Sarasota is a city in Florida with my favorite beach in the USA | Sarasota
Sarasota is a small town of beautiful cabins on the Gulf Coast of Florida just south of Tampa, Florida, with about 60,000 residents. It is one of the favorite places to live for the American rich, like Naples, Santa Barbara or Delray Beach. Not only does it have more sunny days than Miami, but it’s also home to art galleries and a creative atmosphere like Sedona. And Sarasota is also home to Siesta Beach, the best beach in the U.S., known for its white quartz sand and lack of big waves.
Sarasota is an elongated coastal city on the mainland with adjacent barrier islands (Lido Key, St. Armands Key, Otter Key, Casey Key, Coon Key, Bird Key and part of Siesta Key. ), located between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida.
- The name Sarasota comes from the Spanish term for a place to dance.
The city of Sarasota is well known in the United States for its unique combination of pleasant climate, beautiful architecture, wonderful beaches, wide variety of cultural and entertainment activities, good restaurants and stores. It is at the top of most American city rankings in terms of quality and convenience of life.
Our recommendation: For official information about Sarasota, visit sarasotagov.com before you travel.
What’s interesting about Sarasota?
- Tourists come here to relax on the amazing white sandy beaches away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities.
- And many affluent American retirees move to Sarasota precisely because of the variety of cultural life.
Sarasota has many different venues for the performing arts – music, dance, theater, and circus. This includes opera and ballet, orchestra, jazz club, conservatory, and circus school. Films are also filmed here.
- Since 1998, Sarasota has hosted an annual film festival.
Fun fact: In the early twentieth century, the famous Ringling Brothers Circus was based in Sarasota, and many attractions in Sarasota are named after them.
Sarasota is also home to the Mote Marine Laboratory, the Aquarium, the beautiful Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, and the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary.
Downtown Sarasota is the best place to live, with easy walking paths from all neighborhoods. You’ll find all the arts, culture, and fun in the morning and evening as well as beautiful architecture in the afternoon. And you can also luxuriate, choose an expensive beach resort on one of the barrier islands and enjoy the sun and the sea.
For example, Longboat Key, a 12-mile island, has several resorts, but mostly residential neighborhoods with expensive parking lots for yachts right next to the house with direct access to Sarasota Bay. The quaint neighborhood in the center of this island is full of different restaurants, stores, and beach bars.
We, on the other hand, decided to stay just out of town at the almost new, comfortable Hyatt Place Hotel, which we had loved while traveling in the Florida Keys. And we were very pleased with it!
When is the best time to go
Sarasota has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and warm, dry winters. The rainy season lasts from June to September, and the dry season from October to May.
- During the summer months, it often rains in the afternoon.
- Sometimes it can get cold in the winter when cold arctic air reaches the south coast of Florida, so a warm jacket may come in handy.
So, the best time to vacation in Sarasota is November-December and March-April, when temperatures are most comfortable and there is no rain. But in the middle of winter is better to go to the Maldives, where it’s warm the whole year, and in summer – in Hawaii or Seychelles.
- Miami or Hawaii – what better to choose
- Comparison of vacationing in Hawaii and the Maldives
How to get there
Map of Sarasota
Detailed map of Sarasota
Downtown Sarasota parking map
Where to Stay
Here are some good hotels in Sarasota:
1. Embassy Suites By Hilton – rooms and apartments on the waterfront, at the Lido Key exit
2. the Lido Beach Resort – a modern hotel on Lido Beach with a pool and family rooms
3. Hyatt Residence – an upscale beachfront hotel with a beach club on Siesta Beach
4. Carlisle Inn – comfortable hotel away from the beaches, but with the most spacious rooms
5. Ameniti Bay – Best Western – an affordable hotel with a high rating near Interstate 75
Lido Beach is about 4 kilometers long and is closest to downtown Sarasota. It is located on the island of Lido Key. And we walked here, leaving our car at the inexpensive St Armand’s Parking Garage at 57 N Adams Drive Sarasota for $0.5/hour.
Beautiful promenade in the shade of the trees
Exit to Lido Beach
When we arrived at Lido Beach, we immediately fell in love with it! As soon as we got to the beach itself, the first thing I wanted to do was to take off my shoes and walk barefoot on the beautiful sand and splash in the water. And most importantly, that and the people was not so much. To be honest, we felt like we were in the Maldives. In general, the perfect beach in Florida was found for us!
