Siesta Key Beach Sand is Prized Around the World

Siesta Key Beach Sand is Prized Around the Globe

On May 25, Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, named Siesta the best beach in America. Most people know Leatherman from his yearly rankings and media appearances, including on The Oprah Winfrey Show. But few know that Leatherman is a card-carrying member of the International Sand Collectors Society, some 200 people dedicated to acquiring little vials of sand from all over the world.






Rowing Championships at Benderson Park

Park preparations coming together for World Rowing Championships

Finish Tower’s completion just part of work for Sept. 23-Oct. 1 event. SARASOTA COUNTY – With 65 days left until the biggest international sports event in Southwest Florida history, preparations are continuing at Nathan Benderson Park. The biggest make-or-break project for the Sept. 23-Oct.




Downtown Venice Wine Walk

Downtown Venice Wine WalkOn August 17 at 5:00pm, plan a visit to beautiful downtown Venice for their Downtown Wine Walk.  You can pick up your wristband and a list of participating downtown businesses. The first 500 people will receive a special blue Lovin’ Our Locals wristband. Restaurants will offer specials like buy-one-get-one-free or half price glasses of wine and shops will be offering wine or punch or some other surprising delight. 

Each participating shop or restaurant will be, in its own way, Lovin’ Our Locals. During the event visit these participating businesses: Abby’s on Miami, Burgundy Square Cafe, Café Venice, Ciao Gelato, Daiquiri Deck, DanaTyler, Dick’s Shoes, Down Island Way Boutique, Eyes on You, Island Life Hammocks, La Bella Interiors, Living Canvas –Art, Tattoo & Piercing Studio, Modern Woodmen of America, Nautical Sand Sculptures, Ristorante San Marco, Sirena Island Day Spa, SunBug, Tarpon Bay Trading Co., Trattoria Da Mino, Venice Wine & Coffee, Venice Olive Oil Co, & Zak’s Clothing Boutique.

*This is a free event. No tickets are required.

Sarasota Ski-A-Rees

The latest ‘Star Wars’ episode is on water skis

Sarasota Ski-A-Rees ramp up their movie tribute show for national competition this Saturday. The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees will try for a national championship this weekend with a water skiing show that doubles as a movie tribute. It’s called “Star Wars: The Skiquel.” Costumed stormtroopers and rebels race across the water.

The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees perform each Sunday from February to May at 2 p.m. behind Mote Marine Aquarium on City Island

Shark Teeth Caspersen Beach

Just South of Siesta Key in Venice, known as the “Shark’s tooth capital of the world,” rocky  Caspersen beach is known as an excellent location for finding fossilized shark’s teeth. During low tide, a ribbon of dark sand is deposited at the water’s edge, where collectors and visitors search for the fossilized shark teeth that often wash ashore. With about four miles of beachfront, Caspersen is typically not crowded.  You can walk along the waterline looking down at the black ribbon of dark sand and spot them just sitting there.  If you want to be productive, pick up a Florida snow shovel at a local Walmart, Ace Hardware or bait shop.   Head out a little into the water where the waves break and there is usually a 6-12 inch drop-off with a pile of larger shells and rocks. Just reach down to the edge of the drop-off or even wade out a few feet into the water to scoop up sand and shells. You can use a kitchen strainer, a shovel or just scoop the sand and shells with your hands. Bring it back up to the beach and look through it to find the treasures or Shark’s teeth, shells, and possibly a whale jawbone or stingray plate.  Want to know what you found?  The Fossil Guy has a great image for identifying your teeth.


Florida Snow Shovel Venice
Florida Snow Shovel


Myakka River State Park

MyakkaRiverStateParkLooking for a day away from the beaches?  Take a drive out to Myakka River State Park. It’s located about 15 miles east of Siesta Key on State Route 72. As one of the oldest and largest state parks in Florida, Myakka protects one of Florida’s most diverse natural areas. In Myakka, many animals can be spotted by visitors including alligators, deer, hawks, owls, raccoons, wading birds, turkeys,  bobcats, and boars.  The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, runs through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. Myakka features a boardwalk that stretches out over the Upper Myakka Lake for wildlife viewing, as well as a canopy walkway 25 feet above the ground that extends 85 feet through the tree tops above the Myakka floor. Myakka´s river and two lakes provide a great opportunity for boating, freshwater fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.  Hikers can explore trails that cross large swaths of rare Florida dry prairie. For a unique experience, take a trip on of of two largest airboats to tour Myakka Lake. Safari tram tours of the park´s backcountry are available during the cooler months from mid-December through May.