Sarasota, Florida: Location, What is near here, and all about SRQ

Sarasota, Florida: Location, What is near here, and all about SRQ

Sarasota sits on Florida's sunny Southwest coast. It's known for mixing city life with beautiful nature and islands1. This city of around 55,000 people is a lively spot with lots to do. You can enjoy top-notch arts, shopping, dining, and outdoor fun. Plus, its beaches are legendary for their soft, white sand1.

This city is strategically placed between Tampa Bay and Fort Myers. This makes it easy to reach through the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ). The airport is located at 6000 Airport Circle, only 6.5 miles from I-75 on University Parkway. It's a great starting point for anyone exploring Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sarasota offers a perfect blend of urban amenities and natural beauty, with access to pristine beaches and islands.
  • The city boasts a thriving arts and culture scene, featuring world-renowned museums, galleries, and performing arts venues.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a wide range of activities, from beach exploration to hiking, biking, and paddling in nearby parks and nature reserves.
  • Sarasota's diverse dining scene caters to all tastes and budgets, with options ranging from upscale restaurants to casual eateries and food trucks.
  • Accommodation options in Sarasota are plentiful, with choices including luxury hotels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds to suit every preference and budget.

Sarasota, Florida Location

Sarasota is on the sunny southwest coast of Florida. It sits by the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, near coordinates 27.33722°N, 82.53528°W2. This area, known for its water, covers 24.08 square miles. And 42.58% of it is water. Sarasota is between the big cities of Tampa Bay and Fort Myers. This makes it easy for people to visit many places. The city's location is great for enjoying both city life and nature.

Nestled on the Southwest Coast of Florida

Sarasota shines with its mix of city life and natural beauty. It's next to the Gulf of Mexico, offering stunning views. The city has wonderful beaches and water activities. With a population of 54,842 in 2020, it feels like a close community. Yet, it is still lively with a downtown area.

Ideally Positioned Between Tampa Bay and Fort Myers

Sarasota is perfectly placed between two major cities on Florida's Gulf Coast. Tampa Bay lies to the north with its culture and sports. Fort Myers is to the south, known for its family-friendly vibe and nature. This location lets people easily visit different places. They can enjoy the variety from both cities, each just a short drive away.

The Sarasota area has about 833,716 people2, and it belongs to Sarasota County. This county is 725 square miles big, with mostly land and some water. In 2023, the estimated population is 469,013. The area is known for cultural events, outdoor fun, and a nice warm climate. People like the mix of things to do and the weather.

Sarasota's location by the Gulf of Mexico, between two lively cities, is perfect. It's a great spot for a mix of city fun and peaceful nature. This makes it a top pick for anyone looking to enjoy Florida's scenic coast.

Getting to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ)

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) sits on the southwest coast of Florida. It's a favorite with many airlines like American, Delta, United, Southwest, and JetBlue3. You can fly directly to many U.S. cities from here, and it's a less busy choice than some big Florida airports3.

Directions from I-75

To get to SRQ from I-75, use Exit 213 and head west on University Parkway. After 6.5 miles, you'll see the airport on your left. Just follow the signs to get there quickly.

Directions from Sarasota

If coming from Sarasota, go north on U.S. 41. Turn right onto University Parkway, and quickly move left. At the first light, turn left into the airport.

Directions from Bradenton

If driving from Bradenton, go south on U.S. 41. Turn left onto University Parkway and quickly merge left. At the first light, turn left into the airport.

When you arrive at SRQ, you'll have various ways to travel to your next stop. Choose from shuttles, taxis, limos, or rental cars3. There's also public transit from Manatee and Sarasota at the west end of baggage claim4.

Considering rideshare? Uber and Lyft operate here with pickups at the ticket wing4. For specific on-demand rides, you can contact ALD Limo with vehicles equipped for safety against COVID-194.

Many local hotels like Hilton Garden Inn offer shuttle services to and from the airport3. For city travel, you can also use the Breeze 76 Flyer Trolley with service every 30 minutes4.

SRQ stands out with its accessible location, diverse transport options, and up-to-date services. It plays a big part in the region's tourism and economy, making it a top choice for travelers3.

Top Attractions in Sarasota

Sarasota has lots to offer, mixing city life with natural beauty and islands1. You can visit famous museums, beautiful gardens, and huge state parks. There's always something to do in this lively city on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

John & Mabel Ringling Museum of Art

The John & Mabel Ringling Museum of Art is a highlight in Sarasota. It has pieces from old times and today's artists1. Inside, you'll find over 10,000 artworks and old items in 21 galleries5. It holds the largest circus art and memorabilia collection in the world6. Don't miss seeing Ca' d'Zan, the Ringlings' 36,000-square-foot home. It's filled with special art and 1920s memorabilia15.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a must-visit too. It spans 15 acres, with a pond full of koi fish and a spot for butterflies6. You can see all kinds of plants, tropics, and flowers, along with beautiful butterflies. They offer tours and fun programs5. It's a great place to walk and enjoy nature, just outside downtown Sarasota6.

Myakka River State Park

Nature lovers will enjoy Myakka River State Park for its many activities1. It's perfect for hiking, biking, canoeing, camping, and fishing. A favorite spot is the Myakka Canopy Walkway, where you can walk 74 feet above the ground5. For a breezy ride, check out the Legacy Trail. It's a 10.8-mile bike trail with nice views of the Gulf Coast5.

Ringling Museum of Art 10,000+ unique pieces of art, Ca' d'Zan Mansion
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 15 acres, koi pond, butterfly garden, guided tours
Myakka River State Park Hiking, biking, paddling, camping, fishing, canopy walkway

These top attractions show how Sarasota values art, culture, and the environment. It's a great spot for a mix of fun and learning on Florida's Gulf Coast. Perfect for visitors looking for varied experiences.

Arts and Culture Scene

Sarasota is called the "Cultural Coast of Florida". It has a lot to offer in arts and culture7. You can find famous museums and theaters here. This creates a rich cultural world for both visitors and those who live here.

Museums and Galleries

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is a must-see. It has over 600 works that celebrate circus history78. Near downtown, you'll find the State of the Arts Gallery. It shows fine works by local artists. Palm Avenue is known as "Gallery Row". Walk here to find beautiful hand-made glass, art, and more7. People love coming to Palm Avenue for its First Friday Artwalk. It's a time when the community comes together to enjoy and support the arts18.

On Main Street, there are many art galleries. Plus, regular arts and crafts festivals take place, attracting many people7. The Towles Court and Rosemary Districts are special spots. They offer art exhibits, mural tours, and events all year long78. Burns Square is also full of culture. Here, you can visit art galleries and a cinema. These places add more richness to Sarasota's culture7.

Performing Arts and Theaters

Sarasota's performing arts are top-notch. The Van Wezel Center has over 100 shows each season. It's a major spot for Southwest Florida's cultural life8. The Sarasota Opera House is also famous. It is one of the best in the country after more than six decades78. Florida Studio Theater makes Sarasota's theatre scene lively. It brings interesting plays and performances to the city7.

With its strong cultural roots and a variety of arts, Sarasota is a top choice for anyone who loves art. The city welcomes art fans and collectors from all over the world. This makes it a leading place for complete art and culture experiences.

Shopping and Dining

Sarasota is filled with exciting places to shop and dine. You'll find something you love, no matter your taste or budget. Check out Westfield Sarasota Square, the biggest shopping spot. It has stores like Forever21, Aldo, American Eagle, and Express9.

Want something unique? Go to St. Armand's Circle. There, you can visit places like Little Bo-Tique, Foxy Lady, and The Met. You'll also find well-known names such as White House Black Market and Soma9. Plus, Downtown Sarasota has stylish shops and galleries on Palm Avenue, known as "Gallery Row."10

Main Street in this area offers all sorts of shops, from fashion to gourmet food. With over 200 retailers and 80 dining options, the University Town Center (UTC) is a great spot11.

Sarasota's dining is just as diverse. You can eat at casual spots or high-end restaurants. During the Taste of UTC Spring, visitors can try many places from April 15-3011.

If you're looking for deals, head to The Shoppes At University Center. Here, you'll find stores like Old Navy, Target, and Ulta. Antique fans must stop at Burns Court. Art lovers can buy one-of-a-kind pieces at Towles Court directly from the artists10.

Sarasota is perfect for those wanting to shop, find unique items, or eat well. This city's lively spirit and wide range of choices make it a shopping and food lover's dream.

Outdoor Activities

Sarasota has many outdoor activities for lovers of nature and thrill-seekers. You can visit its beautiful beaches, vast parks, and trails. They are perfect for basking in the Florida sun and exploring the outdoors.


The white-sand beaches in Sarasota attract many visitors. They are ideal for relaxing, swimming, and getting a tan. Venice, not far from Sarasota, has 14 miles of beaches. Here, you can find shark teeth along the shore12. A highlight beach is Point of Rocks, with a 3.8 rating from 15 reviews13.

Parks and Trails

Are you looking for activities like hiking, biking, and seeing wildlife? Sarasota's parks and trails are perfect for you. Myakka River State Park is a huge natural area to the east. It is one of Florida's largest state parks12. This park is great for cycling, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping, fishing, and bird watching12. At this park, you can also climb a 74-foot tower, walk through a treetop canopy, and head to Lower Lake to see alligators12. Robinson Preserve, another favorite spot, scores a 4.9 from 70 reviews13.

For a special paddling trip, try Jim Neville Marine Preserve in Little Sarasota Bay. It's 35 acres and excellent for new paddlers wanting to see different birds and animals12. The Ted Sperling Nature Park at Lido Key offers unique mangrove tunnels. Here, you can spot birds, dolphins, manatees, and more12. Ted Sperling Park has a 4.5 rating from six reviews13.

Golfing and Tennis

If you love golf or tennis, Sarasota is the place for you. It has many highly-rated golf courses and tennis courts. These spots are often surrounded by natural beauty, making your game even more enjoyable.

Outdoor AttractionRatingNumber of Reviews
Robinson Preserve 4.9 70
Ted Sperling Park 4.5 6
Point of Rocks 3.8 15

Regardless of your favorite activity, Sarasota has something for everyone. You can enjoy the tranquility of the beach, the excitement of the trails, or the fun of golf and tennis. It's all here, waiting for you to discover in this lovely Florida spot.

Family-Friendly Fun

Sarasota, Florida, is great for family vacations with lots to do for everyone14. There's education and excitement waiting, perfect for family time. The Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and TreeUmph! Adventure Park are top picks for families.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

The Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium is full of fun and learning for families15. It has over 100 fish and sea creatures. They also host events to teach about ocean life and conservation.

TreeUmph! Adventure Park

TreeUmph! Adventure Park is a thrilling spot for families. It has ropes and adventure courses for ages 5 and up16. Enjoy ziplining and overcoming challenges together in the trees.

Sarasota has more to offer, like the Sarasota Jungle Gardens. It's been a hit since 1939 with exotic animals and birds1415. The Ringling Museums, with their different spots, offer unique adventures through art and history15.

So, Sarasota becomes a perfect place for family getaways. It blends learning, fun, and adventure well for making unforgettable memories.

Accommodations in Sarasota

When you're looking for a place to stay in Sarasota, you'll have many options. There are 102 hotels and places to stay17. The average review score is 6.96. The prices range from $81 to $351 for a night17 . It's best to book your stay at least a day ahead to get the best price18.

Hotels and Resorts

Sarasota has hotels and resorts for all tastes and budgets. Most places have 3 or 4 stars17. The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota offers luxury amenities. They have an outdoor pool, beach location, and snorkeling18. If you want to stay in the heart of Sarasota, it's a great choice19. The Westin Sarasota, also downtown, is a more affordable option. It's close to Main Street and has easy access to dining and nightlife18. You can find luxury, family-friendly, and pet-friendly options in Sarasota at reasonable prices19.

Vacation Rentals and Campgrounds

Looking for something different? Sarasota has vacation rentals and campgrounds. Hotel Ranola, on the mainland, is a good budget choice. It's not far from the beach18. Nokomis and Venice are quiet places to stay, not as busy as Sarasota. These are still close to major attractions18. Campgrounds offer a close-to-nature experience. Prices vary based on what they offer. Whether you pick a hotel, vacation rental, or campground, you'll find the right fit in Sarasota. This way, you can make the most of your visit to this stunning area.


Where is Sarasota, Florida located?

Sarasota sits on Florida’s Southwest coast, right on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s perfectly placed between Tampa Bay and Fort Myers. This makes it easy to explore both cities and their fun spots.

How do I get to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ)?

To find SRQ Airport from I-75, use Exit 213 (University Parkway) going west. It's 6.5 miles down the road on the north side. Coming from Sarasota, go North on U.S. 41/Tamiami Trail to University Parkway, then turn right.

First, immediately merge to the left lane. At the first traffic light, turn left into the airport.

What are the top attractions in Sarasota?

In Sarasota, you can visit amazing places. Check out the John & Mabel Ringling Museum of Art. It has art from old masters to today's artists. You can also see a circus museum and a 36,000-square-foot mansion by the ocean, Ca' d'Zan.

Don’t miss the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens or the fun at Myakka River State Park. There, you can hike, bike, paddle, camp, and fish.

What is the arts and culture scene like in Sarasota?

Sarasota’s arts and culture are alive with museums, galleries, and theaters. Visit the Ringling Museum of Art to see beautiful work. Then, look around at local and international art in different galleries.

You can enjoy ballet, plays, and concerts in the city as well.

What kind of shopping and dining options are available in Sarasota?

Shopping and eating in Sarasota is full of choices. Downtown, you'll find unique shops, bakeries, and galleries in colorful bungalows. There's something for everyone in Sarasota's wide range of restaurants and eateries.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Sarasota?

Sarasota is perfect for outdoor fans. It has beautiful beaches, parks, and trails. Enjoy the beach or hike, bike, paddle at parks like Myakka River State Park.

You can also play golf, tennis, and more in Sarasota.

Are there any family-friendly attractions in Sarasota?

If you have kids, Sarasota has a lot to do. Visit the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium to see sharks and sea life. Try the zip-line at TreeUmph! Adventure Park.

For more fun, visit the mega-playgrounds or Urfer Family Park.

What types of accommodations are available in Sarasota?

When it comes to places to stay, Sarasota has many options. From luxury hotels and chain spots to cozy bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds. You’ll find places close to the best attractions, beaches, and shopping areas.

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