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Ed Taaffe
REALTOR®
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August
15

National Thrift Shop Day: Score Secondhand Treasures at These Shops

Thrift Shops in Sarasota

August 17th is an important day: National Thrift Shop Day! Thrift shops are a great place to discover secondhand treasures. You can save money, donate to a good cause, and give new life to things that might otherwise have been discarded. The best part of this holiday, of course, is celebrating by visiting a thrift shop. Our real estate agents recommend checking out one of these stores in the Sarasota area.

  • World's Attic Thrift Shop: 700 N. Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34232
    World's Attic Thrift Shop
    has a great selection of men's and women's clothing. They also have an area with accessories, such as purses and jewelry, along with a few aisles of home goods. This would be a great place to pick up a lamp, some wall hangings, or holiday decor.

    This thrift shop is open Monday - Saturday. If you have something to donate, stop by Tuesday - Friday between 10 am and 3 pm.

  • Sunshine Thrift Store: 3611 1st Street E #230, Bradenton, FL 34208
    If you happen to be looking at Bradenton homes for sale on National Thrift Shop Day, stop by Sunshine Thrift Store. This is a large thrift store with more than 30,000 items in stock at any given time. Their clothing selection is very well organized by gender, clothing type, and colors, so you should have an easy time finding what you need.

    Sunshine Thrift Shop also has a good selection of housewares, linens, and furniture. They're open 7 days a week.

  • Fabulous Finds Thrift Shop: 1038 North Orange Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34323
    Fabulous Finds Thrift Shop is a good place to look for secondhand designer clothing, unique furnishings, and boutique accessories. They get a lot of items from theater groups and hobbyists, setting them apart from the average thrift store.

    Fabulous Finds is open Monday - Saturday, and they're near plenty of Sarasota homes for sale. So, you may want to do a little house hunting while you're in the area.

  • Habitat for Humanity Sarasota ReStore: 2095 17th St., Sarasota, FL 34234
    Habitat for Humanity Sarasota ReStore is a thrift shop that sells donated items to the public. The proceeds go to support the work of Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds homes for those in need.

    This is a huge thrift store with more than 17,500 square feet of retail space. In addition to the typical clothing and accessories, you'll find light fixtures, appliances, patio furniture, and tools. This is a great place to shop when trying to equip a new home or decorate your yard and garden.

  • SPARCC Treasure Chest: 1426 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34236
    SPARCC Treasure Chest is a thrift store whose proceeds are used to fund SPARCC programs. SPARCC, or Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, exists to provide victims of rape and other crimes with safety, resources, and assistance.

    At this thrift store, you'll find terrific deals on clothing. They have special 50% off deals every day. This is a great place to shop for jewelry as they have lots of trendy, stylish items at affordable prices. Sometimes, you'll even stumble upon a nice dresser, small appliance, lamp, or decorative dish set.

Whether you stop by one or several of these thrift stores on National Thrift Shop Day, we hope you find some awesome treasures. Maybe your visit will inspire you to make thrifting a more regular part of your routine. If you're new to the Sarasota area and looking for a place to call home, contact us. Our friendly agents can help you navigate the local housing market.

April
25

Sarasota: One of the Best Places to Visit in Florida

Sarasota

Lauded by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 place in Florida to visit, Sarasota truly stands out. Whether you're looking for Sarasota homes for sale or at neighboring Bradenton homes for sale, you'll have the chance to enjoy all the amenities this sun-soaked community offers. Our real estate agents are excited to show you more.

Replete with natural wonders and fascinating Florida history, Sarasota excels in more ways than one. As you explore, you'll encounter striking architecture, some of the best restaurants on the East Coast, and more than a few examples of the things that make Florida unique.

With sister city Bradenton adjoining it – just 25 minutes away from downtown – residents of either one can boast they are right in the midst of two of Florida's most desirable cities. Miles of quality beach and Florida vacation getaways like Longboat Key and Holmes Beach await.

Let's take a closer look at some of the unusual attractions in Sarasota:

  • The John N. & Mable B. Ringling Museum of Art – 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34243
    The John N. & Mable B. Ringling Museum of Art is located on the former estate of circus magnate John Ringling. Established in 1927 and including 21 galleries of art and antiquities from Europe, Asia, and the Americas, it spans 66 acres. In addition to the Museum of Art, you can visit the Circus Museum commemorating the history of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

  • Siesta Key – See Website for Location Details
    Siesta Key may just be the #1 place in Florida to enjoy the soft sand and glittering surf of the Gulf of Mexico. This barrier island is known for Siesta Key Public Beach, where the fine white sand is cool all year around. It also features a number of secluded spots where you might spot a dolphin.

  • Marie Selby Botanical Gardens – 1534 Mound Street, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Marie Selby Botanical Gardens features two campuses giving visitors the opportunity to see an array of air plants from all over the world. The facilities are deeply connected with the traditional land stewardship of Florida's native people and are open all year long except on Christmas Day.

  • Mote Marine Lab & Florida Research Aquarium – 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Mote Marine Lab & Florida Research Aquarium is one of the crown jewels of Florida's tireless efforts to uncover secrets of the Atlantic. Researchers here nurse injured marine life back to health while gathering data that helps humans and the environment. You may have the chance to see manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and many others. The rays are among the most popular at the aquarium.

  • Save Our Seabirds1708 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236
    While you're learning more about the unique Florida ecosystem at Mote Marine Laboratory, you can take a two-minute walk to Save Our Seabirds, an animal hospital that rescues, rehabilitates, and then releases ill and injured Florida wildlife, especially birds. You can visit with and learn about the birds, including the facility's permanent residents, with the help of experienced scientists and caregivers.

  • Saint Armands Circle – See Website for Location Details
    Located on the island of Saint Armands Key, just across from Sarasota, Saint Armands Circle is a lively shopping, dining, and entertainment district. Under the watchful eye of the famous John Ringling statue, you can discover more than 130 boutiques and specialty shops, including many you won't find anywhere else. Connected to the mainland by two bridges, it's a world away from the hustle and bustle.

Inspired to turn your visit to Sarasota into a move? Contact us to find out more or get started.

March
21

Spend the Day at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

The Bishop Museum

Science fiction movies are fun, but they can't beat the excitement and wonder of exploring real-life stories. Our real estate agents love learning about our world at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, just minutes from Bradenton homes for sale.

About the Bishop

Opened in 1947, the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is the largest natural history museum on the Gold Coast. Baby Snoots, a West Indian manatee affectionately known as Snooty, arrived in 1949 and became the museum's signature attraction.

Thanks to the museum's popularity, it moved into its current larger home in 1966. In time, exhibits grew to include the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat along with a replica of Barcarrota's Plaza, a 16th-century Spanish town.

In 2001, an electrical fire destroyed the planetarium and seriously damaged the museum's educational wing and administrative areas. Happily, in September 2002, the museum reopened bigger and better than ever. Throughout the years, renovations and additions have continued, maintaining the museum's status as a must-see destination.

The Bishop Planetarium

After being leveled by the 2001 fire, the Bishop Planetarium reopened in June 2005 as the top astronomy facility on the Gold Coast, not far from Sarasota homes for sale. The state-of-the-art projection system includes cutting-edge software that's 1.5 times brighter than the previous system, with four times the contrast.

Shows like "Passport to the Universe," narrated by Tom Hanks, take viewers on a virtual trip through the cosmos. Get a fascinating look at what lies beyond our own solar system and watch phenomenons like black holes. In addition, the planetarium can recreate a dark sky natural environment, allowing for the display of live on-air events as they happen.

Mosaic Backyard Universe

As part of the goal to make science fun and accessible for all, the museum created its latest addition, the Mosaic Backyard Universe. A one-time parking lot has been transformed into a backyard where kids can learn in a familiar setting. Features include a Tree House Platform, Cardboard Rocket, fossil-filled Dig Pit, Science Shed, and freshwater pond that's home to a number of turtles.

Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat

Sadly, Snooty passed away in 2017 at the age of 69. But his legacy lives on in the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat, a 60,000-gallon pool where sick and injured manatees can prepare for their return to the wild. The habitat is designed to resemble a cypress spring so they can once again become accustomed to the food and environment they'll encounter. Above- and below-water viewing areas give visitors a chance to watch the manatees regain their strength and abilities.

Other Exhibits of Interest

  • The first floor holds permanent exhibits showcasing artifacts representing the earliest animal and human inhabitants of the Gulf Coast. Displays include "Land of Change" and "Fabulous Florida Seas."

  • The second floor is separated into two areas. River Heritage Hall focuses on how maritime history impacts community economics and culture, while Environmental Hall takes a sweeping look at the past, present, and future of Florida's environment.

  • Gallery spaces are home to a changing selection of temporary exhibits, including traveling exhibitions and special-interest ones developed by the museum's curators.

Information and Hours

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is located at 201 10th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34205. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $23.95 for adults, $17.95 for ages 12-17, $14.95 for ages 5-11, and $8.95 for ages 2-4.

Life in Bradenton and Sarasota goes beyond fun in the sun. If you're selling or buying a home, contact us at Wagner Realty for cheerful and experienced assistance.

February
17

Wagner Realty Settles In At New Office On Main Street In Lakewood Ranch

Lakewood Ranch, FL  February 17, 2022 – Wagner Realty has opened their doors for business at the new office located in the center of Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. The prominent store-front location is designed to create a first-class visitor experience.  

"We are very excited about our new upscale office in the heart of Lakewood Ranch," said David Eckel, Broker/Owner of Wagner Realty. "The office features collaborative workspaces as well as technology-enabled conference rooms for customer meetings. This space reflects the innovative culture of Wagner Realty. The décor, furnishings and unique design elements of the space collectively make the new office a comfortable place for agents to work, and for customers to enjoy the home buying and selling experience in a modern, comfortable and welcoming environment." 

"We have been working hard for months on this new location and office layout and are so thrilled to see everything come to fruition," said Diane Lee, REALTOR® and Lakewood Ranch Branch Manager. "Our high visibility store-front location at the entrance to Lakewood Ranch Main Street is a nice addition to the wide variety of restaurants and eateries, boutique shops, and other local businesses. We are excited to be in the center of the community events that Lakewood Ranch Main Street is well known for."

Wagner Realty is local, veteran owned and operated and recognizes that small businesses are the heart and soul of the community. They promote and support bringing awareness to small locally owned businesses.

Wagner Realty has deep roots on the Gulf Coast of Florida. For more than eighty years, over two hundred highly trained professional REALTORS® in eight offices have formed long-term strategic relationships with the community, lenders, title companies, and home inspectors. Wagner Realty provides a full suite of real estate services including Residential Sales, Commercial Sales & Leasing, Business Brokerage, Relocation Services, and Property Management/Rentals.

As a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LRE), Wagner Realty has a global presence in more than fifty countries and can provide a full range of services to people moving to or from anywhere in the world.

Wagner Realty has been awarded #1 Favorite Real Estate Agency for a consecutive twenty-three years in a row.

For more information, contact Natalie Russell, Operations Manager at 941.727.2800 or via email at WagnerRealty@tampabay.rr.com.

September
13

Galleries to Explore on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island

Walking through an art gallery is a lovely way to connect with your feelings and expand your understanding of the world. So often, artists create images that evoke emotions that words can't express.

Luckily, Anna Maria Island has some lovely art galleries where talented, local artists showcase their pieces. Plan a trip to one (or more) of these galleries.  

  • Cove Gallery & Boutique: 104 Bridge St., Bradenton, FL  34217
    Just minutes away from many Bradenton Beach homes for sale, this unique gallery features ocean-inspired artwork. At Cove Gallery & Boutique, you'll find shadowboxes made from beach wood, paintings of waves, and beachy drawings. Admire the artwork, or purchase some for your own home.

    Cheryl Gonsalves's work is featured at Cove. She uses watercolors to create paintings of the ocean and seaside villages. Another prominent artist is Corin Finnie, who creates dreamscapes and murals. Guests also love admiring the sea glass creations of Avery Jackson.

  • Artists' Guild of Anna Maria Island: 5414 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    The Artists' Guild is a nonprofit organization that seeks to unite and support artists in the region. More than 150 artists belong to the guild, and most display their art here from time to time. Inside, you'll see everything from photography to pottery to pastel creations.

    This gallery is not far from many Holmes Beach homes for sale. They also offer online art classes, and each month, a different artist's work is featured in their front windows. 
    Gallery West
  • Island Gallery West: 5368 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Island Gallery West was created in 1990 by a small group of artists, and it has grown since then. In 2021, it was named Anna Maria Island's Favorite Art Gallery by Sun. Here, you'll find all sorts of art, from mosaics to jewelry. There are also plenty of paintings and drawings, of course. The gallery is always staffed by an artist who can answer your questions and show you around.

    Island Gallery West features a different artist each month, so you can stop by often and always see something new. 

  • The Studio At Gulf & Pine: 10101 Gulf Dr., Anna Maria, FL 34216
    The Studio at Gulf & Pine is the perfect place to stop after a long day of looking at Anna Maria Island homes for sale. This large indoor gallery was founded by Rhea Chiles, the former First Lady of Florida.

    At The Studio, you can view and purchase artwork, or you can take classes. They offer community classes on painting, drawing, and even culinary arts throughout the year. This gallery is very involved in local preservation and historical efforts.

  • Anna Maria Island Art League: P.O. Box 1243, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    The Anna Maria Island Art League is not a traditional gallery but an organization created to support local and emerging artists through various festivals and events throughout the year. Their Springfest takes place annually on the beach and is a great place to view and purchase locally made art. If you become a member, you can enjoy discounts on classes and workshops.

Whether you're a lifelong artist or someone just learning to appreciate the beauty in art, these Anna Maria Island art galleries are well worth exploring. If you're new to the island and looking for a place to live, contact us. Our real estate agents can help guide you in your home search and help you find the right property for your art collection.

August
16

Benefits of Shopping Local

Shop Local Sarasota

It's impossible to overstate the importance of shopping locally. It buoys the local economy and supports your friends' and neighbors' businesses. It also puts a wealth of unique goods at your fingertips that you might otherwise have missed... plus, it's fun!

Our real estate agents have always believed in the power of shopping locally here in the Bradenton and Sarasota areas, and we have some truly incredible local businesses at our doorstep. Here's how you can support them. 

What Happens When You Shop Local

On a smaller scale—a local scale—you really can make a difference. Here's how it benefits your community when you shop local:

  • Your money stays local. Studies show that for every $100 you spend at a local business, $68 stays within the community, nurturing the local economy.

  • You help the environment. Yes, shopping local is greener! It creates less waste by reducing the need for packaging and transportation of the goods you buy. 

  • You create local jobs. Local businesses are more likely to offer quality, high-paying jobs in your community. 

  • You embrace what makes your community unique. Chances are, your local businesses offer something special and different from what the big national chains do. Shopping local encourages and supports that unique community identity. 

Shopping Local in Bradenton & Sarasota

There are many fantastic locally owned businesses in our area. When planning your next local shopping trip, be sure to check out these businesses:

  • The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime - 821 Apricot Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237
    You never know what you'll find at The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime! This unique indoor indie market hosts some of the coolest local vendors offering handmade jewelry, clothing, arts, crafts, and more. Plus, it's just minutes from these Sarasota homes for sale

  • Calusa Brewing - 5701 Derek Ave, Sarasota, FL 34233
    We're blessed with a lot of awesome local breweries here in Sarasota, but Calusa Brewing is definitely one of our favorites. They create an incredible selection of craft beers and ales, ranging from traditional styles to creative experiments, and serve them up in their lively taproom space. 

  • Banyan Coffee Co. - 216 22nd St W, Bradenton, FL 34205
    A great local coffee roaster in Bradenton, Banyan Coffee Co. will ship coffee beans right to your door (delivery is free in Bradenton), or you can sample a cup from their mobile coffee cart. Their coffee is also served and sold at dozens of local establishments, including Cremesh Coffee & Bakery, a stone's throw from many Bradenton homes for sale

  • Bookstore 1 - 12 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
    There's no substitute for the unique selection and helpful staff at a great local bookstore like Sarasota's Bookstore 1. They're committed to bringing great books to the community, and the newest arrivals are always listed on their website. 

  • Artisan Cheese Co. - 550 Central Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Looking for a local cheese shop in which artisan cheesemakers craft specialty cheeses using the milk from Florida cows, goats, and sheep? Look no farther than Artisan Cheese Co. 

  • Village of the Arts - 1227 12th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205
    There's no better place to find local art than Village of the Arts, an eclectic community of cottages that house art galleries, studios, and shops run by local artists. They host an art walk the first Friday night and Saturday afternoon of every month

Our team is dedicated to supporting our local businesses in the Bradenton and Sarasota areas, and we can't wait to help your find your Florida dream home! Contact us today.

July
5

Sarasota County's Centennial Celebration

Sarasota County Centennial

Happy birthday, Sarasota County! We love calling this area home and are excited to celebrate this occasion. Sarasota County was formed on July 1, 1921, but the celebration is lasting all month long, and then some! Join our real estate agents in celebrating the centennial with these exciting events and activities taking place around Sarasota homes for sale.

  • Venice Museum & Archives - 351 Nassau St. S., Venice, FL 34285
    What was Sarasota like during its formative years? Take a visual tour with Celebrating a Centennial: The Origins of Sarasota, a current exhibit at Venice Museum & Archives. Photos tell the story of Sarasota's origin and development, along with the specific role played by Venice. While you're there, check out the other exhibits that give a fascinating glimpse of architecture, nature, and other features of the area. Celebrating a Centennial runs through January 12, 2022. Hours are 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and admission is free.

  • The Ringmaster's Wife - Senior Friendship Centers, 1888 Brother Geenen Way, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Sarasota served as the home of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The Ringmaster's Wife turns the spotlight on Mable Ringling, wife of John Ringling. An authentically dressed presenter will share Mable's first-hand perspective behind the scenes of "The Greatest Show on Earth." Light refreshments will be served and former mayors of Sarasota will be on hand for a meet-and-greet. The presentation takes place on Thursday, October 21, from 9 a.m. - noon. Admission is free.

  • Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Sale - Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Rd., Sarasota, FL 34241
    Sarasota's natural beauty is one of the biggest draws for residents and visitors. Beautify your own home with purchases at the Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Sale. The annual event is held by the IFAS Extension of the University of Florida to promote sustainable gardening. This year's event will have some added flair as part of the centennial celebration. Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 9, from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Admission is free.

  • Sarasota County Auto Tours 
    Learn the backstory behind Sarasota's top landmarks with Sarasota County Auto Tours. This new app, offered by the Sarasota County Centennial Committee, provides travel directions and audio narration that allow you to explore these points of interest at your own pace. Eight tours are available, each with its own specific focus. Areas covered include Bayfront, Downtown, and 5 Points, and Phillippi. Download the free app at Google Play for Android or the App Store for iPhone. 

  • Avenue of Art - Burns Square, 543 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    What does Sarasota mean to you? In conjunction with the centennial, founders of the iconic Chalk Festival are sponsoring the Avenue of Art. Participants of all ages are filling the sidewalks in Burns Square with paintings that depict their vision of Sarasota County. Stroll the area any time of day or night to view these personal works of art. A QR code that displays information about the artist and the painting is being added to each completed work. The project will remain on display until September 30, prior to the Chalk Festival's "Spirited Festivities" over Halloween weekend. Budding artists can apply on the website. Donations of $10 for adults and $5 for students are welcome.

Ready to be a part of Sarasota County's next 100 years? If you're buying or selling a home, contact us at Wagner Realty to get started.

June
14

Upcoming 5Ks in the Sarasota & Bradenton Area

Sarasota 5k

The Sarasota and Bradenton area has an active running community, so you'll find plenty of local events that will help you meet others and get some exercise. Even if you're a beginner, you'll have time to train and get ready to hit local parks and other local running trails. Our real estate agents suggest checking out the following 5Ks and other races coming up this year near Sarasota and Bradenton homes for sale:

  • Lauren's Rainbow 5K – November 7, 2021 – Celery Fields, 6893 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34240  
    The Annual Lauren's Rainbow 5K features several additional races, including a 5-mile run and a 1-mile trail run. In addition to running the race, you'll be able to gather with other members of the community as the races finish on a hilltop. Food and music will add to the fun, which takes place in Celery Park, a beautiful area located just around the corner from Sarasota homes for sale

  • North Port Firecracker 5K – July 3, 2021 – North Port High School, 6400 W. Price Blvd., North Port, FL 34291
    Dress up in your most patriotic costume and celebrate July 4th by running the North Port Firecracker 5K. Run near North Port homes for sale, the race gives awards to the top 3 male and female finishers in a variety of age groups. The awards ceremony is held immediately after the last runner finishes, and each finisher will be given an American flag. 

  • Venice Half Marathon & 5K – October 9, 2021 – Maxine Barritt Park, 1800 Harbor Dr. S., Venice, FL 34285  
    The Venice Half Marathon & 5K takes you on a beautiful course with nearly constant water views along the Intracoastal Waterway, near Venice homes for sale. It features 12 bridge crossings, and you'll also run a large section of the Legacy Trail, which extends from Sarasota to Venice. The trail is mostly shaded, which is a huge benefit in sunny Florida. So runners can stay cool, the race has an early 6:30 a.m. start, which lets you see the sunrise while you're on the course.

  • Florida Turkey Trot – November 25, 2021 – Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, FL 34235   
    Start your Thanksgiving and get a fun tradition started by burning off some pre-meal calories at the Florida Turkey Trot. It features some shorter dashes for kids 12 and under, so the event is great for the whole family. The 5K race is run at Nathan Benderson Park, a 600-acre park that has a 400-acre artificial lake. Proceeds benefit The Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates, a non-profit that manages Nathan Benderson Park.

  • Subway Trick or Trot 5K Trail Run – October 16, 2021 – Ann Dever Park, 6961 San Casa Dr., Englewood, FL 34224  
    Costumes are encouraged at the Subway Trick or Trot 5K Trail Run, a scholarship fundraising race hosted by Zoomers Southwest Florida Running & Triathlon Club. Proceeds will also go to the Suncoast Humane Society and middle and high school athletics. The race is run on a 5K trail through Ann Dever Park, near Englewood homes for sale. Awards will be given for best costume as well as the top 3 male and female finishers in each age group.

Contact us to learn more about the many recreational opportunities in the Sarasota and Bradenton area. And if you're ready to buy or sell a home, our experienced real estate agents are ready to provide professional, personalized service. 

June
7

Terms to Know When Looking at Gated Communities

Gated Community Terms

Gated communities offer various advantages that many residents find appealing, but the gated community lifestyle isn't necessarily a perfect fit for every buyer. If you've been shopping for homes and thinking about purchasing a home in a gated community, then it's important to understand exactly what to expect from your neighborhood. Our real estate agents are here to help you make an informed decision, with our guide to terms you need to know when considering a gated community.

  1. Homeowner's Association (HOA)
    When you live in a gated community, the homeowner's association (HOA) is the organization that makes rules, enforces them, and ensures that the community is properly maintained. Each HOA is typically made up of members of the community, including an elected board of governors who are responsible for enforcing HOA regulations. Often, in addition, there may be a Management Company to oversee properties. The rules created by an HOA can be restrictive in terms of the architecture of homes, home maintenance, and the ways in which you're allowed to modify your property. However, those rules also play an important role in keeping the neighborhood looking great, keeping home values high, and making sure that everything from streets to landscaping are well-maintained.

  2. HOA Fees
    When you purchase a home in a gated community, you will be required to join that community's HOA. Joining an HOA means paying HOA fees, which can be paid monthly, quarterly, or annually. While the details vary depending on the community, HOA fees typically cover a wide range of service related to security, as well as maintaining your property and the community as a whole. In addition to maintenance, HOA fees often cover community amenities like pools, recreation areas, parking, and landscaping that help keep the community beautiful. If you're considering a home in a gated community, make sure you research exactly how much HOA fees will cost and what those fees will cover, and when they are paid.

  3. CDD Fees
    An alternative to HOAs, some communities have Community Development District (CDD) fees. These fees go toward paying for infrastructure and amenities within the community. Unlike HOA fees, CDD fees are paid as part of your local property tax, and CDD payments are tax-deductible. The cost of community improvements are put into a bond, and part of CDD payments go toward paying that bond off over time. Communities with CDD fees may have HOA's and HOA fees.

  4. Condominium Fees
    If you choose to live in a condominium community, then you can expect to pay condo fees. Just like with the other types of fees we have mentioned, condo fees go toward maintaining the condominium complex and covering the cost of any amenities offered by the complex. These fees can vary significantly based on the community and the size of your condo, so be sure to research them carefully. Some condominiums also have HOA and/or CDD fees.

  5. Recreation Fees
    Recreation fees can cover a wide range of amenities, activities, and services, with the exact details depending on the rules of each community. All members of the community pay the recreation fee, whether they use a specific amenity or not. The good news is that if your community requires recreation fees, then you may in most cases be able to use all of those amenities without any additional charge beyond the fee.

Whether you're shopping for Bradenton homes for sale in a gated community or a more traditional neighborhood, our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Southwest Florida communities.

April
12

About the Circus Ring of Fame

Circus Ring of Fame

If you've been exploring Sarasota homes for sale, you'll quickly learn about the area's unique connection to the circus industry. The city of Sarasota was the winter home of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus and continues to carry on a rich circus tradition today.

Our real estate agents love sharing the details of the Sarasota area's history and helping new residents connect with the local culture. One of our favorite area attractions is the Circus Ring of Fame.

A Long-Standing Circus Tradition

In celebration of the area's long-standing circus heritage, the Circus Ring of Fame was constructed in St. Armand's Circle in 1987. Each year, the public nominates new potential Circus Ring of Fame inductees. They're voted on by former inductees and members of the global Circus Advisory Council. The winners are honored with a bronze wagon wheel plaque, which is added to the Circus Ring of Fame. 

2021 Inductions

The 2021 winners include "Galaxy Girl" Tina Winn, "King of the Highwire" Nik Wallenda, and circus performers George Carden, Willie Edelson, and the Richter/Casselley Families. 

These new inductees will join 150 other members that have been honored each year since the Circus Ring of Fame began. While the induction ceremony is typically scheduled for mid-January each year, the 2021 ceremony has been rescheduled for the first quarter of 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Visit the Circus Ring of Fame

The Circus Ring of Fame is located in the central park in St. Armands Circle. Visitors are free to explore the area, taking time to read the plaques and appreciate these many circus greats. Some of the plaques you'll find there include circus greats P.T. Barnum, John Ringling, and the astounding aerialists, the Flying Wallendas.

Other circus greats that were previously inducted include famous clowns Emmett Kelley and Lou Jacobs, renowned animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams, and aerialist Lillian Wetzel.

While you're in the area, you may want to expand the circus experience even further by visiting the Circus Museum, located on the grounds of Sarasota's Ringling Museum. The Ca' d'Zan, which is the stunning former home of circus titan John Ringling and his wife Mable, is also worth a visit. You won't want to miss these exciting and unique local destinations. 

About St. Armands Circle 

There's a lot to love about visiting St. Armand's Circle! Not only is it home to the Circus Ring of Fame, but it's also one of Sarasota's best places to enjoy an exceptional array of restaurants, retail shops, salons and spas, and more. The area is known for its upscale yet casual elegance. It's the ideal place to shop for jewelry, clothing, artwork, home decor, and more. 

While you're exploring St. Armands Circle, plan to pay a visit to The Columbia Restaurant. This popular hotspot has been a staple in Sarasota since 1959 and is now the city's oldest restaurant.

Other well-known dining establishments in St. Armands circle include Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar, Speaks Clam Bar, ChaCha Coconuts, and the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar. Each offers a unique experience.

Find Your Dream Home Today! 

If you've been looking at Sarasota or Bradenton homes for sale, the experts at Wagner Realty are here to help. Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started! 

April
5

Where to Get Farm-Fresh Produce in Sarasota and Manatee Counties

Produce Stands in Bradenton

Spring is in the air, and that can only mean one thing... farm-fresh produce isn't far behind! It's something we look forward to every year. 

Of course, here in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, the growing season never really ends. But the arrival of spring still has our real estate agents excited to hit these local farmers markets in search of the freshest crops of spring. For fresh produce this season, be sure to stop by these local markets. 

  1. Oneco Farmers Market - 5108 15th St E Unit 501, Bradenton, FL 34203
    The Oneco Farmers Market is one of those places where you truly never know what you might find. Sure there are the staples, like fresh fruits and vegetables from some of Florida's finest growers. But this market also hosts vendors of all kinds, offering an astonishing variety of handmade crafts and unique foods. Located in a former big-box store just minutes from these Bradenton homes for sale, the Oneco Farmers Market is a true gem in Manatee County. 

  2. Sarasota Farmers Market - 1517 State St Suite 103, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Established in 1979, the Sarasota Farmers Market is one of the oldest markets in the area and one of the most reliable. They're open every Saturday, rain or shine, from 7 am to 1 pm. The market also features a dizzying array of vendors, offering everything from farm-fresh produce and house plants to artisan baked goods and organic skincare products. It's truly an incredible place to find just about anything, and it's mere footsteps from many Sarasota homes for sale.

  3. Detwiler's Farmer's Market - 2881 Clark Rd, Sarasota, FL 34231
    Fresh, healthy food is never hard to come by at Detwiler's Farmer's Market. Not only do they have prime fruits and vegetables of every kind imaginable, but also a full-service butcher shop and seafood shop, an Amish-style deli, natural groceries, a wellness department, and a farmhouse bakery. There's even an old-fashioned ice cream shop that serves amazing local ice cream. Or stop by their other locations, including one near Palmetto homes for sale. 

  4. Siesta Key Farmers Market - 5104 Ocean Blvd, Siesta Key, FL 34242
    Open in Siesta Village every Sunday from 8 am until 12 pm, the Siesta Key Farmers Market is always a fun place to browse in search of something special. You'll find homemade candles, local honey, specialty teas and coffees, paintings and crafts from local artists, handmade jewelry, and artisan soaps. And of course, you can always count on local farmers to bring in their latest crops. The offerings here often change with the seasons, so you'll want to visit Siesta Key Farmers Market again and again. 

  5. Bradenton Farmers Market - 400 12th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205
    The Downtown Bradenton Farmers Market is a favorite destination for Bradenton locals. Open every Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm on Old Main Street, it's more than just a place to buy fresh fruits and veggies. It's a social event, a central gathering place, and a crucial part of the community. The market offers live entertainment, games and activities, amazing food, and of course, an astonishing array of vendors selling everything under the sun. 

We just love springtime in Florida! Contact us to learn more about life in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, and be sure to ask our team about finding your Florida dream home today.

March
15

6 Tips for Avoiding Vacation Rental Scams

Vacation RentalThe Internet has made planning vacations a breeze. But along with the ease of booking travel and accommodation on the web, we've also seen a rise in the incidence of vacation scams. 

It's all too easy to be fooled into thinking that a great bargain for a beautiful vacation property you're trying to rent is for real, when in fact, you've been had by scammers who have taken your money and run with it.

Here are 6 tips that can help you avoid vacation rental scams while you're booking your dream vacation.

Avoiding Vacation Rental Scams

  1. Too Good to be True?
    You know the old truism: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers try to reel you in with deeply discounted vacation rentals. All too often, these properties do not exist, or if they do, they belong to someone else. Be sure to check pricing on similar rental properties in the same location to see if the price is realistic.

  2. Does the Property Really Exist?
    As mentioned earlier, it's possible the property doesn't even exist. The scammer may have grabbed a picture from another website or is using an address from another property. You can try to verify that the property exists with a couple of Google searches.

  3. Research the Owner
    Research the owner's name, address of the property, and images. Check out the owner of the rental website, as well as the individual who pays property taxes. Beware if you are asked to pay rent in full by wire transfer.

  4. Pay Attention to the URL
    Scammers want you to move from the vacation rental website's communication system to a fake website. Check the URL. 

  5. Use a Credit Card
    Scammers commonly ask for payment by Western Union, cash, check, or wire transfer before arrival. This is a great way to lose your money, without the possibility of recovery. A wire transfer allows the scammer to move funds to another bank account, close the first one, and take your money and run.

  6. Rent a Property with a Traceable History
    Best bet: rent from someone you know, or go by recommendation from a trusted source. Renting from professional management companies that specialize in vacation apartments and/or cottages is another good bet. Looking for a short-term rental on Florida's Gulf Coast? That's our specialty! We believe planning a vacation should be a breeze, that's why our team is here to help you find a short-term or long-term rental perfect for your family! We've been a top choice for Gulf Coast house and condo rentals for years.

Our experienced team is here to help with your vacation planning! With 8 offices, our team has plenty of Florida properties to choose from for your vacation. Plus, our Anna Maria Island office has been open for over 80 years! 

Or if you're looking to move here permanently, our team can show you Bradenton and Sarasota homes for saleContact us today to book your trip in the Florida sunshine.

November
20

Gift Local This Year: Gift Ideas from Local Restaurants

Gift Local RestaurantsWith the holiday season right around the corner, our real estate agents encourage you to join our shop small initiative. Small businesses are the backbone of local economies. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for these shops — owned and operated by our friends and neighbors — to succeed.

No matter who is on your Holiday gift list, we humbly ask that you join us in support of our community by purchasing gift cards from these local restaurants.

  • For those who appreciate a great meal...

    This holiday season show those you love you care by treating them to an amazing meal. There are countless delicious dining spots near our Anna Maria homes for sale, including Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus and Anna Maria Oyster Bar. Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus pairs German and Austrian dishes with imported beers to deliver a truly vunderba experience, while Anna Maria Oyster Bar serves up the freshest seafood around.

    If you're searching for a restaurant gift card closer to our Sarasota homes for sale, we recommend purchasing from Knick's Tavern & Grill or Smoqehouse


  • For those who love the ambiance of a cozy café…

    Sometimes, the best gift you can give someone is an opportunity to relax where the warm beach breezes blow. For those local to the Anna Maria Island area and around our Holmes Beach homes for sale, Anna Maria Island Beach Café, Minnie's Beach Café, and Paradise Café gift cards are wonderful stocking stuffers. Minnie's Beach Café is a calm space to grab breakfast or lunch during a beach day.

    Paradise Café is home to the best bagel sandwiches in town, a perfect grab-and-go breakfast when you're on the run. You can really wow someone with a gift card to Anna Maria Island Beach Café, a relaxed beachfront café ideal for kicking back with a coffee or a cocktail.


  • For those who prefer going out to watch the game…

    No matter which team you root for, we can all cheer for the return of major league sports. With countless professional matches in the U.S. and abroad slated for the following months, a gift card to a local sports bar is a great present for the sports fan in your life. Those living close to our Lakewood Ranch homes for sale know that Ed's Tavern is a fantastic place to catch a live game. Voted Best Sports Bar in Manatee-Sarasota County, Ed's Tavern also hosts poker and trivia nights.

    Closer to our Bradenton homes for sale a few miles west is Clancy's Sports Bar and Grill. This easygoing Irish pub/Tiki bar combo hosts live music every night, as well as bingo, karaoke, Texas Hold-em, and of course, the best sports games of the week.


  • For those with a sweet tooth…

    Who on your gift list wouldn't love something sweet in their stocking? Donut lovers will devour the delectable treats at The Donut Experiment on Anna Maria Island or Island Donut Company near our Bradenton Beach homes for sale. Pastry lovers, in general, will love the authentic Amish baked goods at Peachey's Baking Company. You also can't go wrong with a gift certificate for Island Scoops on Anna Maria Island, where you'll find Florida's best homemade ice cream.

Learn more about these and other local restaurants by viewing our short videos. Contact us today to schedule tours of our Sarasota and Manatee counties. Need more gift inspiration? We'll also be sharing local shops and nonprofits to support this holiday season.

September
25

World Tourism Day: Be a Tourist in Your Southwest Florida Hometown

Tourism in Bradenton

World Tourism Day is around the corner on September 27th, and you won't have to travel far from your Southwest Florida home to enjoy fun attractions for all ages this year. Whether you're interested in art, science, the outdoors, or family fun, Southwest Florida communities feature something for everyone. Our real estate agents have the inside scoop on 5 local attractions that allow you to enjoy World Tourism Day in Southwest Florida.

  1. De Soto National Park – 8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy., Bradenton, FL 34209

    Explore the grandeur of the great outdoors at De Soto National Park, which is located just a short drive from Bradenton homes for sale. This park offers a mix of outdoor fun and educational attractions, including "living history" demonstrations at the recreated historic native village at Camp Uzita. There are also kayak tours guided by park rangers, a visitor's center where you can learn more about the park's history, fishing clinics, and a "Junior Ranger" activity book to help younger visitors enjoy all that the park has to offer.

  2. Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium – 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota, FL 34236

    Educational family fun is never far from Sarasota homes for sale, thanks to exciting local attractions like the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Mote does extensive work in preserving local marine ecosystems and is a great destination for learning about the natural areas that make the region such a unique place to call home. Get up close and personal with marine animals while discovering exciting, educational exhibits at the aquarium. Plus, Florida residents who purchase their weekend tickets online can enjoy half-priced admission until the end of September

  3. Art Uptown Gallery – 1367 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236

    With 40 years of experience and a commitment to showcasing the spectacular work of regional artists, the Art Uptown Gallery is a must-see for art lovers located close to Sarasota homes for sale. The Art Uptown Gallery is regularly voted a local favorite by both visitors and collectors, with both 2D and 3D exhibits. This gallery is committed to showcasing the work of local artists, and recent months have seen a surge in creativity with plenty of new art on display.

