Yoder's Amish Village
On 8/21/1013 we ate breakfast at Yoder's Restaurant and Amish Village on 3434 Bahia Vista Street in Sarasota, Florida. The restaurant had a great Amish atmosphere and all of the staff were very kind and helpful. We both got the apple fritter french toast. It comes in one slice or two, come hungry. The french toast is pictured below it is a huge portion and comes with cinnamon apples. It was delicious! We highly recommend this breakfast item to anyone who visits Yoder's Restaurant. You can also get real maple syrup for a little extra and it comes in a small glass jar which you can take as a souvenir. We tried it and it was delicious! After breakfast we walked around to the other shops Yoder's had to offer. The gift shop featured Siesta Key and Sarasota souvenirs along with Amish gifts and handcrafted items. They also had a fruit and vegetable market where they sold a very wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, sauces, syrups, meats, cheeses, butters and dry mixes. If you are from Pennsylvania, they had a variety of common Pa brands showcased at the market. Next to the market they had a deli which had a variety of sandwiches, meats, cheeses, salads, pre-packaged candies, chips, baked goods, sauces, pretzels and more. This is definitaly a place worth checking out. You can find menus and Yoder's information in the kitchen drawer at Bentley Street.
Siesta Key Sunset: Sunset Point
On a clear night on Siesta Key at Sunset Point you can see a beautiful sunset. This sunset pictured below was seen on August 23, 2013. We parked in Siesta Key Village near the shops and walked around town until dusk and then headed for the beach. There was a big crowd of people at Sunset Point waiting to see the sunset. We sat on the rocks on the beach, but recommend bringing a towel or chairs for a more comfortable experience. It was beautiful sitting on the beach taking in the sights, watching the ocean, looking at the birds flying around, and seeing people out in the water swimming and fishing. We stayed on the beach until around 9pm and we were able to take beautiful photos and have a very relaxing evening. This is definitely a sight worth seeing and a beautiful picture opportunity.
Daiquiri Deck Siesta Key
This week we went and ate at the Daiquiri Deck in Siesta Key. They have off street parking in the back of the restaurant, an outdoor deck, an indoor eating area, a raw bar, and a bar area. They have a wide variety of alcoholic drinks. I ordered the Kryptonite daiquiri and it was very good! It is pictured below. The service was fast and the waitress was very friendly and accommodating. We ordered the siesta burger and a salmon wrap, both were very good. You get a choice of fries or coleslaw with your meal. We also ordered a strawberry smoothie which was very refreshing after a good day at the beach! Overall a very positive and welcoming atmosphere to eat in. For more information visit their website at www.daiquirideck.com this restaurant is a short ride from Bentley street on 5250 Ocean Blvd, Siesta Key. A menu can be found online or in house menu drawer. Check out the daiquiri deck on your next visit!!
Sarasota Area Beaches
Check out the slideshow below which includes descriptions of all beaches in the Sarasota, FL area from yoursarasota.com.
South Gate Community Center
The Southgate Community Center features an outdoor swimming pool, a pool house, banquet room and game room.
South Gate Community Center is located at 3145 Southgate Circle Sarasota, Fl 3429. This is at the South Gate Circle between Siesta Drive and S Tuttle Ave. This is a 5 block walk from Bentley Street or a four minute car ride.
Our Bentley Street vacation rental home is a member of the Sarasota South Gate Community Center with access to the banquet room, game room, and pool.
Below are pictures of the community center.
Sarasota Bay Park
Here are pictures and a video of Sarasota Bay Park. The Sarasota Bay area is home to Marina Jacks, O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill, beautiful views, walking paths, beautiful picnicking spots, boat rentals, fishing opportunities, and much more. The Bay Park is located at One Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236 which is about a ten minute drive from Bentley Street.
SARASOTA, Fla. - This sophisticated city on the central Gulf Coast has all the charms and attractions of metropolitan life with the added advantages of warm weather and soft, sandy beaches. And then there are the sunsets.
As dusk gathers over the barrier islands, tourists and residents stop what they are doing and head for the beaches to watch one of the great natural wonders of the area, the setting of the sun into the Gulf of Mexico.
Each evening the show is different. Sometimes, if the sky is clear, the sun is a blazing ball that looks like it is burning its way into the Gulf. You almost expect to see steam rising as it sinks over the horizon. On other evenings, the display can last for an hour as clouds turn into coral-colored puffs.
The sunsets are only one of the things that keep bringing my wife, Pat, and me back to Sarasota. Unlike other winter vacation destinations that specialize in seashell stores and T-shirt shops, this is a place where art and culture mix with sun and surf.
You can wander under the banyans and live oaks of an urban botanical garden, see manatees, sea turtles, and sharks at a working marine laboratory, and stand in awe before a Dutch master's painting in a world-class art museum.
