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 Gardens and 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

Siesta Key Village
Siesta Key which includes cycling as well as a couple

Siesta Key Village

Known for Beaches, Sunsets, Small Town

5/5(1 review)

You'll love the stunning beaches in Siesta Key Village, and you might want to stick around to check out Siesta Key Public Beach, a top place to visit.

Fruitville
Fruitville, Sarasota, Florida, United States of America
trover photo by TD Brat

Fruitville

Known for Bird Watching, Nature, Wildlife

5/5(1 review)

Get to know Fruitville by checking out its restaurants, beaches and shopping. Consider a visit to nearby sights like Nathan Benderson Park or Celery Fields during your time in the area.

Central Sarasota
Sarasota showing a beach as well as children

Central Sarasota

Known for Gardens, Flowers, Culture

4.5/5(16 reviews)

Gardens, art galleries and theatres are some highlights of Central Sarasota. Make a stop by Marie Selby Botanical Gardens or Sarasota Opera House while you're exploring.

Gulf Gate Estates
Gulf Gate Estates, Sarasota, Florida, United States of America
trover photo by Eric Mondres

Gulf Gate Estates

Known for Bars, Libraries, Live Music

4/5(1 review)

Pristine beaches and ample dining options are well-reviewed features of Gulf Gate Estates. Make a stop by top sights like Gulf Gate Golf Club while you're exploring the area.

South Venice
South Venice, Venice, Florida, United States of America
trover photo by Rick Tuers

South Venice

While visiting South Venice, you might make a stop by sights like Woodmere Park and Lemon Bay.

Saint Armands Key
St. Armands Circle which includes a statue or sculpture

Saint Armands Key

Known for Flowers, Beaches, Shopping

Beaches and restaurants are just a few things travellers like about Saint Armands Key. A stop by St. Armands Circle is also recommended if you've got time to explore the area.

Top hotels in Sarasota

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
The Westin Sarasota
The Westin Sarasota
4 out of 5
100 Marina View Drive, Sarasota, FL
£146
per night
18 Nov-19 Nov

Located in Central Sarasota, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Florida Studio Theatre and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Sarasota Jungle Gardens and ...

4.4/5Excellent! (829 reviews)

"Great stay. All staff was pleasant and helpful. The food in the hotel restaurants was fantabulous. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was that the little “Ingredients” shop was not always staffed at the times that it was advertised. It did offer the ability to take items from the shop and fill out ..."…"

Reviewed on 1 Nov 2019

The Westin Sarasota
Holiday Inn Sarasota Airport
Holiday Inn Sarasota Airport
3.5 out of 5
8009 15th Street E, Sarasota, FL
£67
per night
24 Nov-25 Nov

Situated in Sarasota, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Sarasota International Convention Center and within 3 miles (5 km) of John and Mable Ringling Museum ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,465 reviews)

"Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"…"

Reviewed on 14 Nov 2019

Holiday Inn Sarasota Airport
Tropical Beach Resorts
Tropical Beach Resorts
3.5 out of 5
6717 Sara Sea Circle, Siesta Key, FL
£95
per night
21 Nov-22 Nov

Offering direct access to the beach, this Siesta Key aparthotel is by the ocean, and within walking distance of Point of Rocks, Crescent Beach and Siesta Key ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (2,089 reviews)

"The room was very clean but not what I was looking for."…"

Reviewed on 13 Nov 2019

Tropical Beach Resorts

Popular things to do in Sarasota

Siesta Key Public Beach
Image for Siesta Key Public Beach

Siesta Key Public Beach

5/5(25 reviews)

The soft, white sand on Siesta Key’s award-winning family-friendly beach is perfect for relaxing under a sun umbrella and taking part in a game of volleyball.

Venice Beach
Image for Venice Beach

Venice Beach

5/5(11 reviews)

Nothing says holiday like spending a lazy day at Venice Beach, a popular beach in Venice. You can attend a sporting event while in the area.

St. Armands Circle
Image for St. Armands Circle

St. Armands Circle

4.5/5(16 reviews)

With a visit to St. Armands Circle, a popular shopping spot in Sarasota, you can search for that perfect souvenir. Wander the beautiful beaches and seaside in the area.

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Image for John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

5/5(7 reviews)

This magnificent Italian-influenced museum exhibits European masters alongside contemporary pieces and ancient decorative art. It has a Mediterranean garden too.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Image for Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Sarasota Jungle Gardens

5/5(1 review)

Chatter with a parrot, watch lemurs swing by, meet a flock of flamingos and explore a tropical oasis in this extensive botanical park.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Image for Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

4/5(2 reviews)

See hungry sharks and delicate seahorses at this research aquarium that specializes in the sea life that flourishes on Florida’s central west coastline.

Top activities in Sarasota

TreeUmph Adventure Course
Image for TreeUmph Adventure Course

TreeUmph Adventure Course

£45

Discover a new world high up in the trees, a thrilling canopy adventure course. Learn why the ground is truly overrated as you spend a full day with your feet in the air, soaring through 5 aerial courses, each progressively more challenging than the last.

Operation City Quest of Sarasota, FL
Image for Operation City Quest of Sarasota, FL

Operation City Quest of Sarasota, FL

£8

Using your smartphone, you'll be given nearly 150 objects to find during your scavenger hunt. You'll then wander throughout the downtown area searching for the items. Once you've found the object, you'll send a photo in to score points.

Sarasota Inshore Fishing Trip
Image for Sarasota Inshore Fishing Trip

Sarasota Inshore Fishing Trip

£97

Get your fishing fix during a guided trip that takes you into the shimmering waters just off the coast of Sarasota. Brimming with hot spots that are ripe for awesome fishing, Sarasota Bay is the ideal place for anglers of any level of experience to reel in a trophy catch.

Self Guided Kayak Tour of the Lido Mangrove Tunnels
Image for Self Guided Kayak Tour of the Lido Mangrove Tunnels

Self Guided Kayak Tour of the Lido Mangrove Tunnels

£23

Explore the beautiful waterways of Sarasota Bay on a self guided tour through the unique mangrove tunnels. We provide high quality stand up paddleboards, leashes, life jackets, maps and paddles. You provide a sense of adventure.

Paddleboard Rentals on Lido Key
Image for Paddleboard Rentals on Lido Key

Paddleboard Rentals on Lido Key

£31

Explore the beautiful waterways of Sarasota Bay on a self guided tour through the unique mangrove tunnels. We provide high quality stand up paddleboards, leashes, life jackets, maps and paddles. You provide a sense of adventure.

Get Ready for Pranburi Cruise and Adventure Tour at Kuiburi
Image for Get Ready for Pranburi Cruise and Adventure Tour at Kuiburi

Get Ready for Pranburi Cruise and Adventure Tour at Kuiburi

£137

Our guide meet you at your hotel in Hua Hin or Cha am then proceed to Pran Buri. Arriving,The Pranburi Forest Park is a protected area in Thailand. It is located at the mouth of the Pranburi River to the Gulf of Thailand in Pranburi district, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.

Other places like Sarasota

Pensacola
Image for Pensacola
Pensacola
Fort Myers
Image for Fort Myers
Fort Myers
Wilmington
Image for Wilmington
Wilmington
Jacksonville
Image for Jacksonville
Jacksonville