- Sarasota Vacation Guide
Found in Southwest Florida, Sarasota is the perfect vacation spot for families, snowbirds, golfers, fishermen, and beachgoers, with world-class arts, culture, dining, and shopping.
Sarasota is a vibrant destination located south of Tampa on Florida's west coast.
Sarasota also includes Lido Key, St. Armands Key, Bird Key, Otter Key, Coon Key, and Siesta Key. These keys give access to white sandy beaches and clear water, complemented by the cultural activities and events of the city
Highlights of Sarasota
- Pristine white sandy beaches: Lido Key Beach and Siesta Beach - which was voted the best beach in America several times
- Many outdoor activities: kayaking, boating, beaching, horseback riding, golfing - the list is endless
- Cultural attractions including Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, and Asolo Repertory Theatre
- Myakka River State Park
- St Armands Circle
- Upscale dining and shopping
Things to do in Sarasota
Discover The Ultimate List Of Things To Do In Sarasota
Sarasota is one of the most popular vacation destinations on Florida's Gulf Coast, the perfect Florida getaway for relaxing beach escapes as well as sophisticated snowbirds. Here's a great list of things to do to help you find out if it's the perfect fit for your next vacation.
- Visit the Mote Aquarium (marine laboratory) to see some of Florida's rescued wildlife including manatees, turtles, and dolphins
- Big cat habitat
- Visit the John and Marble Ringling Museum of Art
- Take a walk in the Sarasota Jungle Gardens to feed flamingos
- Water Activities: boat rentals, parasailing, kayaking, beaching, swimming, shelling
- Visit St. Armands Circle for shopping, restaurants, and beach access
- Fishing & charter boat tours
- Shopping (University Town Centre)
- Fine dining and casual restaurants
Be sure to book your vacation during one of these fun and exciting events.
- Sarasota County Fair; great for all ages (March)
- Sarasota Jazz Festival (March)
- Florida International Air Show (April)
- The Sarasota Music Festival hosted by the Florida West Coast Symphony (June)
- Sarasota Film Festival (March)
- Sarasota Chalk Festival (the first international street painting festival in the US) (November)
- The Sarasota Marathon (October)
Food and Drinks
Sarasota is full of great restaurants. It is a truly rich cultural area with an abundance of funky drinking establishments and a fabulous selection of award-winning dining establishments with a large variety of epicurean options. Some favorite restaurants include:
- Owen's Fish Camp ticks all the boxes for an eclectic ambiance and imaginative seafood dishes.
- Columbia, found in St Armand's Circle, is one of the area's oldest restaurants known for its famous Cuban cuisine.
- The Indigenous Restaurant serves up New American-style cuisine in a funky historic cottage
- First Watch Cafe is a great chain restaurant option for "health-minded breakfast, brunch & lunch options" think omelets, soups & salads.
- Yoder's Amish Restaurant is known for its old-fashioned locale and hearty American & Amish cuisine. Don't leave without one of their homemade pies.
Where To Find Vacation Rentals In Sanibel Island FL
You're in luck! You can find vacation rentals right here on Florida Rental By Owner (FLARBO)! Our rental listings are 100% managed by the property owner or manager. Ditch the pesky third-party fees and interference - no middle man (Or woman) here!
Do you have questions about Sarasota Florida, or need help planning your trip? Join our Sarasota- Siesta Key Travel Facebook group here
Transportation for Sarasota
How Do I Get To And Around Sarasota?
Flying To Sarasota
There are several airports to choose from, all within an hour's drive of Sarasota, Florida. Whether you live in the United States, Canada, Europe, and beyond you are sure to find a final destination close by.
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is right in Sarasota, making it the most convenient.
Airlines: Air Canada, Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, Elite Airways, Frontier, Jet Blue, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country, and United. Some routes are seasonal.
Car rentals, taxis, limos, public transportation, Uber, and Lyft are available
St. Pete-Clearwater Airport is located approximately an hour's drive from Sarasota. It is a destination for low-cost carriers. The main airline carrier is Allegiant Air. PIE is less busy than Tampa International Airport and is frequently used by pilots of private planes and executive jets.
Southwest Florida Airport is located in Fort Myers, Florida. A little over an hour's drive from Sarasota, it's also a great choice for flying into to get to this vacation destination.
Airlines: Air Canada, airBerlin, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Silver Airways, Spirit, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country, United, and West Jet.
Public transit, car rental, and taxis, limos, Uber, and Lyft are available.
Tampa International Airport is also approximately an hour's drive from Sarasota (56 miles).
Airlines: Alaska Airlines, Air Canada, American Airlines, Breeze Airways, British Airways, Cayman Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Edelweiss Air, Frontier, Jet Blue, Lufthansa, Silver Airways, Southern Airways Express, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines (seasonal), Swift Air, United, WestJet
Car rentals, public transit, taxis, limos, Uber, and Lyft are available
Driving to Sarasota
For those driving to Sarasota, Hwy. I-75 is a direct route to Sarasota, but the I-10 or Hwy. 20 can be taken westbound to Hwys. 77, 79, 231. Consider driving these distances from major cities to Sarasota;
- Birmingham, AL - 624 miles
- Atlanta, GA - 509 miles
- New Orleans, LA - 711 miles
- Nashville, TN - 758 miles
- Little Rock, AR - 984 miles
- Louisville, KY - 930 miles
Transportation in Sarasota
There is an abundance of transportation options in Sarasota including Uber, taxis, shuttles and limousine services. Many are open 24 hours a day but we highly suggest booking transportation in advance.
- There are lots of transportation shuttles available, but your own vehicle will give you much more freedom to come and go as you please. There are also lots of local restaurants to explore, not to mention the endless attractions and shopping!
- Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) provides public transportation for Sarasota County, Florida, and is operated by the county. There are 38 fixed-line bus routes plus a dial-a-ride paratransit service (SCAT Plus). The majority of the routes operate from Monday through Saturday with select services on Sundays.
- Siesta Key has a free trolley
Statistics about Sarasota
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Weather for Sarasota
What Is The Weather Like In Sarasota?
With the fabulous weather patterns year-round, any time of the year is good a time to visit Sarasota.
The hottest and the rainiest periods in Sarasota are from June through August, but the rain is not usually an all-day event.
The coolest months are December through February with daytime highs in the 60's F
FAQs about Sarasota
Answers to the most frequently asked questions.