Area Information

Savor Sarasota is Back!

By | May 15, 2011

It’s that time of year again! The 6th Annual Savor Sarasota Week is back!

 If you are anything like my husband and I, you might find yourself going to the same restaurants every time you go out. As we learned about Savor Sarasota week 3 years ago, we have looked forward to it every year since.

If you are new to our beautiful area, or just looking to make your taste buds dance and delight in food that you wouldn’t normally try, then this will be your week of wonder.

For the past 6 years, restaurants across Sarasota, Longboat Key, Siesta Key and Venice have been showcasing their specialties for the weeklong event. Along with a great housing market, 2011 is bringing Savor Sarasota for 2 full weeks from June 1-June 14th!

Savor Sarasota allows residents and visitors alike to visit participating restaurants for really great deals. Most of the restaurants that are participating will do a 3 or 4 course menu for a very low set price of $25 or $35 per person.  If experiencing new wines and desserts is more your style, a lot of the restaurants that are participating have an option for that too, while still saving you money off of their normal menu prices.

For more information about the restaurants and menus that they will be offering visit: http://savorsarasota.com

Read more »

Relocating to Sarasota Series

By | May 11, 2011

When my husband and I relocated to Sarasota 4 years ago, we realized how difficult and tiring it can be to find all of the places that are so important, i.e. a great vet, a great doctor, the best schools, your favorite banker or pharmacist, your favorite restaurants, and of course, a real estate agent that will stick with you as your life and your needs change.

This series will cover all of those topics, but for this article, we will be discussing schools, specifically pre-schools. Luckily, since we have been living in Sarasota for 4 years, we have made quite a few friends, and gotten to know the area, so when we had our first child in December, we thought that it would be easy to hire someone to watch our precious child. We were wrong! We searched, interviewed and let all of our friends know that we were looking for someone, and we visited what seemed like every pre-school in Sarasota and Bradenton but we never felt good after leaving the pre-schools and the interviews, and we weren’t willing to settle when it came to our baby.

After more research, we stumbled upon Primrose School at Lakewood Ranch, and we set up an appointment to visit. While doing my research on Primrose, I discovered that the owners are a local couple, Mr. and Mrs. Frank, who have 3 children of their own. The Franks opened Primrose in 2005. The Franks decided to open Primrose because Mrs. Frank has an Education background, and had discovered Primrose themselves when they were living in Tampa and had their first child. While they were doing their own research into pre-schools, they were also having a hard time finding a safe environment for their child. They discovered Primrose, and the more that they learned, the more they wanted to be a part of what Primrose has to offer children and parents. When we asked Mr. Frank what he loves about owning a Primrose School, he said “what isn’t to love about it? I get to see all of the energy that the children offer and the positive environment that the school is providing the children.” When the Franks aren’t at Primrose, they are spending time with their 3 children, attending their sporting events, or just traveling around the state of Florida.

During our tour at Primrose, there were a few things that stood out to me. First, we felt really welcomed there, including my baby, whom I had never seen smile so much at so many people! Second, the environment really stands out; you can clearly see the activities that are carefully planned for all of the different age groups to help stimulate their development and social growth. Primrose was the only pre-school that we had found that had a curriculum for babies as young as 3 months. The thing that stood out the most to me was the staff. Everyone seemed so friendly and caring and professional! As Realtors, we often find ourselves asking clients, “could you see yourself living here,” well on our tour of Primrose, I was asking myself, “can I see us leaving our child here?” and the answer was a resounding yes! The school takes pride in its safety, cleanliness and the curriculum, particularly; they take pride in knowing that while everything looks great and clean, you are getting quality and depth to your child’s education. In our opinion, Primrose is the whole package. For more information about Primrose, visit http://www.primroselakewoodranch.com/

If you find yourself relocating to Sarasota, and need assistance in finding all of the things that we can’t live without, including your next home, let Jay and Danielle Ratwani guide you to all the best that the Florida Gulf Coast has to offer.

Read more »

Siesta Key Beach

By | May 8, 2011

Crescent Beach on Siesta Key

The great Dr. Beach has spoken…and do we have news for you..  Sarasota’s Siesta Key Beach now holds 2010’s Number 2 spot in the Nation for ‘Top Ten Beaches’!

