Florida is a great place to explore nature and the beaches. In fact, millions of visitors each year travel to Florida for their beach vacations or to go to theme parks. In many ways, Sarasota is a hidden Florida gem because of its pristine beaches and views of the Gulf of Mexico. Here are three of the best beaches in and around Sarasota, Florida, that are worth exploring, whether you’re a local or planning a fun trip.
Casey Key is a favorite for Sarasota locals and visitors because of the fact that it’s an 18-acre full-service park with clean picnic areas, concession stands, and lifeguards. The 10 mile paved Legacy Trail is perfect for biking or running. Nearby, you can explore the Historic Spanish Point.
On Casey Key, you’ll find Nokomis Beach Park at 100 Casey Key Road in Nokomis, Florida. The public areas of Nokomis Beach Park were built in the 1950s, and it is one of the oldest public beaches. Here, you’ll be able to a playground, restrooms, and a fishing pier.
Sport utility vehicles offer a wide range of capabilities, which make them great for trips where you need to tow something with you. Many of Jeep’s vehicles have the ability to tow trailers through a range of different road conditions. Towing is about more than just the towing capacity and the size of your engine. Jeep also focuses on making towing safer and more reliable. If you tow trailers on a regular basis, then here are three excellent Jeep models for towing.
The Jeep Compass is a compact SUV that is designed to handle different road conditions more effectively. Because of this, it is a more capable towing vehicle. The Jeep Compass has a redesigned suspension system that helps it keep all four tires on the ground at all times in uneven terrain. That way, it stays stable and able to control its trailer more effectively. Combined with Jeep’s 4×4 drive technology, the Jeep Compass is able to keep control over payloads which helps you keep from getting stuck or rolling over.
On those nights that you just don’t feel like cooking, nothing beats really great Chinese takeout. You can get a variety of dishes and feed just one or get enough for a crowd. If you are in the Sarasota area, there are a number of different places that offer excellent takeout. Here are some of the best restaurants for Chinese.
Golden Star Chinese Food Carryout
Golden Star on North Tamiami Trail has just a few seats in the restaurant and a huge carryout service. They serve delicious food, and they make it quick for those who need to grab and go. They have a large menu with a variety of choices including crab rangoon that they fill with real crab and fantastic pork fried rice. The portions at Golden Star are huge, and the prices are very reasonable: If you get the General Tso’s, it is more than enough for two people, and it costs under $10. You should also make sure to try the mini custard egg tarts. These taste almost like something you could get in Hong Kong.
The Dodge Durango is a three-row crossover SUV with room for up to seven passengers. It features an aggressive exterior style and comes equipped with an abundance of features. For 2017, Dodge replaced the Limited trim with a new GT model, and changed the features of some of the other trims. Here are some tips for decoding the trim levels of the 2017 Dodge Durango.
The Durango SXT is the base trim and comes with 18-inch alloy wheels. This model has a load-leveling rear suspension, and it comes with keyless entry and ignition. There are automatic headlights along with fog lights, and you’ll also get heated mirrors. Inside, there is cloth upholstery on the seats, and the second row features a 60/40 split, while the third row has a 50/50 split. It has three-zone climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. For technology, the SXT comes standard with a 5-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, along with an auxiliary jack and a USB port, and it is the only trim that offers two rows of seating instead of three.
The new GT trim adds 20-inch wheels and LED running lights. It also has additional safety features including rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The exterior of the GT has body-colored trim, dual exhaust tips, and an auto-dimming mirror on the driver’s side. Inside, you’ll find a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and a six-way adjustable front passenger seat. The GT also adds a 115-volt power outlet, a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen display, and voice controls.
Whether you’re a kid or an adult, a day spent with animals is a good day. Whether you want to interact with them or just observe from a distance, there are several places in the Sarasota area where you can see animals. Here are some of the best animal encounters.
Big Cat Habitat
Big Cat Habitat is a sanctuary for exotic cats and other wildlife. This facility provides education and demonstrations to the public along with guided tours. They perform their training techniques in front of the public to show them how their positive reinforcement works with the animals. Their daily shows include Parrots in Paradise and Big Cat Encounter, and they both take place inside their air-conditioned building. Big Cat Habitat is home to more than 140 animals including tigers, ligers, lions, bears, and monkeys. There is also a petting zoo with goats, chickens, and emus for the kids to see and feed.
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is a working aquarium where you can see scientific research as it happens. This aquarium has two large touch tanks and a 135,000-gallon shark habitat. Explore Mote and visit their sea turtles named Hang Tough, Harry, and Shelley, and two manatees named Hugh and Buffett. Tickets to the aquarium are available online, or you can buy them at the door. They open at 10 a.m. every day, and they stay open 365 days a year. You’ll find the Mote Aquarium on Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota.
