Sun, sand and water are three things Sarasota has an abundance of, but not all Sarasota beaches are the same. Six islands line Sarasota’s extensive coastline, each revealing its own personality, recreational options and natural beauty. They are Siesta Key, Longboat Key, Manasota Key, Casey Key, Osprey Key and Nokomis Key, all worth visiting while in Sarasota. Sarasota Beaches are among the most beautiful in all of Florida and the United States, and that’s not just my opinion. Siesta Key Beach has been rated #1 n a national poll of the Top beaches of the USA. Breathtaking views of the sparkling Gulf of Mexico combined with balmy gulf breezes make most beach-going days of the year here in paradise about as enjoyable as they can be; bright sunshine, warm air and water temperatures, soft sand, blue water. With six keys, or barrier islands, a Sarasota beach vacation will give you plenty of options for beaches, and there is 35 miles of beaches! Our Sarasota Florida Travel Guide will give you all the information you need to plan your next vacation to Sarasota Florida.
Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from 51°F to 90°F and is rarely below 38°F or above 93°F. The warm season lasts from May 16 to October 7 with an average daily high temperature above 86°F. The hottest day of the year is July 31, with an average high of 90°F and low of 75°F. The cold season lasts from December 8 to February 24 with an average daily high temperature below 74°F. The coldest day of the year is January 18, with an average low of 51°F and high of 70°F.
There are three airports close to Sarasota, Florida. Of course the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is going to be the closest. The next closest airport is the St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport which is 48 miles from Sarasota. Tampa International Airport is 55 miles away. To create a fair watch, go to AirFareWatchDog which will alert you when the flights are going down in price. Also check my airfare tips on how to make sure you are getting the lowest fare. For finding the lowest fare, go to CheapFlights. I find them to be the best for flight comparison, and getting the best deal if you are ready to purchase. Once you have your airfare, make sure you reserve your airport parking ahead of time. You can Save On Airport Parking and not have the last minute hassle (been there) of trying to get parking reserved.
A few hours spent in Sarasota is all you’ll need to understand why this city is also called “Paradise.” With sandy beaches, a background rooted in the circus, and year-round warm weather, there’s very little to long for once you’ve arrived in this part of the Sunshine State. Make the most out of your next trip to the area with a cheap car rental in Sarasota, FL.
A car rental in Sarasota, FL isn’t just good for your vacation—it’s good for your wallet. At CarRentals.com, they provide the top vehicles from the nation’s best car rental companies, all at prices you can afford. Pick out the best car rental for you and head for the sunny skies of Sarasota.
Bars & Nightlife
Siesta Key Oyster Bar
Siesta Key Oyster Bar (or as the locals call it “SKOB”) is the hangout with the laidback, beachy atmosphere that will get you right into the Island Spirit. When you’re at SKOB you feel right at home, like you’re hanging out with good friends on your back patio. From Raw Oysters and Crawfish to Crab Legs and Crab Cakes – there is something for everyone on the menu. And with over 21 beers on tap along with Domestic, Imports, and specialty bottled beer – you will not go away thirsty! For more information call 941-346-5443 or visit Siesta Key Oyster Bar.
The Daiquiri Deck is the perfect place to share a meal with the whole family or kick back and relax with friends while you enjoy Live Music, Tasty Treats, and the best Frozen Daiquiris anywhere! Their casual atmosphere and unparalleled selection of taste-tempting Frozen Daiquiris will bring you in, but our Raw Bar and full menu, which includes mouthwatering selections for seafood lovers and land lovers alike, served by the friendliest wait staff around, will keep you coming back for more. For more information call 941-349-8697 or visit Daiquiri Deck.
The Blasé Café & Martini Bar
They have been offering Siesta Key a casual and unique dining experience since 1997. Their menu includes a variety of appetizers and entrées, which include seafood, pasta, beef, and poultry. They also offer a full bar, which is a great place to stop and have a drink to meet up with friends or to make new ones. For more information call 941-349-9822 or visit The Blasé Café & Martini Bar.
The Old Salty Dog
Always a friendly place, great food. Pleasant, relaxing, an overall great experience. Peel & eat shrimp, ice cold beer, wonderful salads and of course the “Salty Dogs!” Casual dining, Seafood, Burgers, Their World Famous “Salty Dog”, A 1/4 lb. Hot Dog deep fried in their Beer Batter. Try if fully loaded as seen on TV’s “Man-Vs.-Food For more information call 941-349-0158 or visit The Old Salty Dog.
