Check out the slideshow below which includes descriptions of all beaches in the Sarasota, FL area from yoursarasota.com.
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.
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
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!
I consider Sarasota and Siesta Key to be one of my own personal favorite paradises, with the number one beach in America and great sunny weather. What contributes more to this special paradise is a very unexpected place to most, a restaurant, Yoder's Amish Village. Not only is it a highly recommendable restaurant for every meal, but it was also featured on TV's Man vs. Food. People are drawn to their well known line of Amish homemade cream pies which are laced with chocolate, peanut butter, and various fruit flavors. Main meals are prepared in a delightfully Amish manner including pressure cooked chicken and grilled oatmeal for breakfast, which is not to be forgotten. Starting your day with breakfast from here is wise! The friendly staff and nice atmosphere make this restaurant a family friendly place and I am sure they would even be willing to offer up any sort of baking tips you might be interested in.
Apart from the restaurant, the quaint complex is populated with a Fresh Produce Market and Deli Market, which is also Amish owned and operated. For those that wish to take an ever lasting piece of their experience with them, other than the scrumptiously tasty memories of each and every meal, there is also a Gift Shop where those more tangible items can be acquired.
Definitely check out this restaurant! You don't want to miss it! It is located at 3434 Bahia Vista St in Sarasota, Fl. Their phone number is 941-955-7771 or visit their website at www.yoderrestaurant.com!
This restaurant is only a 5 minute drive from Bentley Street!
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!
Getting colder and colder up North. Isn't it time you planned for a vacation to Florida?
We just finished renovating and furnishing a neat 2 bedroom in Sarasota that sleeps 6 and is now ready for your stay: South Gate Home
P.S. don't just look at that water... go there. goSiesta.com
Not your run of the mill people at this event but I recommend all make the trip. Watch the sunset while the locals pay respects to the God of the sun or who knows what. People of all ages and areas come with their drums to join in to this fun and interesting event every week at the largest public beach access in siesta.
Find out what is going on at goSiesta and hear from others about their experiences.