Sarasota Vacation Guide

Where to Eat, Shop, Play , and Stay in Sarasota

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About Sarasota

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
  • Golfing
  • Shopping (University Town Centre)
  • Fine dining and casual restaurants
  • Wellness

Annual Events

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)

Explore Sarasota

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 (SRQ)

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 Petersburg-Clearwater Airport (PIE)

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 (RSW)

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 (TPA)

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

0+ Properties for rent

Prices range from $/night

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.

Yes, there are many homes and condos that rent monthly in Sarasota, Florida that would be perfect for snowbirds and longer stay guests.
Yes! We love our pets and we are sure you do too! has many pet-friendly Sarasota rentals. You can use our search filters to narrow down our Sarasota rental properties to show those that are pet-friendly.
Sarasota is perched on the Intercoastal Waterway and the perfect place to bring your boat or rent one from a local vendor! (Florida Rental By Owners) has many boat-friendly rentals in Sarasota Use our filters to narrow down our Sarasota rental properties to show those that are boat-friendly.
Yes! Vacation rentals provide more space and privacy to make your vacation more comforatable. Vacation rentals offer a kitchen so you can cook at your rental - great for people who don't want to eat every meal out or those with children.
Florida Rental By Owners has a range of vacation rentals in Sarasota, Florida including condos, and private homes. We recommend selecting a property based on your needs such as proximity to downtown, cultural areas, beach areas, waterfront dock properties, parking, wheelchair accessible, nearby attractions, and whether or not the property is pet-friendly or boat-friendly.
You're in luck! You can find vacation rentals by owner right here on Florida Rental By Owner (FLARBO)! Our rental listings are 100% managed by the property owner. Ditch the pesky third-party fees and interference - no middle man (Or woman) here
Yes! We have several subscription levels to advertise your vacation rental suitable for any budget. Our Book Direct, No Commission Fee Subscription Model suits the majority of short-term rental owners, learn more here.

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