  4. The Fish Hole Mini Golf – 8120-8140 Main St., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

    Get ready for some family fun near Lakewood Ranch homes for sale at The Fish Hole Miniature Golf, an 18-hole "adventure" mini-golf course ideal for golfers of all ages. The Fish Hole Features misters throughout the course to keep you cool and is home to a wide variety of local plant life. There are more than 50 types of regional plants around the course, along with tags to help you identify each plant. The large koi pond on-site is another popular attraction, especially for kids who love to feed the fish.

  5. Siesta Key Aqua Adventures – 5253 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231

    Have fun on the water when you book a day with Siesta Key Aqua Adventures. Close to Siesta Key homes for sale, Siesta Key Adventures offers many different ways to get out on the water with friends or family. Choose between single kayaks, tandem kayaks, banana boats, or an aqua spinner. Or opt for one of their dolphin tours to relax on the Gulf and search for wildlife. 

Still searching for the perfect Southwest Florida community to call home? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Southwest Florida communities.

September
11

All About Living in the Parrish Area

Palm Trees Parrish

The Parrish, FL area has seen significant growth in recent years, and that's no surprise. With plenty to do close to home and an easy commute to nearby communities like Tampa, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota, the community has something to offer for everyone. Whether you enjoy spending time outdoors in the sun, catching up on culture, watching live sports, or shopping until you drop, it's easy to find fun around Parrish. Our real estate agents are here to help you get to know the community, with our guide to living in the Parrish area.

  • Parrish Has Homes to Suit Every Buyer
    A central location, strong job market, and diverse local attractions are just a few of the factors that have caused the recent growth of Parrish. That growth has lead to ample new construction in the area, and the average home in Parrish is just six years old. Parrish homes for sale feature something to fit every budget, from perfect starter homes for families to attractive, new luxury listings. 

  • Outdoor Fun from Golf to the Gulf
    Love spending time by the water? Parrish offers easy access to the area's best beaches, fishing spots, and marinas. Enjoy time by the Gulf on the beaches of Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota, along with fresh seafood at beachfront dining spots. Of course, living in Parrish also makes it easy to experience the legendary local golf scene, including the scenic, challenging layout at River Wilderness Golf & Country Club.

  • Easy Access to the Best of Southwest Florida
    You'll find plenty to do close to home in Parrish, and even more when you visit the other dynamic, local Florida communities within short driving distance. Communities like Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa, and St. Petersburg are all close by. Enjoy access to a diverse collection of job markets with a short daily commute, and find fun for every member of the family with nearby attractions for all ages. When you live in Parrish, the best of Southwest Florida is always waiting just outside your front door.

  • Enjoy Live Sports and Entertainment Close to Home
    If you love live sports, the Parrish area has action during every season. Catch your favorite MLB team tuning up for the season each spring, with the Yankees in Tampa, the Pirates in Bradenton, the Orioles in Sarasota, and the Phillies in Clearwater. Tampa is also home to the Lightning of the NHL, the Buccaneers of the NFL, and the Rays of MLB.

    There's plenty of culture in the area, too, with the Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Symphony, and Sarasota Ballet just a short drive from home. The many performance venues around Tampa also attract world-class performers, including some of the biggest names in music.

  • Local History and So Much More Near Parrish
    Art, science, history... the museums around Parrish offer something for every interest. The Florida Railroad Museum, located within Parrish, offers a trip back to the 1940s and 1950s when railroads were one of the most popular ways to travel. In nearby Sarasota, you'll find the historic Ringling Museum of Art, Selby Botanical Gardensand Mote Marine Aquarium. Just over the Sunshine Skyway, in St. Petersburg you'll find The Dali Museum and in Tampa, The Florida Aquarium. There's so much to discover when you call Parrish home!

Ready to enjoy all the perks of living in Parrish? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Parrish, FL area.

September
2

How Fig Newtons Helped Build Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Historical Society   Fig Newtons  Fig Newtons Ad

Anna Maria Island, FL – When you think of Fig Newtons you probably don't associate them with the development of properties on Anna Maria Island – but they hold a chapter in the history of this quaint vacation island. Long before it became a mecca for vacationers from around the world, Anna Maria Island was home to the Caloosan and Timucan Native American tribes. Later, Spanish explorers visited the island, and Tampa mayor, Madison Post, settled there as well. But the island wasn't developed for permanent residence until the late 1800's – that's when Fig Newtons came into play.

 

Ohio native Charles Roser was working for a bakery in Philadelphia. Charles developed a fig cookie recipe that became quite popular around town, but it was a challenge to get the fig mixture into the cookie, so he also invented and patented a machine that inserted the fig paste into the cookie, making later mass production possible. Roser's cookie creation was in such demand, both the recipe and the machine were purchased by the Kennedy Biscuit Company (which later became Nabisco). The Boston-based company had a tradition of naming cookies after local towns and named the cookie "Newton" after the nearby town in Massachusetts. In 1891 the company began mass production of Fig Newtons. Between the sale of the recipe and the sale of the patent, Charles Roser became a wealthy man overnight. With his new-found wealth, Roser and his wife moved to St. Petersburg, FL. An entrepreneur at heart, Roser immediately looked for another business venture and soon formed the Anna Maria Beach Development Company in partnership with George 'Wil' Wilhelm Bean.

 

Wil Bean's father, George Emerson Bean, homesteaded the northern 160 acres of Anna Maria Island in 1892, establishing himself as the island's first permanent resident. Wil inherited his father's Anna Maria Island homestead in 1898 and the area was ripe for development. Roser and Bean created street maps, established sidewalks, and sold home lots. There was no bridge from the mainland, so Roser built a 678-foot pier to provide the ferries a landing spot, and the rest is history. Before long, Anna Maria Island was one of the finest resorts on the west coast of Florida, with pristine beaches, a bathing pavilion, and a water system – which was critical to the success of the island's development. The island soon had 60 homes, a hotel, church, school post office and stores. Today Anna Maria Island is still a place where "old" Florida charm remains the norm. On Anna Maria Island you'll find friendly people, a leisurely pace and flip flops – but you won't find high rises and fast food restaurants. 

 

If you'd like to take a step back in time, visit Anna Maria Island. To find a vacation rental, go to www.wagnerrealtyrentals.com. To discover more island history, stop by the Anna Maria Historical Society located at 402 Pine Avenue on the north end of Anna Maria Island. The museum is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please note that the museum will be closed during September for floor replacement Occupancy is limited to five visitors at a time. Visitors must wear masks for the safety and health of other visitors and docents. To visit the museum online go to https://www.amihs.org.

August
28

Runaway Bay Rentals for a Close to Home Getaway

If you love the surf, sand, and incredible sunsets you'll love a vacation at Runaway Bay! Set along the serene shores of Bradenton Beach, Runaway Bay is nestled near Bradenton Beach homes for sale. If you've been dreaming of a "staycation" these cozy condos offer an opportunity for you to get away from the stresses of everyday life while remaining close to home. Our real estate agents encourage you to consider a long-weekend stay at one of these tranquil units.

Runaway Bay

Located on Anna Maria Island, just footsteps from Bradenton Beach, Runaway Bay is a short drive away from Sarasota, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. For those who are craving some excitement, popular Florida vacation destinations like Busch Gardens, Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios are within one to two hours from the property.

The amenities of Runaway Bay are so welcoming that visitors find everything they need for a relaxing and fun vacation. A large heated swimming pool and sauna are all on the property for those who want to pamper themselves. Or, if you prefer, there's also pickleball, a recreation room, gym, fishing pier, shuffleboard court, tennis court, and bocce ball. Whether you come from near or far, you'll savor every moment lounging in Runaway Bay.

Runaway Bay 114

  • Runaway Bay 114 – 2/2 | Max 6 Guests
    This convenient ground floor unit is perfect for a large family or group of friends, pets included! Totaling at 1,100 square feet, this unit features a fully-equipped kitchen, washer and dryer, and complimentary linens, beach, and bath towels. The master suite houses a king bed and an updated en-suite bathroom while the guest bedroom offers a queen bed and a single twin bed. The living room sofa also pulls out to a queen-sized bed for children or additional guests.

266 Runaway Bay

  • Runaway Bay 266 – 1/1, Max 4 Guests
    With unbeatable weekly fees in August and September, this second-story unit is ideal for a couple or small family looking to get away for a full week or more. A single bedroom contains a king-sized bed while the living room sleeper sofa provides overnight arrangements for additional guests. Although linens, some toiletries, and a fully-stocked kitchen are within the unit, this condo also provides beach chairs, beach umbrellas, tennis rackets, books, movies, a cooler, a beach cart, a boogie board, and board games to keep everyone entertained throughout their stay.

Runaway Bay 233

  • Runaway Bay 233 – 2/2, Max 4 Guests
    Recently remodeled, guests will enjoy the views from this second-floor unit. A full-size kitchen, washer, dryer, and screened-in lanai make this wonderful condo feel like home. The master bedroom has a queen-size bed with a walk-in shower in the attached master bathroom while the guest room contains both a twin bed and a full bed. 

219 Runaway Bay

  • Runaway Bay 219 – 2/2, Max 4 Guests
    Less than a five-minute walk from the beach, this recently updated unit features renovations to the master bathroom. The master suite boasts a king-size bed while the guest room has two twin beds. Completing the unit is a cozy kitchen, inviting screened-in balcony, and a convenient washer and dryer. The effortless stroll to the Gulf makes this unit ideal for those who desire a leisurely vacation.

Would you like to soak up the sun on Bradenton Beach? Contact us today to learn more about our renting a unit in the relaxing Runaway Bay.

August
10

Living The Dream On Anna Maria Island

Back in the 1940's, Floyd and Florence Myers had a dream. They lived in Ohio, and spending winters on the beach in Florida sounded sublime, so they purchased a 1948 Airstream Continental from Harold P. Young of Young's Trailer Sales & Service in Fremont, OH and started an adventure that lives on today.

Floyd and Florence purchased a lot on a white sandy beach for their Airstream. Today it's called "Three Pines Cottage" and is located at 2214 Gulf Drive North on Bradenton Beach, FL. From the road the structure looks like any other house, but this one has quite a story. Floyd was a carpenter with an imagination. When the 29-foot Airstream became too small, he decided to expand the living space. Each year, when Floyd and Florence came down to Bradenton Beach to escape the winter, Floyd would start another project. By the time Floyd died in 1958, the house had grown from 29 to 1,180 square feet.

Florence continued living in Three Pines Cottage until her death in 1982. Their granddaughter, Judy Kuhlman and her husband, Richard purchased the cottage in 1983, but challenges were soon to come. In 1985 the Gulf Coast of Florida was hit hard by Hurricanes Elena and Juan, causing significant damage. Nearby homes were partially washed out to sea, but sturdy Three Pines Cottage escaped with minimal damage thanks to the rugged Airstream shell and Floyd's expertise. In 2000, the Kuhlman's placed the property under the rental management division of Wagner Realty's Anna Maria Island Office, located directly across the street. For more than 20 years, vacationers from around the world have come to enjoy this historic piece of "Old Florida" paradise. Many guests come back every year enjoying a retreat to this cozy, vintage knotty pine cottage with direct beachfront views.  

Debra, a regular guest from Dartmouth, MA, has been coming to Three Pines Cottage for 21 years. She looks forward to the annual retreat, noting "Year-after-year, Three Pines Cottage is our paradise hideaway. Its quaint, homey atmosphere makes it unique from the other vacation rentals, and since it's ADA (Americans with Disabilites Act), I've been able to bring my disabled mother with me. We love sitting on the back porch and listening to the waves lap the shore." The property offers the best of both worlds, with a retro and relaxed Old Florida feel, while also providing updated amenities throughout. The cottage accommodates five comfortably, with a spacious living area. The updated kitchen offers spectacular Gulf views to enjoy while preparing meals. The master bedroom has a queen bed, there's a full bed in the guest room and a twin in a small private alcove. 

You can dig your toes in the powdery sand just outside your door, ease into your day on the open back porch while sipping your morning coffee, and enjoy a meal or a glass of wine while you take in the spectacular hues and views of the Gulf of Mexico at sunset through the large picture window. This is absolute paradise for a beach lover.

Three Pines Cottage is available for weekly rentals throughout the year. For more information contact Wagner Realty Rentals at 941.778.2246 or go to www.rental.wagnerrealty.com.

 

 

August
14

7 Seashell Crafts the Whole Family will Love

Seashell Crafts

Living near the beautiful beaches of Sarasota and Manatee provides endless entertainment for family members of all ages, and allows you to enjoy activities that bring the whole family together. Combing the beach for seashells is a family activity that has been enjoyed for centuries, in part because of all you can create with those shells after you finish beachcombing. Our real estate agents are here to provide some inspiration for family fun, with our guide to seashell crafts.

  1. Seashell Wind Chime
    A seashell wind chime is a fun, easy project for family members of all ages, and all you'll need to get started is some string, shells, and a piece of driftwood that you found on the beach. If you need supplies, they're easy to find on the beaches close to Sarasota homes for sale. Just tie each length of string to the driftwood, add shells, beads, or any decorations that you'd like, then hang it somewhere the whole family can enjoy it.

  2. Create a Clamshell Wreath
    Creating a clamshell wreath is one of the more time-consuming projects on the list, but the payoff is more than worth it. Plus, it's fun! For this project, you'll need a wreath form, glue, and a whole lot of cleaned clamshells.

  3. Seashell Candles
    Whether you create the candle yourself with wax, a wick, and scented oils or use a store-bought tealight, you'll find that the right seashells can make excellent candle holders. For larger candles, you can place the candle inside of a mason jar, then use shells and other items you found at the beach to decorate the jar.

  4. Souvenir Jars from Your Favorite Beaches
    Is there a particular beach near Bradenton homes for sale that holds special significance for your family, or a day of beachcombing that you would like to remember? Creating a souvenir jar with shells, sand, and other items that you found on the beach is a fun, family activity. 

  5. Seashell Necklaces
    Kids love bringing a piece of the beach with them wherever they go, and seashell necklaces are very easy to make. For a simple necklace, all you need is a string and a shell. Grab some glitter, glue, and other decorations for crafty kids who want to customize their necklaces.

  6. Clamshell Creatures
    Clamshell creatures are easy to create and make great decorations for the rooms of younger kids. You'll need some brightly colored paint for each clamshell and some googly eyes. You can add more decorations, but even the simple version will be a hit with the kids.

  7. Seashell Centerpiece
    If your family loves the beach, then a seashell centerpiece can be a great way to bring a taste of your favorite place into your home. An especially large clamshell makes for a perfect base, allowing you to add shells, decorations, and even a plant. You can also use a bouquet of fake flowers in a vase for your centerpiece, and add seashells accent the look.

Whether you're searching for beautiful shells, taking a refreshing dip in the water, or just relaxing with your toes in the sand, there's nothing like living by the beach. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the area.

July
16

Quaker Parrots - Island Birds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Maria Island is a favorite vacation spot for people from all over the world. Most people come for the sandy beaches and laid-back atmosphere, but many are pleasantly surprised by the many species of birds. There are egrets, blue heron, sandpipers, seagulls, pelicans and terns, sure – but our Wagner Rental agents are often asked about the bright green parrots. They're small - but loud, and love to have conversations quite early in the morning. Island visitors are intrigued by their quirky personalities and mischievous nature.

Those green parrots are Quaker parrots (or monk parakeets) and they're known for their charming, comical personalities and their willingness to learn human speech. They are the only parrot known to build nests. Quaker parrots spend a lot of time creating elaborate dwellings from twigs and branches.  Their nests have multiple rooms, and flocks sometime build nests next to each other to create communities. Nests can often be found in palm trees, right under the dead leaves that droop down near the top, creating curtains near the nest entrance, offering protection from rain and wind.  Quaker nests are usually communal, with a single nest housing several breeding pairs. Each mated pair has its own private chamber. Some pairs allow an additional bird, who isn't a primary breeder, but rather is tasked with cleaning and repairing the nest, and babysitting chicks.

The Quaker parrot is native to Argentina and nearby countries in South America, where it inhabits subtropical areas. The parrots adapt very well to urban landscapes and, as a result, there are numerous feral populations in North America. Many states have outlawed or restricted Quaker parrots because they are viewed as agricultural threats, as these birds can multiply quickly.

Quaker parrots are just a few of the birds you can enjoy on this paradise of Anna Maria Island, known for its powdery sandy beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Bird lovers can experience many sightings along the beach and at Robinson and Neal Preserve just over the bridge in Bradenton. Some shorebirds like to feed at high tide while others at low tide which makes any time during the day a perfect opportunity for bird watching by the water. To find out more about local birds and birdwatching spots go to www.manateeaudubon.org.

 

July
15

Discover The Village of the Arts!

The Village of the Arts

 

"The Village of the Arts" was born in 1999 when the non-profit Artists Guild of Manatee was formed. Its mission was to build a community where artists could live and work, while enhancing their quality of life and creating a harmonious artisitc environment with creative spirit. Located in Manatee County, near Downtown Bradenton, the Village offers an eclectic mix of early 20th century residential bungalows, Florida Cracker homes, and some later additions. The neighborhood includes a legal commercial overlay, which enables a rare live/work/play mix. Local residents enjoy Village Walk events that feature a varitety of artists. Village boundaries stretch from 9th Ave West to 17th Ave West between 9th St West and 14th St West. Over 275 individual properties are within the Village. The Village has experienced incredible growth, evolving from a neglected neighborhood, to a unique and loved artistic retreat.

Village residents and the Guild have partnered with United Way Manatee for grassroots neighborhood beautification, worked with Realize Bradenton on downtown visioning and planning and offered space to other nonprofit groups during the monthly artwalks. They have also collaborated with the City of Bradenton on various ordinances affecting the Village. 

To find out more about the Village, go to https://www.villageofthearts.com/

July
17

7 Ways to Beat the Florida Heat This Summer

Florida Summer

One of the many advantages of living in Florida is our abundance of sunny weather and warm temperatures. During the summer months though, the heat and humidity can leave you feeling a bit drained. Fortunately, there are ways you can beat the heat.

From practical tips to fun and cooling activities your kids will love, our real estate agents suggest the following 7 ways to cool off this summer.

  1. Avoid Using Your Oven 
    Using your oven makes your home hotter, so stock up on recipes for colder meals like salads. These meals will also be more appealing than heavy dishes when the weather is hot. You can also avoid using your oven by utilizing appliances like your microwave or crockpot or heading outside to grill out. Or skip cooking altogether and have dinner delivered from DoorDash. Not only will you not have to cook, but you can also support local businesses at the same time! 
  2. Get a Portable Fan
    Buy a small portable fan that sprays water mist while its blades spin and help cool you off. Best of all, you can use this at home, at Bradenton Beach, or outside when you're out jogging or running errands. They're great for kids as well as adults.
  3. Water Balloon Fun
    Who says you have to have a pool or head to the beach for a fun way to cool off? Turn your backyard into a water balloon playground. Fill water balloons and hang them up outside as singles or in groups. Let your kids take turns swinging at the water balloons like a pinata for guaranteed fun while cooling off. 
  4. Utilize Your Fridge
    Keep ice packs or towels in your fridge and ready for the hottest Florida days. Apply an ice pack or cold towel on your cooling points. These include your wrists, forehead, and the inside of your elbows. Take these on the go and put in a cooler for when you head to the beach. 
  5. DIY Backyard Sprinkler
    Another kid-approved way to turn your backyard into a makeshift water park. Follow these DIY directions to make a sprinkler from a PVC pipe. It gives kids a great opportunity to get soaked and can be made into different configurations.
  6. Easy Homemade Popsicles 
    Consider making the kids these homemade popsicles as an easy (and delicious) way to cool off. Trust us, the adults are going to want some as well! This recipe is super easy and is made with only two ingredients - honey and fruit - so they're refreshing as well as healthy.
  7. Stay Hydrated
    If you've lived in Florida for a while, you know how humid it can get! Florida heat and humidity can make you sweat, which increases the chance that you don't stay properly hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water while avoiding drinks with alcohol and caffeine, which are dehydrating. You can also increase the amount of water you take in by eating foods with a high water content, such as watermelon, strawberries, or oranges. Next time you're at a local farmers market, stock up on these types of fruits! 

Would finding a new place in Florida be the highlight of your summer? Contact us today to find out about Sarasota homes for sale and Bradenton homes for sale and tour ones that catch your eye. Whether you're looking for a starter home, a larger home, or are ready to downsize, we can help you find a house in southwest Florida that will soon become your dream home. 

July
10

Small Business Spotlight: How to Support Small Businesses in Bradenton and Sarasota

Now more than ever, it's important that we support our local businesses. Our real estate agents encourage you to shop small each week and help stimulate our hometown economy. As you browse our Bradenton and Sarasota homes for sale, we invite you to visit these unique small businesses in the area.

  1. The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime – 821 Apricot Ave., Sarasota, FL 34237
    Explore an indie indoor market when you visit the Bazaar on Apricot & Lime. This venue is full of one-of-a-kind gems and talented, local creators. Stop by and support them in person and visit on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday between 10 am to 3 pm. Don't feel like leaving your house? Be sure to check on their Facebook Live events to see what the bazaar has to offer virtually. 

  2. Write On Sarasota – 1423 1st St., Sarasota, FL 34236
    If you've ever planned a wedding, celebrated a major life event, or operated your own business, then you know that your choice of stationery is quite important. Write On Sarasota knows that wedding invitations, thank you notes, and even custom napkins can creatively express your gratitude, excitement, and brand. From general stationery to graduation announcements, birthday parties, and everything in between, Write On Sarasota will provide you with a thorough consultation and customized products to ensure that your event says exactly how you feel.  

  3. Island Coffee Haus – 5350 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Who doesn't love a cozy local coffee shop? Island Coffee Haus is the perfect place near Holmes Beach homes for sale to fill up your mug. The shop opened in 2012 and has been delighting locals and visitors with the cozy environment and coffee ever since. The cafe offers a locally roasted blend that includes Columbian, Mexican, and Puerto Rican beans. They also carry locally made artwork and jewelry for sale in the shop so you can support local artists while picking up your morning coffee and bagel. 

  4. Toy Lab – 1529 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236
    No one knows toys like Toy Lab, Sarasota's only independent toy store. This landmark shop has toys and games for kids and adults alike, offering services and suggestions from a team that is passionate about play. Some of the brands that they carry include Playmobile, LEGO, The Manhattan Toy Company, and Ravensburger Puzzles. The folks at Toy Lab will gladly wrap your purchase if you're gifting toys to someone you care about.

  5. The Siesta Key Farmers Market – 5104 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key, Florida  34242
    Support local artists, photographers, and creators when you attend the Siesta Key Farmers Market. The farmers market is open to locals, and tourists from 8 am to noon on Sunday mornings. The market helps support 30+ vendors in the Siesta Key area.

  6. Pure Florida Honey Company - 417 12th St. W.#104, Bradenton, Florida 34205
    Purveyors of the Sunshine State's finest local raw honey, the Pure Florida Honey Company, also carries varieties of domestic and international honey, gifts from the hive, and much more. These specialty kinds of honey, like the Brazilian Pepper or the Mangrove, make perfectly unique gifts for the foodie in your life. Stop by and see what all the buzz is about!

  7. Village of the Arts – 1017 12th Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
    Downtown Bradenton is home to a thriving arts scene thanks to the Artists Guild of Manatee and the Village of the Arts. Most of the Guild members are also Village residents. The Village stretches from 9th Ave West to 14th St West and offers artists the change to live, work, and play in downtown Bradenton. The commercial overlay of the Village of the Arts offers locals and visitors the perfect chance to support local arts and find one of a kind works of art right here in Bradenton. 

  8. Beach Market at Coquina Beach – 2650 Gulf Dr. S., Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
    Who says you can't go to the beach and a farmers market at the same time? When you go to the Beach Market at Coquina Beach, you get to enjoy an outdoor market on the southernmost beach on Anna Maria Island. Shop for jewelry, apparel, and gourmet food from local vendors. Be sure to stop by after checking out nearby Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key homes for sale

There are so many wonderful and remarkable small businesses to explore throughout Bradenton and Sarasota. If you'd love to live within walking distance of these fantastic shops, contact us today!

June
26

Paradise on the Gulf of Mexico: All About Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island

Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Anna Maria Island is just a short drive from Sarasota and Bradenton. Drive onto the island, and you'll discover a lovely, quaint beach town that offers a step back in time. You won't find the high-rise condos and hotels that many beach towns now have, instead you'll discover a laid-back lifestyle and quiet village charm. Homeowners searching for the beauty and peacefulness of a tropical island, just a short drive from city sights, will find a perfect place to call home on Anna Maria Island.

A Historical Haven

Like many cities in the state of Florida, Anna Maria Island was originally discovered by indigenous tribes, followed by Spanish explorers prior to the 1600s. However, no one resided on the island permanently until more than 300 years later. The Anna Maria Beach Company was established in the early 1900s to develop the foundation for residential and commercial life on the island. The Anna Maria Historical Society's Museum is a wonderful stop for history buffs who are interested in the island inhabitant's roots.

Sunny Skies are Always in Season

Those who wish for a retreat from the snow and shivering temperatures of the north will have plenty of opportunities to bask in the warm Florida sun on Anna Maria Island. The fall and spring offer the most temperate times to visit, with summer heat and humidity typically high and afternoon thunderstorms common. In the winter months, the temperature does drop from the 90s/100s down into the 70s/50s, giving residents a comfortable climate to still enjoy the outdoors with a light jacket. Hurricane season runs from May to the end of October, and although hurricanes are always a possibility, Anna Maria Island is often undisturbed.

Island Life at Its Finest

You'll discover plenty to see and do living on Anna Maria Island. Fishing, sailing, swimming, watersports, and other aquatic activities are always favorites, allowing you to spend hours of fun on the beach. There are dozens of restaurants, shops and boutiques lining the island, and gorgeous sunsets to enjoy on most evenings. A free island trolley runs a regular schedule with stops up and down the island.

So Much More Just Over the Bridge

While many prefer lazy days on the beach, city life is just a short drive away. Museums, art galleries, shopping, and dining options await you in Sarasota, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. Sports fans enjoy MLB spring training games in Sarasota and Bradenton, as well as MLB, NFL, and NHL action in Tampa.

Would you like to call this lovely island home?  To discover more about living on Anna Maria Island, including links to community information regarding schools, the economy, employment, etc. click here to visit our informational page on Anna Maria Island.  

Contact us today to browse Anna Maria Island homes for sale and find your perfect slice of island paradise. If you would like to experience everything Anna Maria Island has to offer while house hunting, consider renting one of our fabulous vacation homes where you can unwind for hours on our sugar sand beaches.

June
19

Golf Courses in Manatee & Sarasota for Your Father's Day Plans

Golf Courses in Manatee

Yes, Florida is golfer heaven! If the dads in your life are golfers, what better way to spend quality time on Father's Day, Sunday, June 21, than a day on the links? Here are just of few of the many fantastic golf courses in Manatee and Sarasota Counties recommended by our real estate agents

  1. Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch - 8255 Legacy Blvd., Bradenton, FL 34202
    Opened in 1997 with an award-winning signature design by iconic golfer Arnold Palmer, Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch has a distinguished pedigree. The 18-hole course, with its gently rolling greens, appears deceptively simple, but 100 bunkers present an intriguing challenge for even expert golfers. Legacy is open dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

  2. Greens of Manatee - 101 Cortez Rd. W., Bradenton, FL 34207
    For more than 30 years, the former Heather Hills Golf Course was a popular facility in the area of Bradenton homes for sale. When Heather Hills seemed destined to close in 2008, a local non-profit group stepped in to reinvent the property as Greens of Manatee. Staffers and volunteers combine to offer a "quality recreational golfing experience" at prices affordable to all while maintaining the course's environmental beauty. Hours are 6:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. daily.

  3. Suncoast Golf Center & Academy - 7741 15th St. E., Sarasota, FL 34243
    At Suncoast Golf Center & Academy, their motto is, "The sun never sets on fun." Nature gets a little helping hand, as Suncoast is the only golf course around Sarasota homes for sale with stadium-quality LED lighting. Suncoast is dog-friendly, so dad can work on his game at the driving range and practice tees accompanied by his best friend. Hours are 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday.

  4. Esplanade Golf & Country Club - 12825 Malachite Dr., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211
    Esplanade Golf & Country Club, right next door to Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, is a breathtaking example of the area's natural beauty. Golfers praise the impeccable maintenance of the 18-hole course as well as the top-level customer service provided by all staff members. Tee times are available from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  5. Hawks Run Golf Course - 602 Bird Bay Dr. W., Venice, FL 34285
    Is dad an experienced golfer but you, not so much? Hawks Run Golf Course, down the street from Venice homes for sale, offers a happy medium challenging enough to keep both of you interested. Hawks Run is an 18-hole executive golf course featuring shorter holes, so you can comfortably fit in a round no matter how busy your schedule is. Play 18 holes after 2 p.m. for only $20. Hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily.

  6. Buffalo Creek Golf Course - 8100 69th St. E., Palmetto, FL 34221
    While Buffalo Creek Golf Course is just minutes from Palmetto homes for sale, there are no houses around the perimeter of the grounds. As a result, time spent on the links feels like a true getaway. All of the greens were completely built in 2014 for a fresh, updated look that receives rave reviews from visiting golfers. Buffalo Creek is open daily from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.

"Below par" is something to aim for in golf, but not when it comes to real estate. Contact us at Wagner Realty to get up-to-date information on the top homes around Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

May
8

Grocery Store Delivery Options in Sarasota and Manatee

Sarasota Grocery Delivery

Our real estate agents agree that online shopping and doorstep delivery have made our lives much easier. The convenience of ordering what we need from a computer or mobile phone and having it delivered promptly to our homes is a significant service for many, especially those who may be unable to leave their homes to visit the store. These grocery delivery options in Sarasota and Bradenton can check this item off of your to-do list quickly and easily.

  • Shipt
    The Shipt Shoppers are ready to take your shopping experience to the next level. They'll gladly walk the aisles of a number of stores — grocery and traditional retail alike — and get the goods to your door in as little as one hour. Best of all, you can be in constant contact with your Shipt Shopper and get up-to-the-minute updates on their trip. If an item you want is out of stock, they can let you know right away so you can choose a replacement.

  • Walmart Online Grocery Delivery
    For many families, Walmart is their one-stop-shop for everything. Now, they're ready to help you put dinner on the table with a grocery delivery service from your local Walmart Neighborhood Market. Their certified personal shoppers will tackle your entire shopping list, including everyday essentials like pet, infant, and cleaning supplies. All items are the same Every Day Low Prices found in-store, so you'll receive the same great savings without ever leaving home!

  • Instacart
    Another popular grocery delivery service, Instacart is ready to handpick the products you love from your favorite stores and deliver them right to your home. Their website also features exclusive coupons on hundreds of items to help you knock down your total purchase bill. They also offer same-day delivery in as quickly as 60 minutes. When you shop with Instacart, you can purchase items from most of your go-to grocery retailers, including:
    • Sam's Club
    • Costco
    • BJ's
    • Publix
    • Target
    • CVS Pharmacy
    • Petco
  • Amazon
    You already trust Amazon for your retail purchases, why not use their fresh services to get your groceries delivered to your door as well? Teaming up with Whole Foods Market, Amazon allows you to order fresh groceries that are then delivered from your local Whole Foods Market location. There are also exclusive deals for Amazon Prime members, saving you time and money!

An affordable, convenient way to get your weekly grocery trip completed, these easy-to-order services allow you to devote more time to your family.

To browse our Sarasota homes for sale and Bradenton homes for sale virtually from the comfort of your own home, contact us today!

March
13

Great Things To Do When It's Not A Beach Day

Things to do Sarasota

There's no doubt about it – Sarasota has some of the best beaches in Florida.

Our REALTORS® love the beach, but the weather doesn't always cooperate. What's a family to do when hitting the coast isn't in the cards?

Luckily, there are plenty of options for fun and family bonding. World-class museums, cultural institutions, and attractions for kids abound. Any of them makes for a full day of memories that last a lifetime. 

Here are some ideas for Sarasota fun when it's not a beach day:

  1. Crowley Museum & Nature Center – 16405 Myakka Road, Sarasota, FL 34240
    Crowley Museum & Nature Center is a unique interactive experience open each Thursday through Sunday. It includes a self-guided nature trail that winds through pine flatwoods, oak, swampland, and the famous Sawgrass Marsh. There's also a museum where youngsters get the chance to explore how life looked in Florida's rugged pioneer days.
  2. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens – 900 S Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Did you know you can explore a botanical garden with over 6,000 orchids near Sarasota homes for sale? The stunning, lush grounds of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are a delight for all ages. Kids will love exploring the children's rainforest garden or picking up their own plant to take home at the plant shop. 
  3. Tree Umph! Adventure Course – 21805 East State Road 70, Bradenton, FL 34202
    Are you ready for adventure? Tree Umph! Adventure Course is waiting with all-ages action, including courses for kids and adults. Add excitement to Lakewood Ranch homes for sale as you thrill to the best in zip line entertainment. Alone or in groups, you'll explore 14 acres of daring, innovative games. There are events for guests as young as seven years.
  4. Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium – 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Even though you aren't headed to the beach, you can still learn about the seas and the fish that live there! The Mote Aquarium  & Laboratory features over 100 species of marine animals in their massive aquarium. Just down the road from Bird Key homes for sale, the interactive exhibits and viewable working labs at Mote Aquarium & Laboratory offer hands-on learning for all ages. 
  5. Historic Spanish Point 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229
    Step back into a different time when you venture over to Historic Spanish Point near Osprey homes for sale. Explore the outdoor archaeological and historic museum. Make the most of your time there by booking one of their tours and learn about the grounds from the knowledge tour guides or attend one of their many events on the grounds!   
  6. Manatee County Agricultural Museum – 1015 6th Street West, Palmetto, FL 34221
    An educational day awaits you a short drive from the best Palmetto homes for sale. The top-ranked Manatee County Agricultural Museum is a must-see. With multiple events every month, the program is bursting with memorable experiences. The Living Wax Museum, Heritage Days Walking Tours, and much more will expand the minds of visitors at any age.
  7. Florida Railroad Museum – 12210 83rd Street East, Parrish, FL 34219
    All aboard! If you have kids that love all things train-related, this museum is the perfect place to take the family when it's not a beach day. The Florida Railroad Museum features the railroad line that was the first to be built in Manatee County. After viewing Parrish homes for sale, stop by and ride this historic railroad line for yourself!
  8. Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum – 402 Pine Avenue, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
    Florida has a rich history and the staff at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum are dedicated to presenting and preserving that history. Down the road from Anna Maria homes for sale, this museum opened in 1992 and has been giving visitors a glimpse of historic Florida. While admission is free for this museum, donations are appreciated! 

"Fun" might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about a home search, but Wagner Realty makes it a breeze. Our in-depth experience with Florida real estate smooths the path and gets you to closing fast. To get started, contact us today – rain or shine.

February
21

The 2020 Guide to Spring Training in Manatee & Sarasota

Manatee Spring Training

Grab the Cracker Jack, warm up your mitt and get ready to stand up and cheer — spring training is coming back to the Sunshine State! Each year, some of the best teams in Major League Baseball spend two months in Florida preparing for the upcoming season. We're lucky to have two World Series championship teams call Sarasota and Bradenton home for their spring training season: the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles. 

Our REALTORS® encourage you to take advantage of the warm weather and head out to a spring training game this year. Whether you're a Pirates fan, Orioles fan, or merely a lover of America's favorite pastime, our two spring training facilities are just a few miles from downtown Sarasota and Bradenton.

  • Ed Smith Stadium — 2700 12th St., Sarasota, FL 34237
    Known as Birdland South, Ed Smith Stadium has welcomed the Baltimore Orioles for the last ten years. Built-in 1989 and renovated soon after the Orioles' arrival in 2011, this ballpark once hosted the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox. As one of the best venues in the Grapefruit League, Ed Smith Stadium is within a few miles of many beautiful Sarasota homes for sale, making it the perfect place to relax after a long day walking some of the best properties in the city.

  • LECOM Park — 1611 9th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
    Part of the Grapefruit League, the Pittsburgh Pirates, have been coming to LECOM Park for spring training for over half of a century. This award-winning ballpark was recently renovated with enhanced fan areas, new seating, and a state-of-the-art clubhouse. If you're in town searching for Bradenton homes for sale, take the afternoon off and watch the Pirates play at LECOM Park. Be sure to head five miles east to Pirate City to view the Pirates' spring training workout and practice field as well.

2020 Spring Training Games in Sarasota & Bradenton

Are you ready for a preview of the 2020 MLB season? There's no better place to watch the best teams in the league play than at LECOM Park and Ed Smith Stadium. 

Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Games

Be sure to purchase discounted tickets in advance or gather your closest friends for a Group Ticket Package featuring preferred seating. Six-game Weekend Packages are also available, guaranteeing your same seat as the Pirates load the bases against the Yankees, Rays, Tigers, Blue Jays, and Twins! Catch the first part of spring training with these February games. 

  • Feb 22 – Bradenton | Minnesota Twins
  • Feb 23 – Bradenton | Detroit Tigers
  • Feb 25 – Bradenton | Philadelphia Phillies
  • Feb 26 – Bradenton | Boston Red Sox
  • Feb 27 – Sarasota | Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Feb 28 – Bradenton | Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Orioles Spring Training Games

Get ready to see the Os in action against some of the best teams in the American and National Leagues, including the 2019 World Series Champions the Washington Nationals. Pick up single-game tickets or create a 5-Game Flex Plan featuring two prime games. For the ultimate experience, purchase a Birdland South Spring Training Membership which includes access to exclusive events, early admittance to watch batting practice and reduced ticket prices on spring training games in Sarasota and regular reason games in Baltimore! Games through February include: 

  • Feb 23 – Sarasota | Boston Red Sox 
  • Feb 25 – Sarasota | Tampa Bay Rays 
  • Feb 26 – Sarasota | Atlanta Braves
  • Feb 27 – Sarasota | Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Feb 28 – Bradenton | Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Feb 29 – Sarasota | Miami Marlin

Spring training is one of the many things you'll love about living in the Manatee and Sarasota area. For assistance in buying and selling homes in the area, contact us today!

January
31

Crossfit Gyms in Manatee & Sarasota for Your Fitness Goals

Crossfit gyms in Sarasota

If you're looking forward to a healthier you in 2020, then you're in luck. CrossFit is an excellent workout option to help you accomplish any fitness goal. Whether that goal is to improve health or weight loss, Crossfit can help you get in better shape. The program works for everyone—people who are just starting out and people who have trained for years. These CrossFit gyms in Manatee and Sarasota counties offer an intense workout to help you along on your fitness journey!

  • Seaward CrossFit - 1127 Goodrich Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Reaching and surpassing your goals is the name of the game at Seaward Crossfit. Their training methodology and programming is based on more than nine years of experience in CrossFit training and coaching for CrossFit Headquarters. The diverse staff of fitness experts at Seaward Crossfit also brings to the table experience in everything from gymnastics and martial arts to OPEX Fitness and Baptiste yoga. Just minutes from these Sarasota homes for sale, Seaward CrossFit is an incredible place to improve your health.

  • Real Fitness Sarasota - 4728 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231
    What makes Real Fitness Sarasota stand out among all the CrossFit gyms in the Sarasota area is their culture of support and inclusiveness. Great coaches and community make it a perfect place to unleash your best self. Take a look at their full lineup of classes and programs near Siesta Key homes for sale

  • CrossFit Lena - 5261 Paylor Ln., Sarasota, FL 34240
    CrossFit Lena is committed to getting you in the best shape of your life. But more importantly, they have a staff of friendly, talented coaches. It's about getting in shape the right way. Plus, with some of the best Sarasota homes for sale, just a stone's throw away, you never have to drive too far to hit the gym. 

  • Rack Star Athletics - 4608 E. State Rd. 64, Bradenton, FL 34208
    The folks at Rack Star Athletics are deeply dedicated to health, fitness, and family. Not only that, but they make working out fun. With programs ranging from strength & conditioning to personal training and individualized nutrition coaching, it's a great place to introduce yourself to CrossFit. Located in the lovely community of Bradenton, Rack Star Athletics is within minutes of Parrish homes for sale. 

  • CrossFit Manatee - 5645 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34209
    One of the coolest things about CrossFit Manatee is that they offer a free "Introduction to CrossFit" class. That way, if you're new to CrossFit, you get a perfect inside look at exactly how CrossFit works. That makes it easier to know upfront if it's right for you. With a beautiful location in Bradenton near the banks of the Manatee River, CrossFit Manatee is just a short drive from many great Anna Maria homes for sale.

  • CrossFit 941 - 10530 Portal Crossing #103, Bradenton, FL 34211
    A top-notch Olympic Weightlifting and strength & conditioning facility, CrossFit 941 is dedicated to building a strong community of members through hard work and commitment. Ever since they opened their doors in 2013, they've been creating a safe and effective environment for their community. CrossFit 941 is just 20 minutes from the heart of Sarasota, and right around the corner from these lovely Parrish homes for sale. 
  • CrossFit Havoc - 801 7th Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
    Accomplish your fitness goals with CrossFit instructors with over 20 years of experience when you sign up for CrossFit HavocLocated right around the corner from Bradenton homes for sale, CrossFit Havoc classes, games, and an open gym to help support you on your fitness journey. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in the Manatee and Sarasota area. Our REALTORS® have helped countless families find their dream homes in Florida, and we can't wait to help you find yours!

January
24

National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day: Art Classes in Manatee & Sarasota

Sarasota Art Class

Painting, music, theater, sculpture—there's no end to the types of art you can be inspired by. Our REALTORS® count themselves lucky to live in the Sarasota/Manatee area, where inspiration is never hard to find. 

This January 31st is National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day. In honor of the occasion, we're happy to share some of our favorite local art classes, studios, and creative spaces in the Manatee and Sarasota areas.

  • Ringling School of Art Continuing Studies - 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34234-5895
    Take your art to a whole new level when you sign up for a class at Ringling School of Art Continuing Studies. These classes are designed for a multigenerational audience and all types of backgrounds. Their classes are broken up into three complementary programs including Studio and Digital Arts, Osher Lifelong Learning at Ringling College, and Englewood Art Center.
  • Art Center Manatee - 209 9th St. W, Bradenton, FL 34205
    Founded in 1937, Art Center Manatee is one of the oldest arts organizations in the Bradenton area. In addition to providing gallery and exhibition space to artists of all kinds, they offer classes in everything from drawing, painting, and photography to jewelry, glass, and pottery. For artists, it's always a welcoming and nurturing space, with numerous Bradenton homes for sale nearby. 

  • The Artful Giraffe - 1861 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Representing a community of more than 300 local artists in every conceivable medium, The Artful Giraffe is a wonderful place in Sarasota to discover new art and to display your creations. Mere minutes from Sarasota homes for sale, the Artful Giraffe also hosts 20 to 30 art classes every month in their state-of-the-art pottery studio that holds 25 students. 

  • Arts A Blaze Studio - 8111 Lakewood Main St. #107, Bradenton, FL 34202
    Arts A Blaze is a pottery painting studio that caters to artists and crafters of all ages and abilities. Best of all, no appointments needed. Just walk in, pick a project, and start creating! And with these Lakewood Ranch homes for sale nearby, your next inspiration is never far away. 

  • Renaissance School of Art - 4600 Pine Harrier Dr., Sarasota, FL 34231
    Renowned artist and illustrator Vladislav Yeliseyev founded Renaissance School of Art alongside with his wife Marina and daughter Polina in 2009. It quickly gained a reputation as a great place to learn about art hands-on. Plus, it sits right around the corner from these beautiful Sarasota homes for sale. Renaissance School of Art offers a range of programs in painting and drawing and represents an incredible opportunity to take your art to the next level. 

  • Island Art League - 5312 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    A handful of Holmes Beach art lovers founded the Island Art League in 1989. What started as a small band of like-minded artists has grown to become a celebrated art resource in Holmes Beach. Within walking distance of many Holmes Beach homes for sale, the Island Art League offers everything from a large exhibit and gallery space to classrooms, photo labs, and even an art library and picnic grounds. 

  • Sarasota Clay Company - 1733 Northgate Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34234
    The Sarasota Clay Company is a clay workshop, gallery, and studio near these Sarasota homes for sale. They offer classes for all ages and abilities in hand building, wheel throwing, and sculpture, plus a full line of ceramic and kiln supplies for all your pottery needs. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Florida. Our little corner of Florida offers great opportunities for fun, adventure, and creativity year-round!

January
17

Manatee & Sarasota Cheese Shops for National Cheese Lover's Day

Manatee Cheese Shops

It's almost time once again for the cheesiest holiday of the year, with January 20th marking this year's edition of National Cheese Lover's Day. Whether you're a true aficionado of all things cheese or you simply love an excuse to sample, you'll find no shortage of places to celebrate in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Our REALTORS® have the details on 6 local spots where you can celebrate National Cheese Lover's Day.

  1. Artisan Cheese Company – 550 Central Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    With a convenient location close to Sarasota homes for sale and a diverse selection of cheese from around the world, Artisan Cheese Company is sure to have what you seek. Visit anytime to browse the best selection of artisan cheese in Sarasota. If you love a glass of good wine with your favorite cheese, wine, and cheese clubs at Artisan Cheese Company can satisfy both of your culinary passions.

  2. Chop Shop Grocer – 5906 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34209
    Looking for a local, old-fashioned grocer close to Bradenton homes for sale? Then head for the Chop Shop Grocer, where you'll find great cheese and so much more. The award-winning deli at the Chop Shop stocks a wide variety of international cheeses, along with all of your favorite cold cuts. Grab a prepared meal, or find the freshest ingredients for your own home-cooked creations.

  3. Morton's Gourmet Market 1924 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, FL 34239
    Whether you're shopping for gourmet cheese, fine wines, or the freshest top-quality ingredients for your next meal, Morton's Gourmet Market in Sarasota will have what you need. Order a gourmet basket for the cheese-lover on your shopping list, or grab something delicious to take home. With more than 200 cheeses available every day and expert help from cheesemonger Karen LaBonte, Morton's is sure to stock what you seek.

  4. Papa's Meat Market – 324 Tamiami Trail S., Venice, FL 34285
    It's easy to find fresh food and fantastic cheese close to Venice homes for sale, thanks to well-known local shops like Papa's Meat Market. The cheese selection at Papa's Meat Market is diverse, with cheeses created on small farms throughout the country. At Papa's, you can sample everything from Amish cheese to the best imported Parmesan from Italy.

  5. Anna Maria Olive Oil Outpost – 401 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34217
    While you're out shopping for Anna Maria Island homes, you'll certainly end up with an appetite. Stop by the Anna Maria Olive Oil Outpost to sample some Truffle Pecorino and Formager Bleu creamy brie style cheese – or whatever the delicious cheese sample of the day may be. Aside from gourmet cheeses, the friendly staff is happy to indulge the taste buds of visitors with fabulous olive oils, freshly shaved parmesan, cured meats, handmade soaps, flavored balsamic vinegars and pickled goodies that make excellent gifts.
  6. The Ancient Olive of Sarasota – St. Armands Circle 26 N. Boulevard of the Presidents, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Just a short drive from Longboat Key homes for sale, you'll find The Ancient Olive. It's not a cheese shop, but when you have gourmet cheese, you need the amenities – like premium extra virgin olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars. The Ancient Olive provides an epicurean adventure that includes tastings of its various specialty foods among an array of unique culinary gifts, all found in the ambiance of a fine art gallery. The tasting room At The Ancient Olive features 55+ premium single varietal and flavored extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars and has been awarded for excellence in quality and education.

You'll never be hungry when you call our corner of Florida home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Manatee and Sarasota area.

January
6

Festivals Coming to Manatee & Sarasota Counties this Month

Festivals in Sarasota

Winter is once again upon us, and that means it's time to enjoy some of the most popular annual festivals throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties. From fine wine to art, music, heritage, and family fun, there's an upcoming festival to suit every interest. Our REALTORS® know local fun, and we've got the details on 7 festivals to visit in Manatee and Sarasota Counties in January 2020.

  1. Forks & Corks – Jan. 23 – 27 – 5401 Bayshore Rd., Sarasota, FL 34234
    If you've lived around Sarasota homes for sale, then you already know that our area is home to an amazing collection of restaurants and wineries. The Forks & Corks festival is a celebration of the local culinary scene, with four days of fun at Sarasota and Manatee dining spots. There will be a reception in the scenic courtyard of the Ringling Museum, along with tastings of wine from around the world and classes on making wine.

  2. Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival – Jan. 11 – 12 – 199 Bayfront Dr., Sarasota, FL 34236
    With free admission and a scenic location at JD Hamel Park, the Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival is an excellent opportunity to explore the work of local artists. The park will be transformed into one huge outdoor art gallery, showcasing the work of both local and national artists. Shop for paintings, jewelry, mixed media, glass, sculptures, ceramics, and more.

  3. Native American Indian Festival – Jan. 24 – 26 – 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34237
    Founded by the late, local artist and educator Rex Begaye, the Sarasota Native American Indian Festival is a celebration of our area's Native American heritage. Learn about the culture and history of Native Americans in the Sarasota area at the 13th annual edition of this popular local festival. There will be opportunities to shop for one-of-a-kind Native American crafts, hear stories, sing songs, and dance to traditional music.

  4. Seafood & Music Festival – Jan. 17 – 19 – 199 Bayfront Dr., Sarasota, FL 34236
    The fun at JD Hamel Park continues with another exciting weekend at the Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival. General admission is free, with plenty to see, hear, and taste throughout the weekend. Enjoy seafood from legendary local dining spots, and listen to live music all weekend long. In between meals and shows, you can shop at the bustling marketplace filled with art, food, and more.

  5. Manatee County Fair – Jan. 16 – 26 – 1303 17th St. W., Palmetto, FL 34221
    It's easy to enjoy family fun close to Palmetto homes for sale, thanks to local events like the Manatee County Fair. The fair features rides, live entertainment, tons of great food, and fun for all ages. Learn more about local agriculture and heritage, with a packed schedule of events spread over 11 days.

  6. Music on Main – Jan. 10 – 8100 Lakewood Main St., Bradenton, FL 34202
    There's always a celebration from 6-9 PM on the first Friday of each month at Lakewood Ranch with Music on Main, a free concert series and block party for the public! In January, The Reality Band will be taking the stage and showcasing their Jamtronica & Reggae music stylings. There's always plenty of food vendors and beer trucks to keep the party going! Plus, proceeds from the event benefit a different non-profit in the area each month. Be sure to stop by after checking out Lakewood Ranch homes for sale. Please note that for January, the event will be on the 10th. 

  7. 17th Annual St. Armands Circle Art Festival – Jan. 25 – 26 – St Armands Cir., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Every January, St. Armands Circle turns into a free art gallery for the public to enjoy. During the 17th Annual St. Armands Circle Art Festival, over 200 artists from around the world will be displaying their works of art along the Boulevard of Presidents and St. Armands Circle. Meet the artists and ask about their creations or ask them to commission an original piece just for you! 

When you call Southwest Florida home, the festival season never truly ends. Contact us to make this vibrant area your home.

December
20

Manatee & Sarasota Bakeries for Your Holiday Pies

Sarasota Bakeries

Not in the mood for baking this holiday season? No problem! The Sarasota and Manatee areas are loaded with great, local bakeries, perfect for picking up pies for all of your big holiday events. There's a local bakery for every taste, with specialties ranging from legendary key lime pies to a huge selection of gluten-free baked goods. Our REALTORS® are here to help you ring in the season in style, with our guide to the best Manatee and Sarasota bakeries for your holiday seasonal treats.

  • Ginnie's and Jane E's – 9807 Gulf Dr., Anna Maria, FL 34216
    Searching for something sweet close to Anna Maria homes for sale? Stop by Ginnie's and Jane E's cafe to shop for holiday pies and so much more. The bakery at this local gem stocks a wide variety of pies, with vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options available. There's also a cafe and antique shop connected to the bakery.

  • Carribean Pie Co. – 2245 Bee Bridge Rd., Sarasota, FL 34239
    If you're looking for an authentic, amazing key lime pie close to Sarasota homes for sale, then the Carribean Pie Co. is more than worth a trip. Try the award-winning key lime pie or sample one of many other pies with tropical themes. With over 25 years of experience creating delicious treats, you can always expect quality desserts.

  • Island Gluten Free Bakery – 1880 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, FL 34231
    When Island Gluten Free Bakery got its start in 2006, it was one of just a handful of gluten-free bakeries in the country. Even though there's a lot more competition today, this bakery still ranks as one of the country's best. There are also extensive vegan options, all made fresh with local ingredients.

  • Yoder's Amish Village 3434 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota, FL 34239
    You can't go wrong with a pie from Yoder's Amish Village. This Sarasota staple has been serving up mouthwatering slices of pie since 1975. All of these Amish pies are completely made-from-scratch every morning. There are plenty of options to take home with you during the holidays, including cherry, pumpkin, southern pecan, double-crust apple, and more! 

  • Der Dutchman – 3713 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota, FL 34232
    Enjoy a homemade Amish pie during the holidays when you pick up pies from Der Dutchman. Conveniently located on Bahia Vista St, this Amish store is perfect for holiday desserts or even picking up last-minute gifts. Pie options include black raspberry, custard, pumpkin, and blueberry.   

  • Morton's Gourmet Market – 1924 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, Florida 34239
    Morton's Gourmet Market has upheld a tradition of tasty food for over 40 years. You'll impress at the holiday party when you bring a treat from Morton's Gourmet Market's talented pastry chefs. Some of their holiday dessert specialties for 2019 include pumpkin pie, old fashioned apple pie, and Jim Beam pecan pie. Be sure to place your holiday orders before December 20th. 

Still searching for the perfect local home where you can create your own holiday memories? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Manatee and Sarasota areas.

December
6

How to Stay in Shape in Manatee & Sarasota During the Holidays

Workout in ManateeSticking to an exercise routine can be tough, especially during the holiday season. Between last-minute shopping, fun community events, and celebrations with family and friends, finding time for the gym is difficult. Thankfully, these fitness centers around Manatee and Sarasota Counties make it easy to stay in shape during the holidays.

  • AMI Health & Fitness — 5364 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    The only full-service fitness facility on the island, AMI Health & Fitness offers 24-hour access to their equipment to help you stay in shape no matter how crazy your schedule becomes during the holidays. A huge benefit to AMI Health & Fitness is that they offer Fitness On Demand, which is a digital archive of group fitness classes that you can play at any time of the day or night. If you're searching for fitness freedom on your schedule, you'll be thankful that this 24-7 facility is close to the best Holmes Beach homes for sale.

  • Pilates is a Workout — 55 South Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    This boutique Pilates studio close to Sarasota homes for sale in the heart of the city. They offer studio sessions and mat classes for people of all fitness levels. Pilates is a Workout will even provide private home instruction for those needing a convenient, professional exercise class in the comfort of their own homes.

  • Jaco Boxing & Fitness — 5708 Lawton Dr., Sarasota, FL 34233
    The one-stop fitness shop Jaco Boxing & Fitness, is ready to take your body to the next level with their HIIT boxing and weightlifting classes. They also offer a kid's fitness classes so the whole family can have fun reaching their fitness goals. Next time you're browsing Sarasota homes for sale, bring the family in for a free tour.

  • Latin Fitness — 4900 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 4232
    Dance your way to a healthier body during the holidays at Latin Fitness. They offer Zumba, Barre, and Pilates classes throughout the week focusing on cardio, strength training, and flexibility. If you're concerned with committing to a membership, they offer pay-by-the-class services. No reservations are required, so feel free to jump into a class after touring Sarasota homes for sale.

  • Longboat Key Fitness Studio — 511 Bay Isles Parkway, Longboat Key, FL 34228
    If you prefer a more private setting while you exercise, Longboat Key Fitness Studio is the best place for you. All training services are private or semi-private, letting you strengthen your body in a comfortable setting. Longboat Key Fitness Studio allows you to pay for only the services you use. Consider stopping by after viewing Longboat Key homes for sale to learn about their state-of-the-art equipment and training sessions.

  • Island Fitness — 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria Island, FL 34216
    When shopping for Anna Maria homes for sale, you'll be happy to discover a full-service gym is located right around the corner. Island Fitness offers classes six days a week to get your heart pumping. Their trainers are also the highest certified trainers in the county, giving you the opportunity to receive professional sport-specific or fitness training to meet your wellness goals.

  • Koko FitClub — 2531 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Bradenton, FL 3421
    Get fit in a way that fits your lifestyle. Koko FitClub offers flexibility and tailor-made fitness plans designed entirely for you. Around the corner from Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, when you stop into Koko FitClub you can expect a 15-45 minute workout driven by technology for your most effective workout yet. Perfect for those looking to get in shape but unsure where to start. 

Are you interested in buying or selling homes in the Manatee or Sarasota area during the holidays? Contact us today, and our REALTORS® will be happy to assist you.

November
22

6 Things to be Grateful for in Manatee and Sarasota Counties

Things to be Grateful for in Sarasota

Thanksgiving is upon us, offering an opportunity for reflection and gratitude. Everyone has their own favorites to be thankful for, but we thought it might be nice to start the holiday week off by sharing some of our favorites.

  1. The Beaches
    There's hardly a spot in Florida that isn't within an hour's drive of the ocean — no more than 30 minutes for most homeowners in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. We're thankful for every inch of sandy shoreline that allows us to live on permanent vacation. We especially love that beaches like Siesta Key are within walking distance of many Sarasota homes for sale

  2. The Sunshine
    The beach wouldn't be paradise without the sun! Our warm weather provides year-round comfort and stunning sunsets. We recommend checking out Robinson Preserve for beautiful sunset views near Bradenton homes for sale

  3. The Art Scene
    Sarasota and Manatee Counties have vibrant arts and culture scenes that rival other major metropolitan areas. Sarasota is home to art galleries and performing arts centers galore. Take a day and explore the Ringling, near Sarasota homes for sale. This creative community takes every opportunity to showcase its talent, and we take every opportunity to support it with our gratitude.

  4. Activities for All Ages
    No matter your age or ability, Sarasota and the surrounding areas have plenty of activities for all to enjoy. There are tons of hot-spots for shopping, both luxurious items, and handmade or antique goods. For a little bit of everything, swing over to Nathan Benderson Park near Lakewood homes for sale. Benderson Park is a unique 600-acre community park that includes North America's premier 2,000-meter sprint rowing course and a regatta center. But of course, there are outdoor recreational activities for everyone here, with golf courses, fishing holes, athletic facilities, and local parks stretched from end to end of the county. With museums, preserves, historical sites, and modern marvels at every corner, we're thankful for so much to do in our backyard.

  5. The Location
    While Sarasota and Manatee are rich in activities, we're also a quick drive to hundreds of other amazing destinations. Hop on I75 for a quick trip to Tampa for a Bucs game, southeast to Miami or the Keys for a classic getaway, or northeast to Orlando for the number one tourist attractions on the planet. With Gainesville, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Daytona, and Panama City Beach all within half of a day's drive, you can explore every amazing Florida city each weekend of the year.

  6. The Relaxation
    There is so much to see, do, and experience in our town — and yet, it is still the perfect place to do absolutely nothing. Take an afternoon and get out on a charter boat for some fishing near Anna Maria Island homes for sale. Or, you can stroll or drive through town without a destination in mind. 

If you're you looking for a home close to a relaxing beach or a condo in the heart of a bustling art, culture, and dining scene, contact us today, and we'll help you find a home that you'll be thankful for every day of the year.

November
8

Holiday Event Guide Manatee and Sarasota Counties

Holiday Event Guide

We may have sand instead of snow, but Manatee and Sarasota Counties still transform into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. Our REALTORS® have put together this holiday event guide to make sure your family enjoys a season filled with cheer!

  • Sarasota Christmas Glow Run 5K — Nathan Benderson Park 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, FL 4235 | Dec 07
    Get a running start on the holiday season with the Sarasota Christmas Glow Run 5K. The entire Christmas-themed lakeside course is open for runners and walkers so anyone can cheerfully attend. There will be snacks, refreshments, awards, and even a finish line with a forecast for a 100 percent chance of snowfall! Don't worry, the nearby Lakewood Ranch homes for sale you visit are only covered in sunshine.
  • The 12 Dolls of Christmas — Stone Hall 502 Third Ave W., Bradenton, FL 34205 | Dec 9 & 10
    Grab the kids and settle in for a new Christmas show. The 12 Dolls of Christmas holiday musical tells the story of a family Christmas pageant where twelve dancing dolls magically come to life. A fun show for kids of all ages, stop by Stone Hall after you walk a couple of Bradenton homes for sale.
  • An Old Florida Christmas — Manatee Village Historical Park 1404 Manatee Ave E., Bradenton, FL 34208 | Dec 15
    An Old School Florida Christmas celebrates old-fashioned holiday traditions by bringing the community together for music, food, crafts, and more. Stop by and pick up a few gifts from the many local heritage craft vendors. If you're hoping to unwrap a new place to live this year, we recommend you take a few hours to visit some Palmetto homes for sale just across the river.
  • A Night Before Christmas — GT Bray Park 5502 33rd Ave Dr. W., Bradenton, FL 34209 | Dec 14
    Santa will make a quick stop at GT Bray Park to make sure every little boy and girl updates him on their Christmas list. Bring your children down to the A Night Before Christmas event, which will feature hayrides, face painting, and even snow! Just a short drive from Anna Maria Island homes for sale
  • A Taste of Chanukah – Music and Food Festival – Philippi Estate Park 5500 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231- December 22nd 3:00PM - 6:00PM
    Enjoy 3 hours of fun for the whole family with Kosher food and live entertainment near Sarasota homes for sale. A Taste of Chanukah includes many of the area's best Kosher caterers, a graffiti wall and photo booth, a laser light show, face painting, magicians and live music with DJ CJ Koenig. Plus, the whole family will love the Skyriders Trampoline Show. Don't miss out on this fun event!  
  • Harmony for the Holidays — Historic Asolo Theatre 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, FL 34234 | Dec 21 &22
    One great aspect of the holiday season is that the airwaves are almost always filled with beautiful Christmas music. If you can't get enough of these yuletide tunes, buy a ticket for Harmony for the Holidays at the Historic Asolo Theatre. The Duchess Vocal Trio give their creative take on Christmas songs new and old. End a day browsing Sarasota homes for sale, with this concert.
  • A Christmas Carol — Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall 777 N. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, FL 34236 | Dec 28 
    Enjoy the magic of the holidays with the whole family when you attend Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. This stunning show will be in town on December 28th and is a holiday tradition featuring a timeless score. While you're in town, check out the Lido Key homes for sale
  • It's a Wonderful Life a New Musical - Manatee Performing Arts Center 502 Third Avenue West, Bradenton FL 34205 | December 5-22
    See the 1946 film come to life on the stage when you get tickets for It's a Wonderful Life A New Musical. The show runs from December 5-22, giving you plenty of time to get the family together for a trip to the theater. Plus, you can enjoy looking at Bradenton homes for sale prior to the show. 
  • Sledding with Santa (Lakewood Ranch) - Lakewood Ranch YMCA 5100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd 
    Bradenton, FL 34211 | December 6

    A free event the whole family will love close to Lakewood Ranch homes for sale. Sledding with Santa is the perfect event to kick off the holiday season and will have real snow! Gather the whole family for a fun day of sledding and holiday treats. 
  • Chanukah Celebration - Lakewood Ranch Main Street 8100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 - December 22nd - 5:00PM - 8:00PM
    Join Chabad of Bradenton & Lakewood Ranch for its Annual Chanukah Celebration on Main Street right around the corner from Lakewood Ranch homes for sale. This festival features a Grand Lego Menorah & Chanukah Gelt Drop! Enjoy Falafel With Yoav, Kosher BBQ, Kona Ice Truck, Jeff the Juggler, Face Painting, Doughnut Decorating, Hot Latkes Music, Dreidel Moonbounce and More! Admission is free. Nominal food fees to apply.

For more help finding the perfect Sarasota or Manatee County home to spend your next holiday, contact us!

November
15

No-Shave November: Barbershops in Manatee & Sarasota Counties

Barber Shops in Sarasota

No-Shave November has blown up in recent years, with men all over the world letting their beards grow wild as a way to raise awareness and money to fight cancer. Our REALTORS® have always been happy to take part, but when November draws to a close, we're about ready for a shave. 

Luckily, we have some great barbers in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. So when No-Shave November ends and you're ready to kiss your beard goodbye, these local barbershops are the places to go. 

  • Locals Barbershop LLC - 3322 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205
    Bradenton's Locals Barbershop LLC is one of our go-to spots for a shave, trim or haircut in Manatee County. No appointments are needed, but you can book one online. You'll always find three barbers on duty, ready to hook you up with whatever style you need. With a location near many Bradenton homes for sale, a great haircut is never far away.

  • Captain Kirk's Midway Barber - 6836 14th St W, Bradenton, FL 34207
    A Bradenton staple since 1993, Captain Kirk's Midway Barber offers snips and shaves with great prices and a friendly atmosphere. They do master cuts for men, women, and kids, so whether you need a quick beard trim, a clean shave or a trendy fade, they'll get the job done for you. Plus, the convenient location is close to many Bradenton homes for sale
     
  • Just Gents Barber & Spa - 126 N Orange Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Yes, men need to pamper themselves now and then. And when they do, they go to Just Gents Barber & Spa, Sarasota's premier grooming service. Perfect for guys who want to look great, feel great, relax, and rejuvenate. Just Gents is located right around the corner from these Sarasota homes for sale and offers a wide range of body, hair and skincare products and services, specifically designed for men.

  • Sarasota/Bradenton Hair Salon - 3645 Cortez Rd W #140, Bradenton, FL 34210
    Men and women alike will get a great trim or cut at Sarasota/Bradenton Hair Salon. Haircuts and shaves for men range in styles from fun to funky and always come with a low price tag. Plus, every service comes with a one-week guarantee, so if you're not happy with your fresh look, you can always come back after looking at Bradenton homes for sale

  • JD Barbary Shoppe - 8111 Lakewood Main St # 104, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
    In some corners, traditional barber skills are a dying art. But not at JD Barbary Shoppe. Here is a place you can stop in any time for a classic haircut experience, courtesy of master barbers who are well versed in all the tonsorial arts. From traditional straight-razor shaves to modern-day trimming techniques, JD Barbary Shoppe offers something genuinely timeless. Look for their authentic striped barber pole on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, minutes from these Lakewood Ranch homes for sale

  • Venice Island Barber Shop - 505 S Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL 34285
    Established in 1961, Venice Island Barbershop is your father's barbershop, but that doesn't mean it can't be yours too. Decked out in vintage barbershop style, the shop is home to five antique barber chairs, with a talented barber stationed at each one. Just up the street from Venice homes for sale, Venice Island Barbershop offers an ideal mix of modern trends and timeless style.

Contact us to learn more about life in Manatee and Sarasota Counties! Our team has helped families find their dream homes of Florida's Sunset Coast, and we're committed to helping you find yours.

October
25

Pumpkin Patches to Explore for National Pumpkin Day

Pumpkin Patches Manatee & Sarasota

Get started on your Halloween festivities early by celebrating National Pumpkin Day on October 26th. Give in to your pumpkin obsession by picking out the perfect pumpkin to carve, eating pumpkin-flavored foods, and participating in fun-filled activities for the whole family at these great pumpkin patches and events around Sarasota and Manatee Counties.  

  • 28th Annual Pumpkin Festival — Hunsader Farms 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, FL 34211 
    There's nothing quite like an afternoon at Hunsader Farms. Their exciting Pumpkin Festival returns this October and just so happens to have an event date on National Pumpkin Day. Join your family, friends, and our REALTORS® for a fun-filled day of live music, games, pony rides, crafts, activities for kids, a petting zoo, face painting, zip lining and, of course, plenty of delicious farm-fresh food. This event lasts from 9 am until 5 pm, so there's ample time to stop by after browsing Lakewood Ranch homes for sale.

  • Rubber Duckie Contest and Race — Jiggs Landing Outpost 6106 63rd St E, Bradenton, FL 34203
    Trade in your pumpkin for a rubber duck when you attend the 1st Annual Rubber Duckie Decorating Contest and Race. Drop off your decorated duckie before 10/31 where the best decorated duck will win a prize. Then come back and watch them race on November 2, at 2:00 PM down the Braden River. The event is the perfect excuse to check out nearby Bradenton homes for sale
  • Pumpkin Splash — Arlington Park & Aquatic Complex 2650 Waldemere St., Sarasota, FL 34239
    Splash into the harvest season at Arlington Park & Aquatic Complex. Their Pumpkin Splash event has floating pumpkins ready for kids 12 and under to swim to and pick. Although there is plenty to do in the area when viewing Sarasota homes for sale, this event does require prior registration. Also, little ones under the age of 5 must be supervised at all times. 


  • 31st Annual Pumpkin Festival — Fruitville Grove 7410 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34240 
    The 31st Annual Pumpkin Festival is carving yet another year of fun into their long history. Enjoy this free event in between your appointments to walk Sarasota homes for sale. The event features a petting zoo, playground, fun photo ops, and special Halloween-themed contests. On National Pumpkin Day, there will be live music, a children's costume contest, and a performance by the Torres Family Circus with the Globe of Death.


  • Pumpkin Patch Express — Florida Rail Road Museum 12210 83rd St. E., Parrish, FL 34219 
    All aboard the Pumpkin Patch Express at the Florida Rail Road Museum! Treat your children to an exciting ride after you've spent the morning looking at Parrish homes for sale. The Pumpkin Patch Express and Pumpkin Patch Caboose will take you to a patch where children can pick their own pumpkins. There are other activities throughout the afternoon as well, including hayrides and crafts!


  • 43rd Annual Pumpkin Patch — Jesse P. Miller School 4201 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34209 
    Their 43rd Annual Pumpkin Patch at the Jesse P. Miller School will be open on National Pumpkin Day for young ones to explore. Not only can you pick a great gourd, but proceeds from each pumpkin will be donated to community charities and scholarships. The event lasts from 10 am until 9 pm, so there's no reason to rush through your Bradenton homes for sale visits.


  • Fox Squirrel Corn Maze — 3002 Charlie Taylor Rd N, Plant City, FL 33565
    Get your pumpkin and corn maze fix when you venture slightly out of Bradenton and Sarasota Counties to the Fox Squirrel Corn MazeThe festival features plenty of fall fun for the whole family and is a short drive from Plant City homes for sale. The corn maze is open until October 27th on weekends only. Take your whole family to pick a pumpkin and see how long it takes you to get out of the maze.

After you've picked the perfect pumpkin, it's time to pick the perfect home. Contact us to view our best homes for sale in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

August
26

Labor Day Events Around Manatee & Sarasota Counties

Manatee & Sarasota County Labor Day Weekend Events
Scheduling your plans for Labor Day weekend along Florida's Gulf Coast? Our communities throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties are jam-packed with weekend activities and celebrations. Whether you're a long-time resident, newcomer, or visitor, our REALTORS® are here with favorite Labor Day events sure to pique the interest of every member of your family.

  1. Sarasota Architectural Salvage, 1093 Central Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Buying one of our Sarasota homes for sale is the perfect reason to go treasure hunting for unique décor at Sarasota Architectural Salvage during their Labor Day Sale.  Get great items for your new home and save money while you're attending their weekend sale. FREE beer and/or soda all weekend, Register for drawings and specials online.  This event will be taking place Labor Day Weekend. 

  2. Tampa Bay Labor Day Tournament — Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch, 5895 Post Blvd., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211
    Take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend with an exciting soccer tournament. The 2019 Tampa Bay Labor Day Tournament will take place at Premier Sports Campus just around the corner from Lakewood Ranch homes for sale. One of the best in the state, this tournament brings teams from far and wide to compete in front of their families and friends in this fun annual event!

  3. 27th Annual Canes Cross Country Classic 5K & 1K — 2900 51st St. W., Bradenton, FL 34209
    Spend your Labor Day having fun in Manatee County's oldest running tradition. The 27th Annual Canes Cross Country Classic takes place just up the road from Bradenton homes for sale and challenges runners of all ages to get out and get active. There is a 1K family fun run/walk, as well as two 5Ks for under and above 18 aged runners. Come out and start your Labor Day with an exhilarating morning run!

  4. Labor Day Scramble — Lake Venice Golf Club, 1801 Harbor Dr. S., Venice, FL 34285
    Ready to get one last round of golf in before the summer ends? Head over to the Lake Venice Golf Club around the corner from Venice homes for sale and participate in their Labor Day Scramble. Beginning at 8:00 AM on Labor Day, a $25 entrance fee gets you 18 holes, a cart, food and more. Play against your friends and potentially walk away with some amazing prizes!  

  5. 63rd Annual Englewood Pioneer Days Parade & Festival — Dearborn Street Plaza, 300 W. Dearborn St., Englewood, FL 34223
    Every year, one of the longest and best Labor Day celebrations occurs right down the road from Englewood homes for sale. The 63rd Annual Englewood Pioneer Days Festival has activities from August 17th through Labor Day. On Labor Day itself, there will be a morning parade on Dearborn Street followed by a festival and car show at Pioneer Park that you don't want to miss!
  6. 2019 Summer of Rum Festival - Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, 1001 N Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33606
    Take a little road trip from Bradenton up to DowntownTampa this Labor Day weekend for The Summer of Rum Festival on Saturday, August 31, 2019, from noon to 11:00 P.M. Try out a variety of cocktails from Pina Coladas, rum runners, Cuba Libres, frozen daiquiris and more. The Caribbean Food Market will showcase a variety of local vendors. Try out 40+ rums during the Island Tasting Party, and the celebration ends with an amazing fireworks show.

