Since Logan young he has always called Sarasota, Florida his second home and has visited every year for his winter break. When we began dating I became a part of this tradition and we have gone together ever since.
Needless to say, we love Sarasota for many reasons!
This hidden gem is sure to be added to your list when visiting Florida.
Siesta Key: With it’s baby powder white sand (which is 99% pure quartz) it’s easy to see why Siesta is rated the #1 beach in the United States. This is definitely our favorite beach to visit but it can get crowded during holidays! Make sure you grab a spot on the beach early.
Lido Key: Close to the popular St. Armand’s Circle Lido Key is another poplar beach spot among locals and tourists. We also love watching the gorgeous sunsets here.
Manatee Beach: This is another nice public beach for those staying closer to Anna Maria Island.
Holmes Beach: Close to Manatee Beach and another nice beach for those staying close to Anna Maria Island.
Coquina Beach: Our personal favorite – a popular spot among locals that isn’t nearly as busy as other nearby beaches. This beach is perfect for those who love Siesta Key but want less traffic. It is also a popular nesting spot for sea turtles.
Longboat Key: A popular vacation spot for families. Currently Longboat Key is under construction as much of the area has eroded. However it is tentatively scheduled to be completed by October 2016.
Nokomis Beach: Sarasota’s oldest beach but don’t let that steer you away. It’s less busy than Siesta Key and is also the perfect spot for picnicking and fishing. Spend the day here then stop by Venice Beach to look for sharks teeth!
Venice Beach: While this isn’t the best beach for laying out on your beach towel, you can spend a nice amount of time here hunting for shells and shark’s teeth that have washed up on the shore or fishing from the pier. If you are a diver, this is also a terrific spot to explore the reef.
Turtle Beach: A family friendly beach perfect for a relaxing day. There is a terrific beachside playground as well as horseshoe and volleyball courts. It also has a boat ramp nearby that allows easy access to the bay.
Anna Maria Island: A private beach for those staying on Anna Maria Island but it’s worth a stop to take a look at the pier and is very close to The Donut Experiment (see more in the about Sarasota dining in this post).
Want to visit them all? No problem, check out this map!
The Ringling: You might be surprised to hear that John Ringling wasn’t just known for his prominent circus business, but also known for his collection of art. This is one of the most expansive and unique museums that Sarasota has to offer. With multiple exhibits, including his collections of art, circus paraphernalia, beautiful gardens facing the bay, and his own 56 room mansion, you won’t be disappointed!
Pricing: Adult Tickets: $25, Seniors 65+: $23, Students 18+ with ID: $5, Children 6-17: $5, Children under 6: FREE, Active US Military: $10 Bonus: FREE entrance on Mondays.
Myakka River State Park: This widespread park is famous for its diverse wildlife, typically you can see alligators and many varieties of birds wading in the water or making their homes in the trees. Those who visit can also enjoy bicycling, hiking, canoeing/kayaking, camping, tram tours, and boat tours.
Pricing: $6/vehicle (2-8 people), camping fees: $26/night, cabin fees: $70/night
Mote Marine Laboratory & Museum: The Mote is a rather quaint aquarium dedicated to research and preservation of the world’s oceans and the creatures that live there. It also has many exhibits that are up close and personal to wildlife like you haven’t seen before.
Pricing: $19.75 Ages 13 and over, $18.75 Seniors 65 and over, $14.75 Children 4-12, Children 3 and under: FREE
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters: Not only a place to shop for outdoor goods, CB’s is always our go to for boat rentals to spend a day on Tampa Bay. We often rent a boat for fishing purposes and for leisure. CB’s also offers jet ski rentals, parasailing, and even fishing charters for those who would prefer a more guided tour.
Liquid Blue Outfitters: This reputable kayak rental company offers guided tours through the Mangrove Trees and lead out to the bay where you can view spectacular homes and if you’re lucky, see a few majestic manatees.
St. Armands Circle: If you are looking for a quaint and unique place to shop or dine St. Armands Circle will fit your desires. It has many local restaurants and boutique & specialty shops.
Siesta Key Village: Another eccentric area with unique shops and restaurants located right by America’s #1 Beach.
Ellenton Premium Outlets: If you are a bargain shopper but also love high quality brands you will truly love this outlet mall. It has a large variety of stores and you could easily visit her on a night or rainy day.
Detwiler Market: If you are in Sarasota for an extended stay or for just a short time you have to check out the local Detwiler Market! This market it similar to a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. I assure you, you will be impressed by the variety of items at this popular local grocer. We highly recommend buying fresh produce, homemade cheeses, bakery goods and strawberries when in season.
Looking for some restaurants that are sure to blow your mind?
Check out this post to read more about Sarasota’s dining options!
Are you ready to escape to the Sunshine State?