Maps around the 1700's called this area "Porte Sarasote" and "Sarazota". A fishing camp and Indian trading post were supposedly at the end of Longboat Key and called "Saraxota". Today’s spelling of Sarasota came in 1839. The city has a rich history and ownership of the land passed between several prominent colonists and colonies. Like in other parts of Florida, the orange industry began to garner attention and the citrus industry established a community called "Fruitville" here in 1876. Sarasota founded its first newspaper in 1899, and in November of that same year, telephone service arrived. Sarasota was incorporated as a town on October 14, 1902, and a city on May 13, 1913. Despite a tourism recession in the 1970s, in the late '80s and especially the early '90s, the economy shifted and the Downtown became prosperous again. Sarasota now boasts one the finest Downtowns in the State of Florida.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.