Sarasota in Shorts: Fall 2012 Story Ideas

 STORY IDEAS

Sarasota In Shorts

Visit Sarasota County is inviting travelers nationwide to find their fall style through the new Sarasota In Shorts sweepstakes. Now through Dec. 5, travelers have two chances to win round-trip travel packages with air travel provided by JetBlue -either by sharing an Instagram photo that depicts their ideal vacation in shorts using the hashtag #SarasotaInShorts or by submitting their favorite style online. Area visitors are nearly unanimous in naming the top reason they enjoy Sarasota County: being able to sport a pair while doing just about everything the coastal destination offers, thanks to a casual lifestyle and warm weather year-round. Winners will be awarded with a vacation for two including round-trip tickets to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) from any airport served by JetBlue, a two-night stay at Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel or Hotel Indigo Sarasota and gift certificates to attractions that reflect the winners’ favorite shorts style.

JetBlue Serves SRQ Non-Stop

JetBlue Airways provides non-stop service to SRQ year-round from New York’s LaGuardia and JFK International Airports, and from Boston’s Logan International Airport. www.jetblue.com/vacations/sarasota-vacations

Savory Surprises at The Ritz Carlton, Sarasota

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota’s acclaimed signature restaurant, Vernona, is undergoing major renovations, set to re-emerge in January 2013 as a casually elegant, modern waterfront fish house yet to be named. During the revamp, the property’s Ca d’Zan Lounge has been reborn as CdZ; a limited-time culinary experience of contemporary American steakhouse cuisine, serving three meals a day in the vintage library-style space under the direction of Chef Dwayne Edwards. Vernona will undergo a head-to-toe transformation revealing the completely new restaurant with a fresh vision, décor, and menu. It will serve classic seafood and modern composed-plates, offer a lively bar, prominent cocktail program, and a grab-and-go marketplace all while celebrating the waterfront property’s unprecedented views of glittering Sarasota Bay. www.ritzcarlton.com

Fresh New Look, Amenities at the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel

The Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel is sporting a fresh new look, with the décor of all sleeping rooms and the Ballroom having been updated with new colors and materials, as well as white paddle boards having been added to its beach recreation fleet of sailboats, aqua cycles, kayaks and more. There is now free Wi-Fi throughout the property, and all rooms now feature 32” flat screen TVs, among other amenities. To celebrate, the Hotel is offering specials throughout 2013. Guests also enjoy complimentary services like parking, beach lounges, daily newspapers, and no resort fees. www.helmsleysandcastle.com

Sea Life at Mote Marine Laboratory

TheAquarium at Mote will welcome California and Patagonian sea lions on Dec. 1, 2012, for an edgy new exhibit — Sea Lions: On The Water’s Edge. Visitors can get close to these amazing marine mammals and enjoy daily educational demonstrations of their fascinating abilities. This limited-time exhibit will run through spring 2013 with special events and education programs for all ages. Additionally, Hugh and Buffett -the world’s most highly trained manatees -are a must-see for visitors at Mote, having been featured recently in national and international science news stories. Hugh and Buffett participate in groundbreaking research about manatee hearing, touch and other senses. Mote scientists train Hugh and Buffett behind the scenes for veterinary care and research, and the manatees are on exhibit daily for visitor education. www.mote.org

Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival 2013: Presented by The Sarasota-Manatee Originals

The Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival, a four-day culinary event presented by The Sarasota-Manatee Originals, unites food, wine and beer enthusiasts with regional chefs and more than 60 vintners from around the world. To be held Jan. 25-28, 2013, the festival pairs local Celebrity Chefs with global winemakers, showcased at the festival’s anchor event, The Grand Tasting. Forks & Corks features winemaker events at area restaurants and shops (Jan. 25, 26); interactive food and wine and seminars led by visiting winemakers (Jan. 26); The Grand Tasting in world-renowned The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Courtyard (Jan. 27); and a trade event (Jan. 28). This is the only food and wine festival in the state that attendees may purchase their favorite wines sampled from the day. Tickets go on sale Nov. 12, 2012. Florida’s first chapter of Dine Originals, the Sarasota-Manatee Originals is a group of more than 50 locally owned, independent restaurants with a national and local presence. Within a 20-mile radius of downtown Sarasota, there are more Florida Trend Award and Zagat top-scoring restaurants than any other area in state. www.dineoriginal.com/forksandcorks