Are you ready to buy a home in Sarasota or Manatee County before? Contact us today and our team will help you find the home of your dreams!

August
19

Volunteer Opportunities in Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota Manatee Volunteer Opportunities

Since 1939 Wagner Realty has been a leader in our communities, committed to giving back and making a difference in the place we all call "home." Our team is deeply involved in contributing to the well-being of the region on a civic, social and professional level. Our agents and brokers serve on local non-profit boards, organize fundraisers, and volunteer for numerous and varied charities – always looking for ways to support the community through donations of time and money. We celebrate the true meaning of community.

Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the community - it's also one of the best ways to meet like-minded people. Not sure where to start? No problem! Our REALTORS® are familiar with many of the area's charitable organizations. We're involved in too many to list, but here are a few volunteer opportunities for you to explore. If you're interested in finding out more about the hundreds of local charities, a great resource is The Giving Partner website. The Giving Partner reflects many nonprofits in our community that have made a commitment to transparency by sharing in-depth information about their community impact, leadership, and financial history.  The Community Foundation of Sarasota County verifies much of the information provided; each nonprofit is required to maintain an updated profile in order to be eligible for funding and other opportunities.

  1. Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center: 1750 17th Street, Building J-One, Sarasota, FL 34234
    A compilation of over 20 nonprofit health and human services agencies, Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center offers a huge variety of volunteer opportunities. Whether you prefer working with the elderly, children, parents, the homeless population, or those with medical needs, this organization can pair you up with the best organization to meet your goals. 

  2. The Women's Resource Center: 340 S. Tuttle Ave. Sarasota, FL 34237
    With locations in Bradenton, Sarasota, and Venice the Women's Resource Center has been empowering women since 1979. They do this by offering an array of services including employment counseling, financial education, legal support, and programs like yoga, meditation, and book clubs.

    To explore volunteer opportunities, complete their online application and let them know what skills and talents you have to offer. When you go to visit the center, make sure you keep an eye out for some of the great nearby Sarasota homes for sale.  
  1. The Center of Anna Maria Island: 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria Island, FL 34216
    Potential homebuyers are always asking us to show them Anna Maria homes for sale, and it's easy to see why. This quaint island town is perfect for those who want to kick back, relax, and enjoy living in a place where so many others come to vacation.

    The Center of Anna Maria Island is a cornerstone of this wonderful community. They offer fitness and education classes, sports, and youth and senior activities. They also put on many community events throughout the year. Check out their volunteer application to learn more about the opportunities available. 
  1. The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch: 26920 Gopher Hill Road, Myakka City, Florida 34251
    If cuddles from furry friends are more your style, consider donating some time to help out The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch. This no-kill, not-for-profit rescue organization is dedicated to advocating for the welfare of the area's homeless and needy pets. If you've been thinking about moving into one of the great Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, this is an excellent way to give back to your community.

    This Humane Society is run by volunteers, and there are opportunities for you to help with dog and puppy care, cleaning, and administrative tasks. Complete their online application to get started.
  1. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast: 1000 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite C, Venice, FL 34285
    Do you want to make a major difference in the life of a child? Consider becoming a "big" for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast. Whether you have the time to commit to working one-on-one with a child or you want to contribute in other ways, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.

    There are BBBS organizations all around the area, so whether you're looking at Venice homes for sale or you end up settling somewhere else nearby, you're likely to find opportunities that are not too far away. 

Our REALTORS® love helping new buyers find the perfect home in their ideal neighborhood. Whether you want to be inches away from sandy beaches or have acres of sprawling land, there's a nearby home for sale that will give you exactly what you're looking for. Contact Wagner Realty to learn how we can help. 

August
12

Dog Parks in Manatee and Sarasota Counties

Manatee Sarasota Dog Parks

Take Your Pooch to These Parks Near You

Your precious pooch wants and needs regular exercise, but walks around the block can get old fast. Our real estate agents recommend some of our favorite dog parks in Sarasota and Manatee Counties to share quality time with your pet in the Florida sunshine.

  1. Brohard Paw Park - 1600 S. Harbor Dr., Venice, FL 34285
    You and Fido can both work on your tans at Brohard Paw Park, the only beach area in Sarasota County where dogs are permitted and within convenient distance of Venice homes for sale. There is an adjacent fenced-in dog play yard with picnic tables, benches, doggie waste bags, showers, and drinking fountains for pets and their humans. Just south of Paw Park is a beach for humans only, equipped with boardwalks, benches, and showers. Hours at Brohard Paw Park are 7 a.m. - dusk daily.

  2. Bayfront Park - 4052 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, FL 34228
    The off-leash area at Bayfront Park, only minutes from Longboat Key homes for sale, is like a playground for dogs. Your pet will have a blast romping on and around structures such as ramps, teeter-totters, and even a "fire hydrant." The fenced-in park has a separate area for small or shy dogs. Bayfront Park is open daily except for Monday when the park is closed from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

  3. Lakeview Paw Park - 7150 Lago St., Sarasota, FL 34241
    Lakeview Paw Park gets high marks from users because of the plentiful trees that provide cooling shade on the grounds. Separate areas give small and large dogs their own spaces, and benches and picnic tables are available for humans. Adjacent Lakeview Park, close to Sarasota homes for sale, has scenic paths where leashed dogs are welcome. Park hours are 6 a.m. - sunset.

  4. Laurie Crawford Dog Park - 2811 - 51st St., Bradenton, FL 34209
    Happy Tails Canine Park opened in 2000 as Manatee County's first dog park, not far from Bradenton homes for sale. In April 2019, the facility was renamed Laurie Crawford Dog Park in honor of the local animal advocate who helped create the park. Upgrades include the addition of 1.25 acres of tree-shaded areas along with pavilions and benches, picnic tables, water fountains, waste bag dispensers, and trash cans. Hours at Laurie Crawford Dog Park are sunrise to sunset seven days a week. The new park area is closed for maintenance Monday from 7 a.m. - 10 a.m. is closed during the same hours on Thursday. 

  5. Dog Leg Canine Park - 7550 - 69th St. E., Palmetto, FL 34221
    The cleverly named Dog Leg Canine Park is a three-acre fenced-in area located at Buffalo Creek Park, just down the street from Palmetto homes for sale. Older, sensitive and small dogs have their own section away from the more rambunctious dogs. An on-site covered shelter offers welcome shade, and dogs stay hydrated at the water fountain. Free waste bags are provided. Dog Leg is open sunrise to sunset daily but closed for maintenance 7 a.m. - 10 a.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. to close the last Friday of each month.

  6. Holmes Beach Dog Park - 62nd St. and Flotilla Dr., Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Holmes Beach Dog Park 
    is a popular attraction around Holmes Beach homes for sale. Relax on a shaded bench as you watch your dog socialize and make friends in the fully enclosed area. The community is fundraising to make upgrades to the park including landscaping for more shade, more secure fencing and gates, and even a potential park expansion.  Hours are sunrise to sunset daily.

Searching for the perfect home for your family, including the four-legged members? Contact us at Wagner Realty, your top choice for professional real estate services.

August
5

Fishing & Sailing Charters Around Sarasota

Sarasota Fishing and Sailing
When potential buyers begin searching for Sarasota homes for sale, they often ask about things to do here. Boating and fishing top the lists of our real estate agents for outdoor fun in Sarasota.

Choosing the right charter means the difference between an incredible experience you'll never forget, and a day that's just so-so. To help make sure you enjoy every minute of your trip, we've created the following list of our favorite local fishing and sailing charters. 

  1. Sarasota Fishing Charters -  2576 Hillview Street, Sarasota, FL 34239
    For a family-friendly fishing trip, Sarasota Fishing Charters with Captain Jack Hartman is a great choice. He welcomes all anglers from beginners to those with expert skills. The tours cover local area waters including Sarasota, Siesta Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key, and Anna Maria Island and are ideal for catching Taron, Redfish, Snook, and other Florida fish species. 

  2. Charter Fishing Sarasota - 1718 Cherry Lane, Sarasota, FL 34236 
    Sarasota Charter Fishing is also a family-friendly experience. You can choose from inshore charter fishing in Sarasota Bay, sport fishing, offshore fishing, or a custom deep-sea charter. Some of Captain Will's favorite fish to catch include Snapper, Grouper, Shark, Kingfish, Amberjack, and Barracuda. Charter guests also love the exceptionally smooth ride that the 23' Maco offers. 

  3. Key Sailing: 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236 
    Book your adventure through Key Sailing and join Captain Tim and First Mate Jen on their 41' Morgan yacht. Whether you want to relax and enjoy the sunset, view local waterfront properties, or take the helm for a sailing lesson, Captain Tim and First Mate Jen are happy to accommodate you.  This Sarasota adventure is an excellent option for a couple's "date night," while families with children are encouraged to book one of their affordable private charters. 
  1. Captain Jack's Charters - 6174 Clark Center Ave. Sarasota, FL 34238 
    Captain Jack's Charters allows guests to experience the luxury of a 42-foot yacht. It's perfect for sunsets and sightseeing and available for weddings, birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and other special occasions. They'll arrange full catering with food and drinks, or you're welcome to bring your own. 

  2. Siesta Kation Sarasota Fishing Tours & Charters - 5587 Merrimac Dr. Sarasota, FL 34231
    For the ultimate well-rounded boating experience, look no further than Siesta Kation Sarasota Fishing Tours & ChartersSome of the services they offer include sightseeing, dolphin tours, diving, snorkeling, shelling, tiki bar tours, and sunset cruises. They also offer inshore, nearshore, and offshore fishing excursions. Choose the charter package that's right for you or have them create a completely custom package to suit your needs. 

  3. Inshore Addict Charters - 1059 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Captain Matt Davie of Inshore Addict Charters specializes in light tackle, inshore, and nearshore fishing. Both beginners and seasoned anglers are welcome on these charters. You can expect to catch local species like Snook, Trout, Tarpon, and Redfish. Sometimes, you'll also come across Sheephead, Cobia, Grouper, and more. 

Are you thinking about buying a home in the Sarasota area? Wagner Realty can help! Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started. 

July
22

Clean Eating Restaurants Near You

Sarasota Manatee Clean Eating Restaurants

Living in the Sunshine State gives you plenty of opportunities to spend time outdoors and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. For many Florida residents, staying active and eating well are important priorities. Lately, people across the state are embracing the idea of "clean eating."

While this might sound like just another fad diet, it's actually a way of life that's incredibly effective for maintaining your health. In its simplest form, clean eating involves avoiding processed foods, eating balanced meals prepared in healthy ways, and ramping up your intake of plant-based foods. 

Luckily, you don't have to slave away in the kitchen to enjoy eating clean. Our real estate agents have found some great clean eating restaurants throughout the Sarasota-Manatee areas! Check out this list of some of our local favorites. 

  1. Lemon Tree Kitchen - 1289 N Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    With an array of healthy menu items designed to appeal to the everyday diner, Lemon Tree Kitchen is the perfect choice for a casual bite in a relaxed atmosphere. All of their dishes are made from scratch daily and feature clean, wholesome ingredients that are locally-sourced whenever possible.  After you're done with your meal, we recommend taking a drive around so you can see some of the great Sarasota homes for sale in the downtown area. 

  2. The Sage Biscuit Cafe in Downtown Bradenton - 1401 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205
    The Sage Biscuit Cafe brings homemade, quality dishes to their clientele that include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. The Sage Biscuit Cafe is a family-owned business dedicated to serving their customers the freshest and tastiest food in Bradenton. After your meal, take a drive to view some of the best Bradenton homes for sale in the area.

  3. Veg - 2164 Gulf Gate Dr., Sarasota, FL 34232
    Veg offers high-quality vegetarian, vegan, and seafood dishes served in a cozy bistro setting. They're open for both lunch and dinner and can accommodate gluten-free and lactose-intolerant diners. They serve excellent homemade sangria, and the veggie burgers are out-of-this-world. 

  4. Fresh Kitchen - 8491 Cooper Creek Blvd #101, Bradenton, FL 34201
    Fresh Kitchen
    serves customers chef-inspired meals made from fresh high-quality ingredients to nourish and energize the body. At Fresh Kitchen, you can build your own bowls with hormone and antibiotic-free grilled meats and roasted vegetables. Your meal at Fresh Kitchen is 100% gluten-free.

  5. Ionie Retreat and Organic Raw Food Cafe - 1241 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Part spa retreat and part vegan raw food restaurant, Ionie Retreat and Organic Raw Food Cafe is the ideal place to relax and unwind while giving your body the nourishment it craves. Grab a spot at one of the cute outdoor tables and enjoy a healthy smoothie, juice, elixir, or wheatgrass shot. Want something more substantial? They also serve pizzas, entrees, and desserts.

  6. Bowled Life Cafe  - 929 10th St E., Palmetto, FL 34221
    Bowled Life Cafe was opened in Manatee County in October 2018 and has been showing Bradenton locals the way to delicious, healthy eating ever since.  The restaurant specializes in acai bowls, smoothies, salad bowls, and avocado toast. David and Bettina Wheeler, Bowled Life Cafe owners, described their fare as vegan-friendly and "on the healthy side--no sugar is added and nothing is fried. Bowled Life Cafe, located just minutes from homes for sale in Palmetto.

  7. Green Zebra Cafe - 476 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Located in beautiful St. Armands Circle, family-owned Green Zebra Cafe is another local favorite. Their menu includes raw entrees and desserts, pressed juices and elixirs, smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and more. Best of all, everything is made from the best possible local and organic ingredients. 

  8. Lila - 1576 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236
    For creative vegetarian and vegan dishes, you can't go wrong with lunch or dinner at Lila. This downtown hot spot prides itself on using organic and locally-sourced ingredients and preparing their dishes in a way that keeps all vegetarian and vegan dishes free of animal contaminants. Both vegans and meat-eaters love these fresh and delicious vegetable-centric meals!

There's so much to love about living in Sarasota and Manatee! From seemingly limitless dining and entertainment options to great weather and gorgeous houses, this city has it all. If you're ready to learn more about the area and start exploring some of our homes for sale throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties, contact us today to get started.

July
15

5 Places for Horseback Riding in Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota-Manatee Counties Horseback Riding

Horsing Around in Southwest Florida

When you think about moving to Florida, sun, sand, and surf most likely top your list of reasons to relocate here. But did you know Florida's call extends to horse farms, rodeos, polo fields, and thoroughbred horse racing tracks too?

Yes, "horsing around" can be added to your bucket list of things to do when you come to Southwest Florida. Moving to one of our nearby communities means you'll have the unique opportunity to enjoy equine events in cities like Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Parrish, Bradenton, and Venice.

Our real estate agents are here with some of the best places to enjoy horseback riding throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties:

  1. Epic Equine Experiences - 8272 Whiskey Pond Lane, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
    If you want your time viewing Lakewood Ranch homes for sale to be truly epic, Epic Equine Experiences has you covered. Half-day trail riding on beautiful horses will bring you up close and personal with some of Florida's ecological wonders. Plus, delicious meals and lavish drinks are provided. Epic will even coordinate kayaking and swamp buggy adventures for you if you wish.

  2. Rosaire's Riding Academy & Pony Rides – 901 East Road, Sarasota, FL 34240
    Just a short ride from Sarasota homes for sale, you'll discover Rosaire's Riding Academy & Pony Rides. Rosaire's Riding Academy teaches riders of all ages how to handle, love, respect and enjoy horses. And if riding a horse just isn't for you, Rosaire's offers ground handling and grooming sessions. The academy hosts riding camps, individualized riding lessons, parties, and even a petting zoo. Your family can meet sheep, goats, and local poultry. You can even rent donkeys and camels.

  3. Born to Ride – 17960 Florida 62, Parrish, FL 34219
    Parrish homes for sale leave you in just the right area to canter on down to Born to Ride, one of the state's most unusual trail riding experiences. With help from riding experts, you'll explore Florida's gorgeous state parks. Everything you need is provided, and first-time riders are welcome. 

  4. BeachHorses – 8400 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34209
    Bradenton homes for sale aren't far from the beach, and BeachHorses combines two of the things residents love most about Florida. A service of Great World Adventures, BeachHorses has been a popular attraction since 2007. The first half of your journey is on the water and the second half is right on the beach. You'll even learn cool tricks – prepare yourself for horse surfing!

  5. Windsong Farm – 238 Lee Road, Venice, FL 34292
    Venice homes for sale may not have homemade pasta and singing gondoliers like their Italian cousin, but thanks to Windsong Farm, they do have plenty of horses to ride! Windsong Farms is one of the best bets if you want to introduce a child to the wonders of horseback riding. It operates a week-long summer camp with plenty to see and do for kids aged seven years to 16. Giddy-up!

Does buying a home in Florida have to be complicated? We say neigh! Wagner Realty will ride to the rescue with advice and customer care you can count on. You'll be galloping toward closing today in no time with us. Contact us today to find out more.

July
8

5 Donation Centers in Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota-Manatee Donation Centers

July 15 - National Give Something Away Day

Our real estate agents are looking forward to making a difference on National Give Something Away Day. Happening on July 15, this is a wonderful opportunity to give to charity and brighten someone's day. It also means you'll have less to lug around if you're about to move!

Lately, many people have gotten excited about the potential of the clutter-free life. One of the biggest challenges in de-cluttering is having one place where every item should always go. Sometimes, getting rid of an item simply makes more sense than keeping it.

Luckily, there are many organizations all over Sarasota-Manatee that will be more than happy to accept your donation. In most cases, all you need to do is visit and drop off your item. While each collection site has its own rules, they all help people in need.

Let's look at five of the top donation centers in the area:

  1. HOPE Chest Thrift Store - 1215 8th Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205
    A short distance from Bradenton homes for sale is HOPE Chest Thrift Store. Hope Chest Thrift Store accepts donations of clothing, household items, furniture, and electronics during business hours. The store is open to the public and all proceeds benefit the clients of HOPE Family Services. Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-4pm. Please call for more information (941)745-2034.
  2. Goodwill Manasota Donation Center – 3614 East Bay Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Holmes Beach homes for sale benefit from proximity to many nonprofits. One of these is Goodwill, which operates several drop-off points in and around Sarasota and Manatee. While Goodwill is mainly funded by its network of retail thrift stores, it also accepts donations directly from the public. 
  3. Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center – 2280 17th Street, Sarasota, FL 34234
    The Salvation Army has a number of easy ways to donate items from Sarasota homes for sale. In addition to visiting the donation center on 17th Street, you also have the option of scheduling a free pickup at your home or place of business. The Salvation Army also accepts donations of private vehicles.
  4. Turning Points – 701 17th Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205
    Turning Points is a Florida nonprofit that provides assistance to people who are struggling with homelessness or domestic violence. Single mothers, the elderly, the disabled, and youth leaving the foster care system are just some of the many beneficiaries. Donations are gratefully accepted from throughout the region including Ellenton homes for sale. Bring canned foods, clothing, and toys.
  5. Englewood Helping Hand – 700 East Dearborn Street, Englewood, FL 34223
    The efforts of Englewood Helping Hand go to help the one in five Sarasota and Charlotte County youths who are food insecure. If you're looking at Englewood homes for sale, you're more than welcome to stop by and drop off food donations. The organization is in the middle of a major funds drive with the goal of moving to a bigger location, too!

Our real estate agents are always ready to give YOU a "helping hand" with all of your real estate needs. We bring you courteous customer service and insightful advice you can really rely on.

It's about time you discovered your Florida dream home. Contact us today to find out more.

July
1

July 4th Events in Sarasota-Manatee 2019

Sarasota Manatee July 4

Our real estate agents are gearing up for another beautiful 4th of July weekend here in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. After a busy summer connecting clients with some of the best homes for sale in Sarasota and Bradenton, our team takes the time to salute our country with friends and family.

Throughout the region, you'll find people getting ready to show just how much America means to them. There'll be fireworks, barbecue, concerts, sports, and much more. No matter what suits your style, you'll find it around Sarasota, Bradenton, and beyond.

Let's look at some of the top 4th of July events in our area in 2019:

  1. 4th of July Concert: Sounds of Independence – 61 North Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Some of the best local choral artists will take the stage during the Sounds of Independence concert at the Sarasota Opera House this July 4th. The show begins at 4 p.m. with a wide range of traditional patriotic classics and selections that highlight the founding of America. The Sarasota Concert Band will be a part of the performance. And the best part is, the celebration is only minutes from Sarasota homes for sale.

  2. Anna Maria Island Privateers, Inc. -PO Box 1238, Holmes Beach, Fl 34218
    The Anna Maria Privateers invite you to join their community's 4th of July parade and celebration. Anna Maria homes for sale are near to where all the fun will be happening.  The parade starts at 10 a.m. from Coquina Beach and travels north on Gulf Drive to City Pier Park. Come dressed in your best red, white and blue! After the parade, the City of Anna Maria invites all to City Pier Park from noon to 1:30 p.m. to celebrate our independence with free hot dogs, chips and patriotic music

  3. Siesta Key 4th of July Fireworks – Siesta Key Beach, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242
    Siesta Key homes for sale are some of the most desirable around the Bay Area, thanks to the gorgeous white sand beaches and the soothing sea breezes. Now, you can add one more perk to the list: One of the most enjoyable Independence Day celebrations. Siesta Key 4th of July will light up the night between 9:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. on the Siesta Key Public Beach.

  4. Blues and Banjos at Snook Haven – 351 Nassau Street South, Venice, FL 34292
    Located at the historic Triangle Inn, Snook Haven is known for downhome Florida cuisines like fried gator bites, Mahi, catfish, and the shrimp po' boy. If you're looking for something a little offbeat this 4th of July, Snook Haven has you covered with an evening of smoking hot music right on the river. Enjoy a slew of live performances and a welcoming crowd blocks from Venice homes for sale.

  5. Florida Fire Frogs at Bradenton Marauders – 1611 9th Street West, Bradenton, FL 34205
    Settle in for a fast-paced game of Minor League Baseball at famous LECOM Park when the Florida Fire Frogs square off against the Bradenton Marauders starting 10:30 a.m. on July 4th. A day of fun and excitement await you with Florida's answer to Fenway Park. Expect a hard-fought game, tasty concessions, and a memorable national anthem on this special day.

You'll feel like celebrating when you choose Wagner Realty for your Florida home search. Our team combines expert insight into the local area with reliable customer care.

We'll support you every step of the way so you can make informed decisions as you buy a house. Contact us today to find out more. We look forward to meeting you.

June
24

5 Top Spots for Birdwatching in Sarasota-Manatee Counties

Sarasota-Manatee Birdwatching

There's no shortage of fun outdoor activities to do in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. If you want to get out of the house and connect with nature, grab your binoculars and your camera and head out to some of the area's best birdwatching spots.

Whether you're new to the birdwatching scene of you're already a member of the Sarasota Audubon Society, you might be surprised by the array of interesting species you'll find nearby. Our REALTORS® recommend taking a drive to the following locations where you're sure to find some new feathered friends. 

Sarasota-Manatee Birdwatching

  1. Myakka River State Park - 13208 State Road 72 Sarasota, FL 34241
    Featuring over 58 square miles of prairies, wetlands, hammocks, and pinelands, Myakka River State Park is home to an abundance of wildlife. Here you can expect to see wading birds, raptors, songbirds, migratory species, and more.   You can observe the birds from the lakeshore or the Birdwalk, or canoe along the river. There's also an elevated canopy walkway and a 74-foot high observation tower. 

  2. Celery Fields - 6893 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240
    One of the best birdwatching spots in Southwest Florida, Celery Fields offers visitors the opportunity to catch a glimpse of over 220 species including Bald Eagles, Tree Swallows, Roseate Spoonbills, Osprey, Herons, Egrets, and over 20 different species of ducks.  Since the location is not far from some of the best Sarasota homes for sale, you can easily spend your morning birdwatching and the rest of the day home shopping! 

    Sarasota-Manatee Birdwatching
  3. Robinson Nature Preserve - 1704 99th St NW, Bradenton, FL 34209
    Northwest Bradenton is home to some of the most gorgeous Bradenton homes for sale and is also where you'll find the extremely popular Robinson Nature Preserve. The area is well known for Bald Eagle sightings, and with its 682 acres of tidal marsh, preserved mangrove, and former agricultural land, there are plenty of opportunities to see a variety of other species.  You can expect to see Pelicans, Herons, Egrets, Osprey, and more. Since the area is so protected, it's often possible to get quite close to the birds and observe them in their natural habitat.   

  4. Felts Audubon Preserve - 4600 24th Ave. E., Palmetto, FL 34221
    Located between residences and farmlands, Felts Audubon Preserve is one of the only places in the area to see colorful Indigo and Painted Buntings. There are also plenty of opportunities to see more than 160 avian species and over 30 different butterfly species.

    Once you've had your fill of birding, we recommend taking a drive around the area to check out some of the Palmetto homes for sale. This city offers residents a small-town feel with easy access to nearby cities and the waterfront. 

    Sarasota-Manatee Birdwatching
  5. Venice Area Audubon Rookery: 4002 S Tamiami Trail via, Annex Rd, Venice, FL 34293
    Birders from across the state and around the globe flock to the Venice Area Audubon Rookery where you can get so close to the birds that you barely need binoculars. Here you can watch them build nests, court, and mate, hatch their eggs and raise their families.  Expect to see Egrets, Herons, Ibises, Anhingas, and more. You'll also get a glimpse of alligators, who patrol the lake and keep predatory mammals away from the birds. 

    ​​​​​​​We suggest taking the scenic route home so you can take a look at some of the Venice homes for sale. You just might find the home you've been dreaming of! 

From outdoor adventures to shopping and nightlife, Our REALTORS® are "in the know" about all things there are to love about living in Sarasota-Manatee County communities. If you would like to learn more about the area and take a look at some of the gorgeous homes for sale, we can help! Contact us at Wagner Realty to get started.  

June
17

Best Waterfront Restaurants in Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota Manatee Waterfront Restaurants
One of the best things about living in the Sarasota-Manatee area is it's proximity to the water. Not only is the area home to some of the best beaches in the country, but it also offers many opportunities to enjoy a memorable waterfront dining experience. 

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or are looking for a great place to enjoy a casual lunch, the ideal waterfront restaurant is just a short drive away. 

Our REALTORS® have some favorite waterfront locations to share with you.  Here are five to start your local waterfront dining tour.

  1. The Sandbar Restaurant: 100 Spring Avenue, Anna Maria, FL 34216
    Located on the north end of Anna Maria Island, The Sandbar Restaurant offers an extensive menu made with fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant serves lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, giving you plenty of opportunities to kick off your shoes and enjoy a memorable dining experience with your toes in the sand.

    While you're on the island, we recommend taking some time to explore. If you get a chance, strike up a conversation with some of the locals. It won't take long for you to understand why Anna Maria homes for sale are in such high demand. 
  1. Marina Jack: 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236
    If you've been exploring the area looking at Sarasota homes for sale, you've surely seen the gorgeous building that houses Marina Jack. Offering upscale and casual dining options, a lounge and piano bar, and a sunset dinner cruise, this location has been a favorite among Sarasota residents for many years.   The Marina Jack dining room offers stunning views of the marina and an exceptional menu. The Blue Sunshine Patio is perfect for al fresco dining, and the Deep Six Lounge and Piano Bar offers casual dining and live entertainment. 
  1. Pier 22: 1200 1st Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
    A Bradenton landmark, Pier 22 offers diners a taste of paradise on the Manatee River. Enjoy an upscale experience in the indoor dining room or grab a casual bite on the outdoor patio. Pier 22 also serves sushi, has an excellent happy hour menu, daily specials, and a special weekend brunch menu. Before you head home, take a drive around.  This will give you the opportunity to see some of the great Bradenton homes for sale near the riverfront and in the downtown area. 
  1. Ophelia's on the Bay: 9105 Midnight Pass Rd., Sarasota, FL 34242
    Ophelia's on the Bay offers an unforgettable fine dining experience on Siesta Key. Here you'll find a daily rotating selection of dishes inspired by global cuisine. With two glass-walled indoor dining areas and an outdoor patio, there isn't a bad seat in the house. You'll enjoy stunning views of Sarasota Bay and may catch a glimpse of sea birds, herons, and even dolphins.   While you're in the area, keep an eye out for some of the breathtaking Siesta Key homes for sale
  1. Gecko's Dry Dock Waterfront Grill: 412 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34228
    With panoramic views from the upstairs dining room and an outdoor deck overhanging the water, Gecko's Dry Dock Waterfront Grill on Longboat Key is a favorite among both locals and tourists. You can reach Dry Dock by car or pull your boat up to one of the restaurant's three wet slips. No matter how you arrive, you're sure to love the delicious seafood selections and casual atmosphere.  Before you head home, spend some time exploring the area. You'll soon see why so many homebuyers ask us to show them the best Longboat Key homes for sale

If you're ready to make the Sarasota-Manatee area your new home, we're here to help! Whether you want to live on the water, in the city, or in the suburbs, there's a home in the area that's perfect for you. Contact Wagner Realty today to discuss your goals and get started. 

June
10

Top Fishing & Sailing Charters Around Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Fishing Charters
If you're touring Anna Maria Island homes for sale, then you're considering buying a home where the rest of the world dreams of vacationing. With its many quaint shops, award-winning restaurants, and beautiful beaches, there's never a shortage of things to do here. 

Our REALTORS® recommend taking a short break from house hunting to get a taste of what island life is like. Spending the day on a fishing or sailing charter is a great way to do just that. Here are a few of our favorite charter services to help you get started. 

  1. AMI Charters: 114 Beach Ave. Anna Maria Island, FL 34216
    For the ultimate day of saltwater adventures, you can't go wrong with AMI Charters. Book a full, three-quarter, or half day inshore/nearshore fishing trip. If you're not a fishing fan, you can also choose to leave your poles behind and enjoy the sites instead.

    AMI Charters offers daytime family sight-seeing trips, sunset cruises, and a "fun run" option that gives you a chance to check out the nearby sandbars, private islands, and dockside restaurants and pubs. This is a great way to enjoy the benefits of having a boat without the hassle of having to drive! 
  1. Snapper Addict Fishing Charter: 2652 Gulf Dr. S. Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
    Captain Layne Ostrander has been fishing the local waters his entire life, and now he brings his knowledge and experience to you. Snapper Addict Fishing Charter specializes in light tackle and reef fish including snapper, grouper, shark, hogfish, cobia, and kingfish.

    You'll love Captian Layne's laid-back and entertaining personality. Keep an eye out during the charter, because there's a good chance you might see some sea turtles and dolphins while you're out on the boat. Once you make it back to land, make sure to spend some time driving around the south end of the island, where you can get a good look at some of the beautiful Bradenton Beach homes for sale
  1. Tampa Bay Fishing with Captian Matt: 526 69th St. Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    If you're looking for a fishing experience you won't soon forget, plan to spend a day with world-renowned Captain Matt Ercoli. You can book one of his Tampa Bay Fishing Charters for half, three-quarters, or a full day. Species targeted on this charter include tarpon, snook, trout, redfish, snapper, and more.

    The charter includes all of your ice, bait, tackle, licenses, and even fish cleaning. All you need to bring is whatever you want to eat and drink, and a great attitude! After your day of fishing is done, make sure you take the scenic route home so you can check out some of the Holmes Beach homes for sale along the way.  
  1. Kathleen D. Sailing Catamarans: Keys Marina 5501 Marina Dr. Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    If a fun and relaxing sailing excursion is more your style, you'll love Kathleen D. Sailing Catamarans.  Options include dolphin watches, Egmont Key excursions, sunset sails, and private charters for up to 20 people.

    In addition to Anna Maria Island, Kathleen D. tours are also available in Siesta Key and Longboat Key, giving you the chance to experience even more of what Florida has to offer. 
  1. Anna Maria Charters: 752 Manatee Ave. Holmes Beach 34217
    Offering an array of fishing options including inshore spinning and fly fishing, nearshore, offshore, and tarpon-only trips, as well as sight-seeing and dolphin tours, Anna Maria Charters gives you the ultimate in flexibility.

    These family-friendly, full-service charters are extremely accommodating, helping to ensure that you'll enjoy every minute of your day on the water. 

Catch the Deal of a Lifetime on Anna Maria Island

When you work with us, you don't have to fish around for a good deal. Our REALTORS® know the area inside and out and will help you find the home you've been dreaming of. Contact Wagner Realty and learn how much easier home buying can be with us by your side. 

June
3

Summer Camps for Local Kids in Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota Manatee Summer Camps for Kids

When it comes to summer fun for the kiddos, our real estate agents have a tip for you: Sarasota-Manatee has some of the top summer camps found anywhere in Florida! The concept of summer camp has sure changed over the years. Now, the conventional "cabin in the woods" approach is just one of many kids can embark on during break. Everything from arts to surfing to engineering is available to the lucky little ones living in our area. With more than 100 active summer camps around Sarasota and Bradenton, picking just one can be a real puzzler. To get you (and the kids!) started, we'd like to recommend five standout camps in Sarasota-Manatee:

  1. Summer Fun at Nathan Benderson Park (NPB) - 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota
    Every parent wants their kids to have fun at camp – and learning something new as well is a bonus! At NBP's Water Adventure Camp youngsters learn water safety and water sports techniques including kayaking, rowing, dragon boat paddling, sailing, and canoeing. On land instruction and safety requirements accompany all activities before campers get out on the water, so they obtain the knowledge and safety skills needed. NBP will provide all campers with PFD's (Personal Flotation Devices) as well. If your kids are land lovers, there are camps for Robotics and Coding, Drone Racing and Fishing at Nathan Benderson Park.

    All of this fun is just a short hop from Lakewood Ranch homes for sale.

  2. Dream Oaks Camp - 16110 Dream Oaks Place, Bradenton
    For children and young adults with special needs, the Foundation for Dreams celebrates the abilities and develops the strengths of children with special needs and chronic illnesses ages 7-17. The staff collaborates with families to provide individualized result-based goals, family support, and recreation in a camp environment. Summer camp programs feature fun activities that are strategically adapted to target specific, individualized goals to produce a comprehensive skill set with productive behaviors. Each unique program is specialized to meet your child's needs and strengthen his or her abilities. Dream Oaks camp is conveniently located from Bradenton homes for sale.

  3. Gator Tens for Life Athletic Summer Camp - 519 South Tamiami Trail, Venice
    Founded in 2013, Gator Tens for Life offers summer camps for kids five and up. It also sponsors "Mom's Morning Out" and "Parents Night Out" events. Led by a certified teacher, Gator Tens is associated with a local gym holding classes in cheer, judo, and other sports for kids five years and up. It's a fine way to cap off a season of looking at Venice homes for sale.

  4. Music Compound - 1751 Cattlemen Road and 801 Apricot Ave, Sarasota
    Music Compound offers a fun and educational music camp for all ages. Not sure which session to select? The Music Compound team encourages you to enroll the first week of camp, Intro to Music.  Each day features a different instrument, instructor, and approach. Intro week allows your child to select the instrument of their choice for following sessions, which focus on a specific instrument. Each session offers two to three instructors and provides an opportunity to learn three to five songs and perform at the end of the week.  Performances are the last 30 minutes of the session on the last day. Music Compound's music camp is offered in June and July, just down the street from top Sarasota homes for sale.

  5. Sailor Circus - 2075 Bahia Vista Street, Sarasota
    What kid hasn't wished to join the circus? Sailor Circus Summer Camp is for children ages 5-15(child must have completed kindergarten by the start of camp), with camp running Monday-Friday 9am-3pm. Campers learn a variety of circus arts including triple and single trapeze, globes, silks, Rolla Bolla, hula hoop, low wire, clowning, flying trapeze, juggling, and much more! Campers enjoy a unique experience where they learn circus arts disciplines and then showcase their new skills with a costumed performance with friends and family invited to watch!

    A typical day begins with a warm-up and group stretch, 1-2 warm up circus activities (like circus relay, low wire, unicycle, trampoline, hula hooping, or juggling) snack, showcase act rehearsal, lunch, theater games, arts and circus crafts, showcase act rehearsal, snack, check-out and group games, dismissal. It's so much fun, you just might be tempted to drive from Holmes Beach homes for sale to make memories for your little one!

With our blend of local insight and outstanding customer service, Wagner Realty's real estate agents make it easy for you to find the property you've been dreaming of. Contact us today to find out more.

May
27

Outdoor Adventures Await in Sarasota and Manatee Counties

Outdoors Sarasota Manatee

Life in the Sunshine State is sweet! Our year-round warm weather and gorgeous natural spaces make Florida the perfect place for outdoor adventures. Sarasota and Manatee Counties offer residents the perfect mix of land and sea excursions that people of all ages can enjoy. Here are some of our REALTORS® favorite outdoor adventures from Bradenton to Englewood.

  1. Florida West Scuba & Charters – 509 N. Tamiami Tr., Venice, FL 34285
    After you've toured Venice homes for sale, discover what colorful fish and wildlife make their homes under the sea with excursions from Florida West Scuba & Charters. Known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World, Venice is the perfect place to dive into adventure and go searching for your own shark teeth. The crew at Florida West Scuba & Charters has never come back from a trip empty-handed, so you're sure to see shark teeth and fossils on your journey. With basic, advanced and refresher open water dive classes available, there's a sea of adventure waiting for you just off the Venice coast.

    Outdoors Sarasota Manatee
  2. Around the Bend Nature Tours – P.O. Box 1136, Bradenton, FL 34206
    Around the Bend Nature Tours invites you to discover the area's natural and cultural history with guided tours throughout the county. They'll take you exploring in the estuaries around Palmetto, teach you about Florida pioneer history at Duette Preserve, and guide you through diverse habitats to view gorgeous birds. Featuring summer camps, field trips and coastal climate walks, Around the Bend Nature Tours — conveniently around the bend from Palmetto homes for sale — will take you on an exciting journey through the natural landscape that's right in our backyards.

    Outdoors Sarasota Manatee
  3. Full Moon Night Hikes – Myakka River State Park, 13208 S.R. 72, Sarasota, FL 34241
    Even after the sun sets, there are still plenty of outdoor adventures awaiting you around Sarasota. Stay up with Hike It Florida and walk through Myakka River State Park under the moonlight. You'll venture for five miles through the wilderness, listening to the creatures in the distance. This three-hour affordable hike will engage your senses. Just a quick drive from Sarasota homes for sale, Full Moon Night Hikes with Hike It Florida are perfect ways to explore nature at nighttime while still making home early enough for bedtime.

    Outdoors - Sarasota Manatee
  4. ((ecko)) ecotours – Sarasota & Manatee Counties
    How do you define the perfect outdoor adventure? Kayak tours along the bay? Paddleboard excursions through estuaries? Hiking and boating through Florida's natural splendor? However you envision your perfect outdoor adventure, the local experts at ((ecko)) ecotours are ready to make it happen. Live like a traveler, not a tourist, and join them on a variety of ecotours throughout Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Many of the ecotour facilitators they work with are certified by the Florida Society for Ethical Tourism, including two that are certified platinum for their educational and sustainability efforts. Within a short drive from Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, there are tons of opportunities for you to explore Florida on land and sea!

  5. The Legacy Trail – 303E. Venice Ave., Venice FL 34285 / 7301 McIntosh Rd., Sarasota, FL 34238
    Interested in creating your own outdoor adventure? Then strap on your helmet and head to The Legacy Trail. This new trail connects Culverhouse Park in Sarasota with the Venice Train Depot. Over 10 miles of paved trail is open for you to explore on your own terms. Ride through Oscar Scherer State Park and enjoy the serene sounds of nature. Peddle passed Osprey Junction Park where you may see snakes, alligators, and bald eagles. By the time you get to Sarasota, you're only a few miles away from Stickney Point Road which will lead you to Siesta Key homes for sale and miles of beach where you can end your outdoor adventure perfectly.

Contact us at Wagner Realty to buy and sell homes throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

May
20

Memorial Day Events in Sarasota and Manatee Counties

Sarasota-Manatee Memorial Day Events
Memorial Day weekend is a lively time to be in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. From Lakewood Ranch to Siesta Key, you'll find a parade, ceremony or other festivity planned to honor the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This holiday weekend is also filled with exciting events featuring food, music, and fun. Join our REALTORS® at one of these five annual Memorial Day weekend events to get acquainted with Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

  1. Suncoast Region Memorial Day Parade - 124 S Tuttle Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237
    Who doesn't love a parade—especially on Memorial Day? Be a part of the drums drumming and the red, white, and blue flying as the Suncoast Region Memorial Day Parade begins at Main Street and Osprey Avenue in Sarasota at 10:00 am. Only steps from Sarasota homes for sale, there's no reason not to see what's happening this Memorial Day.

  2. "We Were Soldiers" - Free Showing – Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, 10715 Rodeo Dr, Bradenton, FL 34202
    Watch the real-life story of Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore unfold during the Vietnam War in "We Were Soldiers" as the Lakewood Ranch Cinema offers a free showing on Memorial Day. Just a short drive from Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, the cinema's Memorial Day event will begin at 11:00 am on Monday, May 27th.

  3. St. Armand's Seafood & Music Festival, St. Armand's Circle Park, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Head out to St. Armand's Circle and get ready to dance, eat, and enjoy the long weekend. The St. Armands Seafood & Music Festival, right down the road from Longboat Key homes for sale, is an admission-free event happening all weekend long! Delicious foods from the land, sea, and garden will be available for purchase as will delectable desserts and refreshing beverages. Talented musicians will be on site to fill the air with music while you fill your stomach with the best seafood on the coast. Be sure to stop by the arts and crafts market for a few keepsakes!

  4. Manatee County Memorial Day Ceremony – Veterans Monument Park, 8209 Natures Way, Bradenton, FL 34202
    Each year, Manatee County holds a Memorial Day Ceremony at Veterans Monument Park. This touching tribute to those we've lost throughout the years is a perfect opportunity to pay your respects. Not far from Bradenton homes for sale, be sure to arrive early so that you can hear the keynote speaker.

  5. Myakka River Blues Festival - Snook Haven 5000 E Venice Ave, Venice, FL 34292
    Part of buying one of our Venice homes for sale means you'll be able to attend events like the Myakka River Blues Festival. Now in its eighth year, the annual Myakka River Blues Festival at Snook Haven will be happening on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27th, 2019 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Admission is $15 in advance/ $25 at the door.

While some will celebrate Memorial Day 2019 as the unofficial kickoff to the summer with barbecuing and grilling, others will mark the day at parades and cemeteries to commemorate Americans who lost their lives during our wars.  No matter how you will be spending the day, our REALTORS® wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day.

For help buying and selling homes throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties, contact our team at Wagner Realty

April
17

2019 Manatee and Sarasota County Earth Day Events

Earth Day Events Sarasota and Manatee County

  1. Sarasota Earth Day Celebration | Oscar Scherer State Park – 1843 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229 | April 27
    This annual tradition allows visitors to enter Oscar Scherer State Park for free to celebrate their Earth Day events. Attendees can visit vendor booths, enjoy live music and sample delicious food. Volunteers can help place over 5,000 plants along the restored wetland area. Close to Venice and Siesta Key homes for sale, the Sarasota Earth Day Celebration is a great way to keep this beautiful state park clean and safe for the diverse wildlife that calls it home.

  2. NAWP Earth Day Garden Party | Longboat Key Club, 220 Sands Point Rd, Longboat Key, Florida 34228 | April 22
    The National Association of Wedding Professionals (NAWP) -  Gulf Coast Chapter will host its 2019 Earth Day Garden Party at The Resort at Longboat Key Club on April 22 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  NAWP invites attendees to celebrate the plants and to hear chef/owner of Zildjian Catering, Alyson Zildjian, speak about eco-friendly events. Thinking of buying a home on Longboat Key? You'll want to check out these Longboat Key homes for sale.

  3. Earth Day Celebration at The Market at Lakewood Ranch | 8201 Polo Club Lane, Sarasota, FL 34240 | April 24
    Come enjoy live music at The Market! Activities include Sunset Yoga from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm, and a family-friendly series of yard games, along with creating your own nature bug!  If you can't make it for the Earth Day Celebration,  The Market at Lakewood Ranch is open every Wednesday afternoon and evening from December through April, from 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Join your friends and the new neighbors who have just moved into beautiful Lakewood Ranch. Looking to buy here? Don't miss these Lakewood Ranch homes for sale.

  4. Englewood Earth Day Festival | Boca Grande, FL 33921 | April 28
    The Barrier Island Parks Society is planning yet another Earth Day Celebration in Englewood. This free festival of food and fun features opportunities to learn about the environmental work local non-profits are conducting. Be sure to visit the Barrier Island Parks Society website for updated information. Consider joining them on the Sunday after Earth Day. This area is so beautiful, consider it calling it "home" by browsing Englewood homes for sale.
  5. Earth Day Festival at Selby Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota | Monday, April 22, from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
    The City of Sarasota and UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County will host an Earth Day Festival on Monday, April 22, from 11:30 am -1:30 pm at Selby Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. The event will feature information booths throughout the park on a variety of environmental issues, including energy efficiency, stormwater pollution, composting, native plants, electric vehicles and more. Food will be available for purchase from the Spice Boys food truck. Visitors will have a chance to tour two tiny homes, pick up free bicycle gear, try an e-scooter, learn about plastic pollution and how to turn single-use plastics into reusable items, hear more about Sarasota in Motion, the city's transportation master plan, and learn why putting fats, oils and greases down the kitchen drain is so bad. In recognition of Arbor Day and the City of Sarasota's celebration of 33 years of being designated as a "Tree City USA" by the Arbor Day Foundation, some attendees will also be able to take home free native plants and trees available at the festival. For more information, contact the City's Sustainability office at 941-926-6686 or sustainability@sarasotafl.gov

Contact Wagner Realty to learn more about Florida homes in and around Sarasota and Manatee Counties. 

April
8

Manatee and Sarasota Counties: Where to Adopt a Four-Legged Friend

Manatee & Sarasota  Pet Adoption

Join our REALTORS® at Wagner Realty as we observe National Lost Dog Awareness Day on April 23rd. This annual event celebrates the happy reunions of lost pets and their owners while raising awareness for the hundreds of other missing or abandoned dogs that need a loving home. There are plenty of cute canines throughout the Sarasota and Manatee Counties that are available for immediate adoption. As you browse homes for sale along Florida's Gulf Coast, we invite you to stop by one of these compassionate animal shelters and find a four-legged friend to add to your family.

  1. Humane Society of Manatee County, 2515 14th St. W, Bradenton, FL 34205
    The mission of the Humane Society of Manatee County is to teach compassion and respect for animals through care, education, and working together.  When you adopt a pet from the Humane Society of Manatee County, not only do you save the life of an animal, but you bring our area one step closer to becoming a no-kill community.  Visit them Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm or Saturday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and add a dog (or cat) to your family in your new Bradenton home.

  2. Nate's Honor Animal Rescue — 4951 Lorraine Rd., Bradenton, FL 34211
    Located near beautiful new Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, Nate's Honor Animal Rescue is changing the way the community views sheltered pets by educating area families about animal shelters. Help their no-kill shelter find forever homes for their rescued dogs by visiting one of their two adoption centers in Bradenton.

  3. Humane Society of Sarasota County, 2331 15th S., Sarasota, FL 34237
    Your family's new four-legged friend is patiently waiting for you at the Humane Society of Sarasota County. The organization is the area's premier no-kill shelter and works toward the common goal of living in a community where all animals are cared for and loved.  They provide compassionate care to shelter pets, find them permanent homes and promote responsible pet ownership throughout Sarasota County.  One of our area's Siesta Key homes for sale would be the perfect place for the newest member of your family.

  4. Satchel's Last Resort — 8101 Coash Rd., Sarasota, FL 34241
    The compassionate people at Satchel's Last Resort believe that no dog is unadoptable. They rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome canines of all shapes and sizes. Even if these animals have been turned away from other shelters, Satchel's takes them in and helps reintegrate them into loving homes. Some of their dogs are now living lives of love as they act as service dogs for those in need throughout the community. Give a great dog a second chance by adopting through Satchel's Last Resort, not far from Sarasota homes for sale.

  5. Moonracer Animal Rescue — PO Box 2103, Holmes Beach, FL 34218
    If you're dreaming of living in one of the beautiful Holmes Beach homes for sale, you're not alone. The wonderful dogs at Moonracer Animal Rescue also dream of finding a forever home close to the sun and sand. Moonracer is fighting to make Manatee County a no-kill shelter community. You can support them and help them achieve this goal by adopting one of their fantastic dogs.

  6. Bishop Animal Shelter SPCA — 5718 21st Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34209
    Not far from Longboat Key homes for sale is the Bishop Animal Shelter SPCA. This privately funded no-kill shelter in Manatee County offers affordable dog adoptions that include spay/neutering, microchipping, collars and leashes, and a free appointment with their veterinarian. They even provide a Slumber Party program that lets you take a dog home for the night to see if they're a good fit for your home.

  7. Venice Doberman Rescue —611 Mobile Rd., Sarasota, FL 34293
    For decades, the folks at Venice Doberman Rescue have placed hundreds of Dobermans with loving families. They believe that every Doberman, young or old, deserves a caring home where they can live happily with compassionate owners. If you would like to find an adorable Doberman after purchasing Venice homes for sale, give Venice Doberman Rescue a call to meet their current furry friends.

Participating in National Lost Dog Awareness Day is a great way to show your support for the thousands of abandoned dogs that go to sleep every night without a permanent, loving home. To learn more about dog adoption centers in the area, or to shop Sarasota and Manatee County homes for sale, contact Wagner Realty today.

April
1

Mark Your Calendar: 5 Spring Festivals in Manatee and Sarasota Counties

Spring Festivals Sarasota & Manatee Counties
When's the last time you spent the weekend enjoying the sun and exploring the fun found around Sarasota and Bradenton? Our REALTORS® encourage you to get out and get involved in the many fantastic weekend events that fill our coast with rich arts and culture. Celebrate our gorgeous weather and vibrant communities by attending one of these five great spring festivals happening in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

Mark Your Calendars for These Great Spring Festivals

  1. Village of the Arts Artwalk Weekend – 1017 12 Ave W., Bradenton, FL 34205 | April 5-6
    The first Friday of every month kicks off the Village of the Arts Artwalk Weekend. Take a stroll through the Village's galleries and shops, stopping to admire the wonderful works of art that our talented area artists bring to life. Pick out a few pieces to take home or learn more about these creations from the artists themselves. Close to Bradenton homes for sale, the Village of the Arts Artwalk Weekend is a can't miss event every month!

  2. The Sarasota Chalk Festival – Burns Square, S. Orange Ave at S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236 | April 5-7
    Who doesn't have fond memories creating murals along the sidewalk of their childhood homes? Head out to the Sarasota Chalk Festival and watch as skilled artists turn Pineapple Avenue into a canvas for dazzling creations. These breathtaking masterpieces, just a quick walk from Sarasota homes for sale, will fill your weekend with inspiration and awe. Be sure to visit at night as they light the street with votive candles and offer wine tastings to create a truly romantic experience.

  3. The Sarasota Film Festival – 322 Cocoanut Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236 | April 5-15
    World-class cinema can be found just across the bay from Longboat Key homes for sale. The Sarasota Film Festival returns for its 20th year to showcase ten days of fantastic independent films. As one of the top film festivals in North America, residents and visitors of Manatee and Sarasota Counties are given an excellent opportunity to laugh, cry and be entertained with amazing stories from around the world.

  4. Main Street Live – 420 12th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34205 | April 13-14
    Right across the Manatee River from spacious Palmetto homes for sale is Bradenton's biggest block party. Come on out to Main Street Live in Bradenton this April and bring in spring with music from Reverend Barry & The Funk. Old Main Street will be closed to traffic as vendors, food trucks and live music fills the street. Join us and rock the night away as we dance and dine under the stars.
     
  5. Sarasota Veg Fest – Sarasota Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34237 | May 4
    Trust us — even the pickiest eater in your family does not want to miss the Sarasota Veg Fest. Celebrate healthy lifestyles, delicious food, and eco-friendly living at this free spring festival in Sarasota. Not too far from the Siesta Key homes for sale you've been dreaming of sits the Sarasota Fairgrounds which will host this second annual event. Sample delicious foods from more than 150 veg-friendly and vegan vendors, learn how to make healthy diet choices and enjoy live music and entertainment. There is even a Veggie Kids Zone full of arts, crafts, and activities for children. Guest speakers, raffles, fitness classes, and food demonstrations are also ripe for the picking at this great green gathering.

Contact Wagner Realty today to learn more about other spectacular springtime festivals happening around Sarasota and Manatee Counties. 

March
25

A Mom's Guide to Kids' Birthday Party Places in Manatee & Sarasota Counties

Sarasota Manatee Birthday Party Places for Kids
Birthdays come around just once a year, and our REALTORS® know it's an important time for your kids. It's the perfect day to spend with friends and family all around. Sarasota and Manatee Counties feature plenty of locations to have a party that kicks another year off right.

No matter what interests your young one has, our nearby communities are at the center of exciting party venues that are enjoyable and educational. From party staples like pizza to hands-on art projects, we have it all.

Some of the best places to throw a birthday party are at your backdoor:

  1. Kids Supergym Lakewood Ranch - 7337 International Pl, Sarasota, FL 34240
    Kids Supergym is located not far from some of our Lakewood Ranch homes for sale. Two trained instructors will supervise all of the activities in the gym from trampolines to zip lines to ensure partygoer's safety and fun.  The Supergym's viewing lounge area serves as the ideal spot for parents and adults to watch and prepare for food and more celebrating.

  2. Bowlero Bradenton - 4208 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL 34210
    Give your child's birthday that extra helping of fun this year at Bowlero.  Bowling, arcade games, and kid-favorite foods are sure to be a hit, and Bowlero's party planners take care of the work for you. Located near Bradenton homes for sale, Bowlero and their staff turn a good time into a great party.

  3. Carla's Clay - 1733 Northgate Blvd, Sarasota FL 34234
    If you've been browsing for Sarasota homes for sale, you might have seen a terrific place for a hands-on birthday party. Carla's Clay is an art studio that offers classes for students of all ages. It builds on its Kids and Clay class with birthday party bookings of the entire studio. Fun activities are available for everyone, but there is a minimum of four guests for daytime parties and six for evenings. All supplies, instruction, and firing are included.

  4. Arts A Blaze Studio, 8111 Lakewood Main St, Unit 107 Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
    Arts A Blaze Studio
    is an all-inclusive, pottery painting and glass fusing art studio perfect to host your "budding young artist's" next birthday celebration.  With party packages geared specifically towards children, your child and their guests will leave with a memento to commemorate the fun they've had.  One of the studio's staff artists will be on hand to greet guests, help with pottery and paint selections, instruction, and clean up.  Arts a Blaze Studio is located near Manatee County's Lakewood Ranch master-planned real estate community.

  5. Cookie Cottage - 335 Gillespie Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
    What child doesn't love cookies? Cookies are a perennial favorite for kids, and Cookie Cottage will give them the whole experience. Located in the heart of historic downtown Sarasota, it provides custom cookie parties on any theme you choose. You'll get to decorate four to six cookies, a cupcake, and an apron. Indoor games, face painting, and crafts will be available, along with the option of a birthday cake.

  6. Evie's Family Golf - 4735 Bee Ridge Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233
    Up for a round of golf? Evie's Family Golf is the answer, with mini-golf, whiffle ball, and plenty of pizza. You'll get two hours of action for a discount price. Pizza, ice cream, and drinks are included, with the option to make your own pizza. Optional add-ons include bounce house access, face painting, cotton candy, and much more. It's a time to remember!

  7. Cat Depot, 2542 17th St Sarasota, FL 34234
    Cat Depot in Sarasota is the purrr-fect place to host your child's next birthday party. Included in the "Cat's Meow" birthday package is the 2-hour rental of a private party room for up to 20 guests. A party assistant will help with welcoming guests, arts and crafts, and introducing your child and their friends to some of the kittens and cats paying Cat Depot a visit until they meet their forever family.

When people think about buying a home, it usually doesn't inspire them to break out the party hats. An experienced real estate agent makes things easier with expert advice that will get you to closing.

Contact Wagner Realty to find out more. We look forward to helping you.

February
4

6 Frozen Yogurt Shops In & Around Sarasota to Celebrate National Frozen Yogurt Day

Sarasota Frozen Yogurt Businesses
If you're in the mood for a tasty treat but are still trying to stick to your New Year's resolutions, a healthy frozen yogurt is a perfect solution. In honor of National Frozen Yogurt Day on February 6, our real estate agents decided to pay a visit to some of our favorite frozen dessert shops. 

After doing plenty of due diligence, they've created a list of their favorites to share with you. Each location has unique qualities, so you may want to do your own research and try them all!

  1. Yogurtology: 1635 S Tamiami Trl., Sarasota
    With yogurt mixologists creating "premiyum" flavors you won't find anywhere else, Yogurtology offers visitors a truly unique experience.  When you're in the area looking at Sarasota homes for sale, take a few minutes to stop by and check out some of the new flavors like Blueberry Tart, Rocket Pop Sorbet, and Red Velvet Cake.
  1. The Skinny Dip Frozen Yogurt Bar: 8415 S Tamiami Trl., Sarasota
    If you're really worried about sticking to your diet, The Skinny Dip is a great option for you. In addition to a ton of interesting flavors, this shop also offers eight low-sugar options like Rocky Road and Nutella that are just as indulgent as the real thing.

    Want more of a treat? Try a traditional frozen yogurt with your choice of toppings, choose one of their fresh-made cupcakes, or indulge in a soda float.
  1. SweetBerries: 2881 Clark Rd Unit 25, Sarasota
    A long-standing favorite in both Sarasota and Bradenton, SweetBerries is the place to go for frozen custard. Slightly different from traditional frozen yogurt, custard is actually a form of ice cream made with egg yolk. Sweetberries custard is made fresh twice daily using a slow-churn method. The result is a thick, dense dessert that's different from anything you've ever had before.

    They make chocolate and vanilla custard daily and feature one different flavor each day. Check out the flavor calendar so you can plan your visit around when your favorite is served. 
  1. Menchie's River Club Plaza: 5770 Ranch Lake Blvd. Ste C136, Bradenton
    In addition to having some of the best Bradenton homes, Lakewood Ranch is also one of the area's premier dining, shopping, and entertainment destinations.

    Menchies Frozen Yogurt, located in the River Club Plaza, is one of the locals' favorite places to get a healthy treat. Here you'll find high-quality frozen yogurt made with no artificial colors or flavors, no high-fructose corn syrup, and no partially hydrogenated oils.

    Some of their most popular flavors include Blueberry Pomegranate Tart, Double Espresso Tiramisu, and Eggnog Cheesecake. Choose from a huge assortment of toppings and don't forget to pick up a FroYo cake to enjoy after you get home.
  1. Yogurt Mountain: 1526 Cortez Rd W., Bradenton
    If toppings are your thing, you'll definitely want to pay a visit to Yogurt Mountain. In addition to 16 rotating flavors, this shop features over 50 different topping choices.

    From traditional options like nuts and fruit to more adventurous toppings like sour worms, strawberry juice poppers, and fruity pebbles, the possibilities are literally endless.
  1. Sunni Bunni: 5202 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key
    One of the most popular shops on Siesta Key, SunniBunni is the area's number one choice for all-natural frozen yogurt. You won't find any powdered mix here. The owners pride themselves on only using real yogurt loaded with probiotics. Choose from traditional frozen yogurt, extra-creamy "Megabunni" or sinfully delicious "Bon Bon Bunni."

    While you're enjoying your treat, take a walk around and check out some of the homes in Siesta Key. Soak in the gorgeous views and prime locations and picture yourself living in this beautiful city.

Whether you're looking for a bustling city-vibe or laid-back island life, there's a neighborhood in the Sarasota area that's perfect for you. We have the inside scoop on all the best homes for sale and are standing by to help you find the perfect one. Contact Wagner Realty today get started on the search for your dream home.

January
21

5 Sarasota Smoothie Bars to Celebrate National Green Juice Day

Sarasota Smoothie Bars
Living in the Sunshine State gives you plenty of opportunities to spend time outdoors and enjoy an active lifestyle. If feeling healthier is one of your 2019 goals, you'll be glad to know that small changes can make a big difference.

Occasionally replacing a heavy meal with a fruit or a veggie-packed smoothie is a great way to improve your diet while pleasing your palate. In honor of National Green Juice Day on January 26, our real estate agents have gathered a list of their favorite spots in the Sarasota area to grab a tasty green smoothie on the go.

  1. Keva Juice Sarasota: 5325 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota
    If you're planning to spend the day exploring Sarasota homes for sale, starting your morning with a smoothie from Keva Juice Sarasota will ensure you have the energy to power through.  Choose from the original berry, tropical, or citrus smoothies, green tea chillers, green smoothies, and more. For an extra kick, opt for a Red Bull smoothie and add boosters like Whey protein, Emergen-C, Immunity, Fat Burner, or Stress Relief.
  1. Vitality Bowls Sarasota: 8226 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
    Conveniently located across the street from Sarasota Square Mall, Vitality Bowls offers a huge selection of healthy and delicious acai bowls, green juices, and fresh smoothies. With superfood ingredients like graviola, spirulina, matcha, hemp seeds, chia, and more, it's easy to order a beverage that's as vitamin-packed as it is delicious.

  2. Green Zebra Café: 476 John Ringling Blvd, Sarasota
    A visit to beautiful St. Armand's Circle wouldn't be complete without a stop at the Green Zebra Café. Green Zebra Café features an array of unique organic smoothies blended to order, wellness shots and elixirs, and cold-pressed juices.  It's easy to see why this is a go-to destination for health-conscious locals and visitors.

  3. Clean Juice: 5215 University Pkwy #104, Bradenton
    If you've spent some time looking at Bradenton homes for sale, you're surely familiar with the bustling University Town Center (UTC) area. Whether you're there to shop, dine, or indulge in some self-care, a stop at Clean Juice is a perfect compliment to your day.  Enjoy unique protein smoothies, seasonal treats, juices, and cold-pressed shots. You can also take your healthy habits home with you by picking up some cold-pressed juice bottles or a juice cleanse kit.
  1. SunniBunni Siesta Key: 5202 Ocean Blvd, Siesta Key
    After spending a day exploring homes in Siesta Key, the entire family will love visiting SunniBunni. With smoothies made from real yogurt, fruit, nuts, and plenty of healthy add-ons, it's easy to see why this popular quick-serve restaurant was voted one of Sarasota's top dining destinations.

Vegans and those who are dairy-free can enjoy their smoothies with coconut milk soft serve instead of yogurt. Try a classic fruit smoothie, opt for a healthy organic green DetoxBunni, or indulge in a DirtiBunni made with Oreos, M&Ms and chocolate sauce. Stopping at SunniBunni means that everyone is sure to go home happy. 

When you're ready to take the next step towards making Sarasota your permanent home, we can help! Contact Wagner Realty to learn why working with our real estate agents puts you in the best position to find your dream home and make it a reality.

January
14

6 Best Bakeries in Bradenton to Break Your Resolution

Bradenton Bakeries - Wagner Realty

The city of Bradenton has more to offer than beautiful houses, friendly neighbors, and plenty of sunshine. It's also home to some of the area's best bakeries. When our real estate agents are in the mood for a tasty treat, they love making a stop at one of their favorite sweet spots. 

The decadent delights you'll find in these shops are totally worth taking a break from your New Year's resolutions, if only for a day. We've created a list of our favorite Bradenton bakeries, so you can see for yourself what all the buzz is about.

  1. Arte Caffe 930 12th St W, Bradenton
    If you're looking for an eclectic and fun place to live, you'll definitely want to check out Bradenton homes for sale near the Village of the Arts. While you're there, stop by the Arte Caffe for fresh-made baked goods including authentic Italian breads, focaccia, bagels, and hard rolls. Take your treats to go or enjoy them in the front dining room, indoor café, or outside seating area.

  2. CopaMoca: 1506 13th St. W, Bradenton
    Specializing in Italian sweets and coffees, CopaMoca provides a perfectly relaxing atmosphere to help you escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Here you'll find a wide selection of traditional Italian cookies, scones, cannoli's, biscotti, and more. Relax in the café and take your time sipping on an espresso, macchiato, whole-leaf tea, or a cup of chocolate with steamed milk.

  3. Edible Elegance by Eli: 3737 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton
    If you want to make your next event or special occasion memorable, look no further than the delicious creations from Edible Elegance by Eli. With almost limitless flavor combinations and even greater creativity, Eli's cakes, party packages, and custom-made sweets are sure to please any crowd.

  4. Turner's Donut Shop: 902 Martin Luther King Jr Ave. W, Bradenton
    Ask any Bradenton local where to find the best donuts in the city, and you'll get the same answer. Turner's Donut Shop has been a staple of Bradenton since 1960, with good reason. The fresh-made donuts, fritters, and breakfast sandwiches are literally the stuff of legends. Expect to deal with limited parking and a packed house but know that it will be 100 percent worth the wait.

  5. Hometown Desserts: 5120 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton
    With locations in Bradenton and on Anna Maria Island, Hometown Desserts is a favorite among both locals and visitors. The artistry and attention to detail that goes into every single item is something you'll simply have to see to believe. Pick up some homemade pie, cupcakes, or cookies or order a custom-made cake that's sure to "wow" any crowd.

  6. Sugar Cubed: 531 13th St. W, Bradenton
    For a modern twist on traditional baked goods, you can't go wrong with a visit to Sugar Cubed. A self-proclaimed "pastry lab," this shop prides itself on baking innovation. Here you'll find deliciously surprising menu items like blueberry ginger muffins, butterbeer cupcakes, and salted caramel pretzel brownies. Of course, you can also find traditional favorites including chocolate-covered strawberries, key lime pie, and fresh-made cinnamon buns. No matter what you're craving, there's bound to be something at Sugar Cubed that will leave you feeling satisfied. 

Outstanding bakeries and cafes are just one of the things that make Bradenton a great place to live and work. Contact us at Wagner Realty today and let us show you even more reasons to make "The Friendly City" your new home.

December
17

Where to Celebrate New Year's Eve Near Sarasota

Sarasota New Years Eve
New Year's Eve is right around the corner, and the Sarasota area is a great place to celebrate. Whether you prefer a family-friendly event or an epic street party, we've got you covered. Our real estate agents have gathered a list of the very best ways to ring in the New Year in and around the city of Sarasota.

Are you ready to plan an evening you'll never forget? Let's start exploring your options!

  1. Sarasota NYE Pineapple Drop: Downtown Sarasota, 1 South Lemon Ave., Sarasota
    If you love being in the middle of the action, you'll definitely want to check out the Sarasota NYE Pineapple Drop. This event attracts tens of thousands of revelers and is one of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in the entire state. Enjoy food and live music starting at 1 pm and stay for the party all the way through until 1:30 am. We suggest you take the scenic route on the way there, so you can get a look at some of the great Sarasota homes for sale near the downtown area.

  2. Main Street Live!: Old Main St. 400 12th St. W., Bradenton
    The city of Bradenton is ringing in the New Year with a special edition of Main Street Live! This event features plenty of food trucks, merchants, and of course, live music. If you're over 21, you can also expand your entertainment options by visiting some of the nearby bars and pubs. It won't take you long to see why Bradenton is known as "The Friendly City." Before you know it, you might find yourself adding Bradenton homes for sale to your 2019 wish list.

  3. Winter Wonderland: 5151 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key
    If you've spent some time looking at Siesta Key homes for sale, you're probably familiar with the area's perfect blend of casual and class. The Beach Club's Winter Wonderland NYE Party is exactly that. Dance the night away with music by TL Jentgens, enjoy a premium open bar, hors-d'oeuvres and party favors, and a cash balloon drop at midnight.

  4. New Year's Eve at Selby Gardens: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Ave., Sarasota
    If a fancy New Year's Eve is more your style, you'll want to check out the black tie NYE event at Selby Gardens. This sophisticated evening features a private tour of Selby Gardens' tropical light display and a four-course meal. After dinner, you'll enjoy performances by Trainees from the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory and The Sarasota Ballet Studio Company. Finish the night off with a midnight champagne toast and an unparalleled view of the fireworks over Sarasota Bay.

  5. Sarasota New Year's Eve ILLUMINATION Party: The Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
    The ILLUMINATION Party at Sarasota's Municipal Auditorium offers attendees the chance to immerse themselves in a true red carpet experience. This all-inclusive party features valet, open bar, catered appetizers, and dessert stations. Dance the night away on the huge dance floor while listening to top-of-the-line live entertainment.
      
  6. New Year's Eve Fireworks: Marina Jack 2, Marina Plaza, Sarasota
    A favorite among local residents and visitors alike, the New Year's Eve Fireworks at Marina Jack is something you won't want to miss. Both the dining room and the Deep Six Lounge & Piano Bar are serving a four-course dinner, while the Blue Sunshine Patio offers more casual dining options. For a truly memorable experience, reserve your spot on the special four-hour dinner cruise with an elaborate buffet, dance floor, and midnight champagne toast. 

Wagner Realty - Your Sarasota Real Estate Pros

Do your 2019 goals include finding a new home in the Sarasota area? There are plenty of gorgeous homes for sale, and our real estate agents are happy to help you find the perfect one. Don't put your dreams on hold, contact Wagner Realty today to get started! 

 

December
10

5 Places in Sarasota to Volunteer This Holiday Season

Sarasota Holiday Volunteering

Our real estate agents know about all the things that make Sarasota such a great community to live in. And one of the best things is the people. Many people in our city like to volunteer during the holiday season, and Sarasota has no shortage of opportunities to help make our community a better place. The holidays often bring an increased need for community services and the groups that provide those services have an increased need for volunteers. So during this season of giving, consider giving some of your time to help one of the many organizations that make Sarasota a better place. Whatever your skill set, you can find meaningful work that supports the community. Not sure where to start? We have a few suggestions to help.

  1. The Salvation Army Sarasota, 1400 10th Street, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    The Salvation Army Sarasota has a wide variety of ways to volunteer. Successfully providing over 700 meals per day to those in need takes a lot of volunteers! There is always a need for food prep, service and clean up. Other programs provide shelter and life recovery services and those programs need volunteers to help with laundry, teaching, and mentoring. Additionally, volunteers answer the phone, drive the van, help at special events, and provide other essential tasks to help the Salvation Army serve those in need.

  2. Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, 1757 N. East Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34234
    Do you have a knack for building, repairs, or painting? You can help Habitat for Humanity Sarasota to build and provide critical repairs to homes. They provide the tools and training so even if you don't have experience, you can still help out. Opportunities are updated weekly, so there's plenty of work to go around.

  3. Humane Society Sarasota County, 2331 15th Street, Sarasota, FL 34237
    The Humane Society Sarasota County is the area's largest no-kill shelter and always needs plenty of animal lovers to help out. Volunteers can help with cleaning and laundry, dog and cat companionship and care, administrative support and help at special events. Of course, they are always in need of foster homes for animals as well.

  4. MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236
    If your love of animals is more for the swimming kind, volunteering at MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium might be for you. MOTE is dedicated to research and education supporting conservation and sustainable use of the oceans. Cashiers, greeters, tour guides, and membership specialists are all volunteer opportunities that help educate the community on the importance of marine stewardship.

  5. Resurrection House Inc., 507 Kumquat Court, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Caring and compassionate people are needed to help Resurrection House Inc. provides day services for the homeless of Sarasota. Over 180 volunteers help people back to self-sufficiency with a faith-based program that provides necessities such as showers and laundry, medical treatment, and counseling services.

Making a real difference in someone's life this holiday season can be a rewarding experience that makes your community a better place. When shopping for a home, deciding where you want to live is an important part of the decision. Sarasota homes for sale offer everything you want in a home and a community. Contact Wagner Realty today and get started finding the right home for you.

November
20

Where to See Santa in Sarasota

Sarasota See Santa
Whether you're a kid or a kid at heart, Christmas wouldn't be the same without a glimpse of Jolly Old Saint Nick. Luckily, Santa loves soaking up the sun in Sarasota before he gets too busy preparing for his big night.

Our real estate agents have the inside scoop on his favorite spots to hang out while he's here, and we're ready to let you in on the secret. Here are six of the best places to see Santa in and around Sarasota. 

  1. The Mall at University Town Center: 140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota
    The Mall at University Town Center isn't just a great place to do all of your holiday shopping; it's also one of the best places to see Santa. Bring the kids to the mall's Grand Court where they can visit with Santa and become official members of his flight crew. They'll get to try on an official flight suit, learn how to fly Santa's sleigh, and play under magical lights and snowflakes. Santa and his helpers will be at the mall starting on November 9th and running until Christmas Eve.

  2. St. Armands Circle: N. Blvd. of the Presidents, St. Armands
    Enjoy a memorable evening of family fun in beautiful St. Armands Circle during the Holiday Night of Lights. The event takes place on December 7th from 6 to 9 p.m. and features a parade, holiday carol sing-along, and lighting of a 55-foot tree. Children will love having their photos taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, while Mom and Dad take advantage of shopping discounts at the area's unique local shops.

  3. Sarasota Holiday Parade: Downtown Sarasota, 1718 Main Street, Sarasota
    The Sarasota Holiday Parade has been a favorite of locals and visitors for the past 22 years. It's now grown to be one of the largest and most popular holiday parades along the Suncoast. Taking place on December 1st from 7 to 9 p.m., this event is the perfect kickoff to the holiday season. Watch as thousands of participants light up downtown Sarasota with festive floats and holiday music. Make sure you stick around until the end, where you'll see Santa and Mrs. Claus closing out the parade.

  4. The 33rd Annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights: Marina Jack Restaurant, Bayfront Park, City Island and Centennial Park
    You don't have to spend much time on Sarasota Bay to see why it's home to some of the best Sarasota homes for sale. Whether you're lucky enough to live in one of these homes or you take a trip down to one of the nearby parks, you'll love the breathtaking waterfront views of the 33rd annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. The event is held on Saturday, December 8th at 6 p.m. Keep a close eye on the festively-decorated boats, and you just might see Santa and some of his elves.

