What’s New in Sarasota?

In Sarasota, Bradenton, and on the surrounding keys, there is always something fun to do while on vacation. However, if you’re a repeat visitor, you’re probably looking to try something different or to embark on a new experience. For help with finding new things to do, look no further than to Sunny Day Guide! Here are some of our new favorite things on the Florida Suncoast.

Safety for Sea Lions

A wonderful new place opened to the public in December of 2018 that promotes the conservation of marine mammals. Sarasota Sea Lion Preserve rescues and treats sea lions that can no longer function in the wild. These adorable flippered friends have a safe place where they can live, play, and even interact with humans. Different experiences are offered including packages for meeting a sea lion and even swimming with one. It’s worth the 35-minute drive west to Myakka City to come in contact with one of these animals. Reservations must be made in advance by going to sarasotasealionpreserve.com.

Batter Up!

Sarasota County just opened the new spring training stadium for the Atlanta Braves. The first game at CoolToday Park in North Port took place on March 24 against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the last game of the Braves’ 2019 training season, but the stadium will host the team for future practice games beginning in 2020.

Art Displays

Historic Spanish Point is featuring a new display in its Visitors Center for free! Come see art in various mediums including paintings, statues, photography and other masterpieces created by local artists. The exhibitions change often so there is always something different to gaze upon. Afterwards, stay and play at the museum to learn about the history of the area. (Spoiler alert: it has nothing to do with the Spanish.) Be sure to add a trip on the Magic to your admission ticket to take a voyage into the Little Sarasota Bay via a replica of the first motorboat for visitors in the early 1900s. It’s a scenic and informative trip into the past.

“Knights” at The Ringling

Gleaming armor from centuries past will be on display at The Ringling. From Feb. 3–April 21, 2019, the Museum of Art will showcase collections from the Stibbert Museum in Florence, Italy. Explore the craftsmanship that went into the armorment knights wore into battle or for jousting events. Even the horses had armor to protect them from weaponry. This exhibit is a free bonus with paid admission to The Ringling’s museums.

Discover Sarasota Tours

A new way to explore Sarasota just launched onto the streets of the city! Step aboard an air-conditioned trolley to see the sights and learn of the area’s fascinating history. Led by guides who are clearly enthusiastic about showing visitors the “must-see” attractions in Sarasota, these tours are the easiest way to discover a lot about the area in a short amount of time. Ghost tours, circus tours and just seeing the city sights are some of the options that are offered.

Life-Saving Research

We’re all sadly aware of the havoc 2018’s red tide inflicted on wildlife in the waters of the Gulf Coast. Well, the Mote Marine Laboratory is actively working with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to do something about it. In addition to researching Karenia brevis—a microscopic algae that creates deadly brevetoxins—the teams are educating the public about the algae’s harmful effects on the environment.  To continue their important work in marine research, the Mote Marine Laboratory recently announced its plans to build a new state-of-the-art educational aquarium in Nathan Benderson Park. Assuming their campaign is a success, Mote’s vision is to have double the amount of research space as their current location, more interactive exhibits, and to bring its work to a larger audience. More is certainly to come on this grand proposal.