Of course it’s still Number 1 for those of us who have chosen to live here and are we ever lucky! It’s the best place we know to take a beach walk, picnic or watch a magnificient sunset.  Some travel far and wide to experience Sunday Drum Circle or view sandsculpture competitions. You should check it out for yourself!

We are lucky to be here that’s true, wish you were here..  Read more about it at http://www.drbeach.org/DetailedList.htm

Read more »

May Events in and around Sarasota

By | April 29, 2011

Sarasota Skyline from City Island

Many of our seasonal residents have returned north so it’s a great time to get out and enjoy all that Sarasota has to offer. Here’s just a few of the activities happening in the Sarasota area during the month of May:

Date Event or Activity Location Click Link for More Information
May 1st 33rd Annual Siesta Fiesta Siesta Key Siesta Fiesta
May 1-31st Ringling School of Art & Design Adult Classes Sarasota Ringling School of Art
May 1st Spring Garden Tour Sarasota UF Extension Service
May 1st The Garden Music Series – Sarasota Brass Quintet Sarasota Selby Gardens
May 1st Annual Jazz on the Water Cruise on LeBarge Sarasota Jazz Club of Sarasota
May 4th Courthouse Square Concerts Bradenton Manatee County Courthouse
May 5th 2nd Annual Fiesta on Main Street Sarasota Fiesta on Main
May 5th Bluegrass Jam at Bee Ridge Park Sarasota Sarasota County Parks
May 6-21st New College Art Exhibition Sarasota New College
May 7th Downtown Bradenton Farmers Market Bradenton Farmers Market
May 7th Cruzin’ on Dearborn Englewood Englewood Village
May 7th Classic Corvettes on the Circle St. Armands St. Armands Circle
May 8th Annual Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest Siesta Key Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce
May 9th “Driving Miss Daisy” Monday Night Movies at Ringling Sarasota Ringling Museum
May 13-14th Anna Maria City Pier Centennial Celebration Anna Maria Island SRQ Magazine
May 13th Paradise Found Tropical Dance Party Osprey Bentley’s Resort Hotel
May 14h 15th Annual Big Truck Day Sarasota Phillippi Estate Park
May 15th Drum Circle Siesta Key Drum Circle
May 18th Dialogues with Florida’s Past Sarasota New College Campus
May 19th Art After 5: Jazz on the Bay Sarasota Ringling Museum
May 19th Rennie Harris Puremovement Sarasota Asolo Theatre
May 20th Reels at Rossi Park “Rising Stars” Bradenton Realize Bradenton
May 20th May Art Walk at Towles Court Sarasota Towles Court
May 21st Party on the Plaza Bradenton Realize Bradenton
May 21st Pups at the Point: Pets Playtime at the Museum Osprey Spanish Point Museum
May 21-22nd 8th Annual Downtown Sarasota Craft Fair Sarasota Art Festival
May 25th Southeastern Guide Dogs Campus Tour Sarasota Southeastern Guide Dogs
May 25th Hurricane Preparedness Program Sarasota Twin Lakes Park
May 28th Native Plant Walk at Deer Prairie Creek Preserve Venice Native Plant Society
May 31st Afternoon at the Movies Venice Jacaranda Library

Call us when you are ready to make your move! To search for homes in the area go to Search for Sarasota Homes. We’re here to help you every step of the way…call us today!

Read more »

Casey Key’s Best Kept Secret

By | April 27, 2011

Casey Key Fish House was established in 2000 and offers waterside dining at Marker 32 along the Intracoastal Waterway. Whether you come by land or sea, you will not be disappointed.

Casual dining with reasonable prices, along with a great menu including Fish and Chips, Daily Specials and of course, Willie’s Famous Bouillabaisse will keep you coming back.

Tiki Bar

The Fish House is open from 11:30 to 9 seven days a week. Plan to arrive early to avoid a long wait. However if you do get there late… “no worries” you can hang out at the Tiki Bar until your table is ready. The Tiki Bar’s great outdoor atmosphere provides a wide variety of music including the sounds of Kool Breeze Band with Duane Freeman on his magic saxophone. So take off your flip flops and dance in the sand. Waiting never got better!

