Step into the hot and humid limelight of sinful summer bliss. We’ve culled together a sizzling foray of midsummer events, activities, to-do’s and trends—from satisfying salads and lobster rolls to a roundup of all things outdoor including live music, night markets and on-the-water dining. Learn about new segments of the legacy trail, repurposed designer jewelry, facial misting, thirst-quenching drinks on ice, which art performances not to miss this summer and more. 

We may have had to forgo this feature last year, but this go-around there are no restrictions, no limitations, no excuses to stay indoors. It’s time to take back the summer and sear the streets of the Suncoast with these local scorchers.

Just Roll With It

As that Florida sun beats down, your taste buds know what they need: a delicately toasted, buttered bun cradling red and orange lobster meat fresh from the sea—cold, sweet and satisfying. You won’t find any of the Connecticut-style rolls bathed in hot butter down here but, from downtown to the beach, we’ve made sure refreshing Maine-style lobster rolls are never out of reach this summer with these area favorites. Starting with the beach bums who don’t want to travel too far for deliciousness, Lido Island Grill’s signature Island Grill Lobster Roll is served right from the Lido Beach Pavilion—a local classic. On the mainland, Michelle’s Brown Bag on Main Street features the Harbor Master, a “sandwich” with Maine lobster salad mixed with cucumbers, capers, baby greens, tomato and a fresh dill mayonnaise. Moving south, The Lobster Pot in Siesta Key Village has lobster rolls ready for you day and night. For lunch, ask for the New England Sea Roll (which comes with quarter-pound of cold Maine lobster), then return for an encore with the The Lobster Roll Dinner—a mouth-watering shellfish extravaganza made with chilled Maine lobster tossed in mayo, stacked on top of lettuce for the proper crunch, in a toasted New England roll. Then, last but certainly not least, Thursday is Lobster Roll Day—A.K.A. the best day—at Siesta Key’s Big Water Fish Market. Order the overstuffed and slightly toasted bun with a cold lobster salad over mixed greens before they run out. —O.Liang

Lido Island Grill, 400 Benjamin Franklin Dr., Sarasota, 941-444-7495,; Michelle’s Brown Bag, 1819 Main St., Sarasota, 941-365-5858,; The Lobster Pot, 5157 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key Village, 941-349-2323,; Big Water Fish Market, 6641 Midnight Pass Rd., Siesta Key, 941-554-8101,

Summer Served Over Ice

When summer gets into full swing, we’re all screaming for some ice, ice baby. And these local spots have unique thirst-quenching coolers to get you through the days. For the morning, skip “been-there-done-that” iced coffee and try an Iced Matcha Latte at Project Coffee. Packed with antioxidants and without the jittery buzz, it’s the perfect morning pick-me-up. If you’re still a stickler for the classics, try the elevated and creative Espresso Tonic from Breaking Wave Coffee. This interesting concoction mixes espresso, sparkling water and syrup to create a bubbly and caffeinated beverage. For an afternoon refresher, try a tropical Mango Lychee Smoothie from Kam’s Bubble Tea & Sushi, topped with fresh fruit. Fans of southern-style iced tea should try the Bubble Tea at Pho 101—deeply rich and fragrant tea that is mixed with milk and studded with tapioca pearls for a chewy surprise. It wouldn’t be a summer sipper without lemonade, and ATRIA Cafe is serving up something a little different than grandma’s Crystal Light. The Indigo Lemonade is vibrant purple, served sparkling, and features fresh lemon and natural botanicals. When the sun goes down but the temperature does not, these late-night beverados will keep you hydrated into the wee hours. Adobe Graffiti Lounge is filling up cups with their alcohol-free Kava, while Naughty Monk and The Good Liquid breweries have perfected next-level hard seltzer. Try Naughty Monk’s Cranberry Pomegranate to tantalize your taste buds, or The Good Liquid’s Floridian-inspired Key Lime Pie. Summer’s here, so drink up and cool down. —A.Chates 

