A modern city on the scenic coast of the Gulf of Mexico where days and nights are spent on the waterfront sounds too good to be true. But true it is.

When the pioneer families like Whitaker, Webb, and Gillespie first settled in this area located on the southwestern coast of Florida, they probably had no inkling of what their town would become. And what did it become? Why, one of the Gulf Coast’s most popular places to let your hair down. From taking a leisure cruise through Sarasota Bay and casting a line in the serene waters to shopping for souvenirs along downtown’s Main Street, the question of what to do in Sarasota is easy to answer. The Sarasota Jungle Gardens are a perfect place to spend an afternoon—especially if you enjoy looking at animals like flamingos, alligators, and prairie dogs. But what about evening activities? Where should you go? What should you do? Wander the avenues of downtown, explore the happening bar scene, and swap stories with happy wanderers like yourself, of course.

This state is known for its sunny days. Heck, its nickname is “the Sunshine State” and since the amount of sunny days seems to be endless, the best time to visit is entirely up to you. Summers are hot and humid, but when you have the soothing waters of the Gulf of Mexico to seek relief in, who cares? There’s nothing better than enjoying a cold brew while floating on the water’s surface—and here’s a pro tip, that’s one of our favorite things to do in Sarasota.

The best way to enjoy your time in the Florida sun is to take advantage of one of our Sarasota vacation packages. No one deserves a getaway more than you. Happy wandering!

Frequently Asked Questions about Sarasota

Where are the best places to fish in Sarasota?

Sarasota has a healthy ecosystem packed with great fishing spots. Saltwater anglers will enjoy both casting in Sarasota Bay and heading offshore. If you prefer freshwater fishing, check out Oscar Scherer State Park or Myakka River State Park. Keep in mind that tilapia is considered an invasive freshwater species, and must be removed if caught-but a great place to rehome it is in your belly!

Where to eat breakfast in Sarasota?

You might as well start with aptly-named The Breakfast House, a colorful converted house where you'll find tons of unique pancakes and eggs benedict options. Blue Dolphin Café is a tiny spot on St. Armand's, where you'll find generous portions and excellent flavors. A word to the wise: don't miss the raspberry stuffed French toast at Keke's Breakfast Café.

How far is Siesta Key from Sarasota?

Siesta Key is considered one of America's best beaches, with sugary white sands and the bustling Siesta Key Village nearby. It's an easy jaunt from Sarasota, located between six and seven miles away, depending on the route you choose. Traffic impacts travel time, though, so plan to spend upwards of 30 minutes on the road during busy times.