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Sarasota Oktoberfest

October 18-20, 2019

JD Hamel Park at Gulfstream and Main Street, Sarasota, FL
Friday 4pm-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday 11am-6pm
Free Admission

Join us for the 2nd Annual Sarasota Oktoberfest in beautiful downtown Sarasota in JD Hamel Park at Gulfstream and Main Street, brought to you by Paragon Festivals, with the Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association and their special guest the Humane Society of Sarasota County. You will be able to stuff yourself with smoked sausages, roasted meats, sauerkraut, cabbage, and pretzels while enjoying authentic German music and dancers and live music performances in rock, soul, big band, R&B and more!

Between performances shop the Marketplace of arts, crafts and select fine products and services.

The Humane Society will have their “Big Mac” mobile adoption center onsite. Please take a few moments to stop by and say “Hi” to the dedicated staff and meet their extended family of friends awaiting adoption. Find a new companion and lend support to a wonderful and compassionate organization.

2019 Musical Performers

Musical performers in 2019 are, on Friday: Triggerfish (pop, rock, country), Kettle of Fish (rock, blues, funk) and Ari & The Alibis (funk, jazz, samba). Saturday performances are by: Alpine Doc (Bavarian, Americana 50’s & 60’s), Tahja (Bavarian dancing), CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion (blues, soul, roots) and Fleetwood Max (Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band). Sunday performers include: Ocean’s Eleven Big Band (big band, jazz, swing), Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio (rock, soul) and The Verge (classic rock 70’s to present).

Map, Directions & Parking

Driving Directions

GPS Address: JD Hamel Park, Gulfstream & Main Street, Sarasota, FL

1) from St. Armands Circle: take John Ringling Blvd (SR-789) across Rt. 41 to the intersection of Cocoanut and Gulfstream (~4 minutes / 2.33 miles). The Oktoberfest festival is in JD Hamel Park, directly ahead of you starting at Main Street and proceeding south.

2) from North or South of downtown Sarasota: take Rt. 41 towards Marina Plaza/Main Street. Turn east on Main Street and continue on Main Street to Gulfstream. The Oktoberfest festival is in JD Hamel Park on your right.

Parking Information

The Palm Avenue Garage (1289 Palm Avenue)

Garage parking is available at the award-winning Palm Avenue Garage, located one block from Main Street on North Palm Avenue, only steps away from Five Points intersection in downtown Sarasota. The Palm Avenue Garage is a newly designed and LEED Certified facility utilizing the latest technology in equipment and design. The garage has spaces for 729 vehicles with handicap parking located on each floor close to the elevators. The city provides four reserved electric car-charging stations on the ground floor. The Palm Avenue parking garage is a perfect location to park short or long-term visits to downtown Sarasota.

State Street Garage (1538 State Street)

The parking garage bi-lateral entrance and exit points will provide excellent access from both State Street and Ringling Blvd. Parking spaces are located on levels 2 through 6, with motorcycle, bicycle and handicap van access on the ground floor. With downtown parking demands so high, parking time limits will ensure there is always a parking space available in either the 2-hour parking “shopper zone”, or the 4-hour time restricted area on levels 4 through 6.

2nd Street Garage (1400 Block of 2nd Street)

The 2nd Street Garage is located between First and Second streets, directly across from Whole Foods. Ground floor parking is intended for customers of Whole Foods, while the second and third levels of the garage are open to the public (except where posted). The public parking access ramp is located on Second Street, near the corner of Central Avenue. There are time restrictions in the facility that are monitored by the City Parking Division and for which citations are issued for time violations. The time restrictions are as follows:

Ground level: 2 hours Levels 2 and 3: 4 hours

 

(Click Here For More Information)

Siesta Key Fishing Spots

Siesta Key offers exceptional year-round fishing for a variety of species due to our sub-tropical climate, variety of habitats and interconnected waterways originating from the steams and rivers of three surrounding counties (Charlotte, Manatee and Sarasota).