Espresso Tonic, Breaking Wave Coffee, 1310 Main Street, 941-416-4343, Mango Fruit Smoothie, Kam’s Bubble Tea & Sushi, 1813 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota, 941-960-1610, Indigo Lemonade, ATRIA Cafe,  4120 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, 941-751-1016, Key Lime Pie Hard Seltzer, The Good Liquid Brewing, 4824 14th. Street W. Bradenton, 941-896-6381, Iced Matcha Latte, Project Coffee, 538 S Pineapple Ave, Kava, Adobe Graffiti Lounge Kava Bar, 1302 13th Ave W, Bradenton, 941-708-0345,

Sidewalk Salsa

The Ringling is getting its hot salsa on this summer—and not the kind for dipping your chips, the kind for shaking your hips. Latin dance studio, DK Dance Creations in Sarasota, is teaming up with The Ringling to offer 60-minute salsa dance lessons during a “Sidewalk Salsa” dance class series. This is entirely outdoors on the museum’s campus and, after your lesson, you’ll be able to put your new knowledge to the test by practicing your dance moves for 30 minutes. This evening of Latin culture and lively dance will be great for students who participated in the “Summer Latin Series,” as well as for couples who want to learn something new together and step up their ballroom talents. These lessons are every Tuesday evening throughout the month of July. Instructors at DK Dance Creations also offer Latin dance classes, choreography services for wedding/quince/sweet-sixteens, private instruction, dance teams, a dance shoe store and makeup classes. The instructors also provide an array of Latin-inspired dance classes including, but not limited to, Bachata, Salsa On1, Salsa On2, Cha-Cha, Kizomba, musicality, spinning techniques, tricks and lifts, and many more —B.Mattie

Individual class at The Ringling: $15/$14 members/$10 students. Purchase the five-class series and save. Register at

The Search For Sushi

Fresh, fast and not too filling, sushi is the perfect summer snack to keep you satiated in the sun. For something outside the bento box, head to JPAN for their Poke Tuna Bowl: a deconstructed roll served over rice with spring mix, seaweed salad and avocado. Tsunami also has the Hawaian tropics on the brain with their Waikiki specitialy roll, featuring coconut shrimp and mango. Anyone looking to keep their bikini body carb-free should head to Bushido Sushi for their Yellow Tail Lover roll. It skips the sushi rice for soybean paper and is served with ponzu sauce. Indigenous serves its cobia nigiri-style, meaning over rice rather than swirled up in a roll. Topped with yuzu, furikake and red chili oil, it is also offered vegetarian and gluten-free. Last up on the Sarasota sushi tour, head to Drunken Poet for the Hulk or Fiery rolls. The Hulk gets its name from the green sauce and asparagus, while the Fiery roll doesn’t skimp on the heat with spicy tuna, spicy sauce and jalapeno. Trust us, any of these places will have you jumping for soy. —A.Chates

Poke Tuna Bowl, JPAN, 3800 S. Tamiami Trail #3, 941-954-5726, Waikiki Roll, Tsunami Restaurant, 100 Central Avenue Suite 1022, 941-366-1033, Yellow Tail Lover Roll, Bushido Sushi, 3688 Webber St, Sarasota, 941-217-5635, Cobia Nigiri, Indigenous Restaurant, 239 S. Links Avenue, 941-706-4740, Fiery Roll & Hulk Roll, Drunken Poet Cafe Thai Bistro & Sushi Bar, 1572 Main St, Sarasota, 941- 955-8404,

