Man and his dog at Sunset Point Siesta Key enjoying the sunset from their paddle board.
We went to Marina Jack's Portside Patio on August 22, 2013 for lunch. They are located at 2 Marina Plaza in Sarasota right on the bay. The views were breathtaking. As you wait for your meals you are able to look out and see fabulous views of the bay, the park, boats arriving and departing, yachts, buildings, and a dolphin fountain. The service was wonderful and the waitresses were very friendly. We sat in the front left corner under the shade but close enough to the water to have great views. We highly recommend their raspberry iced tea, buffalo chicken sandwich, avocado wrap, and mango daiquiri. It is a great place to get a great meal and then walk around the area and get photos. After the meal we recommend walking to the park with the fountain that you can see from the patio. It is a circle walkway where you pass boats docked and there are swings, seats, a playground, many cool trees, a fountain, and great picture opportunities. We recommend going there in the afternoon to enjoy the patio and sights before the rain in the late afternoon. We were there during the rain but we waited it out and then we were able to walk over to the park afterwards, since the rain lasts such a short time. Marina Jack also offers an indoor dining room, a deep six lounge, live music, a banquet hall, Marina Jack II lunch/dinner cruise, and a gift shop.
These pictures were taken on 8/20/2013 and 8/23/2013 at Siesta Key. The beaches have quartz sand that is soft on your feet and never gets hot from the sun. The beaches are very clean and the water is crystal clear. There are four lifeguard stands at the beach each a different color which can be seen pictured above which make it easier to locate your spot on the beach. We were in the water up to our shoulders and were still able to see our feet through the water. While in the ocean we could see schools of fish swimming by and fish jumping out of the water. The water was the perfect temperature. It is best to get to the beach early in the morning because daily between 3-6pm there is usually a downpour storm for a short time due to the weather in Siesta Key. Get out there and enjoy these beaches. There are plenty of public access points to the beach and there is also a main beach area that has a parking lot and snack pavilion with public restrooms. There are volleyball courts on the beach, lifeguards on duty all year round, picnic tables, tennis courts, and a soccer field. If you are bringing a cooler on the beach you are not allowed glass containers but it is legal to bring alcohol on the beach as long as it is in aluminum or plastic.
We went to St Armand's Circle on 8/21/2013. St Armand's Circle is located on 300 Madison Dr #201 Sarasota, Fl 34236. This Circle is filled with shops, restaurants, scenery, and statues. This is a great place for picture opportunities, shopping, and dining. We got there around 10am and walked around to all the shops and then had lunch at the Columbia restaurant.
During our time at St Armand's Circle we walked in all the shops, ate ice cream, ate at the Columbia Restaurant, and took lots of photos. There were many neat shops at the circle including Pepper Place, a wooden map store, a gallery, an olive oil store, and a variety of souvenir shops. We highly recommend going to Pepper Palace where you can sample a wide variety of bbq sauces, hot sauces, dips, and seasonings. We sampled a few of the hot sauces, salsas, and bbq sauces. We asked the owner what bbq sauce would be the best for pulled pork and he recommended a customer favorite called the Honey Chipotle Run BBQ sauce. I would have never tried it if he would not have suggested it and it was the best bbq sauce i have every tasted. We bought a bottle to take home as a gift and the manager informed us that we could place orders by phone or online to be shipped to our home if we wanted any more in the future.
The Columbia Restaurant has amazing Spanish food. They have a very classy restaurant set-up with an outdoor patio area. We ate there around 1:00 p.m. and the place was the most crowded restaurant on the circle by far. The lunch menu had a wide variety of Spanish dishes and the restaurant gave great portion sizes for the money. They give you hot bread before your meal that was delicious. The waiter was very nice and accommodating. We recommend the key lime pie for dessert. Don't miss this fine dining opportunity while visiting Bentley Street. We provided dinner and lunch menus in Bentley so be sure to check out the menus!
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.
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.
Sarasota, FloridaSiesta Beach is the number one beach in the 21st annual Top 10 Beach List, produced by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, Director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research.
Siesta Beach in Sarasota boasts that it has the finest and whitest sand in the world, and I cannot argue with this claim; the powdery sand is nearly pure quartz crystal. The beautiful blue-colored water is clean and clear, making it so inviting to bathers and swimmers. The beach is hundreds of yards wide, attracting volleyball players and beachcombers as well as those who just want to find their place in the sun. Waves at Siesta Beach are normally measured in inches and the beach gradually slopes into the Gulf waters, making it a very safe area for children.
This beach park is complete with showers and bathrooms, snack bars, grills, picnic tables, shade trees, and a large parking area, which does fill up on summer weekends. Siesta Beach is a smokeless beach, earning extra points for cleanliness and environmental management. My favorite time to visit is after Labor Day when things have calmed down, and the water is still warm enough for swimming until November. Snowbirds from northern climes call this area home during the winter because of the great weather. The beaches are for exploring, but not swimming at this time of year, albeit I have been in the water as early as March.
1. Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida
2. Coronado Beach in San Diego, California
3. Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
4. Main Beach in East Hampton, New York
5. Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks of North Carolina
6. St. George Island State Park, Florida panhandle
7. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina
8. Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
9. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park on Oahu, Hawaii
10. Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Florida
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