Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Centers reverberate year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters, which allowed the teens who had previously been hand-setting the pins to focus on perfecting their jazz hands for upcoming street rumbles.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. They attempt to knock them down during leagues, club play, and events such as birthday parties and fundraisers.
Between frames, AMF keeps players energized at onsite food zones stocked with wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
Square One Burgers & Bar sates ravenous appetites with nine varieties of patties—including sashimi tuna and buffalo—and an extensive menu of savory burgers and sandwiches. The Aloha chicken gives a down-to-earth ground-chicken burger an otherworldly pineapple halo and a shroud of smoked bacon ($9.99). Ground buffalo meat, onion rings, and spicy beer-cheese mingle on the plains of the Buffalo Bob burger, which makes frontiersmen's hearts swell with both pride and bacon ($13.99). Those hungry for plant sinews can feast on the tomato hearts and avocado livers of the vegan veggie burger ($8.99), and then wash it down with a strawberry shake ($4.50), beer, liquor, or wine. Square 1's burger maestros pair all of the sandwich-related creations with a side of fries, steamed broccoli, or cole slaw and adorn bare burgers with a choice of 25 toppings, 12 cheeses, and 13 sauces.
Hearty brews from the local area, around the country, and all over the world take center stage at World of Beer Sarasota, with countless varieties on tap and hundreds of selections by the bottle. The selection is updated frequently, so each visit to World of Beer can mean discovering a new favorite brew. For those who aren't certified beerophiles, the modern brick-lined space also offers a selection of white and red wines. After grabbing a drink, patrons can head out to the outdoor patio to enjoy some of the bar's Rocky Patel cigars. In addition to serving the masses, World of Beer also hosts a constant stream of events, including ladies' nights, trivia nights, and performances from live bands.
Caddyshak Sports Bar & Grill adds a dash of scenery to its pancake breakfasts, overstuffed club and Cuban sandwiches, and Angus burgers. From the patio, guests can take in the idyllic beauty of the nearby lake and tune in to the frustrated yelps of golfers from the adjacent River Club Golf Course. Hash browns and hard lemonade in the morning lead to midday games of corn toss, which in turn lead to live music and lively dancing on the dance floor later on. Chicken caesar wraps and relish-topped hot dogs help diners to concentrate on their bluffing and memory skills during bouts of Buzztime poker and trivia, or during birthday toasts in one of Caddyshak's three party rooms.
If you part the fragrant, fruit-heavy branches of Mixon Fruit Farms’ citrus trees, you might spy an unusual sight: Burmese pythons and African land tortoises basking in the sunlight, surrounded by cages of roosting falcons.
The farm that began in 1939 as a 20-acre roadside fruit stand has stayed true to citrus farmer Willy Mixon’s vision of showcasing the region’s natural splendor. But in addition to an extra 250 acres of fruit trees, the farm has expanded its focus to include a wildlife refuge, where rescue volunteers nurse injured animals back to health and educate visitors on native and exotic species. The farm also hosts an on-site tropical garden along with dazzling koi ponds, and has a magical maze open to kids of all ages.
Along with daily tours of the grove and sanctuary, Mixon Fruit Farms also spotlights Florida’s bounty with citrus-infused ice cream, salads, and festive hats made of fruit at Groveside Café. Homemade fudge and orange juice also populate the 14,000-square-foot gift shop
Mark and Mary Devlin were once overseas-publishing magnates, creating, among other magazines, Metropolis_⎯the widely circulated weekly English-speaker’s guide to Tokyo⎯and the online newspaper _Japan Today. After 18 years of living in Japan, the couple moved with their two children to Sarasota, where they began yearning for the electrifying karaoke clubs so abundant in Tokyo. In particular, they missed the city’s private rooms, where friends can sing for each other or practice Nobel acceptance speeches without fear, and so the entrepreneurial clan decided to open their own hot spot, Kroaky’s, where a main lounge harmonizes with 10 fully equipped private chambers.
Since opening its doors, Kroaky's Karaoke has attracted droves of five-minute superstars, garnering attention from such media outlets as the Herald-Tribune. Along with the private rooms featuring full room service, Kroaky's webcam allows customers to view the lounge’s performances from home or broadcast the subliminal Soviet propaganda encoded in Starship’s "We Built This City."