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A great place for animals, plants and kids

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota's favorite family attraction

The gardens started in the 1930s has grown to accommodate thousands

Jungle Gardens in Sarasota
Sarasota Jungle Gardens - The entrance is on Bay Shore Road near Myrtle Street and Tamiami Trail.

Since the 1930s this attraction has been visited by such notorieties as Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt. And through this time the Sarasota Jungle Gardens has grown to become Sarasota’s favorite family attraction. It is more than a zoo, here visitors interact with the animals and stroll through the many plants through pavered walkways on this 10-acre jungle. Indigenous and transplanted plants from around the world line the walkways easily accessible to all, young and old. Over 3,000 varieties of plants are on display as you stroll along. In current years many of the transplants were replaced with Florida plants to help survive the climate we all know as paradise.

The animal kingdom is plentiful and on safari display too. Some of these animals are free to be fed by hand. One of the most popular spots is the feeding pond where a gathering of flamingos, ibis and gulls gather for daily treats. The birds will literally peck pellets of food from your hand. If you are skirmish at first, watch others as they hold the food in front of the birds and notice they are gently pecking at their lunch.

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
Frosty - This Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo born in 1936 continues to entertain the public daily at the gardens.

There are famed animals as well. An 83-year-old Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo with the name of Frosty has been a starlit of fame over the years. Acquired from the Folsom State Prison of California in 1971, Frosty was trained by inmates as a hire-wire unicycle entertainer. The program was a learning experience for inmates as they were taught patience, responsibility and care for others. Frosty performed his tricks at events and appeared on the Ed Sullivan show.

Other birds perform at daily presentations in the outdoor pavilion. They sing, talk to the crowd, imitate other animal calls and two brother parrots even compete with a race to be the first to put rings on two separate rods. The Jungle Bird Show begins at noon each day as the birds demonstrate their intelligence in each performance.

The main shows continue in the pavilion with the Wildlife Wonder at 1 PM, a lineup of local and exotic animals exhibited on stage as a strong lesson in conservation. Two times a day at 11 AM and 3 PM the Reptile Encounter feature snakes to alligators, live on stage to excite and educate visitors of all ages. After each show guests are encouraged to interact with the characters, close-up animal encounters and further discussions with human performers. The pavilion has around 100 seats with plenty of standing room.

Jungle Gardens in Sarasota
Otto the Opossum - Guests are invited to interact with the animals and ask questions after each demonstration

Demonstrations throughout the park educate and entertain. There is plenty to see as you venture past many of the exhibits in the gardens. Spend some time at the Butterfly Gardens, see some large and small crocodiles and alligators, catch a red-tailed hawk as the first in the Birds of Prey exhibit, allow your youngsters to feed the goats and pigs in the Petting Zoo, but always allow some extra time to spend in the Flamingo Feeding Area. A special area has been set aside as a playground for children.

David Breed Lindsay first purchased the parcel of land in what is now the Bayou Oaks and Sapphire Shores area of Sarasota. He and Pearson Conrad were the original architects for streams and pathways through a uninhabited swamp land of banana groves. They built a lake where the flamingos and swans have their habitat. They began charging a minimal amount to visit the gardens in 1936 and by the beginning of 1939 the gardens were fully open to the public.

Koi pond
Swimming pool or Koi Pond? - It has been both.

Admission was collected by the home that was built on the grounds as a succession of owners added their own touches to the gardens over the years. A swimming pool was built next to the house. The original home now serves as the Flamingo Café, the garden’s grill and oasis where you can purchase refreshments and take a restroom break. The swimming pool is now an attractive koi pond with water lilies.

The daughter of Chicago businessman Arthur C. Allyn currently operates the jungle gardens. It is said that Allyn, the former president of the Chicago White Sox, had more passion for butterflies than baseball, so he sold the team to his brother in 1969 and moved to Sarasota where he purchased the gardens two years later. He may have developed his love for Sarasota after purchasing a motel here as spring training accommodations for his players. Dorothy Allyn Tinney is actively involved in the daily operations of the organization.

Getting involved in Sarasota Jungle Gardens is easy with multiple options

The gardens have many ways to get involved. The park is open daily 10 AM to 5 PM, but closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Individual daily rates start at $17.99 for an adult pass to free for children three and under. There are student and senior discounts, and group rates for 10 or more visitors. Visit the Sarasota Jungle Gardens website for daily rates, annual passes and rentals on wheelchairs and strollers.

