Sarasota Loves Bird Watching and The Forest Is The Place

A recent story in the Sarasota Herald Tribune had some very surprising news about tourism in Sarasota and Florida. Visitors are attracted to the state for many obvious reasons including the weather, beaches and of course golf.  Most people would think golf ranks higher than bird watching. But in a recent interview with the Tribune, County Commissioner Christine Robinson said that the opposite is actually true.

She learned bird watching was a higher tourist attraction then golfing in a briefing by the Tourist Development Council. The tribune article went on to quote Erin Duggan, Visit Sarasota’s Director of Brand, who said, “Golfing is still incredibly important, but more people say they’re coming for birding.” While the beaches and dining out ranked far higher than both golfing and bird watching, this is still great news for resident of The Forest!

Caracara Mexican Eagle The Forest Hihat Ranch

As residents know, there are many good golf courses within just a few miles of The Forest. The community also has some of the best bird watching in the region on its 270+ acres of abundant natural beauty, much like nearby Myakka State Park. Tall pines shadow an understory of scrub palmetto while stately oaks shelter open fields, natural wetlands and lakes. And most importantly this environmental gem attracts a wide variety of songbirds, egrets, osprey and wild turkeys with its many natural ponds and bird habitats. Jim turner, a family member who helps manage The Forest and Hi Hat Ranch, says there are other bird attractions as well. “The Forest is quite a haven for all kinds of birds including some relatively rare ones like the Caracara, better know as the Mexican Eagle, and a variety of owl and woodpecker species. The lakes also attract may species of wading birds.”

With the abundant wildlife at The Forest and nearby Myakka State Park residents may never need their putters again. The Myakka State Park is one of Florida’s largest and most diverse natural parks in the state. The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches over the Upper Myakka Lake, and then take to the treetops with a stroll along the canopy walkway. The Myakka State Park Bird List features hundreds of birds that can be spotted. This list is also very applicable to the birds that can be found right in The Forest.

Check our Blog regularly for more exciting updates for resident of The Forest!

Tour 3 Beautiful Custom Estates During The Forest Open House

brian-woodSunday, June 9th from 1 – 4pm is your chance to tour three exceptional private estate homes in The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch.  I am hosting a special Summer Kickoff Open House with a rare opportunity see and tour some of the area’s most impressive homes. We will also be featuring the newly per-developed Homesite No. 1 to give visitors a better opportunity to understand just how grand the properties are in this community.

All three homes were custom designed and built by John Cannon Homes.  Each includes many special features and upgrades that exemplify the possibilities at The Forest.

Tour Stop 1:  9399 Swaying Branch Road

9399-Swaying-Branch-Rd-OpenHouseDiscover masterful craftsmanship in a majestic country estate. This wonderful home has been carefully designed and perfectly positioned on one of the most beautiful forested and homesites in the community. It’s an impressive setting for a home that features high finish levels like custom raised panel cabinetry, hand selected granite counter tops and custom crown molding throughout. Outdoor living includes a generous entertainment area complete with full kitchen and fireplace that overlook the expansive pool and spa. The home is framed by stately oaks and palms for privacy and tranquilly. There is a private theater room and large bonus room perfect for a pool table. This is a certified green home with closed cell foam insulation, high efficiency A/C unites, radiant heat barrier, and offers hurricane protection with impact glass throughout the home.
Quick Facts:  5752square feet with 4 bedrooms and 4/2 baths on Homesite 6.  It is currently priced at $1,595,000.

Tour Stop 2:  9273 Swaying Branch Road

9273 Swaying Branch Rd House Experience a private Italian villa. This majestic custom built home offers Mediterranean inspired architecture on a spectacular four-plus acre estate. The natural fauna surrounds as you enter the driveway with stately palms and oaks accented with colorful foliage at every turn. This home has the perfect blend of luxury and timeless architecture style. Enjoy the spacious gourmet kitchen that offers plenty of seating for entertaining friends and family . The single floor design also offers a wonderful bonus room that can serve many different functions. Outdoor living is taken to a new level with generous covered areas that let everyone enjoy the views of the custom pool, spa and the incredible forested areas that frame this one of a kind back yard. Impact glass and closed cell foam insulation provide today’s latest energy efficiencies.
Quick Facts: 4010 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 4 baths on Homesite 13.  It is currently priced at $1,475,000.

Tour Stop 3:  10673 Leafwing Drive

10673-Leafwing-Drive-OpenHouseExperience the ultimate in luxury in a magnificent mission-style estate. This beautiful home was custom designed to maximize the spectacular views of the Forest at Hi Hat Ranch. It sits on 4.25 acre estate homesite with natural tree canopy.  Impressive landscaping enhances the setting.  There are custom interior finishes and upgrades at every turn in an open floor plan that maximizes views of the surrounding landscape. The gourmet kitchen includes hand selected granites, raised panel cabinetry and upgraded appliances. The master bedroom suite is luxury personified with picturesque views to the outside forest. The master bath is a retreat in its own right with a stunning dual shower area in glass mosaic. An expansive open two-story floor plan is perfect for entertaining and includes a den/library/office and a game room.
Quick Facts: 5295square feet with 5 bedrooms and 5 baths on Homesite 34.  It is currently priced at $1,575,000.

Tour Stop 4:  Preview Homesite No. 1

Homesite1-AerialViewAfter you tour the three open houses take a walk on one of the most impressive homesites in The Forest.  We have per-developed Homesite No. 1 to demonstrate the size and possibilities for building at The Forest.  One of the big differences (literally) between The Forest and other estate neighborhoods in the region is the size of our homesites.  These are true acreage parcels allowing residences that can be expansive while also providing true separation and privacy.  Homesite No. 1 sits in an a lush oak hammock and backs onto a view of the lake at Gazebo Park. It sets up for a home that will have an impressive drive to a home among the stately oaks. It’s a must see to truly experience the possibilities for estate living at The Forest.
Quick Facts: 3.02 Acre Wooded, Waterfront Homesite.  Priced at $270,800

Don’t miss this chance to Tour The Ranch.  I will be on hand with more information and available to answer questions.  We look forward to seeing you here.  Please feel free to contact me for additional assistance or to schedule a private tour if you are not able to make the event. Click here for direction to The Forest.

Brian Wood
The Forest Specialist
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty