Where to Go Around Sarasota, FL When Red Tide Rolls In
As the dog days of summer linger, the thought of diving into a cool, crisp body of water sounds so tantalizing. Whether you’re waiting in traffic with broken A/C, or just running errands and dodging into the ice-cold air and darting out into what feels like Hell’s kitchen, Florida summers can be brutal and send you running for the nearest beach and open waterway. But what happens when you are met with a beach carpeted with dead fish, a wretched stench and a sudden uncontrollable cough signifying yet another bout of red tide? Well, if you don’t have a pool in your backyard as Plan B, we have you covered with economical and fun ways to cool down in the water while the temperatures are still on the rise.
If you haven’t been to Sun N Fun RV Resort lately you are missing out on a great day at the pool without breaking the bank. And, might we add—the pool has expanded to include giant water slides, climbing wall, bungee bouncing, bucking shark rides, trampolines and even more for the kids. Meanwhile, the adults can enjoy lounging around the pool sipping an iced beverage from the poolside bar while waiting for lunch to come out from the restaurant. For a mere $5 per person Monday through Friday, guests can purchase a wristband that entitles them usage of the pool, jacuzzi, and giant water slide. The same band is $7 on the weekends. A $15 band gets you access to every attraction there which will prevent you from hearing “I’m bored” from your kids even once. On Mondays, families can enjoy a four pack of daily passes, hot dog for all, a bucket of French fries and a pitcher of soda for just $35. They have other specials throughout the week, you can check out their monthly calendars on the Sun N Fun RV Resort Facebook page for more information.
Another option for water relaxation can be found at Selby Aquatic Center and Water Park located at 8501 Potter Park Drive in Sarasota. This local fun spot is now run by the nonprofit group, Sarasota Sharks, Inc. The water park is open to the public on the weekends from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. during summer break which ends on August 12. Admission is $12 for everyone, including YMCA members. Amenities include pools, slides, splash pad and toddler play area. A concession stand offers inexpensive lunch and snack items.
Lido Beach Pool offers daily passes for $4/adults and $2/kids and seniors and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 A.M. to 4:45 P.M. weather permitting. The park is closed on Mondays. Pack your picnic and take a dip. Afterwards you can get a well-deserved ice cream cone from the nearby beach restaurants. Arlington Park and Aquatic Center also offers inexpensive day passes at $4/adults and $2/ kids and seniors. With several pools, including a progressive pool for diaper-aged children, a family pool for families of all ages, and an Olympic size lap pool, everyone will be able to get their water fun on as they see fit. Running through the Splash Pad at Bayfront Park is a right of passage for local Sarasota kids and the young at heart so make sure you visit this cooling off destination this summer. With a backdrop of yachts, Sarasota Bay, O’Leary’s, Marina Jack and the awesome playground there, you can turn this excursion into an afternoon event.
Red tide, a naturally-occurring alga has been on the books as part of Florida’s aquatic history since the 1840’s. Others would argue Lake Okeechobee and the sugar industry are increasing the frequency and duration of algae blooms. We are here to argue neither point. As Floridians and humans, we encourage our lawmakers to not let the shadow of lobbyists outweigh your duties to protect our precious lands and waters. In the meantime, we hope we’ve reminded you of some of Sarasota’s other aquatic wonders for those days when red tide is keeping you from the beach or you need a quick dip in a great pool to refresh your body and spirits.
Photos courtesy of Swimming Facebook page.
Arlington Park and Aquatic Center, Jodi Schwarzenbach, Lido Beach pool, Marina Jack, O'leary's, red tide, Sarasota Bay, Selby Aquatic Center and Water Park, splash pad at Bayfront Park, Sun N Fun RV Resort