Whether fishing from a beach, boat, bridge, drift or pier, Sarasota and Siesta Key provide unlimited opportunities for anglers of any age or skill level, with plenty of Bass, Catfish and other species to be found in area fresh waters. Jack, Snook and Tarpon abound in the brackish waters where freshwater meets saltwater, while area saltwater provides a home to a variety of fish including Drum, Grouper, Mackerel, Snapper, Trout and many other saltwater species.

So many fish species abound the area, including Blue Fish, Cobia, Flounder, Grouper, Jack Crevalle, Kingfish, Lady Fish, Mangrove Snapper, Pompano, Red Fish, Sharks (Bonnet Head, Hammerhead, Nurse), Sheepshead, Snapper, Snook, Spanish Mackerel, Tarpon, Trout, and Whiting.

Fishing Licenses

A recreational saltwater fishing license is required for residents and nonresidents to take or attempt to take saltwater fish, crabs, clams, marine plants or other saltwater organisms (other than non-living seashells and lion fish with certain gear).

Licenses for Fresh Water fishing and Salt Water fishing can be picked up at local bait shops and sporting goods stores, some marinas and hardware stores, and online at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

BIG PASS

Big Pass is a long and narrow inlet which separates Lido Key (to the north) from Siesta Key, and is accessible via boat or the Shell Beach public beach access. The smooth, rocky bottom of Big Pass is known as a great place to fish for Flounder, Grouper, Jacks, Ladyfish, Sheepshead, Snapper and Snook, among other fish species. Live baits including Whitebait and Shrimp are good bets for this area, as well as jigs and spoons for those who prefer artificial bait.

The Shell Beach public beach access is family-friendly and offers some parking, trash and recycle receptacles, a bench, and beach for swimming. (See our Blog for more information on Siesta Key Public Beach Access locations)

BLIND PASS / TURTLE BEACH LAGOON

Blind Pass, or Turtle Beach Lagoon, is located on the south end of Siesta Key in the Turtle Beach Park, and connects to Little Sarasota Bay. Located near the Neville Marine Preserve, it offers some of the best Blue Fish and Mackerel fishing on the island and provides anglers a choice of fishing the lagoon via pier or seawall or, on calmer days, fishing the surf can yield great action.

This park offers plenty of parking, a boat ramp, and other amenities including restrooms, playground, a nice beach for swimming, picnic tables, and grills for outdoor cooking.

LITTLE SARASOTA BAY

Little Sarasota Bay separates the south end of Siesta Key from the mainland and is primarily accessible via boat. This area is comprised of creeks, docks and many grass beds which attract a variety of species including Ladyfish, Pompano and Trout. Oyster bars also populate the area, providing a haven for Jacks, Reds, Snook and Trout, particularly during the cooler weather of Winter and Spring seasons. Flounder, Redfish and Sheepshead are also caught regularly in this habitat.

NORTH BRIDGE at SIESTA DRIVE

The northern bridge from Sarasota to Siesta Key (on Siesta Drive) is a popular fishing destination due to the variety of angling options, great views of the bay, and adequate parking. A portable restroom is located at Bay Island Park as you cross the bridge to Siesta Key.

Whether fishing from watercraft, the seawalls on either end of the bridge, the bridge itself, or the northern tidal flat, this location offers a variety of structure-seeking fish species including Grouper, Ladyfish, Pompano, Sea Bass, Snapper, Snook, and Trout. Best fishing times coincide with the tides early in the morning, and later in the afternoon or evening.

OLD MIDNIGHT PASS at PALMER POINT

Anglers with an advanced skill set will enjoy fishing for Cobia, Flounder, Grouper, Kingfish and other species about a half-mile south of Turtle Beach, where a narrow stretch of the island connects Siesta to Casey Key, offering bay and gulf fishing opportunities.

Turtle Beach Park provides plenty of parking, restroom and picnic facilities, and includes a boat launch and playground. Park your car here and walk south to Old Midnight Pass and Palmer Point.

