.  He also considers amenities, lifeguards, cleanliness and competition for resources.  Siesta Key Beach repeatedly ranks in the top 10 and in 2010 was ranked the #2 beach in US by Dr. Beach.

The Travel Channel describes Siesta Key beach sand as “soft and white as sugar” and rates it 5 out of 5 in swimming, sand and child friendliness.   See their article on Siesta Key beach here.

And Siesta Key isn’t the only great beach in Sarasota County you’ll want to visit.  Go diving or look for shark teeth in Venice or enjoy the solitude at Caspersen Beach.  And if you have your best friend along – visit Brohard Paw Park and Dog beach.  You can let your four legged friend off leash to play in the surf.  The park is on the island of Venice at 1600 Harbor Dr. S.

All in all, we locals know how lucky we are to live near these wonderful beaches.  Come on down for a vacation, the water’s fine!