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Make a Smart move... Come see why Bay Street Village & Towncenter is a Smart location for your business: Great location with high visibility on US 41 (over 45,000 cars per day) Green/Sustainable design and high quality new construction Situated among boutique shops and restaurants in a charming hometown atmosphere Flexible spaces to accommodate a wide range of size needs Ample and convenient parking

Let us work with you to customize a plan tailored to your unique needs. Call for your personal appointment today. Professional office suites available for sale or lease. Ideal for doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals.

Live Healthy. Work Smart. Play Well. 3983 Destination Drive #104 Osprey, FL 1.941.966.9188

listen very carefully and you might hear . . .

a five star o p portunity is whisperin g

Nestled along the pristine coastline of Longboat Key on Florida's West Coast, Bleu Claire brings a new level of exclusivity to beachfront condominium living, with only 11 to be built estate residences from 4,000 square feet. Inspired by the villas of the French Riviera, the community’s understated elegance reflects the beauty of its natural surroundings and the enchanting views of the Gulf of Mexico while offering environmentally green construction and surprising amenities.. From the $3 millions USD. Penthouses from the $5 millions USD. Call 941.744.7441 or visit













4015 Hawk Island Drive – Hawk Island

Home is where the yacht is at this exclusive, Gated, Boating community offers direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. You will enjoy panoramic views of the Manatee River throughout this exquisite estate home. This is a unique waterfront masterpiece. 3 guest suites each with its own bath, secluded upstairs retreat, and for privacy the master suite is located on the opposite side of the residence with separate sitting area, dressing area, large walk-in closets with custom shelving. The master bath is complete with soaker tub, roman shower and separate water closet. Tile flows throughout, striking faux finish accents, exceptional cabinetry, Fine Art Lamp fixtures, Available fully furnished with professionally selected quality pieces that complete the remarkable design. Surrender to the mesmerizing views of the Manatee River and waterfront lifestyle of this stunning estate. Enjoy the luxury of having a private boat dock located directly across from the residence on a deep water 120' wide private canal able accommodate sizeable vessels, and complete with two jet skis. Plans for a riverside observation deck are underway to take advantage of the areas renowned fishing. Offered at $2,399,000. The neighboring 1/2 acre estate lot is available for purchase – build your dream home at 4019 Hawk Island Drive listed for $999,000.

7551 Tortoise Way – Gator Creek

Everything begins to gently slow as one weaves their way through the prestigious Gator Creek community; an ultra exclusive gated neighborhood with long-established men's golf club, secluded acreage home sites and equestrian friendly environment. Expansive hammocks of mature oaks draped with shadowy moss create mesmerizing canopied landscapes. A sprawling southern plantation style residence, this incredible home features over 5500sf of living space, 4 bedroom suites, media room, library, formal living and dining rooms, beautiful pool area and 3 car garage. This estate home is set deeply on a 6.5 acre estate. Surrounded by alluring equine fencing and picturesque pastoral terrains, this estate comes complete with a horse stable featuring four stalls and two tack rooms. Offered at $1,350,000. The neighboring 7.5 acre parcel is also available for purchase for $400,000. Enjoy the peaceful serenity of Gator Creek with the convenience of exceptional dining and shopping just minutes away. Take advantage of all the benefits of living just on the edge of town, a secluded sanctuary tucked away from the urban chaos, while still being in close vicinity to the revered Cultural Coast's arts and cultural attractions and celebrated beaches.

Contact Laura Tracy-Clekis for more information or to schedule a personal home demonstration of these marvelous properties. Laura Tracy-Clekis, GRI ® REALTOR , Luxury Residential Specialist direct 1-941-915-4167 fax 1-888-866-8794

CONTENTS Volume 1 Issue 2 ADDY




2009 ADDY Award Winner

PUBLISHER’S PAGE ...................................................................... 8 ......................................................................8 WELCOME .................................................................................... 10 INTRODUCTION .............................................................................12 SUN COAST .................................................................................. 14 VILLA TOSCANA ON CASEY KEY/Deborah Beacham ...................20 CULTURAL COAST .......................................................................24 PARADISE COAST .........................................................................42

DEPARTMENTS REAL ESTATE LAW by Lauren P. Kohl florida real property title tips ...............................................................54


IMMIGRATION LAW by Victoria Karins united states.................................................................................... visa options 53 CROSS BORDER ESTATE PLANNING by David A. Altro buying u.s. property the .................................................................... right way 64


gobal glo

.com mag s e hom ri da o l f . www



e're extremely pleased to have received such an overwhelming thumbs-up to the inaugural issue of Florida Homes Magazine’s Gulf Coast Lifestyle Edition. The printed publication was welcomed with stupendous approval locally and internationally, while our Web site experienced a large volume of visitors from around the globe. For the month of April over 4,000 visits from over 6 countries were received on the award-winning Florida Homes Magazine Web site, We will continue to improve and increase our internet visibility. Our commitment remains––to utilize available technology to bring you the best possible resources and assist you in your search for the perfect home in paradise. About the Publisher: Canadian-born Mike Mattina has a passion for the Florida Gulf Coast lifestyle. A successful entrepreneur, his personal search for a home in Florida exposed a great need for area information not easily attained, and has propelled his present desire to assure comprehensive relocation, vacation and real estate information is readily available to international buyers seeking the Florida lifestyle.

Season…What Season? I hear all the time that “season is over.” The “Official Season” of the Southwest Gulf Coast (January through April) has concluded...but has it? Unlike in years past, the interest in real estate on Florida's Southwest Coast has not waned and continues to set volume records. Both in the arenas of homes sold as well as pending home sales, Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast is experiencing quite an increase in real estate activity. Leading real estate companies are reporting a tremendous increase in calls received and contracts written. Some of the area homes are receiving multiple offers––often resulting in bidding wars––a phenomenon not seen in quite a while. Saying that, I think it is important to not think of it as the season being over but rather that season is just beginning! The national and international snowbirds are planning now for their return. Formulating and researching property takes them an average of 6 months––in print and online––in order to feel comfortable with their decisions. The importance of reaching them where they live during this time period cannot be overstated. Economic Confidence Uptick. Home sales in major markets around the country have shown dramatic gains in the past month while consumers are feeling better about their economic future. In Florida statewide sales jumped by 30 percent in March over year-earlier levels and were up 33 percent over the previous month. Even condo sales were up by 25 percent. The infamous “bottom” we've all been anxiously awaiting appears to be on the horizon. Some of the lowest real estate prices in history, interest rates hovering around 4.78 percent and lenders back in the game…savvy investors are again jumping on the real estate express. ALL ABOARD! We Appreciate Our Advertisers. Special thanks to our Florida Homes Magazine advertisers who not only make our publication possible but provide valuable resources to our readers. We look forward to our future success in delivering the best of the Gulf Coast Florida Lifestyle.


FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE Naples Florida's Most Aggressively Priced Properties

TERRABELLA @ PELICAN MARSH 2-story villa with lake and golf views, 4BR+den, 4.5BA, cabana suite, heated pool/spa REDUCED TO $1,780,000

MOORINGS BAYFRONT HOME 265 ft. seawall w/NO BRIDGES to Gulf. Totally remodeled 5 BR/4 BA. Dramatic & Unique Estate Home $2,950,000

PELICAN BAY – CRESCENT Coach home w/2 c garage. 3 BR/Fam Rm/2.5 BA Gated Beachfront Community. Granite kitchen, fresh paint, shutters, mint cond. $699,900


(239) 290-5236 / (239) 860-1923




Your Paradise Lifestyle Awaits

Welcome to the life and lifestyle of endless sunshine and swaying palms that is the allure of Florida's Southwest Coast. Where near perfect weather year-round, the romance of sun swept beaches and magnificent sunsets attract visitors and seasonal residents alike. Consistently ranked in the TOP destinations, as well as one of the best places to live work and play, this area offers first-class accommodations, nationally ranked beaches, a rich history and a glimpse into the majestic wildlife that makes this region of the country so special. Award-winning communities, top-ranked golf courses, endless waterways and the relaxed Florida lifestyle create a unique harmony and global appeal. Since the late 1800's, Southwest Florida has been a popular destination for those seeking a warm therapeutic climate, resort amenities and sophisticated recreation. Her earliest “snow-birds” were industrialists and aristocracy. Today, their vision of the ultimate paradisiacal lifestyle lives on in the array of resort hotels, museums, world-class restaurants, recreational and professional sports, first-rate boating and fishing opportunities, world famous beaches and extraordinary cultural amenities. Allow us to guide you on your ultimate Southwest Florida excursion. Featuring the vibrence and nightlife of the SUN COAST (Tampa, St. Petersburg/Clearwater and Tarpon Springs) the rich history and performance mecca of the CULTURAL COAST (Sarasota/Bradenton, Punta Gorda, Venice and Boca Grande) and the world-class amenities, artfully co-existing with untamed wilderness of the PARADISE COAST (Naples, Cape Coral, Marco Island, Sanibel/Captiva, Fort Myers and the Florida Everglades). Whatever your lifestyle, or passion, Florida's Southwest Coast will offer abundance at every turn. You can experience the ultimate thrill at amusement parks, or on an air boat ride through the wilderness of the Everglades; seek sanctuary on a remote and unspoiled island retreat, or spend countless hours wandering the tranquil tree-lined streets of the quaint downtown districts. Opera or Osprey, hip and trendy, to soulful seaside exploration…your options are as endless as the regions pristine waterways and days of sunshine. Find your Perfect Piece of Paradise.



Going Coastal

Home to some of the finest destinations in the world such as Naples, Sarasota, Casey Key, Boca Grande and Sanibel Island, Florida's Southwest coast is most often noted for its majestic barrier islands and gorgeous gulf beaches, which lure millions to the local shorelines annually. Named for the Spanish feast of flowers, Florida's lush, exotic foliage flourishes throughout this Southwest region, filling the surrounding scenery with brilliant colors and intoxicating scents. Glistening waterways wrap around the region's miles of coastline providing peaceful passageways for dolphins, manatee and other aquatic life. Equally famous for historic districts, intriguing architecture and landmarks, the cultural attraction of Naples, Sarasota and Tampa include theatre, seasonal ballet, the symphony, and countless distinctive art galleries, along with a large population of local artisans. While festivals year-round such as the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa, the Sarasota Blues Festival and the Taste of the Islands in Sanibel and Captiva, awaken your spirit, foster your imagination and feed your soul. Nature enthusiasts are enamored with the plethora of natural treasures of the region. Camping, canoeing, hiking, the Vince Rookery, Corkscrew Swamp, and, of course, the famous Florida Everglades, with intriguing airboat excursions, provide outdoor educational and recreational adventures for all ages. The region's temperate climate, ample sunshine and southern breezes create the perfect backdrop for any type of outdoor recreation. Each area boasts a variety of public and private golf courses, many associated with gated communities and resort-style amenities. From the tranquil elegance of Lansbrook and the exclusive Cypress Run (Tarpon Springs) to The Founders Club (Sarasota) and the distinguished Olde Cypress Golf Community (Naples), discriminating homeowners and discerning golfers enjoy 12 months of glorious tee times, unhurried play and award-winning greens.



