Greetings from Sarasota, Florida! Sarasota is a fabulous city and provides several places to shop, dine, swim, relax, and enjoy all varieties of entertainment. Located in the southern United States, Sarasota’s average monthly temperatures range from about 61 degrees Fahrenheit in January to about 82 degrees Fahrenheit in July providing ideal conditions for sun-loving nature enthusiasts. Specific entertainment options in the Sarasota area include the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Mote Aquarium, horse surfing, and the Ringling Museum; however, the top three must-see attractions are the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, the Siesta Key Beach, and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! Literally! Sarasota’s Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary features various uncommon animals including bears, tigers, a liger, a lion, ostriches, parrots, a lemur, chimpanzees, camels, llamas, and much more. The facility entertains everyone regardless of age. The entrance fee to this sanctuary is $15 for adults and $7 for kids but the visit is worth much more. Visitors can take pictures with chimpanzees up close, feed bears, observe the unique animal collection, and attend a free training and tricks show. The beauty and grace of the giant beasts and the compassion of their trainers never fail to awe all spectators. Workers are eager to answer any questions about the animals, and learning new, fascinating information is essentially guaranteed. This friendly attraction creates greater appreciation for all ostensibly ferocious animals.
Located in Sarasota, Siesta Key holds one of the nation’s top beaches. In 2011, the Siesta Key beach was ranked in the top ten of National Geographic’s best beaches contest, and the beach is often ranked among the top beaches in the world. One trip to Siesta’s beach shows why it is regarded so highly. The bleach white sand, made of quartz, is so pure that is always cool to the touch, even on the hottest summer days which reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The powdery sand has an expansive width which provides a comfortable amount of space. Shells are sparse throughout the main span; however, shells are abundant at the south tip of the beach, called Point of Rocks. This location is perfect for shell collectors because the ground is completely covered by gorgeous shells which wash ashore every day. Visitors also enjoy gathering on the public beach which provides lifeguards, tennis courts, volleyball, and a snack bar. Several additional activities offered at the beach include parasailing, beach bike rental, paddle board rental, jet skis, etc. The beach fits right in with the rest of the city’s great features.
Sarasota’s Botanical Gardens is a peaceful place to relax and appreciate some of the most stunning products of Mother Nature. Complete with a bamboo forest, butterfly garden, giant coy fish pond, orchid exhibit, and bonsai collection, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens provide several hours of entertainment. The gardnes nourish several exotic, vibrantly colored plant species. For example, one species is a large variation of a Venus fly trap and is able to consume small creatures and small birds! Photography is graciously allowed, and the gardens provide exquisite scenic backgrounds. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a quite unique garden experience.
Sarasota is a fun, safe vacation location for the whole family, and there are endless places to explore. Whether laying at the beach all day or tackling new adventures, this city is a fantastic getaway; Sarasota is a wonderful place to create blissful and long-lasting memories.
Links for more information:
Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary; http://bigcathabitat.org/
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens; http://www.selby.org/