Sarasota

History

Development in the area began in the 1880s when Sarasota was promoted in Scotland by Lord & Edwards, a real estate company. Lord & Edwards billed Sarasota as a region where portions of land can be purchased at affordable prices. Since then, families from the cold northern city flock to the area for the opportunity of low cost housing, yields of agricultural products such as citrus and vegetables. Sadly, Sarasota failed to meet their expectations causing the Scottish people to leave.

John Hamilton Gillespie, a Scottish lawyer decided to stay and built the first golf course in Sarasota. In addition, Gillespie built De Sotto hotel, a lavish accommodation meant for tourists visiting the area. With John Hamiton Gillespie’s effort, he was elected as the first Mayor of Sarasota in 1902.

Since then, Sarasota began attracting wealthy investors including Bertha Palmer and John Ringling. The former purchased acres of land in eastern Sarasota for cattle farming. John Ringling of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus also contributed to the community of Sarasota by building a Venetian-style mansion and art museum to house their collection of 17th century Italian art. In addition, Ringling used his circus elephants to build the first bridge connecting the mainland to St. Armand’s key.

The impressive estates built in the area favored Sarasota as the focal point of modern architecture. Until today, these are enjoyed by locals and tourists showcasing the vibrant history and culture of Sarasota. The community of Sarasota is not only a winter destination for the wealthy people, but also for sun worshipers who want to enjoy the area’s lush natural resources where unlimited activities are enjoyed anytime of the year.

Getting There

By plane

Sarasota -Bradenton International Airport is the closest airport to reach Sarasota with regular flights from key cities in the US and other countries served by major airlines such as US Airways, Delta, AirTran and Air Canada. The nearby Tampa International Airport is another port of entry with more flight options.

By train

Amtrak has regular trips to Tampa and bus connections to Sarasota are available from Tampa station.

By bus

Greyhound Lines operate regular services to Sarasota.

By car

I-75 provides easy access to Sarasota for visitors driving from Tampa.

Weather

Locals and visitors in Sarasota enjoy almost perfect weather throughout the year. Summer in Sarasota is hot accompanied with high humidity, with July and as the hottest month of the year. Summer highs tend to be around 90s °F. Also, summer in Sarasota is wetter, with July as the wettest month with 9.65 inches of rainfall on average.

Outdoor activities in Sarasota are still enjoyed both by locals and visitors during winter with daytime temperature around 70s°F. January is the coldest month of the year with average lows around 50s°F.

What to Wear

Famous for its long stretch of powdery sand beaches and warm sunny weather year round, Sarasota requires casual pieces of clothing for a more comfortable vacation.

For outdoor activities:

• cotton t-shirts
• shorts
• khakis
• sandals or flip flops
• thongs
• dress
• casual sneaker
• hat
• sunglasses
• sunblock
• bug spray

Out and about Sarasota nighttime:

• dress
• light sweater or jacket
• strappy sandals
• dress
• collared shirt
• long pants

Fishing

Sarasota holds some of the best fishing locations in Florida where dozens of fish species can be caught year round. Surrounded with an array of waterways matched with warm weather, experienced and first time fishing enthusiasts head to Sarasota for the goal to catch a trophy fish.

Sarasota provides variety of fishing options to match every angling skills whether you prefer fishing the shallow waters, mangrove lined flats, sand bars, docks, marina, state parks and nearby Gulf waters. Depending on the water condition, time of the year and fishing method used, fishing in Sarasota allows you to catch:

• Amberjack
• Barracuda
• Black Grouper
• Bluefish
• Cobia
• Dolphin
• Flounder
• Hogfish
• Jack Crevalle
• King Mackerel
• Pompano
• Red Snapper
• Sailfish
• Sea Bass
• Shark
• Sheepshead
• Wahoo

Sarasota Fishing Types:

• Light tackle fishing
• Fly fishing
• Deep sea fishing
• Inshore fishing
• Offshore fishing
• Backcountry fishing

BEST MONTHS TO FISH

January – Grouper & Hogfish

February – Cobia, Grouper & Hogfish

March – Cobia, Grouper, Hogfish, King Mackerel, Sea Bass & Shark

April – Cobia, Grouper, Hogfish, King Mackerel, Sea Bass & Shark

May – Barracuda, Dolphin, Grouper, Hogfish, Red Snapper, Sailfish, Sea Bass & Shark