Read more »

Burns Court Dining

By | April 14, 2011

The Burns Court Historic District has been designated a U.S. historic district since 1984. The district runs from 400 through 446 Burns Court and 418, 426, and 446 South Pineapple Avenue and contains 24 historic buildings. The area is a mix of residential, art and antique galleries, shops, restaurants and the Burns Court Cinema.

Retropolitan in Burns Court

I had the pleasure of dining at the Retropolitan last week and would highly recommend it. The owners refer to it as a gastro pub which is a British term for a public house that specializes in serving high-quality food which it was. It’s not your run-of-the-mill menu and everything we tried was good including crab cakes, tilapia, grilled meatloaf and fried chicken salad. As sides, the watermelon, feta and mint salad and fried green tomatoes were tasty. There are only 12 tables and no reservations for parties less than 6 so arrive early or expect to wait a bit.

If you’re in the mood for good food in a quaint atmosphere check them out at http://www.retropolitangrill.com/.

Read more »

April in Sarasota

By | March 31, 2011

Spring has sprung and the weather couldn’t be better! Get out and enjoy all that Sarasota has to offer. Here’s just a few of the activities happening in the Sarasota area during the month of April:

Date Event or Activity Location Click Link forMore Information
April 1st SFF Moonlight Movies: Megamind Nokomis Sarasota Film Festival
April 2nd 25th Annual Run for the Turtles Siesta Key Mote Marine Aquarium
April 2-3rd Flea Market & Collectible Fair Sarasota Flea Market
April 2nd YouthArts Fest Sarasota Sarasota Arts
April 3rd US Polo Assn. Southeast Regional Classic Lakewood Ranch Sarasota Polo
April 3rd DeSoto Seafood Festival Bradenton Seafood Festival
April 4th Asolo Rep’s Starry Night Dinner: Dinner on Stage Sarasota Asolo Theatre
April 6th Viagara Falls @ Van Wezel Performing Art Hall Sarasota Van Wezel
April 8-10th Vinyl Music Festival Sarasota Vinyl Festival
April 8-10th Shark’s Tooth Festival Venice Shark’s Tooth Festival
April 7-17th Sarasota Film Festival Sarasota Sarasota Film Festival
April 9th Eco Fest Celebrating 41st Anniversary Earth Day 2011 Sarasota Sarasota Eco Fest
April 10th The Broadway Boys – Venice Theatre Concert on MainStage Venice Venice Theatre
April 11th Sarasota Film Festival: Youth Screenwriters’ Circle LIVE! Sarasota Sarasota Film Festival
April 14th Art after 5: Gallery Walk and Talk Sarasota Ringling Museum
April 15-17th Suncoast Boat Show Sarasota Suncoast Boat Show
April 15th Reels at Rossi: Secretariat Bradenton Rossi Park
April 15th Sarasota Orchestra Pops: Hitchcock Sarasota Sarasota Orchestra
April 16th Suncoast BBQ Bash Venice Suncoast BBQ Bash
April 16th Hula Hooping at the Downtown Farmers Mkt. Bradenton Bradenton Farmers Market
April 16th Pups at the Point-Spanish Point Osprey Spanish Point
April 20th Monty Python’s Spamalot Sarasota Van Wezel
April 23rd Annual Easter Party and Egg Hunt Siesta Key Siesta Key Egg Hunt
April 23rd Bunny Breakfast and Egg Hunt North Port North Port Egg Hunt
April 23rd Easter Egg Hunt Bradenton Bradenton Egg Hunt
April 28-30th Gulf Coast Open Fishing Tournament Sarasota Gulf Coast Open Fishing Tournament
April 30th 33rd Annual Siesta Fiesta Siesta Key Art Festival
April 30th DeSoto Grand Parade Bradenton DeSoto Parade

Call us when you are ready to make your move! To search for homes in the area go to Search for Sarasota Homes. We’re here to help you every step of the way…call us today!

Read more »

Dining on Siesta Key

By | March 11, 2011

The Cottage on Siesta Key is my second home.  I am so fortunate to be a part of another wonderful business.  I have been in a management position for this exceptional restaurant for over a month now.  It is hidden behind The Hub on Avenida Messina in the Siesta Key village.  Chef Darwin Santa Maria is well known for his unique and sensational peruvian entree dishes.   My favorite is the Tuna Tiraditos which is a sashimi dish.  If you have not yet enjoyed this restaurant, please come visit me, soon.  We have live entertainment on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.  Ladies night is Wednesday with DJ Russ.  Looking forward to your arrival!

