- November 12, 2016
Sarasota County celebrated its 100th year in 2021, and to help people learn more about the region's century of history, the county has created a geocaching program, Sarasota County Quest.
Sarasota County Quest, much like a scavenger hunt, provides GPS coordinates of a historical landmark for players to find. Upon arrival at the location, players search for a hidden box where a log book and area-specific postcards are placed.
Players are welcomed to sign the log book and take an area-specific postcard. But after doing so, it is required to place the box back in its original location.
There are 21 geocache locations to explore in the program, all of which require the use of a smartphone and the geocaching app. The app is available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
After downloading the app and creating a geocaching account, players should then reference the list of Sarasota County Quest locations listed on its website under the Communications tab. Clicking on a location should redirect players to the geocaching app to begin the search.
The geocaching app connects to smartphone GPS tools. After driving, biking or walking to the chosen location, players must search on foot and follow the app’s directions precisely.
For example, a geocache box has been hidden in Phillippi Estate Park. The app can lead players out of the parking lot and within a few feet of the box, which is where the search truly begins.
According to the Sarasota County Quest instructions, looking for a historical marker can help in finding the box. This was true in Phillippi Estate Park, where the geocache was hidden among brush and the banks of Sarasota Bay only a few feet away from a historical marker.
Phillippi Estate Park is enjoyed for its recreational and environmental amenities today, but the geocache box contained a postcard visualizing the Edson Keith Estate. The estate has been registered in the U.S. National Register of Historical Places since 1991.
The Edson Keith Estate was constructed in 1916 and was once home to a politician, clothing designer and a luxury hotel. It was purchased by the county in 1986 to create the park.
The historical postcards are found at every geocache location just as they are at Phillippi Estate Park. There are locations throughout the county from Sarasota southward to Osprey and Venice.
The county has encouraged players to find all 21 geocaches and share their findings using the hashtag #SRQCountyQuest. Hints and comments about specific geocache locations can be found inside the geocaching app.