1. Siesta Key Beach

Visit Siesta Key Beach: Siesta Key Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Sarasota, known for its soft, powdery white sand and crystal clear waters. The beach is free to visit and offers plenty of amenities, including restrooms, showers, and picnic areas. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, or take a walk along the shoreline to enjoy the beautiful views.

Things to do at Siesta Key Beach

1. Relax on the Beach The soft, white sand and clear water make it the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. With plenty of space and different areas to choose from, visitors can find the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

2. Go Swimming Siesta Key Beach is renowned for its calm and warm water, making it an ideal place to swim. Whether you're looking to cool off on a hot day or just want to take a dip, the crystal-clear water is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring.

3. Explore the Beach Siesta Key Beach is over three miles long and is great for a leisurely walk or a morning jog. Take a stroll along the shore, enjoy the fresh sea breeze, and explore the beach's many hidden gems. Along the way, you'll discover playgrounds, picnic areas, and volleyball courts, all surrounded by the natural beauty of the beach.

4. Play Beach Volleyball There are plenty of volleyball courts available for use, so grab your friends and family and enjoy a game of beach volleyball. The courts are well-maintained, and there's always a game going on, so you're sure to find someone to play with.

5. Take a Sunset Cruise There's nothing quite like a sunset cruise, and Siesta Key Beach offers some of the most stunning sunsets you'll ever see. With several companies offering sunset cruises, visitors can relax on a boat, enjoy the breathtaking view, and even spot some wildlife such as dolphins and manatees.

6. Rent a Bike If you're looking for a more active way to explore the area, renting a bike is a great option. Siesta Key has plenty of bike rental shops, and the area is bike-friendly, with a paved bike path that runs the length of the island.

7. Enjoy Water Sports From paddleboarding to jet skiing, there are plenty of water sports to enjoy at Siesta Key Beach. With several rental companies available, visitors can easily rent equipment and enjoy an exciting day on the water.

2. Sarasota Farmers Market

Visit the Sarasota Farmers Market: The Sarasota Farmers Market takes place every Saturday morning in downtown Sarasota and features a range of local vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, and handmade crafts. Visitors can stroll through the market, sample local foods, and enjoy live music and other entertainment. The Sarasota Farmers Market is a weekly farmers market held in downtown Sarasota, Florida. The market takes place every Saturday from 7:00am to 1:00pm, rain or shine, and is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The market features over 70 vendors offering a wide variety of fresh, locally grown produce, artisanal cheeses, homemade baked goods, fresh seafood, and much more. Visitors can sample and purchase everything from fresh herbs and spices to exotic fruits and vegetables, all of which are grown and produced by local farmers and artisans. In addition to the food and produce, the market also features a number of talented local artists and craftspeople selling handmade jewelry, pottery, and other unique items. Live music and entertainment are also a regular part of the market, adding to the festive atmosphere.

3. St. Armands Circle

Take a stroll through St. Armands Circle: St. Armands Circle is a unique shopping district located on an island just off the coast of Sarasota. The area features a range of shops, restaurants, and cafes, and is a great place to people-watch. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the circle, stopping to window-shop or grab a bite to eat. 

Saint Armands Circle Shopping

Saint Armands Circle is known for its upscale shopping, with over 130 stores and boutiques to choose from. Visitors can browse designer clothing, jewelry, shoes, and accessories from high-end brands like Lilly Pulitzer, Tommy Bahama, and Michael Kors. The area also features unique specialty shops, such as Pepper Palace, which offers hot sauces and spicy snacks, and The Spice & Tea Exchange, which sells gourmet spices and teas.

Saint Armands Circle Dining

Saint Armands Circle has over 20 restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering everything from casual beachside dining to fine dining experiences. Some of the area's most popular restaurants include the Columbia Restaurant, which serves traditional Spanish and Cuban cuisine, and Shore, which offers fresh seafood and waterfront views. Visitors can also enjoy a cocktail at one of the area's stylish bars, such as The Hub Baja Grill or Daiquiri Deck.

Saint Armands Circle Beaches

Saint Armands Circle is located on Lido Key, a barrier island with beautiful beaches. Lido Beach is just a short walk from the circle and is known for its soft white sand and crystal clear water. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking. The area also has several beachfront parks, including South Lido County Park, which has hiking trails and picnic areas.

Saint Armands Circle Events

Saint Armands Circle hosts several events throughout the year, including art festivals, car shows, and holiday celebrations. The annual Saint Armands Craft Festival showcases the work of over 100 artists and craftsmen from around the country. The Circle Lighting and Holiday Night of Lights bring festive cheer to the area with thousands of lights and decorations.

4. Legacy Bike Trail

Walk or bike the Legacy Trail

The Legacy Bike Trail in Sarasota is a popular attraction for both locals and tourists alike. This scenic pathway spans 11 miles, stretching from Sarasota to Venice, and winds through some of the most beautiful areas of the Gulf Coast of Florida. The trail is a wonderful way to experience the natural beauty of the region, get some exercise, and learn about the history of the area.

The Legacy Bike Trail was built on an abandoned railroad line that was once used to transport phosphate and other materials from the mines in the interior of Florida to the Gulf Coast. The railroad line was in use from the early 1900s until the 1960s, and was then abandoned for many years. In the 1990s, a group of concerned citizens and community leaders began advocating for the creation of a recreational trail on the old railroad bed. Their efforts paid off in 2003, when the Legacy Bike Trail officially opened.

Today, the trail is a popular destination for walkers, joggers, cyclists, and rollerbladers. The trail is completely paved and relatively flat, making it accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Along the way, visitors can enjoy scenic views of lakes, wetlands, and wooded areas, as well as glimpses of local wildlife such as turtles, alligators, and a wide variety of birds.

One of the highlights of the Legacy Bike Trail is the historic Venice Train Depot, which was built in 1927 and served as a transportation hub for the area for many years. Today, the depot has been restored and serves as a museum and visitor center for the trail. Visitors can learn about the history of the railroad and the local area through exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays.

Another point of interest along the trail is the Oscar Scherer State Park. This park is home to a variety of habitats, including pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, and wetlands. Visitors can explore the park on foot or by bicycle, and can even rent canoes or kayaks to paddle along the park's waterways.

5. Oscar Scherer State Park

Named after Oscar Scherer, a successful businessman who purchased the land in the 1950s, the park spans over 1,400 acres and is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including gopher tortoises, bobcats, and the Florida scrub-jay, a threatened species found only in Florida. Visitors can explore the park's numerous trails, go kayaking or canoeing on South Creek, or take a dip in the freshwater Lake Osprey.

One of the highlights of Oscar Scherer State Park is its extensive trail system, which offers something for everyone, from easy walks to more challenging hikes. The park's main trail, the Yellow Trail, is a 3.3-mile loop that winds through a pine flatwoods and scrub habitat. Along the way, visitors can spot a variety of birds, including the red-bellied woodpecker and the eastern towhee.

For those looking for a longer hike, the Lester Finley Trail is a 6.5-mile loop that takes hikers through a range of habitats, including pine flatwoods, oak hammocks, and wetlands. This trail offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the park, with the chance to spot otters, alligators, and a variety of bird species.

In addition to hiking, visitors can also explore the park's waterways by renting a kayak or canoe from the ranger station. South Creek, which flows through the park, is a popular spot for paddling, with the chance to see herons, egrets, and even the occasional manatee.

Posted by Matt Leicht on
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