June – Barracuda, Dolphin, Grouper, Hogfish, Red Snapper, Sailfish, Sea Bass, Shark & Wahoo

July – Amberjack, Barracuda, Dolphin, Grouper, Hogfish, Red Snapper, Sailfish, Sea Bass, Shark & Wahoo

August – Amberjack, Barracuda, Dolphin, Grouper, Hogfish, King Mackerel, Sailfish, Sea Bass & Shark

September – Amberjack, Grouper, Hogfish, King Mackerel, Sailfish, Sea Bass & Shark

October – Amberjack, Grouper, Hogfish, Sea Bass & Shark

November – Grouper, Hogfish & Sea Bass

December – Grouper & Hogfish

WHAT TO BRING AND WEAR WHEN FISHING

• Appropriate clothing
• Rain gear (just in case)
• Boat shoes
• Hat
• Polarized sunglasses
• Food & Snacks
• Drinks
• Camera
• Sunblock
• Your favorite rod and reel

Attractions and Activities

Sarasota is more than just a holiday destination for sand and sun. Other than its warm weather and beautiful beaches, the city is dotted with sights to behold and historical attractions ideal for history buffs. With its colorful history and arts scene, an array of things to see and do are waiting to be explored for that enriching Sarasota getaway.
Blessed with bountiful natural resources, some of the best natural preserves in Florida are found in Sarasota with long miles of hiking trails and camping grounds ideal for the whole family. These natural parks have excellent facilities offering limitless activities such as close animal encounters, eco-tours and many more.

Local are attractions:

• Ringling Museum of Art
• John Ringling’s Ca D’Zan Mansion
• Ringling Circus Museum
• Bird Key Park
• Arlington Park
• Woodmere Park
• Gillespie Park
• Myakka Park
• Oscar Scherer State Park
• Towles Court
• St. Armands Circle
• Tamiami Trail Scenic Highway
• Sarasota Jungle Gardens
• Mote Marine Aquarium
• Siesta Key
• Children’s Garden

Activities:

• Hiking
• Camping
• Swimming
• Boating
• Bird watching
• Canoeing
• Shopping
• Surfing
• Kite flying
• Fishing
• Biking
• Picnicking
• Horseback riding
• Kayaking
• Sailing
• Beach volleyball
• People watching
• Sun bathing
• Diving
• Manatee and Dolphin watching

Where to Stay

Best Western Midtown – Sarasota
Address: 1425 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.bwmidtown.com/

The Capri at Siesta
Address: 6782 Sarasea Circle, Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:

Home

Charter One Hotels & Resorts – Sarasota
Address: 2032 Hillview St., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.charteronevacations.com/

Hyatt Regency Sarasota
Address: 1000 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.hyattregencysarasota.com/

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
Address: 1111 Ritz-Carlton Dr., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Sarasota/Default.htm

Banyan Tree Beach Resort & Vacation
Address: 378 Canal Rd., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.siestakeybanyanresort.com/

Parrot Beach Cottages
Address: 60 Avenida Veneccia, Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.parrotbeachcottages.com/

Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel
Address: 1540 Ben Franklin Dr., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.helmsleysandcastle.com/
Turtle Beach Resort & Inn
Address: 9049 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:

Home

La Palme Royale
Address: 624 South Palm Avenue Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.lprsrq.com/

Where to Eat

Broadway Bar & Restaurant
Address: 1001 Cocoanut Ave., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.broadwaybar.com/

Caragiulo Italian – American Food
Address: 69 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:

Home

Barnacle Bill’s Seafood
Address: 1526 Main St., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.barnaclebillsseafood.com/

Old Salty Dog Restaurant
Address: 1601 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:

HOME

Owen’s Fish Camp
Address: 516 Burns Lane, Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:

Home

Big Olaf Creamery Sarasota
Address: 1263 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.bigolafs.com/

Currents Restaurant
Address: 1000 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.hyattregencysarasota.com/

Mozaic Restaurant
Address: 1377 Main St., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.mozaicsarasota.com/

Broken Egg on Clark
Address: 4031 Clark Rd., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.thebrokenegg.com/

Derek’s Culinary Casual – Sarasota
Address: 514 Central Ave., Sarasota, FL
For more information, visit their website:
http://www.dereks-sarasota.com/

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