Big Cat Habitat is a great way to spend the day in Sarasota, FL

Liger at Big Cat Habitat

Liger at Big Cat Habitat

One of the most popular questions we get from guests at Tropical Beach Resorts is ‘What can we do with the kids?’ There are so many great attractions other than the gorgeous white sand beaches in Sarasota. Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is one of my favorites! It’s located about 20 minutes from the hotel out near Fruitville and I-75 and is so worth the trip.

Big Cat Habitat Liger Sarasota

Big Cat Habitat Liger Sarasota

Let me just start with this…they have not one, but two Ligers! Yes, Ligers….I had no clue that they existed in real life and thought they were just a made up animal from the Napoleon Dynamite movie.  But wow, what magnificent creatures with incredible markings, colors and their overall size is breathtaking! They are the biggest cat in the world, yet do not exist naturally; actually they are a hybrid of a female Tiger and a male Lion.

We spent this past Sunday there and had such a great experience and am already looking forward to my next time. There are so many cool animals, not just the Big Cats. The Habitat is full of interesting and exciting animals and also has a daily Exotic bird show as well as Animal Encounter. You can feed hotdogs to the bears and you can feed meat to the Siberian Tigers! There is a petting zoo which is great for the kids and the goats are sure to give you a little nudge requesting treats.

Big Cat Habitat Camel Sarasota

Big Cat Habitat Camel Sarasota

How the Habitat Began

The story of Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary began in 1987 and was founded by Kay Rosaire, who enjoys more than 30 years experience working with and caring for exotic animals. She and her son Clayton do the daily demonstrations with the animals. The Rosaires’ special relationships with the animals makes every demonstration thrilling to watch, with the opportunity to see the animals in a close encounter of the exotic kind! The Habitat is a tremendous opportunity to learn and experience exotic and endangered Siberian Tigers, Royal Bengal Tigers, African Lions, and rare White Tigers.

The Habitat has an incredible website and drone footage of their property, it is very cool. This is a great way to spend some time with the family and learn lots of really neat stuff about a wide variety of animals. They also have a food stand with Icees, hot dogs, sausages, lemonade and more. There are plenty of shaded areas around the habitat to take a break and the arena where the Animal Encounter is held is air-conditioned.

http://bigcathabitat.org/

Animal sanctuary home to big cats & other wild species offering animal encounters & seasonal hours.
Address: 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240

They are closed Mondays and Tuesdays, but otherwise open from 12p-4p. The Parrots in Paradise show is at 1pm and the Animal Encounter is at 2pm.  We have brochures and maps in the office, so stop in if we can help![/fusion_builder_column]

 

Original Photo

Original Photo of the Kiss

Love to explore attractions and oddities in the city you are visiting? Sarasota has a 26 foot tall statue called Unconditional Surrender on the Sarasota Bayfront.  It is an oversized recreation of a famous photograph from the end of the war celebration in Times Square. The nameless serviceman dipped an unknown nurse for a kiss to celebrate the end of the World War II on August 14, 1945.   It is known as the “Unconditional Surrender.”

The picture — titled “Unconditional Surrender” — gained world fame. It was on the front of “life” magazine shortly after and it’s always been called the kissing sailor.

There are actually a series of sculptures by Seward Johnson resembling a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, on V-J Day in Times Square, but said by Johnson to be based on a similar, less well known, photograph by Victor Jorgensen. The original statue was first installed in Sarasota, then was moved to San Diego, CA and New York City. Other versions have been also been installed in Hamilton, New Jersey, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Normandy, France

Unconditional Surrender Sarasota, FL

Unconditional Surrender Sarasota, FL

The statue is made of aluminum and able to withstand winds from a category 3 hurricane. Unconditional Surrender was hated by Sarasota’s Public Art Advisory Committee when it first arrived and called tacky by many, but the public loves to imitate the big kiss and dip when they stop for a photo op. 

The sculpture was purchased by Jack Curran, a WW II veteran, and with support from numerous Sarasota veterans and organizations, and he was able to donate the sculpture to the City of Sarasota.  

Visitors to the city love to stop by and take their picture with the famous smooch.

Artist: Seward Johnson 

Donor: Jack Curran

Address: Island Park Drive, (Sarasota Bayfront), Sarasota, FL 34236

If you enjoy the outdoors, this attraction is a must-visit in the Sarasota area. In business since 1939, “Florida’s Sweetest Attraction” — Mixon’s Fruit Farm — has an open air tram named the Orange Blossom Express which takes you on a tour through the orange groves. Before or after the tour, be sure to get directions to the Gazebo & Koi Pond to view the wedding area and feed the Koi. There is so much do to and see at Mixon’s Fruit Farm. They have been Growing and shipping Florida’s finest oranges and grapefruit since 1939.

