Welcome to Sarasota – The Jewel of Florida's West Coast

Realize your dreams in Sarasota, the beautiful city poised on the bay. Sarasota offers: Swaying palms, a boater's paradise, extraordinary shopping, world class restaurants, sparkling clean beaches, premier tennis, every water sport imaginable, championship golf courses, theater, ballet, opera, art galleries, museums, abundant inland waterways, the glittering Gulf of Mexico, year-round cultural calendar, excellent school systems, high quality health care systems, gorgeous sunsets, oranges fresh from the tree, sunshine, warmth, fun and friendly people...

Finding the right community is as important as finding the perfect home. You probably can't imagine your next home without thinking about your new neighbors, friendships, or your child's new school. This is why it is important to find a Realtor® who is not only knowledgable about real estate, but also about the community. Sarasota is my community – I love it and I am very proud to be a part of it.

City History of Sarasota


White sand beaches, sophisticated arts, world class shopping, five star resorts, country clubs of distinction, legendary fine dining and community events coupled with the areas natural beauty and year-round good weather are just a few reasons
that Sarasota ranks among the nations 15 most livable communities, according to Money Magazine. Located on Southwest Florida's Gulf coast, the Sarasota area is a paradise unto its own.
Pleasantly surprised, visitors may take advantage of several of Sarasota area events. The counties high per capita income supports a wide variety of recreational activities and arts organizations. Among those are theater, ballet, opera and international film festivals usually found only in larger urban areas. In fact, Southern Living magazine recently named Sarasota County "the nation's per capita arts capital." Or if you are more the athletic type, outdoor activities are plentiful as well, from beach combing to rollerblading.
Not only a paradise to the pleasure seeker, residents find that Sarasota has all the charm of a southern town with the conveniences of a big city. The Southern town lives in this city due to the diligence of the Sarasota residents in which waterfront estates and new golf course condominium communities are carefully designed to compliment our historic districts and neighborhoods that are preserved with pride
Every great city must plan for its future, Sarasota does so through the young. Sarasota County's public schools serve more than thirty-six thousand students. With twenty elementary, eight middle and nine high schools Saraota provides educational opportunities for all -- from the physically challenged to the academically gifted. The area is also home to a wide variety of private schools of various affiliations. Teachers in Sarasota County are top-ranked; nearly eighty percent have post-bachelor degree training which reflects in our students. Every year, two-thirds of the county's high school graduates go on to college. In addition, Sarasota is proud to host six higher education institutions. University of South Florida at Sarasota, New College (USF's honors program), Ringling School of Art and Design, the University of Sarasota, Eckerd College and Manatee Community College.
A vital community, each facet of Sarasota is just as exciting as the next. Come experience the allure of our Sarasota paradise whether you choose to relax on our white sand beaches or become a resident….Sarasota is full of pleasant surprises.


Useful Links:

City of Sarasota  www.ci.sarasota.fl.us

School System  www.sarasota.k12.fl.us/

County Government  www.co.sarasota.fl.us

Chamber of Commerce  www.sarasotachamber.org

Real Estate  http://www.gregorysheller.com

Sarasota Herald Tribune  www.heraldtribune.com

City History of Longboat Key

Although known as a private island paradise, Longboat Key is only minutes from Sarasota and the many cultural activities the city offers. Stretching eleven miles between the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay, Longboat Key provides an ideal beach and bayfront setting. Far from traffic, noise and everyday hustle, Longboat Key offers a relaxed, quiet, secluded atmosphere. You won't find mini-malls, towering billboards or glaring neon signs. Instead you are welcomed to a land of tasteful luxury, tempting quiet pleasures and wonderful Resort Accommodations. An average year round 75-degree temperature makes this island paradise very conducive for just about anything. Tennis and Golf enthusiasts will find first-class facilities both on and off the island. Bikers and rollerbladers can tour Longboat's bike path, winding 10 miles along Gulf of Mexico Drive. The Intracoastal Waterway provides ample opportunities for wind-surfers, water-skiers, jet skiers, boaters and fishermen to pursue their particular passions. Charter a Boat with or without a captain and explore the area's many bays and backwaters; take to the ocean for Deep Sea Fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling. Or take a romantic stroll on some of the finest beaches to be found anywhere in the world.  
Mote Marine Aquarium, located at the south end of Longboat Key is a world-renowned marine research center. The aquarium offers a fascinating array of sea life for viewing. The 30-foot Touch Tank and 135,000-gallon Shark Tank bring visitors face to face with a variety of shark species, fish and marine life. The Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary located near mote marine in Ken Thompson Park, is a sanctuary that cares for injured shorebirds on two waterfront acres. A meandering boardwalk brings visitors through lush vegetation surrounding pens and pools filled with a variety of native and migratory birds. Admission is free, although donations are encouraged. For many visitors vacationing on Longboat Key, shopping is a favorite pastime. Whether you're looking for a new bathing suit, a straw hat or elegant evening wear, you will discover Longboat Key has an eclectic mix of exclusive and casual shops. On the southern half of Gulf of Mexico Drive, look for Avenue of the Flowers, one of the most beautifully landscaped shopping areas on the island. The center houses men's and women's apparel shops, restaurants, a grocery store and drug store. The Centre Shops located about mid-island, are a collection of specialty boutiques and restaurants. There are also numerous art galleries, jewelers and fashion boutiques. Not to be missed are the many shops and eating establishments of St. Armands Circle. Take the south bridge off the Key to over 140 shops, boutiques, and restaurants that radiate out and around a circular park. From St. Armands, take the Ringling Bridge into Sarasota. Here the city abounds with pockets of historically preserved buildings filled with boutiques, jewelry, art, and antique galleries, as well as the Women's Exchange (a treasure trove of expensive, recycled merchandise). They can be found on Palm, Orange, and Pineapple Avenues. Don't forget a visit to Towles Court, a charming enclave of restored historic residences, housing the best of local artistry. Farther south is Southgate Mall with more upscale shopping featuring names like Saks Fifth Avenue.. 
We welcome you to Longboat Key, a vacation spot that offers first-class shopping, dining, and recreational opportunities in a setting of soul-soothing beauty. 

Useful Links:

Longboat Chamber of Commerce  http://www.longboatchamber.com

City Information of Siesta Key

Useful Links

Chamber of Commerce  www.siestakeychamber.com

Siesta Beaches  www.4sarasota.com/siestakey/beach.html

City History of Casey Key

Why is this magical place called Casey Key? Well, it started 150 years ago when the island was known as "Chaise's Key." In 1849, U.S. Army Captain John Charles Casey came to the Florida Gulf Coast. He was assigned to remove the Seminole Indians from the area. During Casey's years in the area he assisted in the original coast survey for the U.S. government. This resulted in his name first appearing on the map, attached to the inlet just south of the island, now known as the Venice Inlet. It was then known as Casey's Pass. In 1856, the map of Florida was revised, changing Chaise's Key to Casey Key. As for Casey, he was able to restore the faith of the Seminole Indian leaders, and quiet the frontier uprisings that had plagued the area for many years. In the 1920's, an enterprising real estate developer successfully changed the name to "Treasure Island" during the Florida land boom. He thought it would help sell lots, and there were rumors associated with the name change concerning actual treasure found at the northern end of the key. After the land boom went bust, the name reverted back to Casey Key. Incidentally, the maps of the day showed only Manatee County. Sarasota County was formed from a section of Manatee County on May 14, 1921. 
The sole commercialism consists of a few older beach motels that are "grandfathered" under prior zoning. There are no hi-rises or traffic jams. Amazingly, the key will remain this way due to current zoning restrictions, and the fact that the majority of the island is a conservation district, established in the early 1970's by the Florida State Legislature. There are two bridges providing access to the key, including an old "swing bridge" dating back to the 1920's. A majority of the island is less than 300 yards wide, with the beaches along the Gulf on the west and Little Sarasota Bay on the east. At the south end is the Venice Inlet, providing ready access to the Gulf. Ground elevations on Casey Key are generally favorable (i.e. higher) than most barrier islands, which is highly beneficial to its homeowners. 
Casey Key residents get to enjoy the beaches and boating opportunities, as well as the unsurpassed sunset views over the Gulf. Living on the key provides an island atmosphere and lifestyle, yet the amenities we all enjoy like major grocery stores, drug stores, and department stores are just minutes away. In addition, top restaurants, golfing and tennis are nearby. Add to all this the many cultural and sports activities available in Sarasota, often called the "cultural capital" of Florida, and you can easily see why this is a such a great place to live.