PHILIPPI CREEEK

During cooler months, the mouth of Philippi Creek is an excellent place to reel-in Jacks and Snook, while the rock ledges of the channel are brimming with Sheepshead, Snapper and other species. This location is best worked from the bay via small fishing craft.

POINT OF ROCKS

Arguably the best gulf fishing on Siesta Key’s coastline may be found at Point of Rocks, near Crescent Beach on the south end of the island. This location offers the only rocky deposit in the coastal area, with underwater coral, rock ledges and karst formations which attract a wide variety of bait and game fish species including Flounder, Mackerel, Snapper and Snook. Many other fish species may be found at this location as well, depending on season temperature and water clarity.

This spot may be accessed via Public Beach Access #13, which does have restroom facilities or public parking. Visitors with gear will want to utilize Public Beach Access #12 which provides parking for up to 20 vehicles. Be cautious when casting, as this is also a popular swimming and snorkeling spot on the island.

ROBERTS BAY

Roberts Bay is best accessed via watercraft and contains a variety of fish-friendly habitats including docks, grass flats, mangroves and oyster bars. These structures attract Jacks, Ladyfish, Redfish, Snook and Trout to name just a few. Baits range from artificial lures to jigs, live bait and topwater plugs, depending on tide and habitat.

SIESTA KEY BEACHES

Siesta Key beaches offer some of the best fishing on the gulf coast during calm, clear seas. A variety of species may be found year-round, however each season can attract particular fish. Summer is an excellent opportunity to fish for Snook. Fall is a great time to fish for Ladyfish, Mackerel and Pompano.Winter is great for Flounder, Trout, and Whiting.

STICKNEY POINT BRIDGE

Connecting Siesta Key to the mainland on the south end of the island is the Stickney Point Bridge, home to CB’s Saltwater Outfitters which is the largest bait and tackle shop in the area. Here you will find everything you need for a day on the water including bait and tackle, jet ski and boat rentals and fishing charters, apparel and equipment, licenses and provisions.

Shore fishing is available at the park, providing access to a variety of species including Drum, Flounder, Ladyfish, Sheepshead, Snapper, Snook and Trout. Fish the tides in early morning or evening for best results, or look to hook a snook under the bridge at night!

SIESTA BEACH PARK: Main Beach Access

Address: 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Phone: (941) 861-5000

Website: https://www.scgov.net/

Beach Cam: https://www.earthcam.com/usa/florida/sarasota/?cam=siestabeach

Parking: Approx. 800 Vehicles, Some Handicap Parking

Activities and Amenities: 4 Lifeguard Stations, Pet-Friendly, Large Covered Pavilion and Picnic Facilities with Grills, Restrooms, Concessions, Equipment/Facility Rentals, Beach and Floating Wheelchairs Available, Playground Field, Swimming, Sunbathing, Hiking Trails, Fishing, Birding, Beach Volleyball Courts, Lighted Tennis Courts, Bike Racks, Showers, Trash/Recycle Bins

Drum Circle: Sundays at sunset, near Siesta Pavilion (beach side)

Description: Voted #1 Beach in America, with cool aqua water and sugar-white quartz sand, this iconic beach is the crown jewel of Siesta Key, with ample amenities to suit any gathering. Whether relaxing at water’s edge, enjoying one of the volleyball courts with family and friends, picnicking at the pavilion or grilling out at one of the shaded picnic plots, this park is a must-see for anyone visiting Siesta Key.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

Beach Road

Beach Road – Bari

Beach Road – Capri

Beach Road – Tropea

Jamaica Royale

Siesta Verano

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 1: Shell Beach

Address: 3940 N. Shell Road, Sarasota, FL 34242 (At end of Shell Rd, off of Higel Ave)

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: 8 Spaces

Activities and Amenities: Beach Access, Sunbathing, Birding, Fishing, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Bench, Trash Can

