26 fabulous and FREE issues to do in Sarasota, FL

In search of a enjoyable and reasonably priced getaway within the sunny metropolis of Sarasota? You’re in luck!

I commissioned this visitor submit from Wayne Kask, a neighborhood, so that you’re in nice arms with these concepts together with a number of hidden gems, to your go to.

Sarasota makes a terrific Florida spring break possibility, a weekend away (relying on the place you’re coming from!), or keep for per week!

Situated in Sarasota County on Florida’s Gulf Coast, about an hour’s drive south of Tampa, Sarasota is famend for its white sand seashores and considerable wildlife. However this metropolis has far more to supply.

From sightseeing to cultural actions, nature walks to outside recreation, this metropolis won’t ever disappoint.
On this submit, we’ll dive into among the free sights and actions in Sarasota that you just shouldn’t miss. Let’s go!

Sarasota at sunset
Sarasota at sundown

1. Sarasota Pier

Sarasota Pier is a well-liked landmark for locals and vacationers visiting in Florida. Situated within the coronary heart of the town, it’s a terrific place to unwind and soak up some incredible views.

The pier stretches out over Sarasota Bay and gives beautiful views of the waterfront, together with boats and marine life. It’s the excellent spot for a romantic sundown and soaking within the picturesque surroundings of the shoreline and wildlife.

You can too get pleasure from some actions like fishing, strolling alongside the boardwalk. When you get hungry, you possibly can certainly seize a chew at one of many many cafes and eating places close to the pier.

2. Ringling Museum of Artwork and Bayfront Gardens

Free admission on Mondays. When you’re in search of a singular cultural expertise in Sarasota, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Artwork and Bayfront Gardens is ideal for you.

This museum is a treasure trove for artwork and historical past lovers. You possibly can discover a set of greater than 28,000 works starting from Western and non-Western artworks from completely different durations.

One of many highlights right here is visiting the beautiful Bayfront Gardens. The gardens consist of gorgeous strolling paths with numerous vegetation for a scenic stroll. You’ll additionally discover beautiful sculptures and fountains that add to the peaceable ambiance.

3. Siesta Key Seashore

Siesta Key Seashore, situated six miles south of Sarasota on the southwest coast of Florida. It’s well-liked for locals and vacationers due to its white sands and clear blue waters.

Blue Siesta Key lifeguard hut
Siesta Key lifeguard hut

It has additionally been ranked because the 2nd greatest seaside within the US in 2023 by Tripadvisor’s Vacationers Alternative Awards. It’s a great place to chill out, absorb the solar and revel in a wide range of enjoyable actions together with taking part in volleyball or letting your children play on the playground at Siesta Seashore Public Pavillion.

At night time, you possibly can chill and take heed to the Siesta Key Drum Circle as they play vigorous beats and music each Sunday on the seaside.

4. Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park is a well-liked spot to go for a stroll or jog in Sarasota providing a lovely view of the town and island.

Apart from its extensive space, it additionally has fascinating chairs to take a seat and chill out on whereas watching the boats and having fun with the sundown. This pet-friendly park in Sarasota gives a bunch of actions to your pets (in case you have one) to mess around. They also have a water fountain for canines on leashes.

It’s a excellent spot for nature lovers to discover on foot and go for a stroll. You possibly can positively purchase some drinks at one of many tiki bars whereas having fun with the gorgeous view of boats and birds perched within the harbor bay.

5. Farmers Market

Probably the greatest locations to go to, the Sarasota Farmer’s Market in Downtown Sarasota can also be a must-visit and really straightforward to get to.
What makes this market particular is the contemporary agricultural produce from the native farmers in Sarasota.

Apart from the native produce and superb meals, this market additionally gives the very best leisure in Sarasota, the place you’ll get to expertise dwell music whereas searching for nice native finds.

Don’t overlook to take a look at the completely different shops and cubicles for memento procuring and making an attempt out some native meals.

The Farmers Market is on Saturdays, has free admission, and is open from 7am to 1pm. Go early if you wish to beat the group.

6. Sarasota Artwork Museum

Free second Sunday of the month. When you’re a fan of contemporary artwork, this gem in Sarasota is for you!

The Ringling Artwork Museum is the primary up to date artwork museum in Sarasota that focuses on the works of up to date artists.
Guests will get the prospect to see provocative artwork shows and take part in an academic initiative to study extra concerning the which means and inventive tradition of the town.

One can find lovely artwork exhibitions and sculptures on this 15,000 sq. ft museum. The galleries are closed each Tuesday, however you possibly can positively hang around at their Bistro, or purchase some artwork souvenirs on the museum store.

When you don’t need to spend on admission tickets, the museum is free to all guests each second Sunday of the month.

7. Fowl Key Park

One other well-known location in Sarasota is Fowl Key Park, situated on the John Ringling Causeway midway between Sarasota and Lido Key.

This newly renovated park is surrounded by lovely palm bushes, stone balls, and lots of benches so that you can chill out whereas having fun with the gorgeous surroundings of the bay. It’s a excellent spot to benefit from the wildlife and breathtaking views of Sarasota.

This place is a favourite spot to go for a stroll and jog for a lot of locals. You can too take your children on the youngsters’s playground and make the most of the park’s picnic areas. They’re additionally pet-friendly so be at liberty to deliver your pets!

This park is unquestionably free and so they have an enormous car parking zone in the event you prefer to deliver your individual automotive.

8. Siesta Key Rum Distillery

I you’re within the temper to study concerning the historical past and the rum-making course of in Sarasota, then you need to go to the Siesta Key Rum Distillery.

I can say that their hand-crafted rums are good, and that’s why many vacationers and guests come to this place to style and drink world-class rum within the metropolis.

You should buy your individual bottle on the Reward store or go for a tour for a enjoyable and academic rum expertise.

Apart from the rum itself, probably the greatest issues in visiting this distillery is that the tasting and excursions are fully free! You simply should register on their web site first to be obtainable for the free tour.

The Tasting Room is open from Monday to Saturday at 10am to 5pm.

9. St. Armands Circle

St. Armands Circle is an out of doors mall in Sarasota is a superb place to be if you wish to spend a day strolling and going procuring on the island of Sarasota.

Situated on St. Armand’s Key simply throughout the John Ringling Bridge, this round procuring heart is residence to high-end boutiques and leisure.

With over 100 shops to select from, one can find distinctive objects from luxurious to finances. You can too see the view of the coast from right here whereas being surrounded by lush inexperienced parks and vegetation!

This outside mall is definitely massive so that you would possibly need to make a cease at one of many eating places to eat and drink.

10. Sapphire Shores Park

This 80-acre waterfront park is one other hidden gem in Sarasota. Sapphire Shores Park is a superb vacation spot for outside fanatics, who need to benefit from the breathtaking views of the Sarasota Bay and take a look at some completely different actions.

You possibly can take your loved ones and children out to go for a picnic on the playground. Or go for a stroll across the park along with your pets!

This place can also be a well-liked location to catch colourful sunsets within the metropolis.

11. Anna Maria Island Seashores

Anna Maria Island boasts among the most lovely seashores in all of Sarasota, making it a must-visit vacation spot for seaside lovers.

Anna Maria Island seashores are an idyllic setting for a day of solar and leisure with crystal-clear waters and sugary white sands, it’s the excellent place to be for a tremendous seaside day in Florida.

Among the most lovely seashores right here embrace Coquina Seashore, Holmes Seashore, Public Manatee Seashore, and Bean Level.

When you get fortunate, you’ll witness some dolphins on the bay facet of the seashores. Moreover, Anna Maria Island gives a wide range of eating places and bars the place you possibly can take pleasure in scrumptious seafood whereas having fun with the scenic view of the ocean.

12. Lakewood Ranch

When you ever end up round Sarasota on a Wednesday, be certain to go to Lakewood Ranch – a lovely master-planned group.

As a neighborhood, I extremely suggest testing the Ranch Nite Wednesday on the Waterside Place which takes place seasonally in Lakewood Ranch.

This leisure occasion is ideal for households and people alike, as there are numerous actions like dwell music, and leisure reveals from native artists. You can too strive some meals on the weekly night time market from completely different road distributors.

Don’t overlook to deliver your urge for food as a result of there are many scrumptious choices!

13. Turtle Seashore

Turtle Seashore is a well-known nesting floor for sea turtles, the place they lay their eggs every year on the barrier of the seashores.

When you’re in search of a extra laid-back, much less crowded expertise in Sarasota, then Turtle Seashore is a superb possibility. Situated on the south finish of Siesta Key, Turtle Seashore gives a quiet and peaceable ambiance.

Along with the pristine vibe, Turtle Seashore additionally gives beautiful surroundings and the very best wildlife alternative expertise in Sarasota.

14. Free Occasions At The Bay

Located on the coronary heart of Downtown Sarasota, The Bay is among the greatest public parks in Sarasota that provides the very best free leisure and sundown views.

Whether or not you’re a neighborhood or simply visiting, the free occasions each Sunday at The Bay the place you possibly can expertise native outside music and performances in Sarasota Bay.

Relying on the day, you possibly can expertise dwell music concert events, Latin occasions & festivals, and even a film night time. You can too e-book your self to a yoga class and different health applications in the event you like.

15. Payne Park

Payne Park in Sarasota is a lovely and vibrant public house that provides tons of actions for folks of all ages. From superb strolling pathways to playgrounds, basketball courts to a skate park, Payne Park is the right place to benefit from the sunshine and spend high quality time with your loved ones and mates!

The circus-themed playground makes Payne Park a singular and enjoyable vacation spot for teenagers. It’s full with slides, swings, and climbing sights appropriate for all youngsters.

You possibly can make the most of the lengthy pathway to go for a stroll and run. It’s also a terrific location for picnics, the place you will discover loads of picnic tables and benches to make use of. For a extra enjoyable expertise, you too can go to the Café and revel in some meals, drinks, and dwell music on Fridays.

16. Lido Key Seashore

You may not need to depart Sarasota with out visiting the well-known Lido Key Seashore. It’s simply one of the crucial lovely seashores in Sarasota, and even perhaps on the Gulf Coast.

The pristine sand, crystal clear turquoise waters, and the beautiful panoramic view is to die for. This lovely seaside is a perfect place for sunbathing, swimming, and water actions like kayaking or paddleboarding. It’s additionally a well-liked spot for shelling, dolphin-watching, and crusing.

If you wish to prolong your trip, there are a number of lodges and resorts located on the seaside which provide unbeatable views of the sundown.

17. Robinson Protect

Situated in northwest Bradenton, Robinson Protect is a panoramic nature reserve that sprawls over 600+ acres of coastal habitat, together with marshes and mangroves.

This coastal refuge gives guests a singular alternative to discover and admire the great thing about Florida’s marine ecosystem whereas partaking outside actions.

You possibly can take a hike, go for an extended stroll, or paddle by the mangrove tunnels in a canoe or kayak.

18. Nathan Benderson Park

One other distinctive leisure spot in Sarasota that gives public for all guests is Nathan Benderson Park. This artificial park is surrounded by a 400-acre lake and supplies a superb venue for outside excursions like kayaking and paddleboarding.

The park is famend for its pretty bike trails and hosted a number of worldwide rowing competitions in Florida. It has additionally turn out to be a well-liked vacation spot for each locals and vacationers who like to go working or simply merely go for a stroll on the lengthy paved and shell trails.

19. Bradenton Riverwalk

Situated in Downtown Bradenton, the Riverwalk is among the most lovely areas in Sarasota that you need to go to.

This picturesque park is located proper alongside the Manatee River and options beautiful views. You can too see a number of distinctive artwork installations each third Sunday of the month from native artisans.

The boardwalk can also be a terrific place for strolling and biking whereas having fun with the view of various yachts and boats within the bay. Alongside the wharf, you possibly can strive some fishing or simply chill out on the concrete lounges whereas studying a e-book. You can too discover loads of restaurant choices close by.

20. Historic Downtown Venice

When you’re as much as exploring the historic areas of Sarasota, you should definitely take a look at the Historic Downtown Venice down Venice Ave in Florida.

Historic Downtown Venice is a captivating and vibrant space in Sarasota that provides a mixture of historical past, tradition, and leisure. That includes lovely structure, quaint outlets, and vibrant parks and inexperienced areas, you’ll get to expertise among the outdated Florida ambiance.

Lower than a mile away, you could go to Venice Seashore the place you possibly can stroll the shorelines and uncover enjoyable details about why Venice, Florida the Shark Tooth capital of the world.

21. Nokomis Public Seashore

Located on Casey Street in Florida, Nokomis Public Seashore gives loads of free actions for each customer to get pleasure from. Also referred to as the oldest public seaside in Florida, Nokomis Public Seashore is ideal for swimming and leisure.

