Sarasota and Bradenton Florida Real Estate and Community News

April 30, 2023

Hunter for sharks teeth like a pro!


Shark teeth hunting has become an increasingly popular pastime for many beachgoers across the world. It involves scouring the beach for the sharp, triangular teeth that have been shed by sharks while they swim. While it might seem like a strange hobby, hunting for shark teeth can be a fun and educational activity, providing insight into the fascinating world of sharks and their past.

 For those interested in marine biology or paleontology, shark teeth can serve as valuable resources for learning about the evolution and behavior of sharks. By identifying different species of shark teeth, one can gain insight into the diet and living conditions of these ancient predators.

 Additionally, hunting for shark teeth can be a great physical activity. Walking up and down the beach, digging through sand, and sifting through shells and pebbles can be an excellent workout for your arms, legs, and core. It can be a good way to get some fresh air and exercise while taking in the beautiful scenery of the beach.

 Notably, shark teeth hunting can be done with simple equipment, such as a sift or shovel, which can be purchased from our friends at Shark Frenzy in Venice Florida. However, it is important to be mindful of the environment and any potential harm that may come to the beach ecosystem. It is recommended to only collect empty and shed teeth, not those found in the mouths of living sharks. It is also recommended not to damage or disturb any natural habitats in the process.

 In conclusion, shark teeth hunting is a unique and intriguing activity that combines physical exercise with the potential to learn about the fascinating world of sharks. While it is not suitable for everyone, it can be a great hobby for those with an interest in marine biology, paleontology, or simply looking for a fun and educational activity while enjoying the beach. It is important to be mindful of the environment and not cause any harm to the natural ecosystems that we enjoy.

April 30, 2023

The Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota Florida

The Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida, is a beautiful venue that has recently gained great popularity, with various activities and events taking place within its perimeter. The park boasts of a vast 600-acre space that consists of an enormous lake, walking trails, picnic spots, playgrounds, bike rental stations, a rowing facility, and much more.

One of the park's top attractions is its serene lake. The 400-acre lake is the most significant component of the park, which makes it an ideal spot for recreational activities. Fishing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding are just a few of the water-based hobbies that one can engage in. The lake is the training location for Olympic athletes in rowing and paddling, making it a significant landmark for sports enthusiasts.

The park also has extensive walking trails that cater to those looking to take a leisurely stroll or run. The pathways are well-maintained, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience for visitors, even during the hot Florida summers. The park also has picnic areas with tables and grilling stations, which can be reserved for large groups, making it a perfect spot for family gatherings and picnics.

The Nathan Benderson Park is also home to a state-of-the-art rowing facility, which is marked by a 2,000-meter race course, grandstands, and an athlete village. This facility allows world-class athletes to train and host competitions on a grand scale as it is one of the top rowing venues in North America.

Besides the sports amenities, the park also has a vast playground for children to enjoy, with a giant pirate ship and plenty of other exciting features to ensure that the children have a great time.

In conclusion, The Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota Florida is a perfect place for those seeking fun recreational activities and events. From serene boat rides and paddle-boarding to extensive walking trails and picnic areas, the park caters to all interests. Its vast size, well-maintained infrastructure, and unique rowing facility make it a significant landmark in the Sarasota area.


Jan. 10, 2023

Why Sarasota? The Legacy Trail!

Rich- In this installment of Why Sarasota where we take a look at the people, places and things that make Sarasota an amazing place to call home. We're going to speak with Louis, the president of the Friends of the legacy trail to explore this absolutely wonderful amenity that's provided for free here in Sarasota to all residents and visitors. Come check it out.

Louis- My name is Louis Kosiba and I'm President of Friends of the Legacy Trail. The Friends of the Legacy Trail is a not for profit organization. We're all volunteers and our role is really to support the county in maintaining and improving the trail. So the legacy trail is an 18 mile trail going from the Venice train depot to Payne Park in downtown Sarasota. It is a county park and it was recently extended. That's something we worked on in 2018. The voters passed a referendum to raise money to extend the trail and to build additional amenities. So it's really a very dynamic trail. And we happen to be at the Ashton Trailhead. So typically, our trail heads are going to have ample parking. They're going to have flush toilet restrooms which for cyclists is kind of important. At this one, we also have a beautiful playground. So we want the trail heads to be an excellent access to the trail, but also provide a park experience for the community. So a couple other things about the trail. It's paved. There are very few street crossings. It's a former railroad right of way. So it goes through some very picturesque areas like Oscar Scherer State Park, and for major streets like US 41, Laurel, and soon Clark are going to have bridges built across those busy streets so that will improve safety for the trail users and will also improve traffic flow for people using the many roads here in Sarasota County.

