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Articles Tagged "Outdoor Fun"

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September
26

Anna Maria Island

Who says you need to leave home to enjoy a vacation? When you live near Anna Maria Island, staycations are just as fun as any exotic getaway. Whether you live on the island or want to rent a local property for your getaway, here are five things you can do around Anna Maria Island at any time during the year.

  • Visit Coquina Beach
    No Florida staycation is complete without a trip to the beach, and Coquina Beach is one of the best on Anna Maria Island. With everything from changing stations to picnic tables and grills and plenty of space for games like volleyball and Frisbee, you'll have everything you need for a full day of fun. When you're ready to wind down, you can stroll down Coquina Baywalk, a short, easy wheelchair-accessible trail that takes you on a picturesque journey along the island's coastline.

  • Go Kayaking in the Mangroves
    Florida's coastline is known for its uniquely beautiful mangrove forests. These marshy areas are filled with tall, densely rooted trees sprouting straight out of the slow-moving water, combining land and sea in a way that few other landscapes can match. Places like Bimini Bay and the Robinson Preserve are full of mangroves that are perfect for some quiet kayaking.

    You're free to head out on your own, but guided tours are also available for people who want a bit more structure during their outing. Most of these tours include the cost of kayak rentals in the booking price, so they're a great option if you don't have a kayak of your own. 

Parasailing

  • Go Parasailing
    After you've toured Anna Maria Island and sailed its surrounding waters, there's still one more way to explore this gorgeous place: by air. Parasailing is an easy and fun way to see the island from a whole new angle. It's thrilling to soar a few meters above the water, and most people find it much more approachable than similar activities like hang gliding. 

    There are many boat captains offering parasailing tours off the Anna Maria coastline, and some will even take you further into the Gulf of Mexico if you ask. 

  • Explore Bridge Street
    When you need a break from the sun, you can head over to Anna Maria's famous Bridge Street. Take your time sightseeing among the beautiful old buildings, grab some lunch on a seaside patio, and stop into a shop or two. 

    There are also plenty of experiences to enjoy while exploring this area. The street contains several galleries filled with works by notable local artists, and many are free to enter. You can also visit The Fish Hole Miniature Golf to play a round of mini-golf that your whole family is sure to enjoy. Don't forget to stop by the street's 700-foot pier, the only place where you can enjoy a leisurely walk over the sea-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

  • Take a Sunset Cruise
    Want an unforgettable date night activity? A sunset cruise around Anna Maria Island may be just what you're looking for. There are many boats available for private and group evening tours around the 7-mile island. You'll enjoy fresh sea breezes, get a chance at spotting dolphins and manatees, and finish your ride with a view of a glorious sunset. 

Life around Anna Maria Island is so blissful that it makes every day feel like a vacation. Contact us today to take a look at our roster of properties in this area, including many Sarasota homes for sale just 20 minutes away from Anna Maria Island. We'll help you make all your seaside dreams come true.

September
19

sarasota fall

Fall is when temperatures start to cool off in the Sarasota area, but the end of summer doesn't mean the fun is over on the Florida Gulf Coast. In fact, it's quite the opposite. 

The arrival of fall brings a plethora of fun outdoor festivals, markets, and events in Sarasota and Bradenton. It's good timing because fall is the perfect season to spend time outside in Florida. These are some of the upcoming events that our real estate agents are most excited about.

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August
22

Tippecanoe Environmental Park

Florida is simply brimming with fun outdoor activities for the whole family. One place our real estate agents highly recommend visiting is Tippecanoe Environmental Park. Whether you spend an hour here or a whole day, you're bound to leave feeling relaxed and more connected to nature. Here are the key details you should know before your visit.

  • Location and Logistics
    Tippecanoe Environmental Park is located south of Sarasota, a few miles west of Port Charlotte homes for sale. It's not far from Port Charlotte Beach Park. In fact, you could visit both on the same day. The easiest way to reach the environmental park from Sarasota or Bradenton is to take the 41 south to Murdock.

    The address is 2400 El Jobean Rd., Port Charlotte, FL 33948.