"It all stems from John Ringling," says Erin Thomas Duggan, public relations director for the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau. She says the late circus magnate's passion for collecting art and donating it to the state attracted other like-minded artists and patrons to the area.
The city has a symphony orchestra, an opera house, ballet, and an entertainment venue that brings in big-name talent that ranges from Willie Nelson to Emanuel Ax. Plus, it has spring-training baseball.
Pat and I have vacationed in Sarasota several times over the years and we have always stayed on Lido Key, one of Sarasota's barrier islands.
We walk the beach to St. Armands Circle, a traffic rotary ringed with shops and restaurants. The complex, dating from the 1920s, was one of John Ringling's early developments to entice buyers for his vast real estate holdings. The circle, named for a French pioneer, is also the site of several community events including concerts and art and auto shows.
Over the years, we learned that late January can serve up cool mornings, so we take day trips early in the day while the beach warms up. This time we put the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the Mote Marine Laboratory, and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art on our list of places to visit.
Selby Gardens, like so many of the large gardens now open to the public, including Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, started out as the private retreat of the wealthy. William and Marie Selby came from Ohio families who were pioneers in the oil business. William Selby was one of the founders of Texaco. The couple, who had no children, established a foundation to give scholarships to local high school students headed to college. After Marie Selby died in 1971, her wishes to preserve her home and gardens and establish a botanical research facility were followed, and the gardens opened to the public in 1975.
We started our tour in the conservatory, a greenhouse full of orchids and other tropical foliage. Intricate blooms are everywhere. A docent with an encyclopedic knowledge of the plants describes their native habitats and rattles off their genus and species names in rapid fire, leading us from epiphyte to bromeliad.
Outside, the gardens cover a 14-acre wedge of Florida's natural past in the heart of this modern city. A flock of white ibis, hunting for insects in the shade of an old banyan tree, walk by on stick legs. In a pool along the path, dappled koi the size of footballs rise to the surface, begging to be fed. A long-legged shorebird works the mud flats. Ducks kick up a ruckus in a palm-fringed tidal pond.
The few rays of sun that sneak through the thick canopy light up the Spanish moss like holiday lace. We are in a tropical time warp, suddenly transported into a Gulf Coast bound by mangroves with only a few glimpses of the green-blue waters of Sarasota Bay peeking through the thick foliage.
The white stucco house that was home to the Selbys is now a tearoom. It is a sizable house, but by the local standards of the very rich, it is a mere cottage.
Near the end of the tour stands the imposing Christy Payne Mansion with its columned portico. Payne was another oilman and fishing pal of William Selby's. His mansion was not part of the Selby estate and was purchased by the gardens in 1973. It is something of a Florida wonder in its own right.
As we enter the front door and pass through a hallway, we find ourselves in a two-story room with a breathtaking view of gardens, ponds, and palms. Two grand staircases sweep up to a second-floor balcony.
A docent explains that Payne combined a variety of styles when he built his mansion in 1934. She says that Sarasota had just been hit head-on by a hurricane and Payne wanted to make sure his house would stand. He built it on a foundation of train rails and used poured concrete in the walls.
February 03, 2013|By Dick Cooper, For The Inquirer
Cresent Beach Photo Opportunity
Get your photo taken at this famous billboard on the main public beach "Cresent Beach." Check out my family photo below that I took while staying at our Bentley vacation rental!
Hobie Sunset on Siesta
After a taxing 1200 mile road trip, we found a new home for my Hobie Cat on Siesta Key. What better place to sail than in the Gulf of Mexico off of the number 1 beach in the United States... Siesta Key? The water is so clear and you can see the white sand at the gulf bottom for quite a distance out. Sure beats the New Jersey shore this boat is used to sailing and the Pennsylvania lakes.
We sailed from the North Point of Siesta called "Sunset Point" all the way down past Crescent Beach, Point of Rocks, Turtle Beach and along the coastline of the gated community of Sanderling. Along the way we sailed very close to a dolphin (within 40 feet or so), the closest I've ever been to one in the wild.
As we navigated back up to the North end of the island, the sun was setting and people were gathering on the beach, as they do every night, sporting their cameras to witness sunsets that paintings are made from (and worthy of computer desktop wallpapers).
The shots above were taken by one local resident, Peter Wolff, via his smart phone. Thanks Peter! Quite a fun day of sailing and the happiest new home a Hobie Cat could ask for. -Jeremy
Here is a view from famous Marina Jacks. From this marina you can experience beautiful views of Lido Key, Sarasota Bay, and downtown Sarasota. They also have an awesome seaweed salad that you definitely need to try!
Find out what is going on at goSiesta and hear from others about their experiences.