Stuff to Drive too in Sarasota
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<a href="http://www.lebargetropicalcruises.com/sightseeing.htm">LeBarge Tropical Tours</a>

LeBarge Tropical Tours

There are a number of tours running out of Sarasota, but this one we have personal experience with. LeBarge runs a number of different tours, including a sunset dinner cruise. The tour we went on was the Sightseeing Tour. Hosted by a trained naturalist, the tour is informative as well as beautiful. In two hours, we learned more about Sarasota than some long time visitors know.



Marina Jacks

There are lot's of places to go in Sarasota, but the place we always seem to get back to at least once is Marina Jacks. As the photo suggests, the place is huge. But it is really a collection of different drinking and dining experiences all under one roof. Our favorite is to grab a beer and maybe a bite on the pier side tables. If the weather is a little iffy, or there is a game on TV you must watch, under the roof is an open air bar as well as tables. Or head inside for bar and grill dining on one side, and fine dining on the other. Get bored with that, you can always take a sunset dining cruise which leaves right from the docks in front of the restaurant. Valet parking is also very convenient in the difficult to park Marina area.

<a href="http://marinajacks.com/">Marina Jacks</a>

<a href="http://olearystikibar.com/">O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill</a>

O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill

Located in the Marina area, O'Leary's is a great place to grab a bite for lunch - literally. You head indoors, where you order food at the cash register. They hand you a pager, and you head outside to grab a bayside side table. When the pager goes off, head in to the grill window and grab your meal. Great views of the bay, boats and birds. Little tip, if there is a cold wind coming from the North, head to O'Leary's. The building blocks the wind, but is open to the sunshine.



Ringling Brothers Museum

The Ringling Family played a key role not only in the development of the Circus in America, but also the development of Sarasota and environs. Located on the sprawling grounds donated to the city are separate museums featuring the circus, world class art and the original family residence right on the Bay. Great thing to do, particularly if the weather is iffy.

<a href="http://www.ringling.org/">Ringling Brothers Museum</a>

<a href="http://www.sarasotabay.org/">Sarasota Bay</a>

Sarasota Bay

Sarasota is an area of great diversity, but it is the waterways which is the heart of its character. The skyline of Sarasota is graceful, mostly dominated by high rise apartments. Seeing the area by water is a must see.



Sarasota Bayfront Park

In the same area as Marina Jacks, O'Leary's and LeBarge Cruises, is the Bayfront Park. Stroll out past the docks, boats and yachts, to the very point of the park which features sculptured dolphins dancing in fountain. You almost feel like you have left land and have headed out to sea. The park itself features a plethora of wild life, joggers, playgrounds for the kids and of course beautiful views of Sarasota Bay and environs.

<a href="http://events.heraldtribune.com/sarasota-fl/venues/show/1000327-bayfront-park">Sarasota Bayfront Park</a>

<a href="http://www.sarasotadowntown.com/">Downtown Sarasota</a>

Downtown Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota is a quick drive from the Anchorage, which makes it a great diversion. Art museums, Opera House, great shopping and fine dining all can be found in the heart of Sarasota.



Sarasota Farmers Market

The Sarasota Farmer's Market is open every Saturday morning from 7am to 1pm. Taking up a few blocks and featuring many excellent vendors, a rich selection of fruits, vegetables and other edibles sit side-by-side with unique arts and flower stands.

<a href="http://www.sarasotafarmersmarket.org/">Sarasota Farmers Market</a>

<a href="http://www.sarasotakennelclub.com/">Sarasota Kennel Club</a>

Sarasota Kennel Club

With a name like that you might think this is a place to get a pet. But no, this is the greyhound race track. If you are into racing and gambling, then this is certainly a place for you. If you are like us, then this is a great thing to do if the weather is not too good - cold or wet or both. In season, they have a mantinee' race 6 days a week, and evening races Thursday - Saturday. The dining room on the second floor is a good place to get a relaxing meal and watch the races in a glassed in, heated spot. Booking windows are located right on the same floor behind the restaurant.



Patricks

Patrick's is located right downtown Sarasota. The curved glass wrapping around the triangle shaped corner gives Patrick's an impressive look from the outside, and a very fun and stylish look on the inside. Basically a beef and brew type menu, Patrick's promotes their burgers - and for good reason. They are large and they are tasty.

<a href="http://www.patricksofsarasota.com/">Patricks</a>

<a href="http://www.mattisons.com/city_grille.cfm/">Mattisons City Grille</a>

Mattisons City Grille

If it is a nice night and you feel like enjoying a great meal, great music and a great time, Mattison's City Grille is a great place to go. Located in the center of Downtown Sarasota, Mattison's is outdoor seating only. Every evening they have a live musical act. Excellent selection of beers and wines are on the menu. The crowd is fun and having fun.



New Years Eve

Sarasota's answer to Times Square, the Pineapple Drop is at Midnight every New Years in the heart of Sarasota. A great street fair atmosphere with food, drink and rides for the kids.

<a href="http://www.sarasotafl.org/article/ring-in-the-new-year-happy-2011/">New Years Eve</a>

<a href="http://www.mortonsmarket.com/">Mortons Market</a>

Mortons Market

Located in the Southside District on South Osprey Avenue, Morton's Market is a fantastic gourmet market. Prices and goods will not be confused with the budget markets, that is for sure. The best of everything with an emphasis on the unique is out for display at Morton's. If looking for prepared foods to dine in one evening, or take on a picnic, this is the place to shop.



Phillipi Creek Village Restaurant & Oyster Bar

Phillipi Creek is a great place for casual seafood fare. Fried, broiled, grilled, etc. they have it all. It is a big place, with rustic design. The bar is large and so is the waiting area. Which is good because they place is often very busy and parking is probably the biggest challenge.

<a href="http://creekseafood.com/">Phillipi Creek Village Restaurant & Oyster Bar</a>

<a href="http://tablesrq.com/">The Table Creekside </a>

The Table Creekside

Before our time, apparently the The Table was located in downtown Sarasota. When the economy nose dived, like a lot of restaurants, The Table closed its doors. Well we are happy to report it is back and it is excellent! Can't compare it to the old location, but the new location is terrific - right on Phillipi Creek - in fact in the same parking lot as Phillipi Creek Restaurant. One of the nicest things is that the tables for 2 are really in a prime location along the glass and the creek. The food is excellent and this definitely classifies as fine dining. They have a small, but cool looking bar, as well.

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