This seaside city’s recreational amenities also include many outstanding golf courses.
Coastal hub of arts and culture with diverse attractions
Sarasota (Zipcodes 34236, 34237, 34239, 34234, and 34231) is a coastal hub of arts and culture on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Residents of this family-friendly city enjoy beautiful weather and access to an abundance of beaches and parks to enjoy it in. Sarasota offers exceptional shopping and dining with a huge variety of restaurants. This seaside city’s recreational amenities also include many outstanding golf courses. Sarasota was the longtime winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus, and premier attractions such as the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art bear the Ringling family name.
Sarasota’s eclectic real estate mix covers all bases. Housing styles include cozy single-level family homes, stylish contemporary condominium complexes with pools and tennis courts, and palatial private estates with stunning architecture and impeccable amenities.
Sarasota provides a wonderful balance between urban amenities and outdoor recreation. From first-class restaurants and world-class cultural attractions to boating around the Gulf islands off the coast, there is an endless amount to see and do within the local area.
Sarasota is a vibrant city with a huge variety of places to shop, dine, and discover. Selva Grill’s innovative Peruvian cuisine has won rave reviews from Zagat, Lonely Planet, and the New York Times. Morton’s Gourmet Market has been a Sarasota mainstay for decades. This family-run market sells gourmet groceries and deliciously prepared meals. Nancy’s BBQ serves mouthwatering smoked meats with specialties including beef brisket, pulled and bone-in chicken, pulled pork, and Saint Louis spare ribs.
Michael’s on East has delighted diners with its sophisticated New American cuisine and stylish piano lounge since it first opened in 1987. Sister restaurants Mattison’s City Grille and Mattison’s Forty-One each serve an eclectic menu of refined land and sea entrees alongside happy hour drinks specials.
Off the Hook is a seafood restaurant and market offering gourmet sit-down seafood meals and fresh locally sourced fish to take home. Walt’s also combines a fresh seafood market with a restaurant and tiki bar run by a family that has been selling some of Sarasota’s tastiest and freshest ocean catches for over a century.
At Bayfront Park, O’Leary’s is a tiki bar and restaurant featuring regular live music against a beautiful waterfront backdrop. The Old Salty Dog has two locations on barrier islands easily accessible from mainland Sarasota. Both restaurants serve a wide-ranging surf ‘n’ turf menu with shareable specialties including seafood platters and steam pots.
On Siesta Key, Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar is a laid-back spot serving great clam chowder. Captain Curt’s also has a tiki bar that hosts live music performances. Owen’s Fish Camp is another fine choice for seafood with a varied menu, including a shareable Low Country Boil with king crab legs, mussels, clams, and Andouille sausage.
Sarasota’s shopping destinations include more than 100 specialty stores and 20 restaurants at The Mall at University Town Center. Dining highlights here include sophisticated steakhouse fare paired with world-class wines at The Capital Grille. On Saint Armands Key, St. Armands Circle features more than 130 businesses including stylish boutiques, seafood restaurants, cocktail lounges, and art galleries. Sarasota Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning with dozens of vendors lining the streets of downtown Sarasota.
Sarasota is a major hub of arts and culture. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art features a large collection of European Baroque art, while the Ringling Circus Museum is packed with fun exhibits exploring the history of the Ringling Brothers’ Circus. Ringling College of Art and Design is a private art school that attracts many talented artists to Sarasota. The associated Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College features ever-changing exhibitions of contemporary artwork.
On City Island…Mote…, Mote Marine Aquarium exhibits more than 100 species of marine animals. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a living museum in downtown Sarasota with a collection spanning tens of thousands of plant species across a 30-acre site.
First-class cultural performances can be enjoyed at the historic 1920s Sarasota Opera House, the striking modernist Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, and the Sarasota Ballet. Towles Court Artist Colony showcases the work of many talented fine artists. Towles Court also organizes an art walk with live music on the third Friday of each month. Theatrical performances can be enjoyed at venues such as The Players Centre for Performing Arts, Florida Studio Theatre, and the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. In spring, Sarasota Film Festival showcases a diverse lineup of international film screenings. Robarts Arena hosts many conventions, performances, and events, including the Sarasota Fair and the Thunder by the Bay motorcycle and music festival.
Sarasota also offers lots of parks and greenspace. Enjoy captivating waterfront views at Bayfront Park, attractions including a circus-themed playground at Payne Park, major rowing events on the 400-acre lake at Nathan Benderson Park, and unspoiled coastal scenery with views over the Gulf of Mexico, Big Sarasota Pass, Sarasota Bay, and Brushy Bayou at South Lido Park on Lido Key.
Sarasota is served by Sarasota County Public Schools.