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 is 20 minutes away, and Nokomis Beach on Casey Key is 8 minutes away.
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 lobster risotto. Later, the party shifts to the Underground Lounge Bar, where DJs spin classic soul and Top 40.
Like the restaurant and nightclub, accommodations at Bentley’s are stylish. Bold artwork and modern fixtures adorn the euro-chic rooms, each named after a station on the London Underground.
South Sarasota, Florida: Refuge for Endangered Birds and Artists
In Oscar Scherer State Park, stands of scrubby flat-wood trees serve as refuges for the scrub jay, a threatened Florida bird species. 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.