SUN COAST tampa clearwater st. petersburg bradenton sarasota CULTURAL COAST

venice punta gorda boca grande cape coral ft. myers PARADISE COAST

naples marco island

SUN COAST The Tampa Bay area begins our journey of the coastal experience. A cosmopolitan flair, with incredible natural resources, the Tampa area offers an array of attractions, professional sports, a rich history, cool bay breezes and miles of open waterway. The Sun Coast is comprised of various barrier islands and 35-miles of white-sand beaches, encompassed by the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater offer a tropical setting and hold year-round appeal for the angler, golfer, the arts and water sport enthusiasts. Home to award-winning beaches, including Caladesi Beach, America's number one beach in 2008, you're close to everything, yet you'll feel as though you're miles away from anywhere. In addition to award-winning beaches, the area offers attractions, recreation and aquatic educational opportunities. Visit a marine aquarium, experience a dolphin encounter, discover unique shops and boutiques, or sample the coastal cuisine. From elegant dining and moonlight dinner cruises, to completely casual barefoot beach relaxation, there's a perfect experience awaiting you on Florida's Sun Coast.

CULTURAL COAST A European style city, Sarasota is home to an abundance of outdoor recreation, cultural amenities beyond compare, awardwinning beaches, outstanding cuisine and world-renowned shopping. The Cultural Coast includes Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice accompanied by surrounding communities. Beyond the allure of the over 35-miles of stunning beaches, you'll find a rich history, magnificent architecture, award-winning communities, miles of boating water and lush golf courses. Home to a world-class ballet company, numerous playhouses, the Florida West Coast and the Venice Symphonies, along with a plethora of art galleries, the region plays host to festivals, visiting artists and exciting exhibits year-round. Each area of the region reflects a unique personality. From Boca Grand's tropical island ambiance, waterfront dining and the feel of “Old Florida,” to Bradenton and Venice, with their friendly, small-town allure, historic ambiance and tranquil pace. Loose your self on sun swept beaches, aboard your boat, in a museum, or on the green. Take a dinner cruise, bike or hike the grounds of one of the area's nearby State Parks. There is something for everyone on Florida's Cultural Coast.

PARADISE COAST Nestled between the calm azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the subtropical wilderness of the Florida Everglades, Naples and surrounding communities boast miles of unspoiled beaches, incredible wild life, upscale amenities, award-winning neighborhoods, over 130 highly acclaimed golf courses, culinary delights, cultural events, art exhibits and exquisite sunsets. Snorkel, stroll, shop or shell. Tantalizing island fare and local bounty, or international cuisines, an abundance of dining options are available in the region. Naples, Marco Island & the Florida Everglades comprise The Paradise Coast. Neighboring communities include Fort Myers, known as “The City of Palms” and Fort Myers' beaches, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, with their laid-back island culture. Here you'll discover a gentle pace and tropical ambiance. Home of the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, the unsurpassed natural beauty of this region and strong nature conservancy focus captivates the outdoor and wild life enthusiasts. From upscale to economical, whether you prefer fishing, shelling, tennis, nature hikes or swamp buggy excursions…this quintessential Florida community welcomes you. FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE





The Sun Coast, also recognized at the “Nightlife Capital of Southwest Florida” is also known as a boating and fishing paradise. Home to three award winning beaches, this region is geographically defined by the Tampa Bay area and numerous barrier Islands. For families, entrepreneurs, artists, nature enthusiasts, retirees, as well as beach goers and boaters, longing for the endless sunshine and enviable lifestyle of Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast, the Sun Coast is beyond compare. The Sun Coast includes the communities of Tarpon Springs to the north, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Indian Rocks Beach, Largo, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, and St. Petersburg, recently regarded among America's Top Livable Cities.

The Tampa Bay area, rich with natural resources, unmatched beaches, endless waterways and marvelous attractions makes this region of Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast one of the top destinations for visitors, as well as those looking to relocate to the Sunshine State. Boasting the largest performing arts center in the southeast, the largest science museum in the south, 2008's number one beach in America, tens-of-thousands of acres of natural preserve, the number one zoo in the country for children, along with a vibrant business climate, the life and the lifestyle are unsurpassed on Florida's Sun Coast. Experience award-winning beaches and gorgeous waterways, where you can lounge, fish, swim, sail or shell. Take a



magnificent moonlit dinner cruise, visit the Henry B. Plant Museum, with its fine furnishing and incredible architectural presence, schedule a tee time on one of the Tampa Bay area's gorgeous golf courses, or watch some of the world's best performers at the Tampa Bay Arts Center, one of the largest performing art centers in North America. The Sun Coast's natural bounty is expansive in their nature parks and preserves. The regions commitment to the preservation of natural resources and dedication to protecting vulnerable marine and avian life is seen in the area's vast wildlife sanctuaries, rehabilitative, rescue and research aquariums.

Wild Adventures…choose your venue. Sensational roller coasters at Bush Gardens and the interactive wildlife expositions at the Florida Aquarium, or visit the Lowry Park Zoo offering close encounters with over 2,000 animals housed in natural habitats. Invigorating professional sporting events, big game fishing, or a night on the town at one of Tampa's trendy hotspots, whatever your skill or thrill, the Sun Coast promises to engage your senses and capture your heart. Tampa's Latin Quarter, has a reputation of “party central” in Tampa Bay. One of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida, Ybor (pronounced Eebor) City's quaint streets, trendy galleries, live music and exceptional cuisine

draw thousands to its energetic atmosphere and old-world charm. This particular destination has also given rise to Tampa's recognition as “the Nightlife Capital of Florida's West Coast” and offers an exotic blend of scents, sights, sounds and flavors. A tropical climate of quiet and calm draw visitors and residents to the prominent destination of Clearwater/St. Petersburg. Award-winning beaches, a rich history, a thriving economic base, numerous attractions, along with a host of special and sporting events offer a wide variety of activities in this quiet coastal community.

In addition to marvelous beaches and amazing Gulf of Mexico sunsets, you'll find endless boating opportunities, with yachts, sightseeing boats, dinner cruises and even a pirate ship at the Clearwater Marina. Be amazed by the work with rescued and vulnerable sealife at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, or experience St. Petersburg's infamous Sunken Gardens.

Location Florida's west coast , Hillsborough County, just north of Sarasota, 25 miles in from the Gulf of Mexico. Geography Hillsborough County 1,050 square miles of land area Temperature 82° F average high temperature 61° F average low temperature 73.1° F annual average temperature Annual Precipitation 44.8 inches Average Annual Sunshine 346 days Population 336,823 residents Airport Tampa International Airport is located just five miles west of downtown Tampa on the east shore of Tampa Bay General Information: 813870-8700. St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport is located on State Route 686, Roosevelt Blvd. 4 miles north of St. Petersburg.

Boasting the Henry B. Plant Museum, a Children's Museum, Museum of Fine Art and a History Museum, along with various cultural venues including St. Pete's Florida Craftsmen Gallery and Mahaffey Theatre complex, the cultural amenities of this community are impressive. Live theatre and performances are featured at Ruth Eckerd Hall and The Palladium Theatre, home of the St. Petersburg Ballet Company. Tarpon Springs is home of the world-famous Sponge Docks, graceful mansions and a Mediterranean heritage peacefully coexisting with casino cruises, championship golf and deep sea charters. The historic downtown features a vibrant city center of galleries, restaurants, antiques and specialty shops.


Clearwater Beach is consistently ranked as of the best Florida Beaches and one of the most popular with families. Secluded Caladesi Island holds the title as “America's Number One Beach” in 2008. A largely undeveloped barrier island, Caladesi is only accessible by boat. This little piece of heaven offers a 3mile nature trail, dockage for your boat and ferry access to the nearby Honeymoon Island.

Tampa, along with its neighboring communities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg, are located midway down Florida's west coast. Surrounded by miles of waterway, the region offers world-wide appeal as a resort destination, as well as a comfortable place to live.

Sea Port Port of Tampa 1101 Channelside Dr., Tampa, FL 33602 (800) 741-2297 Cost of Living Index 98 (U.S. average is 100) Median Resident Age 41.24 Years





THERE’S A SUNNY SIDE TO THIS AREA OF FLORIDA’S WEST COAST THAT MAKES IT A HOT SPOT AMONG THE WORLD’S DESTINATIONS. FUN ‘N SUN LOVERS COME FROM AROUND THE GLOBE TO THE BEACHES OF ST. PETERSBURG AND CLEARWATER EARNING THIS REGION THE TITLE OF FLORIDA’S “SUN COAST”. Savor the Flavors After a day at the beach, the museums, on the course, or at any of the host of attractions throughout the Sun Coast, escape to a tropical paradise for a marvelous meal at Fish Tail Willy's, or tantalize your senses with the meticulously chosen menu at Jorge's Seafood Grille. Satisfy the most discriminating taste with exquisite meals at Savant Fine Dining, or experience old-school cuisine and professional service, dinner and dancing at the Wine Cellar in Redington Beach. Voted one of the “20 Best New Restaurants” in Florida, by Florida Trend Magazine, Middle Grounds Grill, at Treasure Island, features the freshest in local fare, while Britts Laguna Grill serves up sunsets almost daily in the coolest tropical paradise location on Clearwater Beach. For the epitome in European allure, try St. Pete's Cafe Alma, celebrating community, art and intellect with live entertainment. Notable Nightlife The Tampa Bay area sizzles with chic nightlife locations and tropical retreats. Bay Area bands crank out jazz, blues, rock, country and salsa at clubs and restaurants throughout the region, The “Soul of St. Petersburg,” BayWalk is an open-air entertainment complex sure to please in the heart of downtown. Let loose at Y'bor City's Green Iguana, or try a famous “martooni” at the Chic-a-Boom Room in Dunedin, serving as a haven for those looking to relax and enjoy mingling. New York New York, in Clearwater, serves up an entertaining ambiance and great local bands. A “must visit” is the highly popular Shephard's Tiki Bar, right on Clearwater Beach. This raucous establishment is a favorite of fun-loving souls. Come by boat, or by car, but don't miss it. Water Wonders With miles of endless shimmering waterways, lakes, rivers and secret hidden backwater, you can fish to your heart's desire. Whether you prefer a pier, or the deck of a deep sea charter, the Sun Coast is sure to thrill you. Hubbard Marina at John's Pass, in Madeira Beach Florida is West Florida's Leader in Deep Sea Fishing for 40 years, offering all types of water excursions, including sightseeing tours. While you're there, don't miss the Pirates Cove Bar. Exhilarating lunch or dinner cruises are sure to please in Tampa and St. Pete. All aboard for a Dixieland lunch, or a glamorous dinner cruise with



stunning water views. Watch the dolphins cavort from the Dolphin Encounter® Cruises and view these graceful marine mammals along with the gorgeous shoreline of Caladesi Island. Native Adventure An unsurpassed abundance of parks, nature preserves, estuaries and exhibits will have you on a first name basis with many of the true Florida Natives. Few destinations offer the opportunity to visit sanctuaries specifically focused on rescue and rehab of Florida's vulnerable wildlife. Located in Indian Shores, The SunCoast Seabird Sanctuary is dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of injured avian life, with an on-site hospital. The Lowry Zoo, the Florida Aquarium and the Tarpon Springs Aquarium offer experiences with marine and wildlife most will never forget. Or, strike out on your own adventure at one of the many preserves. Brooker Creek Preserve's 8,500acres are sanctuary to over 50 reptiles, 40 mammals, 160 bird species and 20 amphibians, of which many are rare or listed as protected. Shell Key Preserve is a 1,755-acre preserve, whose unique habitat provides a sanctuary for vulnerable and protected wildlife species. Moccasin Lake Nature Park, a 51acre preserve, or Boyd Hill Nature Park located on Lake Maggiore, a 245-acre preserve, will bring you up-close to many of the endangered plants and rare wildlife of the Tampa Bay area. Botanical Bounty Not only is the region rich in botanical beauty, but also features the added benefit of a rich history and culture. The signature destination of St. Petersburg's Sunken Gardens, first opening in

1935, offers rare foliage, along with a magnificent butterfly garden. The beautiful Palm Arboretum sits on two-acres of bounty offering hundreds of botanical specimens. Florida Botanical Gardens features 90-acres of protected wetlands and endangered scrubland, along with an abundance of spectacular color throughout the year, and a very special Children's trail. A member of the National Register Of Historic Places, Weedon Island Preserve, situated on Old Tampa Bay, was once home to at least four prehistoric cultures who thrived on the area's natural abundance. The Cultural and National Historic Center features a creative blend of environmental education infused with the Weedon Native American Indian culture.

Creative Expressions An exciting array of annual festivals, street performers and events can be found year-round on the Sun Coast. Live theatrical, orchestra and ballet performances are featured at Ruth Eckerd Hall, The Mahaffey Theatre and The Palladium Theatre, home of the St. Petersburg Ballet Company. St. Petersburg regularly tops the nation among art destinations. The Museum of Fine Arts, along with the Salvador Dali Museum offers examples of paintings, glass, decorative objects, photography, and antiques. The Gasparilla Festival of Arts attracts hundreds of artisans and art enthusiasts to the exhibits of photography and jewelers, sculptors and painters.

Thrills and Spills With exhilarating attractions like Busch Gardens' Gwazi, a double wooden coaster, boasting the title of the Southeast's largest, and The Serengeti Plain, featuring hundreds of exotic African animals, to professional baseball, professional football and hockey, you're never far from the action on the Sun Coast. Sunscreen Required Known for award-winning beaches, this region offers a plethora of pristine shore line. Home to America's number one beach in 2008, Caladesi Island State Park, which is dog friendly as well as family friendly, Clearwater offers a cornucopia of top-rated sandy destinations including the Number one beach in 2005, Fort De Soto Park. For a high energy beach excursion try Clearwater Beach, with hotels, beachwear boutiques, a marina and the infamous Pier 60. Relaxing on the beach, with no highrises in sight, Pass-A-Grill on the lower end of St. Petersburg Beach offers a tranquil respite, or for those seeking a more “secluded” approach try Shell Key Preserve, no structures, just palms, dunes, white sandy beaches and resident wildlife. Ambient Accommodations From modest to magnificent, the accommodations on the Sun Coast are as unique as the communities themselves. Five-star resorts, boutique hotels, or bed and breakfasts offer a restful environment to soothe the senses. One of the most famous, situated on a 22-acre bluff overlooking Clearwater Bay, the Belleview Biltmore, built in 1897, is a private, waterside, fullservice resort offering golf, tennis, spa and beach club. Discover distinctive personal service and heartwarming ambience at the Quorum Westshore Tampa, or loose yourself at the highly acclaimed Innis Brook Resort, Palm Harbor, a 900-acre impeccable resort offering top ranked golf courses, tennis, a host of restaurants, lakes and trails. Don't miss Ybor City's beautifully restored boutique hotel, The Vincente de Ybor Historic Inn, built in 1895, and the true centerpiece of Ybor City's historic district.


Niche Excursions Lively, quaint, fragrant and scenic effectively describe the many hidden treasures of the Sun Coast. Tampa's Hyde Park Village provides a perfect backdrop with its tree-lined streets, brick courtyards and fountains. You'll find an array of dining, shopping and entertainment options from The Channel Side Bay Plaza to Ybor City's historic Seventh Avenue, named as one of 2008's “Nation's Greatest Streets” by the American Planning Association. Discover an eclectic urban village in the heart of St. Petersburg at the Grand Central District, or immerse yourself in the ambiance and a rich history at The Florida Orange Groves Winery. John's Pass Village offers the feel of a unique fishing village, with shopping, dining and entertainment for the whole family. Scenic boardwalks, great restaurants, specialty wine making, and even a streetcar will transport you to the enchanted sites, sounds, aroma and rich culture of the region.

Clearwater annually hosts their four-day Jazz event featuring street performers, crafts and music. In Largo, visit the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, featuring the work of Florida artisans, or Heritage Village where Florida History comes to life. Known for its small intimate atmosphere, don't miss the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center hosting Broadway musicals, plays and concerts year-round. Don't miss the Henry B. Plant Museum, housed in the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, an architectural majesty and a designated National Historic Landmark.

Days on the Green There are plentiful manicured greens in this Golfer's Paradise, with over 300 semi-private and public golf courses, along with an average of 346 days of sunshine. Host to major golfing events, you'll find challenging courses readily available, along with golf academies to assist you sharpen your skills. TPC Tampa Bay has recently received the number 18 ranking of the top 50 public facilities in the country, by Golf World Magazine in their annual 'Reader's Choice: Best Places To Play' edition.




HAPPENINGS Year-round outdoor festivals, with tantalizing fare and spectacular sounds can be explored on the Sun Coast. Indoors, the live performances command audiences at the Mahffey Theatre January through May, and the Tampa Bay Performing Art Center almost year-round. Spectacular shows and concerts at the St. Petersburg Times Forum offer more than 150 events, annually, including ice shows, the circus and indoor sports. Enjoy year-round walking tours of the Downtown St. Petersburg Historic District, or party in Palm Harbor during their First Friday's events, when the historic district transforms into a large block party, with live entertainment and art exhibits.

Fair taking place in Tampa's trendy downtown area with courtyards and tree-lined streets. Spectacular surroundings augmented by amazing sculpture, photography and one-of-akind jewelry. May brings the Annual Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races in Garrison Channel featuring team paddling in a fiercely competitive fashion.

In January, convene with colorfully costumed Pirates during the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in downtown Tampa, or explore over 100 area artisans at the Dunedin Fine Art Festival.

Things begin to crank up come October with the NSRA Southeast Street Rod Nationals where vintage auto collectors from around the globe gather at the Tampa Florida State Fairgrounds. This show features over 1,400 pre-1949 vehicles in the “largest street rod show in the Southeast.” In the Lively Latin District “Guavaween” the annual celebration in Ybor City attracts thousands from around the world to the spirited parade and magnificent music venues.

February brings one of Tampa's signature annual events celebrating the Latin Heritage of Ybor City during the Sant'Yago Knight Parade and Family Festival. Experience the best of Seafood and Blues at the Annual Sea Blues Festival in Clearwater's Coachman Park, or “Mardi Gras on Main Street” in Downtown Dunedin. March plays host to the annual Gasparilla Festival of Arts where hundreds of sculptors, photographers and various artisans, from around the globe, display their work in downtown Tampa. Just in time for the onset of April, St. Petersburg gears up to host it's Annual Folk Fair featuring ethnic villages, and authentic costume, with demonstrations of time-honored craftsmanship and ethnic cuisine. In April and May the three-week Clearwater Fun N' Sun Festival plays host to over 40 events, with musical venues ranging from classical and jazz to that cool Latin beat. This is also the month for the highly anticipated Hyde Park Village Art



In June and throughout the summer months, spend a night under the stars with some of nature's most amazing animals at the Lowry Park Zoo's Summer Safari Nights.

Sample the freshest seafood fare in November, with vendors and restaurants treating visitors to their famous seafood specialties during the Ruskin Seafood and Arts Festival, or if you're so inclined, sample some of the finest Cigars in the world at the Ybor City's Annual Cigar Heritage Festival. This festival brings amazing aromas, great food, live music, drinks and fun for the whole family. A host of parades, both on and off the water, holiday concerts and seasonal performances are featured, annually, during the holidays on the Sun Coast. Experience the charm of the 19th Century holiday at the Tampa Bay Hotel during the Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum, chosen one of the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events in December.

BAYSHORE On the seawall shore of Hillsborough Bay, features a proud heritage and some of Tampa's most elegant homes. BELLEAIR One of the area's oldest and most prestigious communities located between St. Petersburg and Clearwater. This upscale community includes Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs and Belleair Country Club. DAVIS ISLAND



A private, gated community in South Tampa, secluded Tampa paradise in the city.




Private homes and condos located on a 30-mile long chain of barrier islands bordered by the Gulf.




The Historic Old Northeast enjoys a unique quality being adjacent to downtown St. Petersburg, with great neighborhood amenities and a white sand beach.


PASS A GRILLE Pass A Grille offers the feeling of “Old Florida,” on the southern tip of Pinellas County, in a mix of cottage style homes and mid-rise buildings.



Three connected islands at the mouth of the Hillsborough River has become one of the City's most renowned neighborhood developments, with elegant waterfront estates.

PINELLAS POINT Pinellas Point is a long established community, several gated estates and luxury waterfront homes along Tampa Bay. SOUTH PASADENA South Pasadena is a small and quiet Florida Gulf coast community, nestled between southwest St. Petersburg and the southern beaches of Pinellas County VENETIAN ISLES Venetian Isles is an upscale waterfront community of man-made islands, with deep water great for any size boat.




1416 CASEY KEY ROAD NOKOMIS, FLORIDA Enter Villa Toscana by way of a secluded circular motor court and you encounter a burnt-Sienna façade, characterized by some as “carmelized adobe”, perfectly in scale with its height and width, and peacefully located on the property with wide setbacks from the adjoining properties. Step back into a different time and place when craftsmanship was the passionate pursuit of artisans working to create a unique style for the discerning families who commissioned them.



Photography by SRQ360

As you pass through the stone door surround, wrought iron gates, and heavy mesquite doors carved in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, your eye is immediately drawn through the central courtyard, past rows of stone columns, through tall mahogany doors to Little Sarasota Bay, which from this perspective looks like an infinity edge pool. But as quickly as you are pulled outside, you are pulled back to the carved wooden canopy vault that introduces you to the courtyard's vaulted ceiling stone fireplace and fountain. And then, room after room, your eyes are treated with exquisite handcrafted materials: carved book cases, stained glass insets in 8-foot mahogany doors, carved stone pedestals as sink basins, hand forged railings, and a Renaissance library table (that serves as the dining table). Villa Toscana, situated on Casey Key on more than an acre of prime property with the Gulf of Mexico as the front yard, and Little Sarasota Bay, as the back yard, embodies casual elegance in which the tropical garden filled with native plants 50-years old provides the reason for the villa to exist. In Tuscan tradition, the front elevation is relatively simple but the rear becomes much more complex as the house and gardens reflect each other. Casey Key is a unique barrier island south of Sarasota, where you will find no traffic lights and no high rise condominiums – just 8 miles of beach and bay dotted with less than 400 single family homes. Here you can enjoy a secluded private beach where dolphins swim in the channel 20 yards offshore, or simply enjoy fishing from the dock or boating in the Intracoastal Waterway. A great lifestyle awaits you here. Offered at $6,900,000

Deborah Beacham, P.A. 941.376.2688

440 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL 34228

They say the journey’s more important than the destination.... but they’ve never been to

casey key

Kick off your shoes and walk the secluded white sand beach where dolphins swim a few feet off shore; enjoy the serenity of magnificent sunsets, beach sunflowers, sea oats and fountain grasses beneath Mediterranean blue skies and balmy winter weather. One of only three privately owned beaches in Florida, Casey Key is an eight-mile long barrier island with no high rises and no traffic lights. With the Gulf of Mexico as your front yard and Sarasota Bay as your back yard, you’ll discover why residents regard Casey Key as a tropical paradise.

From cottages to mansions, Casey Key homes exude a unique blend of understated wealth, elegance, and old-Florida charm. Life on the island is casual, friendly, and spontaneous. Dine in shorts and sandals at the rustic fish house restaurants on each end of the island, or head for the cultural sophistication of downtown Sarasota that includes world class restaurants and shops, full-time symphony, opera, ballet, professional theaters, and jazz, wine and film festivals.


