The Concession is ideally located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, an area that has long enjoyed a reputation as a vacation getaway for the rich and famous. Everything about the Sarasota area simply enhances the unique lifestyle of The Concession. Over 35 miles of coastline and a temperate year round climate are the perfect ingredients for boating, fishing and waterfront activities. Shopping and professional services are just beyond The Concession entrance at Lakewood Ranch. Nearby Sarasota boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene, top-rated universities and excellent medical facilities. Home to a professional symphony, ballet and opera, as well as numerous theaters, museums and art galleries, nearby Sarasota is often referred to as “The Cultural Coast.” Notable attractions include: Asolo Theatre Company, Crowley Museum & Nature Conservancy, Historic Spanish Point, Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota Orchestra, Mote Marine Laboratory, Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Film Festival and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.
The Ringling Museum of Art is located in Sarasota and is well-known for its beautiful and grand collection of paintings and sculptures. The museum was built by John Ringling to house his personal collection, but it has grown successfully to become an awe-inspiring gallery. It contains work by several Old Masters including Rubens, Velázquez, van Dyck, Titian, El Greco, Veronese, Titian, Tintoretto, Gainsborough and several others. The Ringling Museum of Art is perfect for anyone wishing to spend a day perusing beautiful and thought provoking art.
However, the Ringling Museum isn’t the only attraction available to art enthusiasts in the Sarasota area. The Asolo Repertory Theatre allows Sarasota residents the opportunity to watch beautiful scenes unfold on a grand stage. The Asolo stages fifteen productions per season and spans a variety of newly commissioned plays, musical theatre and bold reinterpretations of contemporary and classical works. These performances provide the Sarasota region with a wide collection of artistic entertainment.
The artistic entertainment doesn’t stop with the Asolo in Sarasota. One of Sarasota’s most unique landmarks is the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The Van Wezel’s Roskamp Auditorium seats 1,736 people and received a state-of-the-art renovation in 2001. The theatre contains wonderful acoustical dynamics that allows for beautiful acapella performances. The Van Wezel hosts a wide assortment of performances each year; some of their previous acts include Sarah McLachlan, Dianna Ross, Sheryl Crow and Jay Leno. The Van Wezel is a cornerstone to the arts and culture of the Sarasota Lifestyle.
As if outstanding arts and culture weren’t enough, Sarasota can add fun and exciting educational experiences to the list as well. One such experience can be had at Sarasota’s extensive Mote Marine Aquarium. People of all ages can be easily entertained with the exploration and discovery of the many secrets of the ocean and ocean life contained in this aquarium. You can literally feel sea creatures as they swim by with the aquarium’s touch pools. Additionally, Mote Marine Aquarium pleases visitors with its high-tech interactive exhibits, and viewable working labs. For visitors who came just to watch, prepare to see manatees, sea turtles, sharks, and over 100 more species of marine life up close and personal.
The unique experiences don’t end with Mote Marine; Sarasota is inhabited by one of the world’s most famous daredevils, Nik Wallenda. Mr. Wallenda, known as the king of the high wire, is a resident of the Sarasota community and practiced for his walk across the Grand Canyon in Sarasota’s Benderson Park. Benderson Park is a 600-acre park that provides public access to a 500-acre lake, and it will host the 2017 World Rowing Championships.
With the Lakewood Ranch area just a few miles away, Concession residents will find it easy to take advantage of all The Ranch has to offer.
Grocery stores, restaurants, medical facilities, hair salons, specialty shops, a movie theater, park and recreational venues, schools for any age student, places of worship, hotels, department stores, animal care, and a well planned corporate park, provide almost anything you could imagine needing or wanting to do within a five mile radius.
A variety of educational options are available from pre-school right through college. Students seeking specialized degrees in medicine or dentistry will find state-of-the-art learning facilities. Elementary, middle and high schools with both public and private options all exist on the ranch.
Right across from Lakewood Ranch’s Medical Center is the local Main Street, which features an outdoor venue of international restaurants and unique boutiques. The Lakewood Ranch Main Street contains several attractions for families, to include the Lakewood Ranch Cinema, The Fish Hole Miniature Golf course, and the Main Street host’s farmer’s markets, concerts and festivals year round.
The Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota is western Florida’s newest retail development. Taubman, in conjunction with Benderson Development developed the 880,000-square-foot, two-level enclosed regional shopping center, which opened in October, 2014. Anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Dillard’s, the center is located at the S.W. quadrant of I-75 and University Parkway, the most heavily traveled interchange in the trade area.
Nathan Benderson Park is also located in Sarasota, Florida. It was slated to become North America’s premier 2,000-meter sprint course and regatta center by 2014. Over $40 million was committed to the facility’s future development, including 2,200 meter racing lanes and straight shorelines, coaching lanes, wave attenuation, a multi-function boathouse and athlete training center, starting huts and finish towers, grand stands and a state-of-the-art boat maintenance and testing facility.
Residents of The Concession are close enough to visit Siesta Key Beach anytime their hearts desire.
The marquee attraction many use as their reason to come here is the beautiful and magnificent beaches of Longboat Key, Lido Key, Siesta Key and Casey Key. Sarasota extends its lifestyle into the keys and no resident should hesitate to take advantage of that! Siesta Key has one of the most beautiful beaches that can ever be experienced in a lifetime. Siesta Beach on Siesta Key was voted #1 Beach in the United States by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. Dr. Beach. Dr. Beach rates beaches based on fifty unique criterions, from sand consistency to wave size and water color. The sand quality of Siesta Beach alone is something to rave about; lying down in the quartz crystal sand is as wonderful as lying on a cloud. The beach is kid friendly and a non-smoking environment. The beach has plenty of locations to grill, soak in the sun, and nap under shady trees or pitch your own beach umbrella. Siesta Beach deserves all of the praise that Dr. Beach has given the area, and residents of The Concession are close enough to visit this beach anytime their hearts desire.
Siesta Key isn’t the only key in the area that is worth visiting. Longboat Key and Lido Key, which are connected by a single bridge, are perfect getaways. Lido Key has many public parks and areas for pleasure boats to drop anchor. Both Longboat and Lido Key also provide beautiful beaches and areas to watch gorgeous Florida sunsets. These keys provide winding nature trails and many outdoor activities for friends, families or individuals to enjoy. After spending time outdoors kayaking, parasailing, hiking or boating on Lido or Longboat Key, one can choose from hundreds of local restaurants and experience excellent cuisine offered in the keys.
All of the other keys provide great experiences, but perhaps Casey Key is the most unique and secluded. Casey Key is an 8-mile long island with roughly 400 residents, no massive hotels or condominiums, and only a single road that gives access to two public beaches. The island’s drive gives visitors a chance to view Florida beaches through a different scope without all the crowds found on most of the other keys. Casey Key is also well known for being a popular place to watch dolphins swim in the nearby waters. It is nice to know that a slice of paradise is never far away. One day, residents can enjoy the majestic oaks nearby, and the next they can feel the powdery sands of Siesta Beach. Don’t let an opportunity like this slip away.