Florida is best known for being the perfect location for Spring Break in Miami and your mind probably goes straight to Disney World, but I would like to make a case for Sarasota, Florida as the next major city in Florida. We are rapidly expanding and growing, not just in population but also in cute gardens, museums, and amazing restaurants.
I know you’re probably thinking you’ve never even heard of Sarasota, why would this post interest me? But, if you watch Siesta Key on MTV, you’ve seen more of Sarasota than you’d think. If you are a fan of the show, just know that the cast really is like that in real life.
But that’s a whole different post. Siesta Key is one of the top ten beaches in America, which happens to be in the heart of Sarasota and that is something that we are really proud of. Driving around the Siesta Key area, that is all you will see. Well, that and ice cream shops.
But, if you don’t feel like dealing with tourists and millions of people, there are a couple secret beaches that will be much less crowded, but just as beautiful. My favorite beach to go to is Beer Can Island, which is not even a real island, meaning that it is accessible by car.
It is, however, a little bit harder to find, but definitely worth the hunt. It is just off of Coquina Beach, and it is becoming so popular that if you type it into your Maps App, it will help you find the secluded beach.
The beach itself is very small and very beautiful, but getting there is quite tricky. You have to be able to maneuver through the trees and brush to get there, but obviously, it is well worth it. This is where all the locals hang out.
Boaters will anchor their boats at the “island” and spend the day on the sandy shore enjoying the view. The best part of the beach is that every time you go, it is different. Because of the trees and brush,
The Ringling Museum
If you’re not a beach person, like me, there are plenty of other things to do in Sarasota. My favorite place to spend my time is Ringling Museum. The home and art museum was the home of John Ringling of the Ringling Brothers in the 1920s.
He lived there with his wife, Mable, who tended to an enormous rose garden that still lives on to this day. The home has a walk through tour that comes with admission, as well as guided tours that you can pay separately for.
On the other side of the grounds is the art museum that John and Mable opened after their art collection got so large that they could not keep all their art in their home.
The picture below is in the courtyard of the art museum in Ringling. The iconic caste of David is the centerpiece of the huge courtyard. There are also other castes of amazing sculptures from the Greek and Roman time periods.
Even if you are not into art or history, the home and architecture is beautiful and worth going to see. If you are interested in the history of the Ringling Bros Circus, there is also a circus museum on the grounds, along with restaurants, and a coffee shop.
If you are into theater, like I am, there is also the Asolo Repertory Theater just outside of Ringling. There are always shows going on and tickets are on sale for pretty cheap. My family and I try to go to a show at least once a month. Because it is a Repertory theater, there is always at least four shows going on at once, so you will find something you’d be interested in seeing.
The Selby Gardens
Another one of my favorite places to visit is Selby Gardens. This is a quite expensive place to get into, but the grounds are beautiful. It is a large garden full of mesmerizing flowers, trees, and trails to walk along. I highly recommend going there to see the true beauty of Sarasota.
They often have local events going on during the weekdays on the grounds and it is a great way to really stay like a local here in Sarasota. It’s also a great place to take
Since the weather is great year round, there really is no better time to do all of these things. In the summer, we tend to get a lot of rain, but only in the afternoon and many of these places close around 5 pm.
The perfect day
A perfect day for me, would be to go to either Ringling or Selby Gardens, going to Beer Can for the sunset, which is around 8 pm in the summer, and then heading to either St. Armands or Downtown Sarasota for dinner. Both are packed with any kind of restaurant you could ever imagine. I would recommend checking out what restaurants would interest you and then making a reservation.
Best restaurants in Sarasota
At Downtown Sarasota, my favorite places to eat are Selba, Melange, and Patrick’s.
Selba is a high class steakhouse restaurant, always on a wait and definitely has a dress code of business casual, at the least. The drinks are awesome and the steaks are even better. I highly recommend if you are looking for a fancy night out. Unfortunately I cannot find any pictures of Selba, but you can find them online just as easy.
Patrick’s is a fancier Italian restaurant, but not nearly as high class as Selba. Melange is another great location. Less high-key than both Selba and Patrick’s but still amazing. If you have ever been curious to try authentic French food, this is the place for you. With snails, rabbit, and other interesting (to say the least) menu items, it is an incredible place to eat.
But the best part is after you are done eating. Ask your server how to get to Pangea and you will be lead to a secret bar behind the restaurant, unknown to many.
I would recommend just looking online for which ones peak your interest and going from there. There are actually so many other things to do in Sarasota; so much so that we are finally finding our place on the map. I hope that you get to come and visit my little hometown one day!!
Kennedy is an amazing girl that blogs about her daily life. She likes traveling and shares her travel stories too. You can find tips and tricks for everything on her site, so don’t forget to check it out! Her Instagram and Youtube channel are also very nice to follow.
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