For the past several months we have had plans for my family to visit for Thanksgiving. When I say family in this case I am talking about my mother, sister, her husband and their two year old son. We had the space in our home to accommodate them all, a Thanksgiving feast was planned, our big concern was what we were going to do that would please everyone, including the two year old. Let me tell you in Sarasota you have many options it’s just a matter of picking a few and making a plan. We decided to go to Summerfield Park at Lakewood Ranch, St. Armand’s Circle, Siesta Key for the Lighting of the Village Parade, Lido Key Beach and the Sarasota Jungle Gardens. We dined at MacAllisters Grill & Tavern in Lakewood Ranch and the Daiquiri Deck in Siesta Key. Yes it was a busy weekend!
We made a quick stop over at Summerfield Park at Lakewood Ranch on day 1 as everyone was tired from their flights and we didn’t want to do anything too adventurous. We felt it would be a great opportunity for the young one to take advantage of the slides, swing sets, jungle gyms and all the other fun stuff that makes up a park. The guys were wishing that they had packed gloves and a baseball as the ball field looked tempting. A basketball would have been fun too as the park has several ball courts. Ah, maybe next year.
We spent day 2 at St. Armands Circle which is a fun place to visit if you’re from the area or on vacation like my family was. We knew it would be a great opportunity to show off where we live, visit some of the unique shops and get a quick coffee at Starbucks. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, The Columbia, Cha Cha Coconuts and Lynches Pub & Grub are restaurants that have plenty of atmosphere and are very good. As far as the shops go, we visited the St. Armands Winery & Gift Shop for a few wine samples, Wet Noses for our dogs, the Stadium Gallery for the guys and watched them make fudge and other chocolates at Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream. The night was finished off at MacAllisters Grill & Tavern at Lakewood Ranch. MacAllisters Grill & Tavern features Scottish Cuisine with seafood, steaks and salads that round out the delicious menu. MacAllisters is a fun place and really I can’t compare it to any restaurant I have ever been to before. You really feel like your entering a Scottish Castle as you pass through the front doors.
Our big plan for day 3 was the Lighting of the Village Parade in Siesta Key. The parade started at 6, but we arrived early so we could enjoy some appetizers at the Daiquiri Deck while we burned some time. The Daiquiri Deck is known of course for their Daiquiri’s, but also has very good food. We dined outside on the deck and had a perfect view for the upcoming parade. The parade consisted of local fire trucks, businesses, older cars and Santa Claus. At two-years old my nephew still isn’t too sure who or what Santa Claus is, but absolutely loved the sirens and lights of the fire trucks.
Day 4 consisted of Lido Key beach and then the Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Lido Key and St. Armands share the same island and is easily reached by crossing over the Ringling Causeway from Downtown Sarasota. There was nothing like spending time on the beach in late November in sandals and bathing suits and I think everyone would agree with that. The real joy was watching the two year old playing in the sand and experiencing something new.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens is full of exotic palms and plants and full of birds and reptiles. The reptiles are all enclosed, but the birds are very much accessible. It is definitely a place to check out during the cooler months in Florida as the majority of the park is outdoors. Perfect for younger kids as the area has a paved trail that is very easy to push a stroller. As far as I’m concerned the exotic trees and plants and the accessible flamingos are my favorite parts of the garden. I’m not much of a reptile fan.
Again, it was a very busy and fun weekend. This area really has so much to offer on any given weekend. The shopping, the parks, the dining, the beaches and the random themed activities and events provide entertainment for all.
When your ready for a tour of the area and you need someone to help you find you’re ideal Sarasota home please give me a call.