Phillippi Farmhouse Market: A real Farmer’s Market dedicated to Florida Agriculture and Related Products. Prepared foods, Produce, Specialty items are available from various vendors. Free parking and Free music, Great food and produce. Location: Phillippi Estates Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail. Information: 941-861-5000
Palm Avenue hosts a monthly Art Walk on the First Friday of each month. Browse the fine art galleries, jewelers, and restaurants of Palm Avenue while enjoying dancing, live music, and refreshments. A mainstay in Sarasota for many years, monthly special events make this a must-do. Location: Palm Avenue in Downtown Sarasota.
Towles Court Arts District Held once a month, take an evening stroll through an array of galleries, studios, jewelry boutiques, antique stores, gift shops and outdoor cafes. Location: Historic Towles Court Artist Colony, 1938 Adams Lane (2 Blocks South of Ringling Blvd. just west of Hwy 301) Information: 941-955-4546
Go to the movies for just a couple of bucks. Sarasota’s Parkway 8 Cinema makes it possible to enjoy a movie for just two bucks.
Great Happy Hour: Most downtown eateries offer early bird specials and happy hours from 4:30 to at least 6 p.m.
Fun in the Park: Island Park at 1 Marina Plaza, offers lots of great, free things…a sprawling lawn, beautiful blue water, a fountain & play yard for children, sun, shade, massive and inventive sculptures, bench swings for watching a sunset and big, big boats.
Free Mondays at the museum The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art opens its doors free of charge every Monday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Every Saturday, rain or shine… Sarasota’s Downtown Farmers’ Market Pick-out fresh produce, food, flowers, plants and crafts while having fun and making new friends. Location: Main St. and Lemon Ave. Sarasota
Polo: Every Sunday afternoon, the public is invited to bring out their picnic baskets and enjoy the thrill of the “fastest game on four feet”. With pony and Clydesdale wagon rides, exciting action, tailgating, half-time entertainment, divot stomping and plenty of fresh air, Sunday polo is the perfect place for a family outing; dogs are even welcome on a leash. (December-April)
Sculling: Competitive rowing is one of the hottest amateur sports in the country and Sarasota County’s Nathan Benderson Park is quickly gaining a stellar reputation in the rowing community.
Celery Fields: Grab the field guide and binoculars as this is the place where migratory visitors invade our resident bird population. The open fields are conducive for kites, bikes and a little bit of… climbing and the ponds afford plenty of fishing and wildlife identification.
Big Cat Habitat: Come see our big cats, bears and more at the Habitat’s (January-February) Extravaganza. If visiting on other dates, go to their website for free viewing of training sessions and animal visitation.
Red Bug Slough: If you have toddlers, even one in a stroller, this shady park is a relaxing respite from sand and sun. The preserve has several miles of hiking trails, a small playground, picnic shelters and a fishing pier.
Oscar Scherer State Park Fifteen miles of trails through natural habitat provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and wildlife viewing. This park is one of the best places to see our Florida scrub-jay, a threatened species found only in Florida. Canoeists and kayakers will enjoy paddling along South Creek, a black-water stream that eventually flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Rentals are also available.
Legacy Trail: Totaling more than 18 miles in length the trail runs from just south of the City of Sarasota to Caspersen Beach following the former CSX railroad corridor. The trail provides 15 areas to stop, rest, learn about its history or just enjoy the natural beauty. The rest stops include 7 trailheads which offer access points with free parking. The trailheads are located at Potter Park in Sarasota, Bay Street Park and Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, Laurel Park in Laurel, Nokomis Park in Nokomis, Patriots Park and the historic Venice Train Depot in Venice. In addition to the trailheads, users will find eight rest station areas that offer restroom faculties and places to sit and relax. Take the bike bridge over Tamiami Trail to the Venetian Waterway Park featuring a 10 mile trail along both banks of the City of Venice’s Intracoastal Waterway. Joggers, bikers and walkers with four legged friends can travel all the way to Caspersen Beach.