Sarasota vacation rentals
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Your guide to Sarasota
All About Sarasota
With several famous keys and 40 miles of beautiful white-sand beaches, Sarasota, on the western coast of Florida, has transformed over the last century from a small fishing town to a major cultural hub and destination for art-lovers, young professionals, families, and anyone looking to soak up the Florida sun.
In downtown Sarasota, ornate and imposing Mediterranean Renaissance mansions once owned by eccentric entertainment moguls sit juxtaposed against more contemporary glass facades and water features. You’ll pass by street artists and performers in the shade of swaying palm trees on your way to one of the city’s many cultural sites, like the Ringling Museum of Art or the bohemian Village of the Arts. If you’re looking to connect with nature, you can head to nearby Myakka River State Park, take a ride on the famous Legacy Bicycle trail, or, of course, loll about on Lido Key or Venice Beach, dipping into the shallow Gulf waters to cool off. Sarasota’s vibrant nightlife kicks off at dusk, when you can admire the sunset at the Bayside Boardwalk before catching a comedy show or dancing the night away in one of the area’s concert venues.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Sarasota
Sarasota’s reliably warm weather means that families, retirees, and spring breakers flock here during the late winter and early spring. In April, at the tail end of the vacation season, Sarasota hosts an annual film festival, where crowds gather to watch hundreds of award-winning films and attend filmmaker interviews. In May, the city hosts a free, independent LGBTQ arts festival.
Though Florida’s heat and humidity hit their peak in summer, and hurricane season lasts from July through the end of September, the city never really comes to a halt, with local events still taking place nearly every day. Once the weather calms down in October, the snowbirds return from the north to take up residence through the spring. Sarasota is famous for its seafood, especially stone crab, which is in season between October and mid-May.
Top things to do in Sarasota
Historic Spanish Point
Take a step back into Old Florida at this historic, 30-acre museum and environmental complex. Nearly 5,000 years of Sarasota history is on display at the museum. Explore pre-European life in the Americas, learn about homestead life in Florida in a museum inside a historic house, or wander the gardens and nature trails.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are made up of seven acres of land containing the world’s largest and most diverse collection of bromeliads. There are over 6,000 species of plants in the gardens, with a total of 20,000 plants living across 20 different curated habitats. The Rainforest Garden and the Butterfly Garden are most popular, but you’ll find mangroves, bamboo areas, and artificial caves to explore.
Ca’ d’Zan Mansion
One of the most iconic buildings in Florida, this mansion was once the winter home of a famous circus owner. Meant to emulate the style and feel of Venice, the mansion is five stories tall, with nearly 36,000 square feet to explore inside. You can look out over the Sarasota Bay from the marble terrace or simply admire the opulence of this home’s crystal chandeliers, Aeolian organ, or 82-foot-tall tower.