Kids Park
Children's play area - Kids love the jungle gardens

Their adopt-an-animal program shares the love between you and your favorite animal. There is a wide range of animals to adopt and are offered at five different levels, from the Zoo Friend at $50 to the Kingdom Keeper at $1,000. They make great gifts and serve to continue the educational programs at the gardens.

The Sarasota Jungle Gardens is also a great place for birthday parties. With each theme the birthday guest chooses the favorite animal from the list, either be it an alligator, flamingo, parrot or tortoise. The party receives an up-close encounter with the animal of choice. Each party girl or boy receives more favors and treats in the reserved picnic area, and the guest of honor receives free admission, T-shirt and sport bottle.

Zoo Camp is a great adventure with weekly themes presenting wildlife in their habitats, conservation orientation and even one to explore our oceans. Their school break fun is coordinated with the school calendars of Manatee and Sarasota counties. It may be the first stage of zookeeper training at two levels for beginners, ages 6-13 and a Junior Counselor program for ages 14 and 15 year-olds.

Jungle Gardens Gift shop
What to find in the gift shop? - Flamingos, of course

The Sarasota Jungle Gardens is located at 3701 Bay Shore Road, just south of SRQ airport. At the intersection of Myrtle Street and North Tamiami Trail is a sign at the CVS directing you to the gardens, just a short couple of blocks off the trail.

If you are visiting the gardens and fall in love with Sarasota as Arthur Allyn did, please take notice of my new listing last week at 2165 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #123. It is a rarely available, direct 3BR/3BA Gulf-front residence at Villa di Lancia on Longboat Key. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
2165 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #123 $1,495,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing


Home series continues with luxury listings

by Roger Pettingell

Four Global Luxury homes highlighted

Home Showcase XXXVII begins in the Cherokee Park community of Sarasota

1606 North Drive in Sarasota
Cherokee Park - 1606 North Drive

Today we are highlighting four homes that meet the standards for inclusion in the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury marketing brand. They qualify based on price and features. Two are in prime locations of Sarasota while the other two are in prime waterfront locations on Longboat Key. The first is in one of Sarasota's most sought-after family neighborhoods in a central location, within the prestigious Southside school district. Homeowners love the proximity to downtown, luxury shopping, fine dining, theaters, museums and only minutes to pristine Gulf beaches at the Keys.

This 1920s Cherokee Park community took off in the late 1940s and many of the homes have been rebuilt or remodeled since then, including this home in our Showcase XXXVII series built in 1998 at 1606 North Drive. Delight in a “West of the Trail” lifestyle at this five-bedroom custom home. On a quiet street near the end of a cul-de-sac, brick pavered walkways and manicured landscaping welcome you. Wine enthusiasts will adore the temperature-controlled wine cellar. Walls of French doors open to the gorgeous pool deck, with its heated saltwater swimming pool, spa and plenty of space to sunbathe, lounge or dine are complemented by the lush foliage surrounding this private residence. It recently had a price change to $2,199,000.

Waterfront luxury home on the canal of Country Club Shores

610 Bowsprit Lane
Country Club Shores - 610 Bowsprit Lane

Over the years I have sold many homes in the Longboat Key community of Country Club Shores. Homes here are astonishing, with many upgraded homes on the canals that feed out to Sarasota Bay. Originally developed by the Arvida Realty Company in the 1960s with 396 plats, Country Club Shores has continued to flourish through its close proximity to St. Armands Circle and the Avenue of the Flowers shopping center to the north, home to Publix, CVS, Chase Bank and boutique shopping. Homeowners love the easy access to the Gulf of Mexico beaches. I featured this community in my REALTALK™ #188 video. An added interest is that this neighborhood promotes a recreational lifestyle, the roads are named for golf and sailboat terms.

This newer-built 2008, four-bedroom home in Country Club Shores at 610 Bowsprit Lane is a boater’s paradise listed for $1,995,000. Located near the end of a private cul-de-sac, just one home in from the point-lot location, this home offers 113 feet of water frontage, newer seawall, dock and lift on sailboat-deep waters that flow out to Sarasota Bay. You will love the cathedral ceilings, open layout, gourmet kitchen, impact windows and sliders, three-car garage, plus the two-story pool cage housing heated swimming pool, spa and covered dining areas.