Read more »

Biking the Legacy Trail

By | March 7, 2011

Biking just got better..

We are so lucky down here in Venice. Along the Intercoastal Waterway are paved paths that can be used by bicyclists. On one side the path takes you all the way to South Venice and ends at the Shamrock Park and Nature Center. The other meanders along the trail with a detour through quaint neighborhoods ending at Casperson Beach. Both start at the Historic Train Station located next to the Venice Bridge. (http://www.vabi.org/vwp.htm)

 In addition you can choose the new Legacy Trail which runs from the train station all the way up to Sarasota offering multiple stops along the way. (http://www.co.sarasota.fl.us/LegacyTrail/default.asp)

 Whether you use the Venetian Waterway or the Legacy Trail, there is ample parking at various designated parking areas. So come on down and have a fun day!

Read more »

March in Sarasota

By | February 28, 2011

   

"Unconditional Surrender" on Sarasota's Bayfront

Spring is here and our weather is outstanding so get out and enjoy the area. Here’s just a few of the activities happening in the Sarasota area during the month of March:

 

Date Event or Activity Location Click Link forMore Information
March 1st An Evening with Lucille Ball: “Thank You for Asking” Sarasota Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
March 1st Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays at Ed Smith Stadium Sarasota Baltimore Orioles
March 1-18th National Watercolor Society Annual Traveling Exhibit Bradenton Art Center Manatee
March 2nd “Better Together: Life is What You Make It” A Concert and Conversation with Peter Buffett Sarasota Community Foundation
March 3rd Blue Grass Jam @ Bee Ridge Park Sarasota Sarasota County Parks
March 4th Sarasota Ballet presents “Out of Denmark” Sarasota Sarasota Ballet
March 5-6th 10th Annual Downtown Venice Art Classic Venice Venice Art Classic
March 5th 4th Annual Chillounge Night Sarasota Chillounge Night
March 5th Englewood Music Festival Englewood Englewood Music Festival
March 6th Siesta Key Organic Farmer’s Market Siesta Key Siesta Farmer’s Market
March 6th Sarasota Polo BrightHouse Networks Cup Lakewood Ranch Sarasota Polo
March 7th Lecture: “Tracking the World’s Largest Shark” Sarasota Mote Aquarium
March 7th Line Dancing @ Venice Community Center Sarasota Sarasota County
March 7th Free Admission @ Ringling Museum of Art Sarasota Ringling Museum
March 8th “Masquerade – Mardi Gras St. Armands Style” Sarasota St. Armands Circle
March 9th think & drink (science): The Science of Brewing Bradenton South Florida Museum
March 10-18th Mixon’s Free Concert and Orange Blossom Festival Bradenton Mixon Fruit Farms
March 11th Badminton @ Arlington Park Sarasota Sarasota County Parks
March 12th Imagine – The Artwork of John Lennon Sarasota St. Armands Circle Assoc.
March 12th Spring into Outdoors Fest @ Snook Haven Venice Snook Haven Park
March 16th Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training vs. Toronto Blue Jays Bradenton Pittsburgh Pirates
March 17th Moon Over Myakka Bike Ride Sarasota Myakka State Park
March 19th Sarasota Springfest 2011 Sarasota Springfest
March 19th Downtown Bradenton Farmer’s Market & Art Show Bradenton Farmer’s Market
March 19-20th 11th Annual Art at the Ranch Lakewood Ranch Lakewood Ranch Main Street
March 21st Couture in the Courtyard Bradenton South Florida Museum
March 25th Movies & Martinis @ Village of the Arts Bradenton Realize Bradenton
March 25-26th Fuzion Dance Artists @ Jane B. Cook Theater Sarasota SRQ Magazine
March 26-27th Sarasota Folk Festival Osprey Sarasota Folk Festival
March 31st Brown Bag Concert @ Phillippi Estate Sarasota Sarasota County Parks

Call us when you are ready to make your move! To search for homes in the area go to Search for Sarasota Homes. We’re here to help you every step of the way…call us today!

Read more »