The Mall at University Town Center (UTC) in Sarasota is be the biggest, finest and newest fashion/shopping in western Florida.

University Town Center is now open

The Mall at UTC is now open

 

This 880,000 square foot regional shopping center at the interchange of I-75 and University Parkway is now OPEN! With over 100 retail and dinning destinations, the two stories of luxury will be anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Dillard’s. Along with high fashion, The Mall at UTC will be bringing some restaurants to Sarasota for the very first time including BRIO Tuscan Grille, The Capital Grille, The Cheesecake Factory, Kona Grill, Seasons 52, and many others.

This new mall is the hype of the town as it is sure to be the new favorite shopping location for Sarasota, surrounding areas, and visitors alike. Updated lists of stores keep making their way onto the web but a few unconfirmed favorites that are word on the street include:
Armani
Gucci
Salvatore Ferragamo
Tiffany’s & Co.
Hugo Boss
Forever 21
Guess
Sony
Urban Outfitters
Lacoste

Others that you can for certain look forward to:
Anthropoligie
Apple
Brooks Brothers
Crate and Barrel
H&M
Lululemon
Mac Cosmetics
Pacific Sunwear
Pottery Barn
Williams-Sonoma

For more information regarding The Mall at University Town Center or anything else that you need to help plan your trip to Sarasota or Siesta Key please feel free to call the friendly staff at Tropical Beach Resorts.

Tropical Beach Resorts
6717 Sarasea Circle
Siesta Key, Fl 34242
www.tropicalbeachresorts.com
800-235-3493

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5 Reasons to Visit Siesta Key & Sarasota

Siesta Key Beach

Great Food & Drinks: Siesta Key has an abundance of amazing restaurants with great food and drinks. The island has everything from delicious, fresh seafood and steak to a more casual vibe offering fish tacos and burgers. The Key is a great place to be whether you are looking for a fancy date night or a casual night out for drinks.

The Weather: There really isn’t a bad time to visit Siesta Key! Visiting during our summer months is a great time to cool off at our famous white sand beach. Enjoy leaving the snow behind and visit in our winter months for a comfortable fall-like feeling. There is always something to do in the area!

Myakka River State Park: This is both a local and visitor favorite. The picturesque Myakka State Park in Sarasota hosts 35 miles of river filled with amazing wildlife. Rent a bike or canoe, go on a boat tour, walk any of the numerous walking trails, visit the bird walk, the tree top canopy walk, restaurant and gift shop! If you need a break from the beach, camping in the state park could be just what you need to unwind! The park is filled with amazing wildlife including alligators, turkey, deer, turtles, and an abundance of different birds.

Ringling: we can’t talk about Sarasota without including the Ringling Brothers! Sarasota has been home to the famous Ringling Brothers Circus since 1927 when John Ringling made this the official winter training quarters. With this comes the Ringling Museum, Ringling College of Art and Design, and the Ca’ d’Zan mansion- meaning “House of John”- a Venetian Gothic style mansion designed and lived in by John Ringling himself. Tours are given daily at both the museum and mansion.

Siesta Key Beach: We are proud to host Siesta Key Beach, which has been rated the #1 beach in the country due to its sparkling Gulf of Mexico waters, soft, white sand, and relaxed vibe. Siesta Key has over 100 acres of Gulf beach, year-round life guards, and is just a short walk away from restaurants, bars, shopping, and Tropical Beach Resorts of course!

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Birds, mammals, reptiles, plants and more at Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Flamingos at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Flamingos at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens

 

Take a trip over to Sarasota Jungle Gardens where you can experience animals, plants, shows, playgrounds and more. This tropical park contains over 150 native and exotic species including birds, primates (yes, there are monkeys here!), small mammals, lizards, snakes, crocodiles, alligators and more. 95% of these animals are rescued by state or federal organizations from inhumane conditions, and the rest are donated. All are kept in large natural habitats. One of the favorites among tourists are the flamingo. Guests from all around the world marvel at these beautiful bright pink creatures who love the visitors. It is not unlikely that these friendly birds will come right up to you. Another much loved species is the fairly new addition to Jungle Gardens, the prairie dogs. These adorable little animals can brighten anyone’s day.

Alligator at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Alligator at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens

While visiting the gardens, make sure to catch the daily bird and reptile shows. Not only are they educational for the kids, but they are also hands on. The after show question and answer sessions include individual interactions with the animals. The family will love getting a picture holding one of these awesome creatures.

