Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sarasota, Bradenton, and now just chilling in Bushnell, Florida…

2012-02-23 Lake Manatee State Park FL 024

2012-02-23 Lake Manatee State Park FL 037 copyWe left Lake Manatee State Park after only a two day stay. I really wanted to stay longer in the area but couldn’t find an affordable park for a short term. We really enjoyed our secluded site in the state park and it was close to all the beaches in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida.

2012-02-23 Lake Manatee State Park FL 042Our last day at Lake Manatee State Park was enjoyable as we took a driver over to Sarasota and Bradenton. Sarasota reminded me a bit of Naples, Florida as it was a larger more populous city with lots of shopping and bistros along the sidewalks. From Sarasota we made the drive over to the keys just off shore to check out the a few of the area beaches.

2012-02-23 Lake Manatee State Park FL 046We took 789 over to Lido Key and headed north taking in all the sights until we got to Coquina Beach on Longboat Key. The beach is fairly wide and stretches along the entire length of the Key. The beach was pretty crowded for a Thursday but it was warm and the surf was a moderate chop making for a pleasant beach stay.

Further north on 789 we stopped in at Holmes Beach which is even wider than Coquina and even more crowded. After walking along the shore people watching we had enough as there were tons of young kids on the beach. It was interesting to see a couple of Pentecostals at the beach in the normal garb rather than swimsuits.       

2012-02-23 Lake Manatee State Park FL 033We did see a nice pod of dolphins feeding in a cut just under a bridge. This was the same spot I caught several pinfish while trying my hand at fishing. I even caught a spider crab, a first for me… I  tried to throw it back but it kept coming ashore and the tourists kept playing with the ugly looking crab. We stayed and watched the dolphins frolicking in the sea until it was time to go.

The next morning we left the state park and landed at Red Oak RV park in Bushnell, Florida. We arrived here and set up camp in site 347, a nice large, open site with three big live oaks on it. The park is huge and mostly park models but there are still probably over 100 RV sites mixed in. We got here and the temperature was 84 but the next morning we were greeted to the mid fifties. It will be chilly and gray during our stay here for the next three days. Next it will be off to Jacksonville, Florida for another visit to the Mayo Clinic before turning westward…2012-02-23 Lake Manatee State Park FL 040


  1. You don't often see dolphin out of the water that much. Nice shots. I hope your trek north doesn't bring you too much cool weather...after all, you've been spoiled this winter.

  2. Nice dolphin pics. I tried and tried to get pics of the dolphins near Mustang Island but didn't have much luck.

  3. Great photos! We miss Bushnell and Florida Grande, but not too much. After all, we're in the Keys! But it's hot, and the nosee-ums are BAD because we haven't had any wind the past few days.

  4. I always love your photos, it makes me want to try Florida one of these winters.

  5. Great photos as usual.

    We wanted to go to Mayo but they told us that we had to agree to pay up to 15% more for our care than Medicare would cover. That made us a little concerned and good thing given what happened.

    I'll be wishing I was north with you when summer rolls around here.
    We had planned to be in New England and the Maritimes for the summer after traveling up through the state parks in the Panhandle in April. But you know what happens to plans.

  6. Very enjoyable photos. Really like the first one of the pelican and the dolphin. Got a laugh out of your comment about the Pentecostals on the beach. Reminded me of a youth pastor I once had. Insisted that females only wear skirts, even when we had an outing to the snow. We could wear pants under the skirts but had to have skirts on top!! Go figure...

  7. I like your dolphin photos but I really love the photo of the little guy riding the big bird. That's so cool.

  8. Hey Duke!
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blog posts about Coquina Beach to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you :)