    You can visit Tippecanoe Environmental Park between the hours of 6 am and 9 pm. 

  • An Overview
    Tippecanoe Environmental Park is a nature preserve, which means it's protected land. It encompasses nearly 400 acres, some of which are marshes and swamps. There's also a good amount of pine forest within the preserve. This is one of the things that makes it such an appealing place to visit — you get to see several different ecosystems. 

    A creek called Sam Knight Creek runs through the preserve. It later feeds into Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve.

  • Canoeing and Kayaking
    Tippecanoe Environmental Park is a great place to paddle. You can paddle through Sam Knight Creek or through some of the deeper swamps. There are several canoe launches throughout the park that you can use. So, put your kayak on top of the car, head out for a paddle, and stop to see some Sarasota homes for sale on your way home.

  • Hiking and Walking
    If you're not in the mood to paddle, then you can walk through the park instead. There are about 7 miles of trails through the land. Most of the trail is packed with limestone, which makes for comfortable walking. Even when it is wet, there is very little mud to worry about. There are a few picnic areas and seating areas where you can enjoy a packed lunch or a snack.

    Bug spray is highly recommended for this hike. The marshlands attract a lot of insects, including mosquitoes and black flies.

    Cycling is permitted on some of the trails at Tippecanoe Environmental Park. There is a bike rack at the trailhead in case you want to bike a little, then leave your bike and hike a bit.

  • Plants and Animals
    There are always a lot of water birds in the park's marshlands. Watching the egrets dip their heads into the water for fish is fun. Several species of lizards and frogs call the park home, too. 

    Definitely take the time to stop and admire the Mangrove trees. These unique trees send shoots from their branches down into the water. Those shoots slowly develop into new roots for the tree, taking up water from the swamp. 

The next time you're looking at Bradenton homes for sale, drive a little further south and visit Tippecanoe Environmental Park in Charlotte County. Whether you bring a kayak or just take a walk along the hiking trails, you'll love the natural beauty and the abundance of wildlife. Contact us if you're still looking for a place to call home. We'll tell you more about our Florida real estate services.

August
1

Trails in Manatee County

The early bird may get the worm, but the early riser around Bradenton homes for sale gets something much better: spectacular sunrise views. Our real estate agents love to start their day with an early morning walk along these Manatee County trails.

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July
11

Sarasota Beaches

Our real estate agents find that Florida's incredible natural beauty is even more special when they share it with their best four-legged friend. Head out for a great day with your pet at one of these dog-friendly beaches near Sarasota.

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July
5

Charlotte Harbor

Nestled at the mouth of the Peace River, Charlotte Harbor is a captivating mix of old and new. When our real estate agents have out-of-town guests or just want to get away, they head for these wonderful attractions around Charlotte Harbor.

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June
20

Pool Tips for Summer

Having a pool gives you a quick, enjoyable way to cool off in the summer. We've seen so many lovely Bradenton homes for sale and Sarasota homes for sale with pools. If you buy a home with a pool, you should know there are plenty of ways to customize your pool and pool area, making it feel more like your own. Here are a few features to think about adding.

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June
13

Baseball Bradenton

Baseball season is upon us, but you don't need to go to a Major League game to enjoy excitement and fun. Our real estate agents know that a hard-fought Minor League game can be a joy to behold. As you explore Bradenton homes for sale or go across the way to Sarasota homes for sale, you'll have the best Minor League Baseball action right in your own backyard.

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June
6

Beach Concessions

The beaches of Sarasota County await you this summer, and it wouldn't be a proper beach day without some great oceanfront snacks for the whole family. Fortunately, you won't have to travel far from the warm sand to enjoy a cool drink and a refreshing meal, with delicious beach concession snacks available a short walk from your favorite Sarasota County beaches. Our real estate agents have the delicious details on where to find beach concession snacks in Sarasota County this summer.

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May
9

Dolphin Tours

One of the best parts about living in Florida is getting a prime seat to view nature. This includes dolphins swimming, which you can see at several beaches, or better yet, on a dolphin tour. Spend a day on one of these delightful dolphin tours that are recommended by our real estate agents.

