Downtown Sarasota

Area Attractions: Downtown Sarasota

Sign at iconic and historic Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota Florida.

Ringling Boulevard runs east-west through the heart of the city and is named after the influential Ringling family, known for their contributions to the development of Sarasota. File photo: Heidi Besen, Shutter Stock, licensed.

Sarasota’s Downtown area offers a unique blend of cultural attractions, natural beauty, and a vibrant city life. Here are some reasons why it is considered a popular tourist area:

  1. Cultural Scene: Sarasota’s Downtown is renowned for its thriving arts and culture scene. It is home to several world-class performing arts venues, including the Sarasota Opera, the Sarasota Orchestra, and the Florida Studio Theatre. The Ringling Museum of Art, located nearby, is a must-visit destination with its stunning collection of European paintings and its beautiful gardens.

  2. Architectural Beauty: The downtown area boasts a mix of architectural styles, ranging from Mediterranean Revival to Art Deco and modern designs. The historic buildings, such as the Sarasota County Courthouse and the Sarasota Opera House, add character and charm to the area.

  3. Sarasota Bayfront: Downtown Sarasota is located along the picturesque Sarasota Bay, offering stunning waterfront views. The Bayfront Park is a popular spot for leisurely strolls, picnics, and outdoor events. It also hosts the annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix and the Sarasota Seafood and Music Festival.

  4. Dining and Shopping: The downtown area is packed with an array of dining options, ranging from fine dining establishments to casual cafes and local eateries. It caters to various tastes and offers diverse cuisines. Additionally, you’ll find boutique shops, art galleries, and specialty stores that offer unique shopping experiences.

  5. Festivals and Events: Downtown Sarasota hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year. The Sarasota Film Festival, Sarasota Chalk Festival, and the Sarasota Farmers Market are just a few examples. These events showcase the community’s vibrant spirit and bring people together.

  6. Walkability: Sarasota’s Downtown is pedestrian-friendly, with walkable streets and plenty of sidewalks. This makes it easy to explore the area on foot, enjoying the pleasant weather and discovering the hidden gems tucked away in the city’s corners.

  7. Parks and Recreation: In addition to the Bayfront Park, downtown Sarasota is surrounded by several parks and recreational areas. Payne Park, for instance, offers tennis courts, playgrounds, and a skate park, while Island Park provides a tranquil waterfront setting for relaxation.

These are just a few highlights of what makes Sarasota’s Downtown fantastic for both living near, and visiting. The combination of arts and culture, natural beauty, entertainment options, and community events creates a vibrant and inviting atmosphere for residents and visitors alike.

The population of Downtown Sarasota is estimated to be around 10,000 people. This number includes both residents and workers who commute to the area for work.

Downtown offers a wide variety of businesses, restaurants, and cultural attractions. The types of homes in Downtown Sarasota real estate vary widely, but some of the most common styles are Mediterranean Revival, Spanish Eclectic, Craftsman, Florida Vernacular and Contemporary. In addition to these, there are also a number of newer homes being built in Downtown Sarasota that incorporate a variety of architectural styles. These homes often feature open floor plans, large windows, and outdoor living spaces.

The average home price in Downtown Sarasota is $600,000. However, prices can vary depending on the style of home, the size of the home, and the location of the home. Homes in historic neighborhoods, such as Burns Court and Laurel Park, tend to be more expensive than homes in newer neighborhoods.

Here are some of the things you can do in Downtown Sarasota:

  • Visit the Sarasota Museum of Art, which houses a collection of over 5,000 works of art from around the world.

  • Take a walk or bike ride on the Riverwalk, which is a 1.5-mile long path that runs along the Sarasota River.

  • See a show at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, which is home to a variety of Broadway shows, concerts, and other events.

  • Visit the Mote Marine Laboratory, which is a world-renowned research institute that offers educational programs and exhibits about the marine environment.

  • Take a day trip to Siesta Key, which is a popular beach destination with white sand beaches and clear blue water.