Sarasota / Gulf Coast Treasures

Downtown Sarasota from bridge view

Beautiful Sarasota offers so many wonderful things, it’s hard to know where to start describing it. Your Florida vacation is hardly complete without a visit to this beautiful area that offers diverse dining for all palates, a refined atmosphere of arts and culture, fun and unique shopping districts and of course, world-class beaches.

Dining

Foodie Life is not just a term in Sarasota, it’s a way of life. With the area’s open-mindedness towards good health, clean eating and self-care, Sarasota and Siesta Key have their fair share of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. From pan-Asian and sushi to modern American fresh dishes, everyone who is particularly conscientious of their diet has excellent choices of dining venues. Whether your family is in the mood for quick bites and snacks,  lingering lunches, seafood with direct views of the sea, or elegant hours-long repasts, there is a restaurant for you. True Foodies can try something inspirational and find a new favorite cuisine.

Art and Culture

I am willing to go out on a limb to say that it is this area of the Gulf Coast (if not all of Florida) that offers the greatest amount of world-class art and culture. In fact, it’s actually known as Florida’s Cultural Coast! Although the fabulous Dali Museum is located about an hour’s drive from Sarasota (but well worth the trip!), it does offer The Ringling. View permanent collections as well as extraordinary exhibitions from around the world at this remarkable museum. Catch a performance at The Circus Arts Conservatory, combine education with experience at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature or connect with tangible nature at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Child-free for an evening? Visit one of several live theatres or enrich your vacation with a stirring production at the Sarasota Opera. 

If the classics are not your style, craft shows, food and music festivals, beach parties and car shows abound. All year long, Sarasota celebrates the best things in life with festivities that the entire family can enjoy.

Beaches

Ah, the white-sand beaches of Florida’s glorious Gulf Coast. Once you’ve visited a sugary strand along the GC, you may never need to see any other kind and Sarasota boasts 40 miles of sparkling shoreline. Venice Beach, aka, the Shark Tooth Capital of the World. Shark teeth collectors say the best places to look for the fossils are any beach accesses south of the Venice Jetty. For a more family-friendly atmosphere, try Lido Beach which gets praise from parents for its year-round lifeguards and offers frequent paddleboard clinics for kids and adults, has easy access to clean restrooms and an “above-average” snack bar that offers more than just casual beach fare. 

Manasota Beach

This laid-back strand does not offer a lot of bells and whistles. But what it lacks in beachside snack bars or playground areas, it makes up for in natural charm. It rates as another prime spot for discovering cool shells and shark teeth, and there’s plenty of space for fun and relaxation.

Menu