  • LeBarge Tropical Cruises - 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Live palm trees and refreshing cocktails help create the "floating island" vibe of LeBarge Tropical Cruises. One of their more popular trips is the Dolphin & Manatee Watch, a two-hour cruise that departs at 11 a.m. A trained marine biologist is on hand to offer fascinating insight about the life and behavior of dolphins and manatees. Tickets are $32 for adults and $28 for ages 4-12. Visit the website for schedule and availability.

  • Fun Boat Tours - 1265 Old Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, FL 34242
    With a name like Fun Boat Tours, you know you're in for a good time. Both two-hour tours depart from Siesta Key Marina and cruise south along the Intercoastal Waterway. In addition to dolphins and manatees, you're likely to spot pelicans, herons, osprey, and other aquatic birds. Dolphins and Donuts heads out at 9:30 a.m., while Dolphins and Drinks has two sailings at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 for adults and $20 for ages 10 and under. Visit the website for schedule and availability.

  • Passage Key Dolphin Tours - 1343 Gulf Dr. S., Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
    Is it any wonder that dolphins love to play around beautiful Anna Maria Island? Passage Key Dolphin Tours knows all the favorite hangout spots, making their two-hour trips a spectacular show, especially when you choose the sunset cruise. Not content to sit on board? Get in on the action with a three- to four-hour dolphin and snorkeling tour. Start on one of the sandbars to look for sand dollars and fighting conch shells. Beginners are welcome, and no fins are required. Visit the website for schedule and pricing.

  • Paradise Boat Tours - 200 Bridge St., Building A, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
    There are few guarantees in life, but one of the best comes from Paradise Boat Tours. They're so confident you'll see dolphins on their cruises that they'll accommodate you on another trip free of charge if you don't. On these 90-minute family-friendly tours, kids get to sit at the helm under the captain's supervision while wearing his hat for a memorable photo op. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and beverages, including beer and wine. Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for ages 3-12. Visit the website for schedule and availability.

  • Sarasota Bay Explorers - 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Enjoy the comfy seating and unobstructed views on the 45-foot pontoon boats of Sarasota Bay Explorers. The company works in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory, whose marine biologists provide helpful commentary on the cruises. Two-hour trips include a walk on an uninhabited island to see the resident pelicans, egrets, herons, and ibis. Guests also get to observe and handle pufferfish, stone crabs, and other marine life that are gathered in a trawl net. Tickets are $35 for adults and $31 for ages 3-12. Visit the website for schedule and availability.

By land or by sea, life is always thrilling around Sarasota homes for sale and Bradenton homes for sale. If you're buying or selling a home, contact us at Wagner Realty for cheerful assistance with all your real estate needs. 

April
4

Florida Garden

Spring is upon us, and if you're like our real estate agents, you're probably eager to start gardening. We always believe vegetables taste so much better when they're grown in your garden. Since Florida receives tons of sun, rain, and humidity all year long, gardening in the Sunshine State can be rewarding and challenging. 

April is National Garden Month, so we thought we'd take the time to go over a few essential tips for making your Florida garden a success.

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February
14

Bradenton Riverwalk

Moving to Bradenton is a dream come true. The climate is great, the scenery is better, and there are always plenty of fun things to do. There are many beautiful Bradenton Beach homes for sale, for every need and every taste.

Then once you're moved in, unwind by spending the day at the Riverwalk: a one-and-a-half-mile stretch on the Manatee River, where families can come to hike, play sports, enjoy some entertainment, and have a bite to eat. Here's a look at what the Riverwalk has to offer.

Sports and Outdoor Activities

Located right on the beach, the Riverwalk features several great volleyball courts. Whether you're organizing a serious tournament or having a friendly game with friends, it's a great way to spend an afternoon.

There's also a skate park in the area, beneath the highway. Designed based on a survey of over 1,400 actual skaters, it has everything a skateboarder could want, including ledges, stairs, rails, and a pool, complete with tile and coping.

There's also a back trail for hiking and biking, which is great for all skill levels. Plus a pier on the beach for fishing. Whatever outdoor activities you're looking to participate in, there's space for them at the Riverwalk.