Description: Set in a quiet residential beachfront neighborhood on the north end of the island, Public Beach Access 1 is nearest to Siesta Key’s north bridge, and offers terrific views of Big Sarasota Pass. As one of the lesser known beach access points on the island, this can be a quiet place to relax and watch boating traffic as it emerges from Sarasota Bay to enter the Gulf of Mexico.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

Big Pass Hideaway

Garden House

Shell Beach Home

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 2

Address: 10 Beach Rd., Siesta Key, FL 34242 (Beach Rd & Avenida Messina)

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: 1 ADA Space Only, Otherwise Street Parking w/Permit Only, Foot Traffic

Activities and Amenities: Beach Access, Sunbathing, Fishing, Birding, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Located a short walk west of Siesta Village at the ruins of an old pier, this beach is especially popular with younger locals and visitors attracted to the pier structure and rocky outcroppings.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

Avenida De Cortez

Siesta Avenida

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 3

Address: 100 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242 (Beach Rd & Columbus Blvd)

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: No Parking – Pedestrian Access Only

Activities and Amenities: Beach Access, Sunbathing, Fishing, Birding, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Located just south of Sarasota Point (often referred to as Sunset Point) this beautiful and spacious white sand beach is just a short walk west from Siesta Village and is a popular destination for wedding parties, local villagers seeking to avoid the crowds at Siesta Key’s main beach, and guests staying in the immediate area. There is no parking at this beach access, so plan on utilizing the public parking in Siesta Village and then walking to the beach.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

Avenida De Cortez

Siesta Avenida

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 4

Address: 180 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242 (Beach Rd & Avenida Navarra)

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: 4-6 vehicles

Activities and Amenities: Beach Access, Sunbathing, Fishing, Birding, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Bike Rack, Bench, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Located just a short walk southwest of the Siesta Village strip, this beach access offers an expansive beach featuring distinctive tidal pools.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

Avenida De Cortez

Siesta Avenida

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 5

Address: 200 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242 (Beach Rd & Ocean Blvd)

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: 20-30 vehicles

Activities and Amenities: Beach Access, Sunbathing, Fishing, Birding, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Bench, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Located just a short walk directly south of the Siesta Village strip, this beach access offers an expansive beach featuring distinctive tidal pools similar to Beach Access #4, with the difference being lots of parking.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

Avenida De Cortez

Siesta Avenida

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 7

Address: 402 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: Up to 40 vehicles

Activities and Amenities: Beach Access, Sunbathing, Fishing, Birding, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Bench, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Located next door to Siesta Gulf View Condominium, southwest (and within walking distance) of Siesta Village, this beach path crosses a wide stretch of protected plant life.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 8

Address: 471 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: Up to 40 vehicles

Activities and Amenities: Beach Access, Sunbathing, Fishing, Birding, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Bench, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Located on the south side of Siesta Gulf View Condominium, this narrow beach path crosses the widest stretch of protected plant life. Catamarans and small sailboats may be found staged near the beach end of this path.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 9

Address: 507 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242 (Nearest Cross Street: Plaza De Las Palmas)

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: Less than 20 vehicles

Activities and Amenities: Bike Rack, Sunbathing, Fishing, Birding, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Bench, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Located between Beach Access 8 and The Ringling Beach House, this long beach path also crosses the widest stretch of protected plant life.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 10

Address: 564 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242 (Cross Street: Calle Del Invierno)

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: NO PARKING (Pedestrian Access Only)

Activities and Amenities: Bike Rack, Sunbathing, Fishing, Birding, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Bench, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Similar to Beach Access 8 and 9, this long beach path also crosses the widest stretch of protected plant life.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

Beach Road

Beach Road – Bari

Beach Road – Capri

Beach Road – Tropea

Siesta Verano

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 11

Address: 690 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242 (Cross Street: Avenida Del Mare)

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: NO PARKING (Pedestrian Access Only)

