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The arts, stunningly spectacular beaches, gorgeous natural landscapes, and outdoor activities define Sarasota, FL, and attract millions of visitors to this Southwest Florida city, year after year.

Sarasota, Florida, Visitors Guide

Sarasota, FL, is a charming coastal retreat, known for its gorgeous area beaches, fantastic outdoor activities, shopping, dining, nightlife, and [tons of remarkable things to do](https://www.tripshock.com/attractions/Sarasota/ "tons of remarkable things to do")! Often referred to as Florida’s Cultural Coast, Sarasota is home to many magnificent museums, galleries, theaters, and art venues, as well. Many contribute this to John Ringling of *Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus*, who is believed to have created a ravishing appetite for art in the area, back in the early 1900s. A grand display of this can be seen at The Ringling, the 66-acre estate of John and Mable Ringling, which houses a magnificent collection of art, local culture, history, and more!

Equally as impressive, however, is Sarasota’s luscious landscape and natural beauty. Sarasota County boasts 40 miles of breathtaking beaches, as well as eight barrier islands, each providing a unique tropical island experience. Other unforgettable outdoor activities include kayaking through the mangroves, searching for shark teeth in nearby Venice, the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World,” and horseback riding, birding, or biking through Myakka River State Forest. With such a diverse ecosystem, a trip to Sarasota is sure to leave you with a sense of wonder, and memories that will last a lifetime!

Geography

Sarasota is located on the southwest coast of Florida, south of the Tampa Bay area. The major roads in Sarasota include I-75, U.S. 41 Tamiami Trail, U.S. 301, SR 780, and SR 789. Sarasota is 1.5 hours from Tampa, 2 hours from Naples, and 2.5 hours from Orlando.

Neighborhoods

Rosemary District is a neighborhood near downtown Sarasota, one of Florida’s most historically significant cities. After rapid growth, the district has become home to many artists and chefs who offer a variety of selections to suit everyone’s taste buds.
Siesta Key is a barrier island off the coast widely acclaimed for its sandy beaches, outdoor adventures, and delicious dining options.
The Southside neighborhood is filled with historic and modern homes. This family-friendly area is a walkable location and has a variety of restaurants and boutiques.

Top Places to Visit

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

This 15-acre botanical garden—situated on the shores of Sarasota Bay—is a tropical paradise filled with plants from around the world.

Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park, located near Sarasota, is one of the oldest and largest parks in Florida. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and birding along the Birdwalk trail—a popular spot for wildlife viewing. Nearby lakes are [excellent for kayaking](https://www.tripshock.com/attractions/Sarasota/Kayak-Tours/ "excellent for kayaking"), while pontoon boat rides are available on the Myakka River.

St. Armands Circle

St. Armands Circle is an exclusive outdoor shopping and dining area with mid-century modern architecture. It features over 130 boutiques, specialty shops, restaurants, and galleries—all within walking distance of one another. With its unique blend of history and ambiance, it’s easy to relax and unwind.

Climate

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 lasts from October to May. The best time to visit is March through May, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the high-80s. This is the perfect time of the year to hang out on the pristine beaches and soak up the sun.

What is Sarasota Known for

Bustling Art Scene, Annual Events, Golfing, Fine Dining, Shopping, The Ringling Estate, Beautiful Beaches, Myakka River State Park, Oscar Scherer State Park, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Siesta Key

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