Think you can’t catch big fish without going on a boat? Beach fishing guide Steve Herich takes families or individuals out for fishing adventures on Siesta Key, Longboat Key and Lido Key. Steve is an expert fisherman and works with all levels of customers. Steve has a variety of packages available including a family special, Beach fishing apprenticeship and a Basic Package. Steve specializes in taking individuals and families out for a shore-based fishing adventure. Bring along some water and a snack, Steve will provide bait and tackle and give you a day on the beach to remember. Click on the link above to check out his website and get more information. Beach fishing – a great way to spend a day on the Suncoast!
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources’ Amateur Sand Sculpture Contest returns to award-winning Siesta Key Beach on Saturday, May 5, for the 46th year.
The free, family friendly contest is for all age groups and all amateur skill levels (no pro’s allowed!)
Friends of Sarasota County Parks and the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, are sponsoring cash prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the adult (individual), adult (team), children (10 years old and younger) and youth (11-17 years old) categories and one overall people’s choice winner.
Registration starts at 8:30 AM on May 5th on Siesta Key Beach near the yellow lifeguard stand. Each individual or group will be assigned a 10 foot by 10 foot square in which to sculpt their amazing creation. Bring your buckets and shovels and a plan to win! Spectators are invited to vote for the people’s choice award. Judging begins at 1:00 PM and the results are announced at 2:00 PM.
A must-do when staying in or near Siesta Key is a visit to the Siesta Key Drum Circle. Head out to Siesta Key Public beach in the late afternoon every Sunday and you’ll first hear the primal beat of drums and then see a crowd gathering just south of the main pavilion between lifeguard stands 3 and 4 – the Siesta Key Drum Circle. It’s a diverse group of drummers, hula-hoopers, percussionists, rope walkers, sun-lovers dancers and people-watchers gathering to celebrate the sunset. This weekly celebration has been going on since 1996. Some come to participate, some just to gawk at the happenings. Drum circle regulars occasionally perform with swords and fire, you might even see a belly dancer. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in. Bring beach chairs or a beach blanket and get there early as the parking lot can fill up quickly. Drop by one Sunday evening for an amazing experience. Even after the the festive vibes have ended (typically around 10pm), you will head home with a reminder of the awesomeness that is Siesta Key.
Food Network just named Siesta Key’s own Toasted Mango Cafe among the best waffles in the country! The article refers to it as a “taste of true paradise”. Toasted Mango Cafe features sweet and savory breakfast choices, huge portions, very reasonable prices, and fresh ingredients.
The Toasted Mango Waffle is outrageously delicious. So light and fluffy with the perfect toppings….fresh mangos whipped
cream, toasted coconut sprinkled on with side of mango butter! Of course, Toasted Mango Cafe features all the regular breakfast favorites – eggs, bacon, sausage, corned beef, pancakes, oatmeal, and on and on. With gluten free and vegetarian options, everyone will get their thrill on here!
Toasted Mango Cafe is open daily from 7 am to 3 pm. It’s located just south of Stickney Point Rd in the Crescent Plaza.
