Sarasota County is located in Central West Florida south of Tampa Bay bordering the Gulf of Mexico and Charlotte, DeSoto, and Manatee Counties.
Sarasota County was established in 1921 from a portion of Manatee county. The exact meaning of the name is unknown and may be of Indian origin. Early versions of the name include "Sarasote," "Sarazota," "Sara Zota," and "Zarazote."
The Myakka River State Park is a beautiful park with more amenities and activities than most other parks in Florida. Visitors can take advantage of the Myakka River by fishing, boating, and paddling. Likewise, visitors can also camp on site and use the laundry, shower station, picnic pavilion, campfire circles, and more.
Oscar Scherer State Park is located between Sarasota and Venice on the West Coast of Florida and features a wide array of experiences and amenities. The park is a 1400-acre sanctuary to local wildlife, as it is surrounded by highways and housing developments. Referred to as one of Florida's hidden gems, 15 miles of hiking trails allow visitors to encounter the park's wildlife such as bald eagles, bobcats, North American river otters, alligators, gopher tortoises, and - most notably - the Florida Scrub Jay. The Florida Scrub Jay is endemic to Florida, meaning it is found no where else on the planet and requires the unique features of Florida scrub habitats in order to survive. This curious bird attracts thousands of visitors each year, with the park even offering 'Sunday Scrub Jay Walks'. Other amenities such as canoeing, biking, camping, hiking, snorkeling, and even wedding services are offered at the park.
Sarasota School District is home to 52 schools with a combined total of 42,600 students. It is one of only 10 school districts ranked “A” in Florida. Another notable feat is that the district has been recognized for outstanding arts education by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National School Boards Association.
530 Burns Gallery is a contemporary art gallery featuring a wide range of artists working in different media. Artists on display include fine, mixed-media, and abstract artists; glass and wood sculptors; and art jewelry designers.
Art Center Sarasota is a center for all things art in a city that fosters all kinds of artistic endeavors. It is a member-based organization that offers workshops, classes, demonstrations, and youth programs to educate everyone from novice to professional artists. It also has 3 curated galleries to showcase some of the best art Sarasota has to offer.
Sarasota's Art Uptown Gallery is the longest-running fine art gallery in the downtown area, opened in 1980. It showcases local artists in both 2D and 3D arts and offers the community opportunities to meet the artists.
Big Top Brewing Company is a Sarasota-based brewery that crafts unique and tasty beers. Big Top Brewing Company's mission is to create beers that reflect the rich and powerful history of Sarasota, Florida. The brewery offers tasting room hours so that visitors are able to try different beers.
The Braille and Talking Book Library is a library dedicated to providing reading materials to blind and visually impaired residents. Its headquarters is located in Daytona and it has nine subregional locations in Coca, Ft. Myers, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Clearwater, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, and Lake Worth to serve residents throughout the state.
Buddy Brew Sarasota is located in Downtown Sarasota. Contrary to the coffee shop's small space, the coffee packs quite a punch and keeps locals coming back. Buddy Brew coffee is high-quality and the brand is offered at several different locations.
Buddy Brew is a specialty coffee company that believes coffee should be more than just a boring cup o' joe. Whether you need your thirst quenched or a jolt of energy, Buddy Brew invites you to "brew good and do good" with their unique coffees and nitro cold brew.
Calusa Brewing is a Sarasota-based brewery that brews a great variety of different beers. The brewery always has a good amount of beers on tap at their location and customers are also able to buy canned and bottled beers for to-go. It also has a tap room for visitors to check out and usually a food-truck on-site.
The Circus Arts Conservatory is keeping Sarasota's circus legacy alive! They put on some of the best, internationally acclaimed circus shows in the area and they have classes for both adults and children. Specific classes are available for the flying trapeze, aerial skills, and acrobatic trampoline. You can also take a sampler class that teaches some of everything.
Complex Care Hospital at Ridgelake is dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients and maximizing their potential for healing and recovery. Powered by passionate care teams, they specialize in helping patients with expert, aggressive medical care in warm, caring environments.
The Crowley Museum & Nature Center is an excellent way for families to experience the history of old Florida. The museum contains a pioneer cabin, a blacksmith shop, a working sugar cane mill, and tons of artifacts for you to check out. The nature center offers the Children’s Discovery Path, where children can learn in a fun, hands on way, and a boardwalk that takes visitors through 5 Florida habitats and ends with an observation tower overlooking the marsh and the Myakka River.
Detwiler's Farm Market is a family owned company known for providing quality food and customer service. There are weekly and monthly deals available year long. Plus, you can find just about everything on your shopping list at Detwiler's Farm Market!
