With easy access to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, a vibrant and eclectic arts scene, growing food culture and a plethora of activities to experience amongst stunning natural settings, it is no surprise that Sarasota is one of the fastest growing areas in Florida. Ranked the #1 best place to retire by U.S. News and World Report and #9 on their Best Places to Live list, Sarasota is one of the Florida Gulf Coast’s primary cities with a metro area population of approximately 800,000 people.
Since the 1900s, travelers have been attracted to the area’s natural tropical beauty, pristine white sand beaches with sparkling sapphire water, and year-round warm weather. Sarasota was once the winter home of America’s most famous circus family, the Ringlings. The Ringling family left their mark through significant contributions to the area’s arts and culture scene and real estate development. The Ringling presence established Sarasota as Florida’s “Circus City” and John Ringling’s investment and development of the barrier islands off Sarasota would transform them into top luxury destinations for America’s rich and famous.
Today, Sarasota is a rapidly growing area drawing in retirees, families, and young professionals with unique and beautiful neighborhoods that offer something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a lively urban vibe or something more laid-back and relaxing, there’s an area in Sarasota for you. Downtown Sarasota features walkable neighborhoods fanning out from the downtown core, a mix of quaint streets filled with historic bungalows and modern, bayfront high-rise condominiums with sweeping views of Sarasota Bay, the barrier islands, and the Gulf of Mexico. Sarasota also has some of the top schools in the state of Florida, with several schools earning 10 out of 10 reviews from GreatSchools and recognition from the prestigious U.S. News and World Report “Best Schools in America” rankings.
Highly rated restaurants in the Downtown Sarasota area offer a diversity of cuisines, or foodies can shop the large, year-round weekend Sarasota Farmer’s Market for local produce and ingredients for their own farm-to-table experience. Lido Key with St. Armand’s Circle is just a quick drive over the John Ringling Causeway for a seaside, upscale ambience and unique shopping and fine dining experiences.
Sarasota is the place for water sports and activities, with dozens of marinas and spots to put in your boat, kayak or paddleboard and spend the day on the water. Fishing has always been a significant part of life and culture in Sarasota and the area still boasts some of the top spots for sport fishing. If you’re more interested in activities on the shore, Sarasota features beautiful outdoor trails for hiking, walking, jogging, and cycling. Some of the top golf courses in the state of Florida can be found in Sarasota, and premier tennis clubs set amongst the tropical backdrop and year-round warm, sunny weather mean you can play almost any time. Sports fans can enjoy watching the Baltimore Orioles play a game at their spring training facility and stadium in Sarasota or take a quick trip over to St. Petersburg or Tampa to catch any of the area’s champion teams like Tampa Bay Rays, Lightning, or Buccaneers play.
Sarasota residents enjoy a wide range of cultural activities ranging from fine arts, theatre, and music. Sarasota is home to one of the top art schools in the world, The Ringling School of Art, and has a vibrant and eclectic arts scene. Peruse the towering Rubens paintings and one of the best collections of Renaissance art in the United States at the Ringling Museum of Art or take in a night of ballet or symphony at the historic Asolo Repertory Theatre. Sarasota also hosts a renowned Foreign Film Festival. The city still holds on to its circus history through the Ringling Circus Museum and trains new artists at The Circus Arts Conservatory.
With a wide variety of homes ranging from midcentury winter vacation cottages to new construction in exclusive gated bayfront communities, walkable downtown townhomes and luxury, modern condominiums, there’s a home in Sarasota to fit your lifestyle and needs.