From its small town charm to its amazing beaches, Sarasota is one of those cities that you can’t help but call involve with. Whether you are coming here to relax or for an adventure, Sarasota has something for everyone!
If you like white sand beaches and gorgeous blue water, chances are your travels are eventually going to bring you to Siesta Key right here in Sarasota, Florida. If that’s where you are heading right now then this little guide is for you. Being a local I decided to create a weekend vacation and make a list of the must-do things for you!
Once arrived in this sunshine city I highly recommend getting a car. Sarasota may have its small town charm but getting around can be a bit tricky. With a car, you are free to explore on your own time and you won’t rack up a hefty Uber bill.
Being a popular getaway spot, Sarasota is filled beautiful hotels and resorts. Art Ovation Hotel is the perfect hidden gem. Located in the heart of downtown Sarasota this hotel puts you right in the center of all the shops and restaurants. It also has gorgeous rooftop pool and bar where you can spend your days lounging around with the perfect view of Sarasota.
Sun & Fun
Visiting Siesta Key Beach is a must. Whether you have heard of it from MTV’s Siesta Key or you happen to know that it has been rated as the #1 Beach in the US numerous times now, Siesta Key Beach certainly attracts everyone. Spend a day at the beach and then hop on a Free Beach Ride to head to The Siesta Key Village to grab a bite to eat.
Although Sarasota is best known for Siesta Beach, sometimes we want to escape the crowds. Turtle Beach, on the south end of Siesta key is the perfect spot to unwind and watch the sunset!
Being right on the ocean, water sports are very popular in Sarasota. Paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking are some of the activities visitors can enjoy. IKayak is a SUP and kayak rental company who will provide you with the equipment you need and take you on a journey through the famous mangrove tunnels.
An unforgettable experience is the view of Sarasota from above. Release your inner adventurer and let Heli Aviation show you these gorgeous beaches from a new point of view.
Sarasota Flavors & Nightlife
Head to Buttermilk for breakfast. Try the handmade biscuit breakfast sandwiches, they are to die for. But get there early, they run out and once they are out, they are out!
Green Zebra on St. Armand’s Circle is one of the best places to grab a quick and refreshing snack. Little tip, get a Brazillian bowl and ask for a scoop of peanut butter!
A great place to pop into for an Acai bowl is Clean Juice. Added bonus, all snacks are made from USDA-organic ingredients. Get the Nutty bowl, you won’t regret it!
If you are looking to kick your day into high gear with a clean meal, I recommend heading to Lila downtown. This primarily vegan restaurant cooks with locally sourced ingredients and the results are amazing!
Boca is another farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Sarasota. They get all of their food from different local farms and even have their produce growing inside the restaurant. Enjoy your meal with the basil plant growing right next to you. I definitely recommend trying their nightly special, the staff meal!
Enjoy an Aperol Spritz and an amazing wood fired pizza at Napule which features a big screen showing old Italian black and white movies.
For Happy Hour grab a signature martini at Mattison’s City Grille downtown. Or go to Shore on St Armand’s Circle and get the P. C. Shrubbery cocktail. Another great spot for happy hour, or social hour as they call it, is Social Eatery and Bar.
Beer lovers need to make a stop at Calusa Brewery and get a flight of beer. They will pour all of their specialties for you to taste. Bonus, they have different food trucks that come daily to give you a quick bite.