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Englewood Unveiled: A Fresh Slice of Old Florida

EnglewoodAerialI was recently treated to a grand tour of Englewood and the surrounding areas. Located between Sarasota and Fort Myers, water surrounds this laidback community that rests within both Sarasota and Charlotte County. Not having spent ample time within its borders, I was fortunate to find Michael Saunders & Company Realtor Pam Neer, who served as the ideal guide for my day trip. With a home in the area for over 24 years, Pam is a virtual custodian of the area’s history, natural beauty, recreational pursuits, and easy-going charm. Together, we explored all over Englewood, Manasota Key, Cape Haze and Placida, and only then did I truly begin to understand the depth of its many offerings. MapPam stared our tour with a map (yes, an actual map) emphasizing the many points where land touches sea.

DearbornWe began on Englewood’s Historic Dearborn Street colored by quaint shops, antique stores, restaurants, and an old Florida allure.

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Dearborn3 LemonBayLemon Bay Park was the first of many parks we visited throughout the day. I was rather impressed by what I can only call a “caring stewardship” of Englewood’s natural beauty – which all the residents seem to share. BirdingPam explained that birding is a huge recreational hobby for many of the area’s residents. Locals also love spending time on the beaches, fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and sailing. Not to mention, numerous golf courses, tennis clubs, and cultural venues round out the area’s impressive array of recreational offerings. Manasota KeyA trip over the bridge to Manasota Key. It was clear to me that homeowners on this barrier island live in something of a residential dream. The relaxed, tropical setting and slow pace of island living was refreshingly transformative even for the brief tour I was given. Hermitage manasotard CookieHouseOnce we were off the Key, Pam and I stopped at “the Cookie House” in Cedar Environmental Point Park. I learned about a great number of programs that are run by the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center including a Wading Sea-grass Adventure! Anyone want to go with me?

CapeHazeWe then explored the peninsula of Cape Haze, a lovely community where water canals and streets often seemed to be one and the same. Oh, and I got to see two dolphins!!!!!!!!!

PalmIslandTransitAfter years of hearing about Palm Island (a tropical paradise only reachable by boat!), I watched the ferry cross the intracoastal to its shores with a child-like fascination.

PlacidaMy favorite leg of the journey was in Placida. A colorful area set in a tapestry of mangroves, water, and sky, the scenery was both incredibly vivid and relaxed. Establishments like the Margaret Albritton Gallery and Fishery Restaurant added to the tropical charm.Placida2

PlacidaHatch

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PlacidaFlamingos PlacidaBoatThis old fishing boat was really there; the scene was so surreal I felt like I was walking through an old painting. But the smell of salt water and the feel of the warm Florida sun authenticated that this was not some dream world from the past. GrandeToursSpeaking of a dream world from the past, our last stop of the day was at Grande Tours. This kayak and paddleboard center was so picturesque, if I’d only worn shorts and a hat, I’d have left dry land and spent the rest of my day coasting through mangrove tunnels. GrandTours2 All in all, the day was rather refreshing for a Sarasota girl. The Englewood area is filled with a rich history and incredible natural splendor. What’s more, it is a community where the citizens are passionate about not only preserving the environment, but partaking in its beauty while improving it for future generations. Driving north along I-75 after my day’s excursions, I couldn’t help but reflect on the day. And I tried to hang on for a few more moments to a rather unexpected result – a sense of serenity.

  • User Gravatar Mary Smedley
    July 9th, 2013

    This is so great. Pam Neer is such a great tour guide! I am so lucky to have her as part of my great team of Champions. Kathryn, it was so awesome of you to spend time with us!

  • User Gravatar Pam Taylor
    July 12th, 2013

    This is very interesting and educational!
    Thank you!

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