Sarasota Florida is located on the southwestern tip of the peninsula, and is nestled in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Located about 60 miles south of Tampa and 75 miles north of Fort Meyers, the city is also home to some of Florida’s best beaches, including Siesta Key, which consistently makes top beach lists. The cultural center of Sarasota is also home to a symphony, natural attractions, and diverse restaurant selections.
The city has a growing population of 438,000 people. Its median age is 49, and about fourteen percent of the population is made up of “snowbirds,” who live in the area during the winter and head north during the summer. According to the Sharecare Community Well-Being Index, more than 40 percent of Sarasota’s population is older than 40, which may explain the city’s low crime rate. Residents also report feeling safe and happy in Sarasota.
One of Sarasota’s most famous attractions is its aquarium. Founded in 1949 as the Florida West Coast Symphony, it now features over 80 members. Each year, the orchestra performs more than a hundred concerts in Manatee, Charlotte, and Sarasota counties. In addition to its main orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra features seven ensembles, including the Youth Philharmonic, which recently made its Carnegie Hall debut.
Another interesting attraction in Sarasota is the Ringling Museum of Art. Located in the historic Ringling Mansion, the museum features bayfront gardens and views of the bay. You can see a show here for $25, and there is also a museum on the property. Admission to the museum is separate from that to the rest of the property. Despite the theater, the Ringling property is full of exhibits and guided tours.
If you have an interest in plants, a trip to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is definitely in order. The seven-acre garden is home to the largest bromeliad collection in the world. Located on South Palm Avenue, this attraction also includes greenhouses and a research library. The gardens are open to the public year-round, except for Christmas Day. While it’s not quite a rainforest, the gardens are still worth a visit.
In addition to the Mote Marine Laboratory, you can take boat tours to the city’s island. You can also watch a variety of marine life in its natural habitat. In addition, the Aquarium often has injured aquatic visitors, and boat tours are available. Located near the St. Armands circle, the Mote Marine Laboratory is open to the public year-round. Guests are welcome to explore the unique marine ecosystem while learning about local wildlife.
If you’re a golfer, Sarasota offers some of the best courses in Florida. You can play regular golf courses and miniature golf courses, and you can even enjoy a western-themed mini golf course. The Evie’s Miniature Golf course is a great place to spend an afternoon, or if you’re traveling with children, the nearby arcade is an ideal place to visit the museum.