Beach Club Siesta Key
Sarasota’s Premiere Live Music Venue. The Beach Club is located in Sarasota on Siesta Key Island and has South Florida’s premiere live local and national bands including some of the hottest DJ’s playing 7 nights week. Join them any night of the week for the best entertainment around and great customer service. The Beach Club offers a huge dance floor, amazing lighting and great drink specials daily. For more information call 941-349-6311 or visit Beach Club Siesta Key.
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Pricey $$$$-Ultra High End
$ Lido Beach Restaurant
Home of the lido lobster roll. Welcome to the Lido Beach Restaurant where they pride themselves on serving restaurant quality food, in a simple beach concession. You can come to Lido Key Public Beach and not have to bother packing food to eat sitting on your blanket. Just stop by their window and grab great food for yourself or your whole family and not worry about busting your budget. They also offer beer and wine, so wash down that lobster roll or burger with a cold one. For more information call 941-388-0400 or visit Lido Beach Restaurant.
$$ Café Gabbiano
Just a short walk from the beautiful beaches of Sarasota, Café Gabbiano brings Italy to Siesta Key. Café Gabbiano’s serene, casual ambiance imitates that of the paradise surrounding it. Café Gabbiano offers intimate, private dining in their wine rooms as well as comfortable outdoor seating on their climate controlled patio. They offer authentic Italian cuisine and an extensive collection of wine from around the world. They feature $5 happy hour specials, from 4-6, and $10 wine tasting samplers offered daily. For more information call 941-349-1423 or visit Café Gabbiano.
$$ – $$$ Shore Diner
Shore Diner is their expression of an open air, mid-century Florida beach café. They crafted a menu that utilizes many local farms, to create a fabulous abundance of fresh choices. Creative recipes are their specialty, combined with local coastal favorites, all served in an open air dining space. From your first sip of our signature cocktail, to your last bite of Key West Shrimp and Scallop Risotto, the entire Shore experience is nothing short of a beach day makeover, with laughter, a cool vibe and delicious eats. For more information call 941-296-0301 or visit Shore Diner.
$$$ Ophelia’s On The Bay
Since it opened in 1988, Ophelia’s on the Bay has remained, at its core, a place for friends and family to gather to celebrate life, fun, and unique and flavorful food. But that’s just the beginning. When you visit Ophelia’s, one of the first things you’ll notice is their view. Their two glass walled dining rooms and outside open air patio give you an unfettered, eye-level view of Little Sarasota Bay. As you peruse their menu and enjoy one of our carefully chosen wines, you’ll watch tropical birds fly among preserved mangrove islands, watch the water gently sway, and see dolphins, blue herons, and other sea life pass by. They’re proud to offer natural splendor the way Florida should be: no glitz, no glamour, just nature at its best. For more information call 941-349-2212 or visit Ophelia’s On The Bay.
$$ Surf Shack
Their menu features only the freshest ingredients served in a clean, fun and casual environment. Although they are already famous for their Gourmet Tacos, they are “Soon to be Famous” for things like their handmade Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls, Ahi Tuna and Udon Noodle Salad, Pat LaFreida Burger and the Steak and Onion S’mac and Cheese. They didn’t just stop at the food either. They take pride in offering draft beers from local breweries such Big Top, Darwins and JDubs as well as make the BEST margaritas in all of Sarasota! Hanging on the circle late? Their Happy Hour, or Shacky Hour as they like to call it, starts rocking at 9pm and goes till they shut the door, 7 days a week. Go see what all the buzz is about and experience the food, drink and atmosphere of Sarasota’s hottest new restaurant. Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen….Live Free and Eat Coastal! For more information call 941-960-1122 or visit Surf Shack.
Things To Do
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Explore the secrets of the sea through touch pools, viewable-working labs and high-tech interactive exhibits that showcase the world-renowned research of Mote Marine Laboratory. See sharks, manatees and sea turtles, along with more than 100 other species of marine life. For more information call 941-388-4441 or visit Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.
Liquid Blue Outfitters
Kayaking Sarasota with Liquid Blue Outfitters is the only way to experience the Lido Key Mangrove Tunnel Tours. Kayak Tours and Kayak Rentals are available in Sarasota, Florida. Experience unforgettable adventures while paddling with Dolphin & Manatee! They have the highest rated and best reviewed kayak tours and kayak rentals in the area – hands down. The mangroves are the areas most popular paddling location with an abundance of wildlife. Let your daily stress melt away and relax as your Liquid Blue Outfitters guides take you on a remarkable adventure through the lush and scenic surroundings of this beautiful Marine Habitat and its Protected Inter Coastal Waterways. The area provides a safe, fun and adventurous experience that the entire family can enjoy. For more information call 941-306-1220 or visit Liquid Blue Outfitters.