Face Misters

Summer in Florida is hot. Thanks for stating the obvious, right? It can be brutal when you still want to sit outside to enjoy a drink and meal but the overhead fans of the restaurant’s patio just aren’t cutting it. And, sitting under the umbrella at the pool or beach can still be stifling when the heat index makes it feel like 105 degrees. This summer, temper the fever by keeping a facial mist spray or toner in your bag at all times to whip out and instantly cool you down. For the perpetually overheated, Fixxation Boutique carries a trending, all-natural skincare line called Cocokind, which includes a refreshing and purifying spritzer called Glow Essence. The sea grape caviar and botanical ingredients brighten, even and hydrate the skin with just a few sprays to the forehead, eyes, cheeks and chin. No more feeling sweaty, salty and crispy from the sun and surf. At The Herbarium, a pretty little pink bottle by L’Erbolario encompasses hyaluronic acid ultra-filler and molecularfilm from algae and glucose. The extra-fine texture not only sets the makeup from dripping off at high noon, but also tones and refreshes the skin, revitalizing your moneymaker and providing an instant feeling of decompressing comfort. You’re still allowed to turn the A/C on at full blast, but why not also invest in a glowier, refreshed face for when your beau wants to take a selfie with you in the sand. —B.Mattie

Fixxation Boutique, $18, 1108 N Orange Ave., Sarasota,, @fixxationboutique. The Herbarium, $32.5, 1371 Blvd. of the Arts, Ste E, Sarasota, 941-953-3273,, @erbolario_usa

Par For the Course

Whether you’re interested in an afternoon filled with family fun or an evening on the green with friends, consider teeing your day—or night—off at Evie’s Family Golf Center. Featuring a driving range, junior golf clinic, mini golf course, ice cream parlor, arcade, wiffle ball, tavern and car wash, this Bee Ridge business has something for absolutely everyone. Deemed one of the top 50 standalone driving ranges in the United States, Evie’s offers the best public golf facility in Sarasota. Players can enjoy 60 hitting stations (30 of which have sod); sand bunker play; chipping and putting greens; name-brand golf clubs for sale or rent; Callaway equipment, tees, gloves and visors for purchase; and a PGA Callaway fitting location. If you’re not drawn to the driving range, the 18-hole, par 40 waterfall adventure miniature golf course is the ultimate putting experience for all ages and abilities. After all, nothing quite screams summer more than a good game of (mini) golf. Should you find yourself famished before, on or after the green, Evie’s Tavern & Grill provides a laid-back atmosphere and savory sports bar fare, while the ice cream parlor offers 32 Big Olaf flavors for those sporting a sweet tooth. —G.Castilow

Evie’s Family Golf Center, 4735 Bee Ridge Rd., 941-377-0990,, @eviesontherange.

Made in the Shade at Selby

Flowers, flowers, everywhere, and all the time to think; flowers, flowers, everywhere, and all the shade to drink. Selby Gardens—which has transformed into a venue with stripped-down theatre productions from local theaters and musical performances (as part of its Lichtenstein Nights series)—will continue its summer programming beneath the shade of the old growth trees. A Fourth of July celebration promises American fare and the best view in the city for fireworks, while In Dialogue with Nature: Glass in the Gardens exhibition (running July 10 to September 26) will return for its fourth year running in collaboration with the Duncan McClellan Gallery in St. Petersburg. This year’s Glass in the Gardens will feature nature-inspired glass work created exclusively by Duncan McClellan which will be displayed in the Tropical Conservatory and throughout Selby against a backdrop of lush flowers and plants draw the third eye inward and inspire reflection. And don’t forget to check out Florida Highwaymen, an exhibition of African-American landscape artists who overcame segregation to sell their work throughout the state during the 1950s and 1960s.

This exhibition will be presented in collaboration with the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition. —A.Fabian Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 1534 Mound St., Sarasota, 941-366-5731,, @selbygardens.


