(Above) © @pincaboo, Tiffany Wynns
Haven’t been to Longboat Key in a while? Here’s what you’ve been missing, from Zota Beach Resort’s new menu items and poolside games to a trampoline playground in Sarasota that is billed as the largest inflatable adventure park in the US.
New at Zota Beach Resort
Think you’ve already had about just everything on Viento Kitchen + Bar and Cascades Pool bar’s menus? Not anymore. As of February, these two on-site dining options both revamped their menus, which means new options to explore, like Viento’s mushroom ravioli served with smoked pork parmesan broth and shaved seasonal truffle and Cascades’s Cubano sandwich, featuring house-marinated mojo pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickle, and mustard in pressed Cuban bread. And if you’re fully in vacation mode, sleep in and order room service off both menus. Bedhead optional.
Ignite the child inside of you with the resort’s updated arsenal of family-friendly games, available beside the infinity-edge pool. Or you know, let your actual child join in on the fun too. With activities like volleyball, cornhole, and a larger-than-life chessboard, you and your family won’t want to leave the resort anytime soon. The best part is, you can take a quick dip in the pool to cool off after an intense game. Checkmate.
Zota’s Lobby Market
You’re bound to forget at least one essential when you’re focused solely on packing enough bathing suits and magazines to last through your trip. Luckily, the resort’s Lobby Market is now stocked with new merchandise like water bottles, caps and visors, sunglasses, beach bags, T-shirts, and more. Take home a Zota-branded coffee mug as a souvenir to summon moments from your vacation every morning.
New in Sarasota, Florida
Anna Maria Princess Boat Tour
New to Bradenton Beach in 2018, Anna Maria Princess is an elegant 80-foot paddlewheel boat featuring ornate wrought iron railings and massive wooden paddle wheels. Thanks to two decks – an enclosed and climate-controlled lower deck and a spacious open-air top deck – she accommodates up to 80 guests for her regular daily cruises through Sarasota Bay, which includes a sunset cruise and comedy cruise. Whichever you opt for, it always comes with a full-service bar, light-fair menu, and plenty of rail-side wildlife viewing.
Clam Bar in St. Armands Circle
Introducing a new player by the playa: Speaks Clam Bar, located on St. Armands Circle, just a short walk from the sands of Lido Beach. Modeled after Italian-American clam bars, the venue specializes in raw and steamed shellfish and straightforward seafood pastas, like lobster-shrimp lasagna and oysters scampi. And the design is just a drool-worthy as the dishes, featuring a snazzy, speakeasy-themed bar (where the name “Speaks” comes from); silver, black, and white booths and high-tops; and a sprawling kitchen and a patio where you can sit and watch the sun go down.
Sarasota Art Museum
It’s been a long-time coming – 16 years to be exact – but as of the end of 2019, the old historic Sarasota High School has finally reopened as a world-class art museum. Renamed the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College, and a division of Ringling College of Art + Design, the venue’s outdoor installations invite young ones to climb and play, while the interior of the old Leo Elliott-designed building features a unique blend of paintings and 3D art from world-renowned artists. There’s also a boutique and indoor-outdoor bistro – meaning you can make a whole day out of spending time at this lauded attraction.
Jumpin’ Fun Inflata Park
Dodge Ball Xtreme? A Ninja Wall? Something called the “Adrenalator?” This isn’t your watered-down bouncy house experience. New in September of 2019, Jumpin Fun Inflata Park is a 15,000-square-foot trampoline playground that is billed as the largest inflatable adventure park in the US – and it set up permanent shop in Sarasota’s Lakewood Ranch neighborhood. In addition to 20 attractions that allow you to swing on wrecking ball or fly into space at the Moon Bounce, the park offers wine and beer for adults, as well as a long section of recliners and big TVs for parents to relax and keep an eye on their kids.
Where to Stay Zota Beach Resort