Area Information


By | June 7, 2011

Lifestyle Magazine features contemporary art, artists, galleries and art festivals. In the May (Summer Issue) just released the top 25 small artistic cities were revealed.

Sarasota FL, having long been known as a cultural destination, has climbed from the 2010 No.11 position to the No.5 spot this year!

Just another “great” reason to call Sarasota, FL home.

For more information and to sign up for a “Free” American Style Newsletter visit:
American Style Magazine

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Golfing in Sarasota

By | June 5, 2011

Enjoying the game of golf at Prestancia, a well known private club in the Palmer Ranch area of Sarasota, Florida.

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Tournament Players Club in Prestancia was founded in 1985.  It has been the host club for eight Chrysler Cup Tournaments and five American Express Invitational’s Champions Tour events. There are two courses within the golf club.  The Stadium Course is a par 72 and was designed by a Floridian named Ron Garl.   This course is very open with generous landing areas.  The Stadium Course is a Member and guest favorite.  The second course is known as the Club Course. This course was designed by Robert Van Hagge and has many challenging doglegs, water areas and sand traps.  I myself have first hand knowledge!  It is said to be more difficult even for the toughest competitor.  TPC offers a variety of membership packages which are designed to meet all your membership needs.  Members of TPC may send guests and business associates to enjoy a round of golf which is unmatched by any other area clubs.  Let’s play someday.

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Rothenbach Park

By | June 3, 2011

Rothenbach Park (about 3 miles east of the interstate on Bee Ridge Road) is no dump… that is to say, it’s not a dump anymore :) Touted as one of Sarasota’s greenest parks, Rothenback Park sits on the site of what was once the Sarasota County Landfill, now capped and landscaped into gorgeous open vistas, bike paths under old-growth oak canopies, and family picnic and playground areas.

Like most of Sarasota’s parks, Rothenbach park is designed with both families and adults in mind. There are two great playgrounds for the kids, clean-and-green pavilions for lunchtime, and approximately five miles of paved recreational trails that meander through the oaks.

Park Map

Rothenbach Park was founded on the principle trash can be turned into treasure. All the materials used in the park are environmentally friendly and designed with nature in mind. The park is quiet, beautiful, and easy accessible by the public.

The park is also home to the Sarasota R/C squadron, a cadre of remote-controlled airplane enthusiasts. This squadron is a private club, but for the reasonable fee of just $75 a year, you can join the fun and games and fly to your heart’s content.

Oh, and make sure you keep an eye out for the Rothenbach Park deer while you’re here – they’re famous!

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Siesta Named #1 Beach in America!

By | June 2, 2011


#1 Beach in America

I told you so, I told you so….  I’m embarrassed but with just cause. My last story informed you that Siesta Key Beach was named the #2 beach in the country and how I knew it was time to vote again!  On my behalf, I did say that to all of us who know and are lucky enough to visit Siesta Beach it will always be the #1 beach to us…

In this morning’s Sarasota Herald Tribune, Ms. M.C. Coolidge said it
all and she hit the nail right on the head. Read this, it’s a keeper!

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Siesta Named Best Beach in America!

By | June 1, 2011

Siesta Beach is the number one beach in the 21st annual Top 10 Beach List, produced by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman (also known as “Dr. Beach”), Director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research.

If you haven’t seen our beaches here in Sarasota, you’re missing out. Siesta Beach or “Crescent Beach” as locals call it has the finest, whitest sand around. This is due to a very high quartz content. Our gulf waters are clean and clear and rarely do we get more than a gentle rolling surf. This makes it quite inviting to swimmers of all ages. Recreation on beach is plentiful as the beach is wide and flat which makes it ideal for volleyball or just having a stroll.

The beach has all the amenities including showers, bathrooms, snack bars, shaded picnic areas with grills, playground and even tennis courts. Public parking is free so if you visit during the winter months arrive early as the lot tends to fill up quickly.

For a video tour of our beaches visit here:

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June in Sarasota

By | May 30, 2011


Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy the beaches, cuisine and culture of Sarasota while the winter crowds have gone north. Here’s just a few of the activities happening in the area during the month of June:

Date Event or Activity Location Click Link for

More Information

June 1st Pickleball at Woodmere Park Venice Sarasota County Parks
June 2nd Sarasota Music Festival: Artist Showcase – Holley Hall Sarasota Sarasota Music Festival
June 3rd Live from Downtown: It’s Friday Night Sarasota Downtown Sarasota Alliance
June 3rd Music on Main Lakewood Ranch Main Street
June 3-4th Village of the Arts Art Walk Bradenton Village of the Arts
June 5th World Ocean Day @ Mote Marine Sarasota Mote Marine Aquarium
June 6th “Monster’s Ball” Monday Night Movies Sarasota Ringling Museum
June 8-12th Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein Sarasota Asolo Theater
June 9th Art After 5 Sarasota Ringling Museum
June 10-11th 10th Annual St. Armands Craft Festival and Sidewalk Sale Lido Key St. Armands Circle
June 11th Morton’s Annual Big Cheese Tasting Sarasota SRQ Magazine
June 16th Island Nights Venice City of Venice
June 18-19th 19th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival Venice Art Festival
June 18-30th Marilyn: Forever Blonde Sarasota Asolo Theater
June 19th Annual Recital: School of Russian Ballet Bradenton School of Russian Ballet
June 24th Girls Night Out – Women’s Resource Center Sarasota SRQ Magazine
June 25th – July 4th Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival Sarasota Suncoast Offshore
June 26th Grand Prix Festival Car Show – Main Street Lakewood Ranch Lakewood Ranch Suncoast Offshore
June 30th Grand Prix Festival Parade Of Boats – Main Street Sarasota Suncoast Offshore


Every Saturday morning throughout the year there are Farmer’s Markets in the downtown areas of Sarasota, Venice, and Bradenton and on Sundays in the Village on Siesta Key. These are great events to shop for local produce and goods. Some have live entertainment as well. For more details click on the location below: 




                                             Siesta Key

 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!

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Florida Studio Theatre (FST)

By | May 19, 2011

“Exciting, Entertaining, Forever Contemporary Theatre” – Scene Magazine.

Currently in his 31st Season as FST Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins had a vision. In 1980, FST was a small, alternative touring theatre. Hopkins’ focus was on taking contemporary theatre to new audiences. Over the years, FST and the audience have evolved and expanded, growing even more fervent in the value of contemporary theatre.

Hopkins states “theatre must be affordable and accessible to as many people as possible”. He further believes there are three elements of excellent theatre… places, people and plays.

Sarasota is the cultural capital of Florida. FST is another one of Sarasota Treasures. Subscribe now for Summer Season 2011… 3 shows for $29.00.

“Our Son’s Wedding”
“The Savannah Disputation”

For more information visit:

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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:

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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

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.

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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

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