Sarasota offers a wealth of activities to get residents out and about on the weekends. From picnics at Island Park to tanning at Siesta Key public beach to hiking the trails at Myakka River State Park, there's always some way to get out and enjoy a sunny Saturday or Sunday.
But, what about the activities you though you'd never try? Sure tennis and golf can be fun, but it could be even more fun to truly shake up your weekend with one of these five quirky hobbies.
+ Sporting Clays
Regardless of your views on gun control, shooting clays can be one of the most exciting — yet, paradoxically relaxing — hobby out there. It's challenging to pick off the flying discs with shotguns, and can leave you with a sore shoulder, but there's no feeling like hitting a target.
In fact, the Observer Daily Headlines crew checked out this activity at Ancient Oak Gun Club earlier this year. Click here to watch a short video.
Yes, there is a quidditch team in Sarasota. The Observer wrote about Ringling College of Art and Design's team a few years ago. But, you don't have to be an art student to channel Harry Potter, just grab some brooms and group of friends and hit the nearest soccer field for some fantasy-themed action.
+ R/C airplane flying
The Sarasota R/C Squadron takes off each week at Rothenbach Park with remote-controlled planes of all shapes and sizes. Enthusiasts, many of whom are military veterans, are known to give free flying lessons to youth, so don't be shy and learn to fly R/C planes this weekend.
+ Metal detecting
If you have spent enough time on or near a beach in Florida you've seen them. The men or women scouring the sands with metal detectors aren't hard to miss.
Though they may seem annoying while you're trying to lay out and get a tan, only to hear the beeping of a sweeping metal detector, try putting the flip-flop on the other foot. The thrill of potentially finding treasure could get you hooked on metal detecting.
Though Sarasota is one of the best places for birding in Florida, there's never too many people taking advantage of the Celery Fields, a unique natural site east of I-75. It's an excuse to get outside, so buy a pair of binoculars and a birding book (or visit our local Audubon website) and try this hobby out. You might even be able to impress your friends with your bird knowledge some day.