  5. Holidays Around the Ranch: 8100 Lakewood Main Street, Lakewood Ranch
    Holidays Around the Ranch
    , held on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, is popular among revelers of all ages. Join in on the fun on December 14th from 6 to 9 p.m. Sing along with carolers while you wait for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive in a decorated horse-drawn carriage. Enjoy a line-up of live performers and musical entertainment while sipping cocoa and eggnog. Your kids definitely won't want to miss sliding down the real outdoor snow slide, and everyone will love watching the spectacular tree lighting.

  6. Privateers, Inc. Christmas Parade: Bayfront Park, 316 N. Bay Blvd. Anna Maria
    The Anna Maria Privateers are spreading holiday joy again this year with their annual Christmas Parade and Santa's Open House. The parade starts at Bayfront Park and then travels south, winding through the three island cities. After the parade, children are welcome to come to the open house and receive a gift from Santa himself.

Let Us Help Your Holiday Wishes Come True

If your holiday wish this year involves buying or selling a home in Sarasota, we can help! Contact Wagner Realty today to discuss your real estate goals.

November
12

Thanksgiving Day Runs for Sarasota Area Families

Sarasota Area Turkey Trots
Family-friendly Thanksgiving Day runs, also known as Turkey Trots, first began way back in 1896. Since then, the tradition has grown hugely popular across the United States, offering families and friends a fun way to burn some extra calories before indulging in the day's festivities.

While most of the country will wake up to cold, blustery weather on Thanksgiving morning, Sarasota area residents and visitors will enjoy mild temperatures that are perfect for an early morning run. This year why not start a new family tradition that will allow you to gobble guilt-free all day long? This list of the area's most popular Turkey Trot races will help you get started. 

First Inaugural Florida Turkey Trot: Nathan Benderson Park, Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota

Our real estate agents love visiting beautiful Nathan Benderson Park and are excited for the First Inaugural Florida Turkey Trot 5k. This centrally-located first-class venue is perfect for families coming from Sarasota, Bradenton, and Lakewood Ranch. 

The event will feature a chipped-timed 5k run/walk with a final "floating mile" over the lake and bracketed "Turkey Dashes" for the kids. Stick around after the race for sweet treats and beverages, and don't forget to bring along your canned-food donations for the All Faiths Food Bank.

All participants will receive a  commemorative shirt and finisher medal. Proceeds from the event benefit The Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates, Inc. (SANCA).

ALSO Youth 9th Annual Turkey Trot 5K: Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota 

Participants in the ALSO Youth 9th Annual Turkey Trot 5K will enjoy beautiful views of some of the best Sarasota homes for sale as they race over the iconic Ringling Bridge. This chip-timed race offers awards for the top finishers in each group, a finisher's medal for participants under age 15, and a long-sleeve tech shirt for all pre-registered participants.

After you're done, be sure to check out the post-race party and celebrate while enjoying music, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and a variety of beers. 

Tidewell Hospice Turkey Trot 5k: Lakewood Ranch Main Street, Lakewood Ranch

Are you too busy to make it to a race on Thanksgiving day? You're in luck! The Tidewell Hospice Turkey Trot 5k is held on Sunday, November 17th. This chip-timed 5k run/walk is both stroller and pet-friendly, making it an excellent family-friendly option.  

Children will love participating in the "Turkey-Dashes," and the 5k course features turkey-themed volunteers, plenty of water stations, and music to help you hustle along. Registration includes a commemorative moisture-wicking shirt.

You're sure to have fun at the after-party featuring food from local area restaurants. On your way home from the event, don't forget to take the scenic route so you can get a look at the many beautiful Lakewood Ranch homes for sale

Bradenton Turkey Trot "Give to Run" 5k: GT Bray Park, Bradenton

The 22nd Annual Bradenton Turkey Trot puts a unique spin on their event by skipping the registration fee. Instead, participants are encouraged to support The Food Bank of Manatee and Turing Points with monetary donations and/or canned goods. 

Participants have the option to purchase Turkey-Trot themed t-shirts, and the overall male and female winners will each receive a delicious pie for their Thanksgiving celebrations. This event is hugely popular and always has a large turnout. If you've been checking out Bradenton homes for sale this is a great way to meet some of your potential new neighbors. 

After experiencing the strong sense of community in the Sarasota area, we're confident you'll be more excited than ever to make this area your new home. Contact Wagner Realty to learn how we can help make your dream a reality.

Contact Wagner Realty

October
25

Sarasota's Favorite Coffee Shops

Sarasota Coffee Shops
If you love coffee, you know the only way to start your day is with a rich, warm boost of your favorite caffeinated drink. As you shop for Sarasota homes for sale, you'll soon discover we have plenty of great coffee shops waiting to welcome you to your new city.

To get you headed in the right direction, our real estate agents tracked down some of Sarasota's favorite coffee shops. You'll have to let us know which one serves your coffee the way you like it.

  • Buddy Brew Coffee | 1289 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL, 34326  
    Buddy Brew is the downtown Sarasota coffee spot to connect with friends, share a meal, and sip a cup of single origin coffee. You can have a seat and sip Buddy's coffee from a mug or grab a bag of beans for a morning caffeine boost at home. Buddy's makes it simple to order online and pick up your coffee at the shop.

  • The Clever Cup - 6530 Gateway Ave., Sarasota, FL, 34231
    The Clever Cup is the local hangout of choice for business people, young families, and South Sarasota coffee lovers. For conscientious coffee drinkers, they brew fair trade organic coffees and espresso drinks. Tea lovers will find their favorites as well. The owners welcome you to eat in or grab-and-go coffee and homemade pastries seven days a week.

  • Kahwa Coffee - 1487 2nd St, Sarasota, FL, 34326
    The barristers at Kahwa Coffee serve up fresh coffee ground from beans roasted in Tampa Bay. Free Wi-Fi, iced coffees, refreshers, and pastries make this the perfect coffee shop to settle down and relax. Kahwa Coffee is open seven days a week.
     
  • Perq Coffee Bar - 1821 Hillview St, Sarasota, FL, 34239
    Perq Coffee Bar serves single origin specialty coffees to Southside Village coffee lovers who crave great coffee experiences. They use choice beans from small producers around the globe. You can continue the Perq coffee experience at home with brewing supplies, merchandise, and coffee subscriptions.

  • The Reserve - 322 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL, 34236
    The Reserve isn't just a coffee shop; it's a gathering place with something for everyone. You can sip wine, handcrafted coffee, teas, kombuchas, and craft beers. For hungry moments, they offer a lite bites menu. You can enjoy live music presented by local talent in an open courtyard. If you don't feel like going home, you can spend the night in their guest room accommodations.

  • Pastry Art Bakery Cafe - 1512 Main St, Sarasota, FL, 34236 
    The Pastry Art Bakery Cafe serves delicious pastries from baklava to classic cakes. If you're a coffee lover, you may want to bypass the pastries and get right down to a caffeinated brew. Their on-premises roastmaster has a 20-year precision-roasting history. Great coffee is the foundation that transforms their coffee selections into coffee art. If you can't get enough, you can purchase their origin, organic, and flavored coffees in bulk.
     
  • Coffee Carrousel - 1644 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236 
    The Coffee Carrousel serves homestyle breakfast and lunch in a down-home atmosphere in the heart of Downtown Sarasota. They offer an extensive menu with daily specials. Guests love the food and the friendly back-in-time family feel. And of course, they serve a great cup of coffee.

There's so much to love about living in Sarasota, and there's no better way to start your day in the city than with a fresh cup of coffee. Contact Wagner Realty when you're ready to learn more about buying or selling your home in our seaside community.

October
8

A Local's Guide to Halloween in Sarasota

Sarasota Halloween Events
Ask any of our real estate agents, and they'll tell you that Sarasota locals know how to celebrate Halloween. If you're lucky enough to be in the area this month checking out Sarasota homes for sale, you'll want to visit some of the area's hottest Halloween events. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • 30th Annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Fest (Every Weekend in October)
    Every Saturday and Sunday in October, you'll have the opportunity to visit the Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival. Enjoy a day of family-friendly fun including live music, a petting zoo, and decorated photo spots.

    Parking and admission are free, and attractions like pony rides, pumpkin painting, a rock wall, and bounce house are each available for a small charge. Don't miss the costume contest every Saturday at 1 pm and the pie eating contest every Sunday at 1 pm

  • Halloween Ghost Hunting Tours (October 12)
    If you're interested in a paranormal experience, look no further than the Halloween Ghost Tours at Historic Spanish Point. With over 5,000 years of history, this location is home to plenty of ghostly spirits and opportunities to interact with the after-life. Are you brave enough to check it out for yourself?

  • Howl-O-Ween Movie Night Spooktacular (October 13)
    The fourth annual Howl-O-Ween Movie Night Spooktacular is a free event held at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. It kicks off at 5:00 pm with children's games and activities. Be sure to dress your little ones in their best Halloween costumes so they can join in on the parade around the bases before the 7:00 pm showing of the movie "Hocus Pocus" on the outfield video board.

  • Victorian Funeral (October 19)
    Begin your Halloween festivities by venturing out to Historic Spanish Point in Osprey for an unforgettable traditional Victorian Funeral. Immerse yourself in the grandiose and macabre experience as a grieving Victorian widow bids farewell to her beloved husband. This theatrical reenactment is sure to put you in a spooky mood and prepare you for the rest of the season. 

  • 6th Annual Haunted Trails at Oscar Scherer State Park (October 26 and 27)
    If you're looking for a fright, you don't want to miss the 6th Annual Haunted Trails at Oscar Scherer State Park. Here you'll find a trick-or-treat trail for the little ones, scary trails geared towards specific age groups, interactive games, the infamous Haunted House created by the Nokomis Fire Department.

  • 27th Annual Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival (October 13-14, 20-21, and 27-28)
    It wouldn't be autumn in Sarasota without a visit to the Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival. This famous festival is one of the signature events of the season. Visitors of all ages will love the Halloween attractions including a craft fair, hayrides, face painting, petting zoo, live music, train rides, and more.

  • Selby Gardens Spooktacular (October 28)
    Enjoy the gorgeous Selby Gardens in all of its Halloween glory during the Selby Gardens Spooktacular event, held on October 28th. Children of all ages will love trick-or-treating and participating in pumpkin decorating, seed planting, and "mad scientist" experiments. Adults can treat their palates with delicious foods from Michael's on East grill, the Selby House Café, or a tasty frozen dessert from B's Cool Treats.

Your Sarasota Real Estate Professionals

Autumn is an excellent time to relocate to the Sunshine State! Whether you're a local planning to sell your home or a buyer searching for the perfect new residence, our qualified agents make it easy. Contact Wagner Realty today to discuss your needs and learn how we can help. 

September
27

Your Guide to Favorite Spas in Bradenton

Bradenton Spas
You don't have to whisk off to a far-away resort to enjoy a relaxing day at a top-notch spa. No matter where you live, you're likely to find some excellent day spas nearby.

The city of Bradenton, on the West coast of Florida, is home to stunning beaches, excellent dining and entertainment options, and plenty of opportunities to pamper yourself. Whether you're a local looking for a luxurious way to spend your day off or a potential new resident ready to take a break after exploring the many gorgeous Bradenton homes for sale, you'll want to check out one or more of the best spas in Bradenton. 

  1. Bellagena Skin Care Studio & Spa | 5861 Cortez Rd. W. Bradenton, FL 34210
    The professionals at Bellagena Skin Care Studio & Day Spa believe that quality skincare is a necessity, not a luxury. The spa offers a full range of services including custom facials, RED Light Therapy, massage, detoxifying infrared sauna, microdermabrasion, and more. Enjoy clinical skincare treatments in a calming spa setting, at prices that will fit everyone's budget. 

  2. Spa Northwest | 5701 21st Ave. W. Bradenton, FL 34209
    At Spa Northwest, you'll find the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing couples massage, acupuncture treatments, or a luxurious facial. Take your wellness to the next level by participating in weekly yoga classes or booking a health and nutrition consultation with the spa's Ayurvedic Health Counselor (AHC).

  3. Serenely Nails and Day Spa | 7604 Cortez Rd. W. Unit 8 Bradenton, FL 34210
    If you enjoy a relaxing manicure and pedicure, you'll love the cozy setting of Serenely Nails and Day Spa. While you're there, make time for hot stone, aromatherapy, or Reiki massage. Other services include eyelash extensions, a purifying back treatment, and a selection of rejuvenating facials.

  4. The Blue Door Spa and Salon | 5432 E. State Rd. 64 Bradenton, FL 34208
    Blue Door Spa & Salon offers a full range of services including hair coloring, cuts, and treatments, waxing, makeup, lashes, massage, facials, and results-driven body treatments.

    Spend a pampering girls night out with your friends while enjoying one of the spa's luxurious treatment packages like "Royal Treatment," "Pure Bliss," or "Perfect Escape."

  5. Sea-renity Beach Spa and Bou-Tiki C | 112 Bridge St. Bradenton, FL 34217
    A visit to Bradenton is never complete without taking a ride out to the charming city of Anna Maria Island. While you're there, you'll want to soak up some "vitamin sea" at Sea-renity Beach Spa and Eco Boutique.

    Experience a relaxing individual or couple's massage right on the beach in the spa's unique tiki hut. After your appointment, make sure to stop by the Bou-Tiki eco boutique to shop for locally-sourced jewelry, art, clothing, and more.

  6. MassageLuxe | 8378 Market St., Suite A40 Bradenton, FL 34202
    MassageLuxe offers massages, facials, waxing, and other treatments. To get the most out of the Luxe experience, consider becoming a member. Your membership entitles you to enjoy benefits at any of the MassageLuxe locations across the United States, free daily HydroLuXe massage sessions, and discounts on other spa services.

  7. Pure Skincare by Elizabeth | 4012 Cortez Rd. W. Bradenton, FL 34210
    If you believe taking care of your skin should be a priority, you'll love working with the esthetician and owner of Pure Skincare by Elizabeth. She's passionate about bringing her clients the best skincare available to heal inflammation, treat skin conditions, and slow the aging process. Services include custom facials, peels, dermaplaning, and waxing, and are available by appointment only.  

Are You Ready to Live Where Others Vacation?

If you're ready to make this corner of paradise your permanent home, our real estate agents can help. The city of Bradenton is home to many different residential neighborhoods, each with a unique vibe. Contact Wagner Realty today to start exploring your options.

September
13

6 Spots for Ice Cream in Anna Maria

There's something to be said about the simple joy of a refreshing scoop of ice cream, and the Anna Maria area has plenty of great ice cream spots to satisfy your craving. Our real estate agents are experts in the area, and we make your housing goals our priority. So whether you're looking to buy one of many fabulous Anna Maria homes for sale or want to sell your current home, leave the work to us, and head on out to one or more of our six favorite places to indulge in a creamy treat.

  1. Holy Cow Ice Cream & Other Cool Stuff - 3234 E Bay Dr, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island, FL 34217-2044
    You may have trouble choosing from the three dozen tempting flavors at Holy Cow Ice Cream & Other Cool Stuff! Rum Raisin and Mocha Almond Fudge are just a couple of the delicious varieties you'll find on their ice cream menu. This colorful ice cream shop also has a great selection of milkshakes, specialty drinks, and frozen desserts, and kids of all ages will love Holy Cow's fish tank and its inhabitants.

  2. Two Scoops - 101 S Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
    At Two Scoops, they say that every day is "Sundae," and one taste of their creamy confections will convince you. Fun flavors like Muddy Sneaker and Gator Tracks dot the menu alongside traditional favorites including strawberry and pistachio. Try one of their Signature Sundaes, such as the Waffle Wedge or Chocolate Decadence for extreme indulgence.

  3. Dips Ice Cream - 9801 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, Florida  34216
    For a sweet, after dinner treat, head on over to Dips Ice Cream, and see what makes this ice cream shop a favorite with locals and visitors alike. In addition to outstanding scoops, Dips has a huge variety of candy that will satisfy virtually any sweet tooth. This small, family operated ice cream shop is sure to win a place on your list of favorite places to cool down with a refreshing bite.

  4. Joe's Eats and Sweets -  219 Gulf Dr. S, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
    The fun at Joe's Eats and Sweets begins before you even go inside. Their colorful shop sets the mood for excitement, and the ice cream is out of this world! Escape from the heat, and find yourself lost in a smooth and delicious scoop or sundae. In the mood for something daring? Try one of their yummy new Freak Shakes or sample a local favorite, lavender honey swirl ice cream.

  5. Small Town Creamery - 5404 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Kids and adults alike will love the fun flavors served up at Small Town Creamery. Join the fun by ordering a scoop of "C" is for Cookie or Bubble Gum ice cream, or if you want something a bit different, try the sophisticated flavors of the Purple Daze and Stellar Coffee varieties. Friendly service and an incredible selection of flavors make this ice cream shop a must visit.

  6. Anna Maria Island Creamery and Bakery - 9801 Gulf Dr. Anna Maria Island, FL 34216
    Rich Italian ice cream and irresistible pastries make Anna Maria Island Creamery and Bakery a decadent destination. Sourcing local ingredients, the staff makes fresh gelato right at the shop, and one taste will win you over. There are plenty of flavors to choose from and a topping station to add the finishing touch to your treat.

These local ice cream shops are just a part of what makes Anna Maria such a fun and beautiful place to live. For more area information or to get started with your house hunt, contact Wagner Realty today!

Contact Wagner Realty

September
7

Sarasota Nightlife: 10 Best Spots for Happy Hour

Sarasota Nightlife

After a busy week of work, what could be better than happy hour at one of Sarasota's many great restaurants, lounges, or nightlife spots? Our real estate agents know Sarasota, and we've got the details on ten of the best places in the city to enjoy happy hour.

Sarasota Nightlife: Where to Find 10 of the Best Spots in the City for Happy Hour

  1. The Old Salty Dog - 1601 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236
    With a laid-back atmosphere and fantastic seafood, the Old Salty Dog is an excellent place to spend happy hour. Stop by during happy hour for specials on creative frozen drinks, seafood platters, and delicious desserts. 

  2. Siesta Key Oyster Bar5238 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34242
    Is spending the evening on a patio with a cold drink in hand your idea of a perfect happy hour? Then head over to Siesta Key Oyster Bar to enjoy a dozen oysters on the half-shell or Louisiana Crawfish for just $7 at the raw bar.

  3. Crab & Fin420 St Armands Cir., Sarasota, FL 34236
    The Crab & Fin has been one of Sarasota's favorite spots for upscale seafood since it opened its doors in 1978 and remains an excellent place to spend happy hour. Sample fresh, local seafood, while the friendly staff attends to all your needs.

  4. MADE Restaurant1990 Main St. #112, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Looking to spice things up with something truly unique? MADE Restaurant serves modern, American meals, and has won tons of awards for serving some of the best food in the city. Try all of your happy hour favorites, with a modern twist.

  5. Duval's – 1435 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Dig into a plate filled with some of Sarasota's best seafood during happy hour at Duval's, where the team is committed to serving only the freshest food. Happy hour features specials on all of your favorite "bar bites" at Duval's.

  6. Boca Sarasota19 S Lemon Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    From local farms straight to your table, Boca Sarasota always offers something fresh and unique to try during happy hour. On the menu, you'll find seafood specials and craft drinks, in a modern, inviting atmosphere.

  7. Mandeville Beer Garden428 N Lemon Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Does an authentic beer garden sound like a great place to spend happy hour? Of course, it does! Mandeville Beer Garden offers great specials during happy hour, with 30 drafts and 150 bottles.

  8. Mattison's City Grille1 N Lemon Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    With tons of happy hour specials on wine, martinis, appetizers, and more, Mattison's City Grille is the perfect place to unwind after a busy day. Enjoy a drink on the patio, or settle down inside for an excellent atmosphere.
  9. Libby's Cafe + Bar – 1917 S Osprey Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a full meal, Libby's Cafe + Bar has you covered, with fabulous food and a friendly staff. Rest assured, there are always unique creations coming from behind the bar, as well.

  10. The Blue Rooster1525 4th St., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Happy hour is a little sweeter with live music in the background, and the Blue Rooster always has somebody interesting on stage. Stop by during happy hour for specials on well drinks, beer, wine, and tasty appetizers.

Are you ready to start shopping for Sarasota homes for sale, and find your favorite happy hour in spots the city? Contact us at Wagner Realty to buy and sell homes throughout the Sarasota, FL area.

August
17

Sarasota Arts and Culture: Discovering Florida's Cultural Coast

Sarasota Florida's Cultural Coast

Sarasota Mansions, Museums & More

Sarasota is about so much more than beautiful beaches and fantastic shopping and dining, although we can't brag enough about those attributes. Our city is a mosaic of cultural events and attractions that are begging to be explored. Known as the "Cultural Coast" of Florida, the Sarasota area adds an unheralded depth of sophistication and education with its various performing arts venues, museums and more. If you are drawn to the area and are thinking of purchasing one of several Sarasota homes for sale, be sure to spend some time acquainting yourself with our city's cultural flair.

John Ringling's Mansion

It would be difficult to find a more fascinating and breathtaking display of art and architecture than the collection at John Ringling's Mansion. One of the founders of the world-famous Ringling Bros Circus, John Ringling, and his wife had the Venetian Gothic style home built after his travels through Europe. Particularly enthralled by Venice, the Ringlings brought back not only art but inspiration for what would be their winter home and eventually a tribute to both their lifestyle and their circus legacy. The mansion, officially called Ca' d'Zan, is a whopping 36,000 square feet and houses several permanent art collections and special exhibitions. Visitors can also enjoy performances at the mansion's theater, a museum dedicated to the circus and family oriented events. The home and gardens are an attraction in themselves, showcasing the grandeur of Venetian style.

Museums

Aside from John Ringling's Mansion, you'll find several other museums in Sarasota that are definitely worth a visit. Just as its name implies, the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy puts the spotlight on the fun and whimsical with bright and inspiring pieces of art. The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is a must-see for lovers of vintage automobiles, and Crowley Museum and Nature Center is a great family attraction that nature enthusiasts and pioneering spirits will love. With a great collection of contemporary art on display, Art Center Sarasota focuses on showcasing area artists and educating the public through workshops and special events.

Performing Arts

If you love live music, Sarasota Orchestra won't disappoint. From their Masterworks and Pops series to special events that include the annual Sarasota Music Festival, the orchestra presents a variety of entertainment throughout the year. If you prefer live theater, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe performs Broadway hits and much more in a display of fun and musical excitement. You'll also find a fantastic variety of music, comedy, dance and theatrical performances at Sarasota's Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

Botanical Gardens

Art extends to the great outdoors in Sarasota and its beautiful botanical displays. Visit the tranquil grounds of Marie Shelby Botanical Gardens where you can peacefully stroll through the grounds and marvel at over 20,000 plants carefully tended and arranged for our enjoyment. Sarasota Garden Club is open to the public and is home to thirteen individual gardens that you can leisurely explore.

Sarasota is an all around great place to live, and with so much to discover on the Cultural Coast, we think you'll be delighted time and again. For more information on the Sarasota area and to discuss your real estate needs, contact Wagner Realty today. Our REALTORS® in Sarasota are ready to welcome you home.

Contact Wagner Realty

July
30

Buying Your First Home? Learn These Lessons Today.

Home Buying Lessons
Buying a home is a huge deal especially for first-time home buyers. Apart from being the single biggest purchase you will ever make, the process itself can be complicated. When you work with one of our real estate agents from Wagner Realty, we will always be on hand to help guide you through the entire process. Below are the key lessons to learn today to help make your home-purchase journey a little less stressful.

Put Aside Your Down Payment Money

It's common for lenders to require you to put down 20 percent as down payment for your new home. Although many lenders allow as little as 3 percent for first-time home buyers, committing anything less than 20 percent will mean higher loan costs and additional private mortgage insurance fees. Save enough money for your home's down payment using several savings schemes such as setting aside work bonuses and tax refunds or having an automatics savings plan.

Explore All Your Down Payment Options

As a first-time home buyer, you have several down payment options available to you if you cannot raise the deposit money. These are:

  • Federal mortgage programs offer loans with only three percent down
  • Federal Housing Administration loans permit 3.5 percent down payments
  • Veteran Affairs loans sometimes require little to no down payment at all
  • Crowdfunding or asking family members to pitch in

Check Your Credit

Your credit is a key factor in determining whether or not your home loan is approved. Moreover, it will determine your loan terms and interest rate. Therefore, work to improve your credit score in advance and offset outstanding debts early.

Pick the Right Home

Always consider everything you are looking for in your dream home when shopping around for one. Here:

  • Pick the right location and neighborhood
  • Consider crime and safety statistics
  • Check out noise, traffic, and activity levels
  • Look out for the nearest hospital, grocery store, pharmacy, school district, and other amenities

Budget for Closing Costs

After making an offer and starting the process of closing the deal, you need to account for closing costs that can run from two to five percent of your loan amount. Here, our real estate agents can help you shop around for affordable options to minimize some of your closing expenses such as title searches, home inspections, and homeowners insurance.

Take Your Time

Perhaps one of the hardest lessons on this list, but taking enough time to look for your dream home and shop around for all the services you will require throughout the buying process is essential. Try to minimize your frustrations and manage your emotions because making rush decisions can easily lead to buyer's remorse.

Be Prepared to Compromise

Making a strong offer is not a guarantee that you will close the deal. As issues arise from the home inspection and appraisal processes, be prepared to make compromises with the seller on certain things. However, too many compromises may result in high renovation costs.

Find a Great REALTOR®

When looking for homes for sale in Manatee and Sarasota Counties, it is important to hire the services of a professional buyer's agent to help you through the buying process from your home search through moving day.

Contact Wagner Realty today to get started buying your Flordia dream home.

Contact Wagner Realty

June
1

What Makes Sarasota's Neighborhoods Great

Sarasota Florida Neighborhoods
When you're planning to make a move, you choose your neighborhood carefully. It makes sense to find a community that lives up to your highest expectations. If you're considering Sarasota homes for sale, you're headed in the right direction.

Our real estate agents could give you a long list of great reasons to make the move to Sarasota. Instead, we've decided to keep it simple by sharing 5 Things that Make Sarasota's Neighborhoods Great.

Living in Sarasota is Like Being on Vacation Every Day

Sarasota is a beautiful active city. It's no wonder vacationers visit in record-breaking numbers. With easy access to Sarasota Bay, Venice, Lido Key, Casey Key and other seaside vistas, you won't have to travel far for vacation-style fun every day.

Endless Entertainment Options

Entertainment variety is a key perk of living a Sarasota lifestyle. Here are just a few of the many entertaining experiences.

And for Kids...

Highly-rated Schools

The Sarasota school page on Greatschools.org shows a long list of positive ratings. These reviews were parent-generated, but Florida Department of Education stats reveal the same positive trend. The FLDOE ratings show that many Sarasota schools consistently earn "A" ratings.

Low Crime

Many Sarasota neighborhoods are rated highly-safe. But as with any active city, crime varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. To get the specifics on your future home, you must do your own research. Websites like Areavibes.com and AARP Livability Index can help. When you enter your city or zip code, these sites supply crime and other livability ratings for your chosen neighborhood.

Easy Commutes

In Sarasota, the average commute takes 21.9 minutes. That's largely due to the fact that I-75 and SR 19 cut right through Sarasota. If you prefer to avoid driving, SCAT buses run throughout the city. You can also register for a vanpool or carpool match-up on the FDOT Commuter Services page. As you'll find a number of white collar jobs in the city, your commute time could be minimal.

If you're thinking about moving to Sarasota, let us help. Contact Wagner Realty if you're buying or selling a home or if you simply want to know more about Sarasota living.

Contact Wagner Realty

March
28

Spend Sunday Evenings in Siesta Key at the Drum Circle

Siesta Key Drum Cirlce

One of the perks of living near Siesta Beach in Sarasota (apart from enjoying the beach itself) is the weekly drum circle held every Sunday. Here, you will be treated to a beautiful sunset while listening and dancing to drummers in a festive-like atmosphere. Our REALTORS® in Sarasota have all the details of this exciting local phenomenon as well as all other to-do things in the area. 

The Siesta Key Drum Circle starts one hour before the sun sets every Sunday and continues into the night. The popular tradition attracts large crowds of onlookers and participants for dancing and drumming on Siesta Beach. Drum circle regulars sporadically perform with fire, swords, or even hula hoops. They are also dressed in beautiful colors and offer flowers to onlookers.

Where Does the Siesta Key Drum Circle Occur?

The free fun event is held every Sunday evening at Siesta Beach. It takes place south of the beach's pavilion between the third and fourth lifeguard stands. Since it is a huge event that attracts a large crowd, you cannot miss it once you get to the beach.

You are advised to arrive early to get a parking space and also sit near the front of the circle for a great view. You should also bring your beach chairs or blankets. Several hundred people typically attend the drum circle. Depending on what you came for, you will find an engaging show and a mellow atmosphere.

The Siesta Key Drum Circle is not a commercial event but a local phenomenon that started spontaneously, grew from demand and active participation, and now enjoys a life of its own. It is one of the main reasons why Siesta Key homes are in high demand.

History of the Siesta Key Drum Circle

The weekly ritual started in 1996 during the autumn equinox. It evolved from a potlatch ceremony of a Ringling School of the Arts' creativity workshop. The event continued for several years with the support and participation of members of the local churches as well as the Native Descended Nation, which explains its spiritual aspect.

In the beginning, the drumming circle was located at Beach Access 8 and was only supposed to be held during the full moon. However, people liked it so much that it became a weekly affair. When the event moved to the Siesta Public Beach, it seized to be a sacred atmosphere and became a carnival. It also got a change of diversity and pace.

Today, the drum circle has raised whole generations of kids who now bring their children to the family event. The Sunday night tradition is now the number one free event in Sarasota and is listed in most magazines. It is a must-see attraction for your family that has evolved into a local culture passed down generations.

Imagine both finishing your week and starting the next in a fun drum circle carnival that allows you to let loose and dance your stress away. You will find the circle both a spiritual and social event. It generates positive energy and gives people the space they need. Moreover, it is an ideal way to spend quality time with your family because it offers a unique experience, but once the sun sets and it gets dark, you will find the crowd becomes less inhibited.

If you are looking at Siesta Key homes or are interested in moving into the area, contact Wagner Realty today to find your perfect home. Wagner Realty has served Sarasota County since 1939 helping people find their ideal home.

Contact Wagner Realty

March
13

Sarasota Living: 6 Ways to Tell If a New Neighborhood is Family Friendly... |

New Neighborhood Family Friendly
Finding the right home in a family-friendly neighborhood can be one of parenthood's most challenging responsibilities. When it comes to your children you want it all: quality schools, fun recreational activities, friendly neighbors ... the list is endless. Fortunately, many of the neighborhoods featuring Sarasota homes for sale have everything you need to meet your lifestyle challenges.

Our REALTORS® understand that the neighborhood you choose must be a safe and happy haven for your family. To guide your search, we offer Sarasota Living: 6 Ways to Tell If a New Neighborhood is Family Friendly.

  1. Quality Schools
    A quality education provides a strong foundation for a lifetime of accomplishments. Before you settle on a new neighborhood for your family, it's important to check out the public schools. If you find out after your move that the local school system isn't up to your standards, it could cost you years of private school tuition.

    You can find the data you need at school rating sites like greatschools.org. You'll see that many Sarasota schools are highly rated.

  2. Low Crime
    Safety is a critical factor in choosing a new home. As crime statistics in Sarasota vary depending on the neighborhood, you should do your research before you commit to a move.

    Check with neighborhood police officers, state and local crime data resources, and national crime rating sites. When you visit neighborhoodscout.com you'll find a list of the 10 Safest Sarasota Neighborhoods.

  3. Family-Friendly Fun
    Sarasota neighborhoods have plenty of fun things to do. You can search the Sarasota County website at scgov.net for neighborhood parks, local beaches, camps, and natural resources.

    Outside of your chosen neighborhood, you'll also find plenty of family-friendly venues worth exploring. The whole family will enjoy Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, the Ringling Museum complex, and many other exciting sites in Sarasota and nearby cities.

  4. Friendly Families With Children
    Wherever you decide to settle down, you'll want to make sure your children have lots of playmates. As children under 17 make up only 15-1/2 percent of Sarasota's population, you may have to search to find the right kid-filled community.  When you find one that meets your needs, check it out. Take an early evening stroll through the neighborhood. Spend time on the playground. Make sure it's a kid-friendly community that's right for your family.

  5. A Short Commute to Work
    When you're considering your next neighborhood, it's important to think about your commute time. If you must travel a long distance to and from work, you'll have to establish alternate care arrangements for your children. That may mean daycare, before and after school programs, or leaving your children to fend for themselves.  You'll also have to manage your children's emergencies from a distance. If you must hop on a bus or a train, or hit the highway, by the time you get back home the emergency may be over.

  6. Controlled Traffic Access
    When you have small children, it's important to live in a community with controlled traffic. Look for speed humps (or bumps). They force speeders to slow down or risk damaging their cars. Also, look for signs that restrict commercial truck access. Not only does traffic present a safety hazard for your children, auto and truck exhaust can contribute to harmful pollution in your neighborhood.

If you're planning a move to Sarasota, we can help. Contact Wagner Realty if you're buying a home and need help finding the right family-friendly neighborhood for your family.

Contact Wagner Realty

 

February
12

Most Romantic Spots to Pop the Question on Florida's Gulf Cost

Five Engaging Locations to Pop the Question


It's February and love is in the air. If it's inspired you to propose to the one you love, why not make it a romantic event? You don't need a trendy live band or flash mob dancers to make your proposal special. You simply need the right romantic spot.  When you're touring Sarasota homes for sale, you'll find plenty of romantic places to make your proposal an occasion to remember.

Our REALTORS® live and work in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. We're certain that among the area's white sand beaches, natural landscapes, and fabulous dining venues you'll find the ideal place to pop the big question. To help you plan your romantic adventure, we've prepared our list of Five Engaging Locations to Pop the Question in Florida.

1.  Ophelia's on the Bay - 9015 Midnight Pass Rd, Siesta Key

If you live in one of our nearby Siesta Key homes, you already know that Ophelia's on the Bay sets the scene for big romantic nights. You and that someone special can dine on the open-air patio. If you prefer an indoor table, both dining rooms have a wall of windows that deliver a perfect view of Little Sarasota Bay.

An ever-changing menu features fresh seafood and classic cuisine prepared with Florida grown fruits and vegetables. You can begin your meal with wine from Ophelia's extensive selection and toast your engagement with a glass of fine champagne.

2.  Picnic on the Bay at the Ca' d'Zan at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota

You can create your own love-inspired event in the shadow of the Ca' d'Zan at the Ringling. This Venetian Gothic-styled mansion is the opulent home of circus millionaires, John and Mable Ringling. You may stroll the beautiful bayfront grounds, tour the oldest rose garden in Florida, and share a romantic picnic with a light meal from the Muse restaurant. 

3.  Waterfront Restaurant, 111 South Bay Blvd., Anna Maria Island

The Waterfront Restaurant is a local favorite that's easily accessible from Anna Maria Island homes. Together, you can enjoy delicious, fresh cuisine, a laid-back atmosphere, and natural island charm.

Of course, your love will say "yes." And once the proposal is on the record, you can toast your engagement with a sip of wine, a specialty drink, or a craft beer. If you prefer to make your proposal on the beach, you'll find white-sand and gulf waters just beyond the door. 

4.  The Ringling, Sarasota, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota

The Ringling experience gives you a complete art and cultural immersion. It's bound to make your true love say "yes." You'll be blown away by the Museum of Art, Circus Museum, and other fabulous attractions on the estate. You can attend a live performance at the Historic Asolo Theater or pop the question at Blossoms & Brunch in Mable's rose garden.

5.  Kathleen D Sailing Catamarans, Longboat Key

Residents of Longboat Key homes will happily explain that a big engagement reveal doesn't have to be in a restaurant. It doesn't have to be on land at all. When you book a Sunset Cruise with Kathleen D. Sailing, you can share your romantic proposal at sea then sail off into the sunset... literally. For a slightly different slant to the evening cruise, you can schedule a Full Moon Sail.

Your Real Estate Professionals

Whether you live in Sarasota, Bradenton or one of our other nearby communities, this is the perfect place for living, playing, and falling in love. Contact us at Wagner Realty when you're considering making this your permanent home after you say "I do."

January
4

Step-by-Step Guide for Relocating to Sarasota

Sarasota Relocation Guide
If you're thinking about relocating to a warmer climate, Sarasota, Florida is a wonderful choice. It's the city "where urban amenities meet small-town living." Winters are tropical, with occasional Gulf breezes and rain showers to ease the heat. You'll find a thriving art and culture scene and exciting residential and commercial architecture. If you're making the transition as a Sarasota retiree, you'll find many activities to fill your leisurely days.  

Our REALTORS® live, work, and play in the Sarasota area. We believe it's one of the most desirable cities in America. When you're ready to explore local living options, we'll be happy to arrange tours of Sarasota homes for sale. In the meantime, take a look at our Step-by-Step Guide for Relocating to Sarasota.

1. Visit Sarasota
If you haven't made up your mind about your move, visit our fabulous city and you'll know for sure. Sarasota is far more than just palm trees, beaches, and sunshine. You'll enjoy entertainment, dining, and outdoor activities. With the extensive selection of homes, you're certain to find the style, space, and amenities you want.

2. Connect with a REALTOR®
Establish a relationship with a Florida real estate professional who can manage the home-buying process from beginning to end. Your REALTOR® can begin searching for a home that meets your criteria. 

3. Organize your move
Consider delegating your moving tasks. Movers can pack, load, move, unload, unpack, and set up at your final destination while you relax and remain stress-free. If you're moving for a transfer or promotion, your employer might reimburse your expenses. Otherwise, they could be tax deductible.

4. Arrange your utilities
You must contact several sources to establish utility services in your new home.

5. Connect your phone
If you're a cell-only family, check to see if your provider has coverage in Sarasota. Companies like Wirefly, Xfinity, and others offer Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) home landline service. 

6. Get legal to drive in Florida
Drivers in Florida must have:

  • Florida auto insurance: Ask your current agent for a referral to a Florida insurance agent.
  • Florida drivers license: The Sarasota County Service Center may be able to convert your out-of-state license to a Florida license. Bring original documents to prove your ID.
  • Legally registered vehicle: You must register your out-of-state vehicle within 30 days of establishing residency, placing your children in school, or beginning a job. Visit your local Florida Tax Collector's office with your ID, original car title, vehicle registration, Florida Insurance verification, and an executed HSMV 82040 VIN verification inspection form,

7. Find a new doctor
The Sarasota County Medical Society maintains an online Sarasota Physician Directory.  

8. Find a new dentist
Visit Dentist.com for a directory of Sarasota dentists

9. Enroll your kids in school

10. Change your address
Complete a USPS.com online address change so your mail will follow you to Sarasota. USPS partners will send digital coupons you can use at your new location.  

11. Register to vote
Follow the instruction at the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections website to complete the voter registration process online or print, complete and mail the application. 

Wagner Realty to Find Your Sarasota Home

We'd love to help you make the move to Sarasota. Contact Wagner Realty if you're buying or selling your home, or visit our Sarasota Home Buyers Guide to learn more about living in Sarasota.

Contact Wagner Realty

December
18

5 Spots in Sarasota to Ring in the New Year

Sarasota New Years Eve Spots2018 is almost here, and our REALTORS® in Sarasota know just how to celebrate. If you're still free on New Year's Eve, it's time to make plans for an unforgettable evening. 

Here are five of our favorite ways to ring in 2018 right here in Sarasota: 

  1. NYE Party at the Municipal Auditorium
    One of the biggest and most popular parties in Sarasota, this all-inclusive bash benefits charity and features top-shelf liquor, bottomless champagne, live music, appetizers, valet parking, and other VIP perks. We're actually sponsoring this year's event, which will fill out the historic Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. Get your tickets now to take advantage of early prices for the "Best NYE Party in SRQ".

  2. Pineapple Drop & Fair on Main Street
    Downtown Sarasota gets tropical every year for a unique NYE tradition: the Pineapple Drop. But before you look up at midnight to watch the illuminated fruit on Lemon and Main, you can spend all day with the family at a big outdoor New Year's Eve Party. Carnival rides, games, three stages of live entertainment, dozens of local food and drink vendors, and more will fill Main Street from 2 pm onward. Grab the kids for an all-day celebration, or come after dark to drink and dance the night away with your favorite adults.

  3. Fireworks Show at Marina Jack
    This year, Marina Jack and the City of Sarasota will work together to produce a midnight fireworks show over the marina and bay. Grab a seat at one of two four-course dinners at the restaurant (which overlooks the water), or spend midnight on the water itself, with a four-hour dinner cruise that boards at 8 pm. The celebratory cruise will include a delicious buffet, champagne toast, and live music. No matter how you spend the evening, the fireworks show is sure to dazzle.

  4. Speakeasy at the Powel Crosley Estate
    Want to ring in 2018 like it's still 1928? Come to the famous Powel Crosley Estate for a New Year's Gala and After Party that will be roaring all night long – or at least until 1 AM. The waterfront mansion will transform into a speakeasy-style party venue, complete with card games, live jazz, dancing under the stars, and a classic and delicious meal straight out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Get glamorous and channel your inner flapper for an unforgettable New Year's Eve.

  5. Glamour at the Selby Gardens
    If you're looking for something formal and fancy, why not spend the evening among the flowers? Our friends at the gorgeous Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are hosting a black-tie New Year's Eve "experience" among their tropical plants and festive holiday lights. The evening will include hors d'oeuvres, a four-course dinner, and live music and dancing. Of course, it all ends with a champagne toast at midnight and a fantastic view of the fireworks over Sarasota Bay.

After you experience our night life, don't forget to check out all our beautiful Sarasota homes for sale. Our agents are always ready to help you find the listing of your dreams. Contact Wagner Realty today to get started on your search for a new home in the new year.

Contact Wagner Realty

December
7

Holidays on Main at Lakewood Ranch

Lakewood Ranch Holidays
Our team of Lakewood Ranch REALTORS® loves a good Christmas party as much as anyone, and we wanted to give you a heads up on some of the fun holiday happenings around Lakewood Ranch this season! You can expect a packed schedule of events on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch this month, including some that you definitely don't want to miss. So gather up your holiday cheer, and join us for Christmas on Main!

  • Thursday, December 7, 14 & 21 - Carriage Rides, Strolling Carolers, Santa Stroll
    Every Thursday until Christmas, carolers will be out on the streets spreading holiday cheer from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. You can also take a carriage ride as you listen to the carolers sing, and keep an eye out for Santa as he strolls the streets during this free weekly event.

  • Friday, December 8 - Holidays At the Ranch
    This annual holiday street festival is one of our favorite Christmas events. From 6 pm to 9 pm, you can enjoy a spectacular Christmas lights display, join in with singing carolers, and watch Santa make a grand entrance in a horse-drawn carriage. There will also be children's activities, rides, and crafts, as well as plenty of holiday-themed refreshments.

  • Saturday, December 9 - Lunch with Santa at MacAllisters
    Join Santa for lunch at MacAllisters Grill & Tavern between 12 pm and 3 pm for great food and a chance to have some fun with Santa Claus himself. Call ahead to reserve a spot.

  • Saturday, December 16 - Breakfast with Santa at Polo Grill & Bar
    In case you missed your chance to dine with old Saint Nick at MacAllisters, he'll also be sitting down for breakfast at Polo Bar & Grill from 8:30 am to 10:30 am on Saturday, December 16. Reservations are available by phone, and don't forget to bring your Christmas list!

  • Sunday, December 17 - Lunch with Santa at Main Street Trattoria
    Last chance! Sit down with Santa for lunch at Main Street Trattoria from 1 pm to 3 pm on December 17. We assume he'll be too busy making toys from then until Christmas, so be sure to make a reservation and take the opportunity to meet him while you can!

  • Friday, December 22 - Jingle Run 5K
    One of the largest chip-timed 5K run/walks in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, the annual Jingle Run 5k is a great way to get your blood pumping and the holiday spirit flowing. Just tie some jingle bells to your shoes (they will be provided) and you're off! There will be holiday music along the way, and a post-race party at the end of the line.

  • Saturday, December 23 - Christmas Celebration
    The Christmas on Main festivities culminate with the December 23 Christmas Celebration, which includes food, fun, games, rides, and music. Join Grace Community Church for this special Christmas Celebration from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.

No matter the season, there's always something going on at Lakewood Ranch! Contact Wagner Realty today to learn more about life in this vibrant community. Our team is committed to helping you find the perfect Lakewood Ranch homes.

Contact Wagner Realty

 

November
22

2017 Bradenton Blues Fest

Bradenton Blues Fest
When you think of living in Bradenton, Florida, the first thing that most likely pops into your mind is enjoying our city's sugary sand beaches. However, Bradenton boasts a full slate of local activities and events sure to please locals, visitors and new residents alike starting with our upcoming Bradenton Blues Festival Weekend.  One of the best-kept secrets in Bradenton and beyond is the annual Bradenton Blues Festival.  The Bradenton Blues Festival main event will be Saturday, December 2.

The Bradenton Blues Fest Returns

For music aficionados, the Bradenton Blues Festival is known for amazing sets from hot local and national blues musicians. It's put on every year by the nonprofit Realize Bradenton, solely dedicated to a vibrant and prosperous downtown for the Bradenton community.

In addition to the smooth blues solos, Blues Festival is known far and wide for the best eats. As you enjoy acts on the big stage, you'll also have the opportunity to sample local craft beer and pick your favorite from more than a dozen specialty food vendors.

The fun doesn't end when the last act takes a bow, either – there's still Sunday to look forward to.

The Bradenton Blues Brunch Won't Have Your Favorite Foodies Singing the Blues

The Bradenton Blues Brunch caps off the event from 11 am to 1 pm. on Sunday. You'll find it along with a lively crowd of blues fans at Mattison's City Grille, a hip hangout you just can't miss when you visit the Bradenton Riverwalk.

Mattison's is known for mouth-watering steaks and seafood, a dizzying selection of tasty cocktails, and scrumptious key lime pie that will have you coming back for seconds. It also distinguishes itself with a complete selection of fresh signature sushi rolls.

Tickets for the brunch are available for $50 and attendees will nosh their way through a three-course, seated-and-served brunch headed by renowned chef Paul Mattison. Mimosas, wines and even a Bloody Mary or two will be on hand to be paired with each course.

Plus, you'll get live entertainment from top local blues duo Fowler and Walker. Find out more about the line-up and book your Blues Fest tickets soon – they're going fast!

Our REALTORS® would love the chance to show you Bradenton's most breathtaking homes for sale. See all Bradenton living has to offer – and enjoy Florida's finest blues event at the same time. Contact us to get your home search started.

Contact Wagner Realty

November
14

St. Armands Circle Holiday Night of Lights Shows Santa the Way

Sarasota Kicks Off the Holidays with Family Fun

Sarasota - St. Armands Circle
If you plan to schedule year-end tours of Sarasota homes for sale, be sure to include a few of our local holiday events to get you acquainted with our city. Our REALTORS® have put together this list of just a few of Sarasota's attractions certain to put you in the Christmas spirit.

St. Armands Circle Holiday Night of Lights

Dubbed as The Holiday Destination on the Gulf Coast, you can join in the excitement on Friday, December 1 as Holiday Night of Lights on St. Armands Circle kicks off the Christmas season with lights, music and celebration.  The festivities will begin at 5:30 PM with special performances followed by a sing-a-long at 6:00 PM.  Don't miss Santa's arrival from the North Pole in his magical sleigh just in time for the lighting of St. Armands' spectacular Christmas tree.  Santa will be available for photos from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM.

You can dine, shop the Circle and take advantage of store promotions. St. Armands Circle will host a variety of entertaining activities for your entire family.

Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

The Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights is a must-see, beachside attraction with 25 boats decked out with colorful decorations, twinkling lights and festive music. This dazzling waterborne parade travels close to the shore, keeping viewers engaged and entertained.

The parade takes place at 6:00 PM on December 9. Boats of all shapes and sizes create an enchanting holiday display as they depart City Island and cruise across Sarasota Bay to Bayfront Park.

Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
You'll want to claim your spot early to beat the crowd. Bring lawn chairs, coolers and snacks to nibble while you wait. And don't forget your camera. 

This year, the organizers have changed a few things to make the parade even better. They've expanded the parade route and extended the Bayfront Park viewing area to accommodate more spectators. They've also relocated the VIP viewing area to Marina Jack's Fuel Dock.

Holly Days and Mangrove Lights at Historic Spanish Point

At Spanish Point, you can explore history through museums, nature trails, boardwalks, and historic buildings. You'll see native butterflies, insects, plant species and a rare mangrove tree shoreline.

Beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving through December 30, the historic site shows off its holiday spirit. The staff decorates the museum, grounds and mangrove trees with miniature white lights. Beginning at 6:00 each evening, you'll experience lighted pathways, music throughout the venue and a unique holiday ambiance.

On Thursdays and Fridays during the holiday season, Spanish Point will remain open until 9:00 PM. They will be closed on December 28.

Get to Know Sarasota

If you plan to relocate to Sarasota, you'll find exciting things to do year round. Contact Wagner Realty if you're thinking about selling your current home or buying a new one. Our real estate professionals have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process.

Contact Wagner Realty

October
31

Sarasota Farmers Market-Year Round Family Fun

A Chance for Sarasota Families to Gather  

Sarasota Farmers Market
Held every week, the Sarasota Farmers Market takes place right in the heart of Downtown year-round. Read on to find out more, and feel free to get in touch with our REALTORS® to learn more about life in Sarasota, FL.

A Long-Running Sarasota Tradition  

The Sarasota Farmers Market was established in 1979, offering a selection of local plants, produce, prepared foods and crafts that caught on quickly with the local community. It has only grown in the years since, quickly becoming a beloved mainstay of the Downtown Sarasota area. Today, the market spans more than 5,000 square feet and offers a space for more than 70 vendors to sell their locally grown and crafted goods.

Weekly Family Fun in Sarasota, FL

Operated by the nonprofit SFMV, Inc. (Sarasota Farmers Market Vendors), this weekly market promises a colorful variety of locally grown produce. Availability changes with the seasons, so be sure to return again to see what's new! Of course, there's a lot more to the Sarasota Farmers Market than fresh veggies. For example: 

  • Arts and Crafts: Handmade soaps, jewelry, baskets, clothing, candles, pottery and paintings are just a few of the things you can find at the market.
     
  • Flowers and Plants: An ever-changing selection of plants are available from local nurseries and florists, from orchids and floral arrangements to vegetables and herbs that you can plant in your own garden. 
     
  • Food and Beverages: Food trucks and tents provide all kinds of refreshments, from a hot cup of Joe at JavaDawg Coffee to a hearty meal courtesy of Alpine Steakhouse. :
     
  • Local Produce: As with any good market, farmers are at the heart of the Sarasota Farmers Market. Local and organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, eggs and honey are always on the table. 

Visiting the Sarasota Farmers Market also provides an opportunity to check out some of the local businesses in Saratota's vibrant Downtown district. Grab lunch at Boca Kitchen Bar and Market, find the latest catch at Duval's Fresh Local Seafood, or stop for coffee and fresh baked goods at Coffee Carousel. 

Plan Your Trip to the Farmers Market

The Sarasota Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 7 am to 1 pm. Unlike many farmers markets that close up shop in winter, the Sarasota Farmers Market continues every week throughout the entire year, offering a selection of goods that changes with the seasons. You'll find it on Lemon Avenue, near its intersection with Main Street. Parking is available on the streets and in public lots nearby. 

Contact Wagner Realty today to learn more about all the latest happenings in the Sarasota area. Our team is standing by to help you find the best Sarasota homes for sale.

Contact Wagner Realty

October
18

10 Traits of a Great Neighborhood

10 Traits of a Great Neighborhood
Finding the right home may be your top priority as a shopper, but identifying the right neighborhood is just as important for landing a home you'll love long-term. Our REALTORS® know what it takes to become a neighborhood expert, and we've compiled the top 10 traits of a great neighborhood.

How to Find a Neighborhood You'll Truly Love

  1. Easy Access to Key Services
    Whether you need to shop for groceries, go to the gym, stop at the post office, or simply run your daily errands, having the services you need close to home makes it much easier to get things done. So if you're shopping Sarasota homes for sale, keep an eye out for neighborhoods that allow you to take care of business.

  2. Fun and Entertainment Close to Home
    Every neighborhood offers something to do, but the right neighborhood for you will have entertainment options that match your taste. If you like the idea of a master-planned community with nearby entertainment options, check out Lakewood Ranch homes.

  3. Local Businesses
    Small businesses are the lifeblood of so many neighborhoods because they provide necessary services, unique products, and fun activities close to home. An active, growing small business community is a sign of a great neighborhood, so be sure to sample the local business scene.

  4. Great Food
    We all have our own neighborhood preferences, but most would agree that great food close to home is a major plus. Look for a neighborhood that offers all of your favorite dining options, along with new things to try. Becoming a neighborhood expert has never tasted so good.

  5. Safe Streets
    Whether you're shopping for a family home or flying solo, finding a neighborhood with low crime rates is certainly an important priority. Try visiting neighborhoods both during the day and at night to get an idea of security in the area.

  6. Strong Schools
    Perhaps you're shopping with your family in mind, or you simply want to leave the option open in the future. Either way, finding a neighborhood with a strong school system will serve you well.

  7. Spectacular Scenery
    It's so nice to be able to sit on your patio or peer out the window and enjoy spectacular scenery close to home. Shopping for a home near the water is a great idea if you're looking for lovely views, and Longboat Key homes are a perfect example.

  8. Walkability and Public Transportation
    Do you enjoy being able to walk to nearby amenities, or hopping on public transportation rather than driving to work? Finding a neighborhood with transportation options that fit your lifestyle will make life much easier.

  9. Outdoor Fun
    You won't have any trouble finding outdoor fun in Florida neighborhoods, but it's still a good idea to make sure that a neighborhood offers your favorite outdoor activities. Homes for sale in Bradenton make it easy to enjoy all of the outdoor entertainment our corner of Florida has to offer.

  10. The Right Fit for You
    We have covered many of the topics that shoppers find most important in neighborhoods, but ultimately this process is all about finding the right fit for you. Try creating a list of your own ideal neighborhood features, and rank them in order of priority.

Whether you're still searching for the perfect neighborhood or you already have an ideal match in mind, our local real estate team is here to help you cross the finish line. Contact Wagner Realty to buy and sell homes in the Sarasota/Bradenton area.

Contact Wagner Realty

October
13

Don't Miss Lakewood Ranch's BOOFEST on Main Street

Living in Lakewood Ranch is a HOWLING Good Time

Lakewood Ranch Boofest Event
It's October, and we all know what that means, everywhere you turn ... ghosts and goblins abound.  It's no different in Lakewood Ranch.  Just minutes from Southwest Florida's beach, shopping, dining, and local events, the Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Corporation is busy preparing for the community's annual themed Halloween event, BOOFEST on Main Street.

The mission of Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Corporation is to nurture a sense of community and friendships through memorable events and social clubs within their community. Some of the LWR's  activities are so popular that they have become annual events such as the Eggstravaganaza, Boo Fest, and Holidays Around The Ranch.

Our local REALTORS® know the importance of getting to know your new neighbors when you buy a home in a new community, so we've created this Lakewood Ranch event highlight so you don't miss any of the howling good fun that will be happening at BOOFEST on Main Street.

BOOFEST On Main Street Is A Lakewood Ranch Tradition

Kids of all ages love Halloween. The family-friendly community of Lakewood Ranch has plenty of scary good fun planned for its annual October holiday event. 

Since Halloween falls on a school night, BOOFEST is scheduled for Friday, October 27--the fun starts at 6 PM.

Children will find plenty of thrills and chills at this all-ages Halloween celebration. It includes its own super Spooktacular Maze, crazy balloon art, and themed performances from local dancers.

Young guests are encouraged to dress in costumes to visit neighbors and friends. Exhibitors and sponsors will fill their bags with all sorts of tasty treats. Naturally, there will be a costume contest with plenty of prizes.

A full haunted house is planned – giving all the young ones many chances to enjoy on one of the most exciting nights of the year. It's the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit!

Find Your Lakewood Ranch Home with Us

BOOFEST is your family's opportunity to pack a whole season of Halloween fun into a single night. Plus, if you just can't get enough of this creepy extravaganza, you still have time for a full evening of trick or treating throughout the weekend.

Lakewood Ranch is known for its safe and welcoming neighborhoods, so parents can feel confident as their children participate in the local festivities. And, of course, BOOFEST is just one of several yearly events you'll be able to enjoy if you buy one of the homes for sale in Lakewood Ranch.

People throughout Florida and beyond relocate to Lakewood Ranch for all sorts of reasons including great amenities, mild weather, and a wide range of beautiful homes. Once you visit, you might find that you wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

Our REALTORS® can help you find the perfect home for you and your family.  Contact us to get started.

Contact Wagner Realty

September
13

Five favorite places for date night in Sarasota

Sarasota Date Night Spots
Sarasota homes
are among the most enticing in the Sunshine State. Found on Florida's southwest coast, the city of about 56,000 people has been known as Circus City or even simply "Paradise."

But did you know that Sarasota is also a great place for a romantic date? 

No matter whether you are meeting someone new or celebrating an anniversary, Sarasota will provide plenty of amazing places to do it. Over the years, it has attracted some of the top chefs and world-class restaurants. Plus, there are lots of other things to see and do both before and after you eat.

Let's consider some of the most romantic options for your big night out.

  • Marina Jack II Sightseeing Cruise
    Sarasota offer many sightseeing cruises you can book for the afternoon or even for a sunset dinner excursion. The Marina Jack II is docked behind the restaurant of the same name which offers full waterfront dining and seafood classics. Lunch, dinner, group events, and even weddings are held aboard the Marina Jack II.

  • Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
    If your date loves flowers, you won't want to miss this opportunity to experience the richness and beauty of nature. This "tropical urban oasis" sits on the shores of Sarasota Bay. It is home to a world-famous conservatory, fern garden, bamboo grove, banyan grove, and much more. You'll see exotic species as well as the iconic mangroves that contribute to Florida's unique look.

  • The Ringling Museum
    The Ringling Museum consists of permanent exhibits dedicated to the Ringling Circus, a private art collection, and the estate grounds of the 56-room mansion opened in 1926. After 5 PM, it's free to walk the manicured grounds and drink in the many breathtaking sights. During the day, the Historic Asolo Theater offers live performances from celebrated theater groups. You can truly make a whole day of it at this unique museum and architectural treasure.

  • Siesta Key Beach
    Stay anywhere on the coast of Florida for very long and you'll soon realize that one of the best things in life is free: The sunset. While there are many lovely places to see it, Siesta Key Beach is the most romantic by far. It's been praised for "the whitest and finest sand in the world" – since it is 99 percent quartz and highly reflective, it feels cool no matter the time of day.

  • Celery Fields
    Celery Fields is the perfect place for an outdoor picnic. A recreation area sprawling over more than 360 acres, it attracts colorful birds throughout the year. Dotted with ponds and shaded by gorgeous old growth oaks, willows, and pines, it offers all kinds of opportunities for a romantic moment away from it all. Keep your eyes open for more than 200 bird species including the eastern meadowlark and barn owl. The shores of Ackerman Lake attract many couples, especially throughout the spring.

Make Sarasota Your Home

Do you want to enjoy Sarasota's small town charm and big city amenities all year round? Contact Wagner Realty and our REALTORS® in Sarasota will be glad to help you. Our team offers years of experience and insight into the local real estate market.

 

September
6

Famous Homes in Sarasota - Ca dZan

Ca' d'Zan - Home of John Ringling

Sarasota Ringling Home
Sarasota's neighborhoods are teeming with gorgeous, modern, waterfront homes, but one building still stands out nearly a century after it was first built. One of the most beautiful and historic homes in Sarasota, the Ca' d'Zan, was restored to its former glory at the turn of this century. Today, the bayfront mansion's Venetian-inspired architecture and opulent furnishings are just as impressive as they were in 1926, when the Ringling family moved in and hosted glamorous parties on the water.

Whether you want to step back into the Roaring Twenties, catch a gorgeous sunset, or learn more about Sarasota's history as a circus town, this mansion-turned-museum is a must. Here are some of our favorite things to do at the Ca' d'Zan.

Sarasota's World-class architecture

Admire World-Class European Architecture

When circus magnate John Ringling started building the Ca' d'Zan ("House of John") in 1926, his family was one of the wealthiest in the world. Instead of pinning their dream homes on Pinterest, they traveled through Europe for inspiration, and the authentic masterpiece is a great example of Venetian and Spanish architecture from the 1800's. The Ringlings spent $1.65 million (more than $20 million today) and imported most of their materials – and design ideas – from Europe, and the manicured grounds and well-preserved mansion may transport you to the middle of Italy with their authentic details. For example, the roof is tiled with a cargo ship's worth of salvaged Spanish antique tiles, and the home itself is modeled after the Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy.

Enjoy Gorgeous Sunsets Over Sarasota Bay

There are plenty of places to watch the sunset in Sarasota, but this mansion offers one of the oldest and most beautiful vantage points. As the sun begins to set over Sarasota every night, bursts of color illuminate the blue bay and cast a golden glow over the Ca' d'Zan's marble walls. Once a month, donors gather on the outdoor terrace for live music and gourmet dinners during this natural spectacle. It's easy to see why Mable Ringling commissioned a custom dock and gondola for the property. In the 1920's, servants would take Mable and her friends for picturesque sunset gondola rides along the shore. Towering Banyan trees, colorful gardens, a six-story tower, and a patio right on the sea wall complete the picturesque outdoor experience.

Take a Walk through the Ringling Family's Life

The mansion was donated to the State of Florida in the late 1930's, but it deteriorated so much in the decades to come that Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow filmed Great Expectations there in 1996. By then, the dilapidated mansion was the perfect fit for a reclusive Dickensian widow's dusty, crumbling manor. Fortunately, that's all changed, and the well-restored mansion now looks a lot like it did when the Ringlings first moved in. Renovations began in 2002, and today the mansion is meticulously restored and furnished with much of its original artwork, décor, and furniture. Restored murals by famous artists depict vivid circus and Renaissance scenes customized for the Ringlings themselves. Even clothing in the closets, liquor bottles in the bar, and silver in the butler's pantry are original possessions of the Ringling family.

Our REALTORS® are eager to help families like the Ringlings start a beautiful new chapter in Sarasota, Florida. Whether you want a mansion on the bay or an apartment downtown, we will make sure your search is productive and your deal is fair. Contact Wagner Realty today to find a real estate professional that can help you find your dream home in Sarasota.

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August
28

7 Instagram-Worthy Spots in Bradenton

Downtown Bradenton - Bradenton Area Visitors Bureau
Bradenton is one of the most desirable communities in all of Florida's picturesque west coast. With seaside charm and sophisticated amenities in a mid-sized city of 54,000, it attracts visitors and new residents alike each year. As the county seat and the core of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice area, there is truly something for everyone.

Sure, just about any seaside town in Florida will wow you with its fair share of marvelous attractions, but Bradenton is in a class by itself. Let's take a closer look at seven of the top sights that will make you want to take a selfie:

  1. Bradenton Riverwalk
    In 2012, Bradenton launched its 1.5-mile Riverwalk packed with beautiful homes and high-class businesses. It has become one of the city's economic engines, filling the social calendar with events like concerts, festivals, and talks by world-class experts. Plus, it's absolutely gorgeous: Known as a "gallery of outdoor art" it boasts nineteen distinct pieces by local artists.

  2. Village of the Arts
    The Village of the Arts is a small, spirited community where artists from a variety of disciplines live and work. From the first moment you arrive, the colorful buildings, murals, and even cars will take your breath away. From baking to yoga, you'll find anything with a creative spark here. One of the monthly art walks is the best way to take it all in and stage the perfect photo.

  3. Twin Dolphin Marina
    It's not surprising that Bradenton is home to an enthusiastic boating and water sports community. No matter whether you like sailing, jet skis, or anything in between, you'll find what you want at the Twin Dolphin Marina. Amenities include luxury live-aboard facilities, concierge services, and – of course – sunset harbor views that are second to none.

  4. Bean Point
    Bean Point is as far north as you can go on spectacular Anna Maria Island. This seven-mile barrier island is known for the sea turtles that come ashore each year to nest. Bottlenose dolphins cavort and play in nearby waters, and a vast assortment of seabirds can be found through most of the year. Named for its first resident, Bean Point offers some of the best views in the area.

  5. Robinson Preserve
    Robinson Preserve is a 600-acre natural preservation area that offers a true adventure to those willing to explore. It welcomes visitors to a secluded and pristine vision of Old Florida that can be compared only to its "big brother," the historic Everglades. The best way to trek through Robinson Preserve is to plan a day-long kayaking expedition with an experienced guide.

  6. Historic Bradenton Pier
    When walking along Sarasota Bay for sightseeing or a picnic, no journey would be complete without a visit to the Historic Bradenton Beach City Pier. It is home to one of the most popular restaurants in the entire metro area, serving delectable seafood. It's also one of the best places to glimpse a truly unobstructed view of the Bay – and you're welcome to fish all day.

  7. Your New Bradenton Home
    Picture it: A beautiful home that meets all your needs, nestled in the heart of a seaside paradise. Warm sun, sand, and surf all year around, with inviting sea breezes and the gentle whisper of the water lapping not far from your window. All of this and more could be yours when you decide to work with Wagner Realty, the trusted REALTORS® in Bradenton.

Homes in Bradenton appeal to people of varying tastes and lifestyles. You can combine beauty, convenience, and "old Florida" charm with the right home. Contact us today.

Contact Wagner Realty

 

August
14

Living Like a Local in Longboat Key

Longboat Key Dining Spots 

Longboat Key Restaurants
When you find yourself in a living in a new city and want to find the best spots to grab a bite to eat, what do you do? That's easy—ask a Local! Luckily, our REALTORS® live and work in Longboat Key are thrilled to share some of our favorite eateries that will have you dining like a native Floridian in no time.

Homes in Longboat Key offer easy access to beautiful Gulf Coast views and miles of beautiful beaches. With all that seaside scenery, it comes as no surprise that Longboat Key serves up some of the best seafood around, but our local restaurants also offer much more! Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Amore, 555 Bay Isles Parkway, Longboat Key
    This incredible Italian fusion restaurant offers up a delicious traditionally-inspired menu that includes savory pesto gnocchi—a perfect comfort food if ever there was one—and possibly the most tender, juicy and flavorful rack of lamb we've ever tasted. Amore also offers both indoor and outdoor dining, and a full bar with live entertainment.

  2. Lazy Lobster, 5350 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key
    For high-end seafood in a relaxed, casual setting the Lazy Lobster is your go-to destination in the Longboat Key area. Their menu is stacked with seafood dished both classic and creative, from chilled ahi tuna and lobster bisque to crab cake salad and lemon-garlic shrimp and grits. They also have great happy hour specials, and a wide range of gluten-free options.

  3. Chart House, 201 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key
    Although it's known for its seafood, with many dishes sourced from local catches, Chart House is also a great place to go when you want to branch out. In addition to mouth-watering seafood dishes like stuffed flounder and cedar plank salmon, you'll find a menu stacked with delicious soups, salads, and some of the best steaks around. And all you chocoholics better stick around for dessert, because the hot chocolate lava cake is about as good as it gets.

  4. Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, 412 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key
    The lunch menu at the Dry Dock Waterfront Grill gets high marks for offering a dizzying variety of options in a gorgeous waterfront setting (to be fair, the dinner menu is great too, but a top-notch lunch spot is harder to come by). In the mood for seafood? The grouper sandwich is offered grilled, fried or blackened. Have a burger in mind? The half-pound Angus boathouse burger has your name on it. Vegetarian? If not, you will be after you try the grilled portobello mushroom sandwich.

  5. Euphemia Haye Restaurant, 5540 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key
    A perfect spot for a romantic dinner, Euphemia Haye might just be Longboat Key's most unique fine dining spot. A stone's throw from the beach, this picturesque restaurant is nestled in a historic wooden cottage and surrounded by a garden of tropical greenery. The creative a la carte menu includes an overflowing wine list and lots of healthy and vegetarian options alongside amazing pasta dishes, juicy steaks and fresh-caught seafood. The neighboring Haye Loft offers a more casual location to grab a drink and check out some live music.

When you're ready to begin your search for a home in Longboat Key, contact Wagner Realty. We have the "inside scoop" on the best homes for sale in our area--not to mention the restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and attractions in Longboat Key.

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August
9

Gamble Plantation State Park in Ellenton FL

Find the Unexpected in Ellenton, Florida

Ellenton Florida's Gamble Plantation

 Most people envision crystal blue water and white sandy beaches when they think about relocating to Florida and not American history class and the Civil War.  However, plantations were built and flourished in Florida.  One such plantaton still stands today as the Gamble Plantation Historic State Park in Ellenton, Florida.

Gamble Plantation's History

In 1844 Major Robert Gamble purchased 3,500 acres northeast of today's Bradenton and his plantation soon became a leading producer of sugar cane, molasses, citrus, grapes and olives.  Gamble's plantation became renowned for its 10-room, two-story architectural design.  Greek revival in design, its red brick and tabby walls were two feet thick.  The exterior of the home showcases wide-shaded upper and lower verandas wrapping around three sides of the home.  The original 40,000 gallon cistern remains today.

Legend has it that Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin used the Gamble Mansion as a safe haven after the Confederacy fell in 1865 until he fled the United States for England. Like many southern plantations, after the war the Gamble Mansion fell into disrepair.

Gamble's mansion was sold to the Patten family after the war.  In 1925 the property was saved by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and restored the home, who donated the mansion and 16 acres of land to the state of Florida.

Gamble Plantation Historic Park Today

Ellenton's Gamble Plantation Historic State Park welcomes thousands of visitors each year. The park covers over 3,500 acres and the beautifully restored mansion is open for guided tours.

The Gamble Plantation State Historical Site is the only remaining plantation house in South Florida. Built in the mid-1800's by Major Robert Gamble, it was the epicenter of a large sugar plantation. The area along the Gulf Coast from the Crystal River to below Tampa Bay was optimal for growing sugarcane, and many wealthy Floridians settled and built plantations there.

The park grounds open daily at 8 AM. The visitor center/museum is open Thursday through Monday, 9 AM – 5PM.

Living in Ellenton

Ellenton, FL is a cozy community settled along the banks of the Manatee River just a short drive away from Bradenton, Sarasota, and Anna Maria Island. Waterfront properties abound and an eclectic variety of Ellenton homes offer the best in Florida living.

When you are considering a move to the sleepy southern town of Ellenton, our REALTORS® can help you find a beautiful home that will suit your family's needs. Contact Wagner Realty to find out more about South Florida living.

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July
31

Discover Sarasota's Favorite Family Attractions

Sarasota Jungle Gardens - Florida Family Fun

Sarasota Jungle Gardens

If you've got a growing family, buying a home in Sarasota might be the right choice for you. With about 56,000 residents, Sarasota has long prided itself on its combination of big city amenities and small town living.

Sure, Sarasota is home to some of the best public and private schools in Florida. But, let's face it: Most kids don't get too excited about that. What they really care about is fun, excitement, and adventure.

Sarasota has that in spades – and one of the best examples is Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens is Fun for Everyone

Sarasota Jungle Gardens was founded in 1939 and is one of the most popular attractions in the area. It features ten exotic acres of tropical vegetation and trails that will give you plenty of amazing opportunities for your own little family safari.

Of course, no jungle would be complete without plenty of awesome animals!

When you explore Sarasota Jungle Gardens, you'll have the chance to encounter a crew of more than 200 animals. They run the gamut from Florida locals to some of the most breathtaking creatures you'll see anywhere in North America.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens is well known for the complete selection of parrots and macaws plus the legendary Florida flamingo. Visitors are especially fond of the flamingo flock, as they can be spotted roaming freely across much of the grounds.

Of course, you'll also find Florida alligators and their distant Nile cousins, the crocodile, lurking in a brilliant recreation of their native habitat. The different guided tours and shows – including Reptile Encounter, Jungle Bird, and Wildlife Wonder – help ensure that you can see everything in a visit.

A Petting Zoo and Other Fun Sights Round Out the Experience

Although there are plenty of reptiles, snakes, and small mammals to see, kids of all ages tend to gravitate toward the petting zoo. This interactive experience is suitable for the smaller kids, as they'll meet and hand-feed friendly critters like goats, chickens, and a miniature cow.

Younger kids won't feel left out – although it can get pretty steamy in Sarasota Jungle Gardens, the events are short enough to keep the little ones' attention. If sitting still just isn't happening, there's a full playground and a beloved wooden train for the junior explorers to check out.

Last, but not least, you won't want to forget the cafe and the gift shop. The Flamingo Cafe pays tribute to the Gardens' most iconic residents with favorites like hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza. Drop in and you'll have the chance to hand-feed the koi fish.

The Flamingo Cafe also takes reservations for large groups and birthday parties.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens--the Perfect Sarasota Experience

As kids grow, their interests change. Luckily, Sarasota will never leave them with nothing to do. From parks and playgrounds to the perfect high school hangout spots, this little city packs a lot of living into a quaint community where people feel free to get to know one another.

It's no surprise homes in Sarasota are in demand all year around. If you want to find the right one for you, working with an expert team is essential. Contact Wagner Realty and our REALTORS® in Sarasota will give you the personalized assistance you deserve.

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July
27

Don't Miss Siesta Key's Turtle Beach! |

Siesta Key Turtle Beach

When it comes to beach days in Sarasota, Siesta Beach gets most of the hype – and rightfully so. Its powder-white sand and gorgeous sunsets regularly top "most beautiful" lists and Siesta Key is a historic beach town with plenty of daytime and nighttime activities. However, that national and global acclaim brings the crowds, especially on sunny weekend days. If you want to enjoy the charm and beauty of Siesta Key without spreading a towel on a packed beach, we recommend Turtle Beach instead.

