In order to survive a New England winter, you must plan things to do in Sarasota, Florida! For those of us from the northeast, we flock to Sarasota County in search of sunshine and a good time.
I recently flew to the Sunshine State and extended a weekend bachelorette trip. After throwing back a few cocktails in Ft. Lauderdale, we enjoyed the slower pace offered on the gulf coast. From botanical gardens to golf lessons, learn how to make the most of your time in Southern Florida.
The best things to do in Sarasota
Ok, the first suggestion is pretty obvious. One of the best things to do in Sarasota is soaking in rays at one of the top rated beaches in the country. The stunning quartz stone white sand is easy on your toes. Sarasota County offers miles of coastline to take advantage of. One of my favorite memories was walking Lido beach (cocktail in hand) and collecting seashells at sunset.
Lido Beach Resort has a lovely poolside tiki bar. Be sure to order your obligatory piña colada before heading over to the beach. The tiki bar has happy hour specials from 4 pm – 6 pm daily. If you prefer beachside service, head over to the Resort at Longboat Key. Both resorts offer guests complimentary lounge chairs and towel service.
If you are a water sports aficionado or perhaps looking to burn off some piña colada calories, Sarasota County offers a wide variety of watersports. We recommend an eco friendly kayak tour or renting a paddle board right on Lido Key.
Work and Play at Lido Beach Resort
Don’t get me wrong, I love finding different things to do in Sarasota. Life as a travel blogger does require working on the road to keep the boat afloat. Lido Beach Resort is the perfect spot to fit some work in before soaking in the sun. Each of the rooms includes a kitchenette with a full refrigerator, microwave, and coffee machine. Complimentary wifi and a beautiful balcony make this the perfect spot to work before play in Sarasota County. Calling all digital nomads; head down to the Sunshine State.
Beyond the Beach in Sarasota County
If you have skin complexion like mine, you’ll need to find things to do in Sarasota that don’t involve direct sunlight during your stay. Mid-way through the trip we decided we needed a beach free, aloe filled day. Here are some suggestions:
- Shop until you drop in in St. Armand’s Circle: Broken into four colorful quadrants, St. Armand’s circle is the perfect spot. Pick up souvenirs, unique jewelry or a brand new beach cover-up. Both Lido Beach Resort and the Resort at Longboat Key offer complimentary shuttle service.
- Grab a bite to at Crab & Fin: The grouper tacos are out of this world!
- Walking tours for foodies: Explore the hundreds for restaurants in Sarasota County on a St. Armand’s Circle or downtown Sarasota tour.
- Gardens for nature lovers: Selby Botanical Gardens is located on the bay in downtown Sarasota. This historic location has been preserved for visitors to enjoy exotic plants and learn about the Selby family.
- Appreciate the arts: One of the most highly recommended things to do in Sarasota is a visit to the Ringling Art Museum. Just across the street from the airport, pop on over before your flight.
Treat Yo’self to a Spa Day in Longboat Key
Admittedly, Eileen and I have a soft spot for pampering ourselves. Whether you are a group of old friends or helping the bride to relax before her big day, there is always time to treat yo’self in Sarasota County. Spa days are a great way to rejuvenate and bond with your gal pals.
The Resort at Longboat Key offers guests an oasis right in the heart of Sarasota County. On this trip, I indulged in a fifty-minute Swedish massage. Special thanks to the staff, the service is top-notch. The facility offers a wide range of spa services, including manicures, pedicures, massages, and facial treatments. Be sure to hop in the sauna and enjoy a glass of champagne before heading back over to the resort.
If you are looking for dinner recommendations, have no fear you can dine in style. Portofino is located on the marina at Longboat Key and serves delicious Italian cuisine. The shrimp scampi was delicious!
Best golf greens in Sarasota County
Finally, time to get back outside for the best things to do in Sarasota, golfing. The Resort at Longboat Key has two lovely courses, Harborside and Links to choose from. Despite generating most of their business from Sarasota County memberships, this club offers resort guests lessons and tee times.
Both private and group lessons are offered to guests. We had Jim as an instructor, he was fantastic! One of the best parts of travel is meeting new people. The world always feels a little smaller when you meet a fellow New England native out on the road.
We spent most of our lesson perfecting our swing. I learned that our stroke oftentimes is a direct reflection of our personalities. Apparently, I’m quite a bit of a dancer, my feet were all over the place. Pro Tip: try to get a tee time earlier in the morning before the heat gets unbearable. After your lesson, head over to Spike & Tees for lunch before hitting the waves.
Spending some time on the gulf coast made us realize that there are so many things to do in Sarasota. Although this may have been our first trip, it absolutely will not be our last.
Join the discussion 11 Comments
I haven’t been to Sarasota in years. I definitely prefer the Gulf coast to the Atlantic side and love the more laid-back attitude. It seems like so many of the hotels there have nice balconies like this that allow some shade while you enjoy the water view. As someone fair-complected, I know how important it is to have a respite from the sun!
I know what you mean – in Michigan everyone flocks to Florida in the winter to escape the awful weather! I’ve been to Florida at least once a year my whole life, but we almost always go to the same town as we are visiting family. So I’ve never been to Sarasota! I’d love to explore more of the state this year, though. Maybe I will make it to Sarasota!
I’m always in Daytona because of family too, so it was nice to check out a new spot in Florida!
Wow, this looks like so much fun. I want to go. Lindo Beach resort looks beautiful and I would definitely enjoy it there. Love the big Banyan tree too.
I was actually planning on going ot Sarasota County this weekend but Hurricane Barry had other ideas. If the seas clear up next weekend, I might go shark tooth diving off Venice.
Oh shoot! We actually had to re-schedule this trip due to the red tide. Have a blast in Egypt!
Lido Beach Resort looks great. The suite sounds homey with those amenities. And a balcony overlooking the beach is inspirational. A perfect spot indeed to work or relax.
You can’t beat a great balcony!
I love the Sarasota area of Florida. I grew up going to Florida every year and I’ve been all over. Such a fun and diverse state that is the butt of a lot of jokes haha. Was just here two years ago and was so surprised by the vegan scene as well.
I grew up hanging out on the east coast of Florida and barely knew the gulf existed. Then I met me husband they were ‘gulf’ vacationers growing up, haha! I think the food scene is definitely evolving in Florida, I’m glad they’re offering more vegan options!