Sarasota has been called the “cultural center of southwest Florida.” Located just south of the Tampa Bay area and to the north of Fort Myers, the city features a series of islands nestled between the Gulf and the Sarasota Bay. Sarasota offers recreation and entertainment opportunities that attract visitors from around the world. Long stretches of white, sandy beaches are ranked among America’s best, and the surrounding waters offer some of the best saltwater fishing and recreational water sports. Spend your day exploring the remote nature trails where you can observe wildlife in its natural habitat. In the evening, experience dining at its finest in one of Longboat Key’s cosmopolitan neighborhoods or St. Armands Circle’s stellar restaurants.
In Sarasota, nature and culture not only co-exist peacefully, they complement each other completely.
While it’s been long known as a vacation destination thanks to its pristine beaches and abundant golfing, Sarasota’s permanent residents have discovered a wide-range of arts and cultural opportunities. Museums, performing arts centers with world class ballet, theater, opera and classical music, and outdoor festivals are just some of the attractions you can enjoy in Sarasota.
Location & Attractions
Plymouth Harbor is situated perfectly on one of Sarasota’s key islands, featuring views of downtown Sarasota, Sarasota Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico, with the Sarasota Yacht Club next door. It is convenient to three area airports, including the major airport in Sarasota, for a wide selection of national and international flights.
Each day in Sarasota presents you with endless opportunities to explore and enjoy life to the fullest. The famed St. Armands Circle is just a quick stop down Florida’s John Ringling Causeway. This shopping area features more than 140 unique specialty shops, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
Sarasota boasts one of the strongest arts and culture scenes in Florida. Residents have many opportunities to take in the outstanding performances. The Sarasota Opera is renowned for its historic Verdi Cycle productions, as well as popular operas such as Carmen and Madame Butterfly. The Sarasota Ballet, now receiving rave reviews in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Dance Magazine, was the Gulf Coast of Florida’s first professional ballet company.
The Asolo Repertory Theatre, the state’s oldest theater company, operates on a level that even seasoned aficionados who hail from New York or London will enjoy.
The Sarasota Orchestra, now under the leadership of Anu Tali, the dynamo conductor from Estonia, performs regularly in the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, sharing the marquee with touring Broadway shows, dance companies, and orchestras from across the country and from around the globe. The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, set along Sarasota’s beautiful bayfront, has been entertaining audiences with a variety of music, dance, theater, and comedy since 1970.
The Sarasota and La Musica chamber music festivals attract some of the world’s leading musicians and, along with the Perlman Music Program Winter Residency, the rising stars of classical music.
Thanks to the Ringling School of Art + Design’s attraction to artists and teachers after World War II, the area has been a creative tour de force for decades. Local residents can enjoy exhibitions at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, boasting the most significant collection of Baroque art in the South, as well as local museums, galleries, and installations of public art throughout Sarasota.
Outdoor and sports enthusiasts have many activities as well. Many Major League Baseball teams call the Gulf Coast of Florida home during the offseason. Pass your time with America’s national pastime by visiting one of these teams during spring training. The Florida weather is perfect for hitting the links on one of Sarasota’s beautiful golf courses, visiting the lush beauty of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (located directly across the bay from Plymouth Harbor) or boating on brilliant blue waters. Sarasota is also home to triathlons, regattas, and rowing competitions.