Rich- Perfect. It looks like Osprey is the newest Trailhead that's being built right now that's down the street from my house. Is that the last of the trailheads it's going to be built or other additional ones that are in the stages of things built out.

Louis- Well thank you for asking. The Osprey Trailhead had been there for many years but it was really an underdeveloped facility. There was no restroom. There was just gravel parking. And so what we're going to have is really a very extensive, beautiful trailhead with parking with the restroom, but also grounds that people are going to be able to use. Oh by the way, right next to it is this little wetland area where it's season you're going to see baby alligators. You gotta stay away from the mother. But you will have baby alligators.

Rich- I have seen a warning sign at the trailhead there. So this is fantastic. I think it's a great asset to the community and I appreciate your time here today.

Louis-  Before the trail was extended we had about 200,000 trail users a year. Currently it's over 650,000. We have counters along the trail and we use a sophisticated algorithm to make sure that we don't over count for undercount trail users. So it's really a very popular trail. And we have a lot of people from out of town that use it. So you'll have people who come from the north you'll have people who come actually from Europe, they know about Sarasota County, they know about the beaches, but not everyone can be on the beach every day of their vacation. So there are places like the legacy trail and we're trying to connect to other areas won't be technically the trail but we'll have connectors to Bobby Jones golf club which is going to have a new nature park there. Birders are going to be very interested in that. And then we also have a fantastic facility called Nathan Benderson Park. Nathan Benderson Park is a premier rowing facility nationwide. And back in July of this year, we just had international dragon boat races with teams from Thailand and teams from Europe, and teams from South America. So Sarasota County has a lot to offer.

Rich- Yes, it does. Well, thank you so much. This is fantastic. I appreciate your time and I look forward to seeing you on the trail!

Louis- Thank you.

Rich- So I want to thank Louis and friends of the legacy trail for keeping up the effort thank the county of Sarasota for making this amenity available to all residents and visitors here. If you'd like to learn more, there's going to be a link in the description below on how you can learn more about the trail how you can get involved with a friend's legacy trail if you'd like and just more about some of the amenities that are available along and so I encourage you to get on your bike get on your rollerblades scooter


Jan. 7, 2023

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Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 24, 2022

The Ringling Circus Museum and Ca'D'Zan visit and tour

John Ringling started the process of calling Sarasota Florida his winter home in 1924 and completed the process shortly before Christmas 1926 at a cost of $1.5million! The property consists of over 50 acres on the Sarasota Bay and houses his home and museum. I strongly suggest making an entire day to visit and learn more about the man behind the greatest show on earth and the fortune that he amassed in his lifetime. It is truly and inspirational story!


From their site:

Ca' d'Zan

The home of the circus king and his wife, a couple from humble mid-western origins, Ca’ d’Zan stands as a testament to the American Dream of the Roaring Twenties. Inspired by and designed in the Venetian Gothic style of the palazzos that ring the Venice canals, this dazzling palatial mansion perfectly captures the splendor and romance of the Italy the Ringlings so loved. To honor its owner, they named it Ca’ d’Zan, “House of John”, in the dialect of their beloved Venice.

The History of Ca' d'Zan

The Inspiration

The Ringlings had been traveling throughout Europe for nearly 25 years, acquiring circus acts and art. They both greatly admired the architectural style of Venice’s Ducal Palace, Ca’ d’Oro and the Grunwald Hotel. When they decided to build a home in Sarasota, Florida, where they had been winter residents for a number of years, The Ringlings took these palazzi as their inspiration – and Sarasota Bay as their Grand Canal.

Building Begins

The Ringlings hired the famous New York architect Dwight James Baum, to design the home and Owen Burns to build it. However, Mable, who had kept an oilskin portfolio filled with postcards, sketches and photos she had collected during her travels, oversaw every aspect of the construction, from the mixing of the terra cotta to the glazing of the tiles. Indeed, so great was her involvement that the original architectural plans called it “The Residence of Mrs. John Ringling.”

One of America’s wealthiest couples, the Ringlings started building Ca’ d’Zan in 1924 and completed it shortly before Christmas in 1926 at the then princely sum of $1.5 million. Sadly, their happiness there was not to last, for only three years after its completion, Mable died from Addison’s disease and the complications of diabetes.

