Info about Sarasota, Florida?

  1. I'm planning our family vacation for next year, the only place available in our timeshare in Florida is Sarasota. Any info re that area would be greatly appreciated? i.e. beaches, kids' activities, shopping of course, etc :smile: How is it compared to the Ft. Lauderdale area?
    Many thanks.
  2. I live in the Sarasota area on one of the key islands off the coast. There are lots of great things for kids to do (I have a 4 & 7 year old..)

    Siesta Key has a very pretty & large beach. Depending on the time of year, it can be a bit crowded at times. Some great family things to do are the GWiz kids science museum, Jungle Gardens & Mote Marine Aquarium. St. Armand's Circle is great for eating, people watching & shopping little boutiques. There are also 2 malls here. One more upscale & one "regular" mall. Downtown has a few little boutiques as well & is a very fun area to hang out. Hope that helps!

    Sorry, I don't have any comparison to Ft. Lauderdale, never been.:shame:
  3. I *knew* Acegirl would post!

    Sarasota is a fabulous place to visit. And it is a very small world on tPF because my in-laws and Acegirl both live on the same Key just south of Sarasota.

    Siesta beach is absolutely fabulous. I believe it is always ranked in the top 5 or top 10 beaches in the world. White, white, fine sand. Just gorgeous.

    Is Turtle Beach still around? It is a beach of just sharkteeth and shells.

    Sarasota is also very close to Venice and that is a nice little quaint town also.

    Not much high-end shopping but absolutely beautiful beaches.
  4. :lol: Hi Maxter! **waves**
  5. I think its totally different than Ft. Lauderdale for sure. I love both places!! Im no help what so ever!! LOL have fun though!
  6. I think that you will have a great vacation! I have only been to Sarasota once,and loved it! I really enjoyed going to the Ringling home. It is called Ca de Zan? I think. St Armands Circle was a very nice place to shop. There seems to be enough to do with kids,we went to Ripleys and the beach has beautiful white sand. It is much cleaner, safer,and has great cultural/arts
    sensibilities. It seemed to me that there is so much to take in,choosing will be your biggest challenge.
    Have Fun!
  7. Sarasota is in (or near, don't remember) Manatee County! So if you're interested in manatees at all, visit the South Florida Museum's Parker Manatee Aquarium in Bradenton, which is 15 mins from Sarasota. They have at least one manatee there. The feedings were amazing to watch. Going there was the best fun I had when vacationing there!

    This is Snooty, their resident manatee LoL, having some lettuce:

    Can you tell manatees are my favorite animals? :heart: They are such peaceful animals... chubby, lazy, playful... just my type :shame:

    Oh, there are definitely nice beaches around there! Don't remember names, but you got some suggestions from other members! Gotta love tPF :smile:
  8. Thank you everyone for your replies. I'm very excited now, can't wait to relax on the beach!! I'm freezing here in NY :sad:
  9. Right back at you! {{waves}} PS my in-laws are up here in Wisconsin until the new year. We have 12" of snow already - WOW!

    Sunshine - you crack me up!!
  10. I'm a little over an hour from Sarasota. It is so pretty- Siesta Key is pretty and yep, Turtle Beach is still there. Lots of nice places to eat. Totally different than Ft. L.
  11. Well I have lived in BOTH places. I lived in Sarasota in grade school- and my parents are buying a place on Siesta Key as we speak, so we still visit there a ton.

    The pros to Sarasota are the beaches. The sand is white and powdery, the water is warmer (on the gulf), and it is more relaxing.

    Ft. Lauderdale is a much bigger city- the beach is nice still, but because of beach erosion is no where as big (sand leading out to the ocean may only be 30 feet or so in places) and the sand is darker with more 'stuff' in it. The shopping in Ft Lauderdale is much better, and the life is faster paced.

    If you are looking to relax- go to Sarasota. Many mentioned great places to go- Siesta key is amazing, ringling brothers house, Mote Marine, St Armand's... just nice places to walk around.

    Ft. Lauderdale has a great mall right by the beach- Galleria. It has Neimans (handbag and shoe section under construction right now though), Saks, etc. Always something going on- loud music by all the little spots on the beach etc.

    Hope this helps!! Ask if you need anything else!
  12. PS Acegirl, didn't know you lived in Sarasota! Vlad and I are there quite a bit!
  13. Megs, thanks for the detailed description and comparison! Sounds like a great place to visit.
  14. Oooh fun! Maybe we can hook up & build sandcastles sometime!:biggrin: We moved here about 6 months ago. Have a 2 1/2 year build time on our house (only 9 months left, yay!) I can't believe your parents are getting a place on Siesta Key, I'm not far from there~ Small world it is(ask Maxter, lol)! You would not believe the number of Indiana, Ohio & Illinois people I've met down here.

    And your right, Sarasota is not a "spring break" type city. It has it's nightlife & a little craziness if your looking for it but all in all, it's a very laid back, take it easy type area.

    The one upscale mall I mentioned has Saks but it's a rather small one. Not a huge handbag selection:hrmm:
  15. lol!!

    Siesta Key is beautiful! When I was there 3 years ago, we got a condo right on the beach, the people are so friendly and its soo clean!:wlae:
    I may return soon:biggrin: