Most gift guides are full of things to give. How will this product enhance your life? How will this new toy bring some joy?
But the truth is, so many of the best things in life are experienced rather than purchased. For the next holiday, consider giving your loved one the gift of a truly unique outing they will never forget. Don’t worry—we have just the tips to get you started.
Kayak Lido Key with Kayaking SRQ Tours Local
190 Taft Dr., Sarasota, (941) 799-1863
When tourists first come to Sarasota, a kayaking tour through the mangroves generally tops recommendation lists. But once you live here for a few years, you stop doing the touristy things. Sooner or later, you wake up and realize it’s been years since you’ve explored the water in a real way. That’s why a two-hour guided mangrove tunnel kayaking tour with Kayaking SRQ Tours ($59 for adults and $49 for 12 and under) makes the perfect gift. This unique experience will show you a different side of the place you live.
Ride with Sarasota Bike Tours Local
2055 Siesta Drive, #25042, Sarasota, (941) 313-0613
Downtown Sarasota is a beautiful place to walk around, but how often do we really know the history of the buildings we pass? Better yet, how often do we pass them by bike? The downtown historic tour by Sarasota Bike Tours offers you the chance to do both. At $75 a person and a biking distance of 7 miles, this tour is a steal that will have you sweating, smiling and learning all at the same time.
Drink Wine at Painting with a Twist Local
5543 Palmer Crossing Circle, Sarasota, (941) 822-0357
One of the best ways to wind down is with a bottle of wine. But this Sarasota experience at Painting with a Twist allows you to both enjoy that glass of cabernet and paint a stunning design on a canvas. The class ranges from $37 to 55 per person depending on the size of the canvas. An on-site artist will give you expert tips as your creation slowly comes to life. The more the wine is flowing, the more inspired you’ll feel.
Boat Tour with Myakka Outdoors Local
13208 State Rd. 72, Sarasota, (941) 923-0220
A boat tour on the Myakka River will instantly transport you back to Old Florida. And is that really such a bad thing? As Sarasota gets increasingly built up, we get farther and farther from the origins of this once-rugged state. A pontoon tour on the Myakka River ($22 for adults, $12 for children 3 to 12 and free for children under 3) will expose you to all the wildlife that lives among us.
Cooking Classes with Giuliano Hazan Local
4471 S Shade Ave., Sarasota, (941) 363-1258
The next time someone asks you to whip up a sophisticated meal for a dinner party, you won’t feel stumped—that is, if you make it to one of Giuliano Hazan’s Italian cooking classes. The classes (at $160 per person for a daytime class and $185 per person for evening) teach students how to cook a four-course Italian meal and, luckily, enjoy the fruits of their labor at the very end.