Sarasota County is a beautiful subtropical destination and cultural hot spot located on Florida’s Gulf Coast 80km south of Tampa.

The city of Sarasota boasts a prime location on the mainland, flanked by six stunning barrier islands that are just a stroll, drive, or bike ride away! Find many properties conveniently close to the beach, with an array of delightful shops and restaurants within easy reach.

Beaches and Beyond

Downtown Sarasota

Running through the heart of downtown is, Main Street, and branching off this main strip are colourfully named streets such as Pineapple, Orange, Lemon, and Palm. From bakeries, colourful shops, galleries, wellness studios, restaurants and bars surround central downtown and are divided into five districts all waiting to be discovered.

Longboat Key

Longboat Key’s is divided between Sarasota and Manatee counties, and offers waterfront golf, fine dining, and luxury resorts. Its 12 miles of white sand beaches have contributed to its status as a luxury Gulf Coast resort community. Longboat Key’s nearly 6,000 residents include many retirees who enjoy the island’s championship golf course and tennis club. A 10-minute drive to St. Armands Circle where you can dine, shop, and enjoy its vibrant nightlife. Longboat Key provides an elegant and scenic setting with a rare combination of breath-taking beaches and cultural activities – all while maintaining a relaxed and elegant lifestyle.

Lido Beach

Lido’s beaches are one of Sarasota’s most interesting and varied waterfront locations. Lido Key‘s reputation for marrying cosmopolitan life with seaside paradise continues today. Catch some rays or take a walk on the shore and put your toes in the soft, white sand of Lido Beach. It’s a short radius from St. Armands Circle. Located on the north side of South Lido Beach, it offers a nature trail, a canoe/kayak launch, a self-guided canoe/kayak trail, and picnic areas.

Venice Beach

This island town’s charming main street offers shopping and dining and meanders through stately 1920s homes leading straight to the Gulf of Mexico, and it was named one of Coastal Living’s “Best Places to Live on the Coast” in 2020. Once a fishing and farming community, this city in Sarasota County’s heart has blossomed into a holiday destination where families play in the surf, hunt for prehistoric shark teeth, shop downtown, bike around the Venetian Waterway Trail, and “catch the big one” at the Venice Pier.

Siesta Key

You’ll quickly understand why Siesta Beach was named the #2 Beach in the United States in 2023 by TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards when you feel the quartz-crystal powdery sand between your toes and experience the soft waves and abundance of sun and fun. You can plan your entire trip around this beautiful Key without getting bored, thanks to the large parking area, concession stands, free tram to get around the island, and nearby fun Siesta Key Village.

Manasota Key

Manasota Key is a beautiful beach and eco destination south of Sarasota and Venice, where you can rarely explore beautiful and tucked away sections of beach and eco-habitat without the hassles of a well-hyped beach; no overcrowding, difficulty parking, and not even any of the occasional long waits typical of busier beaches’ diners and bars. Manasota Key is home to four beaches offering miles of unspoiled vistas of the Gulf of Mexico. The Manasota Key area is best known for little-known beaches, including Manasota Beach, Blind Pass Beach, Englewood Beach, and Stump Pass Beach.

Places to Stay

Family Friendly Hotels

There are plenty of family-friendly hotels in Sarasota, Florida that cater to families of all sizes. The Resort at Longboat Key Club offers a range of activities, including golf, tennis, and swimming, as well as a supervised children’s programme. The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota also offers a children’s programme, along with a beach club and a range of activities. For a more affordable option, the Best Western Plus Siesta Key Gateway provides a family-friendly atmosphere with a pool and free breakfast. Whether you’re looking for luxury or affordability, there’s a family-friendly hotel in Sarasota that will suit your needs.

Boutique hotels

Sarasota, Florida is home to several charming and unique boutique hotels. The Sarasota Modern, located in the trendy Rosemary District, features modern décor, and a stylish restaurant.   For a beachfront option, the Lido Beach Resort offers boutique-style accommodation with easy access to the Gulf of Mexico. Discover the charm and character of Sarasota’s boutique hotels on your next visit.

Self-catering or condos

Sarasota, Florida has self-catering options like Beach Club at Siesta Key for spacious condo-style units with full kitchens and private balconies by the beach. Hibiscus Suites Inn has apartment-style accommodations with kitchens and living areas, and a heated pool.  Relaxation and adventure is just a Mai Tai away at the Golden Host Reosrt – escape to a tropical oasis at the newly renovated 1950’s resort, where mid-century modern meets island paradise.  For luxurious self-catering, Hyatt Residence Club Sarasota, Siesta Key Beach offers upscale condos with modern amenities and beach access. Enjoy the convenience of self-catering on your Sarasota holiday

Art & Culture

Ringling Museum

Established in Sarasota in 1927 by the circus magnate, John Ringling, the Museum has 21 galleries of European paintings, Cypriot antiquities, and Asian, American, and contemporary art. Among the most celebrated items in the museum are the 16th-20th century European paintings, including a world-renowned collection of Peter Paul Rubens paintings.

The Ringling


Sarasota is a fantastic destination for art enthusiasts, with a dynamic arts scene boasting several galleries exhibiting contemporary works by local and international artists. From the heart of downtown Sarasota to the historic Burns Court neighbourhood, there’s no shortage of visually stunning galleries to explore. Immerse yourself in the diversity of works displayed at Venice Art Center, Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, Creative Liberties Artist Studios & Gallery, Dabbert Gallery, State of the Arts Gallery,  Englewood Art Center, Ringling  College, The Gallery at Galleria Silecchia,  MadeBy Gallery at Ringling College of Art & Design, Art Center Sarasota, Aqua Pine Boutique and Selby Gallery at the Ringling College of Art and Design. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the creative energy of Sarasota’s thriving arts community!

Sarasota Opera

Sarasota Opera based in a renovated 1926 theatre, presents a fall-winter season of fully staged operas. The company is particularly renowned for a long-standing Verdi Cycle initiative to perform all the works of Giuseppe Verdi. It also has a series devoted to neglected works of artistic merit, such as Alfredo Catalani’s “La Wally,” and a new American Classics initiative to produce one opera by an American composer each season.

Sarasota Opera House

Sarasota Ballet

The Sarasota Ballet has received national and international recognition for its diverse repertoire of rarely performed ballets, as well as the integrity and artistry of its performances. In the last five years, The Sarasota Ballet has been invited to perform twice at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and the Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center, as well as week-long residencies at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Joyce Theatre in New York.


Experience wonders and inspiration at Sarasota’s museums! Discover the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, featuring renowned works by Rubens, van Dyck, and Veronese. The South Florida Museum offers a unique experience with exhibits including a planetarium, aquarium, and natural history museum. The Sarasota Art Museum showcases cutting-edge contemporary art, while the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy offers a whimsical atmosphere in a garden setting. Expand your cultural horizons and ignite your imagination in Sarasota’s museums.

Attractions and things to do in Sarasota County

Myakka River State Park

One of the oldest and largest state parks, Myakka protects one of the states most diverse natural areas. 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 out over the Upper Myakka Lake, then take to the treetops with a stroll along the canopy walkway. The parks river and two lakes provide ample opportunities for boating, freshwater fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; a boat ramp provides access to Upper Myakka Lake.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Sarasota & Historic Spanish Point

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens provides 45 acres of bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history. Established by forward thinking women of their time, Selby Gardens is composed of the 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus and the 30-acre Historic Spanish Point campus in the Osprey area of Sarasota County, Florida. The Downtown Sarasota Campus on Sarasota Bay is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns, and other tropical plants.

Venice Beach Shark Tooth Hunting

One of the most popular and unique experiences visitors can have in Venice, Fl is hunting for shark teeth. Shark teeth collectors say the best places to look for the fossils are any beach accesses south of the Venice Jetty, including Casey Key and Manasota Key.
The Venice Fishing Pier at Brohard Park is right in the heart of shark’s tooth country and an ideal place to begin your journey, especially if you are new to the area.