Just a few miles south of its more popular cousin, Turtle Beach takes up the southern tip of Siesta Key, nestled close to quiet Siesta Key homes instead of hotels and bars. Here are some of our favorite things about Turtle Beach:

Turtle Beach Has Both Lagoon and Gulf Views

Turtle Beach is right on the Gulf of Mexico, but it's separated from the other side of Siesta Key (the part that faces Sarasota Bay) by a small lagoon. This keeps it quiet, narrow, and difficult to develop, especially as erosion frequently eats away the sinkingly soft sand. Even during peak seasons in Sarasota, Turtle Beach is one of the quietest places in Siesta Key, and it's sandwiched between two bodies of water to boot. Get gorgeous sunset views to the west and quiet lagoon views to the east, plus overhead shade from trees that tower over the grassy dune.

Amenities Make it Easy to Get Away

Turtle Beach has everything you need to spend a fun, stress-free day at the beach: ample free parking, public restrooms, showers, picnic tables, charcoal grills, and even a boat launch. It's not as newly renovated or well-maintained as the public facilities as Siesta Beach, but the parking lot isn't nearly as crowded either, so you probably won't have to hunt for a spot in the lot or get there at dawn to get a table. Just spread a tablecloth and set up lunch with your family after a few hours in the water.

Snorkeling & Shelling

Turtle Beach's name is no accident. Sea turtles nest here once a year, and sea life in general is more active and visible, in part because the beach has a steeper drop-off and human feet don't disturb the deeper water. Bring your snorkeling gear (or rent some on your way through Siesta Village) to take advantage of some of the best snorkeling off Siesta Key, FL. When you're on shore, pay attention to the shells in the darker sand too. Local artists and collectors love Turtle Beach for its abundance of unique, well-preserved shells.

Our REALTORS® in Sarasota know which beaches are the least crowded, and they also know local real estate trends and news that will give their clients an upper hand. If you're selling your house or looking for a new home in Sarasota or Siesta Key, contact Wagner Realty to get in touch with an agent who can help.

Contact Wagner Realty

July
8

Spending the Day at Sarasota's Marie Selby Botanical Gardens |

Sarasota Selby Gardens

Sarasota certainly isn't short on beautiful scenery, but one hidden gem shines especially bright. Full of colors that rival our sunset skies and scents that evaporate stress, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is tucked into a lush waterfront spot right next to the Marina. In between beach days on Lido and Siesta Key, you can spend a whole day exploring this downtown treasure, known simply as Selby Gardens or Selby to those with homes in Sarasota. Whether you're planning a romantic date, a fun family outing, or a solo stroll, Selby is the perfect place to do it, and it's open every day except Christmas for your convenience.

Here are some of our favorite ways to make the most of your time at this world-renowned plant conservatory.

Explore the Children's Rainforest Garden

One of Selby's newest and most impressive sections is the Ann Goldstein's Children's Rainforest Garden. This interactive space is designed to simulate the biological richness and cool tranquility of the rainforest, while turning every spot into a hands-on learning opportunity for kids. Your kids will love the 12-foot-tall waterfall that splashes into a tranquil pool, the century-old Banyan tree that offers ample natural shade and seating, and the swinging rope bridges that stretch overhead for bird's eye views of the canopy and garden. You'll love the way Selby integrates biology and ecology lessons into their all-natural play areas, which also include special thatched research huts and an outdoor classroom.

Take an Art, Landscaping, or Yoga Class

Your day in the garden could also be a learning experience – if you enroll in one of Selby's many art, wellness, or horticulture classes. Join Yoga in the Gardens for an early morning stretch session, hone your photography skills on Tripod Tuesday, or pick a watercolor class that matches your experience level. Or if you want to learn how to landscape your Sarasota home, take a gardening class that focuses on orchids, bamboo, succulents, or another Florida-friendly theme. Selby's educational opportunities include one-off classes and season-long series, so you can choose how much time to commit.

Walk Among the Butterflies & Ferns

Everything at Selby serves a purpose beyond looking pretty, but the plants and flowers in front of Payne Mansion have a magical role: attracting butterflies. Visit the Butterfly Garden after touring the historic mansion, and meet dozens of colorful guests who drop in every day to enjoy the gorgeous plant life. Then stroll over to the Fern Garden for another blissfully serene experience. Just follow the circular path around the low-lying and towering ferns, which flourish in Sarasota's subtropical climate and show off a wide range of scents, textures, and colors.

Selby Gardens View

Follow the Mangroves for Waterfront Views

Make sure you stay until Selby closes, because the waterfront location makes for perfect evening views of Sarasota Bay, downtown Sarasota, and Bird Key. Three different mangrove species are native to the region's shorelines, and Selby's boardwalk meanders through grand examples of all of them. Enjoy the black, white, and red mangroves as you follow the wooden path along the shoreline, to a spectacular lookout spot right on Sarasota Bay. Selby hosts a Fourth of July party every year to take full advantage of these stunning bayfront views.

When you live in Sarasota, you have year-round access to this lush retreat and its schedule of fun and educational events. Our REALTORS® in Sarasota can help you find the perfect home to landscape in our subtropical beach town. Contact Wagner Realty to get started today.

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June
26

Amazing Fourth of July Events in Sarasota

How Sarasota Celebrates the Red, White and Blue

July 4 Events Sarasota

When the night sky lights up this Fourth of July, where will you be? For families with homes in Sarasota, it's hard to get this answer wrong. Siesta Key's explosive Independence Day celebration has drawn thousands for the past 26 years, but the country's best beach isn't the only place to be on Tuesday, July 4. Our gardens, parks, and restaurants also offer world-class waterfront views and patriotic celebrations this Fourth, so you can choose your view every year.

If you live or plan to buy a house in the Sarasota-Bradenton area, just pick which body of water you want to see sparkle, and settle in for a full day or evening of Fourth of July fun. Here are some of our favorite spots to celebrate:

Siesta Key Public Beach

It's no surprise that Sarasota's most popular fireworks show happens right on its famous white sand beach. The 27th annual Siesta Key Fourth of July Fireworks start at 9:15 PM this year, and the explosives last at least a full half hour, with colors and shapes that rival even the most picturesque Siesta Key sunsets. The Chamber of Commerce's official celebration is always on Siesta Key Public Beach, but if you want to beat the crowds and enjoy unbeatable views, go a little south of the public area, toward Crescent Beach.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

A lush, tropical retreat in the middle of downtown Sarasota, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are nearly surrounded by Sarasota Bay and the Hudson Bayou. They take advantage of their stellar views of multiple fireworks displays over Sarasota Bay, with an evening party that features live music, a cookout, and cool drinks. The All-American Cookout starts at 6, but free trolleys bound for Selby start leaving the Sarasota Friendship Center at 5 PM.

PIER 22 in Bradenton

Would you rather skip the beach and city crowds, and take in some waterfront fireworks at a slower pace? Head north to Bradenton's PIER 22, a literal pier that juts right out onto Manatee River for unbeatable waterfront views. This Fourth of July, the restaurant is hosting a buffet-style barbecue and waterside fireworks display. Come to PIER 22 at 6 PM for the Independence Day buffet, a single seating event that coincides with the explosions over the river.

Bayfront Park & Marina Jack Trail

The fireworks over Sarasota Bay are visible from both sides of the causeway, but the best views are from the edge of the marina, where family-friendly Bayfront Park pokes out into the water. Grab dinner and drinks at Marina Jack or O'Leary's Tiki Bar & Grill, then walk the Marina Jack Trail along the perimeter of this small but beautiful bayfront park. The fireworks over Sarasota Bay will begin at around 9 PM this Fourth of July, so grab a bench or spread a blanket and enjoy the spectacular show.

Before the Fireworks: Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Looking for a family-friendly distraction before the fireworks begin? Sarasota Jungle Gardens is right on the Bay near Ringling Museum and New College of Florida, and it's an interactive wonderland with flamingos, alligators, and lush landscapes where kids can frolic and adults can relax and take in waterfront views. Kids' admission is half off from Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4, making it the perfect pre-fireworks destination for Sarasota families.

Are you interested in buying a house in Sarasota? Contact Wagner Realty for more information about our beautiful beach town and its fun, lively neighborhoods. One of our REALTORS® in Sarasota will help you get started on your real estate journey. 

Contact Wagner Realty

June
6

Anna Maria Island's Historic Roser Memorial Community Church

Historic Homes in Anna Maria Island: Roser Memorial Community Church 

Anna Maria Island Roser Memorial Community Church

When you think of moving to Anna Maria Island, you'll likely picture a quaint beach bungalow surrounded by emerald green waters and sugary white sand. While it's true that this is part of living in Anna Maria Island, what you should know is that it is also a welcoming community with deep roots in local history.

Roser Memorial Community Church, opened in 1913, stands today as a beacon welcoming all to Anna Maria Island, Manatee County and even people from across the globe.

Learn more about this beautiful building that still holds services today.

History of Roser Memorial Community Church

The Roser family was one of the first land development partners in Anna Maria. The Roser Chapel was the vision of John Roser who hoped to create a place of worship for both residents and visitors to commemorate his late wife Caroline.

Unlike many Florida churches, this memorial had one stipulation--that it belongs to the community. The founders requested this chapel stay non-denominational, representing all of Anna Maria's residents.

Inside the Chapel

One of the more notable features upon entering the chapel is the beautiful stained glass window in the sanctuary. The current 400-seat sanctuary is an expanded area brought on by a historic-inspired remodel in the 1970's.

As more Anna Maria Island homes were built, Roser Church attendance increased filling its seats to capacity. Additional church buildings house community programs including the music ministry, community food pantry, thrift store and storage.

Attending Roser Church

Follow Gulf Drive north to Pine Avenue, then turn right for about half a mile. The church is located on the north end of Anna Maria Island, close to the historic Anna Maria Pier at 512 Pine Avenue, Anna Maria FL 34216.

Sunday services are open to the public and held twice daily due to demand. Choose to attend at 8:30 am or 10:00 am in addition to available Bible study and Sunday school. You can also check out the Roser Church Facebook page for weekly activities and special events.

Roser Church is one of the many peaceful island churches of Anna Maria Island. With a wide variety of denominations represented, there is a little something for everyone. Ask your local Anna Maria Island REALTORS® about homes in the area near the church of your choice.

Contact Wagner Realty whether you're searching for a year-round home or vacation rental. Our local real estate agents undestand the benefits of island life and can help you find your Florida dream home.

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May
8

Bradenton Beach Pier - Part of Florida History

Bradenton Beach City Pier
Sometimes, the most beloved local landmarks are created from the inspiration that comes when a city replaces something old with something new. Back in 1967, a new drawbridge was built to connect Anna Maria Island with the city of Bradenton Beach, FL, replacing the bridge the connected the communities for more than 50 years. Rather than consigning the old bridge to the demolition squad, city officials decided to turn it into a gathering place for the community. Bradenton Beach City Pier opened to the public soon after, and it's been delighting both visitors and locals ever since. 

Bradenton Florida

Get Daily Access to the Pier When You Buy a Bradenton Beach Home

  • Fishing Fun – When you stake out your favorite fishing spot on Bradenton Beach Pier, you're taking part in a tradition that stretches back decades. Experienced anglers will settle right in to catching the local fare, and anyone new to fishing will find a very welcoming atmosphere. You can rent rods, buy bait, and get fishing advice without ever leaving the pier. With a little luck, you might even reel in a seafood dinner that's as fresh as it gets.
  • Fresh, Fabulous Food – Not in the mood to catch your own dinner? No problem! The Bradenton Beach Pier Restaurant serves up fresh, local seafood prepared in any way you can imagine. Enjoy the catch of the day, sample succulent appetizers from the raw bar, or dig into a collection of Florida seafood favorites. While your busy enjoying a meal with your favorite people, be sure to look up from your plate once in a while to take in all of the seaside sights.
  • Stunning Views – Bradenton Beach homes for sale give you everyday access to some of the most scenic views on the Florida coast, and Bradenton Beach Pier allows you to see the sights from a whole new perspective. You will find spectacular scenery no matter when you visit, but there's no doubt that things reach another level in the evening. There's simply nothing like watching the sun set over the open sea, with the sky awash in vivid colors.
  • Tiki Bar – It's been a long week of work, and you're searching for the perfect place to unwind with friends. What could be better than a tiki bar, some live music, and a waterfront sunset? The tiki bar at Bradenton Beach Pier is the perfect place to relax and recharge. Best of all, you're sure to run into some old friends or make new ones.
  • Local History – The Bradenton Beach Pier plays a big role in local history, and you can learn quite a bit about Bradenton while exploring the pier. With all of the fun to be had on the pier, it's easy to forget that you're standing on an old road and bridge. The same pier that you enjoy today once carried local and tourists alike from Bradenton to Anna Maria Island, and back.
  • The Day Dock – The day dock is a relatively new addition to the pier, with public access for boaters to dock on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can tie up at the dock, enjoy a meal on the pier, or even head into town for some shopping before hitting the water again to take the scenic route home.

Our Bradenton Beach REALTORS® are here to help you find your own Florida seaside retreat near the Bradenton Beach Pier. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Bradenton, FL real estate area.

Contact Wagner Realty

 

May
16

Anna Maria Island Historic City Pier

Anna Maria Island features seven miles of sandy beachfront off Manatee County, Florida. The City of Anna Maria is a quaint, walkable Florida village that has become a destination for travelers seeking sun and relaxation and people looking for a place to call home.

With nearby amenities of Bradenton, this island features multiple communities at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Standout features of the area include emerald green water, white sand beaches, cottage-style Anna Maria Island homes, and of course the Historic City Pier.

The Settlement of Anna Maria

Anna Maria Island was known to native inhabitants of the America's for many years, but being only accessible by boat, no one wanted to live there. The Timucan and Caloosan American Indian tribes would visit as did the Spanish explorers who gave the island the name we use today. It wasn't until 1892 that the island gained its first official resident in George Emerson Bean, who spurred the development of the area.

Anna Maria Island's first residents were forced to commute to the mainland by boat or ferry, leading them to create the historic Anna Maria City Pier in 1911. A bridge over the water wasn't added until 1921.

Anna Maria City Pier

Described by Trip Advisor as, "Stunning," this historic pier stretches 678 feet across Gulf Coast waters. The pier has stood the test of time, weathering hurricanes for over 100 years as residents continually rebuild this attraction. Most recent renovations include a planned $1.7 million upgrade project, promising to keep generations visiting for years to come.

And why do people keep coming? Food, fishing, and fun just to name a few.

Rod and Reel Restaurant

The Rod and Reel restaurant offers 360-degree views at its iconic home at the end of the pier. Squeeze yourself into the tiny bar on the lower deck for an icy cold margarita, or find a table upstairs for a more formal meal. As you might guess, the seafood here is fresh!

Fishing at the Anna Maria Pier

A unique twist to the Rod and Reel Restaurant is that the area doubles as a fishing pier too. A common sight you'll see are the dangling fishing lines of fishing enthusiasts, hoping to catch a bite -- before they order a bite. It's a great way to pass the time during the busy summer season (the restaurant may have a line.)

Florida Fun

Florida's Gulf Coast is the perfect place to spend your vacation. Wagner Realty has vacation rentals available to share experiences and make memories with family and friends.  Play on some of Southern Florida's best golf courses, relax on sandy, white beaches, shop our local shops and boutiques.

No need to be sad when your visit ends because with the help of Anna Maria Island REALTORS® you can become a resident. Contact Wagner Realty to discover the best beachfront properties or the perfect vacation bungalow and enjoy the community of Anna Maria Island.

Contact Wagner Realty

 

May
22

Longboat Key Maintenance-Free Living

Discover Maintenance-Free Living in Longboat Key

Longboat Key Communities

Longboat Key is a town divided between Florida's Manatee and Sarasota counties.  The charms of this tropical, Gulf Coast community are endless with 12 miles of secluded, sandy white beaches. Ask anyone who owns a maintenance-free home in Longboat Key and they'll tell you it's the best choice they ever made. Our REALTORS® have all the information you need to join this maintenance-free living style--trading bleak winters for alluring beaches and plenty of sunshine.

Activities Abound in Longboat Key

  • Beaches
    The stunning beaches along the Gulf of Mexico Drive are clean and easy to get to. You might even catch a glimpse of the manatees swimming by. You'll see beachcombers sifting through the soft sand and collecting shells along the shore. Longboat Keys' world-famous Coquina and Siesta Key beaches mean more than just sunshine. You can also enjoy a picnic in shaded picnic areas or have a barbecue with friends.

  • Dining and Shopping
    Imagine enjoying dinner at an outdoor café under the shade of an umbrella at St. Armands's Circle or dining on European cuisine or fresh seafood like stone crabs and oysters. Whether you're in the mood for a steak, pizza or roasted duckling, you can find it in Longboat Key. Stroll through local shops featuring whimsical jewelry, clothing, and leather specialties or high-end stores.

  • Arts and Culture
    One of the benefits of maintenance-free living is that you don't have to spend your time keeping up with your property. That frees up your days for learning new things at the Longboat Key Education Center. Catering to adults, the center presents courses in yoga, tai chi and performing arts. You can find more art and culture in nearby Sarasota. Some say it is Florida's cultural capital with over two-million visitors to their arts and cultural events each year.

  • Sports and Recreation
    Maybe you like to spend your free time outdoors (why not, you live in Florida). Well, Longboat Key has plenty for you to do from riding your bike along the many cycling trails to taking a kayak tour. If you're a golf or tennis enthusiast, the Resort at Longboat Key Club offers professional tennis courts and a pro-level golf course.

Benefits of Maintenance-Free Living in Longboat Key

Whether you're a beach comber, club hopper or nature lover, maintenance-free living homes in Longboat Key are the answer to your new way of living. When you tour Longboat Key condominiums and homes, you'll soon understand why so many opt for a maintenance-free lifestyle.

  • Amenities
    Maintenance-free living in Longboat Key places all the conveniences at your fingertips. Many maintenance-free communities offer clubhouses, swimming pools and fitness centers.
  • Travel
    If you have always wanted to travel but the responsibility of maintaining your home held you back, taking advantage of maintenance-free living will give you time for travel. Plan that trip you've always dreamed of once our Longboat Key REALTORS® find your new home.

  • Free Time
    Leave home maintenance to someone else. Homeowner's association contracts provide for such home maintenance chores like lawn mowing, trimming shrubs, mulching, painting and roof repair.

Contact Wagner Realty to introduce you to the world of maintenance-free living in Longboat Key, FL. Our REALTORS® in Longboat Key have the market knowledge and experience to help you search for the perfect home in Florida for you.

Contact Wagner Realty

May
4

Get to Know Sarasota's Best Neighborhoods

5 Great Sarasota Neighborhoods to Live

Sarasota Neighborhoods

Finding yourself thinking about Sarasota homes?

A Florida city whose rich history dates all the way back to 1763, it is nicknamed "Paradise" by its 53,000 residents. Though the greater metro area is home to more than 700,000 people, it's the picturesque surrounding communities that often attract homeowners moving to the state.

When you choose Sarasota, you have access to some of Florida's most dynamic cities – but you can disappear into the peaceful tranquility of any number of gorgeous beachfront towns. The Sarasota Keys offer a truly unique experience to those lucky enough to live there.

Let's look at some of the best places to live in Sarasota:

  1. Bird Key
    Bird Key homes maintain the Florida country charm that can so easily be lost in the most popular tourist areas. If you want a true rural experience complete with large tracts of land perfect for raising your own animals, this is the best place to be. While home prices are higher on average here, crime is virtually nonexistent and it offers some of Florida's best parks and fishing.

  2. Longboat Key
    Longboat Key homes are nestled in a small and quaint community of about 7,000 people where you can enjoy virtually untouched white sand beaches. Top attractions include parks, resorts, and delicious international cuisine. Longboat Key has been recognized by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the most attractive islands in North America. It's perfect for boating, too!

  3. Bradenton
    Bradenton homes are ideal if you're looking for the perfect place to buy your first home. In fact, the area combines a lower cost of living than the state's average with a lower crime rate than the local average. Found right on the coast, it's well known as one of the top places to retire – thanks to great healthcare options, dining, shopping, and much more. A true beachfront paradise!

  4. Siesta Key
    Siesta Key homes can be found right on the sparkling white sands of this gorgeous resort island. Miles of southern Siesta Key around Turtle Beach are virtually untouched by development, giving you a taste of tropical paradise. In the north, you'll find Siesta Village – the site of tasty Sunshine State seafood and festive music. Naturally, the Key attracts tourists in the winter!

  5. Lakewood Ranch
    Lakewood Ranch homes are dispersed across seven distinct villages in a picturesque planned community with everything from townhouses to estate homes. Sprawling 8,500 acres, Lakewood Ranch has world class dining and shopping opportunities in the village centers and miles of beautiful hiking trails in the acreage beyond. It is one of Florida's leading green communities.

Interested in coming home to Sarasota? It's truly one of the best places in America to work, raise a family, or retire. No matter which area you're interested in, our REALTORS® in Sarasota will be glad to help you find the home of your dreams. Contact Wagner Realty to find out more.

Contact Wagner Realty

April
25

Five Favorite Anna Maria Island Restaurants

Visit the Best Dining Spots on Anna Maria Island

Best Anna Maria Island Restaurants

Anna Maria Island, FL is a truly unique community, and that commitment to originality is always on display at the diverse dining destinations around the island. As you might expect from a seaside town, many of Anna Maria Island's most popular dining spots are big on serving fresh, locally sourced seafood, with entree inspirations from around the world. Enjoying a meal on the island is as much about the scenery as it is about the food on your plate. Let's just say you won't have any trouble finding waterfront dining when you call Anna Maria Island, FL home.

One of the nice things about living on Anna Maria Island is that there's a dining spot for every occasion. You can enjoy an elegant, sit-down meal by the sea, or head straight from the beach to a bistro in your flip-flops. No matter the occasion, Anna Maria homes for sale put you close to the action on the island.

Anna Maria Beach Restaurants

Five Food Favorites

  1. Beach Bistro – 6600 Gulf Drive – The Beach Bistro has been delighting locals and visitors alike for more than 25 years. With a menu of unique seafood options, Beach Bistro has earned countless awards from ZAGAT and other big-name restaurant reviewers. As an added bonus – or perhaps the main attraction – Beach Bistro has also been lauded as having one of the best wine lists in Florida, with more than 200 options available.

  2. Eat Here Anna Maria Kitchen – 5315 Gulf Drive – The Anna Maria Kitchen wants you to "Eat Here," and we certainly won't be arguing. Eat Here Anna Maria Kitchen is a collaborative effort between the operators of Beach Bistro and a number of young, creative restaurateurs in the area. The result is a less formal setting that's still big on atmosphere, perfect for lunch or an evening out with friends. While the atmosphere is less formal, the quality of the food is just as fantastic as what you'll find at Beach Bistro.

  3. Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe – 4000 Gulf Drive – Noticing a theme, yet? If you enjoy eating with your toes in the sand, then you won't find a better place than Anna Maria Island to pursue your culinary passion. The Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe is a friendly, welcoming dining spot located right on the beach. In addition to a diverse menu and a well-stocked bar, the cafe is big on entertainment. On many nights, you'll have live music to serenade you as you eat with the sunset in the background.

  4. The Waterfront Restaurant and Craft Bar – 111 South Bay Blvd. – Special occasions call for special meals, and The Waterfront always delivers. This is a formal, sit-down restaurant with fantastic seafood dinners and a menu of craft drinks that you won't find anywhere else. Enjoy a light, tasty lunch, or stop by at dinnertime for a truly unforgettable meal.

  5. Sandbar Seafood and Spirits – 100 Spring Avenue – The Sandbar is a place where memories are made, and knots are tied. This is one of the most popular restaurants on the island for weddings, thanks to its combination of fantastic food and stunning scenery. Of course, you don't need to be planning a beach wedding to enjoy a meal at this beloved Santa Maria Island establishment.

Anna Maria Island Dining Patrons

Our REALTORS® in Anna Maria love getting to experience the island, and we know you will too. Contact our local Anna Maria office to shop for homes on Anna Marie Island, and learn what it's like to enjoy a world-class meal by the sea.

Contact Wagner Realty

April
20

Buying a Home in a Florida Tree City Near You

Celebrating Our Community's Tree Cities

Buying a Florida Tree City Home

National Arbor Day is Friday, April 28. It recognizes the role trees play in our daily lives and promotes tree planting and care. In addition to the benefits trees provide in our communities, planting trees on your own property is an excellent way to boost your home's curb appeal.  Homes for sale with mature trees on the property provide more than beauty.  They increase the value of your home.  The USDA Forest Service has said, healthy mature trees can add an average of 10 percent to a property's value.

Homes with well-landscaped yards with established trees and bushes that provide privacy fetch higher prices and tend to sell more quickly than houses with little or no landscaping.  A home with great curb appeal impresses home buyers before they even tour a home.

Did you know there are over 3,400 cities and towns across America that have made a commitment to joining Tree City USA?  Tree City USA has been "greening up" cities nationwide since 1976.  It is a program that provides the necessary framework for cities to care for and expand their public trees.

How Your Community Can Become a Tree City

Florida Tree City  Standards

To earn the Tree City USA designation, your city must meet four standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters to ensure that every qualifying community—regardless of size--would have a viable tree management program.  The four standards include:

  1. A Tree Board or Department
  2. An ordinance for tree care
  3. A well-funded community forestry program
  4. An Arbor Day celebration.

Homes in Florida's Tree Cities

There are 173 Florida communities that have taken a proactive role managing trees and are recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as official Tree City USA communities.  In our local area, seven local communities in Manatee and Sarasota Counties have been accepted by Tree City USA.

Tree Cities in Our Communities

Click on any Tree City name on our list to view homes and learn more.

  1. Anna Maria - Anna Maria, Florida the quintessential beach town that is the ideal balance of laid-back while still offering residents plenty in the way of things to do. Bicycle enthusiasts will find Anna Maria the perfect city—it caters to cyclists with paths, slower speed limits, and minimal car traffic. Although there is easy access to the outside world, many residents don't feel the need to venture far beyond city boundaries. Food, shops, entertainment, nature, and recreation all exist in abundance in the beautiful city of Anna Maria.

  2. Bradenton – Bradenton, Florida is an ideal area for those who want the benefits of living in a bigger city, but still prefer to have the beach nearby. As part of the Sarasota metro area, Bradenton has access to a variety of arts and culture, and a short drive can lead you to several smaller, quaint beachside towns that are perfect for day tripping. In addition to the white sandy shorelines, Bradenton has a riverwalk area and a thriving downtown.

  3. Bradenton Beach - Bradenton Beach, Florida is an island community on Anna Maria Island's southern end. With an estimated population of 1,200 people and average temperatures of a comfortable 79 degrees, Bradenton Beach seems like life in paradise to many. If you are considering homes in Bradenton Beach, Florida, you could be enjoying that taste of paradise all year long.

  4. Holmes Beach - Holmes Beach, Florida is year-round, resort style living at its best. Holmes Beach tends to be a friendly and welcoming community with an upbeat atmosphere that radiates throughout the city. If you've always dreamed of living in an area that is full of activity, but still relaxing, Holmes Beach is an excellent choice.

  5. Palmetto - Palmetto, Florida is a located between the Manatee River and Terra Ceia Bay. Palmetto is perfect for people looking for an active lifestyle that involves nature and community activities. The area is great for people of all ages, but families will like living in a city with some excellent educational picks and a closer-knit neighborhood feel.

  6. Sarasota – Sarasota, Florida boasts a rich arts scene. People from all over the area come to Sarasota to enjoy world-class theater, music and other performing arts. Sarasota is also a beach haven with spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, and white sandy expanses and warm water. With its dynamic scene and incredible natural beauty, it is also a wonderful city to live.

  7. Venice - Venice, Florida is a large city located in Sarasota County that combines the quirkiness of its California counterpart and the waterways of its Italian namesake. Venice is a known as a second home for snowbirds during the winter.  Families enjoy a top-notch school system and art fans will appreciate the dynamic theater and art scene. 

Our REALTORS® at Wagner Realty make it their mission to continue to offer the best homes in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.  Contact us to learn more about homes for sale in Anna Maria, Bradenton, Sarasota and the surrounding communities.  Wagner Realty has been committed to serving your Florida real estate needs since 1939.

April
10

Best Restaurants in Sarasota for Easter Dining

Sarasota REALTORS® Pick Five Favorite Restaurants

Sarasota Restaurants

When it comes to celebrating a holiday, there nothing better than spending time with family and friends over a good meal.  Easter Sunday is no exception.  Nothing says Easter quite like a big brunch with the family. 

Even though Easter Sunday is just a few days away, if you "hop to it," there's still time to make reservations.  Our REALTORS® in Sarasota live and work in our community and have created this Sarasota Restaurant Guide of their five favorite restaurants with something special planned for Easter Sunday.

Sarasota Dining Easter

  1. Louies Modern, 1289 N. Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Florida
    Louies Modern is pulling out all the stops on Easter. Their Easter buffet ensures everyone can get exactly what they want. Are you in the mood for something sweet? Try one of the Danishes or a croissant with house jam, then head over to the Easter candy display or pie stand. Trying to eat healthy? The salad station has you covered. A carving display will have prime rib, bourbon glazed ham and rack of lamb, while the seafood station will fulfill your desire for surf-and-turf. Cost for the all-you-can-eat brunch feast is $65 for adults, $25 for kids.

  2. Libby's Cafe and Bar, 1917 S Osprey Avenue, Sarasota, Florida
    Serving up seasonal modern American food in a casual yet contemporary atmosphere, Libby's Cafe and Bar is a great place any day of the year; however, on Easter Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm you'll find a great Easter brunch available. Form a freshly crafted omelet to prime rib or shrimp cocktail, this buffet has something for everyone. Finish out the meal with cake, brownies, cookies, pies and Easter candy. Kids dine for $20, and adults for $50.

  3. The Table Creekside, 5365 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 
    For waterfront dining at its best, make your Easter Sunday reservations at The Table Creekside for their Easter Sunday Brunch served from 11am – 3pm.  Sample their Maine Lobster Benedict or Elephant Ear French Toast.

  4. Turtle's Restaurant, 8875 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota, Florida
    Turtle's Restaurant gives you the chance to spend Easter on the water. Their special Easter menu will include leg of lamb, grilled salmon, honey glazed ham, filet mignon and several surf-and-turf options, all for a pretty affordable price and with a stunning view.

  5. Mattison's Forty-One, 7275 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida
    This Mediterranean inspired restaurant caters to a number of dietary needs, so if you've got someone in your group who is vegan or gluten-free, you'll find something here that will appeal to them. On Easter, a traditional Easter Brunch Buffet will be served from 10 am to 2 pm. The meal is priced at $36.95 for adults and $18.95 for kids. The buffet will include seafood, crepes, omelets, lamb, prime rib, chicken, gourmet cheeses and a number of fruit and vegetable options. Dinner will also include a special Easter menu.

Contact us when you're considering relocating to Sarasota.  Wagner Realty has access to the most up-to-date listings for Sarasota homes for sale including Sarasota school district and subdivision information.

April
3

Loving Life in Lakewood Ranch, FL

Lakewood Ranch Designed with Residents in Mind

Lakewood Ranch Florida Living

31,000 acres, 15 neighborhoods, and world-class amenities around every corner. The master-planned community of Lakewood Ranch, FL is anything but average--and that's no accident. From the start, the community was designed with its residents in mind, so that you can find everything you need in a peaceful, secure, scenic Florida setting. There are homes here to fit every buyer in Lakewood Ranch and enough recreation activities to keep you busy for years to come. 

Lakewood Ranch, FL - A Master-Planned Community

While the community is a major selling point, life at Lakewood Ranch still starts at home. Lakewood Ranch homes include single-family homes, condos, apartments, town homes and custom-built homes from the best builders in the area. The community is broken down into 15 villages, or neighborhoods, each with its own perks and amenities.

Most villages in Lakewood Ranch are adjacent to at least one golf course and offer beautiful views even if you're not the type to hit the links yourself. There are also age-restricted villages to be found within the community, along with family-friendly villages. Our Lakewood Ranch REALTORS® can help you find a house you'll love in a neighborhood you'll be proud to call home.

World-Class Golf Moments from Your Front Door

The Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club is really three great golf courses in one, each with its own unique personality. Cypress Links, King's Dunes and Royal Lakes are the three 18-hole courses that make up Lakewood Ranch and Country Club. Every course at the club makes use of the gorgeous natural scenery of Lakewood Ranch, and can be enjoyed by golfers of any skill level. The club also offers a host of other recreational activities, and a busy schedule of special events that are always well-attended by the community.

Year-Round Fun and Sun at Lakewood Ranch

When you live in Lakewood Ranch, winter is little more than a distant memory. Even during the heart of January, you can golf in a short-sleeve polo or go for a cool, comfortable morning jog without bundling up for a blizzard. In addition to great golf, you can enjoy year-round fun at the Premier Sports Campus, the Sarasota Polo Club, and the Ancient Oak Gun Club. Parks, walking trails and scenic hideaways dot the community as well, so there is always something new to explore.

Move-In Ready and Maintenance-Free

Whether you're purchasing a second home or moving in full-time, Lakewood Ranch offers move-in options to make life a little easier. There are move-in ready homes available in some villages, as well as maintenance-free homes that provide peace of mind throughout your time in Lakewood Ranch. You're also welcome to handle those details yourself, but it's nice to know the all-inclusive option is there if you need it.

Town Centers for Dining, Entertainment, and Shopping

Town Centers are the hubs of Lakewood Ranch's villages, where residents go to shop, dine, drink and enjoy an evening out with their neighbors. Neighborhood shopping centers allow you to handle grocery shopping, banking and all of life's little errands without leaving Lakewood Ranch. You'll also find three large, central town centers called San Marco Plaza, Waterside Place, and Main Street, each with its own unique businesses, dining spots, and entertainment options.

There has never been a better time to find your place in the beautiful, all-inclusive community of Lakewood Ranch. Contact Wagner Realty to shop for homes in Lakewood Ranch, FL, and learn what it's like to have everything you need in life located within minutes of your front door.

March
27

Longboat Key voted Top 10 Island in the USA

5 Reasons to Make Longboat Key Your Home

Longboat Key Florida Buy a House

Imagine waking up each morning with an important decision--Will you spend the day lounging on the shore searching for sand dollars or shopping in luxury boutiques?  When you move to Longboat Key, FL this can be your reality.

Longboat Key FL was named among the top 10 islands in the United States by Condé Nast Traveler. For those who live here, this comes as no surprise.  It is the perfect place for a tropical holiday or to live as a castaway year round. This quiet island community has something for everyone. We put our heads together at Wagner Realty and created this checklist of reasons why you should consider Longboat Key for your new home.

  1. Golf on the Water
    If you want to live near a golf course, or even on it, you can here, but what makes Longboat Key even better for golf enthusiasts is the fact that you can enjoy golf on the ocean. Longboat Key is home to the Islandside Golf Club and the Harbourside Golf Course, both of which offer golf within view of the water.

  2. Luxury Shopping and Dining at St. Armand's Circle
    Longboat Key is also known for its luxury shopping and dining options. Dine on fresh seafood at the Chart House, or enjoy international cuisine at Euphemia Haye Restaurant. Enjoy the pizza at Portfino or Fire & Stone, and get some down-home cooking at the Longbeach Cafe. For an upscale dining experience, head to Maison Blanche. When you're ready to shop, the retailers at St. Armand's Circle await.

  3. Unspoiled Beaches
    One of the things that sets Longboat Key FL apart from some of the other Florida Keys is its natural side. Longboat Key has been developed so that beach access is not very pronounced. This means that many of the beaches are hidden from view, making them less crowded and less developed. The Quick Point Nature Preserve on the southeast corner is an example of this. Those who purchase homes in Longboat Key can enjoy the feeling of living on a deserted island by finding one of these hidden gems.

  4. Excellent Amenities for Residents
    Even though the island is small, it has all of the amenities residents need for comfort. A dental office and cardiology center are located directly on the island, and hospitals in nearby Bradenton and Sarasota provide for residents' healthcare needs. A full-service police and fire-rescue department serves the city, and the Joan M. Durante Community Park, with its boardwalks and scenic views, is a popular place for recreation when residents aren't enjoying the miles of beaches.

  5. Laid-Back Island Living at its Finest
    Finally, many people consider relocating to Longboat Key because it perfectly captures the island living vibe. Many of the year-round residents are retirees who love the golf course, tennis club and resort-inspired lifestyle. The island has an elegant and refined personality seen in everything from its housing options to its shopping and dining experiences, yet continues to maintain the laid-back atmosphere that people want from life on an island.

If you're considering making the move to this quiet island, contact our team of local REALTORS® in Longboat Key. Our team knows the area well and will help you find the ideal home. Contact Wagner Realty today to get started on your home search.

 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 11/27/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 11/27/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Stellar MLS (last updated Sun 11/27/2022 11:33:00 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Wagner Realty may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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