Lido Beach itself consists of three beach areas:
- The northern part of Lido Beach is the most secluded and wildest, with no amenities. But we liked it the most. It is interesting to walk barefoot on the soft white sand and shoals, watch birds and passing boats. It is somewhat secluded, with limited parking and no amenities.
- The middle of Lido Beach is a popular spot for a relaxed beach vacation, but with the amenities of showers, toilets and a public pool.
- The beach at the south end of Lido Key, with its shady trees and picnic areas, is convenient for family-friendly outdoor activities. South Lido Park has a trail for walking and sports.
Photo of Lido Beach in Sarasota:
Siesta Key is 8 miles long and is accessed from the mainland by two bridges, which provide convenient access to free parking for vacationers at Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach, and Turtle Beach. The beaches themselves stretch along the Gulf Coast for more than 5 kilometers.
The broad Siesta Beach, a beach with soft white quartz sand and calm waves, is considered the best. It has many times been voted the best beach of the year in the United States because of its landscaping, natural beauty and large size. It has everything you need for a beach vacation, including a park and playgrounds for children. On Florida’s west coast, only Clearwater Beach can compete with Siesta Beach in terms of popularity among tourists.
Photos of Siesta Beach in Sarasota:
Venice is a southern suburb of Sarasota, considered one of America’s happiest seaside towns. It’s a nice place to relax in a quieter, more democratic setting, away from millionaires and their expensive whims.
Not to be confused with the famous Venice in Los Angeles, California. There, too, is the iconic Venice Beach, more associated with film and music.
We found Venice Beach to be pretty good overall, and the cost of lodging, as well as prices in restaurants, are generally lower here.
Photos of Venice Beach in Sarasota:
What to see
Beach relaxation, sitting in restaurants, and participating in the cultural scene (as an artist or audience member) are all worth going to Sarasota for. The places to visit are marked in the map below.
The botanical garden caught our attention, but we did not get there because we decided to repeat the trip to Lido Beach.
The cafes and stores in the historic St. Armands Circle were worth a visit.
We visited Sarasota on our Florida trip. We walked around the city, saw almost all the beaches, and took a break from the daily commute. We really liked the city itself for its quiet and peaceful atmosphere and safe environment. Many beautiful squares with sculptures create an elevated mood. It’s a very atmospheric place!
It was a pleasure to walk the beautiful streets through historic downtown Sarasota to our favorite beach, Lido Key, and interesting to watch the unhurried life of the locals – mostly the wealthiest and most successful retirees who have made their American dream a reality.
We hope to visit Florida again someday and then we will definitely stop by Sarasota!
13 Best Beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast
The beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast are some of the best in the United States. Here you’ll find palm-fringed shores and tranquil vibes that are perfect for a tropical vacation. You’ll discover soft white sands, sparkling emerald waters, and access to charming seafood restaurants and plenty of unforgettable outdoor adventures. Enjoy unspoiled scenery and stunning sunsets as you head to one of the best beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Siesta Key (hotel prices and photos)
Consistently ranked number one on the list of the most beautiful beaches in the United States, Siesta Key is the perfect beach getaway. An eight-mile barrier island of stunning natural beauty, this award-winning beach is known for its pure, sweet white sand, often called the best in the world. Siesta Beach, Turtle Beach and Crescent Beach are the most popular along Barrier Island, offering calm waters that provide a safe place to swim and snorkel.
Clearwater Beach (Hotel Prices and Photos)
Clearwater Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the Sunshine State, and for good reason. Its white sand beaches appeal to even the most seasoned beach lover, dotted with crystal clear water, making it a great beach getaway all year long. Spend your days looking for shells and enjoying the ambiance of this award-winning beach, take a pirate cruise, and then visit Pier 60 for nightly sunset celebrations and live entertainment.
Fort Walton Beach.
Fort Walton Beach.
Fort Walton Beach (Hotel Rates & Photos)
Located on Florida’s Emerald Coast, Fort Walton Beach is an idyllic spot on the Gulf Coast with 24 miles of scenic coastline. This family-friendly beach with snow-white beaches and emerald green waters is perfect for relaxing in the sun. You can dine on delicious Gulf seafood at local restaurants, take the kids to see the marine life at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, or go boating in this year-round fishing town.
