Sarasota has a diverse list of attractions for recreation, education, and enrichment. Surrounded by the sparkling Gulf of Mexico, ecotourism is an obvious option for diversion in Sarasota, but the list of options ranges from low-key and family-friendly to adrenaline rushes and black tie affairs. With Tampa, Clearwater, St. Pete, and Orlando all within an easy driving distance, the options for paid recreation are plentiful.


Surrounded by an impressive natural ecosystem, there are plenty of easily-accessible opportunities to learn about and experience wild Florida. In addition to Sarasota’s world-famous beaches, Sarasota has beautiful parks, stunning gardens, wildlife sanctuaries, ecological research facilities, camping areas, and walking trails.

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Art, history, science, and whimsy are all represented in Sarasota’s collection of museums, with even more to choose from just a short drive away to St. Pete and Tampa. Nature lovers to classic car aficionados can find an afternoon of education and amusement in Sarasota’s museum scene.

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With a packed community event schedule, there’s never a shortage of things to do and events to attend in Sarasota. A number of theaters and performing arts halls are located in downtown Sarasota, hosting concerts, ballets, operas, and community productions on a monthly or weekly basis. 

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Conveniently located within striking distance of Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater, and Orlando, Sarasota also enjoys the attractions of the greater Tampa Bay and metro Orlando areas. For thrill-seekers, concert-goers, and sports fans especially, this proximity allows access to the biggest names and events, from a convenient, comfortable distance. 

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Sarasota is home to a world-renowned sports training facility, spring training for the Baltimore Orioles, over 50 competitive and leisure golf courses, one of the largest polo clubs in the country, and a host of beach and water-related sporting organizations. Additionally, Sarasota is just a short drive to see the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Tampa Bay Rowdies.

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The craft beer scene is exploding on the Gulf Coast, and the Sarasota area is no exception. With expert local brewers distributing across the state, Sarasota residents have the privilege of tasting from the tap at a number of breweries open to the public. For just the cost of your tab, you can take a tour, sample house brews, and even hang in mostly dog and kid-friendly beer gardens

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