Suncoast Beaches, FL - Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Longboat Key, Sarasota, Lido Key, Siesta Key & Venice - Vacation Travel Guide

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Events Calendar
<< < October 2018 > >>
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Suncoast Beaches Area Features

What’s New in Sarasota?

Photo Credit:; Artist: Angela Haseltine Pozzi

In Sarasota, Bradenton, and on the surrounding keys, there is always something fun to do while on vacation. However, if you’re a repeat visitor, you’re probably looking to try something different or to embark on a new experience. For help with finding new things to do, look no further than to Sunny Day Guide! Here are some of our new favorite things on the Florida Suncoast…

World Rowing Masters Regatta

Rowers from around the world will once again converge on Nathan Benderson Park, this time to compete in the World Rowing Masters Regatta Sept. 27-30. This event comes on the heels of the successful World Rowing Championships in the fall of 2017, making the regatta the second major international event held here in as many years. Over 3,000 competitors from 40 countries will take to the water to claim rowing trophies and awards. Ticketed spectators are welcome to cheer on the teams.

A New Arts District at The Bay

Part of the Sarasota Bayfront is getting a makeover! In October 2017, Sasaki, a global design firm based in Watertown, Massachusetts, was selected to create a new arts district in the 42 acres referred to as “The Bay” around the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Though the project is just getting started, $850,000 has been set aside to complete this renovation. Before we know it, the revitalized area will open to art patrons in a grand new setting.

The Mosaic NEST

The Robinson Preserve is undergoing a lot of changes. One of those was the completion of the Mosaic NEST. This large building is set at the canopy line and because it’s made of wood, many think it resembles a grown-up treehouse. It opened earlier this year and encourages study of its acronym: Nature, Education, Science and Technology. Within the NEST, visitors can gaze out on the spectacular landscapes and participate in family activities. However, the center specializes in the testing of botanical species from around the world. In the near future, Robinson Preserve will expand by 150 acres around the NEST and additional nature activities will be offered.

Goat Yoga

Yes, goat yoga is a thing! In a cleaned-out barn at Geraldson Community Farm in Bradenton, relaxing yoga classes are taught in the company of goats. On Sundays, you too can strike a downward dog pose as a friendly group of goats mingles with the class. They’re so lovable that you may end up petting or feeding them instead of working on your balance and core strength—but you’ll be happier for it!

Atlanta Braves Spring Training

The Atlanta Braves will eventually call North Port in Sarasota County their new spring training home. Construction of a stadium began in October 2017 and is expected to be completed just prior to the start of the 2019 baseball season. Up to 8,000 people can fill the stadium, which will include luxury suites. The property will also have practice fields, pitching mounds and batting cages. This $100 million project will likely be used year-round since the club also intends on hosting a baseball academy there during the regular season. The move to Sarasota County (just east of Venice) from the Orlando area will result in shorter bus rides to games and more space to equip the team with everything they need. Hopefully, this will lead the Braves to a successful season!

Living Seawall

A new project to create an environmentally friendly seawall is in the making. Last fall, the seawall in front of O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill at the edge of City Island needed to be replaced. In the process of doing so, a living, textured, seawall was created instead of the flat walls that have been built in the past. Now, the city is going further and completing the living seawall in a test project with Mote Marine Laboratory on other portions of the island. Concrete reef balls that resemble very large wiffle balls will be joined to form a wall where plants, fish, oysters and other life forms can live and find safety. The addition of the bio-diverse reef will aid in reducing wave damage and shore erosion, help local fish populations, and promote better health of the bay. If all goes well, this could be the beginning of more beautiful, textured seawalls throughout the region.

Sea Debris Art Exhibit

Artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi was tired of seeing trash wash up on the beaches she loves in her home state of Oregon. Taking action, she decided to make artworks out of the trash to bring awareness to the problem. Between December 2017 and June 2018, the Mote Aquarium will feature her creations depicting seals, sharks, swordfish, turtles and more in an exhibit entitled Sea Debris. The large scale size of these pieces demonstrate just how much litter washes ashore, and Pozzi struggles to use everything she finds. It’s currently estimated that 315 billion pounds of plastic pollute the world’s seas. Visit the Mote Aquarium to meet Octavia the Octopus or Greta the Great White for an eye-opening experience.

Film Festival’s 20th Anniversary

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Sarasota Film Festival—one of the best film festivals in the nation. For ten days, from April 13–22, stars and fans will converge on the region in a celebration of cinema. Everything from documentaries to thought-provoking dramas will be showing on a big screen. Fans may also have the opportunity to hobnob with celebrities. Stars will be scheduled to appear and partake in events. Listen as they recount stories of their careers before you take in a film—or a lot of them! @mySFF

Selby Garden’s New Warhol Exhibit

Andy Warhol, the pop-art genius whose work featured everything from soup to celebrities, also had a flair for nature. And what better place to present his homage to nature than at the Selby Botanical Gardens? Debuting in February and on display through June, Andy Warhol: Flowers in the Factory can be viewed by visitors to the gardens. The collection includes silkscreens of hibiscus flowers in vibrant colors. “The Factory” reference in this exhibit's name stems from what Warhol called his New York studio, which is where these pieces were created. This limited time event is not to be missed!

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