Mote Marine

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is a world-renowned marine research and education facility located in Sarasota, Florida. The facility features several exhibits and interactive displays showcasing marine life, including a touch tank where visitors can interact with sea creatures like stingrays and crabs. The aquarium also houses several species of sharks, manatees, and sea turtles. Additionally, Mote Marine conducts cutting-edge research on topics like ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, and coral reef restoration. Visitors can learn about these important conservation efforts and the impact they have on the ocean and its inhabitants.

Find something exciting to do in Siesta Key

Siesta Key Beach Sarasota

Siesta Key offers plenty of exciting activities to do, such as relaxing on the pristine beaches, kayaking or paddleboarding through the calm waters, taking a sunset cruise, parasailing, exploring the scenic nature trails, and enjoying delicious seafood at local restaurants. You can also indulge in some retail therapy at the boutique shops or take a tour of the charming village and historic landmarks. For those seeking adventure, try out the thrilling water sports, go fishing or boating, or even take a helicopter tour for a bird’s eye view of the island. There’s never a dull moment in Siesta Key!

Sarasota Bike Tours

Offers casual bike tours (on comfort cruiser) in Sarasota and two of its barrier islands, Siesta Key and Lido key. Their tours include Lido Bike and Kayak, Lido Sunset, Siesta Key Bike and Kayak, Siesta Key Sunset, Downtown Sarasota Historic Bicycle Tour, Downtown Sunset Tour, Ringling Mansion Tour, electric bike tours and custom tours for guests anywhere in Sarasota County. All tours include bikes, helmets, drinks, and lunch or snacks depending on the duration of the tour.


The Circus Arts Conservatory

The Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota is a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of the circus. Established in 1997, it offers programmes and performances for all ages and skill levels, including the longest-running youth circus in the US, Sailor Circus, which was founded in 1949. Circus Sarasota, also held at the Conservatory, features performances by top circus performers from around the world. By providing training and education in circus arts, the Conservatory aims to preserve the rich cultural history of the circus while promoting the growth and development of this unique art form.

Dine your way around Sarasota

Farmers Markets

Sarasota in Florida is a hub of farmers’ markets, brimming with fresh produce, artisanal products and lively community vibes. The Saturday Sarasota Farmers’ Market boasts of a diverse group of vendors, including farmers, bakers and artisans, and features live entertainment. The Phillippi Farmhouse Market, held on Wednesdays at a historical property, offers a range of specialty items and fresh produce. The Central Sarasota Farmers’ Market, held on Saturdays, is home to more than 40 vendors selling organic fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meats and baked goods. Sarasota’s farmers’ markets are a must-visit for anyone looking for fresh and unique finds.

Fine Dining

Sarasota, Florida boasts a vibrant fine dining scene, with a variety of restaurants offering cuisine from around the world. Visit the acclaimed Indigenous for farm-to-table fare showcasing local ingredients or dine on Mediterranean-inspired dishes at Blu Kouzina. Enjoy waterfront views and fresh seafood at Ophelia’s on the Bay, or indulge in contemporary American cuisine at Louies Modern. For a unique dining experience, head to the Melting Pot for fondue or Selva Grill for Peruvian-inspired dishes. With so many delicious options, Sarasota’s fine dining scene is sure to satisfy any craving.


Sarasota, Florida boasts a thriving craft beer scene, with several breweries offering unique and delicious brews. The Calusa Brewing is a popular choice, known for its hop-forward beers and experimental flavors. The Sun King Brewery offers handcrafted seasonal and specialty beers and has been awarded with multiple medals at the Great American Beer Festival®, World Beer Cup®, and United States Beer Open competitions.  99 Bottles and Taproom Shop serves a well-curated selection of craft beers from all over the world. The Big Top Brewing Company compliment Sarasota’s historical associations with The Ringling Circus, performing arts, great architecture, the best art and design schools and world renown tourism. With so many great options, beer lovers won’t want to miss out on the breweries of Sarasota.


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