Great Escapes: Our guide to Sarasota, Florida

Planning a getaway? Check out Sarasota, Florida, a vibrant beach town with a rich history and world-class art and food.

Great Escapes-Sarasota FL

Explore 37 miles of open shoreline across Sarasota.

Photo by City Editor Rebecca

Table of Contents

FTWtoday City Editor Rebecca, here. I worked in Sarasota, FL for a little over a year before returning home to DFW for graduate school. During that time, I enjoyed trips to the beach, learned about the history of the circus, and ate award-winning seafood. Come along with me and discover some of Sarasota’s best offerings for your next weekend getaway.

Great Escapes-Dog Beach

Bring your fur baby along for a trip to the beach.

Photo by City Editor Rebecca

Why go?

  • This town, located about an hour south of Tampa, is known for its white-sand beaches including the popular Siesta Key, Lido Key, and my personal favorite, Brohard Paw Park, where dogs can run free and swim in the ocean.
  • Sarasota was named the “Best Place to Travel in Florida” in 2022 by US News and World Report.
  • Enjoy beautiful weather nearly all year — the city gets an average of 251 sunny days per year.
  • Take a photo with the iconic “Unconditional Surrender sculpture.” The sculpture was purchased by late World War II veteran and Sarasota resident Jack Curran.
Great Escapes-Ringling Brothers—DEC

Explore the history of the circus at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Photo by City Editor Rebecca

Act like a local:

  • Food: With 37 miles of open shoreline, there’s a plethora of fresh seafood restaurants. Get dressed up and try Indigenous, a sustainable seafood restaurant, run by James Beard semifinalist Steve Phelps.
  • Drink: Walk around Siesta Key Village and cool off with a cold drink from Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar or Gilligan’s Island Bar & Grill.
  • Outdoors: Take in the nature and explore the wetlands on a canopy walkway at Myakka River State Park.
  • Learn: Visit Ringling Bros. and the Barnum & Bailey Circus and explore the Ca’ d’Zan — the former home of John and Mable Ringling. The mansion is now home to The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and is inspired by the Venetian Gothic style.
  • Sports: Catch the Baltimore Orioles practice at Ed Smith Stadium for free (mid-February-March).
  • Explore: Take in the fresh ocean air and shop 130+ merchants at St. Armands Circle, including local boutiques, jewelry stores, and candy shops.
Great Escapes-Air BnB

Clerestory windows for plenty of light with two (2) sets of French doors that lead into the yard.

Photo by Airbnb

Where to stay:

  • Vrbo: Club Bamboo South 123 Studio, steps away from the Gulf of Mexico on Bradenton Beach. (~205/night)
  • Airbnb: The Artist Studio SRQ, walking distance to downtown and conveniently located near the Selby Botanical Gardens and the Sarasota Art Museum. (~169/night)
  • Splurge hotel: Lido Beach Resort, a private, secluded beach paradise on Lido Beach. (~439/night)
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