Wonderful location in the Avondale community of Sarasota

West of Trail in Sarasota at 1835 Lincoln Drive
Avondale - 1835 Lincoln Drive

I featured the Avondale community in Sarasota in a recent REALTALK™ #208 video. This “West of Trail” neighborhood of 75 properties opened for development in the 1920s at $250 each with a $50 down payment. It is well positioned with its border roads of South Osprey, Lincoln Drive and Bahia Vista. Professionals love the area for its proximity to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. It’s also close to fine dining, shopping and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Brimming with recent upgrades, this four-bedroom move-in ready waterfront home is in a central spot, near Southside Village and within walking distance to downtown. Skillfully blending traditional architecture with trendy interior and exterior, this beautiful family-living home at 1835 Lincoln Drive listed for $1,799,000 provides aspects for the entire family to appreciate.

Secluded waterfront enclave with 20 luxury homes on Longboat Key

705 Hideaway Bay Lane
Hideaway Bay - 705 Hideaway Bay Lane

Near Cannons Marina and behind the Christ Church of Longboat Key on the northern end of the island, Hideaway Bay is a secluded gem among the mangroves and Australian pines that surround the peninsula. Most of the 20 homes here have direct access to the channel that feeds out to Sarasota Bay through Millar Bay and the intracoastal waterway. Your neighbors are enjoying the luxury lifestyle and relish their private swimming pools, recreational fishing and boating.

This private waterfront residence at 705 Hideaway Bay Lane is tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac in this secluded community. A tropical oasis, this three-bedroom home offers walls of lush foliage surrounding the property, complemented by pavered walkways, charming gardens, a hammock, plus newer dock and lift on sailboat-deep waters that enhance its seclusion. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing, it is listed for $1,495,000.


Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing


Best places to live near Longboat Key Club

by Roger Pettingell

Owners near Resort in these communities

Stay at the Resort and enjoy life while searching for your dream home

Lobby entrance at the Resort at Longboat Key Club
Resort 2020 artist rendering - Special resort discounts at Longboat Key Club while renovations continue.

The Longboat Key Club has received many accolades over the 30 years, one of the best places in the country in multiple categories. Their amenities include top ratings in golf, tennis and restaurants put it at the top of the bucket list of many. Country Club Shores homeowners literally walk across Gulf of Mexico Drive to access the Links on Longboat. Owners at L’Ambiance walk out of the front lobby to many activities of the club. Near Harbourside Golf Course are the homes in Bay Isles and Grand Bay owners can walk to the storm-protected marina with berths for larger yachts. Tennis, the Portofino Restaurant and the Whiskey Bar are nearby. Membership certainly has its privileges.

There is another side to the Longboat Key Club, its resort. Buyers of homes on Longboat Key may start their search by first lodging at the Resort on Longboat Key Club. And with its current renovations, rooms are reduced up to 40 percent while maintaining its high level of activities and services. At times the lobby, Barefoot's Bar & Grille, pool and pool deck may be closed for some of the renovations. Complete remodeling will be finished in the early months of 2020 and all 226 rooms are expected to be open.

Although the exact plans haven’t been released to the public on a voter-approved expansion through a May 2015 referendum. Approved are plans for 259 hotel rooms and 93 residences. Work has finished on the Links on Longboat golf course and a major project to replace the aging guard gate and entrance. Moving the entrance road will make acreage available for the new hotel project. Visit their website for discount rates during the renovation.

REALTALK interview with Juliette Valin
Club membership is discussed with Juliette Valin, director of membership, in REALTALK™ #36.

Meanwhile, membership in the Longboat Key Club for area homeowners has its many privileges. The landscaped Tennis Gardens has 20 Har-Tru courts, pro shop and experienced professional coaches to develop your skills. The courts are highly rated in the world with its Pro Shop, staff and game arrangements that are ranked in the top five in the world by Tennis Resorts Online. Homes on Bayou Sound, in Winding Oaks or Sabal Cove are in close proximity to the Tennis Gardens.

These homes are also close to the Harbourside Golf Course, consistently rated as one of the best in the country. This course, designed by William Byrd, has 27 holes in three courses and is part of your back yard at some of the homes in Queens Harbour, Corey’s Landing and Harbour Oaks. Grand Bay owners overlook some of the beautiful fairways on Harbourside Golf Course.

If you live on Longboat Club Road you likely have the Gulf of Mexico beach in your back yard and a section of 18 holes associated to Links on Longboat, formerly named the Islandside Course, out your front door. It is the best of two worlds. Residences include the Pierre, Sanctuary, the Beaches, Longboat Key Towers, Privateer and previously named L’Ambiance. Tangerine Bay and Bay Harbour residences are located on the Sarasota Bay side across Gulf of Mexico Drive near the south end of Longboat Key. These courses are rated as Best Places to Play by Golf Digest. Whenever you play the 45 holes of golf at both locations, make sure to make some time to brag at the Spike 'n Tees club house, part of the Longboat Key Club.