Downtown Bradenton

Arts and Entertainment

The Mosaic Amphitheater is a 400-seat outdoor performance space, which hosts everything from plays to concerts to school and community performances, and more. Come see what's playing, or even see about hosting your own performance event there!

You should also check out the outdoor art gallery. There are 19 different pieces in the gallery, including paintings and sculptures, as well as interactive pieces designed to promote learning and spark creativity in young people.

Marina

Restaurants

There are a number of great places to eat in downtown Bradenton, and some of the best are on the Riverwalk. Mattison's Riverwalk Grille Bradenton serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Their menu includes everything from pasta to seafood and steak to French Toast and avocado toast, plus a variety of specialty cocktails like cranberry maple and honey basil. Plus, try their "breakfast sundae": Greek yogurt, toasted granola, wildflower honey, and seasonal fruit.

If you're looking for more of a sports bar feel, check out Oak & Stone. They serve up basic foods like pizza and sandwiches, along with more off-beat fare, like crispy mozzarella and meatball lollipops, or Philly Cheesesteak eggrolls. Plus a variety of delicious craft beers on tap.

Or, if you want something upscale, try PIER 22, for gorgeous outdoor dining, right on the waterfront. They serve up delicious burgers and steaks, alongside premium seafood and sushi, and much more.

Parking and Other Considerations

There's always plenty of parking at the Riverwalk. Between the lots and street parking, there are over 1,700 spaces in the area. Street parking is free on weekdays, with a two-hour time limit. On weekends, all parking is free and unlimited, both on the street and in the lots.

The entire area is designed to be ADA-accessible. And soon, the Riverwalk will be expanding, thanks to a grant from the Manatee Community Foundation. Plans are in the works, based on input from the local community, to make the Riverwalk an even better and more accessible place for Bradenton arts, culture, and other activities to thrive.

The Riverwalk is just the beginning of what this area has to offer. If you're ready to make Bradenton your new home, contact us. Our real estate agents can show you all the best Bradenton homes for sale, and help you find the one that best meets your needs.

September
7

Rainy Day Activities

Florida may be known as the Sunshine State, but this time of year, we also get our fair share of rain. If dark skies are threatening your beach plans, don't worry! There are tons of fun, family-friendly things to do in the Sarasota area. In fact, our real estate agents often take their families to these spots on their days off. 

  • The Ringling: 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243
    The Ringling is home to an incredible art museum, a circus museum, and 66 acres of stunning bayfront property. It's also home to the Ca'd'Zan, the Venetial Gothic home of John and Mable Ringling, where you can take a step back in time with a personal tour. This is by far one of the most extraordinary museums in the world and is definitely a "must-see" area attraction. 
  • Mote Marine: 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Mote Aquarium is another incredible attraction located just minutes from downtown Sarasota. When you visit this aquarium, you'll be able to get up-close and personal with manatees, sharks, sea turtles, otters, and more. Some of the best attractions here include Contact Cove, Florida's Bay Habitats, and Oh Baby! Life Cycles of the Seas. 
  • The Met: 35 South Blvd. of the Presidents, Sarasota, Florida 34236
    When you're ready for some serious pampering, you'll want to pay a visit to The Met. This luxury independent fashion house, salon, and day spa is located on St. Armands Circle. When you visit, you can book an appointment for a massage or facial, shop for incredible clothing and accessories, and visit their in-house fine jewelry counter. St. Armands Circle is just a short drive away from some of the best Sarasota homes for sale, so while you're there, be sure to take a drive around and explore some of these stunning neighborhoods. 
  • Regal Hollywood: 1993 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Watching a movie in the theater is a great way to spend a rainy day in Sarasota. The Regal Hollywood theater shows both new releases and classics on the big screen. If you're a movie fan, you can also join the Regal Crown Club, where you'll earn credits for the money you spend on tickets and concessions, or even join the Unlimited Program, which lets you watch as many movies as you want, as often as you want! 
  • The Mall at UTC: 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL 34243
    You can shop 'till you drop at The Mall at University Town Center! This upscale mall features many of the most popular stores, including Macy's, Dillard's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lululemon, Michael Kors, and more. It's also a premier dining location, offering incredible restaurants like Season's 52, The Capital Grille, Brio Tuscan Grille, and The Cheesecake Factory. 
  • Artisans World Marketplace: 128 S. Pineapple Ave. Sarasota, FL 34236
    Another wonderful shopping adventure to enjoy on a rainy day, Artisan's World Marketplace is a fair trade gift shop that carries handmade goods by artisans from around the globe. Here you'll find unique art, jewelry, and other items from Africa, Asia, and Oceania. When you visit this store, you'll find a wide selection of unique and beautiful items and can also feel good knowing that every purchase you make supports their mission to help rebuild villages and improve people's lives. 

Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started. Your dream home is out there waiting for you, so don't delay! 

July
12

Florida Boating Safety

Living in Florida is truly living the dream! Living close to the water and being able to enjoy it almost year-round is one of the benefits of living here. As the summer weather heats up, be sure to test your boating safety know-how before you hit the water. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents to help keep you safe this summer.

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June
28

Stay Active in Bradenton

Our area is also a great place for retirees to get active and stay active!

If you haven't tried the SilverSneakers app, we highly recommend it. It's a perfect way to motivate yourself and also to find great fitness locations no matter where in the country you may be. Our real estate agents are particularly fond of these SilverSneakers locations in Sarasota and Bradenton:

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June
14

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:

April
19

Manatee Earth Day

Florida is home to so much natural beauty and wonderful outdoor activities! Celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd with our REALTORS® at these special activities in the great outdoors around Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

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April
12

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.

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April
5

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. 

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March
9

Planting om Bradenton

If you're new to Florida, you might be surprised to learn that yes, we do get the occasional frost here in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in the late winter and early spring. This is just one of the things you need to know as you embark on gardening in your new home, acquired either from Bradenton homes for sale or Sarasota homes for sale. Fortunately, frost is rare and not much of an impediment to producing fabulous flowers, fruits, and vegetables in Florida.

While we suggest Floridians start planting long before National Plant a Flower Day, which is March 12, this national celebration, which promotes looking forward to spring by encouraging flower planting, is a great reason to jump right in.

And the good news is, after mid-February, the chances of a frost damaging seedlings or other plants are very low. So feel free to head to your local garden center and acquire some fabulous flowers to celebrate March 12 with a burst of color in your yard.

But before you start, a little planning is in order. What can you plant in our region of Florida? So many things, from tropicals to perennials, lush annuals, flowering shrubs, and glorious flowering trees. The key is making sure whatever you choose can tolerate our heat and humidity. 

What to Plant

The flowering plant palette for Florida is extensive. Among the most common flowering plants, you'll note are these.

  • Pentas. Also known as Egyptian Star Cluster, Pentas are evergreen perennials and come in pink, magenta, lilac, and white. They prefer full sun and are seasonal bloomers. An added bonus is they attract butterflies.
  • Coreopsis. You can't not plant Florida's state flower, the Coreopsis. It's a member of the aster family and has bright golden disk and ray flowers. It's a brilliant addition to any garden. 
  • Blue Salvia. Although native to the Southwest, Salvia farinacea does well in South Florida and can flourish in a hot, dry location. Low-maintenance Blue Salvia (also known as Mealycup sage) is an annual further north but blooms like a perennial in our climate. Pollinators love it.
  • Mexican Heather. A low-growing ground cover, Mexican Heather or Cuphea loves full sun, although partial will do. Plant it in a well-drained location. It produces lavender-pink to white flowers almost all year long.
  • Bougainvillea. One of our most spectacular bloomers, Bougainvillea's showy display isn't actually flowers at all, but rather colorful leaf bracts. It needs six hours of sun a day, and for that, you get an explosion of color most of the year.
  • Lantana. Another pollinator attractor (including hummingbirds), Lantana is available in pink and yellow or bright orange and yellow, and more. Deadhead flowers to keep the plant producing most of the year. Be sure to water Lantana when the weather is dry; mulch and fertilizer help promote abundant flowering.
  • Periwinkles. Also known as Creeping Vinca, Periwinkle is a creeping vine with pretty blue flowers, often used as a ground cover, and which can choke out weeds. Best blooming will occur if it's planted in partial shade.
  • Plumbago. This sprawling shrub is grown for its clusters of blue, phlox-like flowers. Plant Plumbago over a stone or wood retaining wall for a beautiful effect. It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade.

