The Manasota Mystique - Credit: Englewood Chamber
The Manasota Mystique - View at Sunset

Let the Good Times Roll in Englewood for Fun & Foodies

​Check out these great fall activities in Englewood.

Florida ushers in the fall season like a whisper weather-wise, but it is far from a quiet time for activities in Sarasota County, especially in Englewood.

Nestled on the south border of Sarasota County, the town of Englewood is planning events for foodies, outdoor sports enthusiasts and all who want to celebrate the best of the region.

Local farmers are hauling in fresh produce and restaurateurs are planning seasonal menus. And as it cools down, everyone wants to be outside having fun – on the beach, on boats and paddle boards. Plenty of special events are planned to make those experiences even more fun.

The Englewood Farmer’s Market

For those who love farm fresh produce Englewood Farmer’s Market is one of the most popular around. Here you can meet area farmers; taste samples and take home fresh produce.

Each Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., from October through May in Old Englewood Village, the market becomes a beehive of fresh produce, prepared foods and local, fresh seafood.

Vendors line both sides of Dearborn Street where visitors can purchase an assortment of goodies. Fresh guacamole, citrus, cheeses, olive oil, honey, vegetables, herbs, breads and pastries fill vendor tents. But bring your appetite because chefs are smoking barbecue, creating fresh Spanish paella and offering other assorted international treats including German and French baked goods, Mexican fare and Indian cuisine.

The Hermitage “Artful Lobster” Event

Englewood is home to the Hermitage Artist Retreat, where distinguished artists are invited to live and work in an old Florida setting located on Manasota Beach.

Each year, the Hermitage hosts “The Artful Lobster” fundraising event where guests feast on heaping plates of lobster, catered by Michael’s on East in an idyllic setting overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

Saturday, Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., talented artists, community supporters and lobster lovers join in the fun and raise their paddles during the live auction supporting the artist residency program. 

Englewood Beach Waterfest

The Englewood Beach Waterfest celebrates the beaches and waterways of the area through two November events, the Englewood Beach Paddlefest and the OPA World Championship power boat races.

Englewood Beach Paddlefest

Turn up the fun-o-meter at Englewood Beach Paddlefest set for Nov. 10 through 12 at Englewood Beach. If you love to paddleboard (and/or kayak) this event is a sure way to get your paddling “fix.” The Paddlefest is for individuals of all ages and levels, offering fun competition. And for those new to the sport, it’s an opportunity to learn more in a friendly setting.

Participants paddle SUPs or kayaks with races ranging from 1.5 to 6.0 miles, and a .25 mile Kid’s Race. A Kid’s SUP Clinic is offered that includes a how-to lesson, use of a board and paddle, plus a t-shirt and barbecue lunch under the pavilion. Paddlefest tickets can be purchased on line.

Paige Backhaus, Paddlefest organizer and owner of Hooked on SUP, shares, “The Englewood Beach Paddlefest includes races, clinics, great food and paddling events that are all about great fun, spirited games and delicious food. Even if you just want to come by and watch the fun, bring your beach chairs, it’s free to watch.”

The event begins Nov. 10 with the Shrimp Boil pre-event party at Hooked on SUP at the Cape Haze Marina. Nov. 11 is Race Day at the beach. Nov. 12 caps the event with Fun Day, where locals add more entertainment held at the south end of Stump Pass Beach Park – complete with paddle races, human hamster balls, hippy hop races and slip n slides.

Englewood Beach Waterfest OPA World Championship

Racing fans get in position for two days of “amped up” fun during the 2017 Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) World Championship Race set for Nov. 18 and 19 at Englewood Beach.

Englewood’s Waterfest OPA World Championship will host more than 60 boats competing at speeds exceeding 130 miles per hour.

Begin the weekend with the Viewing Party as race teams show off their sleek machines Friday, Nov. 17 from 4 – 10 p.m.

The weekend revs up with the races at Englewood Beach November 18 and 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Beach shuttles are provided where spectators can watch the races along the five-mile course. Or watch from the water on your boat, kayaks, or floaties as the boats zoom by at record speeds.

The Manasota Mystique

The Englewood Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Manasota Mystique event on Nov. 4 and if you looking for reasons why you should consider attending, here are two big ones:

First, the event takes place at the Manasota Beach Club, a tropical oasis and one of the most authentic “old Florida” resorts on Manasota Key. This half-century old slice of authentic Florida is surrounded by charming accommodations and shaded by an oak tree canopy overlooking the sparkling Gulf of Mexico.

Second, Manasota Mystique cranks up the fun during its annual themed party. Here you’ll meet Englewood movers and shakers and celebrate the best of the community. The meal will be catered by two local restaurants: Lock N’ Key and Farlow’s on the Water. Enjoy dancing to live music while supporting local charities including Big Brothers & Big Sisters, scholarships for Lemon Bay High School students and the EYE on Nature: Youth Explorer’s Club, a program that introduces kids to wildlife and the environment.

Sarasota native Robin Draper is a columnist and owner of the award-winning “Blog of the Year” and “Best Travel Blog” website, AuthenticFlorida.com, a travel and lifestyle blog devoted to the simple and delightful pleasures for Florida living.