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Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Aquarium
“Plan to spend 3 hours or more learning about our sea life companions and how we are mutually saving each other.”
  • 109 locals recommend
Garden
$$
“Beautiful gardens and trees throughout. Nice history of a Sarasota landmark. Kids will love the play area too.”
  • 90 locals recommend
Beach
“Great Beach - a bit touristy now - we miss the days when it was an old Tiki Hut! Drum Circle at night is very "New Age" Not my thing but many people love it. Great Eats at the Concession. ”
  • 167 locals recommend
Shopping Mall
“Indoor play area is heavenly. Air-conditioned, plenty of seating for parents.”
  • 90 locals recommend
Park
“An amazing place to visit the beach. It is a park so no hotels or buildings. All the way at North Beach end of the park there is a sandbar that is fun to go out to. There is an old fort there that is awesome, and a.fishinf pier. Lots of shaded shelters, playgrounds etc. 5 dollar admission for the whole day. From here you can catch a ferry to Egmont Key island. A wonderful island where the waters are amazingly turquoise. ”
  • 120 locals recommend
Art Museum
“Fabulous art collection from John and Mabel Ringling of Circus fame. Also don’t miss the Ca d’Zan Mansion and Bayfront Gardens. Folks come from all over the world for these art collections. ”
  • 96 locals recommend
Park
“Take the Canopy Walkway above the trees or ride the Pontoon boat to spot alligators. Or if you prefer you can walk, hike, kayak or canoe around the park too.”
  • 108 locals recommend
Shopping Plaza
“Tons of upscale shops and restaurants. There are a few local joints on the circle, but it is also pretty commercial and touristy. Navigate the circle like a pro: - Best pizza is at Venezia. - The Colombia Restaurant has been serving up fantastic Spanish style food for over 100 years. Try some while you're in town, you won't regret it. - Plot twist - best ice cream is not at Kilwins, it's at Big Olaf which is one one of the side streets. Warning - Big Olaf only takes cash. ”
  • 95 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“Park at Holmes Beach and use the free trolley to get on and off the different locations on the island. Beautiful beaches, fun shops, restaurants, bike rentals, aquatic sport rentals and more. ”
  • 68 locals recommend
Campground
“This is a very large state park ($5 entry fee per car). Many beaches to choose from North Beach to South Beach. On windy days you can watch windsurfers. They also have a campground, fishing pier, dog park, and dog friendly beach. ”
  • 67 locals recommend
Art Museum
“This is a great way to a break from the beach. The grounds are extensive with beautiful large banyan trees. There’s a great restaurant in the grift shop area called the Muse.”
  • 96 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
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“Owens is in the historic district of downtown Sarasota. It's one of my favorite restaurants. Their specials are always great and I love their fried green tomato salad! Be prepared for a very, long wait as its a very popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Make a night of it and visit the historic Burns Court movie theater next door. They play a lot of film festival and foreign film showings not available in the standard movie theaters.”
  • 69 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
$$
“One of the oldest waterfront restaurants in Sarasota. right in downtown Sarasota on the water. booking Table for dinner around Sunset, you will have an amazing view while eating an incredible dinner in the fine dining room upstairs or if you prefer a casual dining experience downstairs and out on the docks. great food and great atmosphere!”
  • 67 locals recommend
Route
“This is a large traffic circle with a large variety of shops and restaurants all around it. Really fun place to hang out, especially if you're into people watching. There are lots of unique stores and boutiques. ”
  • 62 locals recommend
Shopping Mall
“Very large outdoor Outlet Mall that has everything. If your into outlet malls, this is the best one in Florida.”
  • 44 locals recommend
Beach
“My favorite Beach! Great shelling, swimming and snorkeling! - lots of fish are by the rock outcropping! ”
  • 44 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Seafood Restaurant
“Owens is in the historic district of downtown Sarasota. It's one of my favorite restaurants. Their specials are always great and I love their fried green tomato salad! Be prepared for a very, long wait as its a very popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Make a night of it and visit the historic Burns Court movie theater next door. They play a lot of film festival and foreign film showings not available in the standard movie theaters.”
  • 69 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
“One of the oldest waterfront restaurants in Sarasota. right in downtown Sarasota on the water. booking Table for dinner around Sunset, you will have an amazing view while eating an incredible dinner in the fine dining room upstairs or if you prefer a casual dining experience downstairs and out on the docks. great food and great atmosphere!”
  • 67 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
“Because of it's location in the "Siesta Key Village" it can be a bit touristy but even locals love this location for it's very beachy laid back feel, live music and pretty good food! Off season, I visit often and always enjoy this local eatery.”
  • 50 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
“Delicious food right on the water and the sunset is AMAZING! Must call ahead for reservations! ”
  • 61 locals recommend
American Restaurant
“Located right on the marina waterfront, Oleary's has great views, great cocktails, and great live music!”
  • 45 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
“The real deal for fresh fish and and tiki bar. 101 years ago the captains brought fresh fish to Walt's for the Sarasota foodies! ”
  • 31 locals recommend
Bar
“This restaurant is now our favorite weekend lunch place. Get a table outside and you can see the Gulf and beach enthusiasts. Their new menu is great and the service is also better than before. It's also walking distance (15min).”
  • 38 locals recommend
Movie Theatre
“You can have a great meal while you watch the movie in a super comfy recliner. Perfect on a rainy day. It is literally a 5 minute walk from the front door. ”
  • 41 locals recommend

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