Perhaps it’s not in your cards—credit cards, that is—to splurge on that Louis Vuitton Flower Pendant Necklace. But local e-boutique, There Goes Lo, works a little magic so that you can thriftily procure high-fashion pieces without taking a trip to New York City’s Canal Street, or going beyond your budget. Upon sourcing vintage designer charms, There Goes Lo will renew and recycle the charms to become unique pieces that shine with new life. All pieces in the LUXE Collection are refurbished or repurposed from 100 percent authentic luxury designer pieces that are now limited editions, put on chunky paperclips or dainty gold chains. Whether the DIOR Charm Necklace, the Vintage LV Lock & Key Necklace or the Gucci Bamboo Tassel Necklace, all that glitters is gold. “Our goal for this collection is to give everyone luxury for less while recirculating and updating pieces that otherwise would be discarded,” the owner says. —B.Mattie

Prices range from $55-$180 and limited quantities are for sale., @there.goes.lo. There Goes Lo is not affiliated with any of the aforementioned brands or affiliates. Copyrighted trademarks and images are the sole property of their respective owners.

Between Two Slices

The beauty of the sandwich is that all it requires is two slices of bread and an imagination. Owen’s Fish Camp went with what they do best and stuck with the sea. Their Shrimp and Oyster Po’Boy is classic Florida fare with roots in New Orleans. Kurto’s Chimney Cake takes tuna to the next level making their tuna salad Italian-style, mixed with cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, mixed greens and homemade dressing, all served in one of their unique over-baked chimney breads. Rounding out the ocean fare, Marina Jack takes some sandwich liberties by serving the Spicy Shrimp in a wrap (but you won’t miss the bread while chowing down on the crispy fried shrimp mixed with fresh veggies and spicy mayo). The Overton gives us a salad-inspired sandwich, perfect for summer, with a Chicken and Brie number. Served on toasted sourdough with homemade basil spread and arugula, it keeps your lunch cool and crisp. Finishing out the sandwich roundup is the Fried Eggplant at La Mucca Ballerina. Skip the smoked ham to make it vegetarian but with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers and balsamic glaze the—the perfect antipasto plate to go. All you need to enjoy these stellar sandwiches are two hands and a big appetite. —A.Chates

Shrimp & Oyster Po’Boy, Owen’s Fish Camp, 516 Burns Court, Sarasota, 941-951-6936, Fried Eggplant, La Mucca Ballerina, 1668 Main Street Sarasota, 941-366-7600, Seafood Sandwich, Kurtos, 1383 McAnsh Square, Sarasota, 941-203-8541, Chicken and Brie Sandwich, The Overton, 1420 Boulevard of the Arts, 941-552-6927, Sarasota, Spicy Shrimp Wrap, Marina Jack, 2 Marina Plaza, 941-365-4232,


Feel like you’re back at summer camp or in high school art class by signing up for one of these interactive, group arts and crafts classes for adults. You’ll leave with new friends, a new trade/hobby, sense of creative accomplishment, and a finished product worthy of not only the fridge but hopefully the foyer or living room wall. From pottery throwing and DIY projects to painting with a buzz—provoked by either coffee or wine—get off the couch and onto a stool this summer for these crafty classes of art activities. —B.Mattie

Let’s Create Art

At the Let’s Create Art Lakewood Ranch location, fun and interactive art classes are available for solo participants and groups. “Adult Coffee & Paint” happens every Monday morning at 10 a.m., mixing community and creativity into the usual mundane—or manic—Mondays. The crew meets for hot joe to decompress before the start of the week, chats and creates a fun paint project as the instructor guides assist. Bring coffee or grab some at the studio already brewed for you. No supplies required. Adult Coffee & Paint, $25/class, Let’s Create Art, 4715 Lena Rd. #105, Bradenton, 941-361-1491,, @letscreateart. Art Paint Bar

Bring your own bottle of wine, relax and get creative as professional artists take your party from a blank canvas to a masterpiece, brushstroke by brushstroke. Art Paint Bar in the heart of historic downtown Sarasota hosts painting sessions seven days a week. Attendees book tickets ahead of time to choose whichever canvas subject they’d like to tackle and paint on that day. Whether it’s for a date night or girls night out, bring the cork and the canvas is sure to come alive one way or another. Art Paint Bar, $39/class, 1289 North Palm Ave., Sarasota, 440-227-4592,

The Artful Giraffe
Turn that dusty, unworn vintage or costume jewelry that’s taking up valuable dresser top space into a one-of-a-kind suncatcher. Learn how to use basic wire and patterning as you disassemble jewelry and reassemble the beads with wire into beautiful, sun-catching strands. You’ll delicately place your new strands on a driftwood topper that will hang from twine, chain or leather. Jewelry pliers will be provided for class, as well as the aforementioned materials for those who do not have them. Suncatcher Creations, $75/class, The Artful Giraffe, 1861 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, 941-388-3700,, @theartfulgiraffe.

