Welcome To Sarasota
Sarasota looks out onto the warm and dazzling waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where the tropical white sand beaches stretch as far as the eye can see. You could easily spend days and weeks strolling over sand dunes and sipping cool drinks under beach cabanas, but you’ll have to tear yourself away because Sarasota, a city south of Tampa, offers so much more. World class arts, cultural and historical attractions inform and inspire, while wild outdoor activities in untouched natural habitats are food for the soul. And speaking of food, there’s plenty of that too!
Highlights of Sarasota, FL
- Great for: A cultural experience in a fast-developing city of great variety
- Famous for: The incredible Ringling Estate, with its art collection and mansion
- Closest airport with direct flights: Tampa International Airport is 56 miles to the north
- Why we like it: The amazing history of the Ringling Bros circus amid many cultural highlights
- Itineraries featuring Sarasota, FL :
Sarasota, FL Location
Weather in Sarasota, FL
Average temperature (°C) and average rainfall (days).
Hotels in Sarasota, FL
The Hyatt Regency is a perfect place to stay if you are wising to explore as well as relax in Sarasota. Located on the bay front, the hotel has stunning views of the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean.
The Virage Hotel is located just minutes from Sarasota in Osprey. Enjoy brand new rooms, free Wi-Fi and a complimentary continental breakfast served daily. The hotel is perfectly located to make the most of Siesta Key Beach as well as a number of other attractions.
Things to do in Sarasota, FL
History Of Sarasota
Manatee Village Historical Park
Experience the Florida of yesteryear in the turn-of-the-century buildings at Manatee Village Historical Park. Learn about settlement history through the restored courthouse, blacksmith shop, general store and other authentic buildings.
This stately building houses one of the richest and most impressive art collections in the country. There’s a staggering array of permanent collections and exhibitions on display, from dramatic Reubens to impressive contemporary pieces like Turrell’s sky space, where you can lie back and watch the sunset.
Culture, Arts & Music In Sarasota
The Art & Antique Center
If you’re looking for that extra-special, one-off souvenir from your visit to Sarasota, you’ll find something completely unique at Sarasota’s large Art & Antique Center. Dealers in antiques, jewellery, coins, paintings and more have exclusive stores here.
Support local Florida artists with a visit to this art gallery and gift shop in the downtown historic area. Find something you love with one-of-a-kind trinkets, prints, paintings and sculptures on display.
State of the Arts Gallery
High-quality local artists are selected to display their work at the prominent State of the Arts Gallery. See the best of contemporary art in Sarasota in a modern and sleek gallery space.
Towles Court Art Association
Take a stroll through tree-lined pathways and brightly-coloured houses to discover tiny galleries and artists studios. This neighbourhood is full of creative people and unique shops, restaurants, and events.
Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota
A handful of venues around Sarasota host classical concerts as part of the Artist Series of Sarasota, which runs from October to June every year. Big names and many of your favourite classical pieces are performed. Check out the schedule to see what’s on.
The Jazz Club of Sarasota
Get into the swing of things at the Jazz Club of Sarasota. Making the most of the many indoor and outdoor venues, talented musicians perform throughout the year, culminating in the large Sarasota Jazz Festival every spring.
The Players Centre For Performing Arts
See local talent and international names at the Players Centre. With such an eclectic schedule of performances, you’re sure to find something to keep you entertained
Enjoy an elegant evening of dance at the Sarasota Ballet. Well respected for modern and classical performances, it’s well worth a trip.
Sarasota Contemporary Dance
Even if you’re new to the world of contemporary dance, you’ll be impressed by the lively and accomplished performances as this accomplished dance company mixes dance styles from across the world with modern elements.
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Just steps from the water’s edge, this large-scale concert hall is the place to see musicals and big-name acts.
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT)
An award-winning theatre company championing diversity and telling important stories through entertaining and original productions.
Sarasota Beaches & Parks
Brohard Beach and Paw Park
This is one of few beaches in the area which you and your dog can enjoy together! Bound along the shoreline and through the azure waters and have a game fetch on the white sand beach.
