The State27Homes blogging team recently spent a day exploring Nokomis in southwest Florida, and we’re excited to share some highlights from our trip.
Nokomis Part 1: Organic cafes, drum circles, citrus and more.
To get your bearings, Nokomis is 20 miles south of Sarasota and is home to about 3000 residents, with exclusive Casey Key (a slice of southwest Florida paradise that people such as novelist, Stephen King, call home) to its west on the Gulf. The area has an outdoorsy vibe with quiet beaches and contemporary eateries and shops. My day was jam-packed with things to do.
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Wildlife is front and center in Nokomis.
Nokomis begs at you to spend time outdoors. Scherer Thaxton Preserve is one of the area’s gems. There are 287-acres of Scrub Jay habitat with hiking and biking trails to immerse yourself in, and the preserve conveniently connects to the popular Legacy Trail (a system of connected trails throughout Sarasota County). Both places offer ample wildlife viewing and allow you to bring your dog along for adventures.
On Wednesday and Saturday evenings at sunset (all year long) people gather for the Nokomis Beach Drum Circle as drummers rhythmically say farewell to the sun for the day. It’s an energetic way to enjoy the beach sunset, and you can even join in with your best empty jug or other impromptu drum. Locals say, “Just show up not too long before sunset, and go with the flow.”
Contemporary Café Evergreen.
I can tell you, firmly, that I do not like beets. At all. Ever. So it sounds crazy that I was tempted by a beet sandwich of all things, but I was at Café Evergreen. Their signature Evergreen Club sandwich is meatless, but it was hearty with savory flavors, and I didn’t regret a thing. Café Evergreen has an extensive vegan and vegetarian menu — they also serve juicy beefy burgers (grass fed of course). If you’ve ever wanted to try vegan or vegetarian dishes as your main meal while eating out, but couldn’t commit to it this is THE place to do that. The portions are filling and the quality is excellent.
Nokomis Groves is classic Florida.
After I left Café Evergreen, I headed over to Nokomis Groves. Surrounded by flowering trees and citrus groves, Nokomis Groves reflects a rich tapestry of Florida history with detailed memorabilia on display along with specialty gifts that highlight the flavors and food culture that are true to Florida. And of course there is all manner of things citrus and tropical. Tangerine butter? They have it. Lemon curd? Yep. Orange marmalade, orange blossom honey and coconut toast spread? Yes, yes and yes. You can get an idea of their offerings from their online catalog.
The groves are not open to the public, but this landmark and its orange ice cream is a must do. If you plan to visit, keep in mind that Nokomis Groves operates around the citrus growing season, so the store is closed in the summer months. The ice cream, however, is available year-round, as it should be here in the Sunshine State!
Nokomis Beach is like many quiet, sugar sand beaches southwest Florida is known for, but something that stood out to me was that the beach is efficiently setup for people who may have mobility issues. The ramp from the parking lot to the sand is extensive and in excellent condition. The parking is very close to the ramp, and it’s free.
I enjoyed spending some quiet moments here watching sailboats go by. It’s a wonderful way to wrap up a day in Nokomis.
Nokomis has a lot going for it so we’re turning this spotlight into a two-part post. Stay tuned for Nokomis Part 2 when Natashia highlights arts and culture in the area.