Top 12 Things To Do in Downtown Sarasota

Top 12 Things To Do in Downtown Sarasota

  • Terri Thayer
  • 08/21/22

Planning a visit to Downtown Sarasota? You're in for a treat. World-renowned for its arts scene and the wide palette of dining options, Downtown Sarasota is a must-see. Florida is generally revered for its diverse population, beautiful weather, and, best of all, no state income tax. This makes it very attractive for luxury homebuyers and those looking to invest in Sarasota real estate.
Downtown Sarasota is a lively neighborhood with a lot to offer both residents and visitors. Whether you're just passing by or looking to stay for a while, there's something for you. Let's review the top 12 things to do in Downtown Sarasota.

Best places to visit in Downtown Sarasota

1. Enjoy the Siesta Key Beach — a beach like no other

Ranked the second most magnificent beach in the US and 14th globally by TripAdvisor, Siesta Key Beach is a premium destination for residents and visitors alike. As you stroll along the eight-mile stretch, the white quartz-crystal powdery sand beneath your feet will leave you wanting more. Even though the beach is busy and full of life most of the time, it offers a small-town feel.
There are tons of activities you can take part in at Siesta Beach. By paddling through the Jim Neville Marine Preserve's marine trails, you could view the Siesta Key from the water. To get an underwater experience, visit the Point of Rocks, which has tranquil and shallow waters, perfect for beginners. The place is famous for marine animals and dolphins, which make frequent stops.

2. Sarasota Opera House

Built in 1926, the historic theater is home to world-class opera shows. The Sarasota Opera is a producer of some of the most outstanding operas, along with recitals and concerts each year. The goal is to entertain, enrich, and educate everyone, including patrons from across Florida and around the world.
The internationally respected opera house produces high-quality operas in their February-March winter season and a fall performance in October-November. Whether you are a music lover, a binge-watcher, a storyteller, or an athlete — basically anyone — head over for a one-of-a-kind classical music experience.

3. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Located on South Palm Avenue are the magnificent Marie Selby botanical gardens. The 15-acre garden is situated in the home of the previous owners, Marie and William Selby, and boasts a rainforest, desert, and display garden area.
The beautiful gardens house more than 20,000 plants, some of which are the rarest in the world. When you want to relax and have peace of mind, take a stroll and explore the entire campus and the Bayfront Mangrove walkway. Ensure you carry your camera with you to capture the beautiful scenery. 

4. Cruise around Sarasota Bay

The breathtaking views of Longboat, Lido, and Siesta Key, as well as the amazing Downtown Sarasota Bayfront and the Ringling Causeway Bridge, are best enjoyed on a cruise from Marina Jack.
The Marina Jack has various wet slips for different vessels if you have a yacht. Or better yet, hire a yacht from Kathleen D Sailing Catamarans, who offer both private and corporate charters and sunset and day sails. Have a sightseeing lunch tour or a beautiful sunset dinner cruise through the amazing inter-coastal waters and the Gulf of Mexico as you enjoy delicious meals and outstanding views.

5. Take a yoga class

Are you having a rough time and need a couple of hours to relax? Then head over for a yoga session at Bikram yoga studio. Located just a few feet away from Whole Foods and the Rosemary District in the heart of Downtown is Sarasota's premier yoga studio, which features various amenities to help you relax and feel good.
Bikram yoga is not like your typical yoga. It refers to a system of a very specific set of postures conducted in a hot room. In the studio, temperatures range from 90 to 105 degrees. But if Bikram yoga is not your cup of tea, try Iyengar yoga, offered in its authentic tradition. There are a variety of classes for both beginners and experienced students.
After a session, head over to Whole Foods and shop for organic groceries or have a meal at Mattison's City Grille.