Whether you jet into Venice airport five miles away and never leave your island paradise or participate in Sarasota’s cultural life, Casey Key truly provides the best of both worlds. Deborah Beacham, a resident of Casey Key for fifteen years and the top producing REALTOR , can help you find the perfect house for your "southern escape." R


Michael Saunders & Company, Licensed Real Estate Broker 440 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL 34228 941.376.2688


Luxury Residential Waterfront Specialist International






The cultural capital of Southwest Florida, the Sarasota area is a haven for art patrons, musicians, and writers, performing artists, sculptors and painters. With two symphonies, an opera house, world-class ballet company, numerous playhouses and a plethora of art galleries, the region hosts festivals, visiting artists and exciting exhibits year-round. Art patrons will enjoy The Asolo Theatre Company, Florida Studio Theatre, Island Players, Lemon Bay Playhouse, or Theatre Works, and of course the Sarasota Ballet. Experience the melodic offerings of the Florida West Coast Symphony, Key Chorale, the Sarasota Jazz Club, or Venice Symphony. Sarasota and her distinctive barrier islands are home to awardwinning beaches where you can snorkel, shell or stroll through the warm azure Gulf waters. Loose yourself in the gentle

breezes and the soothing sound of lapping waves, or be completely awestruck by magnificent sunsets. Lido Beach provides a picture postcard setting along with sugary soft white sands. Enjoy the sun, or build castles in the sand while the family can stroll along the shore to St. Armand's Circle, a distinctive designation in itself consisting of upscale shops and boutiques. Don't miss one of the top beaches in the world at Siesta Key. Voted as One of “America's Best Beaches;” “Third Best Walking Beach in the USA,” by USA Today International Edition; and “The Best of the Best Sand,” by Conde Nast Traveler. To experience "Old Florida" at its finest, visit Casey Key, just to the south of Siesta Key. Picturesque winding gulffront roads make for an incredible ocean-side journey. Whether by car, or scenic bicycle ride, you'll be among some of


the finest homes Sarasota has to offer. Little traffic, on this remote stretch of pristine paradise, quaint inns and Old Florida resorts transport you to a simpler time with gentility and grace. Bradenton and the tropical paradise of Anna Maria Island offer a unique sense of Old Florida Charm, lush golf courses, cultural attractions and historic ambiance, along with white sand beaches and stunning sunsets. Bradenton offers a unique historic and cultural flavor, along with award winning planned communities such as Lakewood Ranch, while Anna Maria takes you back to a simpler unhurried pace and stretches a mere 7.5 miles in length and less than one mile wide. Venice abounds in natural beauty, with a quaint downtown area, tremendous live oak trees and magnificent Old Florida

appeal. A designated “Florida Main Street” community, Venice is also a cultural Mecca, with its annual festivals, galleries, live theatre and of course the Venice symphony. Also know for white sand beaches Venice's Caspersen Beach is especially appealing to naturalist's offering an unspoiled and secluded area, left primarily in its natural state. The essence of the Old South is found in the historic waterfront town of Punta Gorda. Palm-lined cobblestone streets, Victorian mansions, wide verandas and street lamps capture the spirit of a different era. The barrier island of Manasota Key offers uncrowded beaches and an ideal environment for shelling, golf or fishing in a serene setting.Located on Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande offers the perfect setting for quiet coastal living. This

unique island sanctuary features a rich history and abundant natural beauty. Peacefully nestled between Charlotte Harbor and the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico, Boca Grande reveals miles of white sand beaches, abundant parks, exceptional dining and lodging, in an intoxicating atmosphere of barefoot elegance. The Cultural Coast is well known as a golfer's paradise, boasting magnificent golf courses both public and private. Beautiful weather year-round, lush greens and tropical foliage create a perfect backdrop for the avid golfer. Many of the golf courses are associated with award-winning country club communities featuring vast acreage of natural beauty, wildlife, lakes and resort-style amenities.

Sophisticated St. Armands Circle, in Sarasota, features over 130 fine shops and gourmet restaurants. A world-renowned location, St. Armands is a market place of charming European-influenced

Location Florida's west coast between Tampa to the north and Ft. Myers to the south. Sarasota County is between Manatee County (north) and Charlotte County (south). Located on the Gulf of Mexico. Geography 571.75 square miles of land area 35 miles of beachfront Temperature 82.8 F (28.2 C) average high temperature 61.9 F (16.6 C) average low temperature Annual Precipitation 55.18 inches Average Annual Sunshine 361 days Population 325,957 residents Airport Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (941359-5200) is located at the intersection of US 41 and University Parkway.

elegance. Gracefully blending the past and the present, courtyards and treasures accompany contemporary architecture and lush tropical foliage to create an enchanting atmosphere of continental appeal. Home to world-class dining, shopping, sophisticated amenities, theaters, galleries, a symphony and the Sarasota Ballet, along with 35-miles of beaches and six barrier islands...for a while, or a lifetime, The Cultural Coast is a perfect piece of PARADISE. Don't miss Crescent Beach an 8-mile stretch of pristine beach and warm Gulf waters. A popular escape for lovebirds, the magnificent backdrop creates an ideal location for beach weddings, but also holds a peaceful allure for writers and artists. Crescent Beach holds claim to the official title of “The Worlds' Finest, Whitest Sand”.

Cost of Living Index 85.8 (less than average, U.S. average is 100) Median Resident Age 41.1 Years


The Gulf of Mexico invites a wealth of boating opportunities, from rentals, cruises and deep-sea fishing trips, to sightseeing and sunset tours. Take the helm of a watercraft, or let another direct your boating destination, the choices on The Cultural Coast are endless. Dolphin runs, eco-tours, kayak, or canoe, this region has the best-of-the-best in fishing and boating. Regardless of the size of your water craft, there are ample marinas to welcome you along the way. Dock for the night, or for a while. Featuring fine dining experiences, live entertainment, incredible natural beauty, and a host of aquatic wildlife, find your senses tantalized by the rich abundance of the water and the region.

Sarasota, together with its neighbors to the north and south, Manatee County and Charlotte County, form the 7th-largest market in Florida.

A magnificent array of professional theater, opera, ballet and symphony performances, home to Ringling fame and a host of yearround art and music events, this region has earned the title of Florida’s “Cultural Coast."





BEING HOME TO PROFESSIONAL THEATER, OPERA, BALLET AND SYMPHONY, ALONG WITH A VARIETY OF ART AND MUSIC EVENTS, THIS REGION HAS EARNED THE TITLE OF FLORIDA’S “CULTURAL COAST”. Savor the Flavors After a great day of exploration, or before you embark, there are great restaurants in the region to satisfy any taste. The Bay View Bar & Grill at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, offers full bay views and uncomplicated cuisine in a Florida Casual outdoor setting. Try the Crow's Nest Marina Restaurant, Venice's waterfront landmark since 1976 and voted "Venice's Best All Around Restaurant," or The Monkey Room on Longboat Key featuring a spirited ambiance and creative island-influenced cuisine. Don't miss breakfast at Siesta Key's Broken Egg, or the magnificence of Chef Paul Mattison at Mattison's Riverside at Twin Dolphin Marina in Bradenton, sunset at The Sandbar on Anna Maria, or The Captains Table at Fisherman's Village, in Punta Gorda, with exceptional local seafood fare and some of the best Florida views available. Notable Nightlife When the sun goes down, the fun's just begun on the Cultural Coast. Live music, dance floors, mild breezes, twinkling white lights and tiki torches are all components of the silk & sandals nightlife. Don't miss the Five O'Clock Club, the Gator Club, Siesta Key Oyster Bar, The Beach Club on Siesta Key, Blasé' Café' or Mattison's City Grille where you're sure to find great food, outdoor dining, exotic beverages and magnificent music. Water Wonders If it's fishing that interests you there are more than 1000 species of fish, along with endless bays, rivers and streams to keep you reeling-them-in on Florida's Southwest Coast. Tarpon enthusiasts find the months of May and June offer adventure in the world famous Boca Grande Pass. And, don't forget about the Redfish, Snook and Trout. Check out the action on Anna Maria City Pier, or have all of your fishing needs met at Englewood Bait House. The warm Gulf waters are not just for fishing, try snorkeling or scuba at Crescent Beach's Point-ofRocks, kayak or canoe at Myakka River State Park, or dock your vessel at one of the regions marvelous marinas. Native Adventure For a real native adventure, the wildlife, avian life and flora of the Cultural Coast can be found in the state parks, along the beach, or at one of the aquariums, botanical gardens or museums. Don't miss the Crowley Museum and Nature Center, Mote Marine, The Parker Manatee Aquarium, or



Sarasota Jungle Gardens where you can convene with Florida's greatest natural assets, alligators, manatee, flamingos, deer and armadillos. Botanical Bounty The natural bounty of the area will amaze you. From the worldrenowned Marie Selby Gardens to the Rose Garden of Mable Ringling, take a stroll through lush gardens throughout the area. Don't miss Historic Spanish Point a window into 5,000 years of human history, Oscar Scherer State Park or Caspersen beach, where you can hike, bike and search for shells or sharks teeth. Niche Excursions From St. Armands Circle, Downtown Sarasota and Main Street to the quaint offerings of Downtown Venice and Englewood's Dearborn Street, shop and discover the neighborhoods rich in cultural as well as historical flair. Palm-lined streets, renaissance architecture, secret gardens, casual outdoor cafes, along with intriguing boutiques will have you wondering what's around every corner. Curtain Call So much to experience…live performances at the symphony, the ballet, or theatre. All along the cultural coast you'll find performing artists waiting for their next encore'. Not to be missed Sarasota: Opera House, Florida Studio Theater, Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Venice Little Theatre, The Asolo Repertory Theatre, The West Coast Black Theatre Troupe, Banyan Theatre Company, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, Venice Symphony and Lemon Bay Playhouse.

Circus Enthusiasts A tremendous component of this region's heritage is attributed to John and Mable Ringling. The region boasts romantic gardens and Mansions to the infamous Sailor Circus. Don't miss the Tito Gaena Flying Trapeze Academy in Venice or Circus Sarasota, The Ringling Museum of Art, The Ringling Museum of the Circus offering the history of the Greatest Show on Earth, or the Sarasota Classic Car museum featuring four vehicles used personally by John Ringling.

Sunscreen Required World renowned beaches await on the Cultural Coast. Pristine and unspoiled, surrounded by natural bounty and sunlit splendor, each area of the coast offers a unique experience. Quiet North Lido Beach, the action of Siesta Beach or the petfriendly Brohard Park offer something for everyone in the family. Try shelling on Turtle Beach, near the southern end of Siesta Key, or on Caspersen Beach in Venice, where you'll find much of the area in its natural state. Longboat Key features magnificently manicured communities, as well as tropical havens tucked away in a traditional “Old Florida” style. For a true Old Florida adventure, Gasparilla Island holds the allure of a quaint Florida village, with abundant wildlife, or ferry to Little Gasparilla Island, accessible only by boat, offering the tranquility of a remote island paradise.

On The Green Some of the finest golf courses in the US are located on the Cultural Coast. Area resort accommodations often include outstanding golf courses. Try the course at the Boca Grand Resort, or the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. You'll find public play at Sarasota's Bobby Jones Golf Complex, SunCoast Golf Center, Sunrise Golf Club, Lake Venice Golf Club in Venice or the Manatee County Golf Course in Bradenton. Voted among the “Best Places to Play” by readers of Golf Digest 2008-2009, The Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch offers a level of service and greens found at world-class private facilities. This Arnold Palmer Signature 18-hole golf course is open to the public and was also voted one of America's Top Golf Courses by ZAGAT Survey 2007-2008. Consistently noted as one of America's best places to live work and play, the list of accolades for this area is long. Best Places to Live “Top 100 Places to Live and Launch/Money Magazine” The Great weather and cultural climate, in addition to a strong retirement and tourism market placed Sarasota in the Top areas to Live and Launch a Business (2008). Countless activities and clubs geared toward singles, and organized around interests from wine tasting to ballroom dancing led Fortune Magazine to rank Sarasota as one of the Top locations to” Retire In Style.” The endless parade of black-tie events means lots of opportunities for a night on the town with your date (2006). Excellence in Health Care For the second year in a row, Sarasota Memorial Hospital was listed among “America's Safest Hospitals” by (2009). Widely accepted as the gold standard of patient care, Sarasota Memorial Hospital received re-designation as a "Magnet" hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) (2008). Sarasota Memorial Hospital received a Sliver Performance Achievement Award from the American Stroke Association recognizing their commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care (2007).