Useful Links:

Casey Key Chamber of Commerce  www.venicechamber.com

City History of Nokomis

The quaint community of Nokomis is bordered by the beautiful cities of Sarasota and Venice. Nokomis, which was once known for having more cows than people, is now known for its beautiful seashore, many shopping opportunities and cultivated residential areas.
If a day of family fun in the sun is on your agenda, try Nokomis Beach, Sarasota County's oldest public beach. Nokomis Beach is known for its fishing, as well as its boat launch ramp and beautiful shoreline  
Nokomis is a community located just north of Venice and South of Osprey It is an area where much of life revolves around water. There are waterfront neighborhoods located on Shackett, Salt and Fox Creeks, Dona, Roberts, and Lyons Bays, along the shores Blackburn Bay and on Southern Casey Key. Nokomis Beach is at the southern end of Casey Key (near the Venice Inlet from the Gulf), and offers a covered boardwalk together with benches for relaxing by the Gulf water. Nokomis also has several semi-private and public golf courses.
The history of Venice really began in Nokomis in 1868 when Jessie and Rebecca Knight, with their 15 children, 8 covered wagons and 300 head of cattle cut a path through the wilderness, to homestead the area. Their home was a double - pen log cabin and they built a palm - thatched shelter which served as both school and church, until a small school building was constructed about 5 years later.
Few of the original historic building, in Nokomis have survived but historic markers are on the site, of the original Venice post office, the turpentine still and the first church and cemetery. That church, called Knight's Chapel, was destroyed by the 1926 hurricane, It was the forerunner. If the Venice Nokomis Methodist Church which celebrated its 12th year in 1993. In 1910, Mrs. Potter Palmer, a wealthy widow from Chicago, arrived in the area, and acquired most of the land in what is now Sarasota County. She had Citrus groves and extensive real estate holding,,,, She liked the name "Venice" and insisted that the name be transferred south to the new terminus and post office, Over the futile protests of the residents, who were forced to find new name for their community, Several names were suggested and they chose "Nokomis,"
Eagle Point was originally part of Mrs. Palmer's land where an exclusive hunting and fishing camp was built in 1916. It changed handsover the years but was operated as a camp until 1988, making It the oldest continuously operating businesses in Sarasota County, Many of the original buildings still remain.

Useful Links:

Real Estate  http://www.gregsheller.com

History of Venice

Welcome to the City of Venice. Venice is located in Southwest Florida, about 20 miles south of Sarasota along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico. It is known for its beaches and the prehistoric sharks teeth that can be found here.
Although more than 150,000 people living in South Sarasota County call Venice their home and write Venice in their postal addresses, the city itself has a population of only about 18,600 people in the summer and about 24,000 people in the winter.
The city was founded by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers in 1926. The BLE hoped to build a planned retirement community in the area and hired renowned city planner, John Nolan, to plan the city. A famous landscape architect, Prentiss French, was also appointed to create the lovely open spaces in the city.
The northern Italian Renaissance architectural theme was chosen and a town of grace and beauty began to grow along the golden sands and blue-green waters.
But the Great Depression stopped all development for several years and Veniceremained a tiny fishing village until the 1950s, when it started to grow once again.
Today, the city of Venice has many fine amenities, including a yacht club, community center, community theater and professional dinner theater, an art center, library and many fine restaurants.
Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast of Florida about 75 miles south of Tampa, the Venice area is actually five communities of Venice, South Venice, Nokomis, Laurel and Osprey. The incorporated area of Venice has a population of about 18,600, while the greater Venice area totals about 84,000. The city of Venice was incorporated in 1927, and it has a rich history.
Venice is a great place to live and visit because of its friendly atmosphere, parks, miles of beaches and pleasant weather. Moderated by the breezes from the Gulf of Mexico, the summer heat and mild winter chill are more often than not just the right level. The average annual temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the waters of the Gulf will rise to a high of 89 degrees in the month of August. The winter low in Gulf waters averages about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most of the year's average rainfall of 51 inches comes in the early summer months.
The Venice area boasts more than 14 miles of beaches, from Osprey and Casey Key to Manasota Key. Venice has long been considered the "Sharks Tooth Capital of the World," so it goes without saying there are unlimited opportunities to find any size tooth along the shoreline.

