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Four Ways to Take Advantage of Sarasota-Manatee By Boat This Summer

We know that this summer is a little different than usual. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a blast taking advantage of our beautiful local waterways and abundant sunshine. There truly are so many ways to enjoy your boat! Here are just a few.

Go shelling on Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island.

We love shelling!  There’s nothing like spending the morning scouring piles of shells that have washed up on the shoreline. Anna Maria Island is famous for its shelling opportunities and Lido Beach also has a trove of beautiful, polished “olive” shells and fascinating “shark’s eye” shells. Check out our guide here.

Have dinner at sea.

We swear salty, fresh air and sunshine make food taste better. One of our favorite recipes is Doc Ford’s Yucatan shrimp, named for the main character in Florida author Randy Wayne White’s novels. The shrimp are steamed and tossed with a delicious garlic-butter sauce that has a spicy chili kick. (Pro tip: It’s excellent on any kind of seafood, so feel free to use it on your fresh-caught fish, too.) Eat with a rum cocktail while enjoying the sunset—there’s nothing better. Get the recipe here.

Look out for Florida’s favorite pink bird.

No, not the flamingo—we mean the beautiful roseate spoonbill. These gorgeous, bright-pink wading birds are usually found in marshy ponds, mangrove areas and even canals, often near the bay. Read all about our favorite spots to see them here.

Take your boat to your favorite restaurant. 

Don’t feel like cooking? Our region offers a great selection of restaurants that are accessible by boat, from the new Shore on Longboat Key to Star Fish Company Market, one of our favorites for fresh seafood. Due to COVID-19 social distancing, many are also offering curbside pickup—call ahead and have a gourmet feast on your boat without ever having to dirty a pan. See our list of favorites here.

Happy boating!