Our real estate agents have more tips for how you can improve your property, indoors and out. Contact us today.

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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January
25

Sarasota Beaches

What's the best part about living in Florida? Every day is a beach day! Our real estate agents love living so close to the shore. From splashing in the waves in the summer to enjoying the warm sun on winter beach walks, we love calling the Gulf Coast home. If you're ready to get your toes in the sand, we suggest you check out these five beaches in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

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November
9

Dog park Bradenton

If you've been feeling stuck at home over the last few months, imagine how your dog feels. Treat your pup to an exciting afternoon by getting out and about around Sarasota and Bradenton. Our real estate agents encourage you to check out these seven dog-friendly parks to bring your four-legged friend.

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August
14

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.

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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.

June
12

Vegetable Garden

Gardening is one of the most enjoyable, family-fun activities we can think of, and you can even include a science lesson as a bonus! If you're looking at Bradenton homes for sale or Sarasota homes for sale, we can help you find a property that offers possibilities for creating your own vegetable garden. After all, it doesn't take that much land to produce a significant amount of food! 

  1. Choose Your Site
    Choose a level site that gets plenty of sunshine. Make sure you have access to water, be it an irrigation system, a soaker hose, or a garden hose. If you live in a community with homeowner's association, be sure to check to be sure that you're following any rules related to gardening on your property.
  2. Create Raised Beds
    Depending on your yard, you might be better off utilizing a raised bed. For this type of garden, you'll need a flat, 4x8-foot area. Double dig the soil, removing rocks and roots. Acquire a frame for your plot from the home and garden store. Build up your soil (layer newspaper or plastic weed barrier, topped with 2-3 inches of garden soil and compost) inside the frame, and you're ready to plant. Raised beds make it easier to keep pests out, prevent soil compaction, and to provide adequate draining. 
  3. Choose Your Plants and Plant Them
    You can plant just about anything in Florida. The key is knowing when is the best time to plant. Whether you grow your plants from seed or transplant young plants from the garden center, choose carefully. Note the plant's needs; for instance, tomatoes need full sun, so don't put them in a shady location. You can't do better than to consult the Old Farmers' Almanac website, adapted for modern gardeners to target specific areas such as Bradenton, with dates for seed starting indoors and outdoors, and for planting. Be mindful of planting dates: with increasingly hot summers, vegetable crops can be damaged by extreme heat, so plant heat-sensitive vegetables early enough so they can set fruit before the hottest months arrive. Some plants may require shade cloth during exceptionally hot times. Follow directions on seed packets or seedling trays for planting. Add mulch around seedlings to keep moisture levels even and to cool the ground. 
  4. Keep an Eye on Your Crops
    Don't just plant your plants and leave them on their own. Check their moisture levels, watering as needed, especially during very hot periods. Fertilize with organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion, bone meal, or seaweed. Spray as a foliar application or pour on roots. Also, check for insect and plant pests, treating with organic applications if possible. 
  5. Enjoy Your Harvest
    Nothing beats fresh from the garden produce! Take this time to note your favorites and consider what you'll grow next year. 

Find just the right Bradenton or Sarasota home to grow your garden. Our real estate agents can help. Contact us today.

June
5

Hiking Trails in Sarasota

From Bradenton down to Sarasota, there are miles of gorgeous preserved hiking trails for you and your children to explore. Plus, with Florida's fantastic year-round weather, these trails can be enjoyed all year long! Our REALTORS® highlight some of the hiking trails your whole family can enjoy in our area.

  • Quick Point Nature Preserve — 100 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, FL 34228
    Take a drive west of Sarasota and stroll through Quick Point Nature Preserve while you're searching for Longboat Key homes for sale. This 34-acre park right on the water features short and easy trails that are excellent for those desiring an easy and breezy walk along the beach. Tidal pools and quiet trails offer fantastic opportunities for wildlife viewing. There are also plenty of benches to sit and relax on if your little ones need to rest their feet.

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March
13

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

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.

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February
14

Races in Sarasota

On your mark, get set, race! Get your running shoes ready and check out these races taking place around the Sarasota and Manatee area during February and March.

  1. Sarasota Military Academy 3rd Annual Raiders Rise & Run 5K | Sat, Feb 22, 2020 — Payne State Park 2110 Adams St, Sarasota, FL 34237
    The Sarasota Military Academy is once again hosting its annual Raiders Rise & Run 5K to benefit their middle and high school Raider's teams. These young cadets have won both state and national titles, but their programs rely on continuous support from the community. The SMA Raider's Rise & Run 5K benefits these programs. If you're in the area viewing Sarasota homes for sale, join the Raiders at Payne State Park.  

  2. Manasota Track Club 25K & 50K Ultra | Sat, Feb 22, 2020 — Oscar Scherer State Park 1843 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34429
    If you've already raced 5Ks, 10Ks, or even 15Ks in the 2010s, take your running skills to the next level with the Manasota Track Club's 25K & 50K Ultra. You read it right — 25K and 50K distance races will take place at Oscar Scherer State Park. If you'd rather watch from the sidelines, pay a visit to Oscar Scherer State Park in between tours of Osprey homes for sale.

  3. 11th Annual Take Stock 5K/Fun Run/ Mentor Mile | Sun, Mar 01, 2020 — 8100 Lakewood Ranch Main St., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
    If you're browsing Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, you'll become very familiar with the bustling Main Street within the community. Hosting events throughout the year, March kicks off with the 11th Annual Take Stock 5K, Fun Run, and Mentor Mile on Main Street. Proceeds from all three races benefit the Take Stock in Children organization, which provides mentorship and college scholarships.

  4. Shark's Tooth 10K & Shark Fin 5K | Sat, Mar 07, 2020 – Sun Mar 08, 2020 — Venice Airport Festival Grounds 610 Airport Ave. E., Venice, FL 34285
    Runners in the Shark Tooth Capital of the World are invited to participate in the Megalodon Challenge — a two-day race combining the Shark's Tooth 10K and Shark Fin 5K. Door prizes, music, and a post-race party on both days make the Megalodon Challenge one of the best weekends of the year. If you're planning on scheduling visits to Venice homes for sale, be sure to sign up for the Megalodon Challenge at the Venice Airport Festival Grounds.

  5. The 2020 Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Triathlon World Cup | Sun, Mar 22, 2020 — Nathan Benderson Park 5851 Nathan Benderson Cir, Sarasota, FL 34235
    If one of your goals is to complete a triathlon, you're in luck! Nathan Benderson Park and the Sarasota-Bradenton area are hosting the 2020 Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Triathlon World Cup. Conveniently close to Interstate I-75 and Sarasota homes for sale, the challenging course will take participants on a 750m swim, 18.3k bike ride, completed by a 5k run. Push yourself at this Sarasota triathlon! 

  6. Robinson Preserve Twilight 5K & 10K Run | Fri, Mar 27, 2020 — Robinson Preserve 1704 99th St NW, Bradenton, FL 34209
    The 12th Annual Annual Robinson Preserve Twilight 5K & 10K celebrates the stunning sunset views of Robinson Preserve. The event starts at 5:30 pm with age bracketed Kids Dashes. After the kids are done with their races, runners and walkers hit the trails for a 5k or 10k. Be sure to stick around after the race for food and beverages under the stars! Don't forget to register in advance and check out Bradenton homes for sale before your race time. 

Do you want to race into a new home within Sarasota and Manatee County? Our REALTORS® are here to do more than cheer you on! Contact us today!

December
6

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.

August
12

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.

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August
5

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. 

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July
15

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.

    Click Here to Read More...

June
24

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.  

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