Park Hours
Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily.
Closed Christmas and Thanksgiving Day
Daily Admission Rates:*
Adult
$15.99
Senior (Age 62 & up)
$14.99
Military (With ID)
$13.99
Child (Age 4-16)
$10.99
Child (Age 3 & under)
Free
Directions
From I-75, take Exit 213 University Parkway West. Turn left on U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) and head south for 2 miles. Turn right on Myrtle Street and head west 3 blocks to Sarasota Jungle Gardens, turn right on Bay Shore Road. Entrance will be on your left.

 

Feel free to contact the staff at Tropical Beach Resorts with any questions about your visit to Sarasota or Siesta Key, FL.

Tropical Beach Resorts
6717 Sarasea Circle
Siesta Key, Fl 34242
www.tropicalbeachresorts.com
800-235-3493

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Become a Sarasota Bay Explorer for the day

Sarasota Bay Explorers

Sarasota Bay Explorers

Become a Sarasota BayWant your kids to learn more about the ocean than they can by just visiting the beach? Interactive marine science boat trips and safaris are cruising through Sarasota Bay and Lido Park that are sure to get the whole family excited about marine life in Sarasota. There are 3 different eco tours available for you and your family to experience, that are in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

Kayaking through the mangroves with Sarasota Bay Explorers

Kayaking through the mangroves with Sarasota Bay Explorers

Sea life encounter cruise (suitable for all ages):
This 1 hour and 45 minute journey through Sarasota and Roberts Bay will teach you about the ecology, history and folklore of Sarasota. From the boat you will most likely get great views of dolphins and manatees before arriving to an island for a nature walk. A guide will take the group to view pelicans, herons, ibis and egrets in their natural habitat. Also, the kids and adults alike will get hands on time with some critters such as puffer fish, sea horse, stone crabs, cow fish and more though a collection that will be gathered there with a trawl net. The trip will include cold drinks, snacks, and lots of learning!
Reservations are recommended
Check-in is 30 minutes prior to departure.
Cruise Ticket
Adults: $27
Children (4-12): $23
Children 3 and under: Free
Combo Ticket
(Cruise and Aquarium)
Adults: $40
Children (4-12): $33
Children 3 and under: Free

Guided Kayak Tour (6 years old and up):
No kayaking experience? No problem. Before this backwater adventure you will have a quick lesson to teach you all you’ll need to know to paddle through the mangroves and observe the wildlife up close and personal. A naturalist will be there to lead you through the journey in Lido Park and to describe all the plants and animals you will come across.
Kayaks, paddles, life jackets and instruction will all be provided.
Reservations and deposits are required.
Adults: $55
Children: $45

Nature Safari (6 years old and up):
This new tour is really the experience of a life time. Go boating with marine biologists to Lido Key Beach to walk through the beach and trails where you can explore multiple different ecosystems including coastal grasslands, wetlands, uplands and tidal mangrove forests with a vast amount of plants and animals in each that will be shown to you by the guide. Next stop is a sandbar to search for live shells, sea stars, fish, crabs, sand dollars and even sea horses.
Adults: $45
Children (6-12): $40

Tropical Beach Resorts
6717 Sarasea Circle
Siesta Key, Fl 34242
www.tropicalbeachresorts.com
800-235-3493

 

 

 

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Want to mix up your Friday nights this summer in Sarasota with free events?

Friday Nights in Sarasota, FL #SarasotaHotel

Friday Nights in Sarasota, FL #Sarasotahotel

Want to mix up your Friday nights in Sarasota this summer with free events?

 

One Friday a month in the summer the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall holds a FREE outdoor concert called Friday Fest on the Bay that takes place on their bayfront lawn. 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of this gift back to the community for the support Sarasota gives. Although it is widely known to locals, they are not the only ones that get to take advantage of this event. The bayfront lawn becomes filled with both locals and visitors to watch the sunset and take in the free music rain or shine. If bad weather does hit, the festival will be moved to the Grand Foyer.

 

 

 

#VanWezel #SarasotaHotel

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

 

 

On July 25th, August 22th, and September 26th join the free entertainment with a beautiful view. You can enjoy the variety of music from country, jazz, to disco along with food vendors, a full bar, and art displays while relaxing on your lawn chair or dancing by the water. This event can be a great way to start of your weekend visiting the Sarasota or Siesta Key area this summer.

 

 

*All Friday Fest evenings take place from 5 – 9 p.m.*

July 25th : Come Back Alice
Enjoy this bands unique sound called southern gypsy funk.

August 22th: SoulRcoaster
Take a ride with SoulRcoaster through an assortment of music genres including classic rock, pop, jazz, country and disco.

September 26th : Adrian Ray
Listen to this cowboy and his band play a mix between country and classic rock (“Heavy Country”) for the last Friday Fest of the year.

Don’t miss out on experiencing the entertainment, food, full bar and art on display for sale this summer

The Van Wezel: 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL
http://www.vanwezel.org/
For more information, call 941-953-3368 or ask the knowledgeable staff at Tropical Beach Resorts. They are happy to help you in anyway with your visit to Siesta Key, Florida. Let us help you plan the island get-a-way of your dreams!

Tropical Beach Resorts
6717 Sarasea Circle
Sarasota, FL 34242
941-349-3330
Reservations 800-235-3493 –
www.tropicalbeachresorts.com

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Where will you be watching fireworks this Fourth of July?

Siesta Key, Sarasota, FL Fireworks

Siesta Key, Sarasota, FL Fireworks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your answer is somewhere in beautiful Sarasota then you are doing Independence Day right! Sarasota has parades, fireworks and more to help you have as much patriotic fun as possible on this very special day because, well… AMERICA. So get out your best red, white and blue attire and prepare to plan for your day of celebrating freedom!

Start the morning off at Bicentennial Park watching the infamous Annual Freedom Fest Parade at 9 a.m. This brief celebration and parade will also include food, music, and children’s games.

Bicentennial Park: on the corner of Gulf of Mexico Drive and Bay Isles Road, west of Town Hall at 2730 Gulf of Mexico Drive. 941-383-2466

After you spend the rest of your day at the beach you can make your final destination at Tropical Sarasota Fourth of July at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens starting at 6 p.m. Don’t miss out on the barbeque, popcorn and ice cream to prepare you for the much anticipated fireworks. Bring a chair or a blanket so you can see the spectacular Bayfront Fireworks that begins around 9 p.m.

$20 for non-members, free for kids 11 and under. 811 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota

Would you rather watch the Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular blast off over Sarasota Bay for free? Anywhere downtown including Bayfront Park and Island Park will have a great view. The display is privately funded and charity focused, benefiting Suncoast Charities for Children.

Bayfront Park: 2 Marina Plz, Sarasota, FL 34236

Island Park: 1 Marina Plz, Sarasota, FL, US, 34236

There is another fireworks show in Sarasota on the soft white sand of the number one beach in America: Siesta Key. The 24th Annual 4th of July Fireworks Display and Party shoots fireworks off north of the volleyball courts, so the view is great from anywhere south and along Crescent Beach. Ideal weather conditions will bring about 20,000 to 30,000 to the fireworks, which starts at about 9:15 p.m.

Siesta Key Beach: 948 Beach Rd, Siesta Key, FL, US, 34242

 

Book your stay with Tropical Beach Resorts to have a private beach access just steps from your room to watch the Siesta Key 4th of July Fireworks Display this year.

Tropical Beach Resorts

6717 Sarasea Circle

Siesta Key, Fl 34242

www.tropicalbeachresorts.com

800-235-3493

 

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Where will you be spending Happy Hour on Siesta Key?

You are on vacation, right? Then there is no need to wait until the sun goes down to enjoy a few drinks any day of the week on your trip. Plus, who doesn’t love drink and food specials? Here are a few hot spots Siesta Key Village has to offer. Feel free to bar hop and experience all of them! That’s one of the many wonderful qualities of The Village here, there is plenty to see but all in one manageable size strip of the key, so you can explore it all.

Daiquiri Deck

Daiquiri Deck Happy Hour Specials

Daiquiri Deck Happy Hour Specials

Walking up to the bar here is similar to when you were a kid going to the Slurpee machines at the mini mart that had multiple different flavors. You got so excited that you couldn’t even choose. The only difference here is there are many more delicious flavors and these have alcohol… Which I know while enjoying vacation, we are very grateful for! Kick back, relax, and you will probably even have a live band playing for you in this much loved beach bar.