Pensacola Beach (Hotel Prices and Photos)
Beach lovers will enjoy postcard views that will be hard to tear themselves away from the white sands and emerald waters of Pensacola Beach. Stroll along the Pensacola Beach pier to enjoy fresh seafood and take in the gorgeous sunset views. Head to the Naval Aviation Museum to see restored planes and watch the Blue Angels train, or take a short trip to Perdido Key State Park for a day of crabbing, hiking and fishing.
St. Peter’s Beach
St. Peter’s Beach (Hotel Prices and Photos)
St. Pete Beach is the crown jewel of the Gulf Coast. Just a short drive from Tampa, this family-friendly resort offers impeccable sugar-sand beaches and a picturesque shoreline. Enjoy the many water sports on offer, take a walk to the nearby Dali Museum or admire the lush foliage in the Florida Botanical Gardens. Shoppers will want to stroll down Cory Avenue to check out boutiques, restaurants and galleries.
Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island (Hotel prices and photos)
Sanibel Island, one of Florida’s most beloved beach destinations, offers visitors a combination of outdoor adventure and natural attractions. With its small-town charm and no chain restaurants, streetlights or traffic lights, Sanibel Island is 15 miles from the beach and more than 250 kinds of shells. Known as the “Shelling Capital of the World,” people travel from all over the world to scour the beaches each morning in search of the many unique items thrown ashore.
Destin (Hotel Prices and Photos)
Surrounded by sugar-sand beaches, Destin is a beautiful coastal gem in the Florida Panhandle. Known as “The World’s Happiest Fishing Village,” the area is a fisherman’s paradise with plenty of boat tours, and kids will love the lively Destin Harbor waterfront. Take a dip in the picturesque blue-green waters that lap its shores, or take a short trip to nearby Henderson Beach State Park for a day among the rolling dunes and sand pines.
St. George Island.
St. George Island State Park
St. George Island (Hotel prices and Photos)
St. George Island is a St. George State Park. It is a 28-mile-long island with no chain restaurants or high-rise hotels. Kayaking, biking and paddleboarding are popular outdoor activities, and the clear waters of the bay make for a great day of fishing. One of the last remaining barrier islands in Florida, head here to enjoy the soft, sweet sands that pair well with charming waterfront cafes and sunset cruises.
Sarasota Beaches (Hotel Prices and Photos)
A year-round vacation, Sarasota boasts a number of eight stunning islands tucked away on the Gulf Coast. You’re spoiled for choice when you need to find the perfect beach area to suit your needs, while family-friendly attractions like the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will keep the kids entertained. Loved for its ecotourism philosophy and stunning sunset views, head to Lido Key for sunbathing or get out on the water for deep-sea fishing, dolphin watching or sailing.
Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach (Hotel Prices and Photos)
Home to 27 miles of white-sand beaches , family-friendly attractions and charming beach hotels, Panama City Beach has much more to offer than its spring break reputation. With nearly 100 public access points, this picturesque beach is perfect for lounging on soft quartz sand, playing volleyball or swimming in the waters of the Gulf. For a quiet escape, take a day trip to nearby St. Andrews Park to appreciate its unspoiled natural beauty-a day of biking, snorkeling or kayaking.
Fort Myers Beach.
Fort Myers Beach.
Fort Myers Beach (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Fort Myers Beach has the perfect mix of sunny beaches and historic landmarks, family-friendly attractions and natural scenery. Dig your fingers in this picturesque stretch of beach and bask in the sun, or take your vacation up a notch with an adventurous day of parachuting and kayaking. Its small-town charm can be seen in its cottages and beaches, and nature lovers will want to visit the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium to see white-headed eagles, hawks and owls.
Venice (Hotel prices and photos)
Venice is an underrated destination on Florida’s Gulf, offering plenty of water sports, fishing, and boating, but this small town is famous for something else entirely. Stroll along its shore and discover unique souvenirs, a collection of fossilized shark teeth washed up on its pearly white beaches. Then explore the historic city center and admire the beautiful architecture, stroll through boutiques and dine at local seafood restaurants.
Naples (hotel prices and photos)
Naples is a nature lover’s paradise with its white sandy beaches and gorgeous turquoise waters. Naples is known for its luxury shopping, world-class golf courses and family-friendly beaches. It’s a great place for dolphin watching and fishing. Stroll along Naples Pier and enjoy a colorful sunset, admire the underwater marine life in the waters surrounding Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, or enjoy the sun as a family at Lowdermilk Beach.