The House

The 36,000 square-foot house sits on a waterfront site 1,000 feet long and 3,000 feet deep. It is five stories tall and has a full basement. Constructed from terra cotta “T” blocks, concrete and brick, it is covered with stucco and terra cotta and embellished with glazed tile. Decorative tile medallions, balustrades and ornamental cresting in soft red, yellow, green, blue and ivory highlight the pink patina of the stucco and terra cotta exterior.

Originally roofed with 16th century Spanish tiles imported by the builder, the bayfront terrace was made from domestic and imported marble. Ringling kept his yacht, Zalophus, docked there and often entertained celebrities of the Roaring Twenties, including comedian Will Rogers and New York Mayor Jimmy Walker. Today, the terrace hosts weddings, corporate parties and a number of popular gatherings like Yoga on the Terrace.

Inside, the main floor includes living, entertaining and dining areas. The Ringlings private bedrooms as well as five guest bedrooms are found on the second floor along with the servants’ quarters. On the third floor there is a game room and bath. On the fourth floor there is a great beamed guest room and bath with windows on all four sides. At the property’s pinnacle is an 82-foot-high tower with an open-air landing and a high-domed ceiling. Legend has it that John enjoyed taking guests up to the tower to show them his land holdings in Sarasota, which then extended nearly as far as the eye could see.

The Furnishings

Ca’ d’Zan is every bit as opulent inside as it is outside. Paintings by Zanchi, Sorine, and Devouge hang on the walls. Displayed in the small butler’s pantry is a collection of silver that was used during formal events. A much larger pantry has a custom-made German silver sink that provided a soft, forgiving surface to protect the fine crystal, china and earthenware from breakage. The cabinetry throughout the pantry displays the extensive collection of china collected during the Ringlings’ world travels. The dining table accommodates 22 chairs. A crystal chandelier from the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel hangs in the living room above a black and white marble tiled floor. There is even an Aeolian organ with 2,289 pipes installed behind curtains in a chamber on the second floor.


When John Ringling died in December of 1936 he bequeathed his estate to the people of Florida, but legal wrangling with his creditors went on for a decade until the property finally passed unencumbered to the state. During this time Ca’ d’Zan remained closed. Finally, in 1946 it was reopened to the public.

But the care that older buildings require was neglected due to a lack of funds, and by the late 90’s, Ca’ d’Zan was in such a state of disrepair it was used as the location for Miss Havisham’s decrepit mansion in the 1996 Hollywood remake of Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations.

…and Restoration

That same year the mansion was closed so that a comprehensive restoration and conservation project could be undertaken. Much of the marble terrace had to be replaced, balusters and railings along the waterfront were repaired and replaced, as were many of the decorative terracotta ornaments reminiscent of Venice. Even a new roof was installed.

Archival photos were used to determine the original look of each room. Paint samples were used to match the original colors of the walls. Original paintings and furnishings were retrieved from storage and restored. The ceiling murals by Willy Pogany, the set decorator of the Zeigfeld Follies, were restored by a group of international conservators. Original moldings were cleaned and repainted. Carpets and rugs were conserved or replaced. Even clothing from the Ringlings’ wardrobe was returned to closets and drawers. 

Finally completed in 2002, at a cost of $15 million, ten times that of the original house, Ca’ d’Zan was happily returned to its former glory and reopened as the grandest mansion on Florida’s Suncoast. Today it stands as one of America’s architectural treasures.

In 2004 and 2005, the home’s original gate house was restored as the entrance of the new Visitor Pavilion, making the welcome visitors receive more authentic and true to the original design.

In 2019 the 70 by 36 foot white marble swimming pool on the front lawn of Ca’ d’Zan was restored as a reflecting pool. The Spanish style tiles were restored, along with the urns and marble pieces. The focal point of the pool, the beautiful statue of Venus, was restored to her former place on the crescent-shaped bench. The original sky-blue ceramic tiles on the pool’s floor were replicated and installed on a new floor, which is higher than the original, making the water only a few inches deep. The Reflecting Pool was funded by The Bolger Foundation and named in honor of Ron McCarty, who served as Keeper of Ca' d'Zan from 2002-2018.


Nov. 24, 2022

Sarasota Medieval Fair 2022

Have you visited the Sarasota Medieval Fair? If not, you are missing out!

Games, food, shows, crafts, and medieval themed happenings everywhere. I strongly suggest checking out the human chess match and the bird shows!



From their site:

An Historical Journey!

The Sarasota Medieval Fair has been an annual tradition since 2005 and our amazing team is proud to live and work in our Southwest Florida community.  We are proud to be organizing such a fantastic family-centered event and we are honored by the huge amount of community support we have received in such a short time.

