SarasotaWest Coast Middle Florida
The most beautiful beaches in Florida are found in Sarasota: Siesta Key, Longboat Key, Casey Key and Lido Key. Siesta Key is #1 and has been repeatedly named Best Beach in America. It's hard to argue how the emerald green Gulf of Mexico contrasts so beautifully against the fine white sandy beaches. Pictures say a thousand words and it's easy to see why Sarasota Bay is a boating mecca. The safe harbor is lined with deepwater homes and high-rise condominiums competing for dazzling sunset views. Approximately half of the residents in Sarasota County are retired drawn here by the magnificent winter weather. Elite private golf communities and beachfront property continue to attract wealth families and Baby Boomers to one of the best places to live in Florida. As the population continues to grow in one of the top Florida retirement cities, new master planned communities continue to push east into less populated areas or north into Bradenton. Lakewood Ranch has become a city in and of itself.
Affluence and age has brought with it the demand for world class culture. Sarasota is a Best Art Town in Florida because of its rich art atmosphere, excellent cultural venues and unique street festivals such as the Sarasota Chalk Festival. Ringling Museum of Art is the most well known world-class art museum on the west coast and offers credited college level courses in Sarasota. A long list of broadway performances, opera musicals and professional ballet to choose from make Sarasota one of the best places to live in Florida to lovers of fine art and culture. St. Armands Circle is the happening place and is where locals go to explore the 140 upscale shops and restaurants on Lido Key. Siesta Key’s award winning beaches attract vacation travelers from around the world during the winter months. In the summer time when the weather gets hot, the population settles down and things get back to normal in Sarasota.
Whether you want to live on the barrier island or inland, there are plenty of neighborhoods to choose from in all price ranges. From gated communities Florida to neighborhoods with deepwater homes or high rise condominiums overlooking Sarasota Bay, there’s a place to accommodate everyone’s lifestyle.
The most popular neighborhoods to find real estate in Sarasota include:
- SARASOTA BAYFRONT - Condo living or a deepwater home on Bird Key is your best bet if you desire to live overlooking the gorgeous Sarasota Bayfront. Condominiums in buildings such as Sunset Towers begin in the 400k’s. Deepwater homes on Bird Key easily exceed $1 million although you can find homes at Bird Key not on the water in the $600k’s.
- SIESTA KEY - Named #1 Best Beach in America, hotels and motels are more common to find on this popular vacation island. You can find small single family home fixer upper’s starting in the $300k’s along the side streets or luxury condominiums with incredible views of sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico priced over $1 million.
- LONGBOAT KEY - The most well known resort on the island, Longboat Key Club offers two types of living, in beachfront condominiums or in a traditional gated neighborhood on its golf course on the bayside. Longboat Key condominiums begin in the high $200k’s and single family homes on the bayside begin around $1 million.
- BRADENTON - On the north end of Sarasota and pushing east of Interstate 75 is where you’ll find newer master planned communities sprouting up like Lakewood Ranch or in old Florida-style neighborhoods. The average home price in Bradenton is in the mid $100k's. In the best selling master planned community on the west coast, new homes Lakewood Ranch prices average in the mid $300k's.
If you’re searching for the best places to live in Florida, here are reasons to consider Sarasota real estate:
ARTS AND CULTURE
Sarasota continues to brand a name for itself as a Best Small Art Town in Florida attracting international artists and the country’s best liberal art talent, from the local ballet and opera, to traveling Broadway musicals and the outstanding Sarasota Orchestra. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is Sarasota’s landmark cultural venue. This 1920 Venetian Gothic mansion is a spectacular art museum to explore. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Asolo Repertory and the Florida Studio Theatre is where you’ll find musicals and drama performances happening every week. The Sarasota Opera House is a 1926 art deco building built with incredible acoustics. The Sarasota Ballet season runs from October to May. At St. Armands Circle on Lido Key, there are dozens of art galleries to tickle the creative spirit.
At an elevation of 27 feet, the climate is warm to hot in the summers with over 250 sunny days. The average temperature December through February is in the low 60‘s. May through September, the average temperature ranges from the high 70’s to the mid 80's. Hurricanes are Sarasota’s biggest weather hazards.
LIFELONG LEARNING EXPERIENCES
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is based out of the University of South Florida in Tampa. Their program offers approximately 80 lifelong learning classes, lectures and educational day trips covering many academic fields including astronomy, history, life writing, geopolitics, art history, botany, comparative religions, jurisprudence, physical education, dance, humanities, introductory and intermediate computer classes, great books of literature, cosmology and much more specifically designed for mature adults over age 50 living in real estate in Sarasota.
The Lifelong Learning Academy at the University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee offers dozens of stimulating courses and interactive lectures including participation in Einstein’s Circle. Social events take place at various venues such as the Sarasota Opera House and Asolo Repertory.
For the more serious student, the Ringling College of Art and Design offers accredited courses in 14 disciplines: Advertising Design, Business of Art & Design, Computer Animation, Digital Filmmaking, Fine Arts, Game Art & Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Motion Design, Painting, Photography & Digital Imaging, Printmaking and Sculpture.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH CARE
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, an 806-bed regional medical center, is among the largest public health systems in Florida. With about 4,000 staff, 802 physicians and 1,000 volunteers, it is one of Sarasota County's largest employers. It is a full-service health system, with specialized expertise in heart, vascular, cancer, and neuroscience services, as well as a network of outpatient centers, long-term care and rehabilitation among its many programs. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital providing obstetrical services, pediatrics and Level III neonatal intensive care in Sarasota County.
Doctors Hospital of Sarasota is a member of Nashville based HCA, the nation’s first hospital care company who now manages 163 hospitals in America. Their Sarasota 155 bed facility services include breast care, cancer care, heart care, imaging and diagnostics, orthopedic care, robotic surgery, stroke care and rehabilitative care.
The Baltimore Orioles Spring Training facility is located in Sarasota and is the top professional sport in the area attracting over 100,000 fans to watch the games each year.
The Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch is an impressive sporting venue with 22 fields hosting all types of sporting events including state and national competitions such as Special Olympics, Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, field hockey, bocce ball, and football.
The Sarasota Crew rowing team’s complex is located at Nathan Benderson Park, a 2,000-meter racing course. Also at Lakewood Ranch, the Sarasota Polo Club’s 130 acre facility with nine world-class polo fields and a regulation size arena.
The Legacy Trail and Venetian Waterway Park are two of Sarasota’s most popular recreational areas. These 10 mile dedicated trails are enjoyed by thousands of walkers, joggers, and cyclists. The Legacy Trail path begins at the Bay Street Park Trailhead continuing south to the Venice Train Depot Trailhead. The 10 mile Venetian Waterway Park path begins at VABI Trailhead and continues to the Shamrock Park Trailhead in Venice.
SHOPPING AND DINING
St. Armands Circle on Lido Key is where most folks go to window shop, people watch and enjoy lunch or dinner at an outdoor cafe. The more serious shoppers head over to downtown Lakewood Ranch’s main street or to the Ellenton Premium Outlets. Big box stores such as Macy’s can be found at the Westfield Sarasota Square Mall. To the north, Bradenton’s Village of the Arts has more than 40 art galleries and shops. According to Yelp, there are more than 800 restaurants in the Sarasota area. From five star dining to casual lunches at a pastel colored seafood shack on Siesta Key, there is a menu for everyone. Best restaurants in Sarasota include Isan Thai, me’Lange, Simon’s Coffee House and Sun Garden Cafe, all close to gated communities Florida.
The Sarasota Farmers Market is one of the best around and has been around for 30 years. More than 70 vendors come together everyday Saturday on South Lemon Avenue offering local produce, plants, prepared foods and artisan items.
HOME AFFORDABILITY AND TAXES
The average price of homes for sale in Sarasota Florida is in the mid $300's. Real estate in Sarasota is located in Sarasota County. The estimated property tax millage rate is $13.3 per $1000. Visit our Library to find help and to learn how to calculate property taxes in Sarasota Florida. If you're searching for homes in one of the top Florida retirement cities, we find a number of Sarasota neighborhoods of interest, those with boating marinas, beachfront condominiums, and gated golf communities.