Creative Expressions An intrinsic component of the areas culture that has drawn international recognition, art is a mainstay of the region. From the Ringling Museum of Art and the Historic Oslo Theatre to the countless galleries in our Downtown districts, you'll experience one-of-a-kind sculptures appearing seasonally along Sarasota's Bay front. A Stroll down Venice Avenue is an art enthusiast dream. Visit the Collector's Gallery with the bold sweeping canvases and the work of Maryanne Jacobsen, or the Venice Art Center, the oldest community art center on Florida's Culture Coast, offering ongoing exhibits and workshops for the community. Don't miss Village of the Arts in downtown Bradenton featuring artisans representing an eclectic mix or mediums including photography, pottery, jewelry and furniture makers.

Ambient Accommodations Magnificent downtown Sarasota and Sarasota Bay views await at the world renowned Ritz-Carlton Sarasota featuring the finest of resort amenities, golf, fine dining, tropical resort pool, Jacuzzi and even programs for the kids. Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel located on Lido Beach, offers a storybook seaside setting, with 600 ft of private beach on the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico. The Lido Beach Resort is a tropical beachfront location on Lido Key, with warm hospitality and top-notch service in a casual tropical venue. Relaxation, with personalized and friendly service, is what you can expect from the Inn at the Beach in Venice. The Seaside Inn Beach Resort on Anna Maria features a casual appeal in a boutique hotel environment. Try tennis, golf or take a romantic retreat at the Gasparilla Inn and Club on Gasparilla Island, a premier destination on Florida's Gulf Coast since 1913.




HAPPENINGS On the fourth weekend in January the Annual Arts and Crafts Festival is held at the Venice Municipal Airport. The Venice Symphony begins its season in January and has concerts on the first Friday of the month through April. The Venice Little Theatre runs from October through May, while the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre features year-round performances. Each January brings Sarasota Arts Day, a celebration of the local artists, on the streets of downtown Sarasota, along with the St. Armands Circle's Winter Art Festival, Punta Gorda's Sullivan Street Craft Festival and the Annual Downtown Venice

Craft Festival. The official opening of the Opera Season includes a Sarasota extravaganza and the Winter Concert Series of the Jazz Club of Sarasota. January also plays host to Circus Sarasota Opening Night and the Southwest Florida Heritage Festival at the Crowley Museum. In February, when our northern counterparts are shoveling snow, we are continuing to enjoy outdoor recreation and numerous festivals including the Anna Maria Island Art & Craft Festival, Venice Craft Festival and Siesta Fiesta Craft Fair. March winds bring the Annual Downtown Venice Art Classic, while live performances continue this month at Florida Studio Theatre and The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, along with many others throughout the area. April offers up the 17th Annual Sharks Tooth Festival, along with the Florida Winefest & Auction at the Longboat Key Club. The Sarasota Jazz Festival held this month brings great bigband, blues and more to the heralded week-long event.



In May and June, we're closing another cultural season, but the art doesn't stop on the Cultural Coast. Theatrical performances continue at FSU/Asolo Conservatory, Venice Theater Cabaret Series and Asolo Repertory, while The Sarasota Opera hosts its annual Summer at the Symphony. Outdoor activities and events include the Annual Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest and Historic Burns Square Artists' Market. During the summer months the area hosts legions of fishing tournaments, along with local art festivals and exhibitions. The fall is ablaze with vibrence and brings a host of outdoor

festivals to tantalize the senses. Music, cars, local fare, crafts and so much more at The St. Armand's Circle Annual Art Festival, Annual Sarasota Craft Festival, Anna Maria Island Bayfest, The Annual Sarasota Blues Festival, The Venice Art Festival, Annual Taste of Manatee, St. Armands' Circle Classic Antique Car Show and Annual Siesta Beach Holiday Arts and Craft Shows. The holiday season is jam-packed with activities. Holiday parades, Winter Festivals, and of course ART…always. December brings the Art Walk at Towles Court, The Annual Festival of Trees, Holiday Night on St. Armands Circle, Anna Maria Island's Annual Winter Festival, The Annual Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade of Lights, The Sarasota Holiday Parade, The Lighted Boat Parade at Bradenton Yacht Club and The Venice Christmas Boat Parade. You'll be entertained right up till the time of The Pineapple Drop at Midnight on New Years' Eve in Downtown Sarasota.

BAY ISLES Behind the gates of the Longboat Key Club, Bay Isles offers a variety of neighborhoods, including Queen's Harbor and Sabal Cove, in one of the finest locations imaginable.

GASPARILLA ISLAND Offers tremendous Island ambiance and numerous residential options, including townhomes, villas and large beach estates. GOLDEN GATE POINT Sarasota's downtown waterfront address to impress, features luxury condominiums and the heralded RitzCarlton Hotel. KEY ROYALE On Anna Maria Island, a private membership golf community with a beautiful canal and waterfront location, perfect for the avid boater. PALMA SOLA One of the most prestigious master-planned communities in Manatee County, offering all the pleasures and beauty of luxurious waterfront living. PIRATE HARBOR On the eastern shore of Charlotte Harbor, the canal laden neighborhoods are reminiscent of Venice Italy and one of the area's best kept secrets.



CASEY KEY One of the Cultural Coast's barrier islands, Casey Key features some of the finest waterfront estates in the area.

TORTOISE ESTATES On the southern end of Siesta Key, the ideal island lifestyle in reflected in the classic Florida homes styles and rich tropical setting. WATERLEFE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB On the Manatee River, offers the best of Florida living for both boating and golf enthusiasts.



One of Sarasota’s most desirable locations near Siesta Key Beach and minutes to downtown. This exceptional home occupies a tip lot, with 160ft seawall. Set on over 1/3-acre with tranquil, wide water views to the rear, no expense has been spared in creating this peaceful, waterfront haven. Watch the dolphins play while relaxing on the rear terrace, take a swim in the pool. Deep water access to a sheltered basin and an extensive dock for your yacht, jet ski and kayak. $2,999,999

Spectacular sunsets and panoramic water views from this corner penthouse on Sarasota Bay. Adjacent to the Ritz Carlton and within walking distance of vibrant downtown area for dining, shopping and cultural activities. Walk or cycle to Bay Point Park, St Armand’s Circle, Lido Key and more. Step onto the beach from the community pool. Two covered parking spaces, storage unit, and very reasonable condo fees. Come and visit to fully appreciate this home. Only $599,000

Carla Rayman Director of International Business Development 1.941.724.0519

Lakewood Ranch

Beautiful with courtyard, swimming pool, guest house, gourmet kitchen, lake view! MLS #A3896546. Offered at $589,500.


Enjoy this view from your front porch! Build your dream home or develop two new residences on this unique, private, beach front lot. Rarely available, two adjoining lots, a little under one acre in total. Beach to front and deep water boat docks to the rear. The perfect beachfront enclave directly on Turtle Beach, Siesta Key. There are now 4 homes on the property, rental income potential. Owner financing available. $2,400,000

Patricia Tan International Sales Director 1.941.504.9232

Regent Place

A sophisticated direct Gulf front residence for the discerning buyer. MLS #A3901183. Offered at $2,695,000.

Siesta Key

Incredible architectural design with walking distance to world famous Crescent Beach. MLS #A3906432. Offered at $2,498,000.

Sylvia Zimmerman 941.350.5022

Custom 10-Acre Equestrian Estate

Great Pool Home Near Beach

Custom Pool Home On 2 Lots

This beautiful 10-acre estate with oaks trees and all fenced in. Located just 5 miles east of I-75. 4 bedrooms, 3 baths custom pool home is country living at its finest. No deed restrictions. $749,000

This is the place to call home. Open and spacious floor plan, 3 bedroom, 2 bath pool home. Lots of storage. Minutes to Pineview School, shopping and beaches. Location, location, location! $320,000

Custom pool home on two lots features a hot tub, breakfast bar with granite counter, family room, formal grand room, separate dining for entertaining and oversized 2 car garage. $280,000

Totally Updated & Secluded

Enjoy Maintenance Free Living

Active 55+ Community

Charmingly updated jewel is tucked away in a secluded setting but near shopping, schools and world famous Siesta Key Beach. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, pool and all fenced in for privacy. $249,000

Turnkey furnished 2 bedroom, 2 bath villa overlooks the pond with fountain. Convenient location near public transportation, schools, shopping, downtown Sarasota and I-75. $119,900

Move right in to this 2 bedroom, 2 bath villa in active 55+ community located just minutes to beaches, interstate and downtown Sarasota’s epicenter of culture, shopping and dining. $109,900

Call Helene Vollmer for details


Direct Gulf front studio that sleeps 4. Great investment opportunity with short term nightly rentals. Onsite rental management office. Turnkey furnished with tropical dÊcor, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. Direct beach access – perfect for rental income or a vacation getaway. $199,000

Wonderful opportunity to own this well maintained pool home in a quiet, friendly, family community. Enjoy privacy, water and preserve views to the side and rear from the over sized pool and deck area, swim in the heated pool with the soothing sound of your very own fountain. Pie-shaped lot, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, newer appliances, and lots of builder upg rades including: ceramic tile, radiant barrier, crown molding, upgraded cabinets. $329,000

Cypress Falls is a resort-style neighborhood with a clubhouse/social hall, billiard room, fitness center, internet cafe, heated lap pool & resistance pool, bocce ball courts, lighted tennis courts & a putting green. This paired villa is almost brand new, with a quiet, wooded preserve view to the rear. Many attractive features & architectural details including archways, over-sized walk-in shower, double vanity & medicine cabinets in master bathroom. $150,000

RENTAL PROPERTY Sarasota/Bradenton Enjoy sunsets over the lake and relax in this 3 bedroom 2 bathroom pool home. Everything you need to enjoy your Florida vacation. Close to beaches, shopping, restaurants. Sleeps 6. Available weekly or monthly. Rates vary by season.

Near Siesta Key Beach Enjoy the island lifestyle year-round in this West Indies style townhome. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, completely furnished & close to the community pool. Walk to restaurants and shopping. Available now!

Please call Patricia Tan at 941-504-9232 for more details.

Please call Carla Rayman at 941-724-0519 for more details.

Please call Helene Vollmer at 941-504-3832 for more details.

Please call Helene Vollmer at 941-504-3832 for more details.

2 bedroom 2 bath home near the crystal white sandy beaches of world famous Siesta Key Beach. Located just 2 blocks from your front door and a 2-minute walk to The Village. $700.00 per week. Comfortably sleeps 4-6.

Siesta Key

Casey Key, one of Florida's most prestigious hideaways, offers 7 miles of private and unspoiled sandy beaches and is just minutes away from shopping, dining and entertainment. This special condo rents for $700.00 per week. Sleeps 2-3.

