Have you ever driven around areas of Sarasota or traveled to new neighborhoods and thought, “Hmm, I wonder how long this has been here?” With so many architectural landmarks and well-known haunts around town, it can feel as if everything about Sarasota is already known. But many unique places exist in-between the giant Selby Gardens or Ringling grounds places that we travel past every day.
Imagine taking a nice leisurely ride to some of the lesser-known, yet incredibly special places that Sarasota offers? You’ll be riding in a comfortable, air-conditioned trolley that has been thoroughly disinfected and allows for adequate social-distancing. You have what amounts to a delightful afternoon or evening in store. If you are sorely missing seeing some of Sarasota’s amazing sites but want to get out in a responsible, safe manner, Discover Sarasota Tours is waiting to show you around town.
Sarasota Tours History
In 2018, Tammy Hauser started Discover Sarasota Tours with three options. People could experience a Sarasota history tour, visit area destinations thought to be haunted, or hop aboard for a serious examination of our extensive circus history. As the popularity of the tours took off, Psychic Sundays, Rum Tours, and Tiki Trivia nights got added to appease the high demand of guests. The air-conditioned trolley and concise 90-minute joyrides became very popular with tourists and locals alike, all looking for a unique experience.
Fast forward to 2020, and trying to conduct business in the COVID-19 era we now live in can be tough. As such, while quarantine remained in place and tours on hold, Tammy’s ingenuity and desire to serve the residents of Sarasota in a fun, unique way piqued once again. Having purchased a vintage ice cream truck that she parked outside for tour clients to enjoy a cold treat while waiting for the trolleys, Tammy began taking the ice cream truck out on the road. She found a new clientele hungry for ice-cream and a novel way to distract from the stress of the times and enjoy a few minutes of old-fashioned fun. Before long, requests from neighborhoods, mom groups, and area businesses came flooding in. The Chill Mobile is still making stops around town and has gained immense popularity.
Passion at the Heart of Tours
At the heart of Tammy’s passion lies those tours that she loves. She is extremely excited to welcome people back on a Discover Sarasota Tour. With a theatrical background, Tammy and her staff love engaging guests with extra tidbits of hometown knowledge on their tour stops. They take every precaution necessary to protect guests. These include extensive sanitation measures, mask requirements, social distancing, and operating at 50% of capacity. Tammy doesn’t mince words describing the challenging environment businesses are now trying to survive in. “We re-opened to big fanfare with 20 tour-goers. However, a week later, we canceled all tours for July 4th as the virus infection numbers spiked again, and people canceled in droves. It is just a tough culture of fear that we hope we can survive.”
For a list of tours, you can currently enjoy, please visit our website. To request the Chill Mobile roll through your neighborhood, please check out this site. All tours depart from 1826 4th Street, Downtown Sarasota.
And, some big news! New Small Group Tour Options are Available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. for booking information.
Photos courtesy of Discover Sarasota Tours Facebook page.