Sarasota, FL

Travel Guide
Venice showing tropical scenes, general coastal views and a sandy beach
Famous white-sand beaches, a dynamic arts community and lush tropical beauty keep visitors coming back to Florida’s central west coast cultural capital.

Sarasota is a bayside city dotted with Mediterranean Revival architecture and bordered by award-winning beaches on three picturesque barrier islands. The city and its county are known as “Florida’s Cultural Coast” and are home to 10 theaters, 30 art galleries, an acclaimed symphony orchestra and prestigious ballet and opera companies.

Downtown Sarasota has plentiful cultural attractions. Enjoy classical operatic performances at the Sarasota Opera House. See a diverse selection of acts at the striking Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Historic Asolo Theater or the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Dine at one of the restaurants in the area and enjoy the local seafood. Try Florida spiny lobster, crab and shrimp and finish off with a citrusy slice of key lime pie.

The 1920s millionaire circus magnate, John Ringling, and his wife Mable contributed greatly to some of the city’s most intriguing cultural features. Visit the Ringling Estate, a sprawling bayside complex that contains the Ringling Museum of Art and the couple’s own lavish Ca’ d’Zan mansion.

Discover the natural beauty of the tropical Gulf of Florida coastline at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardensand look for an iconic pink flamingo at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

Lido Key and Siesta Key, barrier islands just west of downtown, provide some of the most breathtaking beaches in the United States. Siesta Key Public Beach, with its crystal-clear water and sand that looks and feels like powdered sugar, is a favorite for locals and visitors for swimming, playing volleyball or taking long walks as the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota is located on the central west coast of Florida, 60 miles (96 kilometers) south of Tampa. Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is a short distance from downtown and is served by major airlines flying from the eastern United States and Canada. Sarasota has a tropical climate with mild winters and hot, humid summers. Warm temperatures and diverse cultural attractions make this city a fantastic destination any time of the year.

Sarasota Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Sarasota

Golden Host Resort - Sarasota
Golden Host Resort - Sarasota
3 out of 5
4675 N Tamiami Trl, Sarasota, FL, 34234
Fully refundable
The price is $151 per night from Feb 12 to Feb 13
$151
per night
Feb 12 - Feb 13
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Sarasota. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (887 reviews)
Amazing, Classic Beach Hotel and Tiki Bar
"The Golden Host was a wonderful stay. Harkening back to a classic beach hotel, the decor was spot on. The Bahi Hut is timeless and a must-see whether staying at the hotel or not. The staff was so helpful. I left my wedding band in my room while I was rushing for an early flight. When I landed, it ..."

Reviewed on Feb 3, 2023

Golden Host Resort - Sarasota
Kompose Boutique Hotel
Kompose Boutique Hotel
3 out of 5
965 University Pkwy, Sarasota, FL, 34234
The price is $166 per night from Feb 6 to Feb 7
$166
per night
Feb 6 - Feb 7
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Sarasota. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the clean rooms in our reviews. Popular ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (2,388 reviews)
"Loved this place! Most friendly staff we have run into in ages. It’s exceptionally clean and very comfortable."

Reviewed on Feb 3, 2023

Kompose Boutique Hotel
Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
3 out of 5
1540 Ben Franklin Dr, Sarasota, FL, 34236
The price is $219 per night from Feb 8 to Feb 9
$219
per night
Feb 8 - Feb 9
Stay at this 3-star beach hotel in Sarasota. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the pool and the restaurant in our reviews. ...
3.2/5 (1,412 reviews)
"The location is fabulous. The bed was comfortable and room was clean. Staff were very nice, especially front desk and restaurant. The property is very old, outdated and in need of repair. It is budget friendly for the area. If you are not fussy about room and are going to Florida to spend time outside ..."

Reviewed on Jan 29, 2023

Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Hibiscus Suites - Gateway to Siesta Key
Hibiscus Suites - Gateway to Siesta Key
2.5 out of 5
1735 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL, 34231
Stay at this business-friendly aparthotel in Sarasota. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a business center. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (1,930 reviews)
"For the price to also get a small living room and kitchen makes this place hard to beat."

Reviewed on Feb 3, 2023

Hibiscus Suites - Gateway to Siesta Key
Tiny House modeled after the yellow lifeguard stand on famous Siesta Key Beach
Tiny House modeled after the yellow lifeguard stand on famous Siesta Key Beach
Sarasota, FL
Stay at this vacation home in Sarasota. Enjoy WiFi, onsite parking, and barbecue grills. Our guests praise the WiFi in our reviews. Popular attractions Siesta ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (12 reviews)
Very cute
"Its a small place yet it found a way to fit two beds. Absolutely cute i would def recommend up to 3 people tho."

Reviewed on Nov 28, 2022

Tiny House modeled after the yellow lifeguard stand on famous Siesta Key Beach
WATERFRONT STUDIO UNIT 107 at the Ramada Inn Sara Bay Marina  7150 N Tamiami Tr
WATERFRONT STUDIO UNIT 107 at the Ramada Inn Sara Bay Marina 7150 N Tamiami Tr
Sarasota, FL
Stay at this vacation home in Sarasota. Enjoy WiFi, a fitness center, and onsite parking. Our guests praise the pool and the overall value in our reviews. Popular ...
3.9/5 Good! (110 reviews)
Love this place!
"A hidden gem, great vibe, great view."

Reviewed on Jan 23, 2023

WATERFRONT STUDIO UNIT 107 at the Ramada Inn Sara Bay Marina 7150 N Tamiami Tr
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Sarasota

Sarasota is quite spread out, across the mainland downtown and three offshore keys. This means you might find renting a car the most convenient option for getting around. There’s an extensive bus network, but be aware that most buses don’t run at night or on Sundays. If you’re going to be staying around downtown, consider exploring on foot, or renting a bike. Taxis are quite expensive in Sarasota. Visit the Sarasota Country Area Transit website.Browse Sarasota rental cars.

Best time to visit

Sarasota has a typical Floridian climate, which means summers are often hot and wet, with thunderstorms a possibility from June well into the fall. Winter sees very pleasant, drier weather, but is the peak season, so you’ll be jostling for space with seasonal snowbirds. That makes spring the best time to visit, before the wet season starts and after the crowds which descend in winter have dispersed.

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Things to do

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