Casey Key

Palatial Elegance on The Riverfront

HAWK ISLAND COMMUNITY – BRADENTON, FLORIDA For the discriminating buyer who has always dreamed of resort style living. This luxurious 3 en-suite bedroom riverfront home is over 4200 SF and is beautifully appointed with the finest quality construction and upgraded materials that create a sophisticated, casual lifestyle. Attention to detail is apparent in every room with custom designed built-ins and millwork and marble details throughout. Beautiful furniture quality cabinetry with granite enhances this home's kitchen. For the gourmet cook, there are stainless appliances, six burner gas cook top with warming drawer, built-in ovens and a wine storage closet adjacent to the formal dining room. The Master bedroom has the convenience of a wet bar and beverage center with a private outdoor heated spa overlooking the water. The Master Bathroom features a walk-in shower, jetted tub, upgraded cabinetry with brass sinks and custom

designed marble details. The media room shares a double sided gas fireplace with the great room and offers a full wet bar an office/computer station with custom designed cabinetry and builtins. All the rooms along the back open to breath taking views of the river and magnificent sunsets. Enjoy year round entertainment on the covered outdoor gathering area with a vanishing edge pool, half bath, TV, wet bar, beverage center, ice maker, and stainless gas grill. Cozy up on chilly evenings in front of the outdoor gas fireplace. This exceptional piece of paradise has lush landscaping and is situated on the Manatee River in this unique, gated Hawk Island community that offers direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. The property also has a fishing pier and a private, gated dock with boat and Jet Ski lifts. Living life in this home is a dream come true! Offered at $1,995,000.

Call Jean Fox for details 941.350.2411

Development Opportunity in Belize

33 exquisite homesites located in the heart of the mainstream Belize tourist area. These lots are available to the discerning investor $1,000,000. The development parcel is close to Francis Ford Coppola's Turtle Inn and Ara Macao Resort and Marina. Fully entitled, beachfront access, and recreation within seconds of this development located on the Caribbean Sea. Perfect investment opportunity for long-term appreciation. Individual homesites in other developments on the Placenia Peninsula are being offered from $50,000.00 to $300,000.00. Luxury boutique beach resort property and private island has 3 restaurants, a marina, world-class dive shop, fly fishing school, 3 pools and private white sand beaches. Hotel makes close to $1,000,000 net/year. 50+ rooms. 22 acres for substantial expansion. $8,500,000. Reef and jungle resort with 25 ultra luxury cabanas on Caribbean waterfront. Private airstrip, Land Rover and Mercedes vans for sightseeing trips to Mayan ruins. Complete dive operations and fishing guides. 10 minutes to second largest barrier reef. 300 acres of privacy and development potential with 1300 feet on the Caribbean. $7,900,000

Peter Martin 1.941.400.3527 petermartin@prudentialpalmsreal

Š2009 An independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.

Prudential is a service mark of The Prudential Insurance Company of America. Equal Housing Opportunity.



Pierre, Longboat Key Magnificent panoramic views of the bay and Sarasota skyline. 9th floor end unit with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and 2 spacious balconies. Beautiful sunset views over the gulf. Many amenities including concierge and guest suites.

Call Bruce & Jenine Meyer for details


Offered at $1,365,000

Country Club Shores, Longboat Key

Country Club Shores, Longboat Key

Sarasota Bay is yours with this stately and gracious 4BD/4BA waterfront residence. Expansive screened patio/entertainment area with state of the art outdoor kitchen & bayfront pool & spa. Experience the magic of waterfront living.

Magnificent bay front estate on south Longboat Key. 8,000 square feet of luxury featuring 4 en suite bedrooms, 5 baths, an elevator, two docks and lifts and 180 degree views.

Offered at $3,985,000

Offered at $4,950,000

Call Terri Sax for details


Dreaming of Owning in Costa Rica?

Del Pacifico on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast

Del Pacifico is a 700-acre resort development located on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast midway between Jaco Beach, Quepos Marina and Manuel Antonio National Park. This highly desirable and strategically located resort destination is abundant with eco-tourism and adventurer activities. Invest or live in a location near one of the top three sport fishing locations in the world and the home of world class surfing. For information on upcoming inspection trips or real estate information on Costa Rica, contact: Carla Rayman Director of International Business Development 1.941.724.0519


Mike Torino Regional Manager for Del Pacifico 410.409.2700





The Paradise Coast, comprised of Naples, Marco Island & the Florida Everglades, offers unsurpassed natural beauty, a strong nature conservancy focus, upscale neighborhoods, over 130 highly acclaimed golf courses, fine dining, along with renowned cultural events and art exhibits. The surrounding communities of Fort Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Bonita Springs and Cape Coral augment this fascinating region along Florida's Southwest Coast. Art enthusiasts, nature lovers, boaters and golfers are drawn to the magnificence of the area, with opportunities to explore Florida's “wild side” in the Everglades, or experience distinctive culinary delights in Naples. The finest in resorts, award-winning restaurants and luxuries abound, while romantic islands beckon with white sand beaches, crystal clear Gulf waters, swaying palms and some of the best shelling in the world.

Naples' European charm and tropical climate invite residents and visitors to rejuvenate, recreate and explore year-round. Named the best “Small Art Town” in 2005's publication of the 100 Best Art Towns in America, Naples shimmers in the art and cultural arena. Venues include over 130 galleries, historical attractions, the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, home of the Naples Philharmonic, and the Naples Museum of Art. Explore the shopping districts of Fifth Avenue South, with restored historic city center buildings and sidewalk cafes, or Third Street South with its small-town aura, tree-lined streets, chic boutiques and European bistros. The Naples downtown waterfront district features the exceptional Bayfront Marina, unique shops, galleries, or try the local sea fare at one of Tin City's restaurants with beautiful views of Naples Bay.


Naples sets the standard for Golf in Southwest Florida. Over 140 golf courses can be experienced in the Naples-Marco Island area. Surrounded by nature's abundance, you're assured each day on the green is a unique experience. Worldclass courses and pristine greens, under the watchful eye of eagles, osprey or alligators are sure to stimulate the senses. Thirty minutes to the south of Naples is the world-class resort destination of Marco Island, with distinctive dining, miles of pristine beaches, cavorting dolphins and uninhabited tropical islands. The largest of Florida's “Ten Thousand Islands” Marco Island has retained much of its natural beauty. Gulf waters invite fishing, manatee excursions, dinner cruises, shelling and snorkeling. Relax in the sun, or thrill to an Everglades airboat adventure. Surrounded by protected areas, Big Cypress

National Preserve, 10,000 Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Everglades National Park assure Florida's fragile wildlife, eco-systems, coastline and natural bounty remain the state's greatest treasures. Magnificent Royal Palm-lined streets have earned Fort Myers the celebrated title of the "City of Palms." Trustees of the winter estates of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, poised upon the Caloosahatchee River, this pristine community has become an intoxicating blend of old and new. Boasting highly acclaimed golf courses, magnificent architecture, and a thriving arts community. Take in a show at the Florida Repertory Theatre, The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, or experience some of Broadway's finest at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.

The laid-back Fort Myers beach has gained recognition as the “World's Safest Beach”, with its calm waters and pristine beach stretching the length of the 7-mile island. A splendid destination for family fun, exceptional dining, lots of silky sand, sun and water sports. Fort Myers Beach provides the gateway to the Islands of Sanibel and Captiva. Sanibel and Captiva feature 15-miles of unspoiled beaches, 22-miles of bike path and no stop lights. The quaint island lifestyle offers amazing alfresco dining, two, Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, 18-hole golf courses, live performances at Big Arts cultural center of the islands, along with the acclaimed annual Sanibel Music Festival each March.

Referred to as “The Gateway to the Gulf of Mexico,” Bonita Springs lies between Fort Myers and Naples, along the gorgeous Gulf. Sparkling white sand and clear waters, along with the amazing natural beauty, this Paradise Coast community offers quiet seclusion as well as outdoor recreation and resort amenities.

Location Florida's west coast , Collier County is just south of Sarasota on Highway 41 and Florida's Gulf Coast. Geography Collier County 2,025.5 square miles (making it the largest county in the State of Florida, based on land area). Temperature 91° F high temperature 54° F low temperature 77° F annual average temperature Annual Precipitation 51.3 inches Average Annual Sunshine 324 days Population 21,377 residents Airport Naples Municipal Airport is located minutes from downtown Naples and Interstate 75, serving as the gateway to "paradise.” 239643-0733 Cost of Living Index 130 (U.S. average is 100)

From the epitome in refined European elegance to unpretentious barrier islands, theatrical performances, or swamp buggy races, the Paradise Coast will embrace you with her charm, mesmerize you with her natural beauty, and tantalize the senses with her chic boutiques, luxurious resorts and culinary delights. The Florida Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands, at the tip of South Florida, is an impressive ecosystem, rugged, beautiful and intricately diverse. From the marine life of Florida Bay, to cypress swamps and topical hammocks, there's something magical about this enchanted and yet fragile area that provides recreational as well as valuable environmental resources.

Median Resident Age 44.4 Years


Sanibel Island Beach is on of the best that Florida has to offer. Still largely a well-kept secret, the tranquil surroundings are popular with windsurfers and wildlife. Captiva Island Beach, near the Bahia Honda Channel, features stunning reefs and marvelous snorkeling.

Naples, Marco-Island, Fort Myers, along with the neighboring barrier islands and Florida Everglades offer a beachside location, vibrant arts scene, high-end shopping and nature preserves. In 2005, Naples was voted the “best beach in America” by the Travel Channel as well as the number one “small art city in America”.

Don't miss Lover's Key Beach, ranked among the “Top Ten Florida Beaches" by the Travel Channel, this peaceful respite offers an intriguing island getaway for sunsets and stargazing.







Savor the Flavors Dining options on the Paradise Coast are a true culinary delight. Open-air, international cuisine, steak house, or local seafood, the delectable local fare is a tantalizing component of this refined community. Upscale, or casual, a wide range of culinary influences and award-winning chefs, create the ultimate dining experience. The Turtle Club Restaurant at the Vanderbilt Beach Resort offers a magnificent beachfront dining experience. Their outstanding cuisine and gracious service earned them the honor of Naples “Best Waterfront Dining,” by the Naples Daily News in 2007. Bayhouse Restaurant, overlooking Osprey Bay and the Cocohatchee Wildlife Preserve, is one of the most respected seafood restaurants in the area, while picturesque bay views and continental cuisine compliment the M Waterfront Grill. The Dock at Crayon Cove is an open-air restaurant with ideal views of Naples Bay. Informal, you'll feel like you've arrived at a special island retreat. Fort Myers' Varanda provides a charming atmosphere at its circa.1902 location, specializing in regional flavors and marvelous seafood. Bokeelia's acclaimed dining at the Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant features spectacular water views, sunsets and cuisine. In Bonita Springs try Doc's Beach House Restaurant, a local landmark, steps from the Gulf, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or, for some of the best seafood around, try Pinchers Crab Shack. In addition to the restaurant, there's a fresh seafood market, with the days local catch. Notable Nightlife When the sun goes down, the nights heat-up on the Paradise Coast. The Tiki Bar at Sam Seltzer's, Fort Myers features a huge tiki bar, live music and spirits. Naples' Shane's Cabana Bar is a spectacular outdoor destination, directly over the water, featuring a full bar, tropical specialty drinks and martinis. If you're looking for jazz, Sanibel's Ellington's Jazz Bar & Restaurant books a fantastic array of pianists, saxophonists, guitarists and more. This old-school jazz spot hosts Ellington's signature white grand piano. At its marvelous Venetian Bay location, M Lounge features spectacular views, spirits and a full calendar of live weekend music. Take an evening cruise, with live music, aboard the Big M Casino at Fort Myers Beach. Try your hand at Las Vegas casino-style gambling aboard a 162-foot yacht, with black jack, roulette, shot machines and dining.


Water Wonders Beyond the abundant fishing options and venues, there are numerous water adventures on the Paradise Coast. Snorkeling, challenging deep-sea charters, air boat excursions and dinner cruises offer something for every water enthusiast. Marco Island Sea Excursions offer water adventures to fish, sail, or tour the islands. While you're so near the exhilarating Florida Everglades, don't miss the opportunity to take an air boat ride. Captiva Cruises offer a Dolphin Watch excursion, the Sunset Serenade Cruise, with live entertainment, as well as shelling cruises to Cayo Costa. Native Adventure The Paradise Coast takes its nature conservancy role seriously with environmental activities and tours that highlight the area's rare, exotic and fragile wildlife. Everglades-fringe ecology reveals a private world of wetlands, salt and freshwater marshes along with an extensive system of backcountry mangrove estuaries. Abundant nature preserves, wildlife sanctuaries and protected habits offer tremendous opportunities to view native wildlife whether on water, or on land. In the upper segment of the Fakahatchee Strand of the Big Cypress Swamp, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge works fervently to protect, preserve and repopulate the endangered Florida Panther. Big Cypress National Preserve protects over 720,000 acres of the vast Big Cypress Swamp and contains a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida Panther. Everglades National Park, is the only one of its kind and the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, protecting rare and endangered species.

Botanical Bounty On a hiking trail, via canoe or by island tour, the vast array of State Parks on the Paradise Coast will provide scenic journeys into the secluded sanctuaries of exotic plants vital to the survival of local wetlands and wildlife. Discover the unique plants and animals that make this coastal ecosystem so valuable. Visit Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park for an introduction to beach ecology, Cohatachee Nature Center for kayaking, or canoeing the fascinating estuaries, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park with a marvelous collection of wild orchids, Bald Cpress and native Royal Palms, with a boardwalk to a virgin cypress strand, or Rookery Bay

Niche Excursions Palm-lined streets, European bistros and historic treasures of the Paradise Coast offer avenues of enchantment. Spend the day at Naples City Dock at Crayton Cove. Featuring the largest fishing and sailing charter fleets in the area, you'll find sightseeing excursions, shopping, restaurants and lodging. Naples Tin City Waterfront Marketplace recalls the area's nautical past, with unique boutiques and great restaurants. Visit the estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford in the heart of Fort Myers for an exploration into the fascinating history behind two of the world's most remarkable men. A trip to the tip of Sanibel reveals the Sanibel Lighthouse, a beacon to nautical navigators since 1884. Curtain Call The Paradise Coast glistens with a refined appreciation for the performing arts. The Philharmonic Center for the Arts is the premiere performance hall in the region, and home to the Naples Philharmonic. Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre accommodates 450 guests, and features eight professional

Creative Expressions Creative talent and art patrons are enthralled by the galleries and exhibits of the Naples area. From the collection of over 130 galleries, outstanding permanent collections and traveling exhibits at the Naples Museum of Art, to the eclectic galleries of Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. Throughout the year there are hundreds of art and cultural events in the area monthly. Sunscreen Required The Paradise Coast is a prime location for beach goers. Naples' features 10 miles of silken sand and one of the most beautiful beach parks in the state at Lowdermilk Park Public Beach. The Travel Channel's Beach Week Expert Panel selected Naples, Florida as “America's Best All-Around Beach� for 2005. Lovers Key offers an unspoiled state park to enjoy the magnificent Gulf sunsets and Marco Island's Tigertail Beach is picture postcard perfect. Fort Myers Beach is recognized as one of the safest beaches in the world and Sanibel Island Beach is undoubtedly one of the best Florida beaches. Ambient Accommodations Resort amenities, sumptuous surroundings and spectacular golf courses typify the amazing accommodations on the Paradise Coast. LaPlaya Resort is one of Florida's finest resort hotels. It's marvelous location between the Gulf of Mexico and Vanderbilt Bay offer guests the ultimate tropical experience. The Vanderbilt Beach Resort offers 5-miles of white sand beach, elevated tennis courts, a beachside infinity pool and award- winning full service restaurant. For a Tuscan inspired resort Bellasera Hotel, located in the heart of Old Naples, offers a distinctive ambiance, Italian architecture, courtyard fountains and marvelous amenities near Naples Fifth Avenue South. Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa boasts a haven of hospitality and refined luxury in an idyllic setting. Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa, nestled on 3-miles of sun swept beaches, transports you to a tropical and luxurious enclave. No passport required to be embraced by the peaceful Gulf waters, beachside tropical pool, luxurious spa and private golf course.


Environmental Learning Center for a guided exploration of the bays and mangrove forests of Rookery Bay. At the Naples Zoo you'll find Caribbean Gardens. This historic tropical garden was founded in 1919 and offers 52-acres of botanical bounty and exotic plants. The Naples Botanical Gardens offers tropical gardens with beautifully restored natural habitats, and an interactive children's garden. At the conservancy of Southwest Florida, explore the vast natural habits via boat, conoe, kayak, or through one of the many hands-on exhibits.

productions each season January through August. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers offers outstanding Broadway Series as well as dance productions January through July, while the Florida Repertory Theater features live theatrical performances October through June.

On The Green The Paradise Coast and the Naples area set the standard for golf in South Florida. Naples has more golf courses per capita than any other area in the world. One of the exceptional attributes of playing golf on the Paradise Coast is the amazing abundance of nature, natural water hazards and interesting wildlife. Numerous area resorts feature stunning greens, along with amazing amenities.




HAPPENINGS You'll be enthralled by the leisure activities and abundant recreation, sun swept beaches, endless days on the green and tantalizing sunsets of the Paradise Coast. But there is much to experience when it comes to great music, art and festivals throughout the year.

February is also the month for the Annual Everglades Seafood Festival in Everglades City, the Naples National Art Festival, the Naples Jazz Festival in Cambier Park, the Annual Mardi Gras Celebration downtown Naples and Annual Photography Exhibit at Rookery Bay, along with the Annual Art fest in Fort Myers.

Monthly events, exhibits and series welcome the entire family into the worlds of watercolor, history, great music and wildlife discovery. Exhibits and educational programs at the Museum of the Everglades, Naples Historical Society, Naples Museum of Art, Naples Botanical Gardens and the Collier County

March brings the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival, Annual Sanibel Shell Fair, Cape Coral Sounds of Jazz, The All Florida Championship Rodeo and Major League Baseball Spring Training with the Red Sox in Fort Myers. Into April Marco Island's Annual Film Festival includes elegant parties, as well

Museum continue throughout the year. Marco Island Center for the Arts features exhibits in the Lauritzen/Rush Gallery and MacFarland Atrium Gallery, while the “Art in the Park” exhibits showcase the talent of Naples Art Association members.

as film screenings. Fort Myers hosts its River and Blues Festival, while you can capture tropical delights at Sanibel/Captiva's Taste of The Islands. May serves up the Taste of Collier in downtown Naples, featuring the culinary talents and fare of local restaurateurs. The annual Great Dock Canoe Race on Naples Bay happens in May and July brings the Fort Myers Beach Annual Taste of the Beach.

January through July, you'll find Broadway Series productions at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. October through June the Florida Repertory presents awarding winning theatrical performances, or be entertained year round at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre's concert series and Off Broadway performances. In January, the music abounds at the Philharmonic, while the seafood and entertainment spice up the Goodland community at their annual Mullet Festival. In Fort Myers the Annual Medieval Faire and Thomas Alva Edison Regional Science & Inventor's Fair begin the year, while Cape Coral hosts its Annual Festival of Arts and Bonita Springs hosts is National Art Festival. From the end of January into February, the Edison Festival of Lights in Fort Myers includes a regatta, fireworks and three days of crafts along the river.



Come September it's time for Fort Myers' Fall Community Art Showcase, while October features the Southwest Florida Folk and Blues Festival in Pine Island. From the end of October to the first of November, the signature event of the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival celebrates Southwest Florida's 190mile marked paddling trail, The Great Calusa Blueway. During November, Naples beams with Celebrate the Arts Month, along with the Naples Renaissance Fall Art Festival. Fort Myers Beach hosts its Annual Sandsculpting Festival, along with the Annual Taste of the Town. During the holidays…November to New Year's, festivities and lights dazzle throughout the Paradise Coast. The Annual Holiday Boat Parade and Holiday House at the Edison-Winter Estate are winter favorites in Fort Myers.

AQUALINE SHORES Waterfront single family homes on narrow canals, with a few on Naples Bay and wider coves. Developed in the 1960's with many ranch style older bungalow homes. BAREFOOT BEACH A secluded North Naples waterfront community with marvelous estate homes and condos. CALOOSA COVE A luxury, gated waterfront-community along the Caloosahatchee River in South Fort Myers features estate homes and direct gulf access boating.

ESTERO BAYSIDE Estero Bayside is an upscale condominium project at the South end of beautiful Fort Myers Beach, on Estero Island. PARADISE POINT Poised along the Caloosahatchee River in Cape Coral, this community features both stunning views and resort style amenities. PELICAN BAY An upscale community situated on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, with private beach access. ROYAL HARBOR With deep water canals and access to the 10,000 Islands, the community features single family homes and marvelous water views. ST. CHARLES HARBOUR A luxury, gated waterfront community in South Fort Myers, with executive homes and first-class amenities.



EDGEWATER ESTATES Edgewater Estates features riverfront estate homes in the heart of old Fort Myers.

VANDERBILT BEACH Where Florida living begins, this community offers beach front condos and single family homes, perfect for the beach and boating enthusiasts.



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Lauren P. Kohl, Attorney at Law Law Offices of Gibson, Kohl, Wolff & Hric, P.L. 1800 Second Street, Suite 901, Sarasota FL, 34236 414 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229 1.941.966.3575

FLORIDA REAL PROPERTY TITLE TIPS By Lauren P. Kohl Every year I receive several calls from Canadians inquiring how

One of the taxes potentially incurred upon the transfer of an

they may change the manner in which they hold title to their Florida

interest in real property is the Documentary Stamp Tax, which is

real property. Some callers have taken title in their names,

payable to the Florida Department of Revenue. The tax rate for

individually and wish to add a family member. Other callers have

documents that transfer an interest in real property is $.70 per

taken title as husband and wife and wish to transfer the property to

$100 (or portion thereof) of the total consideration paid, or to be

a corporation, limited liability company or trust. My response is

paid, for the transfer. If an interest is transferred subject to an

always the same; and is that I can assist them in transferring the

existing mortgage but no cash is actually exchanged between the

title to their property. However, often the transfers have tax

parties the tax will be calculated on the principal balance of the

consequences. Therefore, the time to consider how to take title is

mortgage, encumbering the property transferred. So, for example,

prior to entering into a purchase and sale contract.

if a husband purchases a home in Florida for $400,000.00, titles it in his name only, and obtains financing for $200,000.00 and then


In Florida it is typical that a REALTOR prepare the purchase and

later decides to add his wife to the title, he would owe a tax in the

sale contract on a form approved by the Florida Association of

amount of $700.00.


REALTORS and/or the Florida Bar. There is no requirement that an attorney be involved. But far too often when preparing the Contract, ®

a REALTOR simply asks a purchaser how to spell their name. The

Changing the manner in which a person holds title to real property in Florida may also create income tax consequences under the

REALTOR then types the purchaser's name on the form and the

Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (“FIRPTA”). Prior to

title company inserts that same name on the deed at closing. This is

1980, when the FIRPTA became law, it was possible for


because neither REALTORS nor title companies are authorized to

nonresidents to purchase U.S. real property and sell it for a profit

discuss the legal aspects of holding title. An attorney, however, will

without paying tax. Those days are gone. Now a withholding tax

discuss the various alternatives available for holding title to property,

equal to 10% of the gross sale price is generally collected at

and the pros and cons associated with each alternative as it relates

closing, and submitted to the IRS to offset the potential income tax

to the tax and estate planning goals of the client.

payable on any gain realized on the sale. The amount withheld will



be refunded if it exceeds the actual tax liability. But a seller could

upon their death. Presently, these rates range from 18% to 45%.

wait many months to receive this refund.