Sarasota Clay Company

Looking for a messy group activity with friends, family or a team-building event with your workmates? “Clay Date” can be scheduled for six or more people for one- or two-hour sessions at Sarasota Clay Company—formerly known as Carla’s Clay. Whether you are a beginner or have been working with clay for years, there is a class and/or workshop for anybody in its giant studio space of 12 Brent wheels, a Brent SR20 Slab Roller, a North Star extruder and glaze palettes for student use. Projects include, but are not limited to, holiday themed ornaments, slump mold platters or bowls, pinch pot animals, wall hanging pockets, coffee mugs, tea kettles – or present owner, artist and teacher Carla O’Brien with your own hand-building creation idea. Sarasota Clay Company, 1733 Northgate Blvd., Sarasota, 941-359-2773,, @sarasota_clay_company.

Lettuce Give ‘Em Something to Talk About

The stick-to-your-ribs goodness of winter food just doesn’t have the same appeal in 90-degree weather; instead, we crave all things fresh or hydrating. And what meal is a better spokesperson for refreshing than salad? A bowl filled with vegetables is just what the doctor ordered on a summer’s day. ATRIA Cafe’s Cardamom Chicken Salad is an eclectic, international plate topped with smoked grapes and compressed rhubarb. For something to keep you satisfied all day long, try Marina Jack’s Quinoa Bowl full of crunchy goodness. The roasted red beets, broccoli slaw and citrus honey vinaigrette hit all the right notes. For an unbeatable classic like the Greek salad, Blu Kouzina is dishing out the best. Authentic and fresh, the feta, tomatoes and olives will transport you to the Greek isles. For overachievers looking to add fruit into the mix, The Toasted Mango Cafe’s Mango Blackened Chicken Salad or Maximillian’s Cafe’s Raspberry Pear Salad lets you have the best of both worlds. Summer salads can also be swanky and, to take it up a notch, Michael’s On East has you covered with their Burrata and Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio. And The Rosemary has created a salad tower to die for—the Tuna and Avocado Tower with sushi-grade tuna and a serving of toasted bread. —A.Chates

Greek Salad, Blu Kouzina, 25 N Boulevard of Presidents, 941-388-2619, Cardamom Chicken Salad, ATRIA Cafe, 4120 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, 941-751-1016, Raspberry Pear Salad, Maximillian’s Cafe, 1695 10th St Sarasota, 941-330-0245, Toasted Mango Blackened Chicken Salad, The Toasted Mango Cafe, 430 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 941- 388-7728, Quinoa Bowl, Marina Jack, 2 Marina Plaza, 941-365-4232, Burrata and Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio, Michael’s On East, 1212 East Avenue, Sarasota, 941-366-0007,

Excursions Via Water

Beat the heat and get wet-and-wild this summer with exciting excursions beyond swimming with a pool noodle or sticking your feet in the Gulf from your Tommy Bahama beach chair. These activities actually get you out there. Get the blood pumping, the adrenaline percolating and the serotonin releasing on the open water. There’s no rule that says you can’t play here like you’re on vacation. We live in paradise for a reason, and summer is the locals’ time to take back the beaches and bay. —B.Mattie