6. Enjoy the Sarasota art scene

Sarasota is deeply rooted in the arts. There are various vibrant and radiant visual arts and amenities found in the downtown area. The Ringling Museum and the Ringling College are some notable examples of the long-standing institution of arts acting as hubs offering visual arts experiences for every art lover.
Even though there are many art galleries across Sarasota, many of them are located in the downtown area, including the Art Center and the award-winning Dabbert Gallery, which offers sculptures to oil paintings. Each of these galleries will catch your eye in a special way.

7. Visit the Asolo Repertory Theater

Founded by Florida State University (FSU) faculty, Asolo Repertory Theater is the biggest regional theater in the U.S., with 575 seats. It was designed by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.
The theater began as the Asolo Theater Festival, performing a series of plays and operas, then later as an Asolo Theater Company. There are various productions offered each year that include classics, new works, and musicals. In addition, there are also various educational programs for students.

8. Watch a show at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

The Van Wezel is an 80,000-square-foot performing arts hall containing 1,741 seats. For years now, residents of Sarasota have been entertained by a variety of acts, including Broadway, orchestra, comedy, theater, classical, music, and dance. The hall, which has a parking capacity of 850 with valet parking, is an entertainment stage for the Florida West Coast Symphony and the Jazz Club of Sarasota.
Van Wezel was designed to be a pristine destination for performing arts in the US, offering extraordinary cultural and educational experiences. Since its opening, the hall has had various famous performers on stage, including Johnny Cash.

9. The Sarasota Ballet

Do you love ballet? Then head over and enjoy the art of dance at the Sarasota ballet. The classical and rigorous art form depicted in dance will leave you mesmerized. Sarasota Ballet is among the best and most unique organizations in America. The ballet, which Jean Weidner Goldstein founded in 1987, features an expansive repertoire, with dancers showcasing athleticism and artistry.
The Sarasota Ballet offers world-class ballet that has captured both national and international attention. The ballet has been offering classical dances for years now to residents and visitors alike. If you want your child to take ballet classes, you can sign them up.

10. Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Take a tropical adventure in the Sarasota jungle gardens, which have been delighting tourists since 1939. The beauty of this place is that you get an opportunity to be as close to nature as possible. The garden is one of the oldest Florida attractions, aiming to preserve the rich history and memory of the old Florida days.
The family-owned attraction is home to various kinds of exotic animals, alligators, and bird species, including flamingos. The 10 acres of lush tropical landscaping features entertaining daily reptile bird shows.

11. Shop at the White Elephant Antique Mall

If you love collecting antiques for sentimental value, go shopping at the White Elephant Antique Mall. The mall was established in 1985 by its current owner. At the time, the Antique Mall was one of its kind in the area. So far, it has expanded to include 60 dealers in the 4,000-square foot property.
Even after all these years, the mall remains a popular shopping destination for vintage and antique lovers.

12. Head over to Palm Avenue

Main Street and Palm Avenue are well known for their numerous art galleries for those who love works of art. Referred to as Gallery Row by the locals, Palm Avenue gives residents and visitors an opportunity to purchase different kinds of art, from sculptures to jewelry and paintings. There is an art walk held on the first Friday of every month, where visitors can visit and marvel at the various works of art from the different galleries beyond their normal working hours.
Even though Main Street has its share of a variety of art galleries, there are also clothing stores. It’s a hotspot for women’s fashion, among other things.

Find your Downtown Sarasota dream home With JT Home Team

Downtown Sarasota is a beautiful neighborhood with exotic luxury properties of different designs to cater to diverse homeowner tastes and preferences. Whether you're looking for a permanent residence or your second home, there's something for you Downtown.
At JT Home team, we are a mother-daughter team with over 25 years of real estate experience ready to help you find your dream home. We'll walk you through the entire process to get you the best deals and ensure your transition is as smooth as possible. Contact us today to schedule a neighborhood tour and start your Downtown Sarasota homeownership journey.

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You can sit back and relax knowing the the JT Home Team stays up to date on the real estate market and will always negotiate expertly on behalf of their buyers and sellers. Contact us today!

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