What is the best thing about living on an island in Sarasota?
Is it the laid-back, easy mind-set that influences everyday life, from play to work? The vibrant menagerie of wildlife right outside your front door? Perhaps you love fresh seafood or regular trips to collect seashells against a sunset backdrop.
Whatever your reason, Siesta Key resident and luxury Realtor® Judie Berger says there is a lot to appreciate about island life.
Originally from New Jersey, Berger visited Sarasota in 1990 and felt so at ease among the area’s natural beauty that she eventually decided to stay. She says, “Every evening, about an hour before sunset, there’s a magical time when the light plays upon colors: the greens of trees, the blues of the gulf, and the whites of the sand. There’s a special glow that I haven’t seen anywhere else. I am so fortunate to live here—when you love where you live, each day feels like a vacation.”
Since 1999, Berger has helped others find their own personal paradise as a top-selling Realtor® at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, buying and selling unique homes along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Specializing in waterfront and island properties, she handles residences in scenic locations along the coast, including Siesta Key, Longboat Key, Lido Key, Casey Key, and Anna Maria Island. Seen as a real estate matchmaker, she works closely with those seeking a blissful beach lifestyle and homeowners looking to sell their current home.
When it comes to island living, here are six of Berger’s favorite things:
The Great Outdoors
There’s just something about being close to nature that is good for the spirit. “After 30 years, I am still amazed at the various types of wildlife,” says Berger. “Whether it’s fish jumping in the water, dolphins in the bay, manatees lazily floating along, or all the extraordinary birds—herons, ibis, egrets, osprey, eagles, spoonbills—it’s incredible. Just outside your door!” Surrounded by the region’s extraordinary flora and fauna, each day can’t help but feel beautiful.
Sarasota’s crystalline aqua waters mean abundant recreational activities. Living near world-famous beaches such as Siesta Beach or Lido Beach means you can walk, jog, swim, snorkel, or paddleboard year-round. If you want to keep your toes mostly dry, there’s kayaking in the mangroves, boating around the keys, or fishing by land or by sea. Parks offer additional activities—soccer, baseball, and flag football—while biking is a smooth, convenient way to get around.
Large full-time populations on Sarasota’s islands promote close-knit communities where families feel safe and flourish. Find friends at local eateries or events such as art and craft festivals, and meet the neighborhood while treasure-hunting at yard sales. On top of the benefits of spending time outdoors, children on the island can attend one of Sarasota’s excellent academic programs, like the acclaimed Pine View School.
Good Eats, Shopping, and Nightlife
Sarasota’s expanding foodie scene hasn’t skipped the islands, whose central hubs light up with live music, fine dining, and laughter throughout the week. Beyond amazing seafood, there’s easy access to tasty world cuisines, including Italian, Peruvian, French, Asian, Vietnamese, and German. Berger enjoys taking visitors to appreciate The Summer House in Siesta Village, and residents on Lido Key can take a stroll for the sights, restaurants, and shops on St. Armands Circle.
A Perfect Fit
Choosing a home off the mainland doesn’t mean design options are limited. Properties range from picturesque 1940s beach cottages and vintage midcentury moderns to single-family ranch-style homes and ultra-luxury mansions nestled right on the coast, with multifamily households in every shape and price range.
The Beach Breeze
It’s hard to talk to family and friends (especially those up North) about island weather and not feel like you’re bragging. Relaxing on the white sand beach by the clear aqua waters of the Gulf of Mexico, you can often see storm clouds gathering on the mainland while the island remains warm in the sunshine and salt spray. The gulf to bay breezes do a great job of maintaining a balmy temperature, making outdoor living and entertaining a highlight of each day. Anyone for a piña colada by the pool?
Learn more about waterfront living by visiting Berger's website or contacting 941.928.3424.