Biotica Eco Tours
Their guides are passionate about what they do and that enthusiasm is contagious. Not only do they want to make sure you have a great time in the great outdoors, they want to make sure you leave with a greater knowledge and respect for the amazing places visited. They started Biotica EcoTours as an extension of a lifestyle. They wanted a way to share their passion for the great outdoors combined with their desire to preserve it. They adhere to the International EcoTourism Society precepts that advocate for a smaller travel carbon footprint and they practice Leave No Trace. For more information call 941-350-4905 or visit Biotica Eco Tours.
Island Time Charter
Cruise mangroves and beaches for native wildlife spotting with their eco tours. Fish for grouper, snapper, pompano, jacks, drum, shark, Spanish mackerel, kingfish, tarpon, snook, and speckled trout. They provide licenses, gear, and tackle. Take a sightseeing tour to explore the area, Enjoy a sunset cruise and witness the sights and sounds of a Siesta Key drum circle. Visit various waterfront restaurants and bars in the Sarasota area on their Tiki Bar Hopping cruise. Enjoy a pontoon party for 7-16 people. For more information call 941-735-6830 or visit Island Time Charter.
Myakka Canopy Walkway
One of the oldest and largest state parks, Myakka protects one of the state’s most diverse natural areas. The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches out over the Upper Myakka Lake, then take to the treetops with a stroll along the canopy walkway. The park´s river and two lakes provide ample opportunities for boating, freshwater fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; a boat ramp provides access to Upper Myakka Lake. Hikers can explore trails that cross large expanses of rare Florida dry prairie. Scenic lake tours are offered daily on the world´s two largest airboats. Safari tram tours of the park´s backcountry are offered from mid-December through May. For more information call 941-361-6511 or visit Myakka Canopy Walkway.
Hyatt Place Sarasota/Bradenton
This Sarasota hotel is directly across from the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The Hyatt features a 42-inch flat-screen TV in every room, an outdoor pool with a hot tub and 24-hour cafe. Guests at the Hyatt Place Sarasota have free access to the 24-hour fitness center and business center. A hot breakfast buffet is provided daily. Airport shuttle services are provided. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Hyatt Place Sarasota/Bradenton.
La Quinta Inn & Suites Sarasota
Located just off Interstate 75, this hotel is 10 miles from Sarasota-Bradenton Airport. The hotel offers a heated outdoor swimming pool, free WiFi and an on-site Perkins Family Restaurant. A hot breakfast buffet is served daily at the La Quinta Inn & Suites Sarasota I75. Guests can also enjoy the evening Manager’s Reception Wednesday and Thursday. A fully equipped fitness center and outdoor hot tub are available at the Sarasota 175 La Quinta Inn & Suites. The business center offers fax and photocopy facilities. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit La Quinta Inn & Suites Sarasota.
Hotel Ranola – Adults Only
This contemporary all-suite, adults-only hotel is in the city center of Sarasota, Florida, 6 blocks from the Sarasota Bayfront & Marina. It features suites with a 27-inch flat-screen TV and full kitchen. An iPod docking station and free WiFi are provided in each suite at Hotel Ranola. The kitchen is complete with an oven, stove top, and full-size refrigerator. The suites are furnished with hardwood floors and contemporary wall art. Free parking is available at this adults-only Sarasota hotel. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Hotel Ranola.
Siesta Key Palms Hotel
Showcasing 2 outdoor pools, year-round outdoor pools and barbecue, Siesta Key Palms Hotel is located in Sarasota, just 1.7 miles from Siesta Key Public Beach. Free private parking is available on site. All rooms include a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Some rooms include a seating area to relax in after a busy day. You will find a coffee machine in the room. Each room has a private bathroom fitted with a shower. For your comfort, you will find free toiletries and a hairdryer. Siesta Key Palms Hotel features free WiFi throughout the property. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Siesta Key Palms Hotel.
The Ritz-Carlton – Sarasota
On the seafront in downtown Sarasota, this Ritz-Carlton resort features a spa center and access to a nearby private beach and outdoor pool. All rooms include private balconies. Guests have access to the exclusive Members Beach Club just 3 miles from the hotel on the white sandy beaches of Lido Key. It features a private beach, a gulf-front heated swimming pool and a hot tub. The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota features an array of in-house dining options. There is the organic Vernona restaurant, the Beach Club Grill restaurant and the Ca D’Zan Lounge, serving light meals and appetizers. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit The Ritz-Carlton – Sarasota.