The list of Longboat Key Club amenities is long. There are six restaurants and bars to socialize with friends. To build your body and your mind there are swimming pools, a 9,000 square-foot spa, mind and motion studio and fitness center. A full-service beach experience on the Gulf of Mexico is an enjoyable and relaxing part of the day, while finishing with a sensational sunset overlooking the Gulf. Members have access to private catering and concierge services. There are over 250 member events each year. Members have access to the Longboat Key Club Moorings, a marina with many services, 24-hour security, repair services, boat sales, store and a full slate of top utilities.

Harbourside Golf Course, Marina and Moorings of the Longboat Key Club
3040 Grand Bay Blvd, #275 - Many communities on Longboat Key are close to member services including this listing that overlooks Harbourside Golf Course.

If a luxury lifestyle is your goal, a Longboat Key Club membership is one way to fulfill your dreams. Full membership includes all the amenities listed here, including complimentary daily dockage at the moorings. The golf membership includes many of the amenities of the club, access to both driving ranges and your private golf locker. Other memberships include a social option. This includes many of the activities but has limited access to the golf courses and tennis courts. Enjoy a summer membership, designed for those who are here from May 15 to October 15. It includes many of the services, with tennis and sports camps for ages 4-17. There is a special Golf and Tennis Summer Membership. Membership information is available through their website.

While staying a week or two at the resort and would like to look at properties to buy in Sarasota or Longboat Key, be sure to contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing. Find homes near the Longboat Key Club courts, courses, marina and services:


Sensational festivals, on sensational beaches

by Roger Pettingell

Our beaches, sunbathing and more

Events such as the Powerboat Grand Prix attract thousands to the area

Lido Beach fans
Powerboat Grand Prix - Thousands lined the beach of Lido Key with canopies to watch the races Sunday

There are many reasons why tourists visit Sarasota and it is rated as one of the best places in the country to retire. It is simple to argue that our beaches is the biggest draw. Just sticking your toes in the quartz-rich sand that reflects 99 percent of the sun is a delight in itself. But our beaches also attract thousands for some of the best events in the world.

Case in point is the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix this past weekend where eight days of land activities culminated in the races on the final day off Lido Beach. There thousands lined the sands off Lido Key for nearly a half mile of canopy tent next to canopy tent and nesting black skimmers to watch the spectacle over the water where powerboats screamed their engines traveling at speeds up to 160 mph. The spectators seemed unaware of the rain drops and cloudy skies to catch a full day of racing.

The events of the 35th annual Grand Prix attracted visitors to the hotels, restaurants and bars, last year bringing in $20 million to the area and tax benefits to local governments. This year crowd favorite Miss GEICO and the boat Victory flipped during the Class One last race on Sunday. The races will air on CBS Sports at 3 PM on August 4 and on Fox Sports at a later date to be announced. The races were sanctioned by the Offshore Powerboat Association and P1 Offshore.

The Tachi Palace World’s Strongest Man in Bradenton, Florida
The world took notice of Bradenton Beach during the Strongman competition on the beaches June 14-16.

The Grand Prix followed another world class event just weeks before on the beaches of Anna Maria Island. On the public Bradenton Beach, USA contender Martins Licis defeated Mateusz Kieliszkowski of Poland, reigning champ and Game of Thrones star Hafthor Julius Bjornsson representing Iceland, and Tom Stoltman of the United Kingdom in the World’s Strongest Man competition.

This multi-day competition enticed fans to downtown Bradenton, Coquina Beach and the finals on Bradenton Beach. For four days they threw kegs over banners, lifted immense weights and pulled vehicles downtown to a great demonstration of strength and endurance. A series of the competition will begin to air on the CBS Sports Network starting July 11 with the finals encore presentation on CBS, September 1.

Back to Coquina Beach on the south end of Anna Maria Island (AMI) where each Sunday there is a seasonal gathering of farm-grown produce and craft sales. The beach market is open 10 AM to 4 PM each Sunday November through July, excluding some holidays, and every Wednesday, December 18 through May 21. Pick up some good artwork by local artists and catch the AMI String Band performing in the market area. There is plenty of free parking and a free shuttle that connects all areas of AMI. The Coquina Café on the beach serves short-order food, soft drinks and beer.