Useful Links:

Venice Chamber of Commerce  www.venicechamber.com

Venice Gondolier  www.venicegondolier.com/ /

City of Venice  http://www.venicegov.com/

City History of North Port

North Port is one of Florida's largest little cities, with 77 square miles of land, an 8,000-acre state forest within its limits, and a population of 17,000 in season.
The city was founded in June 1959 by General Development Corp./Mackle Brothers as a company-owned, company-run city. Its original name was North Port Charlotte, but the Charlotte was dropped in 1974.
There were no telephones, no mail delivery, no local politicians, no churches, no gas stations and no grocery stores when the city was founded.
With the third-largest land mass for a city in the state, North Port is now the fourth fastest-growing municipality in the state and has a flourishing youth population. There are two elementary schools in the city. Middle and high school children are attending Venice Schools until a new middle/high school can be built. North Port presently accounts for nearly 80 percent of the growth in Sarasota County schools.
One reason for the growth in young families and low impact fees for affordable housing. The city has areas such as Sabal Trace and Duck Key for high-end homes. In North Port Estates, many of the lots run to five acres, a paradise for horse-lovers.
North Port also is rich in recreational opportunities. There are two golf courses, one a par three, and another golf community in the planning stages. For fishing or boating, there are 144 miles of waterways in the city, some with direct access to the Myakka River.
The Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park stretches nine miles through the city and plans are underway to extend hiking trails throughout its length. Two large parks provide fields for soccer, little league baseball and Pop Warner football, as well as tennis, basketball and pavilions for picnicking.
Bike paths extend along most of the major thoroughfares, just for riding or for access to shopping plazas. The paths have numerous gazebos placed along tree and shrub-lined highways. The city has an ongoing beautification plan, which has earned it a Tree City USA designation.
North Port also is home to a number of civic, service and social clubs such as the Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary, as well as a VFW, Elks, American Legion and Marine Corps League, and others. And it has a strong Chamber of Commerce.
Many people come to North Port because of its proximity to the Warm Mineral Springs Spa, a mineral-rich, naturally-heated lake that keeps a constant temperature of 87 degrees. Some claim this was the original Fountain of Youth, and many of the people who use it say it improves their health. Thousands of people, many from European countries, visit it every year.
Its 250-foot deep waters is an archeologists' treasure, as is Little Salt Springs in North Port. Both springs were home to Indians 12,000 years ago, and researchers from the University of Miami are still exploring and bringing up artifacts from Little Salt Springs.
The city's industrial park is new, but already has Florida Power & Light as a tenant.
North Port is a city on the grow, with room for an eventual population of 250,000.