We spend a lot of time in our vehicles, and no matter what we do, they tend to take on odors. Whether you eat in your car on the way to work or you carry your gym bag in the backseat, the air inside your car can get funky. Here are some of the most common causes of car odors and how you can get rid of them to bring back that new car smell.
If you sit down in your car and smell french fries, it is probably because there are french fries or something similar hidden somewhere. Check around the car to see if you can find any dropped or forgotten food and remove it. Make sure to look in all the pockets, under the seats, and down in the cracks of the seats. Even food left in bags will start to smell if left in a car for too long.
A Musty Odor
If you turn on the air conditioner and smell a musty odor, there is a possibility that mold or mildew is forming in the air-conditioning system. This happens because moisture collects in the evaporator and when it gets stuck, mold starts to form. To prevent this, run the fan at the highest speed with the air conditioning off. This will help to dry out the evaporator. A musty odor in the car could also be the result of wet carpeting and upholstery. Thoroughly clean the carpets and open up the windows to let them dry out completely before shutting the car up for the night. This should help get the smell out.
Breakfast and lunch often get the most attention when it comes to morning meals, but brunch is another great alternative. On days when you don’t need to get up early but still want breakfast or lunch, you can always get brunch. Bradenton has a lot of great Brunch places. If you are routinely getting up later than standard breakfast places allow, here’s where to get the best brunch in Bradenton.
Sage Biscuit Café
The Sage Biscuit Café, located on Cortez Road, is one of the highest rated brunch spots in the city. You can get a variety of breakfast, brunch, and lunch options here. The service is highly rated and the customers have great things to say about the food. The Mimosas are a customer favorite, as is the Banana French Toast. When you stop in, you also have to try the biscuits — customers rave about them! Like many other brunch places, Sage Biscuit Cafe is open from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Blue Jasper Restaurant & Catering
Blue Jasper, also located on Cortez Road, is highly rated as well. Most of the customers know that the Blue Jasper is not well known since it is a small hole in the wall, but the food is so delicious that they don’t want more people to know about it. It is one of those great places that the locals will want to keep to themselves. It’s a café that makes gourmet food, and the food is highly rated on presentation and flavor. The quiche is one of the most requested items on the menu, and customers suggest getting it with any one of Blue Jasper’s wide selection of wines. Blue Jasper is open every day except Monday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
In the early days of car ownership, people tended to do their own car repairs. As long as you knew what you were doing, or wanted to spend the time to learn it in great detail, you could do the majority of your own auto maintenance work. It was usually cheaper and could be really enjoyable if you liked working on cars.
Much has changed in the past few decades of car development, however, and cars have become extremely complex machines. While it is possible to do many of the simpler repairs yourself, there are quite a few that you will want to get professional help on. If your car needs repairs and you’re thinking about doing them yourself, here are 3 car repair tasks to leave to the pros.
Critical Drive Systems
While it can be tempting to try to improve or maintain the performance of your car, working on any of your car’s critical drive systems may be risky. This includes engines, transmissions, cooling systems, and steering systems. All of these systems are essential to driving your vehicle safely. A mistake in any of them could cause an accident or disable your vehicle. There are some changes that you can do yourself, such as replacing coolant or cleaning components, but making important changes should be left to professionals who understand how your entire car works.
Florida has a ton of places to shop. There are plenty of malls and standalone stores that offer anything that you could want. In Sarasota, you can find a great variety of chains and single stores that offer exactly what you are looking for, and some that may even offer some surprises along the way. Here are some popular shopping areas in Sarasota.
Sarasota Farmer’s Market
The Sarasota Farmer’s Market is a great place to shop for food items. All of the products sold at the market are locally grown and sourced, ensuring that they are always sold fresh. The vendors at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market are mostly local operations like Grove Ladder Farm which produces specialty livestock in Sarasota. You can find a wide variety of food items including allergen-free, gluten-free, and homemade goods. Aside from the food options, you can find small housewares and kitschy items on sale by different vendors. Even if you don’t buy anything, the Sarasota Farmer’s Market is a great way to spend the day. The wide variety of products is so enjoyable to browse through, and the people-watching is always fun!
Jeeps are the ultimate sport utility vehicles, and they continue to dominate the SUV market. That’s because they are designed to function in rough situations while remaining comfortable and safe. Given the history of Jeep, it’s not surprising that they perform so well in multiple markets. In 2017, Jeep made more improvements to the Jeep Cherokee. If you are looking for a new SUV, here’s a buyer’s guide to the 2017 Jeep Cherokee.
The 2017 Jeep Cherokee has eight separate trim packages, each focusing on a different level and type of enhancement. Some focus on offering more luxury options while others focus on increasing the Cherokee’s capabilities. All of the trim packages come with more than enough features to fit anyone’s needs. There are five basic color options and more on the higher levels. There are also customizable wheel options on most of the trim packages as well. The materials used in the interior design vary among the packages, but they are all designed to withstand continued use over long periods. That way, the inside of your Cherokee will look like new without the need for extensive maintenance.