But everyone knows the Number One rated beach in the world on Siesta Key and the annual Crystal Classic is circled on many calendars in the month of November. This year’s International Sand Sculpting Festival runs November 15-18. Not only do you see some of the world’s greatest sand sculptors, you can dance to local band favorites.

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic master sand sculpting competition
The Siesta Key Crystal Classic master sand sculpting competition is held in November each year.

Master sand sculptors, led by local resident Brian Wigelsworth along with local Siesta Key organizations, founded the first Crystal Classic in November of 2010. It has grown to attract 35,000 attendees, half of which are from outside the area. In order to be considered for the master sculpting contest each artist must win a sanctioned amateur competition such as the 47th Annual Amateur Sand Sculpture Contest held on Siesta Beach. There are four categories of competition in this annual competition and one prize for an overall people’s choice award. The Castle Vader took first place in the individual award this year. Finding Nemo / Squirt took the award for the adult team competition and was the people’s choice overall winner in this year’s contest on May 4.

Siesta Key is also known for its drum circles each Sunday, beginning with the call of a siren approximately one hour before sunset. The crowd gathers in a circle to the sound of the drum beats and dancers quickly emerge in unison. Drum circles also form on Englewood and Nokomis. A couple groups have tried to form on Bradenton Beach each Friday so you may catch them gathering if you are visiting.

Another way to love the beach is to become a beachfront owner. Last week I listed a two bedroom, two bath sixth-floor residence at 1211 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #608 in the updated Promenade community on Longboat Key. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
1211 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #608 $759,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing


A week filled with local activities

by Roger Pettingell

Festivals, Powerboats and Fireworks

Enjoy your 4th of July holiday with plenty of events in the Sarasota area

Superboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico
Powerboat Grand Prix - Reduced to one day of racing this year as powerboats motor past Lido Key on Sunday

Although the annual Powerboat Grand Prix hailed its two preliminary events the past few days, the kickoff party on Wednesday will start the trend of thousands to visit Sarasota for the full festival and the traditional fireworks in the area. The crowds will descend downtown and Lido Beach will come alive for the 35th annual festival. With the races reduced to just powerboats, there will only be one full day of racing off Lido Beach to be held on Sunday.

As part of the Powerboat festival, eight days of events were initiated with the 4th Annual Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic on Saturday at The Meadows Country Club in Sarasota. Also completed was the Boat & Personal Watercraft fun run yesterday. It started at Marina Jack with a shotgun start and a variety of boats with travels to the Salty Dog, Bridge Tender and Tarpon Bay Grill. Proceeds benefited the Suncoast Charities for Children. A private event The Friendliest Catch fishing tournament is another Suncoast Charities for Children at the Sarasota Outboard Club on City Island Tuesday.

Many powerboat fans will be visiting the Grand Prix Kickoff Party in the grand foyer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Wednesday starting at 6 PM. The Caribbean Chillers, an international travelling Jimmy Buffett tribute band is the live entertainment for the night. Wear your patriotic apparel for this evening of fun and island style food.

One of many firework displays this week, the Bayfront Spectacular is part of the Grand Prix Festival. Prime viewing is from Bayfront Park, but anywhere downtown will be good with an open view of the bay. Should be great if you can find a location on a rooftop. The fireworks start at 9 PM on Thursday.

Miss Geico
Miss Geico returns with a completely new look and mechanicals. The Miss Geico boat finished first in the Unlimited class in last year's festival. Meet driver James Sheppard and throttleman Steve Curtis at the Hyatt Regency for a Meet and Greet on Friday.

Meet and Greet Who’s in the Driver Seat is an autograph signing event by the race team pilots. Those 18 and under are free, a five-dollar donation will be accepted for all other guests. It starts at 1 PM on Friday in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom downtown. The Boats on the Block follows at 6 PM and will be held on Main Street from Orange Avenue to South Palm Avenue. The powerboats will be on display for pictures, live music and great food will keep you busy for hours.

Two events on day seven start at 9 AM, the Car & Motorcycle Show at Rossiter’s Harley-Davidson, four hours of some of the best-in-show four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles. Remote Control Race Boats is a charity event on Saturday where competitors of all ages pilot their own boat modeled after those in the big race festival. It takes place at O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill on the Bayfront from 10 AM to noon on Saturday.