Caspersen Beach Park
This rugged, pristine beach has some of the best sand dunes around and offers excellent opportunities to comb for pretty shells and hunt for fossils.
Maxine Barritt Park
Have a sunny family picnic on this popular beach. There are special picnic areas with grills and a play area for the little ones. It’s all surrounded by stunning wildlife and greenery.
Nathan Benderson Park
A multi-purpose park and sporting facility that welcomes members of the public and sportspeople alike. The landscaped park is a peaceful place to escape the city. You can stroll the green pathways and get some sun on the boating lake. Family-friendly recreational areas sit happily alongside state-of-the-art sporting facilities and an event space.
Health, Wellness & Spa Tourism In Sarasota
Mandala Med-Spa & Yoga Shala
If you fancy a spa experience with a difference, the Mandala Med-Spa offers treatments combine medical knowledge and wellness with both eastern and western influences to create unique and restorative therapies.
Pineapple Yoga Studio
Don’t let your usual yoga schedule go out the window while you’re away in Sarasota. Stretch and relax at this conveniently situated studio with spiritual and professional staff.
Sarasota Ecotourism, Wildlife & The Great Outdoors
Miles and miles of hiking trails that allow you to experience the wilderness of Florida’s wetlands and forest. The Myakka Island Wilderness Trail is a beautiful 12-mile hike that winds through protected habitat and lush greenery.
Curry Creek Preserve
A wonderful place to walk amongst Florida’s indigenous wildlife, with alligators, otters, snakes and birds. There are many trails to suit different abilities and opportunities for cycling and a kayak launch.
Jim Neville Marine Preserve
This preserve is popular with those who like to enjoy life on the water. You can canoe and kayak around much of the site, spotting birds and other wildlife and stopping off at the nearby beaches.
Mary Thaxton Memorial Preserve
This park is full of unique Florida wildlife and varied habitats. You can spend the day fishing or exploring the trails by bike and you can even run around the lake on the dedicated fitness trail if you’re feeling energetic.
Venice Area Audubon Rookery
The sight of dozens of species of birds flying into the island rookery at sunset is spectacular. Join many professional and amateur twitchers and photographers to watch this dramatic scene unfold.
Sport Activities In Sarasota
The Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota is the spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles is. Bring the family along to the public training sessions and see some of Major League Baseball’s biggest stars.
Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water-Ski Show
Watch the proud Sarasota tradition of water-skiing kept alive at the Ski-A-Rees show. This weekly spectacle is free of charge and happens throughout the year. The talent and tricks might even inspire you to have a go yourself.
Siesta Key Watersports
At Siesta Key you can charter boats, hire jet skis or go parasailing for the ultimate thrill.
Golf in Sarasota
Head to the Meadows Country Club for a round of golf and you’ll enjoy high-quality service and luxury facilities as well as three well-kept and enjoyable courses including the championship Highlands course. TPC Prestancia is a private club with an excellent reputation and two courses of the highest quality. The University Park Country Club has won awards as one of the best golf venues in the area. Unwind with a day on the fairways before relaxing in the lakeside restaurant.
Where To Eat In Sarasota
Historic Palm Avenue
Palm Avenue certainly lives up to its name. Stroll along this grand thoroughfare and stop at an array of wonderful restaurants in this classy and lively downtown area.
Combine a spot of sightseeing with your lunch or dinner at Marina Jack. The bayside location is one of the best places to take in the views while savouring delicious and fresh dishes at any time of the day. If that wasn’t enough, you can even head out onto the water on the Marina Jack II Vessel for a romantic sunset dinner cruise.
Ellenton Premium Outlets
There are bargains to be had and designer names galore at this outlet mall on the outskirts of Sarasota.
Historic Downtown Venice
Filled with small boutiques and independent artisans, there are beautiful products around every corner. The cafes and public spaces are perfect for resting before another round of shopping!
Westfield Siesta Key
Cool off in the smart Westfield Siesta Key shopping mall where you’ll find all the top designer names. With a cinema and good selection of restaurants, you might just be tempted to stay.