Siesta Key Crystal Classic Festival founder and local master sand sculptor Brian Wigglesworth carves a quick sand turtle. Here’s the complete 5 minute video …
We all know that spending time outdoors is good for you on both a physical and mental level, but the benefits of spending time specifically to visit the beach regularly, have just been revealed.
That incredible feeling of peace and calmness that you experience at the beach is now being referred to as “blue space.” That’s what scientists have dubbed the effect that the combination of soothing smells and sounds of water have on your brain. The blue space is enough to make you feel at ease in a hypnotic sort of way.
When you notice how relaxed you feel at the beach, it’s not just all in your head. Science says that it’s a change in the way your brain reacts to its environment leaving you feeling happy, relaxed and reenergized.
Overall, this blue space effects you in four different ways.
1. Going to the beach reduces stress
Water is nature’s cure to life’s stressors. It’s full of naturally occurring positive ions that are known for having the ability to make you feel at ease. So whether you jump in for a swim or simply dip your toes in the water, you’re sure to experience a feeling of relaxation. That’s one instant mood booster we could all use from time to time!
2. The beach boosts your creativity
Feeling like you’re in a creative rut? Well, scientists now believe that the solution to this is the beach. Being in blue space allows you to clear your head and approach problems or projects in a more creative way. Much like meditation, the beach triggers a feeling of calmness that allows you to tune everything else out and reflect on what it is you’ve been needing to focus on.
3. Going to the beach can help reduce feelings of depression
Much like the effects that the beach has on feelings of stress and creative ruts, the beach also provides some relief to feelings of depression. The hypnotic sound of the waves in combination with the sight and smells of the beach can put you into a meditative space. In turn, you can clear your mind and reflect on life in a safe space away from the chaos of your daily life.
4. Overall, spending time at the beach will change your perspective on life
And that perspective is going to change for the better! Nature in general has always been a factor in healthy happy lives, but the beach in particular is so good for the soul.
So grab the SPF and pack a picnic, because it’s time to head to the beach!
Sarasota and Venice have some great waterfront dining restaurants! Check out a list of our favorite places to eat
When the sunbathing hours draw to a sunset close, Sarasota County diners head to the bevy of beachfront restaurants nearby for a sip and some sustenance.
The Crow’s Nest Marina & Restaurant
The Crow’s Nest Marina & Restaurant has been a mainstay for four decades, overlooking a glistening marina along the Venice Inlet. Pull up the family boat and wander inside to imbibe tropical drinks and nosh on seafood entrées. The Famous Fish Sandwich has enticed patrons since 1976, the grilled Gulf red grouper is always a menu must, and the Pacific and North Atlantic oysters at the tavern’s raw bar are the freshest of waterside culinary delights.
Dockside Waterfront Grill
Not far away from the Crow’s Nest, located right on the Intracoastal Waterway at Fisherman’s Wharf Marina in Venice, is Dockside Waterfront Grill. Formerly known as Marker 4, this restaurant offers a bevy of seafood options, including peel & eat shrimp, seasonal oysters, grouper sandwiches, Maine lobster tails, Red Snapper and more.
Fins at Sharky’s and Sharky’s on the Pier
Venice’s posh upstairs restaurant, Fins at Sharky’s, treats patrons to a view of the Venice Fishing Pier, a big-city coastal vibe and a menu packed with sophisticated fare. The upscale sister restaurant to Sharky’s on the Pier, Fins is beloved for its premium steaks cooked to perfection in a high-grade Josper oven, as well as its handcrafted cocktails and coveted happy hour promotions.
The Old Salty Dog
With various locations throughout Venice and Sarasota, The Old Salty Dog is as casual as it comes and a primo hotspot for flip-flop-wearing beachgoers. The menu is rich with standard pub food, including platters of jerk-spiced Caribbean fish tacos, Fully Loaded Salty Dogs, traditional English fish and chips, oysters on the half shell, peel-and-eat shrimp plates and heaps of conch fritters.
Chart House and Dry Dock Waterfront Grill
Longboat Key’s Chart House lets visitors dine on the terrace while lapping up an infused cocktail and a Sarasota Bay backdrop. The menu beckons guests to sample gourmet dishes like the seared golden grouper with Parmesan risotto, the miso-maple-glazed cobia, and the chilled lobster and shrimp spring rolls. Also on Longboat Key is The Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, with its panoramic Sarasota Bay views from the second-story dining room. The domestic grouper sandwich on a kaiser roll is the house specialty, and the lobster bisque is as requested as the crab-and-corn chowder. Arrive by boat to Zwick’s Channel at Marker 6 and kick back.
Ophelia’s On the Bay
Siesta Key boasts Ophelia’s on the Bay, which has been a classic dining landmark since 1988. Spoil the taste buds with a tender leg of duckling prepared with cardamom-spiced apples while soaking up the open-air patio views of Little Sarasota Bay. Finish off an otherworldly meal of fresh Gulf hog snapper with a dessert of white chocolate mousse.
Jack Dusty at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota
For an unparalleled cocktail experience, with a dash of waterside ambiance and elevated cuisine, the not-to-miss spot in Sarasota is Jack Dusty at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. The bartenders at this Sarasota Bay-side destination turn cocktail crafting into high art. Order the Sarasota cioppino with Gulf shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels and grouper, and ask the on-duty mixologist to whip up a signature “Sipper” libation.
Drink in the bay front beauty that only Sarasota County can provide.
By: Abby Weingarten
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get lost on a deserted island? This state park can fulfill your fantasy and desire for a little peace and quiet without any of the dangers of being lost at sea.
Florida is well-known for its miles and miles of beautiful coastline, and even a few special islands. At Cayo Costa State Park, guests can truly get away from it all and explore the wild side of Florida. This unspoiled barrier island is located north of Captiva Island and is only reachable by charter boat or ferry. Guests can spend anywhere from a couple hours to several days here, either camping in tents or in the rustic cabins. We do mean rustic — there’s no electricity or bathrooms in the cabins, so come prepared for a real adventure. Bring your own food, flashlights, toiletries, and other camping necessities (there is a shared bathroom, but not in the cabins).
It may sound tough to some, but the lack of amenities and cost of reaching the island is what keeps it relatively empty. You’ll feel like you have a beautiful deserted island all to yourself, which is really worth it in the end. In the summer, the heat and bugs can be relentless, so fall or winter might be a better time to check it out. You’ll have plenty of opportunities for grilling, relaxing, and finding seashells, probably without ever encountering another soul.
Does this sound like your kind of vacation? Learn more about Cayo Costa State Park here.