An attorney can present a purchaser with options designed to minimize estate taxes. One example may be to hold title to the property in a trust, corporation, or limited liability company. Also,

example is when the sales price is less than $300,000.00 and the

the U.S. Tax Code provides for a limited marital deduction, which

purchaser intends to use the property for more than 50% of the

is why the costs and benefits of holding title with a spouse should

time it is in use. The purchaser must be willing to sign an affidavit

be considered. Estate tax considerations are client specific and

to that effect at closing because it is actually the purchaser that is

therefore are beyond the scope of this article.

responsible for the tax. Some purchasers are apprehensive about signing such an affidavit.

It is a great time to purchase real property in Florida. However, I encourage purchasers to look beyond the initial closing and

A seller can also apply for a Withholding Certificate on the basis

consider the future tax implications associated with the various

that the expected U.S. tax liability will be less than 10% of the

alternatives to owning property in paradise.

gross sales price. Attorneys and accountants can assist their clients in applying for a Withholding Certificate. Areas of Practice: Real Estate Closings, Title Insurance, Another tax that Canadians should consider when purchasing real

Residential & Commercial Real Estate Closings, Contract

property in Florida is the estate tax. U.S. estate taxes impose a

Preparation, Deeds & Mortgages, Wills & Trusts

tax liability on the estates of Canadians who owned real property

OnOf The Your Side Closing Table Lauren P. Kohl Attorney at Law

Law Offices of Gibson, Kohl, Wolff & Hric, P. L. 1800 Second St, Ste 901, Sarasota, FL 34236 414 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229

Protecting Your Interests

Representing local and international clients purchasing and selling real estate, including waterfront, golf course, foreclosures and short sales in the greater Sarasota area. We protect your interests at closing.

966.3575 1.941.966.3575 1.941.


There are exceptions to the withholding requirement. One


The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.



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Victoria Jaensch Karins, P.A. 2017 Fiesta Drive, Sarasota, FL 34231 1-941-927-2708

UNITED STATES VISA OPTIONS By Victoria Karins In my last article, I discussed the rules for Canadians visiting the United States temporarily and provided tips to minimize problems on entry. In this article, I discuss visa options for Canadians who wish to work in the United States.

To qualify for the TN, most of these professions require a baccalaureate degree. An individual cannot obtain a TN for selfemployment in the U.S.; the job offer must be from a U.S. employer.

Under the regulations, for most visa statuses, Canadians do not require actual visas in their passports in order to enter the U.S. In some instances, described more fully below, an application may be presented at a port of entry. In other instances, a petition must first be made to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), which issues a printed approval notice that is presented at the chosen point of entry to begin working in the U.S. in that visa status

The TN application can be presented by an applicant at a designated port of entry, with evidence of the job offer and the applicant's qualifications. If approved, the applicant can immediately enter the U.S. in TN status and start working for the U.S. employer.

There are several visa options for Canadians who would like to work in the United States. The most widely utilized and available are discussed below. The TN Visa Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States and Canada, certain professionals may come to work for a U.S. employer for a temporary period of one to three years, with extensions possible so long as the USCIS is convinced that the Canadian's intent is to return ultimately to Canada after the work assignment in the U.S. The government maintains a list of specified professions which may qualify for TN visas. These professions include accountants, nurses and other health care professionals, postsecondary school teachers, scientists and engineers.



The H-1B Visa The H-1B visa is for jobs that are “specialty occupations,” as defined by the immigration regulations. Generally, these are jobs that require a minimum of a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in education and work experience. The H-1B visa requires an offer of employment from a U.S. entity. It can be granted for three years initially up to a total of six years. Extensions beyond the six years are possible under certain circumstances where a U.S. employer has begun the process of obtaining permanent residence (the “green card”) for the employee. To obtain an H-1B, an employer must first petition to the USCIS for approval of the visa status. If granted, the applicant can present the approval notice at the port of entry. There are approximately 60,000 H-1Bs granted each year and they are generally used up before the end of the fiscal year. Anyone potentially seeking an H-1B needs to plan accordingly.

Spouses and children under 21 years of age may obtain H-4 visas, but are not permitted to work in the U.S. The L-1 Visa The L-1 visa is for manager and executive transferees who have worked for a foreign employer for at least one year out of the last three, and who are coming to work in the U.S. for a related entity. For instance, if one is the owner or an executive of a mid- to large sized company in Canada that would like to open a branch in the U.S., an L-1 visa would be the appropriate category.

The application may be presented at a designated point of entry and does not first require a USCIS petition. Spouses and children of L-1s may obtain L-2 visa status. L-2 spouses may obtain work authorization to work for any employer in the U.S. for the duration of the L-1's stay in the U.S. The E-2 Investor Visa For those seeking to open their own or purchase an existing business in the U.S., the E-2 investor visa may be the appropriate option.

The E-2 visa is unique in that the investor must obtain the actual visa in his passport before being able to enter the U.S. in E-2 status. The application is made by mail to the appropriate U.S. consulate in Canada for initial approval. An interview is then set and the visa granted and placed in the applicant's passport. Depending on the size of the investment, the E-2 is initially granted for two to five years, with extensions possible so long as the requirements of the E-2 regulations continue to be met. Spouses and children also obtain E-2 visas, and as with L-2s, E-2 spouses may obtain work authorization in the U.S. for the duration of the E-2 stay. Areas of Practice: Temporary Work & Non-Work Visas, Finance Visas, Student Visas, “Green Cards�, Labor Certification, Citizenship & Naturalization, Consular Services

Over 15 Years Experience 1-941-927-2708

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The Karins Law Firm understands that the immigration process is one of the most significant experiences in a person's life. With personalized, professional attention and care, we assist you in negotiating through a variety of processes including:


These visas can work for owners of smaller companies as well, but are more difficult to obtain. The L-1 can be granted for one to three years initially depending on whether the U.S. entity is a new office or has been operating already for at least a year.

Contrary to popular belief, the E-2 visa does not require a minimum dollar amount to qualify. However, the investment must be considered substantial based on the nature of the business, must be in an active enterprise (i.e. not passive activity in real estate or stock ownership), and must not be marginal. The marginality prohibition means that the investment must provide more than a basic living for the investor and his family, or must otherwise make a significant economic impact, for instance by providing employment opportunities for U.S. workers.

Temporary work and non-work visas including investors and small businesses, fiancĂŠ visas, student visas Employment-based permanent residence ("green cards") Labor certification Family-based permanent residence ("green cards") Citizenship and Naturalization Consular services

Hands-on personalized attention to carefully negotiate you through each step of the complex US immigration process.




David A. Altro, B.A., LL.L, J.D, D.D.N, Fin.Pl., TEP Florida Attorney and Canadian Legal Counsel David A. Altro & Associates LLP Montreal–Toronto–Calgary–Sarasota–Naples–Ft. Lauderdale–Phoenix 1-800-370-4860

BUYING U.S. PROPERTY THE RIGHT WAY By David A. Altro Bob and Mary put an offer on a $500,000 condo in Sarasota,

the Florida probate procedures and expenses as mentioned.

Florida. When they came to see me they asked whether to put the

Well, how can Mary organize her Florida estate plan to avoid the

title in Mary's name alone as Bob has numerous business interests

probate expense and hassles upon her death; bearing in mind

and potential creditor exposure back home in Toronto. Here are

that Mary is a Canadian citizen and resident?

the issues that face Mary should she pass away while owning the Sarasota condo.



The Cross Border Trust can be established by Mary while alive


whether she is in the process of purchasing or already owns a property in Florida or other State. Should Mary pass away with

Should Mary pass away, as owner of the Sarasota condo, the title

title in the Cross Border Trust, there is no probate.

It is

to the property will be tied up in Florida probate for an extended

completely avoided. Although Mary passed away, Mary's Cross

amount of time. Probate is the legal procedure before the county

Border Trust did not. Where Mary stated in the Trust that Bob

probate court where the property is located. Probate is expensive,

shall be the beneficiary, he inherits it without the expense, and

time consuming and freezes the estate. The beneficiary, Bob, in

the delays and aggravation of the Florida probate procedures.

this case, will need to hire a Florida licensed attorney to probate

This is a great structure as Mary is the only party in the Cross

the Florida property. Probate may cost up to three percent of the

Border Trust Agreement. She is the grantor, the trustee and the

market value of the property as of the date of death.

beneficiary. There is no need to hire any outside person or trust company to act as a trustee. Mary can do it all by herself. Mary


has all the powers. She can sell the property, mortgage it, lease it or gift it (except watch out for gift tax!) without any complications.

Generally, if a will is valid where drawn i.e. in Toronto pursuant to

And, if there is a capital gain on sale, the US tax on such gain will

the laws of the Province of Ontario, then it will be valid in Florida.

be at the lowest rate under the Internal Revenue Code which is

However, the bad news is that the Ontario will is not exempt from

approximately 15% where owned at least 12 months.



probate procedures when Mary passes away. On the Canadian side, remember that this is a Cross Border Trust. Accordingly, by special provisions therein we will avoid the standard problem under the Canadian tax law whereby a transfer from Mary to a standard Canadian discretionary family trust would trigger a disposition and a capital gain tax. However, we avoid it with the special language in the Cross Border Trust. INCAPACITY The Cross Border Trust is a great estate planning tool and not only for the avoidance of the Florida probate. Let's look at another situation. What if Mary becomes mentally incapacitated? If Bob calls me and asks if he can sell the property because they are not using it anymore there will be a huge problem if it's in Mary's name alone or in both names. What often happens is buyer's attorney calls up and says that if Mary is incapacitated mentally there has to be a Florida guardianship procedure. This is expensive and time consuming. What is the solution? Again, the Cross Border Trust. It doesn't become incapacitated. PROTECTING THE INHERITANCE FROM YOUR KIDS' CREDITORS What happens if Bob's adult son, Jim, a businessman residing in Calgary, loses his business. Can his creditors go after his personal assets in payment of the debts owed? Such creditors might well be able to attack and seize Jim's 50% interest in the condo or, in a more likely situation, Jim and his sister Sue may have sold the condo and Jim's creditors might seize his $500,000 proceeds of sale. HOW TO AVOID THIS RESULT? The Cross Border Trust. The Cross Border Trust contains special creditor protection for Bob and Mary's kids, such that Jim's creditors could not seize his 50% interest in the condo or his $500,000 proceeds of sale so long as he has complied with the provisions of the Cross Border Trust. WHAT IF YOUR SON GETS DIVORCED? If Jim experiences grave financial problems this will, of course, put stress on his marriage. Should Jim's wife decide to divorce him after he has inherited 50% of his parents Sarasota condo, I would bet she will be asking for half of all of his assets, including the $500,000 that Jim put in the bank as his proceeds of sale of the condo. If Bob and Mary want to make sure that Jim's ex-wife doesn't have rights to the Sarasota condo or its sale proceeds, the solution is the Cross Border Trust.


We can still transfer the property into the Cross Border Trust today and avoid the



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JANIS COLLIER, GRI, ABR, REALTORs Cell (941) 313-1212, Office (941) 951-6660


LISA SKIRBALL, REALTOR Cell (941) 685-8480, Office (941) 951-6660

Florida Homes Magazine Vol 1 Issue 2  

Florida Homes Magazine is a consumer publication that successfully targets a defined region of highly potential Florida Gulf Coast real esta...

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