Top 14 Things To Do In Sarasota, Florida - Updated 2024

things to do in sarasota
| 3 min read

Sarasota is known for its sunny, sandy beaches, cultural diversity and a renowned school of architecture. Located at the south point of Tampa Bay Area, it includes the Sarasota Bay and a number of barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The area is world renowned for its quality of white sand beaches and abundant sunshine. The climate of Sarasota is hot and humid in summers and warm and dry in winters. It also sees rains between June and September and the dry season from October to May. The best time to visit Sarasota weather-wise is between December and February, but it is also a heavy tourist season. Some of the great things to do in Sarasota are mentioned below.

1. Explore one of Sarasota's haunted attractions for a night of fun (from USD 74.0)

Experience the eerie atmosphere of Sarasota while learning about the city’s history of deaths, mysteries, and the paranormal on this tour. Ride on the air-conditioned trolley and hold onto your seat while your costumed tour guide tells you frightening tales. While exploring, you may learn about the city’s most haunted sites and even see reenactments of horrific incidents. This tour will take you into the Sarasota Opera House, which is widely known as one of the city’s most haunted places.

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Sarasota Haunted Ghost and Mummies Nighttime Trolley Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

76 reviews

2. Be mesmerized in Sharkey's LED-illuminated night and sunset tour on glass-bottom kayaks (from USD 55.0)

The glass-bottom kayak, lighted by LEDs at night or sunset, makes for a thrilling and fascinating experience, whether traveling solo, with a group of friends, or on a romantic outing for two. You will have fun paddling through mangrove canals and exploring mangrove shorelines and shallow grass flats.

As you enter a shallow harbor, keep an eye out for the diverse species of marine life and birds. To ensure the security and safety of the activity, it offers all of the necessary safety equipment for the trip, including life vests that are approved by the US Coast Guard and have whistles.

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Sarasota Sunset Tour On Glass Bottom Kayak At Sharkey's

Duration: 75 to 90 minutes

161 reviews

3. Indulge in this walking food tour and fill yourself with tasty treats (from USD 110.0)

During this dinner-tasting tour, you will sample some of the most delicious dishes Sarasota’s vibrant dining industry offers. Prepare yourself and ensure an appetite since you’ll be visiting up to five local eateries with your guide and tasting enough samples to make a satisfying meal where alcoholic beverages are at an extra cost.

While you stroll around the beautiful scenery of Sarasota, take in the cheerful ambiance and enlighten yourself about the city’s distinct culture and delectable cuisine.

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Sarasota Tasting and Dinner Small-Group Walking Tour

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

143 reviews

4. Embark on an eco-friendly adventure in this guided mangrove tunnel kayak tour (from USD 59.0)

Bring your family and friends on this eco-friendly kayak trip of Lido Key in Sarasota that will provide you with the finest opportunities to see manatees and dolphins while enjoying the scenery. This activity is excellent for new and experienced paddlers, enabling you to get close to nature while spending time away from the city’s crowds.

Furthermore, using a quiet vessel reduces the risk of frightening species. During the expedition, the facilitators will provide a professional guide and a life jacket approved by the US Coast Guard. These precautions have been taken for your protection.

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Sarasota Mangrove Tunnel Eco Kayak Tour

Duration: 2 hours

1766 reviews

5. Pay a visit to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (from USD 69.0)

Courtyard (1995), Ringling Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Roger Wollstadt used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This museum in Sarasota preserves the legacy of John and Mable Ringling and is home to a Museum of Art, Ca’ d'Zan Mansion, the Circus Museums and the Historic Asolo Theater. It houses some of the leading art and cultural collections in the States. It offers a number of opportunities for visitors to explore through art and performances that highlight the culture of different parts of the world as well.

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Sarasota City Sightseeing Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

801 reviews

6. Watch rowing competitions at Nathan Benderson Park

Posted by Nathan Benderson Park on Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Located in Sarasota, this 600-acre (242.8 hectares) park has a beautiful 400-acre (161.8 hectares) lake and is on track to become a fantastic 2000 meter (6561.7 feet) sprint rowing course. In addition to a place where visitors can enjoy rowing competitions, the Nathan Benderson Park is also a great venue for running, playing or just chilling out with friends and family.

Nathan Benderson Park

Address: 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, Florida

Website: Nathan Benderson Park

Opening hours: April - October: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; November - March: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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7. Unwind at Siesta Key Beach

Posted by Siesta Key Beach on Thursday, 3 December 2015

Siesta Key Beach is one of the topmost beaches in North America. The sand is so white and soft, that Siesta Key’s Crescent Beach has been named as the “finest, whitest sand beach in the world.” The clear and calm waters of the Gulf are inviting visitors to come for a swim or just even float. The beach is buzzing with visitors and activities and is a must visit when you are in Sarasota.