Activities and Amenities: Bike Rack, Sunbathing, Fishing, Birding, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Bench, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Located on the north end of Siesta Beach, where protected plant life gives way to the widest stretch of beach on the island. Vehicle parking and additional amenities are available just south of this access at Siesta Beach Public Park.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

Beach Road

Beach Road – Bari

Beach Road – Capri

Beach Road – Tropea

Siesta Verano

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 12: Crescent Beach

Address: 6490 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242 (Cross Street: Old Stickney Point Road)

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: 20 Vehicles

Activities and Amenities: Sunbathing, Fishing, Birding, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Bench, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Located across the street from Captain Curt’s Crab and Oyster Bar, near the Stickney Point Bridge on the south end of the island, this very narrow beach access requires careful parking. Try to park as close to the street as possible. The location of this access is very popular due to the proximity to the bridge, dining and shopping, so be sure to get there early!

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

Bay Oaks – A22

Bay Oaks – E01

Miramar

PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS 13: Crescent Beach (at Point of Rocks)

Address: 1000 Point of Rocks Road (Cross Street: Midnight Pass Road)

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: NO PARKING (Pedestrian Access Only), Parking for 20 Vehicles located at Access 12

Activities and Amenities: Sunbathing, Fishing, Snorkeling, Birding, No Lifeguard, No Pets, Bike Rack, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Located at the south end of the island on Point of Rocks road, this access is next to the home featured in MTV’s Siesta Key. This popular beach offers great fishing and access to a rocky limestone outcropping which provides the best snorkeling on the island. Guests to the area may be found resting in the shade of a large seawall at the water, from which the rocks extend hundreds of yards parallel to the beach. The water is generally calm and shallow in the mornings, providing clear views of manatee, dolphins and a variety of fish species. Be sure to bring footwear, and watch your step as the rocks can be slippery!

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

Holiday House 1

Holiday House 2

Holiday House 3

Holiday House 4

One Ocean A

One Ocean B

TURTLE PUBLIC BEACH

Address: 8918 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242

Hours: 6 am – Midnight

Parking: Almost Vehicles

Activities and Amenities: No Lifeguard, Pets Not Allowed, Picnic Facilities with Grills, Playground, Restrooms, Swimming, Sunbathing, Boat Ramps and Docks, Canoe and Kayak Launch on Big Pass Lagoon, Fishing, Birding, Volleyball, Bike Rack, Benches, Trash/Recycle Bins

Description: Located on the narrow south end of the island on the west side of Blind Pass Lagoon, Turtle Beach is known for sunsets, shelling and shark teeth hunting. The soft sand of this beach appears grey as it is comprised of crushed shell and fossils along with some quartz crystal sand. This beach has a steeper incline which drop from ankle-to-waist-deep water. The boat ramp for Blind Pass Lagoon offers eventual access to Little Sarasota Bay, where manatees and dolphins are often spotted in the sheltered, shallow water.

Turtle Beach Campground is located right next door and offers very reasonable rates for tent and RV camping.

At the property listing links for each home below you will find a complete Description, Photos, Availability Calendar, Rates, Map, and Reviews:

Siesta Heron 1 – Antigua

Siesta Heron 2 – Bahama

Siesta Heron 3 – Captiva

Siesta Heron 4 – Sand Dollar

Siesta Heron 5 – Key Lime

Siesta Heron 6 – Sunset Suite

Siesta Heron 7 – Heron House

72nd Annual Labor Day RegattaSeptember 1-2, 10 am – 4 pm – Free to Spectators

  • Hosted by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, this annual event draws hundreds of competitive sailors ages 8-80 from across the U.S. and Canada. Featuring five race courses, live music, barbeque, refreshments and an awards ceremony. 1717 Ken Thompson Parkway Sarasota, FL 34230 – Call: (941) 388-2355

10th annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival: September 1-2, 10 am – 4 pm – Free Admission, Free Parking

