Sarasota, FL

Travel Guide
Ca’ d’Zan showing heritage architecture and a garden

Sarasota Travel Guide Video

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.

Where to stay in Sarasota

Causeway Park featuring general coastal views

Central Sarasota

4/5(911 area reviews)

Gardens, art galleries, and theaters are some highlights of Central Sarasota. Make a stop by Sarasota Opera House or Marina Jack while you're exploring.

Central Sarasota
Beautiful Bruny... home to amazing cheese, oysters, wine... all the good stuff.

South Sarasota

While visiting South Sarasota, you might make a stop by sights like The Landings and Coconuts Family Entertainment Center.

South Sarasota
Finally got around to trying out another coffee house on Florida's west coast. The Clever Cup in Sarasota did not disappoint. Very good latte with an extra shot and a tasty turkey and cheese sandwich in a toasted croissant. Good seating and local jewelry and art. Worth the stop and several nearby places looked interesting for later exploring.

Gulf Gate Estates

4/5(71 area reviews)

The pristine beaches and ample dining options are top of the list for many visitors to Gulf Gate Estates. A stop by Gulf Gate Mall or Gulf Gate Golf Club might round out your trip.

Gulf Gate Estates