Siesta Key Beach

Address: 946 Beach Rd Siesta Key, Florida

Website: Siesta Key Beach

Opening hours: 24 hours

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8. Pay your respects at Sarasota National Cemetery

"Veterans Day Solitude" Sarasota National Cemetery, Sarasota, Florida.

Posted by Jerry Van Dyke on Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Spread over 295 acres, Sarasota National Cemetery serves the members of the armed forces who have met certain service criteria. The family members of the veterans are also eligible to be buried under certain conditions. It is the sixth largest cemetery in Florida.

Sarasota National Cemetery

Address: 9810 State Road 72 Sarasota, FL 34241

Website: Sarasota National Cemetery

Opening hours: All days 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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9. Explore the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

There are many ways to experience Gauguin: Voyage to Paradise at Selby Gardens. Save a seat for Gauguin Nights, five...

Posted by Selby Gardens - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on Friday, 15 February 2019

Situated in the Sarasota Bay area, the Marie Selby Botanical Garden has something for every nature lover. It is a living museum with more than 20000 living plants including a variety of orchids and bromeliads. In addition to the flora, it also has a herbarium, the world’s second largest spirit collection and a library

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Address: 900 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236

Website: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Opening hours: All days 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Price: Member guests USD 10; Adults: USD 25; 4-17 years: USD 15; 3 and under: free

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10. Take your kids to the Children's Garden

Posted by Jenna Roberts on Saturday, 6 October 2018

The Children’s Garden and Art Center in Sarasota provides a perfect day’s outing for your little ones. It is a fantasy land that drives the imagination of the kids. It is a perfect place for kids as they have ample space to run, jump, climb and swing, all while exploring and experiencing mother nature. It can be that ideal picnic spot for you and your bundles of joy where you create lots of happy memories.

The Children’s Garden and Art Center

Address: 1670 10th Way Sarasota, Fl. 34236

Website: The Children’s Garden and Art Center

Opening hours: Tuesday - Friday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. -5 p.m.; closed on Mondays

Price: 0-2 yrs.: Free; 3-12 yrs.: USD 5+tax; teens-adults: USD 10+tax; 60+: USD 9+tax

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11. Watch the marine life at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

The day we've waited all weekend for is here again... #ManateeMonday of course! Do you know what one of the closest...

Posted by Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium on Monday, 11 March 2019

The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium provides a perfect mix of education and entertainment. It has really nice displays of sea life and is a great place for kids and adults alike.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Address: 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy Sarasota, Florida

Website: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Opening hours: All days 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Price: Adults: USD 24; youth: USD 18

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12. Spend some fun time in the Circus Sarasota (from USD 61.0)

Circus Sarasota is the local circus of the “Circus Capital of the World” that Florida is fondly known as. Circus Sarasota is world famous for its professional artistry and entertainment, which is a treat for the entire family. Performances are awesome with talented acrobats and appropriate use of animals.

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Sarasota Circus Secrets History Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

68 reviews

13. Enjoy bird and animal shows at Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Need a little Monday Motivation? Be a Flamingo. Stay balanced. Stand by your flock and ALWAYS be fabulous!

Posted by Sarasota Jungle Gardens on Monday, 11 February 2019

From feeding the flamingos to interacting with the animals to watching their shows, the Sarasota Jungle Gardens promises a great experience for every wildlife enthusiast. The park is well maintained and the shows are informative and interesting. The interaction with the birds is so much fun and getting close to some of the reptiles is an attraction in itself.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Address: 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34234

Website: Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Opening hours: All days 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Price: Adult: USD 17.99; child: USD 12.99; senior citizen: USD 16.99

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14. Jump, run and play at Jumpin Fun Sports

Posted by Jumpin Fun Sports - Trampoline Park on Saturday, 8 September 2018

The Jumpin Fun Sports trampoline park in Sarasota is a great place to be for kids. Trampoline dodgeball, the jumping basketball hoop and the jumping foam pit are some of the favourites of the kids and other visitors.

Jumpin Fun Sports

Address: Lakewood Ranch Corporate Park 7321 Trade Court, Sarasota FL 34240

Website: Jumpin Fun Sports

Opening hours: Mon-Tues: closed; Wed-Thurs: 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.; Friday 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Price: USD 15 to USD 22

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Sarasota, your perfect holiday destination

Siesta Key Florida
Source: Pixabay

With the right blend of outdoor and indoor activities, Sarasota is a perfect holiday destination for any family or individual traveller. With its beautiful sun-kissed beaches, rich and diverse cultural heritage and plenty of fun activities to choose from, visit Sarasota and soak in the natural Florida fun.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Shivani is a marketer by profession and a writer by passion. She is a founding member at MeeHappy Wellness, an employee wellness initiative in India. Shivani has had the good fortune of working in...Read more

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