Lazy Saturday or any day of the week?  Hungry for lunch with some atmosphere?  Here is a suggestion for good BBQ, fried shrimp or catfish, or just some Old Florida style food.  Head to Venice and the Snook Haven restaurant right on the banks of the Myakka River. The single lane gravel road and the canopy trees are just the right setting to enter this special place.  Live bluegrass, country or rock music entertains you on the outside deck. Visit on a Thursday for turtle races. You never know when an alligator might swim by in the river so be watchful.


To learn about special places to live in the Sarasota area and enjoy all the many adventures, call JOYCE MARIE STEWARD, Real Estate Broker.


Posted on by Joyce Steward | Leave a comment

Summer Dawg Dayz

Leave it to the City of Sarasota to come up with a cute and unusual way to spend a Saturday in the summer.  Dress up your dog in costume – whatever breed or size the dog – and bring them to the park in the center of Main Street.  Let them enjoy the other dogs and especially let them enjoy the attention from many dog lovers that have come there for a parade.  The imagination for the costumes is quite varied and each one brings a smile to your face.  There are lots of “Awww he is so cute” or “How did you ever think of that” comments.  Here’s a sample of some of the cuteness you might have missed.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dine with the Wildlife

One of the most unique restaurants you are sure to enjoy is tucked away on a river front.  Once there, you are oblivious to the world as we know it.  Linger Lodge is a campground resort but with a very pleasurable dining experience.  The food is delicious and some can be a little curious with names such as gator chowder, gator bites and even gator ribs.  Yes, as in alligator.  And what about the snake back onion rings?  Could be interesting….

The seafood is fresh and entrees are wonderfully delicious. A lunch on the screened dining area offers a peaceful view back to nature with majestic oaks and the Braden River.  You may spot an alligator swimming about in the river as I did last visit there.  Be sure to allow time to check out the ‘wildlife’ on the walls and ceiling throughout.  A cozy bar area is a great place to hear the stories behind the resort and the animals.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Just a simple drive home

IMG_1239[1] IMG_1250[1] IMG_1252[1]It was a crisp clear day and an out-of-the-way route home down Lakewood Ranch Boulevard stopped me in my tracks.  On one side of the road was a lake full of white pelicans, wood storks and blue herons swimming back and forth across the water with the anhinga drying their wings on the bank.  On the other side of the road in a different lake were great white herons, roseate spoonbills, little green herons and more blue herons basking in the sun and feverishly feed on something yummy in the water.  It was a glorious site shared with several other drivers that stopped to enjoy and photograph.

There are many conservation and preserve areas in Lakewood Ranch that you never know what exciting wildlife experience you will have but one should always be on the lookout.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Need Christmas Spirit boost?


If you are a little less “Christmasy” about now, a trip to the Grace Baptist Church in Sarasota will pull you out of it very quickly.  The members there volunteer their time every year to install over a million lights in a beautiful display of holiday spirit.  The reds, greens, blues and whites will dazzle and stir you as the music plays on a steady roll.  In addition,there is an inspiring pipe organ offering Christmas music throughout the evening in the sanctuary.  If that doesn’t do it for you, hot chocolate and homemade chocolate chip cookies are served to everyone as you enjoy the music. To visit this wonderful display, travel east on Bee Ridge Road from I-75 about 2.5 miles.  You cannot miss it as the lights dazzle to catch your attention.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Be Ready Next Year

Events for Sarasota – you’ll want to include this one in 2013.  Hunsader Farms on County Road 675 in Bradenton, Florida has something for everyone during their October Pumpkin Festival.  It’s a huge event held on the weekends with people coming from all over the area for the live music, fresh produce, carnival rides, circus performances, craft fair and so much more.  The music is varied with pop, country, rock and roll – and for those that are adventurous there is a corn maze which is a big hit. Also, for the shoppers, a country shop called The Farmer’s Wife has jams, jellies and wonderful creamy ice cream.  The entertainment is non-stop from 9 am to 5 pm.  There’s a big choice of food vendors with everything from turkey legs to fresh grilled corn to kettle corn and more.  It’s a very reasonably priced fun time for the whole family.  Clean healthy country air and lots of enjoyable choices.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Sarasota?


The winter season has begun and there are so many choices for events. The best beach in the U.S. is a good reason to attend the  Siesta Key Crystal Classic Sand Sculpting.  With balmy breezes and 70s temperatures, it’s an ideal time for the artists to come from around the world to create their artistic creations with sand.  It’s interesting to watch their work take shape as they use everyday tools and a large pile of white sand.  A straw to blow stray sand from the crevices, a paint brush and a trowel to create detail, spritzes of water to help work the sand to the shape the artist needs…all this magic produces enjoyable art such as those above.

This is definitely a must-see event.  While you are there, check out the vendors under the tents and, by all means, bring your beach chair and towel and spend some time soaking up the sun and the sand.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Third Friday Downtown

Want an enjoyable evening with artists?  Then Towles Court is what you are looking for.

The little colony of “Old Florida” cottages offers several types of art and dining.  Each colorful cottage offers a different artist or group of artists displaying their creations.  The courtyard with oaks and palms is the spot for live music, varying each month.



Every third Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. is where to be.  The Shoogie Boogie Cafe is a great place to dine.  One of the cottages has been adapted into a quaint spot with intimate dining rooms or the oudoor garden cafe.  An added bonus is the gifts and trinkets on display throughout. You may even find a few hors d’oeuvres and beverages served by the artists in their studios. Want to know more? Check out

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Puppies with a Purpose

In the Sarasota-Bradenton area, there is a marvelous charity called Paws for Patriots. It’s parent organization is Southeastern Guide Dog.  The principal behind this charity is to supply a guide dog to a visually impaired veteran or Veteran Assistance Dog to a veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The dogs are bred and raised at a campus facility in Palmetto, Florida.  This campus is an amazing facility that is spacious, extremely well maintained and very clean.  The puppies have play time when people can come to the campus and hug the puppies.  They are adopted for foster care by loving individuals who follow the direction of the Southeastern Guide Dog organization with training.  After that phase of training is completed they return to the campus for more extensive training and eventually a connection with their new owner and the two complete their training together, usually for a 6 week period.  There is so much more to this worthwhile organization, please go to the link above and learn about the Paws for Patriots.  Helping this organization is one way we can give back to the veterans that gave us so much.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I found Turtle Beach!

And you can too.  Few people that go to Siesta Key know that Turtle Beach exists, but there it is right at the south end of the key.

If you wish to boat, there is a launch area for that.  If you wish to have a picnic, there is an area with tables for that.  If you wish to lounge at a quiet beach on the Gulf of Mexico, there is a public space for that. The beach here at Turtle Beach holds more shells for the collectors.   And if you have an RV or a tent and wish to camp out – yes, there is a place for that.  Sarasota County owns a campground that you can reserve a space to stay overnight  and breathe in those wonderful salt air breezes in the morning. The fisherman can come too because fishing is permitted in Blind Pass Lagoon.  Be sure to check this place out.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment