Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Old Florida Roadtrip: Bayfront Park, Baypoint Marina: Sarasota

Are you ready for a road trip? Well buckle up! We're going on a roadtrip of the Florida gulf coast, what I like to call the "Old Florida" roadtrip. I want to rediscover those old tourist dives that were once the hotspots back in the 40's- 60's. These were THE places to vacation before "the mouse" moved into Florida. Today these hotspots are charming little seaside villages, small on crowds but big on fun and adventure. So come along with me and my family as we explore Old Florida (and vow NOT to eat at a single chain restaurant along the way....its all local!)

Yesterday I shared with you an adorable boutique, POSH,  in the shopping district of downtown Sarasota. Today, we cross the street and do the one MUST DO thing that any local will recommend.
Watch the sunset!
I don't know what makes Sarasota sunsets so magical....but they always deliver. Locals and tourist alike plan their supper times around the sunset. Everyone gathers for a spot on the water to watch. Think Key West attitude. In Sarasota, they do it too. It's a spiritual experience.

We decided to take it in at the Bayfront Park & Marina.

Situated on the shore of Sarasota Bay, the park and marina boasts scenic views of the bay and the Sarasota skyline. This convenient gateway to Sarasota Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway provides a wide array of water activities. Bring your own canoe or kayak for an enjoyable afternoon watching the abundant marine life. Rent or charter a boat to explore the surrounding islands and waterways or test your fishing skills. A paved walkway throughout the park is perfect for walking, bicycling or rollerblading as you take in the moored boats dotting the bay. Downtown Sarasota and Selby Botanical Gardens are both within walking distance.

The marina is a wonderful and lively place. It's surrounded by restaurants, sculptural art, a playground, and enormous banyan trees (more on those banyans in a minute).

Its the perfect place to watch the ships come in...

Most folks bring their friends, their family, their dogs (there were lots of dogs!), a blanket, their supper and a bottle of wine or cooler of drinks and make it a real moment. Much like a July forth tailgate, as onlookers might wait for a firework show.

Even the animals and birds seem to pause to take in the show.

While Big Daddy and I parked ourselves on an available bench, overlooking the harbor.....

Sister Sledge and JSmooth climbed the banyans.

And they played in the banyans, as if they were "tree houses".

The banyan is next to the live oak as my favorite. Their roots grown from the tree limbs down. It gives them the appearance of having dreadlocks. Very appropriate in the tropics, wouldn't you say?

Look! It's almost time......


I can almost hear the angels sing as the sun sunk into the water. Being at the beach, along the water....it truly IS my church. I feel God's presence everywhere.

Bayfront Park & Marina, Sarasota, Florida
One Marina Plaza, Sarasota Florida 34236

Tomorrow we are back on the road...and headed further south. So join me for more of our Old Florida roadtrip, won't you?

For more stops along the way of our family trip to "Old Florida", click here.


Mari said...

What gorgeous shots! The sunset bathed everything is glorious light. I love the banyan trees too!

Jane said...

This is a beautiful park. We stopped there on our mini-getaway during the Christmas holidays. I was so disappointed that the Artist Colony was not open for visitors that day...I'll be heading back down for a tour one of these days.
Jane (artfully graced)

Pam said...

Sarasota is my favorite place in Florida. My parents used to go there every winter and my Uncle and Grandfather both had houses on Longboat Key. I haven't been there in years, but you're making me want to go back real soon (like tomorrow). Enjoy your trip.

Prairie Patch said...

Love your pics of Florida. They're making me miss living there...though I sure don't miss the humidity and cockroaches so big you can saddle 'em up and ride 'em down Main Street! (shudder)

Tracy All Thumbs Crafts