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Cool Activities for Hot Days

Indoors, Outdoors & Outer Space

Hannah Wallace | Sarasota Herald-Tribune STYLE Magazine
May 30, 2021

The Sarasota-Manatee region is paradise, and sometimes paradise is hot. But that’s no reason to hide away from summer. Now that we are going out more, safely engaging with our favorite places, we can’t let the heat get in our way. Fortunately, local recreation experts have developed amazing, creative, captivating ways to have fun, stay safe, and keep cool in this 2021 Florida, possibly-post-pandemic summer. Whether it’s open-water adventures, air-conditioned exploration, guided meditation or the latest takes on classic frozen treats and summer sports, here are some of the area’s coolest solutions for the hottest time of the year.

trolleys, tours and treats

Ice cream has always taken the cake when it comes to summertime refreshments. In the time of Covid, ice cream trucks have been elevated to an essential service. This summer, may we humbly suggest that ice cream be named the official treat of getting out and reacquainting ourselves with Sarasota and her history.

In late 2019, local entrepreneur Tammy Hauser purchased an ice cream truck “really on a lark,” she said. She branded it The ChillMobile (chillmobile.com) and intended simply to serve frozen treats to customers on her popular Discover Sarasota trolley tours.

Then Covid hit, the tours were temporarily suspended, and ice cream became Hauser’s primary business.

Now, people eager for safe, outdoor gatherings as well as delectable frozen desserts can call on the ChillMobile. Hauser has seen the demand grow through a year of limited social opportunities.

“Birthdays, senior visits, openings for businesses, realtor house-warming gifts, Covid vaccine celebrations. Happy hours in the driveway have been a huge hit,” she said.

Alongside old-fashioned Good Humor bars, the ChillMobile menu has the coolest locally made delicacies: Hauser serves products from Sarasota’s Pop Craft, which makes artisan popsicles in gourmet flavors like raspberry rose almond and Mexican chocolate; Lakewood Ranch’s Lickety Splits, which produces small-batch ice cream from locally sourced ingredients; and the ChillMobile’s own “boozy pops” made with Siesta Key Rum products.

Now Hauser’s Discover Sarasota Tours (discoversarasotatours.com) have returned in full force, too, and curious sightseers can grab a Choco Taco and strap in for some seriously entertaining Sarasota history. In addition to the traditional trolley, Hauser took advantage of the Covid-19 break to purchase a passenger van that can accommodate more intimate tour groups up to nine. Every week, both the van and the trolley run a remarkable variety of themed, 90-minute tours, led by engaging, knowledgeable guides, traversing the city in air-conditioned comfort, because “you really don’t want an open-air trolley in July,” said Hauser. 

The tours’ themes include City Sightseeing, Explore Sarasota Public Art, Circus Secrets, Haunted Sarasota, and the Tiki Trolley Trivia Tour, which includes a stop at local classic watering hole, Bahi Hut. Summertime sellouts are common, so plan ahead.

“Sarasota continues to fascinate me,” said Hauser. “We really try to convey that love that we all have for this city.”

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