Useful Links:

Northport Chamber of Commerce  http://www.northportareachamber.com

City History of Port Charlotte

Located on the picturesque West Coast of Florida, between Sarasota and Fort Myers, the Charlotte County area is home to clear skies, pristine waters, and beautiful sunsets...
Port Charlotte - A small community in Charlotte County approximately halfway between Sarasota and Ft. Myers on the west coast of the state and more commonly known as the "Sun coast" of Florida. Located between the Peace and Myakka rivers we have access to both Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico from approximately 165 miles of navigable waterways 
Port Charlotte is a relatively new community developed in the late 1950's. It encompasses the unincorporated area of Charlotte County and is comprised mostly of single family homes with a spattering of condos and town homes. The county has an area of approximately 820 square miles and a population of approximately 127,000 (1995). Port Charlotte has a small town nature but offers the advantages of city life nearby. (Ft. Myers only 20 minutes and Sarasota only 40 minutes).
Port Charlotte is located North of the Peace River and has access to Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico via a series of canals and waterways that total more than 165 miles in length. There are miles of natural shoreline bordering the Harbor and rivers, making it an ideal choice for waterfront living. Port Charlotte offers recreational activities for every lifestyle, including golf courses, yacht clubs, parks, and more.
Port Charlotte Beach State Park has a wide expanse of sand where walking is a favorite pastime for many. Here you can kayak or canoe along the banks of the pristine Peace and Myakka Rivers.
Celebrated every Labor Day Weekend, Englewood commemorates the pioneers who were responsible for its origin in 1896. Golf and fishing tournaments, boat races and a huge parade bring this community to life. Other annual celebrations include an Art Guild Show, Seafood Festival, July Beach Bash with Fireworks, as well as the annual Turtle Watch. When Sea Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand.
Sunset ... it's the premiere thing that sets the West Coast of Florida apart from the rest of the state

City Of Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda is a charming and historic waterfront town. It is the county seat and the only incorporated city in Charlotte County. More than 100 years old, Punta Gorda features a quaint downtown with cobblestone streets and gas street lamps, with a 19th century Spanish charm. The city has acquired a State Historic District status, but Punta Gorda has more than history to draw visitors and new residents. The city's economy ranks highest in the country, with a projected job growth rate of 16.3% between now and 1999. The population of Punta Gorda is approximately 12,768.
Punta Gorda proper with its quaint, historical downtown, waterfront parks and population not much in excess of 12,768 provides residents with a charming and peaceful home environment yet allows for easy access to a wide array of amenities. The Fishermen's Village marina/ restaurant/ specialty shopping complex is situated right in the heart of Punta Gorda and just across the Peace River lies Port Charlotte with over 100,000 residents and a broad selection of shopping facilities, topped by an enclosed regional mall of over 1 million square feet.  
There is plenty of opportunity for golf and tennis in the immediate and surrounding areas. A plethora of locally sponsored festivals and cultural events, including the South Florida International Air Show held every spring at our local airport, ensure that there is almost always something special going on. For those so inclined, we have a number of nature preserves including one that offers tours by swamp bus and a 100 square mile state preserve for those who hunt with camera or gun.
The city consists of two parts, the original historic district with it's old quaint homes and shops, and the newer subdivisions of Punta Gorda Isles, Burnt Store Isles, and Seminole Lakes. Most of the subdivisions are located on a network of deep salt water canals, providing sail and power boat owners quick and easy access to Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico or they are located on or near Golf courses. These are deed restricted communities with city water and sewers, paved streets, and power, cable, and telephone service. The canal lots all have concrete sea walls maintained by the city. All residential improvements are upscale and are tightly controlled by the building commission. The vast amount of the land is zoned single family residence with small areas zoned for duplex or low rise multiples.
The city originally was founded in 1887 on the idea that all the waterfront land would be public parks. That changed when homeowners eventually outvoted the man running the city and started a new destiny for the town by the harbor.
The name Punta Gorda, which means "fat point" when translated from Spanish, was given to the city because a broad part of the land in Punta Gorda juts into Charlotte Harbor. The harbor itself is somewhat unique, as it is the point where the Peace River meets the ocean.
The city is bounded by the harbor on one side and by rural land on the other. That rural land is home to large tracts of citrus, cattle and swamp with ranchettes that produce meat and fruits. The rural land eventually meets up with the borders of North Fort Myers.
Civic involvement spills over into city commission meetings, where the town is still small enough for folks to know the mayor on a first-name basis.