Beautiful Sarasota, Florida, is small enough to provide a welcoming small-town feel, yet large enough to provide an array of world-class amenities. Located near some of the world’s best entertainment hotspots, the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport services over 1.3 million travelers and Sarasota tourists each and every year.
Conveniently located south of St. Petersburg and Tampa, and north of Naples and Fort Myers, Sarasota provides excellent access to miles of incredible beaches, some of which have the reputation of being among the best in the country.
Sporting what can safely be called “some of the best winter weather on the planet,” charming Sarasota enjoys incredible winters, with an average January high temperature of 71, an average February high of 73, and an average March high temperature of 76.
Sarasota includes the islands of Lido Key and Siesta Key, which are separated from the city. Measuring approximately 25.9 square miles, Sarasota offers visitors and residents warm winters, hot summers, plenty of sun, and an endless supply of activities.
Sarasota is also known for having one of the most vibrant and interesting downtown areas in all of Florida. Sarasota has a true world-class cultural environment with plenty of music, art, and creative options to be explored, such as the famous Sarasota Film Festival. The region is also known for its many notable architects, artists, performing artists, and writers who have settled in Sarasota and now call it home.
Major corporations have a presence in Sarasota as well. For example, Boar’s Head Provision Company is based in Sarasota, and major employers include such diverse companies as L-3 Aviation Recorders, Zenith Insurance Company, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, and Capgemini SE, the French multinational professional services and business consulting corporation.
Sarasota is full of beautiful and historic homes. In fact, most of the luxury homes built on the northern shore of Sarasota Bay in the 1920s are still standing and well preserved. Lovers of historic homes will find Sarasota to be something of a revelation. Many of these historic homes sit on elevated land along the bay with the exquisite John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art nestled in the center.
The median home price in Sarasota is approximately $260,000. Prospective homebuyers will find that their home buying dollar is well spent in Sarasota, as the city has many elegant and historic homes on the market for a reasonable price. In addition, buyers will find that there is a great deal of variety, both in terms of price point and type of home.
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The Sarasota School of Architecture helps the community appreciate and preserve its valuable historic real estate assets. Throughout the city, visitors will notice that many of the buildings are in the Italianate style, with a prime example being the striking Cà d'Zan, which is also a major tourist attraction. The Cà d'Zan resembles a Venetian palazzo and was built during the height of Sarasota’s boom in 1924.
Sarasota is definitely a great place to raise a family. The city is built around fun, entertaining, and educational activities for children. The Mote Marine Laboratory is a popular aquarium, and there are museums in the area, such as the visually impressive and informative Classic Car Museum.
The city has a fun and vibrant downtown area with shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and galleries. There are various exciting events including a weekly farmers market as well as notable annual parades, performances, and festivals.
Sarasota County public school system enjoys a strong reputation, with fourteen elementary schools, and four middle schools, namely, Booker Middle, Brookside Middle, McIntosh Middle, and Sarasota Middle.
High schools include Booker High, Riverview High, Sarasota High, Suncoast Polytechnical High School, Sarasota Military Academy, and Oak Park School. Higher Education options include the New College of Florida, Keiser University, Ringling College of Art and Design, and FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training.
In the past, the Bradenton and Sarasota area was known as Zarazote, later Fort Armistead, and then Sara Sota (1842) before the final name of Sarasota was established in 1902. After Florida became a U.S. territory in 1819, Fort Armistead was constructed along the bay. Some experts believe that the original Zarazote name is a reference to the daughter of a Conquistador named Sara. Native Americans originally settled the area, and the conflict between the region’s European settlers and Native Americans led to the Seminole War.
Artists have long been drawn to Sarasota. Today, residents and visitors alike can enjoy an array of arts and cultural entertainment including the Sarasota Orchestra founded in 1949, the Sarasota Ballet, and the Sarasota Opera. Sarasota is also an area hub for theater and film, thanks to the presence of the Asolo Repertory Theater, the Banyan Theater Company, Florida Studio Theatre, the Sarasota Players, the famous Sarasota Film Festival, and more.
Many Sarasota attractions highlight the impressive natural wonders of the area. The Sarasota Jungle Gardens feature ten full acres of exquisite gardens and animals. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens can be found on Sarasota Bay and is home to a garden museum and thousands of tropical plants.
The area’s beaches are some of the best in the world. Siesta Key is known for having the whitest beaches in the world. Lido Key is well known for its cruises, sailing, eco-tourism, and dolphin watching.
Sarasota’s great weather means that golfing is a sunny and fun year-round activity. If you want to improve your golf game, then Sarasota is tough to beat. Sport fishing is very popular, and the Sarasota Marathon is now an annual fixture, having begun in 2005.
Sarasota is a unique place both in Florida and on the national stage. Few areas can lay claim to such consistently good weather. The amazing winters of Sarasota are one of the key reasons that so many artists have flocked to the area over the decades.
Rich in natural beauty, arts, and cultural activities, wonderful historic homes, wonderful beaches, and a large and well-regarded education system, Sarasota is an excellent place to both visit and live.
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