  • Vendor fair featuring Art, Crafts, Gifts, Plants. Miami Avenue, downtown Venice, Florida

Reggae Pon Di Lake Pre-Labor Day Party & Music Festival at Nathan Benderson ParkSeptember 2, 2 pm – 9 pm – Admission $30All Ages, VIP $70

  • A host of local and regional live Reggae bands and DJs, Food Trucks of all food types and a kids play area. Swimming, Paddleboard rentals (12 years or older), Pontoon Pedal Boat rentals and Kayaks allow listening to the live music from the water. 5851 Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota, FL 34235

Monday Night Kids’ Jam Session at the Music CompoundSeptember 3, 6 pm – 7 pm, Free and Open To Public – Ages 6 and Up

  • Bring the kids and jam to build music skills, enhance confidence, communication and social interaction abilities. 1751 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL 34232 – Call: (941) 379-9100

Florida Studio Theatre presents “Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged”: September 4 (and nightly), 7:30 pm, 90 minutes w/ intermission – Balcony Admission: $34

  • Description Courtesy FST: Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged has delighted audiences across the US with lovingly loopy renditions and joyfully irreverent excerpts from HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, and The Pirates of Penzance. Last seen at New York’s 54 Below, this isn’t your grandmother’s Gilbert & Sullivan. Dining available 1 hr. prior to show in Cabaret (no reservation required). 1241 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236 – Call: (941) 366-9000

Ringling Underground: September 6, 8 pm – 11 pm – Admission: $15

  • Local and regional emerging artists perform live music and showcase artwork in the museum courtyard. Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota – Call: (941) 359-5700.

Lakewood Ranch Presents Music on MainSeptember 7, 6 pm – 9 pm (First Friday of Every Month) – Free Admission

  • Featuring live music, food, beer and wine. Bring: outdoor chairs, dogs/Don’t Bring: coolers. Located east of I-75 on University Parkway

Sunshine and Show Jumping $25,000 Grand Prix September 8, 9 AM – Admission $5, Free Parking

  • Fox Lea Farm hosts the first $25,000 Grand Prix of the fall season, featuring the Olympic sport of Grand Prix Show Jumping. 800 N. Auburn Road, Venice, FL 34292 – Call: 941-786-8028

38th Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition at Marie Selby Botanical GardensSeptember 9, 10 AM – Entry: $10 – $20

  • View photography entries and watch the judging during the 38th Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition. There are five categories of photographs depicting the scenery of Selby Gardens which will be awarded cash prizes : Favorite Selby Scene, Plant Life at Selby, Selby Gardens’ Geometry, Selby’s Birds, Bugs & Critters, Selby in Black & White. “Best in Show” winner will also be named. 811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236-7726 – Call: (941) 366-5731

Yoga in the Gardens (Session 1) with Instructor Michelle Roy at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: September 10, 9 AM – Class Fee: $75

  • Start your week off right by treating yourself to a peaceful mind/body Yoga experience in a beautiful Garden or indoor setting. Focus is on alignment, breathing techniques and relaxation. For beginners as well as advanced students. September 10 thru October 1, 2018. 811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236-7726 – Call: (941) 366-5731

Salute to the Queen of Soul: A Tribute to Aretha FranklinSeptember 11-15, 8 pm – Admission: $39 Adults, $20 Students and Active Military

  • Westcoast Black Theatre, 1646 10th Way (Off Orange, N of 10th St), Sarasota, FL 34236 – Call: (941) 366-1505

17th annual Friday Fest at the Van Wezel with the Dr. Dave Band: September 14, 5 pm- 9 pm – Free Admission, Rain or Shine

  • A popular high-energy house band known for their blend of southern rock, bluegrass banjo and fiddle. Food and beverage available from local vendors. Bring: Lawn chairs, blanket. Prohibited: eating and drinking outside. Located on the Bayfront Lawn, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL – Call: (941) 953-3368

