Girls Night Out Siesta Key

Girl's Night Out in SRQ (Sarasota)

Bachelorettes, birthdays or just a regular weekend (or weekday) night, Sarasota has the answer for the perfect Girls Night Out.

Ah, the GNO (Girl's Night Out.) The reprieve all women need to let loose with the gals, complain about the responsibilities lingering back at home, and recharge with some girl power.

We all need it.

And yet each Girls Night Out looks different to each gaggle of girls. Maybe it’s Bachelorette Party time. Maybe someone needs a little extra girl love in her life. Perhaps it’s just time. And then what to do? Do you want to dress up? Dress down? Be able to chat? Sick of talking? Early birds or night owls? Just like each of us, the GNO can be a complex individual. Sarasota has a little bit of everything to fit each flavor – so pick a spice (or make a medley!) and tell me what you really, really want.

Sunny Spice

For the gal who wants to soak up each snippet of sunshine and sea salt Sarasota has to offer. Flip flops and a boat drink float her boat.

A cruise on downtown Sarasota-based LeBarge Tropical Tours brings the festivities to the sea. Float along with a daiquiri or a cold beer and watch with the girls for dolphins frolicking or do some serious real estate stalking as those massive mansions drift past. The on-boat music gives the perfect backdrop to girl talk.

A weekend (or day) at Lido Beach Resort takes away the work and leaves the fun. The only decision you’ll need to make is whether to swim in the Gulf or the pool first. A quick visit to their Tiki Bar for a cool drink and a quick snack won’t even require shoes.

Nothing screams casual fun like a Tiki Bar. With the salt water on your skin, a sundress or shorts serve as the perfect uniform for trop-rock music, loads of laughter, and fruity concoctions. Don’t bother doing your hair – beachy waves are legit here. O’Leary’s Tiki Bar in downtown Sarasota (near LeBarge) and Sharky’s on the Pier in Venice top the list of local jaunts.

Island Spice

Siesta Key is the place to be and there’s no reason to leave. A sundress and wedges pair nicely with that beachy glow.

Fruity? Check. Festive? Check. Full of alcohol? Check and double check. The Daiquiri Deck on Siesta Key features 23 daiquiri options, as well as rum runners, to get the party started. Names like Pain in the Bush, Bango Bango, and Patriot Missle guarantee the convo leans to the lively side.

One of the best parts about great girlfriends is that you can make a fool of yourself with them and they’ll just laugh along with you and join in. Enter karaoke at Captain Curt’s Crab and Oyster Bar. Select your favorite blast from the past ditty and belt out to your heart’s content. It’s an extra bonus if you’re out of town since you’ll never see any of the other people ever again.

Sometimes a girl needs to talk, vent, and have an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. A stroll on Siesta below the stars eliminates distractions and manages to make the world seem larger and smaller at the same time. Food and drinks are allowed for a midnight picnic, but no glass containers. So put that wine in a thermos and hit the sand.

Before all this drinking and walking, a tres chic meal is in order. Blasé Café & Martini Bar in Siesta Village serves 20 different martini options, perfect for those group selfies. Oh, and they have pretty decent food, too. Top it off with live music outside under the stars and it’s a dream made in heaven.

Sherlock Spice

A little mystery adds just the right amount of drama (the good kind, not the kind gives us those forehead elevens)

A ho hum life at home may need a little mystery and we all know a group of girls on a mission are the ones to solve it. Escape Countdown give you sixty minutes to solve the secret and escape the spooky scenario. All those inside jokes and secret language you and the gals have been locking away in your memories all these years? They’re going to save you precious minutes and your (virtual) lives.

Once you’ve escaped jail or the serial killer in the woods, head to the speakeasy-esque Pangea Lounge, hidden behind Monkey Business on downtown Sarasota’s Main Street. Hand-made cocktails are the real deal here, though the place also has the best non-alcoholic cocktails in town. Don’t look for signs as there aren’t any. This is for those in the know so keep it on the down low.

