Party-Centric Hotel Close to Florida’s Best Beaches
On a typical weekend night at Bentley’s Resort Hotel, there’s a crowd gathered around the Osprey Tiki Bar & Grille for live music and dancing. Guests can grab cocktails from the tiki bar and join in the festivities or simply kick back on a couch under one of the poolside palapas. During the day, take a dip in the large outdoor pool or head to the beach. Bentley’s provides free transportation to two of the best beaches on Florida's west coast: Siesta Key, Dr. Beach's best beach of 2011, and Nokomis Beach on Casey Key.
Almost every night there’s a stunning sunset on the Gulf coast. You can soak it up and then head to the hotel's ultrasleek Morgan’s Restaurant, where chefs uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create dishes such as grouper piccata. Later, the party shifts to the Underground Bar and Lounge, where DJs spin classic soul, Top 40, and electronic dreidels.
Like the restaurant and nightclub, accommodations at Bentley’s are modern and sleek. Bold artwork and modern fixtures adorn the euro-chic rooms, each one named after a station on the London Underground.
South Sarasota, Florida: Refuge for Endangered Birds and Artists
Just down the street from Bentley’s Resort Hotel, you’ll find the entrance to Oscar Scherer State Park, where stands of scrubby flatwood trees serve as a refuge for a threatened Florida bird species, the scrub jay. Keep an eye out for its sapphire-and-cream plumage while biking or hiking through the park's trails or canoeing the blackwater South Creek (canoe rentals are available at the ranger station).
Bookstores and art venues are plentiful a few miles up the road in Sarasota, an enclave for artists, writers, and musicians. It's worth it to take in a show at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, which frequently hosts Broadway and ballet. The building’s exterior is entirely purple, and the deep ridges of its iconic modern roof turn lilac in the Florida sun.