We hope you will join us in November at our new location, the Woods of Mallaranny, for a historical journey back in time!  We encourage all to interact with our cast of characters, ask questions,and participate in the grandeur of color, sound, taste, and festivities as you stroll through our medieval village!

So many of us on our team cherish the festival as more than just an event. The Sarasota Medieval Fair brings together local artisans, performers, and vendors, and serves as a fundraiser to multiple non-profit organizations in pursuit of their missions. It’s a creative forum for learning about the history of the Medieval era through a wide-range of family friendly activities, and an occasion through which our community has made lasting friendships and lifelong memories. A huge thank you to all our participants and guests who have supported us over the years to help us make our festival as wonderful as it is.

What is the Sarasota Medieval Fair?

The Sarasota Medieval Fair is an rustic cultural and ceremonial reenactment celebrating the history of our European ancestral forefathers including traditional farming technique demonstrations, baking/cooking demonstrations with local ingredients (cheese turning, smoked turkey legs, roasted nuts, roasted corn, produce, jams, cakes, etc), equestrian tournaments and performances, animal rides, blacksmithing demonstrations, educational history lessons, a petting zoo, children’s activities such as a hay maze, coloring/painting, storytelling, coat of arms/family heritage research activities, archery contests, and an assortment of local crafters who sell traditional/historic based items sourced locally.  There are also demonstrations for cotton and wool clothe weaving, basket weaving, pottery, metal/coin stamping, glass blowing, leather making, wood carving, art/sculpture making, traditional jewelry making, and candle making.

Be our Guest as we orchestrate this historical adventure back in time!


Nov. 14, 2022

Siesta Key Crystal Classic 2022!

Siesta Key Crystal Classic 2022! Amazing sand castles and sculptures on Siesta Key Beach!

Welcome to the Siesta Key Crystal Classic 2022! Check out these talented people creating and crafting amazing sand castles and sculptures on Siesta Key Beach!

For more info:


Posted in Sarasota Florida
Nov. 10, 2022

Why Sarasota? Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary

In this episode of Why Sarasota we visit a fantastic community resource

The Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary!

A bit about the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary from their site:

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is an ever-growing large-animal rescue in eastern Sarasota County. Founded in 1987 by Kay Rosaire, the non-profit sanctuary is a permanent home for dozens of exotic animals, offers placement for animals in need, and works to educate the public about animal care and conservation.

Big Cat Habitat is a labour of love, with all income generated by admission going to the feeding and care of the animals. We always need more help.

Kay began rescuing big cats in 1987. Big Cat Habitat became a non-profit in 2005 and became a full sanctuary with the goal of rescuing exotic cats and other native and exotic wildlife in need of a permanent home. Big Cat Habitat provides education to the public to foster appreciation of the animals and impart the importance of habitat preservation. Our commitment is for their lifetime, which is more than 20 years – double their normal life span in the wild.

There are 3 large indoor/outdoor housing complexes with adjoining exercise habitats, and we are continuing to expand. Each habitat has a swimming pool, toys and palm trees to provide the emotional enrichment that maintains optimal mental and physical health.

Mission Statement: Our mission is to provide a safe, loving and permanent home for exotic and domestic animals in need, and to educate our guests on the importance of species preservation to ensure the survival of these magnificent animals for future generations. We are firmly committed to keeping alive the Human-Animal connection in our world and in our community.


Posted in Sarasota Florida
Oct. 28, 2022

Why Sarasota?

Hey there! Coming at you today from Venice and another beautiful sunny day here in Southwest Florida.

One of the questions we get from people that are looking to locate here permanently, find a vacation home here, and sometimes they just call us to ask our opinion on their vacation plans is

Why Sarasota?

That question is easy to answer in a quick sentence, the beaches are great, the food's fantastic the weather's perfect, the taxes are wonderful.

What we find in our group is that we all have a different way of answering that question. For that, what we want to do is to take you on a journey to start to highlight Why Sarasota. There's so much that is in this community, the people, the places, the things that make it amazing and we don't think it's something that can be easily answered in one quick video. We want to take you want to journey and really answer the question, Why Sarasota?

What makes this a great place to be whether it's a vacation destination, whether you want to be here part of the year or you want to make this your full time residence. We want to encourage you to come along and investigate that with us to take a look at the cultural amenities, the types of people that are here, the food that exists, the beaches, all that encompasses this community.

So we invite you to come and do that with us. We think it's going to be a fantastic journey to take you on.



Posted in Market Updates
July 31, 2017

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Posted in Market Updates