Welcome to Downtown Sarasota
Home to a diverse scene of eateries, shops, and entertainment surrounded by the Sarasota Bay is downtown Sarasota, the city's premier, centralized location for food, culture, and entertainment. Its walkable neighborhoods provide easy access to popular destinations like museums, bars, and theatres, easily making it one of the most sought-after communities to live in. Affluent condos with modern amenities, high-rise apartments, and Laurel Park's mix of historical bungalows and newer, contemporary homes inside its tree-lined streets provide ample housing opportunities for its residents.
What to Love
- The rich cultural scene comprised of art galleries and studios
- Close to entertainment venues like the Florida Studio Theatre
- Home to various shopping experiences with boutiques, antique stores, and popular retailers
Residents who live, work, and play in downtown Sarasota take advantage of the mild urban-suburban, fast-paced lifestyle offered to them. Locals love being in the middle of the action where a quick walk or drive can take them to Mandeville Beer Garden for a pint of beer, the latest indie film at Burns Court Cinemas, or Payne Park's lush greenspace.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
Sophistication meets extraordinary views at Marina Jack, a waterfront bar and grill in the heart of downtown. Watch yachts come in and out of the marina while indulging in finely-aged steaks, flavorful pasta dishes, and fresh seafood. Afterward, take a stroll around the marina or book a sightseeing cruise on the Marina Jack II. Guests flock to Mattison’s City Grille for an eclectic menu of New American fare in a downtown setting with live music and a full-service bar. Start off with an appetizer of shrimp Rangoon before biting into a 16-ounce ribeye. Elevate your dining experience to the next level with a slice of key lime pie and a glass of Pinot Grigio from the eatery’s impressive wine list.
After an evening of dining, visit the Sarasota Opera House for a night of classic entertainment. The venue prides itself on a spectacular lineup of highly-acclaimed opera performances inside its stylish viewing area. McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre provides fun entertainment in its spacious showroom with performances from stand-up comedians and a menu list of bar favorites.
Things to Do
Catch an award-winning show from The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall's incredible lineup of live-action performances. Spring brings the Boston Orioles to the Ed Smith Stadium for training, so be sure to grab a seat for this highly-anticipated event. Animal lovers spend the day exploring and interacting with flamingos, lemurs, and alligators at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, a sprawling zoo perfect for family-friendly entertainment. Book a private encounter with an animal or attend a live show while there. Downtown Sarasota's vibrant culture is home to several museums, including the popular Ringling Circus Museum where visitors can dive deeper into the rich history of Ringling entertainment with interactive galleries and exhibitions. Watch a thrilling watercraft race along the Gulf Coast during the city's annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, the 2nd longest-running competition in the country.
Sarasota County Public Schools serves the downtown Sarasota area. Commendable schools include:
- First Montessori Academy, a private preschool serving children ages 18 months to 6 years, offers a child-led program with activities centered around language, reading, zoology, botany, and private piano lessons with a professional instructor
- Sarasota Military Academy, a sixth through twelfth-grade charter school split into a middle and high school location, offers a range of AP and Dual Enrollment courses for students and an assortment of engaging classes, including forensic science, creative writing, and American Sign Language
- Ringling College of Art and Design, a private four-year institution, is home to a variety of educational opportunities, including degrees in computer animation, film, and virtual reality development