We spent hours looking for the best holiday lights, and thankfully, 11 spots got us in the holiday spirit.
| 6:00 a.m. December 21, 2016
We might not have had to travel through the seven levels of the candy cane forest like Buddy the Elf, but we did have to venture up and down all of Longboat Key, St. Armands Key and Lido Key to find the best and brightest holiday lights.
While we didn’t find as much holiday spirit around town as we would have liked [hint, hint for next year], we found several houses, complexes and businesses that put us in a jolly good mood.
From grandparents getting ready for their grandchildren to visit, to restaurants bringing a hint of culture to the holiday season, some people really got into the holiday spirit. Here are our picks for top light displays.
7061 Longboat Drive
Peg and Pete Walker didn’t put up Christmas decorations last year, but this year, they've got a special reason. Their grandchildren are coming. Their yard features seven Christmas trees, including one that slightly resembles Charlie Brown’s famous creation.
731 Russell St.
Chris and Susan Udermann decorated their home with classic white lights that grabbed our attention. The small details, like the bow on a light post and the lights on their palm trees in the pool cage, gave them extra bonus points.
861 Emerald Harbor Drive
While few houses in Emerald Harbor have lights, it’s worth a driving through. We did, and thankfully came across 861 Emerald Harbor Drive. It has just the right amount of various lights for the classic Christmas feel.
Spanish Main Yacht Club
The entrance to Spanish Main was our favorite entrance. Complete with a snowman, presents and reindeer, it has everything a classic light display needs.
820 Spanish Drive South
If you visit Spanish Main Yacht Club, you have to stop by this house. It was one of our favorites. The red and green lights shining on the palm trees add a nice touch to the icicle lights.
There’s always a lot happening on Gulf of Mexico Drive. However, Beachplace’s lights are traffic-stopping. With blinking lights and lighted palm trees, it’s sure to make your commute a little more fun.
The Italian restaurant can’t be missed. Almost every tree on its property are covered in lights. And don't miss the attention-grabbing the star at the entrance.
St. Armands Circle
St. Armands Circle is festooned with lights. The 55-foot tall tree in St. Armands Circle has more than 40,000 lights. Giant snowflakes and wreaths hang around the rest of the Circle. It’s kind of like Sarasota’s own winter wonderland, minus snow, of course.
Le Colonne Ristorante
Le Colonne on St. Armands was the most festive restaurant around the Circle, and even brought some culture into play with a sign reading “Natale,” which means Christmas in Italian.
Sarasota Memorial Hospital Urgent Care
If we were giving out awards, the urgent care center on St. Armands would have won “classiest.” With three wreaths and white lights lining the roof, and a tree on the roof, the center keeps it clean and classy with their lights.
119 Grant Drive
The Lido Key property had everything a holiday display needs: reindeer, Santa Claus and a snowman. We also loved the Lido Beach Club’s palm tree lights.