Founded in 1984, the Eaton Literary Agency is happy to consider authors who are looking for agents to represent them. Although a small company, the literary agency has been publishing for more than 40 years.
Escape Rooms Unlocked has three locations along Charlotte and Sarasota County. They offer seven different escape rooms. That's a whole lot of puzzles! Try to crack their codes and solve the mysteries behind each unique story line and room design. Invite friends and family to join your for a memorable experience, or get paired with strangers for an exciting way to meet new people. For larger parties or group events, Escape Rooms Unlocked has a portable escape room that they can bring to you! Check out their website and plan your next experience.
Historic Spanish Point is a historical museum and environmental site. It focuses on collecting items that fit in with their 4 P's: Prehistory, Pioneers, Palmer, and Plants. There are tons of historical items and stories collected here that showcase the prehistory and pioneering periods of the area. Palmer represents Bertha Palmer, a Chicago socialite who moved to Florida in 1910 and once owned this land, beginning the preservation that makes this museum special. Plants are showcased in the museums nature trails and boardwalks, which house local plants and wildlife and keep records of the ecological history of the area as well. The museum hosts many events and is available as a venue rental.
JDub's Brewing Company is a Sarasota-based brewery, taproom, and beer vendor. JDub's offers several different types of beers, including India pale ales (IPAs), porters, and wheat ales. Visitors are welcome to come to tour the brewery, drink beer, and talk with the JDub's crew.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, named after John Ringling and his wife, has art exhibits, a circus museum, a beautiful flower garden, and more. John Ringling and his brothers were part of the Ringling Brothers circus. The house that John built for his wife is part of the museum, visitors are even able to walk through most of the home.
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a bayfront natural wonder that was once the home of William and Marie Selby. It is the home of many rare tropical plants and tons of land to explore. They offer special programs for children and plenty of events throughout the year.
The Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy celebrates the creativity of Sarasota by showcasing items of artistic and whimsical importance. It features a wide variety of artists working in all kinds of different media.
Marina Jacks in Sarasota sits right on the water and is close in proximity to Downtown Sarasota. Marina Jacks has sightseeing cruises, waterfront dining, harbor docking, and the option to host events. Each year Marina Jacks hosts different events, including an annual Fourth of July Fireworks show.
Michael's On East is an award-winning restaurant and wine cellar in Sarasota. The restaurant is the only restaurant in Sarasota to hold the title of the "AAA Four Diamond Award". Michael's On East caters and is well known for high-end events and parties.
The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is home to many different types of aquatic wildlife and innovative marine research. Some of the animals that can be seen at the Aquarium are sharks, sea turtles, otters, and manatees. There is also a reef animal exhibit where visitors can touch rays.
New College opened it's doors in 1960 as a small liberal arts college in Sarasota. New College remains a small college with over 800 students offering a personal and collaborative learning environment.
As an independent, college preparatory school, we provide an environment in which students strive to achieve their highest academic goals and to build character through a balanced program of academics, the arts, and athletics.
PBNT (Pizza Burgers N Tacos) is a restaurant located in downtown Sarasota that offers (you guessed it) pizza, burgers, and tacos. PBNT's burgers have been voted the best in Sarasota and the restaurant is near several shops and other restaurants, making it a great tourist destination. Customers can dine in or order take-out.
Perq Coffee Bar in Sarasota is known for specialty coffee and a relaxed atmosphere. Wine, light food choices, beer, and tea are also available. Vegan and gluten-free food options make this bar unique and inclusive.
Pinnacle Academy is a private, non-denominational school, specializing in the education of children with autism and related behavioral disorders. Our goal is to provide children and families with a unique, supportive setting-a place to call “home”.
Originating in Bradenton, Poppo's Taqueria now has six locations and quite a following. Poppo's is a Mexican style restaurant known for having organic, high-quality ingredients and unique beverage options. Poppo's offers kombucha, Virgil's sodas, and different craft beers.
Ringling College of Art and Design is a Sarasota based art school. It is named for circus magnate, John Ringling and focuses on fostering creativity for students studying in many different fields of art and design.
Enrolling pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students on 25-acres in Sarasota, Florida for over 50 years, Sarasota Christian intellectually prepares students to serve Christ and nurtures their hearts to transform the world.
Sarasota County is an area that shows great appreciation for its natural resources and the role they play in the culture of this area. Its natural preserves, specialty parks, and the special location of Snook Haven offer a little bit of everything.
The Sarasota Historical Society is a society that keeps history alive in Sarasota county. It is housed in the oldest house in Sarasota, the Bidwell-Wood House built in 1882, and the Crocker Memorial Church built in 1901. The buildings are available for tours and to rent out for events. If you're interested in history, you don't want to miss their lecture series, Conversations at The Crocker. Check out their website for other events and happenings.
Sarasota Lanes is a family owned bowling and entertainment venue. Come for great bowling with family and friends as well as pool tables, darts, vending, a lounge with a full bar service, and a full snack bar.
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is among the largest public health systems in Florida. With over 5,000 staff, over 900 physicians, and 600 volunteers, it is one of Sarasota County’s largest employers. This is a community hospital that was founded in 1925. The Bayside Center for Behavioral Health is part of the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Health Care system.
The Sarasota Opera House opened in 1926 as a multi-purpose Mediterranean Revival style venue. It was purchased by the Sarasota Opera Company in 1979, and has been the home to their performances and many others ever since!
The Sprouts farmers market is a nice sized store with just about any kind of grocery you may want or need. It's well organized and the employees are sweet to all of their customers! Be sure to check out the bulk section to choose your own nuts and grains. There are some yummy finds here including toffee coated peanuts.
The State of the Arts Gallery is a Sarasota gallery that showcases many different artists highlighting the best of the area. New exhibits, instillations, and events make sure that there is always something new to experience here.
The Artful Giraffe in Sarasota is an art gallery, gift shop, and pottery studio. Guests can peruse the different art in the store or make some of their own art. Arts and crafts classes are offered at varying prices.
The Breakfast House in Sarasota serves breakfast/brunch at an old house near downtown Sarasota. Locals flock to the restaurant because of the consistent quality of food and hometown feel. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available at the Breakfast House.
Non-profit/ non-traditional private umbrella school offering assistance, support, encouragement and monthly opportunities for homeschoolers and their families in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Created through the growing educational needs of homeschooling families like yours in our community. Education is changing and The Bridge offers a unique option for home educated and parent directed education.
The Crystal Cave in Sarasota has a plethora of crystals, stones, and other spiritual items. Each crystal and stone has been hand-selected by the owner and is unique and individual. Come check out this one-of-a-kind shop!
The goal for JOY FM is to help you find the joy within yourself. This Christian radio station starts mornings with The Morning Cruise where they share the big word of the day and devotional. Throughout the day you can listen to the top Christian artists.
Tourists and locals alike love a visit to The Mall at the University Town Center. It is easily accessible with shuttles from many local hotels and offers all kinds of deals at its many upscale shopping locals. You will find shopping and dining for every budget and taste.
The Reserve in Sarasota is a truly wonderful place. The location serves several purposes, such as a casual hangout, a meeting place, or a coffee+tea room. The Reserve offers kombucha, coffee, craft beer, wine, tea, light foods, and books for sale. There is often live music during the week and different events.
The Sarasota Modern is a tribute portfolio hotel in Sarasota that is chic, sleek, and beautiful. The hotel is modestly built, with only 89 rooms and minimalistic decorations. Guests can truly enjoy their stay in this lavish hotel!
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) is an extension of the University of South Florida. There are four colleges inside of USFSM and one school. Due to the low student to faculty ratio, USFSM allows students more time to connect and work alongside their professors.
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota holds concerts, musicals, and plays year-round. Touring acts will often stop to play at the Van Wezel. Seasonal packages are available or individual event tickets.
Venezia Italian Restaurant is located on St. Armands Circle and originated in 1966. Venezia offers authentic Italian food, they are especially known for their pizza. The placement of the restaurant makes it a great tourist attraction but the food keeps locals and visitors coming back.
Westfield Sarasota Square is the perfect place to go shopping for everything on your list. It has all of the clothing stores you love and also a Costco for your grocery needs. You will also find an AMC movie theater for entertainment.
Westfield Siesta Key is a small mall that lets you get your shopping done in an intimate setting. In addition to great shopping you will also find delicious dining options and a Cobb CineBistro for entertainment.
96.5 presents a cultural, artistic, and political perspective to the Sarasota community. This is a non-profit, non-commercial station that encourages peace, equality, social and economic justice, and more.
Christian Home School organization serving home school families located primarily in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in Southwest Florida. Currently, Learning and Families (LAF) provides: Co-op classes for grades K – 12, small groups for all school aged children, an annual curriculum fair, parent meetings, a high school prom, a yearbook, and a Senior Graduation ceremony, field trip opportunities and so much more. Joining LAF also provides discounts when joining FPEA and HSLDA.