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Sarasota - What to do there - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Days Out


The Sarasota area was originally identified in the mid-1700s as Zara Zote. The area is south of Tampa and north of Fort Myers on the western coast of the Florida.

Within Sarasota Bay is a group of barrier islands, known locally as keys. The oceanfront beaches represent nearly fifty miles of Florida’s coastline. The county of Sarasota includes the cities and islands of Englewood, Lakewood, Lido Key, St. Armands Key, Otter Key, Coon Key, Bird Key and part of Siesta key.

All these islands share a common theme which is pristine white sands, interesting harbours and spectacular wildlife in its natural habitat. One of the most famous is the Siesta key beach which was voted as ‘’World’s Finest Whitest Sand’’ No1 Beach in 2011. Here you can watch exotic birds such as wild parrots, pelicans and Florida Sand hill cranes. During our visit we were fortunate enough to spot a family of Dolphins performing playfully close to the beach. It’s also a paradise for snorkelling and shell-hunting.

Among the best known shells in the area are the angel wing, the banded tulip and the lightning whelk. There are hundreds of different shells in all colours. If you are a shark tooth hunter you are more likely to find them along the Caspersen Beach.

Another place worth visiting is Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Most of the animals are donated, rescued or injured unable to return to the wild. They protect various animals, snakes, birds of prey, tortoises and many more. The staff provides a loving sanctuary for them all and they share the stories of the animals with their guests in an educational way.

Other things you can enjoy doing in the area are boating, golfing, dining and shopping. A very well known place is St. Armands circle just before Lido key. St. Armands circle is a large roundabout with more than 130 shops like boutiques, galleries and restaurants.

If you like events like music, dance or theatre I strongly suggest the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Many well known artists perform at Van Wezel, classical, jazz, pop, comedy and many other. The Van Wezel Hall can accommodate almost 2, 000 visitors and the facilities offered are superb.

At last something you should not miss is the Sunset at Sarasota beach. The shades of reds, yellows and blues fill the sky as the sun descends beyond the horizon. Many visitors appear at the sunset to photograph this amazing phenomenon. It’s just a lovely end to your afternoon and then you can head to the lovely restaurants at St. Armands square.

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