You’re not seeing things—there really are more pontoon tiki huts cruising through the mangroves and waterways lately. Cruisin’ Tikis Sarasota, operating in Siesta, Longboat, Lido and Bird Key; and Low Tide Tours Tiki Boat, operating in Siesta, Anna Maria and Cortez, are tiki huts with bars onboard to offer sandbar and swim charters for groups/parties (party sizes range by provider). Find a shallow part of the sandy paradise in the Gulf of Mexico and sip on some margaritas, or grab some lagers from the pontoon’s coolers onboard. Island Jet Ski Tours & Rentals in Osprey and Cool Breeze Boats & Jet Ski Rentals in Nokomis offer easy-breezy, no-hassle jet ski rentals south of Siesta. It’s perfect for when you’re avoiding the tourists and crowds for a more local and less chaotic experience while trying to hit top speeds on your Sea-Doo. YOLO Parasailing & Adventures out of Anna Maria and Cortez, and Siesta Key Watersports have some of the most popular parasailing ride adventures for the weekends if you want to shake things up and act like a tourist living it up on vacay. Both companies offer two-to-three-seated rides to fly high. Just look out for the bright yellow smiley face parasails hovering over the crystal clear Gulf waters. And once you’re hanging ten, you just may spot the shadows of some larger sea creatures under your feet. When you have company in town and you’re wondering how to show them a good time, know Fun Boat Tours—with locations in Safe Harbor Siesta Key and Anna Maria Island—offers public skiff boat tours for groups in the early and sunset hours. For the mornings, “Dolphin and Donuts” starts the day off splendidly. For an evening ride, “Dolphin and Drinks” makes it so you couldn’t care less whether you see the playfulness of a family of dolphins or not. The tour agency also offers private fishing, diving and custom charters. Now for some serious childlike fun. Siesta Key Aqua Adventures offers Siesta’s newest attraction: Bumper Boat Adventures. The bumper boat rental starts from the dock, allowing you to navigate freely up and down Phillippi Creek as you bump and bounce with family and friends in motor-operated, tubed bumper boats. And if that doesn’t yield enough laughter and silliness, the company also offers Banana Boat Rides (its most popular attraction). Groups up to six can hop aboard the lifesize yellow “Island Hopper” banana boat for a hilariously fun ride in the channel.

Excursions Via Water Contacts | Cruisin’ Tikis Sarasota, 941-253-5404,, @cruisintikissarasota. Low Tide Tours Tiki Boat, 8865 Midnight Pass Rd., Sarasota, 941- 405-0045,, @lowtidetours. Island Jet Ski Tours & Rentals, 801 Blackburn Point Rd., Osprey, 941-474-1168,, @islandjetski. Cool Breeze Boats & Jet Ski Rentals, 100 Circuit Rd., Nokomis, 941-485-3333,, @coolbreezeboatrentals. YOLO Parasailing & Adventures, 4110 127th St. West, Cortez, 941-792-6000,, @parasailflorida. Siesta Key Watersports, 1536 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, 941-921-3030,, @siestakeywatersports. Fun Boat Tours, 1265 Old Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, 941-400-2763,, @funboattourssrq. Siesta Key Aqua Adventures, 5253 South Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-359-2782,, @siestakeyaquaadventures.

Segment 1 Trailhead

July 6 marks a major moment for our beloved Legacy Trail, with the official ribbon cutting and opening of Segment 1, which will extend from Proctor Road to Bahia Vista Street (beginning with a trailhead at Webber Street). Converting the wasted rail corridors throughout Sarasota into a sustainable local resource and gem, the Legacy Trail extension—when completed (potentially in 2024)—will provide 30 miles of continuous paved trail for the benefit of hikers, bikers, skaters, walkers, explorers and pets, linking neighborhoods and communities up and down the immediate coast. The extended Legacy Trail will be within two miles of approximately two-thirds of Sarasota city residents and within two linear miles of 45 schools. So hit the new extension of the trail this summer and follow along as the construction continues, such as new development at the Pompano trailhead and North Port Connector, improvements to the Osprey Junction Trailhead by Bay Street and improved parking and added restrooms to Culverhouse Nature Park on McIntosh Road. —O.Liang

Visit for maps, updates on development and information on amenities and local biking and walking groups.