When you visit Florida for the first time, the sights and sounds of this palm-lined, pink-obsessed state may overwhelm you. However, don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to relax in this Sunshine State. First off, the sugarwhite beaches with its tropical weather and its lined palm trees (it needs to be mentioned twice for emphases) are the the main, iconic attractions in Florida. For those planning to take their much-needed vacations here, keep in mind that summer in Florida can get pretty darn hot. On days when you just need to escape the heat, there’s only one way to go: up! These charming rooftop bars in Sarasota, Florida, are a great escape to the infamous Florida humidity. Sit back, have a drink, and relax. Try the glitzy gardens in the sky, or hang out at a more laid back surf shack. Whatever your vibe is, one of these best rooftop bars in Sarasota, Florida, has your name on it.
1. Perspective Rooftop Pool Bar
Perspective is Art Ovation Hotel’s hotspot. It’s one of those areas where can easily be transported from the middle of the city to a poolside with a craft cocktail in hand. Perspective Rooftop Pool Bar is a great hideaway for light chats with a friend or a casual meeting. Signature cocktails includes 3,000 Tiles–a mix of Kappa Pisco, Basil Eau de Vie, blue algae syrup, and lime. That, or the Ron 23–aged rum from the Zacapa line. Pair these delicious drinks with boxed snacks like churros, flourless chocolate torte, and crispy cauliflower manchurian with cashews. But if you would rather go vegan, they also have boxed meals like the team favorite, Synergy. Synergy has crispy cauliflower, fried paneer cheese, and Shishito peppers. The reason why nightcaps here are so special is Executive Chef Mark Galvin who takes care of the whole food and beverage experience. Once in a while, Perspective Rooftop Pool Bar also has special events like Forks and Corks Winemaker Event, a Champagne Collet Dinner. But in any case, it doesn’t need a special event to have a party. The place is packed especially on the weekends. Enjoy!
Perspective Rooftop Pool Bar
Address: 1225 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Florida
Website: Perspective Rooftop Pool Bar
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 1am
2. Roof Top Bar and Eats at The Westin Sarasota
If you’re going for a more casual dining experience compared to the Westin Sarasota’s classier EVOQ, there’s always Rooftop Bar and Eats. Come as you are. Rooftop Bar and Eats at the Westin has artisanal cocktails and snacks that embrace the Florida lifestyle. Sip sangria by the pool as you wait for the Florida sunset. If sangria’s not your thing, they have other delicious Havana-inspired options like Cuba Libre or the Cuba Iced Coffee. And who could forget the classic mojito? What makes the bar especially unique is the built-in fireplaces encased in glass on the tabletops. They’re especially perfect for when you need a cool drink on a cool night.
Rooftop Bar and Eats at the Westin Sarasota
Address: 100 Marina View Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236, United States
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
This building has a lot of history on its bones. Formerly the location of the Sarasota Times Newspaper, this Mediterranean-style building was redesigned by owner Sharone Carole to house Sage, a multi-level dining room topped with a vintage copper cocktail bar. Sage allows you to lounge in style high above First Street, Sarasota. Led by Executive Chef Christopher Covelli, Sage offers bright, brave cocktail flavors with a side of seasonally sourced produce for yummy treats like their seasonal roasted sunchoke salad. Before we forget the drinks, make sure you try anything from their Sunset Menu. Sage has unique offerings like Banyon Vodka, Prairie Organic Gin, Hamiltons Silver Rum, and Altos Tequila. To pair, Sage has the most delicious Hawaiian butterfish called escolar, especially delivered to them every two days. Yum!
Address: 1216 First Street, Sarasota, Florida
Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 5pm - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 5pm - 11pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
4. The Terrace at Surf Shack
What’s Florida without its seafood? The Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen is famous for its imported seafood not typically seen in any menu set in a Gulf Coast-like environment. But its unpretentious vibe, with its surfboard-adorned walls and upcycled furniture, makes this an accessible place to hang out with friends. Do try their Asian- and Mexican-inspired drinks like the classic mojito and their Superfuzzz Blood Orange Pale Ales. They go great with their iconic fish tacos, although any other taco in their menu like the shrimp and lobster tacos always come a close second. Every weekend, a band plays beach-themed music to add to the surfing community vibe of this little shack, made even more special when you catch the sunset with friends.
The Terrace at Surf Shack
Address: 328 John Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34236, United States
Website: The Terrace at Surf Shack
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm
5. Splash Pool Bar at Aloft Sarasota
The name is exactly as it sounds. Built in pet- and family-friendly Aloft Sarasota, Splash Pool Bar is a great place for parents to park themselves while their kids have a go at the Splash Zone. The colorful decor and buntings almost make it look like a neighbor’s accessible backyard. Drink a margarita, mojito, or their new Bulleit Rye with cherry by the poolside, and get yourself a nice moon tan as you overlook the beautiful cityscape along Ringling Boulevard. For the sweet tooth, you’ll also probably love their slushy-inspired Blackberry Currant Bramble with Hendrick’s gin, fresh blackberries, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Creme de Asis. It’s the type of friendly drink ladies gravitate to. On cooler months, you’ll love curling by their modern outdoor firepits with friends with your favorite drink in hand.
Splash Pool Bar at Aloft Sarasota
Address: 1401 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL34236, United States
Website: Splash Pool Bar at Aloft Sarasota
Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)
Relax high above Sarasota's pedestrian life
While the drinks themselves are fun, colorful, and brings out the festivity in any person, it’s really the destination, propped in an elevated scenery above the city, that creates the rooftop bar experience. Rooftop bars come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Some are for the high-heeled, stilleto-wearing ladies who just love to party while others seem like charming speak-easies where you can go for after-work drinks and nightcaps. Whatever the case may be, there is a rooftop bar in Sarasota that’s right for you, from the hipsters who fancy a good pale ale to the martini sippers of the Upper East Side. Be sure to check out this substantial list to start off your journey. Cheers!
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