Mixon’s citrus groves are home to injured and orphaned Florida wildlife. Mixon’s rehabilitates the animals for release back into the wild and their mission is to promote education, appreciation, and respect for wildlife. Some animals are released, while some must find permanent rescue homes. 

Tours last approximately one hour at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday. Please call ahead because they only operate if the weather permits. 

$10 per adult.

www.mixon.com

Address: 2525 27th Street East

                  Bradenton, FL 34208

Ph: (941) 748-5829

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Tropical Beach Resorts Staff Picks for great Valentine’s Day Ideas while in Siesta Key, Sarasota, FL.
We asked our staff members for their ideas for this upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. Here are some suggestions for things to do in Sarasota, Siesta Key, Longboat Key and Lido Key. Enjoy!

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Valentine's Day Ideas in Sarasota, FL

Valentine’s Day Ideas in Sarasota, FL

1) Have a picnic in Bay Front Park  by Marina Jack’s

2) Painting with a Twist – wine and painting is always good :)
3) The Orchid Show at Selby Gardens
5)Sweeney Todd @ Venice Theatre
6) Re-new vows on Siesta Beach
7)Valentine Stroll in Siesta Village where everyone gets a Kiss! A Hershey’s Kiss, that is!
8) Picnic on north lido beach with your favorite takeout, park at the St Armand’s beach parking lot and walk down til you’re alone for sunset. Super romantic!
9) Take the Marina Jack II dinner cruise and drinks downtown after.
10)Eat at Cafe L’europe then stroll around St. Armands.
11) Myakka State Park sunset and picnic
12) “The Book of Moron” at Van Wezel and Dinner before or after.
13)Circus Sarasota performance at 5 then dinner downtown

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Happy Valentine's Day from Siesta Key!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Siesta Key!

February 14, 2016: It may not be quite the Tennessee Bird Walk but the Siesta Key Village Valentine Stroll offers live music throughout the village and free candy kisses from the merchants. Participating merchants will have pink and red balloons outside their businesses. Free admission. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Siesta Key Village. There will be pedicab and golf cart cab services from the Siesta Public Beach parking lot to the Village.

February 14, 2016: Celebrate Valentines Day at the Beach with love and romance: Renew your wedding vows and say “I Do” all over again on Siesta Key Beach in a non-denominational service. Couples of all ages and length of marriage gather for the annual group renewal of vows at the Siesta Beach Pavilion, presided over by a Sarasota judicial magistrate. Event begins at 5 p.m. but couples are encouraged to arrive as early as 4:30 p.m. to check in. It’s a tradition that dates to 1989 and it’s open to all, but you must pre-register by Feb. 10. Call 941-861-5000. There’s a $10 per couple fee and includes a certificate, commemorative gift, flower, music on the beach and light refreshments. Event begins at 5 p.m., the renewal service starts at 6 p.m. Siesta Beach is located at 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key.
With so many amazing options on this romantic holiday, we hope you have the most amazing time with your special someone. There’s something magical about our beautiful town. Enjoy the Holiday weekend!
Let our local staff help you book dinner reservations or any other activities that you may be interested in attending this Valentine’s Day weekend in Sarasota, FL.
You can reach our desk direct at 941-349-3330 or email at info@tropicalbeachresorts.com

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Sarasota parks

Plan your next Sarasota picnic in the park

Going to the beach is one of the most popular things to do during the day when visiting Siesta Key, in Sarasota, Florida. The tranquil gulf blue waters and soft ocean breezes just lend to days of rest and relaxation. However, sometimes, it is also nice to do  some outdoor exploring off the island. Sarasota has so much beauty to offer on and off the water. Did you know that Sarasota County has 67,000 acres of natural preserves to  enjoy? There in unlimited potential to explore. While visiting Sarasota, Florida explore some of the most beautiful Florida land on the west coast.

When is the last time you had a picnic at the park?  Maybe your next vacation in Sarasota, Florida will include slowing down the pace,  packing a delicious Sarasota picnic lunch or dinner, and heading out to one of the many local parks in the area.

Here is a list of a few parks which we love as locals:

  • Phillippi Estate Park
  • Myakka River Park
  • Oscar Scherer State Park
  • Sarasota Bay Front Park
  • Gillispie Park
  • South Lido Park

Favorite local places to grab some sweet, local picnic snacks close to Siesta Key:

  • Crescent Market (delivery available)
  • Publix (delivery available)
  • Mortons Market
  • Trader Joes

Remember to pack water and your sunscreen!

Want to really explore Sarasota County? Download this helpful guide

Looking for more fun filled ideas that won’t break the budget?  Contact us directly at Tropical Beach Resorts on Siesta Key. Let us help you plan your next Sarasota vacation.

Tropical Beach Resorts

6717 Sara Sea Circle

Siesta Key, Sarasota Florida 34242

(941)-349-3330

Reservations (800)-235-3493

Check rates now

We match all online rates at the time of making reservation. Please call us directly and let us ensure that your reservation has personal signature service.

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