Sarasota's Backyard Oasis

Things To Do

Pictured: Shellebrate Boat Tours offer spectacular sunset views. Photo courtesy of Rachael Russo.

As spring turns to summer, and days grow longer and the weather gets hotter by the minute, many are scrambling to find any way to beat the heat. For Sarasotans, however, a unique oasis from turning weather is right in their backyard - the sparkling waterways and coastlines of South West Florida.

“Boating season for us is from February to Mother’s Day, during which we're on the water constantly - that’s when everyone from up North comes down to enjoy the water and the weather,” says Captain Rachael Russo, owner and operator of local outfit Shellebrate Boat Tours LLC.

Russo, who hails from New Jersey, was drawn to the area for that very reason - the ability to be on the water all year round. She started Shellebrate Boat Tours - a play on the word ‘celebrate’ - in June of 2019 and hasn’t looked back since.

Russo offers a bevy of different tours on her 24’ Pursuit Center Console motor vessel. "Some of my most common tours are tiki bar hopping, sand bar hopping, dolphin and manatee viewings, and sunset and stargazing tours as well,” states Russo. "My advice? Book the stargazing and sand bar hopping tours before summer arrives - the water around the sand bars grows murkier with the daily rainstorms and residual cloud cover can blot out the night sky. Once summer is upon us, however, cool off with a cold drink on a tiki bar hopping tour or reap the benefits of the daily storms by catching a spectacular sunset on the water."

Shellebrate Boat Tours, 941-219-5315, $150/hour with 2 hour minimum, 6 passengers max, lifejackets provided, dogs allowed.

Pictured: Shellebrate Boat Tours offer spectacular sunset views. Photo courtesy of Rachael Russo.

For more information and to book a tour, click here.

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