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Old 10-08-2012, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Miami
3 posts, read 8,617 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi ,
We are moving to Sarasota with 2 school age children. My husband is set on a waterfront property with a nice lot size, he has looked at gulf front homes on Siesta Key. I visited Siesta Key and Sarasota a few years back but didn't know we would be moving there and didn't pay any attention to schools and neighborhoods.
We currently live in a gated community close to everything in Miami. Midtown, the design district and its restaurants are within walking distance and the beaches and Lincoln rd are a 5 minute ride away. Our kids currently attend private school and loves it. Basically we love it where we are, but have to make this move and need to pick the right neighborhood.
I am looking for a safe,walkable neighborhood with families that have young children. We have a baby, a 8 year old and a 11 year old. Their hobbies are baseball, dance, theater, swimming,fishing and spending time with their friends.
Are there many families on Siesta Key? Where and what are the older kids tweens and teenagers into when not busy with school?
What other areas are nice? Again large waterfront lots are important.
I looked at Harbor acres and Cherokee Park.
Would love some input
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:46 PM
 
1,235 posts, read 3,511,611 times
Reputation: 973
Hi, yes, there are a ton of families on Siesta Key. Harbor Acres & Cherokee park are both nice family neighborhoods as well. You won't find a lot of gated neighborhoods in the area. It's more like "pocket" neighborhoods. Alot of kids on Siesta & near areas play sports at Glebe Park on the key. There are many more sports clubs & activities available for kids all over the city. As far as walkable districts with restaurants, you have Southside village & Siesta village from the areas you mentioned.

The key question is- what kind of waterfront & price point are you needing. There is gulf, bay, canal & lagoon on Siesta. Harbor Acres offers some bayfront but available properties are limited.

And what does "large" mean to you in terms of lot size?
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:24 PM
 
398 posts, read 784,946 times
Reputation: 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by miamilisa View Post
Hi ,
We are moving to Sarasota with 2 school age children. My husband is set on a waterfront property with a nice lot size, he has looked at gulf front homes on Siesta Key. I visited Siesta Key and Sarasota a few years back but didn't know we would be moving there and didn't pay any attention to schools and neighborhoods.
We currently live in a gated community close to everything in Miami. Midtown, the design district and its restaurants are within walking distance and the beaches and Lincoln rd are a 5 minute ride away. Our kids currently attend private school and loves it. Basically we love it where we are, but have to make this move and need to pick the right neighborhood.
I am looking for a safe,walkable neighborhood with families that have young children. We have a baby, a 8 year old and a 11 year old. Their hobbies are baseball, dance, theater, swimming,fishing and spending time with their friends.
Are there many families on Siesta Key? Where and what are the older kids tweens and teenagers into when not busy with school?
What other areas are nice? Again large waterfront lots are important.
I looked at Harbor acres and Cherokee Park.
Would love some input
A simple search might help with your research while you wait for answers to start coming in:

//www.city-data.com/forum/searc...searchid=78807
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,824,998 times
Reputation: 2858
Hi miamilisa,

I too have an 8 year old and I also have a 14 year old. We are currently homeschooling but my kids have attended various local schools as have I. They also have several friends who live on the local keys. I grew up in the area as well, so I'm pretty familiar with the local schools, areas and what's happening with the "kids scene", etc.

There are several park and beach accesses on Siesta. Here is a list of them: Siesta Key Parks - Sarasota Florida Recreational Areas
Many of the kids on Siesta go to Glebe Park, which is a 10 acre park that includes a covered playground, picnic area, soccer field, baseball field and basketball court. Some of my daughters friends play lacrosse at this park as well.

Many of the kids also enjoy skim boarding, skateboarding, fishing, kayaking, sailing, rowing and your more traditional sports like baseball, football, soccer, dance, etc.

There are a few different options as far as schools go on the key. You have Pine View School for the Gifted. This is a public school which requires an IQ of 130, placement/achievement tests, a certain GPA, teacher recommendations and you must reside in Sarasota county. 99% of the kids who graduate from this school go on to attend college. It services 2nd-12th grades. My oldest graduated from Pine View and now attends New College in Sarasota and my middle daughter attended Pine View from 2nd-7th grades. I think it's a great school for the right kid. My oldest flourished and my middle girl did not. Welcome to Pine View School

If you're looking at private schools I would recommend looking into Out of Door Academy. It is a well known and respected school in the area. The school was founded in 1924: The Out-of-Door Academy If you wanted to look at Montessori you might want to look into New Gate, The NewGate-Field School - Home

For traditional public schools you would have Phillipi Shores Elementary School, Brookside Middle and Sarasota High for the Siesta Key area. Make sure to check the school boundaries because they could shift if a new school opens.

Then you have the various parochial schools, depending on your preference. And of course, the virtual school/online schools, like Florida Virtual School: Online High School | Online Middle School | Grades K-12 | Florida Virtual School My middle daughter has been doing FLVS for about two years now and loves it.

Here is the website for the Sarasota county schools: Sarasota County Schools, Home You can also check out Great Schools: GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community

What type of waterfront are you looking for-Beach front, bay front, sailboat water, standard canal front? What size home? I'm guessing at least four bedrooms due to your family size. Are you OK with an older home or do you strictly want newer? Do you want gated? What style home-ranch, modern, Key West? Do you want to stay in Sarasota county or would you go to Manatee or Charlotte counties? If you can answer a few of these questions I can narrow the list down quite a bit.

On the mainland in Sarasota you have Bayview Parkway, Harbor Acres, Cherokee Park, Oyster Bay Estates.

The Indian Beach area in northern Sarasota has some larger waterfront lots.

There are a few larger lots on some of the other keys-Longboat Key, Casey Key, Manasota Key, Lido Key, Venice Island, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach, etc

Sorrento Shores in Osprey has some decent size waterfront lots. The homes in this development were built between the mid 1960's and mid 1990's.

In Manatee county you have Bayou Hammock out on Longboat Key. Although I loved spending some of my childhood close to Bayou Hammock, on the northern end of Longboat, this key does have more of a seasonal feel to it. There are still some kids who live in "the North Village" but there is also a good mix of retirees. The Dream Island and Sleepy Lagoon sections (located a little farther south on LBK) are also another option that has a similar feel to the village.

Hawk Island in Bradenton is one of SW FL's premier gated boating communities and has quick access to the Gulf of Mexico.

Key Royale is located on Holmes Beach. Many of the homes in this development were built in the 1960's and 1970's but have been remodeled.

Terra Ceia in Bradenton has many homes located right on Terra Ceia Bay, built in the early 2000's and Key West Style. There are also a few older historical homes in Terra Ceia.

In Charlotte county you would have the Cape Haze area, which has a few larger, waterfront lots. Grassy Point Estates in Port Charlotte has many waterfront homes on larger lots-located right on Charlotte Harbor. It's gated and has its own private yacht basin.

If you're looking for complete seclusion then you should look to where I spent the second half of my childhood-Little Gasparilla Island and the nearby islands of Palm Island and Don Pedro. This island is only accessible by boat and has many gulf to bay waterfront lots.

Here are a few blogs that I wrote about the area that may interest you:

What I love about Charlotte and Sarasota counties-
//www.city-data.com/blogs/blog1...charlotte.html

Fun things to do with kids:
//www.city-data.com/blogs/blog1...s-do-kids.html

What about Sarasota and Manatee schools?
//www.city-data.com/blogs/blog1...y-schools.html

Tell me why I wouldn't want to live in Florida:
//www.city-data.com/blogs/blog1...ldnt-want.html

Florida flood insurance and flood zone info:
//www.city-data.com/blogs/blog1...zone-info.html

Siesta, Longboat, Lido and Manasota Key from a natives view:
//www.city-data.com/blogs/blog1...s-natives.html

Downtown Sarasota living:
//www.city-data.com/blogs/blog1...ta-living.html

Fun Florida family activities:
//www.city-data.com/blogs/blog1...-sarasota.html

If you're looking at Siesta Key, there are a few options. There are several other neighborhoods with larger waterfront lots and since you mentioned Siesta, I thought I'd go more in depth with that area.

Bay Island is situated at the north end of the island and offers prime canal front and waterfront property opportunities. The homes here boast views of the Sarasota skyline as well as the Bay that are simply unbelievable.

No matter what size or style of home you are seeking you will find plenty of options represented at Bay Island, including bungalows that hearken back to the 1950s, quaint 1930 style cottages and sprawling modern estates. If you are looking for a showplace with deep water access so that you can bring your boat, you should definitely consider property on Norsota. The homes here are ideal for sailing enthusiasts and those who want to be able to easily cruise the Bay. Situated on Big Pass, Bay Island offers direct Gulf access to prospective buyers with a love of fishing for the many spectacular species of fish that make their home in the local waters.

Bay Island is actually separated from Siesta Key by canals, but it is still considered to be part of gorgeous Siesta Key. The world famous Siesta Key Beach is situated only five minutes to the south of Bay Island. One of the wonderful benefits of living in Bay Island is that you can enjoy convenient and easy proximity to Downtown Sarasota as well as the amenities that area has to offer, including the arts and culture scene with its many art galleries, museums, theaters, concerts, the symphony, orchestra and ballet. At the same time, you will be within just minutes of the beach on gorgeous Siesta Key.

Next you would have Coconut Bayou. Coconut Bayou offers spacious lot sizes that are the envy of many. This exclusive development is situated on the northern end of Siesta Key Island and encompasses Cedar Park Circle and Little Pond Lake. The residents of this beautiful neighborhood receive access to a private beach right on the Gulf of Mexico through a gated pathway. The beach is actually deeded to the residents who live in Coconut Bayou. Many of the homes in this premier neighborhood provide water frontage and are situated along the Roberts Bay side of the island. Complete with jetties, these estates are ideal for docking your boat. The surrounding waterways have been dredged, meaning you can easily accommodate a larger vessel if you enjoy cruising and sailing.

Tour Coconut Bayou and you will find that many of the homes are situated behind lush foliage, giving the impression of being in their own remote island location far away from everything else. At the same time, residents are able to enjoy remaining near all of the major amenities and services of the local area.

Then there's Fiddlers Bayou. Fiddler Bayou is one of the most historic neighborhoods in the Sarasota area. Named for the red fiddler crabs that once inhabited the area, this neighborhood has been the home of a well known author and continues to draw residents because of its peaceful tranquility. Fiddler Bayou is located on the far northern tip of Siesta Key.

One of the things residents of Fiddler Bayou most appreciate about living here is the fact that you can feel as though you are far removed from everything in your own private oasis, while at the same time remaining near the amenities of Sarasota. The docks in this little enclave of seclusion provide an atmosphere that is reminiscent of living in an old-Florida style fishing village. As you gaze out over the lagoon it is easy to believe that you are miles and miles away from everything.

While it might seem as though you are secluded away, in reality, residents of Fiddler Bayou are able to enjoy the many amenities afforded by Sarasota within just a few minutes of leaving their homes. Downtown Sarasota is well known for its vibrant art and culture scene, providing entertainment options such as museums, art galleries, live theater, the symphony, ballet, orchestra, concerts, etc. St. Armand’s is also conveniently located nearby, offering world renowned dining and shopping opportunities.

The surrounding area is known for offering some of the best boating and fishing in this part of the state. There are numerous docks and marinas as well as fishing piers where you can take advantage of the ability to spending your day angling or simply cruising the Gulf.

Hidden Harbor is another Siesta Key neighborhood with larger lots. The exclusive community of Hidden Harbor is situated only a short distance from the sugary white sandy beaches of Siesta Key. One of the benefits of living in this area is the deep water frontage. If you are an avid boater or fisherman, this is where you will want to be. Estate homes in Hidden Harbor are located on canals that are ideal for sailboats as well as along Sarasota Bay. Furthermore, residents are able to benefit from close proximity to a variety of dining, shopping and entertainment venues on the island.

One of the most beautiful neighborhoods on Siesta Key, Hidden Harbor is situated amidst lush tropical landscaping, Spanish moss and old growth oaks. The surrounding setting is so tranquil you may just feel as though you have walked into your own private paradise. Rest assured there are plenty of recreational activities right around the corner from Hidden Harbor.

If the idea of living on a tropical island appeals to you, Point Crisp on Siesta Key is an option that should not be overlooked. Point Crisp is actually a peninsula that extends out into the Intracoastal Waterway on the east side of the island slightly south of Stickney Point Bridge. One of the premier benefits of this location is that it affords excellent access for boaters. This area is quite lush and tropical, providing residents with the sense of living on their own little private island. You might even find it difficult to realize that you are as close to civilization as you actually are, but Sarasota is only a short distance from here.

If you are looking for a palatial showplace where you can gaze out over the water from your own residence, Point Crisp is definitely a place to consider. Many of the homes here have been built in recent years and a good number of them are situated right on the edge of the water.

Sanderling Club on Siesta Key is one of the most exclusive communities on the island. Here you will find some of the most breathtaking waterfront properties, not only on the island, but also on the west coast of Florida. Located along the white powdery sands of the local beach, this gated community is comprised of spacious single-family homes. Nestled along the southern end of the island, Sanderling Club represents the best of Florida style living. Many of the homes in this community are situated right on the beach, meaning you can practically step right outside your back door and take a stroll in the sand. Most of the lots in The Sanderling are at least an acre, which is rare on Siesta Key. Sanderling also has their own private beach.

If you enjoy boating and fishing, you will love the fact that there are also several homes in Sanderling Club that feature docks on Heron Lagoon. It simply could not be any easier to enjoy a life of luxury and spend time on the water when you have your own boat dock.

Hope you found this of some help and good luck with your home search
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Bradenton, FL
192 posts, read 282,245 times
Reputation: 87
Avoid Manatee, at all costs.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
1,642 posts, read 3,177,566 times
Reputation: 813
Even though I am a strong advocate for Sarasota (we love it), I think you should be prepared for a dramatic difference. The criteria you are requesting will be tough, so there is sure to be a serious adjustment period.

You might end up loving it (I hope so), but if you do, it will likely be for reasons different to those in Miami.

Best of luck.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, FL
192 posts, read 282,245 times
Reputation: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rushmore View Post
Even though I am a strong advocate for Sarasota (we love it), I think you should be prepared for a dramatic difference. The criteria you are requesting will be tough, so there is sure to be a serious adjustment period.

You might end up loving it (I hope so), but if you do, it will likely be for reasons different to those in Miami.

Best of luck.
He just summed it up completely.
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