Where to Stay & Why - From 2 bedrooms and up, the lodgings can accommodate solo travelers, couples on a romantic trip, friends on a beach getaway, or families on a vacation. All properties are beautifully maintained and will really make you feel at home. The living area has comfortable sitting chairs and/or couch. Some even have a sofa bed for extra sleeping space. Get together here to play games or to catch your favorite shows on the flat-screen TV. There’s HD cable, DVD player, and WiFi. For those working while on vacation, there may be a working space so you can check emails and be up to date with work. The fully equipped kitchen is ready for your special recipes, and while waiting for it to cook, sit and chat at the kitchen island or dining table. There may also be a laundry room with a washer and dryer, a drying rack, and an iron with ironing board.
Relax in the large fenced backyard where kids and pets can run around and have some fun. There may be patio furniture on the deck and a BBQ grill for when you feel like making dinner outdoors. If your rental has a pool, they are generally child-friendly and not so deep so everyone can enjoy safely. If you want to stay in one of the houses in a gated community, you’ll get to access heated pools, the clubhouse, gym, library, games/rec. room, and more. Aside from those, other amenities include parking, beach chairs, boogie boards, floaties, coolers, and if you’re traveling with kids, ask the owner if they provide cribs and other baby stuff so you won’t have to pack extra.
What to See & Do - As one of Florida’s primary Gulf Coast cities, Sarasota offers visitors an eclectic blend of culture, fine dining, circus thrills, pristine beaches, and lots of shopping opportunities. For art-centric attractions, visit The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the Art Center of Sarasota, and various craft shows and festivals. You can also tour Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, a magnificent 56-room Venetian Gothic palace and the Ringlings’ old family home. It’s also a popular destination for nature lovers. Catch a glimpse of local flora and fauna at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Lido Key Beach, or Myakka River State Park. Explore the secrets of the sea through touch pools, viewable-working labs and high-tech interactive exhibits that showcase the world-renowned research of Mote Marine Laboratory. Don’t forget to soak up some sun along the white-sand beaches!
The city includes the mainland downtown as well as three islands, called "keys". These are Longboat Key, Lido, and Siesta Key. Causeways to all these keys are free and very picturesque. Downtown Sarasota is very vibrant with a healthy mix of businesses, residences, and restaurants, as well as city services.
Where to Eat & Drink - Like other Florida destinations, Sarasota’s dining scene focuses primarily on American fare with regional seafood specialties like shrimp, lobster, and octopus. Local seafood restaurants include Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, Owen’s Fish Camp, and Kacey's Seafood and More. For Italian cuisines, head to Dolce Italia, Cafe Baci, and Mozzarella Fella. Eateries like the Peruvian-inspired Selva Grill and the Puerto Rican-influenced Sofrito Mama’s are considered must-visit spots for Latin American dishes. Yoder’s Restaurant and Der Dutchman Restaurant are diners where you can sample traditional Amish and Mennonite items, like pecan sticky buns, potato cakes, and shoofly pie. For tasty libations, travelers can choose from one of the area’s craft breweries. Some known establishments are Sarasota Brewing Company, the Big Top Brewing Company (where circus-inspired brews are served), and Calusa Brewing.
How to Get Here & Getting Around - By plane, you can get in via the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) located on the border between Sarasota and Manatee. By car, Sarasota has one primary expressway, Interstate 75, which runs north to south. Sarasota’s attractions are spread throughout the city, so the best way to get around is to rent a car or ride Sarasota County’s bus service. Bike rentals are available if you’re planning on visiting attractions near your accommodations. You can also arrange for taxis and ride-sharing services.
When to Go - The best time to visit Sarasota is from March to May or between September and November when crowds and temperatures are manageable. The city’s most comfortable weather is from December to February, but it's peak season so it gets crowded with Northern visitors.