The most effective half right here is you’ll not discover any main institutions and pier throughout the seaside which retains a extra pristine vibe. You can too get pleasure from some enjoyable actions like kayaking, picnicking, taking part in volleyball, and fishing.

Nokomis Public Beach dotted with sunbathers and picnickers
Nokomis Public Seashore

22. Ringling Causeway Bridge

Crossing the Ringling Causeway Bridge in Sarasota is a should if you wish to see the beautiful skyline views of the town. Only a 7-minute drive away from St. Armands Circle, this causeway attracts an extended checklist of historical past since 1925 when it was first opened.

Now that it has been improved and modernized, the strolling bridge can also be greatest for individuals who need to train and benefit from the scenic views of Sarasota.

Running over Ringling Bridge toward downtown Sarasota
Working over Ringling Bridge towards downtown Sarasota. Photograph courtesy of VisitSarasota.com

23. College City Middle Occasions

The College City Middle is a hub of exercise and pleasure, providing numerous occasions in Sarasota. You possibly can get pleasure from dwell music concert events, artwork displays, health lessons, and extra on this lovely mall in Sarasota.

Go for a stroll alongside the strolling trails or go for a picnic with your loved ones and mates at one of many many inexperienced areas. Additionally, you will discover an array of shops and eating choices to strive as you go for a leisurely stroll.

24. Anna Maria Pier

Whereas Anna Maria Island has among the greatest seashores in Florida, the Anna Maria Pier gives the very best views of Tampa Bay and Sunshine Skyway Bridge alongside the attractive shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico.

This 700 foot-long landmark in Anna Maria Seashore is an ideal place to chill out and revel in some sightseeing actions. The Pier can also be a favourite spot for anglers, with its considerable number of fish. You possibly can stroll across the pier or deliver your individual fishing gear and take a look at your luck at catching some fish. Additionally don’t overlook to look at the spectacular sundown from the pier!

25. Bridge Road Pier and Outlets- Bradenton Seashore

Situated within the charming city of Bradenton Seashore, Bridge Road Pier and Outlets is a superb place to catch the dawn and take lovely snaps of the harbor and sailboats.

The view across the pier with completely different birds won’t disappoint! Be sure you take pictures of the pelicans on the railing.

It’s one of the crucial enjoyable issues to do on this barrier island and a terrific place to buy souvenirs together with native artwork, handmade jewellery, and seaside attire.

You can too discover close by bars and eating places with superior eating choices and a vibrant nightlife. Anna Maria Oyster Bar and Bridge Tender alongside Bridge Road are among the greatest eating places in Anna Maria Island.

26. Level of Rocks

Level of Rocks is a hidden gem in Sarasota that provides a terrific view of the seaside with loads of birds and marine wildlife.

Situated on the opposite finish of Crescent Seashore in Siesta Key, this small stretch of shoreline options distinctive rock formations that jut out into the water.

Stroll across the wall and be amazed on the lovely view and tide swimming pools. You possibly can usually see pelicans and herons perched on the rocks. In addition to crabs, clams, sea urchins, and even small sharks. Totally different actions await together with snorkeling, and dolphin and manatee watching.

Regularly Requested Questions

What’s Sarasota Florida greatest identified for?

Sarasota, Florida is greatest identified for its beautiful seashores, cultural arts scene, and vibrant downtown space. Sarasota is the house to among the nation’s breathtaking seashores together with Siesta Key, Lido Seashore, and Longboat Key Seashore. It’s additionally well-known for its wildlife and pure magnificence, with alternatives for chicken and dolphin watching.

Is Sarasota costly?

Sure, Sarasota Florida may be thought of barely costly in comparison with different cities in the US. Nevertheless, it gives many free sights and actions that everybody can get pleasure from with out breaking the financial institution.

Is Sarasota a walkable city?

Undoubtedly! Sarasota is a walkable city with loads of sidewalks, pedestrian-friendly streets, and delightful scenic areas to discover on foot.

When is the very best time to go to Sarasota Florida?

The most effective time to go to Sarasota is within the Spring, between the months of March by Might. The possibilities of rain are little and the climate is gentle, excellent for individuals who need to soak within the solar and seashores of Sarasota.

Concerning the author: Wayne is a journey blogger and creator of At all times On The Shore.  He loves to put in writing about the very best sights, eating places, and resorts in Florida and the southeastern U.S. When he isn’t writing, he’s working open air, spending time with household, or planning his subsequent journey.


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