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At the base of Sarasota’s beautiful city skyline is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon, it’s Sarasota Bayfront Park. It’s one of my favorite places to visit on the weekends with my family or friends. This Island Park is fantastic and filled with scenic eye-candy in every direction. Bayfront is situated on an island peninsula right on the waters of Sarasota Bay.

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Sidewalks traverse all around the area, making this a great spot for long walks, rollerblading, and bike rides while taking in the scenery and enjoying its natural setting with palm trees, shrubbery and flowering plants all adding to the ambiance. On your walk out to the northern point of Bayfront Park, along the marina side of the pathway, you’ll come upon the Dolphin Fountain, where you can stand, or sit, and watch the boaters pass by on the way into or out of Sarasota City Marina.

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Park is pet friendly, so bring along your furry friends and let them enjoy some fun in the sun. My girls love the water fountains to splash in. It’s open from April 1 to October 31. Just grab a bathing suit and a towel to enjoy fun in the water. My husband and I typically relax on the bench or a swing. There is also a huge playground zone for the kids right along the water fountains to enjoy. Picnic areas are also accessible. By the playground you can see the Statue of Kids Playing.

Sarasota Bayfront Park has two nice waterfront restaurants, O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill and Marina Jacks dockside.

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O’Learys is a wonderful place to sit under the thatched roof and watch the Island Park activities taking place on Sarasota Bay. The bartenders are fun and friendly at this Florida beach bar. You will surely strike up a conversation with someone at this Florida beach bar for sure. Yell across the bar and talk to someone on the other side of it. It’s done, and it’s fun. Some of the most fun you can have at a Florida beach bar is just chatting with the other patrons. There is music daily and, in fact, almost all day. During the day, the musicians are unpaid and work for tips. Mostly they are people just happy to have a venue to play and to hone their skills. So be sure to tip them nicely. You are happy because you are sitting on a bar stool under a Tiki Hut, drinking a tropical drink and watching the jet skiers while listening to a Jimmy Buffett wannabe. Life doesn’t get much better. Many boat and Jet Ski rentals are available too along the bay front.

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Marina Jack’s restaurant features an award winning wine list and an exceptional menu featuring the regions finest steaks, seafood and pasta. Open daily for lunch, Plated Sunday Brunch Dinner the Dining room is a perfect place to relax and enjoy your dining experience overlooking the inter-coastal waterway of Sarasota. They are also offer sightseeing cruises. One of them is Marina Jack II. You can join them for a relaxing narrated sightseeing lunch tour or sunset dinner cruise through the inter-coastal waters and the Gulf of Mexico and enjoy delicious dining, outstanding views, and exceptional service.

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One of my favorite cruises at Sarasota Bayfront Park is LaBarge Tropical Cruises. Their casual laid-back atmosphere is enhanced by their tropical decor and yes, palm trees are real. Let the mermaids lead the way through the tranquil waters of Sarasota Bay. They offer you a full menu of cruises, each totally different: the morning Dolphin & Manatee Watch Cruise, afternoon Sightseeing & Nature Cruise, and the world-renowned Tropical Sunset Cruise with live entertainment. All cruises feature a full bar and light food menu.

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The 26-foot-tall “Unconditional Surrender” statue on Sarasota’s Bayfront has been the subject of countless speeches, groans, quips, and kudos since it made its first appearance here in 2005. You just have to see it. Millions of visitors around the world snap countless pictures, especially couples imitate a statue. 

 Have you visited Bayfront Park? Share in the comments section below!
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Today, unfortunately libraries are not as popular as let’s say 15 years ago, where the only resource people had access to reading materials for free, is to go to your local library. A lot of adults and children today, own digital books like, Kindle or Nook, where you can download variety of books and magazines, based on your interest from the comfort of your home. The truth is, I don’t think reading eBooks is a bad thing to do, but in my opinion still painfully ugly and weirdly irritating to interact with. They look like copies of paper, but they can’t be designed or typeset in the same way as paper, and however splendid the cover images may look on a hi-res screen, they’re still images rather than physical things.
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I’m one of those few people, who don’t own a digital book, instead I take trips to a local library with my family every Saturday. The Selby Public Library was the first library in Sarasota County and was established in 1907. The current building is the largest public library in Sarasota County and serves the downtown district of Sarasota. You have access to thousands of books. Plus, media, internet access and magazines. The best part about it is that it’s free.

Since, we all have different interests in our family, we spread out to our own little sections, where we can browse for hours in between shelves to find books that we will enjoy reading. 

Angelika goes to Teen Center, where she spends most of her time browsing through hundreds of books, she also has Internet access that is available at the Computer Section, WiFi spot. The 30-minute use of computers is free of charge. When she wants to get more familiar with a book or books that she chose, sitting is also available at Teen Center.

My husband and I will take Annabella to a Children Center, where she has access to learning materials, variety of books, play area and internet access. Also, as a bonus she has access to couple of computers designed just for playing learning games, like reading, math and science. The Children Center also has a sitting area for parents and kids. I enjoy sitting down with Annabella and read to her, once she is familiar with a book, we take turns reading. It’s the best time and place to have that one on one reading time with your child. There are no distractions, it’s quite and let’s face it, books are all around us.

The Selby Public Library also offers The Friends Bookstore inside the library. They invite you to come in and browse among the thousands of books in every genre. You can also check the ever-changing sales. Stock up on your summer beach reading. Find interesting cookbooks, out-of-print classics and unique titles that defy a set genre. They are definitely tempt your curiosity and emotions and energize your mind with new ideas and a variety of interests. The prices are very affordable and the value is “priceless.” Bibliophiles travel from all over the country comes to visit them!

Besides books, The Selby Public Library also has access to hundreds of movies, you can find it in a media section. You have different picks from older movies to newer releases. Older movies are very hard to find today, since a lot of movie rental stores have closed, but some online services are available, like Netflix or Amazon, except you do have to pay a fee. Unlike library, it’s free of charge and you’ll have more time to watch it.

Self check out stands are also available, I personally like to use self check out service, it’s easy and fast. Library staff is always available to answer all your questions and to help you with whatever you may need.

If you just moved here or maybe lived in Sarasota for awhile and never visited The Selby Public Library, I encourage you to do so. Don’t forget to register to get your own library card. It takes less then 5 minutes to fill out a form and you have different designs to choose from. Bring your youngsters, it’s plenty for them to do and explore here. If you looking for an upcoming event or things to do in Sarasota, information stands are available at the front of the library as you walk in to the building.

Have you visited The Selby Public Library? What do you think about it? Share in the comments section below! 
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