One of the best things about spending your senior years in Florida is the opportunity to spend time outdoors almost year-round. Due to COVID-19 and an interest in social distancing, outdoor activities look more inviting than ever. Life in a senior living community provides ample activity of all kinds, on campus and off. At Aviva Senior Living, we offer a 27-acre campus with nature trails and an adjacent golf course for plenty of sunshine and exercise. However, with our location in the heart of Sarasota, there are plenty of other things to do within a few miles — and we also follow proper COVID-19 protocols when traveling off-campus. These are some highlights of the great outdoor activities for seniors in Sarasota.

Birding Around Sarasota

The great thing about birding is you can do it anywhere — even right here on the Aviva campus. You can walk on a trail at one of Sarasota’s many parks, stroll along the beach, or simply find a good place to sit in a comfortable chair, with or without binoculars. An area with abundant native Florida plants and insects will attract the most birds. You will want to invest in one or more birding guides specific to central Florida. If you’re more tech savvy, there are also many apps to help with identification. The Audubon Society offers recommendations for both guides and apps.

Visit a Senior-Friendly State Park

We’re fortunate to have two Florida State Parks here in Sarasota: Oscar Scherer State Park and Myakka River State Park. Oscar Sherer is highly accessible to people with mobility issues. It includes 15 miles of trails, some of which are paved or consist of hard-packed shells, and the fishing pier is wheelchair accessible. It’s also home to the endangered Florida scrub jay and bald eagles, so you can actually achieve three of the things on this list all in one place! Myakka River State Park provides boat and tram tours, both of which are easily accessible for seniors, including by wheelchair. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, Florida State Parks offer a 50% discount on camping to seniors 65 and over.

Take in an Outdoor Performance

Sarasota is renowned for its performing arts. Many of its most respected institutions give outdoor performances prompted, in part, by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, and Asolo Repertory Theatre have all begun experimenting with outdoor, socially distant performances in various Sarasota locations. Since new events are listed frequently, and the pandemic tends to cause unexpected changes, it’s a good idea to check each organization’s website for the latest updates.

See Public Sculpture and Murals

Another great facet of the Sarasota arts community is the abundance of public art. You can always take in one or two pieces during any outing around the city, or make an event out of it, whether self-guided or part of an organized public art tour.

Visit Sarasota’s Beaches and Piers

A discussion about things to do in Sarasota wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the area’s incredible beaches. Visit a public beach for fishing, shelling, or simply taking in the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Many Sarasota beaches feature handicap accessible boardwalks and facilities that make them convenient for seniors. County beaches with lifeguard towers even offer complimentary wheelchairs. Sarasota also boasts a large number of fishing piers, including Tony Saprito Pier, Whitaker Gateway Park Fishing Pier, and Rod & Reel Pier and plenty of bait shops to get everything you need.

Visit on a Patio

Spending time with friends and neighbors is important for building a tight-knit senior community. If you have a porch, patio, or lanai, it makes a great place for a safe, socially distant visit with one or two other people. While the pandemic continues, it’s a good idea to wear masks and to avoid any shared food that people eat with their hands. However, a little planning can allow seniors to enjoy some relaxing social time outdoors.

Outdoor Activities at Aviva

Aviva Senior Living is dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of our residents, and we encourage them to embrace Sarasota’s outdoor beauty. Currently, we provide outdoor entertainment for independent living residents under strict safety protocols. (See our latest COVID-19 protocols.) We also have a heated pool and tropical walkways lined with palm trees. Aviva residents can also enjoy the three golf courses at The Meadows Country Club.

Contact us to learn more about life at Aviva!

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