Top Things to Do in Sarasota, Florida
From beautiful beaches to a happening nightlife, greater Sarasota is full of attractions that keep residents and visitors entertained all year long.
Sarasota is sensational for seniors looking to stay active during their golden years. With classes that cover everything from music and art to yoga and dance, Sarasota Friendship Centers cover the mind, body and soul. At the Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy of Sarasota, seniors can take classes that interest them or in a subject they want to know more about. www.friendshipcenters.org and www.thelifelonglearningacademy.com
The beach is the first thing that comes to mind for many when they think of Florida, and Sarasota is no exception. Both residents and visitors who come to the coast will find plenty of sand and sun throughout the greater Sarasota area at Longboat Key, Venice, Lido Key, Manasota Key, Siesta Key and Casey Key. So grab some sunscreen and spend a day or even a few hours building sandcastles, swimming in the Gulf or relaxing in the sun. www.visitsarasota.com/sarasota-area-beaches
From national chains to locally owned restaurants, Sarasota is serving up delicious dishes to curb every craving. With bistros, bars, grills and—it goes without saying—some of the freshest seafood around, this area of the coast has something to tempt every taste bud. www.sarasotachamber.com/Restaurants-Bars
Golfers of every skill level can tee off at one of the local public or private courses throughout Sarasota County. Courses open to the public include Suncoast Golf Center and Meadows Country Club. Private courses include The Founders Golf Club, Laurel Oak Country Club, Palm Aire Country Club, Sara Bay Country Club, TPC Prestancia and the University Park Country Club.
www.sarasotachamber.com/Golf-Courses-Public and www.sarasotachamber.com/Golf-Courses-Private
Nathan Benderson Park
Host of the 2017 World Rowing Championships, Nathan Benderson Park boasts 600 acres of recreational space. The pet-friendly park is open year-round and offers guests the perfect venue for everything, from canoeing and kayaking to walking and jogging. With a 400-acre lake, a 3.5-mile trail, picnic areas and more, the ways to play are endless. www.nathanbendersonpark.org
Nightlife in Downtown Sarasota
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. With plenty of places to go shopping, dancing, grab drinks, a bite to eat or enjoy the arts, downtown is just as alive at night as it is during the day. The nightlife even reaches to the shore, where live music and dancing on the beach make the greater Sarasota area a happening spot, day or night. www.visitsarasota.com/nightlife-entertainment-festivals
Shop till you drop at the Mall at University Town Center, where more than 150 stores, specialty shops, food options and more have something for everyone. Likewise, both Westfield Siesta Key and Westfield Sarasota Square malls offer a plethora of stores, as well as eateries and movie theaters. For even more shopping, visit downtown Sarasota and St. Armands Circle, where shops include everything from antiques to bridal boutiques. www.mallatutc.com, www.westfield.com/southgate,
www.westfield.com/sarasota and www.sarasotachamber.com/Shopping-Specialty-Retail
U.S. Masters Swimming Association
Swimmers across the county have logged a collective total of more than 10 million miles through the U.S. Masters Swimming Association (USMS). Headquartered in Sarasota, this nonprofit organization encourages adults of all ages to hop in the water, whether it’s for exercise or competition. www.usms.org