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October
10

Florida Harvest

Cooking with seasonal ingredients is one of the best ways to improve the taste and quality of your food. Our real estate agents have been spending a lot of time perfecting their favorite fall recipes, and seasonal ingredients play an important role.  Some of our clients have also been inspired to improve their cooking skills after seeing the big bright kitchens in these Sarasota homes for sale

Because Florida is a tropical climate, our growing season is a bit unique when compared to other areas of the country. The majority of our crops come into season in the fall and winter, which is why now is the best time to start preparing your menu. Here is a quick guide to what's in season by month:

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August
15

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.

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August
2

Sarasota Events

In August, the calendar may be moving toward fall, but summer fun is still going strong around Sarasota and Bradenton. Join our real estate agents for some good times at these exciting local events and festivals taking place this month.

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February
1

Sarasota Bird Species

Welcome to bird watching paradise! The coastal regions of Manatee and Sarasota Counties offer some of America's richest and most diverse bird habitats, and our real estate agents are always eager to cross a few rare species off our lists!

Bird Species to Look For

Our corner of the state is hosts a wealth of bird species year-round, and many more use it as a stop-over on their annual migrations. All told, more than 320 bird species have been recorded in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

When you're exploring our local beaches, forests, prairies, and estuaries this spring, be sure to keep an eye out for these amazing birds. 

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September
11

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.

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July
17

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.

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July
16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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
10

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
19

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.

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