I love the outdoor life, but the expansive beaches and myriad golf courses here are only part of the draw. When a neighbor asked if I had been to Benderson Park and I replied no, she implored me to check it out. Just west of I-75 here in tropical Sarasota, the park is home to a triathalon, world class rowing — even dragon boat races. Additionally, it provides miles of manicured walking and biking paths.
Photo below credit to MySuncoast:
So I piled my puppy into the car and headed over. The park surrounds a small lake and is just as my neighbor described it. My pup and I walked various paths and saw paddle boarders, cyclists, recumbant bikers, roller bladers, joggers, and fellow dog-walkers. Several people were picknicking on the lush grounds surrounding the shimmering lake as the occasional fish jumped. We loved all the action.
The 600-acre park also has a small beach with lawn chairs where one can sit in the Florida sun and watch the different events. On the day I visited, the park was setting up for the Superhero 5K Run and the Suncoast Dragon Boat Festival. Future events will include a canoe and kayak regatta, an Easter sunrise service, Olympic trials, and sculling championships.
Photo above credit to Sarasota Patch
Unfortunately I missed the event entitled Pedal for Pups, but I think I will return for the Dragon Boat Fest. Who doesn’t love colorful Chinese boats gliding across a peaceful lake?
The Sarasota Spectator
Our Sarasota Spectator is Betsy Miller, a retired high school teacher and college professor. Originally from Columbus, Betsy has fallen in love with the Gulf Coast of Florida, especially Sarasota. Blogging about the area has been a creative outlet for the writer, opening up an avenue of exploration. You may find the bon vivant enjoying happy hour at a tiki bar, shopping on historic Main Street, or seated at a concert or show at a local theater. Chances are you also might find her buried in a book on one of our beautiful beaches. Asked to give one word about her feelings for Sarasota, Betsy replied, “Smitten.”