Sarasota, Florida at a Glance…
Sarasota, beautifully situated on Florida’s enchanting southwest coast, may not be as internationally renowned as the bustling cities of Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg, or Orlando, but it has a distinctive allure that unveils a world of captivating experiences. Within its boundaries, this charming city artfully combines the amenities of a metropolis with the intimacy of a compact, welcoming package.
Located approximately 40 miles to the south of the vibrant Tampa Bay area, Sarasota invites you to embark on a journey of exploration and appreciation, catering especially to the sophisticated traveler who seeks more than just the thrill of gussied-up roller coasters.
In Sarasota, you’ll find a tapestry of diverse attractions and a vibrant calendar of events that celebrates the arts, culture, and the natural beauty of the region. It’s a destination where every corner holds a hidden gem, and every moment is an opportunity to delvedeeper into the tapestry of this remarkable city.
Places to Stay in Sarasota, Florida
There are literally hundreds of lodging accommodations in the Sarasota area, but what I-75 travelers really need are good accommodations close to Sarasota’s Interstate 75 exits. I-75 exit 213 serves the northern entrance of Sarasota, Exit 210 serves the center and Exit 207 serves the southern entrance. Each of these exits are will endowed with lodging properties, from the larges chains to independents. For a complete list of lodging at these exits, see: https://www.i75exitguide.com/lodging/florida-lodging/
Search and Save on Hotels
Places to Eat in Sarasota, Florida
Again, Sarasota is well known for it’s number and variety of restaurant choices, but I-75 travelers need to know what’s conveniently available from an exit. I-75 exit 213 is a hot spot for places to eat, from fast food to full-service restaurants. Exits 210 and 207 also have dozens of choices each. For a complete list of places to eat at these exits, see: https://www.i75exitguide.com/food/florida-restaurants/
Places to Go in Sarasota, Florida
Sarasota is known as the “Circus Town.” The city was once the winter quarters of the “Greatest Show on Earth,” hence, the moniker.The work and contributions of John Ringling, of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, have made the city a cultural capital. John and his wife Mable built a mansion on Sarasota Bay and set out to collect art by Peter Paul Reubens and other Flemish and Italian masters of the 17th century. That collection today is called the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Ringling’s name is also immortalized as an avenue in downtown Sarasota.
Downtown Sarasota is in the midst of a building boom, with condos, office buildings and shopping either in place, under construction or planned. In addition, urban renewal projects are working to make a better life for the city’s less-fortunate citizens. As befits a cultural capital, it’s the small galleries by artists in various media that make the arts scene vibrant. Galleries are scattered throughout the city and surrounding area, and even amateur artists take their crafts seriously.
Other Sarasota attractions include the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, the Pelican Man Sanctuary, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Arts and cultural events are presented at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre and Sarasota Opera House. The city hosts an annual book fair and film festival, too.
To the east, Myakka River State Park offers one of Florida’s largest and most diverse natural areas. It was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934 and some of the original buildings are still in use. It offers a scenic drive, dirt roads, hiking trails and more.
When you’ve had enough exploring in Sarasota, it’s time to hit the beaches. Sarasota features 35 miles of sand and several beautiful keys on the Gulf of Mexico that are well-known to sun-and-fun lovers, including St. Armands Key, Longboat Key, Lido Key, Bird Key, Siesta Key (considered by some to have the whitest and finest sand in the world), Casey Key, Venice Beach, Anna Maria Island and Bradenton Beach.
Sarasota’s weather is mild, especially compared to some other places in the winter. Sarasota is well-connected to the northern parts of West and Central Florida by Interstate 75 and Interstate 275. Traveling south, Interstate 75 offers a reasonably fast ride, but U.S. 41 (the legendary Tamiami Trail of years gone by) is presently used only for local travel due to road construction, congestion and its many traffic lights.
Getting Around Sarasota, Florida
State Road 70 provides access to the eastern part of the state. The road is a two-lane divided highway across Florida, and there are several areas now under construction, which can cause delays. Some who visit Sarasota fly to Tampa International Airport and then drive south, but Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport has service from Delta Air Lines, mainly to and from Atlanta for connections; ATA Airlines, which is establishing a code-sharing arrangement with Southwest for flights to Chicago-Midway; and AirTran Airways, which offers direct service to and from Baltimore, Chicago-Midway and Atlanta, and has connections to other cities.
There is so much to see and do in Sarasota that more than one visit may be required!
Sarasota, Florida Links
Discover the Florida beaches of Siesta Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key, Casey Key and Venice. Sarasota offers diverse dining, arts and culture, shopping and…
City of Sarasota
Official City of Sarasota government website.
Visit Florida – Sarasota
One of Florida’s primary Gulf Coast cities, Sarasota offers visitors an eclectic blend of culture and fine dining, circus thrills and pristine beaches, and a wide array…
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune is a daily newspaper, located in Sarasota, Florida, founded in 1925 as the Sarasota Herald.
The I-75 Exit Guide is the Internet’s largest and most complete website dedicated to Interstate 75 travelers. Find detailed exit service listings… lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Michigan to Florida!
On the road? Why not take us with you. The I-75 Exit Guide is mobile-friendly and totally FREE. No App Required.
Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide, I-75 Exit Guide, I-80 Exit Guide and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!