Sarasota: Laid Back Coastal Living

Sarasota Beaches - Siesta Key

Sarasota is a quiet residential community on the Gulf Coast of Florida between Tampa and Fort Myers. It’s known as a popular community for snowbirds to escape the hardships of winter and retirees to enjoy a life of leisure on Florida’s west coast. However, once in Sarasota, visitors are quick to realize there is much more going on than retirement condos and senior-oriented activities (but there are world-class examples of both).

While Sarasota owns the city’s moniker of a retirement destination, the city has much more to offer residents than enjoying their golden years. Sarasota has a variety of housing options available to meet the needs of incoming residents with families, or young singles.

  1. Prime Housing

The median closing price for a home in Sarasota is $283,000 according to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty. This is a 12% quarter-over-quarter increase, but still below many of the comparable housing markets in Florida. The steady stream of incoming retirees keeps asking prices competitive, while buyers’ desire for larger metropolitan locales like Miami, keeps the pressure of false inflation off suburban Sarasota.

However Sarasota’s designation as a suburban community does not diminish the variety of houses available. Prospective residents can find ocean front villas, downtown condos, walk up townhouses, and detached suburban homes perfect for starting a family. It’s worth noting that Florida permanent residents are eligible for an annual $25,000 property tax credit, so get those bags packed!

  1. Quality Education

If you’re considering moving your family, considering how the move will impact your kids is paramount. Sarasota county has a high school graduation rate of 92.21. The student-teacher ratio for elementary & middle schools is between 12 and 17, meaning students get plenty of one-on-one instruction throughout their formative years. High school ratios are slightly higher sitting between 15 and 23 students per teacher.

  1. Climate

Florida boasts some of the most desirable climate conditions in the U.S., and Sarasota is no exception. Summer temperatures average between 73°F and 91°F, with up to 14 hours of daylight a day. That’s a lot of time you can spend outside enjoying yourself, just make sure to cool off!

What good is living near the ocean if you can’t enjoy a swim when you want? May through June, the sea water temperature stays between 77°F and 86°F, about the same temperature as most pools. In the winter months the water can get as cold as 68°F, well within a comfortable range for a day on/in the water.

  1. Enjoy Your Golden Years on the Gulf Coast

How could we talk about the benefits of moving to Sarasota without talking about retirement? Sarasota is ranked as the third best place to retire in the United States. The climate is impeccable. There are miles of beaches, and no shortage of things to do outside. Plus, Sarasota life moves at a slower pace than large Gulf Coast cities, allowing residents to take in and enjoy everything available.

With the amount of seniors moving to Sarasota for retirement there’s no shortage of senior-oriented activities to take part in. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a popular place in Sarasota for outdoor events. The botanical garden is located on the shore of Sarasota bay and has one of the best collections of air-plants in the country. The vibrant colors of the plants are a fitting backdrop for the variety of events the botanical garden hosts, like the Garden Music Series.

  1. Engage with Florida’s History

Sarasota was originally established as a Spanish outpost on the Gulf of Mexico to transport crops like citrus fruits. Historic Spanish Point, located on Sarasota Bay just outside of Sarasota, allows visitors to get a glimpse of early-settler life by exploring the sites’ citrus packing warehouse, Spanish-style church, and pioneer cabin.

Head to downtown Sarasota to experience how the city continued to be influenced by its Spanish history. Buildings throughout downtown and the Indian Beach neighborhood are some of the best preserved representations of the Spanish Mediterranean Revival Movement. Visitors can take a guided trolley tour that gives a timeline of Sarasota’s architecture, or walk the neighborhoods while enjoying the wonderful weather.

  1. Sarasota’s Arts & Culture

Sarasota has a vibrant cultural history with a variety of influences ranging from the Spanish Mediterranean Revival to the Ringling Brothers. As mentioned above, the Spanish Mediterranean Revival was a design movement that brought the styles associated with mediterranean villas (flat roofs, climbing vines, red clay shingles) to North America.

Although Sarasota is largely a suburban community, it has a flare for showmanship. This can be traced back to the Ringling Brothers Circus calling Sarasota its winter home. Every winter when the touring circus finished the season, the circus troupe would come to coastal Florida for the off-season and set up semi-permanently. As a gift back to the community, the Ringling Brothers established The Ringling, Florida’s state art museum. Visitors can tour traditional artwork galleries as well as the Circus Museum.

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is Sarasota’s cultural hub, exhibiting paintings and sculptures from some of Florida’s biggest artists. Tours of the Van Wezel provide visitors a the behind-the-scene look at how hall transforms to handle the variety of performers it hosts.

  1. Beaches for Miles

Lido Key and Siesta Key are two of the most world-renowned beach destinations and both are located in Sarasota County. The keys are lined with white sand beaches and separate Sarasota from the Gulf of Mexico. There’s really no bad place to enjoy a day at the beach in Sarasota with it boasting more than 40 miles of beach coastline. Enjoy a relaxing day on the powder-white sand shoreline at Siesta Key, capped off by watching the sun set into the gulf.

  1. Outdoor Recreation

Sarasota takes full advantage of its climate with an endless option of outdoor activities for all activity levels. Shell hunting along the the picturesque beaches always turns up a find worth learning more about. Caspersen Beach is a top destination for shark enthusiasts as shark teeth can be found on the shoreline. If you’re looking for more of an adrenaline-rush, Siesta Key is popular for parasailing, where you can experience Sarasota from 1,000 feet above.

Florida has no shortage of golf courses available to play through. Sarasota is home to Palm Aire Country Club, which has two world class golf courses available to play. The club is a short drive from downtown Sarasota, making it convenient to play a luxury course for residents and perennial visitors.

If you’re thinking about moving to coastal Florida and want to enjoy the laid back coastal life, Sarasota should be in your consideration. The quiet suburban community, paired with Spanish culture and big-top showmanship makes it a one of a kind community with plenty of ways to unwind. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty has experienced real estate professionals in Sarasota who understand the local housing market and can help you find your perfect home in Sarasota.

Contact us and one of our experienced real estate professionals will help you complete your next real estate transaction in confidence, and enjoy everything Sarasota has to offer.

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