Great Things to Do in Sarasota

Make sure you venture out of your Sarasota hotel to see Myakka State Park. Myakka is home to thousands of alligators! First check out these amazing animals on an airboat tour, then you can hike or rent a bike to see the 57 square miles of wetlands, prairies and woodlands.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is 14 acres of an open-air and under-glass museum of thousands of brilliantly colored and exotic plants. The trees are filled with everything from fruits to orchids to bromeliads.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens is the area's only zoological gardens that are fun for the whole family. Located on 10 acres of lush tropical vegetation, the winding jungle trails and entertaining, educational bird and reptile shows bring the jungle to life.

Sharks, dolphins, and squid, oh my! While staying in a Sarasota hotel you must visit Mote Marine Laboratory. It is amazing to see and learn how science and research can save species of fish and wildlife. At Mote you can see manatees, sharks, penguins, tons of fish, sea horses, sea turtles and a lot more.

Arts and Culture

Of course you will visit the white-powdery, sand, beach but don't forget about the amazing arts and cultural experiences offered by Sarasota. Hotels in other places do not offer as many entertainment options, so venture out to any of the theaters and concert halls that host a continuous flow of shows that include musicals, comedies, concerts, lectures, the Sarasota Ballet company, operas, and dramatic plays, just to name a few. Make sure you check the calendars of The Van Wezel, Sarasota Opera House, and Asolo Theatre.

If your little ones would like to get their hands on something that doubles as a great learning experience, check out G. WIZ, The Science Museum. Next, head over to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and view the Circus Museum as well as the Ca' D'Zan, which was the Ringling's winter mansion and be sure to check out their numerous art galleries that feature exhibits that travel the world.

Get out of your Sarasota hotel and enjoy something a little "funkier". The Golden Apple hosts its illustrious Drag Queen Bingo Bonanza (which sells out every week). The Burns Court Cinema is nestled in a historic district of Sarasota and is known for continually being the best place to find first-run, hand-picked foreign, independent and art films.

Sarasota Film Festival

Sarasota Film Festival

Sarasota Film Festival is held annually and emphasizes the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events. Each year there are more than 180 films screened that include feature films, documentaries, kid-friendly picks.

Sarasota Polo Club

Sarasota Polo Club

Grab your picnic baskets and get ready for the “fastest fame on four feet”. The Sarasota Polo Club is 130-acres of magnificently manicured grounds, set in an area east of the beaches called Lakewood Ranch. Beyond the matches, there are pony and Clydesdale wagon rides, tailgating, half-time entertainment, divot stomping and lots of beautiful Sarasota fresh air.

Check out some of the hot spots in Sarasota. If you need a white, sandy beach, a cold beverage, or something to make the kids happy, read on!

Sports

Sporting events? Yes, Sarasota has those too! Ed Smith Stadium is home to the Baltimore Orioles Spring Training. Siesta Key Beach plays host to the Pro and Amateur. EVP Volleyball Tours. The local YMCA hosts the statewide SYS swim meets.

Lakewood Ranch holds the Sarasota Invitational world-class rowing competition.

  • Sporting Events
  • Volleyball
  • Tennis
  • Rowing
  • Swim Meets
  • Ed Smith Stadium and Twin Lakes Park - Orioles

Shopping

In the mood for some world-class shopping? St. Armand's Circle is a distinctive outdoor shopping circle on Lido Key that contains unique local shops and fine dining opportunities. Shop around at either of Sarasota's malls, Westfield Sarasota Square Mall and Westfield Southgate Mall. And while staying in Sarasota you are only a hop, skip and a jump to Ellenton Prime Outlet Mall.

  • Westfield Sarasota Square Mall
  • St. Armand's Circle
  • Ellenton Prime Outlet Mall
  • Westfield Southgate Mall

Outdoors

One of the best things about Sarasota is its climate! Play a round of golf, bounce around a volleyball on the sand courts at the beach, play tennis on close-by public courts, venture out on a bike ride on the Legacy Bike Trails or catch a big one on a fishing charter and cheer on your favorite greyhound at the Sarasota Kennel Club. Rentals are also available for boating, sailing, kayaking, biking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, snorkeling, and skim boarding.

  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle boarding
  • Jet-skiing
  • Swimming
  • Snorkeling
  • Skim Boarding
  • Parasailing
  • Golfing
  • Biking (Legacy Bike Trails)
  • Fishing Charters
  • Sarasota Kennel Club Dog Races