Competitive and recreational teams will be competing in the Sarasota International Dragon Boat Festival at Nathan Benderson park in Sarasota on April 21. 30 dragon boat teams will be competing in this one of a kind event. The dragon boat festival combines international culture, sport and community involvement in continuing a 2500 year old tradition of ancient China into the fun and excitement of a Sarasota festival. The crew of a dragon boat is 22, made up of 20 paddlers in pairs facing toward the bow of the boat, 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and 1 sweep standing at the rear of the boat to steer. Admission is free; races begin at 8:45 am and continue throughout the afternoon. The festival grounds have a lot to offer – a bustling Vendor Village, Food Truck Bazaar, interactive Kids Zone, Beer Garden, and a Mini Asian Festival presented by Asia Trend Magazine, featuring a nine-piece dragon dance, lion dance, Chinese Calligraphy give-away and Japanese Calligraphy give-away. Spectators can take in all the action and watch the excitement of racing and learn about the sport of dragon boat. Another highlight is the Health and Wellness Village, visitors can receive products and services to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Families are invited to bring their children to come spend time at the races and enjoy an amazing Sarasota festival. Mini Asian Festival featuring a nine-piece dragon dance, lion dance, Chinese Calligraphy give-away and Japanese Calligraphy give-away.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens has been a tourist attraction in Sarasota, Florida since 1936. Once described as an “impenetrable swamp,” this former banana grove was converted into a beautiful botanical garden and bird and animal sanctuary that has emerged as one of the oldest continuously operating tourist attractions in Florida. A wide variety of birds and animals include Florida’s noted parrots, pink flamingos, crocodiles, lemurs, snakes and more. All within 10 acres of lush, tropical landscaping connected by winding jungle trails. It’s one of the only places you can walk up to and feed free roaming flamingos. The bird and reptile shows are as educational as they are entertaining and for the youngest visitors – be sure to check the daily schedule. Food and gifts and a playground are available on-site. Be sure to check local guides and their website for discount coupons.
Mother’s Day – May 12th & 13th, (Buy 1 Ticket – Mom or Grandmother gets in free! One free Mom or Grandmother admission per regular admission purchase. )
Memorial Day – May 26th-28th (Free admission for all active & retired military with purchase of same day full priced admission)
Father’s Day – June 16th & 17th (Buy 1 Ticket – Dad or Granddad gets in free! One free Dad or Granddad admission per regular admission purchase. )
Independence Day Weekend – June 30th – July 4th, (1/2 Off all children’s admissions, plus free admission on July 4th for all active & retired military with purchase of same day full priced admission.)
Back to School Celebration – August 4th & 5th, (All kids free* (up to 3) with the purchase of a full priced adult admission.)
Labor Day Weekend – September 1st – 3rd, (1/2 Off all children’s admissions)
Veteran’s Day Weekend – November 10th – 11th, (Free admission for all active & retired military with purchase of same day full priced admission.)
Awarded Sarasota Herald Tribune’s 2016 Reader’s Choice – Best Local Children’s Attraction
A Top 10 “Must Do” according to Sarasota Visitor Guide
Trip Advisor’s 2012 Certificate of Excellence Winner
2015 & 2016 Selected “Best of SRQ Local” by SRQ Magazine Readers
Looking for something different to do? For those of you old enough, you may remember the ‘I Love Lucy’ show where Lucy was in Italy and decided to take part in grape stomping at a local winery. Well, here is your chance have a ‘Lucy’ experience that you won’t forget! On Saturday, August 12, at Henscratch Farms Vineyard & Winery in Lake Placid (about 1:45 drive from Siesta Key), head out to the 17th Annual Grape Stomp Festival. Festival goers will join together at the grape stomp tent to do the ‘Lucy’ (stomping grapes) to crush 2000 pounds of grapes for this years ‘Foot Stomped Vintage‘.
The festival offers:
All you can eat grapes
Live Music by The Redneck Joe Band
Lucy Look-A-Like Contest!
Custom Wine Labels with your stomp photo
Wine by the glass or bottle
Winery Tours & Wine Tasting
Ice Cream Shack open serving Treats
BBQ Lunch & Hotdogs Available
Bring Your Own Chairs
The festival runs from 10 AM to 2 PM, $5 admission per person- children 6 and under are free.
The drive from Siesta Key is about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The Summer Beach Runs are 1-mile beach runs held every Tuesday (through Aug. 8) at Siesta Beach on Siesta Key near the pavilion. Participation ribbons awarded along with a free ice pop each week. Registration at each location begins at 5:30 p.m. and the beach run starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. There’s a one-time $1 registration fee if you want a t-shirt . The runs are a popular summer event combining exercise and fun. Adult Run starts at 7pm. More at 941-861-5000.