5th Annual A Taste of Downtown Sarasota: September 15, 1 pm – Tickets: $75

  • Located at the historic Sarasota Opera House; features fine menu samplings, wine pairings and assorted beer selections from downtown. Sarasota Opera House, 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236 – Call: (941) 328-1300

Monday Night Kids’ Jam Session at the Music CompoundSeptember 17, 6 pm – 7 pm, Free and Open To Public – Ages 6 and Up

  • Bring the kids and jam to build music skills, enhance confidence, communication and social interaction abilities. 1751 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL 34232 – Call: (941) 379-9100

Jerry Seinfeld at the Van Wezel Performing Arts HallSeptember 20, 7 pm and 9:30 pm – Tickets: $88.25-$164.22

  • 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 – Call: (941) 953-3368

The Flying Carrs Circus at the Sarasota Fairgrounds and Robarts Arena: September 21, 11 am – 9 pm – Tickets: $8 – $50 – All Ages

  • 3000 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34237

Oktoberfest at JDub’sSeptember 23, 11 am – Midnight – Admission: Free

  • Features German-style beer and in-house recipes and food provided by the Schnitzel Trailer. Music, Stein Games, Best Dressed Contest Awards at 3:30 p.m. JDub’s Brewing Company, 1215 Mango Ave, Sarasota, FL – Call: (941) 955-2739

Monday Night Kids’ Jam Session at the Music CompoundSeptember 24, 6 pm – 7 pm, Free and Open To Public – Ages 6 and Up

  • Bring the kids and jam to build music skills, enhance confidence, communication and social interaction abilities. 1751 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL 34232 – Call: (941) 379-9100

Stelliferous Live at The South Florida Museum’s Bishop PlanetariumSeptember 26, 7 pm – Tickets: $5 Non-Members (reservation required)

  • A monthly discussion of stars, planets, constellations and current events in astronomy including Q&A at end of presentation. 201 10th Street W., Bradenton, FL 34205 – Call: (941) 746-4131

Other Excursions & Tours


Tour an Award-Winning Rum Distillery


See every step of the process as hand-crafted spirits are locally made in small batches utilizing premium ingredients in a copper pot still. Tours are very popular, so arrive early. Tuesday, Wednesdays and Saturdays. (50-60 Minutes)

Drum Circle Distilling, 2212 Industrial Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34234-3120 – Call: (941) 702-8143

Explore a Botanical Garden


This tropical wonder on Sarasota Bay features stunning horticulture displays and a variety of gardens to explore and enjoy, such as the Rainforest Garden, Fragrance Garden, Butterfly Garden, Edible Garden and many more. Also offers botanical photo tours, group tours, classes and volunteer opportunities.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Hours: 10 am – 5 pm, 811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236-7726 – Call: (941) 366-5731

Visit a Big Cat Habitat and Sanctuary


This big cat rescue advertises 3 large indoor/outdoor housing complexes with adjoining exercise habitats that mimic native environments with swimming pools, toys and palm trees. It is home to dozens of exotic large-animals in need of rehabilitation, placement or sanctuary, and relies on volunteers and the admissions proceeds from daily tours, demonstrations and tours. Petting Zoo, Big Cats, Alligators, Bears, Bison, Monkeys, llamas, Turkeys, and so much more…

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, Hours: Wed – Sun, 12 – 4 pm, 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240-9407 – Call: (941) 371-6377

You may have seen news reports, heard from a friend, or have scrolled by it in your social media feeds. Dead fish, turtles, dolphins, and many other local sea creatures wash up on our beaches and collecting in our canals. It is a devastating and unsightly scene here in the central gulf coast these past few weeks. This post, I hope, will shed some light onto this natural event. I am no scientist or marine biologist, however I am a resident and local business owner, very much affected by this red tide event. I heard a lot of different “opinions” about what it is and why it happens however these were often more than not very conflicting explanations. I owed it to myself to find some real truth between political backlash and simply obtuse reasoning.