Happy Hour Specials Everyday 3 pm to 7 pm
$8.00 Domestic Pitchers
$9.50 Premium Pitchers
$2.75 Domestic Pints
$3.50 Premium Pints
2 For 1 Small Daiquiris
2 For 1 Well Drinks
5250 Ocean Blvd
(941) 349-8697 www.daiquirideck.com

 

Siesta Key Oyster Bar “SKOB”

Siesta Key Oyster Bar in Siesta Village

Siesta Key Oyster Bar in Siesta Village

Hop right on over next store from the Daiquiri Deck to the best oyster bar in Sarasota. Hang out on the SKOB patio and choose from over 21 beers on tap along with Domestic, Imports, and specialty-bottled beer and order some seafood while embracing the Island atmosphere.

Happy Hour Specials everyday 3 pm to 6 pm
$7 Dozen Oysters on the Half Shell or Lousiana Crawfish
Late Night Happy Hour
Sundays-Thursdays 10-close
Friday-Saturday 11-close
2-for-1 Draft and Well liquors
5238 Ocean Blvd
(941) 346-5443 www.skob.com

 

 

 

 

The Hub Baja-Grill

The Hub Baja Grill in Siesta Key, FL

The Hub Baja Grill in Siesta Key, FL

If you are a Margarita fan you have found your new favorite Siesta Key bar. Just a block down the road from the two mentioned above you will find Sarasota’s voted number one Margarita and almost all day happy hour! It’s five o’clock somewhere, right?

Happy Hour Specials Monday – Friday 11 am to 6 pm & Late Night Happy Hour 10 pm to close

$5 House Margaritas
$4 House Wines
$3 Well Drinks
$2 Domestic Drafts

5148 Ocean Blvd

(941) 349-6800 http://cottageonthekey.wix.com/hubbajagrill

 

These are just a few suggestions. The Village on Siesta Key has much more to offer! Feel free to call or email the helpful staff here at Tropical Beach Resorts with any other questions. We are also located on the key, so we have plenty of local knowledge to assist you in planning your vacation.

 

Tropical Beach Resorts
6717 Sarasea Circle
Siesta Key, Fl 34242
www.tropicalbeachresorts.com
800-235-3493

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You probably know that Sarasota is famous for its beautiful beaches, but did you know it is also famous for its Ringling Circus heritage?

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was a world-renowned show that traveled across the United States, and had its winter headquarters settled in Sarasota. One of the brothers, John Ringling, was a great deal of importance in the modern development in Sarasota. He also bought water front land, which he then built a mansion on and later built a museum to hold him and his wife, Mable’s, collection of Baroque art. It wasn’t long before John became extremely wealthy and bought the American Circus Corporation, thus owning every traveling circus in America. During this time he traveled Europe while adding to his art collection, which is now the couples growing legacy: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art; a unique gem of Sarasota.

 

Ringling Museum of Fine Art in Sarasota, FL

Ringling Museum of Fine Art in Sarasota, FL

Today The Ringling’s beautiful property includes the Museum of Art, Circus Museum, Ca’D’Zan, Historic Asolo Theater and the Bayfront Gardens.

Visiting information-
Open 7 days a week
10:00am – 5:00pm Daily
Thursdays open until 8:00pm; The Museum of Art and & Circus Museum are open after 5:00pm
The Bayfront Gardens are open from 9:30am until 6:00pm

Adult: $25
Senior 65+: $20
Students 18+ w/ID: $5
Child 6-17: $5
Active US Military: $10
Children under 6: No Charge

Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota, FL

Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota, FL

The Circus Museum was created to celebrate the history of the American Circus. When John Ringling made Sarasota the Winter Quarters of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a great deal of the performers moved to the area. Due to this The Ringling Museum of the American Circus was able to document their history with collections of wardrobes and circus memorabilia, which vastly grew over the years. Today the museum is a family favorite that includes performing props, equipment, circus railroad cars, the film The Life and Times of John and Mable Ringling, and even interactive galleries where you can walk the wire, squeeze into a clown car and have your picture take with a faux tiger.

 

Ca'd'Zan in Sarasota, FL

Ca’D’Zan in Sarasota, FL

The Ca’ d’Zan is the breathtaking mansion that was built for John and Mable Ringling. It is open to the public 10am-5pm, but if you would like to delve deeper into the palace there is also a summer tour special now through Labor Day, September 1, 2014 where you will receive a FREE Guided Tour of Ca’ d’Zan first and second floors when you purchase a Ca’ d’Zan Private Places Tour. Tickets are $20.