Miss Geico returns, a crowd favorite powerboat, kicking off a single-day of racing in the Class 1-7 course off Lido Beach at 10 AM on Sunday. Also entered in the Class One performance boats are Victory, 222 Racing, Lucas Oil and Scuderia Cazzani. Class One boats are the largest of the races and travel at speeds up to 160 MPH. Superstocks, Super Vee Extreme and Prostock Vee begin their races at 11:30 AM. The Supercat style boats race at 12:30 PM, while the Class One and Vee Extreme finish the day of racing at 2 PM followed by an awards ceremony at 6 PM in the Hyatt Regency ballroom. Viewing is free on the beach, a special VIP area at the Sandcastle Resort has been sold out.

In 2018 the impact of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival generated an estimated $20 million to the local economy with over $2.657 million in hotel spending. Of the $721,753 sales tax collected, $69, 670 was reimbursed to the county. Sarasota County collected its own sales tax of $120,292.

Other Area Fireworks and Festivals, Wednesday and Thursday schedule

Fireworks on Thursday
Fireworks off Bayfront Park in Sarasota, part of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix this year.

Get an early jump on fireworks Wednesday at dusk with two local displays in Manatee and Sarasota counties. The Bradenton Marauders take on the Jupiter Hammerheads on Wednesday at LECOM park in Bradenton, followed by an Independence Day fireworks celebration. Before dusk at 7 PM, the Fireworks 4 Miler is a prelude to the fireworks that follow at Nathan Benderson Park.

But a majority of the fireworks are scheduled for Thursday, following a day of celebrations at parks around the area. A party in Bicentennial Park starts the day on Longboat Key as the Freedom Fest and the half mile Hot Diggity Dog Parade begins at the Suntrust Bank building on Bay Isles Road. Dress your pup in the best red, white and blue for a chance to win prizes in this annual event.

While the Freedom Fest starts at 9 AM, so does the Myakka River Kayak Festival as the two early morning festivals. Rent a canoe or kayak, then eat plenty and sample some of 30 different craft beers while listening to live Folk Americana music at Snook Haven in Venice.

Palmetto will hold its 9th annual Fourth of July Festival in Sutton Park followed by fireworks in Sutton Park, a full day of entertainment, music, food and drink. Rare Earth and Mark Farner’s American Band, two oldies rock favorites precede the fireworks over the Manatee River at the Green Bridge with good viewing from both sides of the river.

Privateers on Anna Maria Island
Break out your swashbuckling attire for the annual Privateers Fourth of July Parade.

If you are on Anna Maria Island Thursday you will undoubtedly find the Privateers Fourth of July Parade. The parade is a lengthy one which starts at Coquina Beach, 10 AM, and finishes on the north end of the island at the city pier. Stick around for the fireworks at the Sandbar Restaurant. The All-American Cookout at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens features food preparations from Michael’s on East, a family dance party, games and other activities before the Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular.

There are fireworks in the area that are not centrally tied to a community festival. The viewing area for the Siesta Key Community Fireworks on the beach opens at 6 PM, and areas around the south jetty in Venice are prime locations for the fireworks there shortly after sunset. The weather forecasts are typical for this time of year as the normal summer pattern spreads across the area, with little rain chances except for an afternoon shower. It shouldn’t dampen any of your plans. But for more local events, check out our updated schedule of events.

Last week I listed a private waterfront residence that is tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac in the secluded Hideaway Bay community at 705 Hideaway Bay Lane. A tropical oasis, this 3BR home offers walls of lush foliage surrounding the property, complemented by pavered walkways, charming gardens, a hammock, plus newer dock and lift on sailboat-deep waters that enhance its seclusion. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy. Enjoy your Independence Day Holiday festivities.


Address List Price Media Slideshow
705 Hideaway Bay Lane $1,495,000 Video Photo Slideshow


Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing


Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5




Why Choose
Roger Pettingell?


  • Over 33 years as a top producing REALTOR® on Longboat Key and in Sarasota.


  • Number 1 single Coldwell Banker agent in all of Florida for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Number 1 Realtor on Longboat Key and Bird Key for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Number 1 Realtor for all Sarasota in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Coldwell Banker Society of Excellence award in 2013, 2014 and 2016
  • Ranked among the top 250 agents in the country for 2014, 2016 and 2017 by REAL Trends as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

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About Roger Pettingell

Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is your Longboat Key, Florida Luxury Real Estate Specialist. Roger provides his real estate expertise to sellers, investors, developers, and buyers in the Sarasota area including Anna Maria, Bird Key, Bradenton Beach, Casey Key, Cortez, Grand Bay, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Marina Bay, Osprey and Siesta Key. Search for homes, luxury homes, condominiums, investment property, development property, and vacant land and lots on the Longboat Key, Florida and the surrounding area.