What is Red Tide? Red tide is an algae that grows several miles off the coast on the ocean floor. When there is a bloom, it can rapidly multiply and rise. Depending on currents, this bloom can reach the surface of the water where is can feed off of 12 different types of nutrients. Completely subject to the currents of the Gulf of Mexico, these blooms can reach the coasts.

When did Red Tide start? Red tide has been around for centuries and the first documented encounters were in the 16th century by Spanish explorers. Their records noted the event as “red water” which killed birds and fish. The first scientific record comes from 1844 and occurred near the Panhandle of the state. In 1947 a red tide event lasting almost a year originating from the panhandle after months of rains spreads south to Tarpon Springs almost killing all of the well-known sponge beds and commercial fishing. In 1954, then longest single red tide event recorded lasted nearly 18 months killing thousands of tons of sea life. Eclipsed by the 1994 event that lasted 24 months. Followed very closely by the 1996 event which killed over 200 manatees stretched from Clearwater to Key West. 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 all spurred red tide events to one degree or another but not always making it to the coasts.

Many believe red tide events are tied to freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee. I strongly believe this is simply fuel for political backlash on the situation there, a completely separate matter. There has yet to be one marine biologist or scientist that I could find to link water releases from lake O and either the creation of red tide or fueling of red tide. From what I have gathered from all different kinds of sources is still that this is a naturally occurring event that has to due with algae forming miles off of the coast, drifting in with currents, and fed by nutrient rich storm water runoff.

The popularity of Siesta Key grew from its beaches however the surrounding areas of Sarasota have also grown and kept pace. We will soon be posting more entries with the myriad of things to do in town. From festivals to things to do, and see, Sarasota is a vibrant city in and of itself. Of course a beach days is still not out of the question as things can quell with changes in winds and currents. Stay up-to-date on daily beach conditions on our Facebook page.

We have received reports of internet-based scams involving counterfeit vacation home rental listings on Craigslist which purport to be from various legitimate property management companies in Sarasota, on Siesta Key or Anna Maria Island, and want you to know we NEVER advertise vacation homes for rent on Craigslist. When shopping for homes on VRBO, HomeAway, Airbnb, or Booking.com, please be sure to verify you are corresponding with a legitimate property management company.

Rent Siesta Key and Rent The Keys can be reached at our office during business hours at (888) 941-RENT – or (888) 941-7368. You can also inquire at our website, or reach us via email at:  Reservations@RentSiestaKey.com

We would be happy to answer any questions you might have, or assist you in booking a great home for your South Florida retreat or adventure!

Sarasota, FL Ranked #21 Best Places to Live


Sarasota just ranked No. 21 on U.S. News & World Reports annual list of the 100 best places to live in the United States. Most all of Florida’s subtropical cities made the list with Sarasota renting the highest. Austin, Texas came in at No. 1. Sarasota hit the 21st spot for it’s warm temperatures, crystal white sand beaches, and the arts and culture scenes. U.S. News also commended the area’s restaurants, shopping, and growing job market.

We have called Sarasota home since 2000 and our visits date back to the early 90’s. Through the years I have watch and experience Sarasota grow into the flourishing vibrant city it is today.

Dockside Bar Hopping


Visiting Siesta Key and the Sarasota area for some boating fun? Why not go bar hopping! Dockside bar hopping that is. Check out these great dockside bars in our area. Of course you can get to these great bars by sea and land. Our favorites are Old Salty Dog and Evie’s at Spanish Point.

New Entertainment Venue Coming to Siesta Beach!


Another great dining, entertainment, bar venue coming to the south end of the key. Walking or biking distance from a handful of our rentals off crescent and Siesta beach.

See the design rendition of the NEW Venue.

Tampa International Airport is Growing!


Your next trip to Florida might bring you to the Tampa International Airport. It’s growing fast and adding new routes every year. Here’s a video of the expansion designs and some current and new destinations you’ll be able to get to.