 

If you would like to see an affordable show that will make the whole family laugh while visiting Sarasota, then be sure to experience the Summer Circus Spectacular at the Historic Asolo Theater. Experience comedy by Chris Allison, award-winning hand-balancer Christian Stoinev and his canine cohort Scooby, the quick-change magical transformation act of Olga & Vladimir Smirnov, the magnificent “Queen of the Air,” Dolly Jacobs, and more!
Performances are Tuesday – Friday @ 11:00am and 2:00pm
Saturdays @ 2:00pm and 5:00pm
Price:
$15 Adults/$12 Children
When:
Jun 17, 2014 – Aug 2, 2014
PLUS admission to the Circus Museum is just an additional $5 with your Summer Circus performance ticket! Tickets can be purchased in the Visitors Pavillion the day of your show.

The staff at Tropical Beach Resorts is happy to answer any questions you might have on The Ringling or your trip to Sarasota.
Tropical Beach Resorts
800-235-3493
6717 Sarasea Circle
Sarasota, Fl 34242
www.tropicalbeachresorts.com

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Siesta Key makes the TripAdvisor Top 10 List for Breathtaking Beaches

Siesta Key makes the Top 10 list for TripAdvisor’s Breathtaking Beaches

Siesta Key takes another top accolade delivered by TripAdvisor for being one of the Top10 Breathtaking Beaches!

Siesta Key Beach makes the Top 10 List for Breathtaking Beaches on TripAdvisor

Siesta Key Beach makes the Top 10 List for Breathtaking Beaches on TripAdvisor

Among the other top destinations include international, tropical hotspots like the Caribbean, Australia, Thailand, Greece.  Siesta Key Public Beach and LaniKai Beach in Hawaii are the only two US destinations to make the list. This is a huge recognition for Siesta Key to receive. This is just one of many different accolades for the Siesta Key Beach to receive just in 2014. It was awarded the #1 Beach by Dr. Beach last year.

The Siesta Key Public Beach was also awarded as a Traveler’s Choice Winner by TripAdvisor in 2014. For more information on Tripadvisor’s traveler reviews on the island, Click here!

If you haven’t visited Siesta Key yet, you are missing out! Call to make your reservation in our breathtaking paradise! Our local, knowledgeable staff at Tropical Beach Resorts is ready to help you find the best accommodation for your traveling pleasure! With 70 updated units, just steps from the pristine, white sands, you are sure to feel comfortable while enjoying the Siesta Key sun and fun!

 

 

 

 

 
Tropical Beach Resorts
6717 Sarasea Circle
Siesta Key, Fl 34242
www.tropicalbeachresorts.com
800-235-3493

 

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What is there to do on World Oceans Day with the kids in Sarasota, FL?

First of all, what is Worlds Oceans Day?

Worlds Oceans Day was invented at the Earth Summit in 1992 and was officially recognized as a holiday for June 8th of every year by the United Nations in 2008. This day was created to honor the Earth’s oceans with all they provides us including seafood, marine life, beauty and even air! The ocean actually produces 70-80% of all the air we breathe, cleans the water we drink, and offers a pharmacopoeia of potential medicines. Even with all the ocean does for us, we humans often overly take advantage of it. With this being a serious problem to the Earth, World Oceans Day has been used to help spread awareness of over-consumption of fish and global pollution by The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network.

How can you celebrate World Oceans Day with the kids while in Sarasota?

http://mote.org/events/details/world-oceans-day-family-festival

World Oceans Day, June 8, 2014

Mote Marine Aquarium is having a World Oceans Day Family Festival a day early the on June 7th, 2014. This day will be Dr. Seuss themed to focus on “the ocean’s deep connection to the human spirit and the boundless inspirational power of our natural world’s greatest resource”. The events will entail games, crafts and marine science learning centering on green practices.

Do not let the family miss out on experiencing this extra special day at one of the best Aquariums in Florida! In fact, Mote Marine’s World Oceans Day festival received the 2010 Big Fish Award for best aquarium World Oceans Day event from Dr. Seuss Enterprises and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Details:
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, June 7
Mote Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota
Cost: Free with admission to Mote Aquarium. Admission is $19.75 for adults, $18.75 for seniors over 65, $14.75 for kids ages 4-12 and free for ages 3 and younger. Mote Members always get in free.

Contact the helpful staff here at Tropical Beach Resorts for any questions you might have about this event or anything else that will help you with your vacation to Sarasota or Siesta Key!
Tropical Beach Resorts
800-235-3493
6717 Sarasea Circle
Sarasota, Fl 34242
www.tropicalbeachresorts.com

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