Spice of Life

A cackle, a giggle, a chuckle, or a snort – this is the girl who loves to laugh until her cheeks hurt. And, yes, it counts as an ab exercise.

Sarasota’s resident comedy club, McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre & Humor Institute, in downtown Sarasota features new acts from the well-known to the starving artist. Whatever gets the corners of your mouth to nearly touch your ears, they’ve got it.

On select nights, McCurdy’s serves as host to Drag Queen Bingo, guaranteed to induce laughs, gasps, and memories. Leave any bits of yourself that tends to get offended at the door. This is going to get gloriously raunchy. The Blasé Café on Siesta Key  serves as an additional source for this so-bad-it’s-good event.

Ginger (Rogers) Spice

Be it clad in heels or boots, this girl wants to dance the night away, swaying to soothe the soul and forget any troubles.

A country fan or not, there is no denying that watching the floor at The White Buffalo Saloon is mighty impressive. Rows upon rows of amateur dancers kick up their heels and stomp their boots to the twang overhead. Join in the fun or just watch – and let me tell you, ladies, there are men on that floor and they can move! More than one girlfriend of mine wanted to move a little closer, got a little hot and bothered, and wondered if it was okay to slip them a dollar bill. If you care to join in but don’t know how, Thursday through Saturday evenings they offer lessons. Fear not being the worst one on the floor … that would be me.

For a different tune and a little less structure in the moves, The Gator Club in downtown Sarasota features live music or a DJ nightly. The dance floor tends to be packed with swayers and grinders singing along. Upstairs features a second bar and a pool table if you need a moment to rest your feet.

Every night, The Beach Club on Siesta Key hosts a DJ to provide the ultimate backdrop to a nightly beach dance party. Check their calendar for events such as Naughty Santa and Asylum Halloween. The girl squad drinks free on Ladies’ Night every Wednesday.

Chic Spice

Some gals just want to get dolled up, grab a bite, and have a glass of Sauv Blanc. A simple request Sarasota is happy to fulfill.

For Instagram-worthy plates that taste as good as they look, hit up Shore restaurant on St. Armand’s circle. People watch from the patio or enjoy the private yet open air dining room in the back. To make it perfect? Downstairs is Shore, a store of the same name that features some of the coolest clothes out there. Eating and late night shopping, what more could a girl want?

You want wine? Done. Sarasota Vineyard has no shortage and makes the decision-making as easy as can be.

A visit to Red Clasico Bar lets the night morph without having to discuss who wants to go where and when. Begin the evening at a table outside with a cool drink and enjoy the Florida breeze from the marina down the street; venture inward as the sky turns dark for a bite and another glass of something yummy; and without noticing, you’re suddenly on the dance floor with your gals. No decisions, yet so much fun.

From the sleek décor to the impeccable menu to the uber hip staff, everything at Social oozes cool. Be beautiful while surrounded by beautiful, eating beautiful, sipping on beautiful. The outdoor lounge, with its modern couches and sleek fire pits, merges urban sophistication with a relaxing vibe unlike anywhere else.

A stay at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota embodies the ultimate ladies’ getaway – lush amenities, pool, spa, gym, exclusive beach resort access, and access to their private golf course. Sometimes you don’t want to go anywhere and just be. Together.

Granola Spice

Dirty hands, a smock, and art appreciation mold into the trifecta for this creative soul.

Need a distraction? Grab a group of hands-on friends for a Clay Date at Carla’s Clay. Embrace your inner Demi as you knead the clay, learn the wheel, and see what hidden talents you may (or may not) possess. My “bowl” was a bit wonky, but the experience was far from it. The hypnotizing spin leaves little opportunity to think about the worries elsewhere.

No artistic talent? No worries. At Painting with a Twist it’s all about who can have the most fun, not who can outpaint the rest. Bring a bottle of wine or a cooler of cocktails to share with your gal pals as you follow along together to master your pieces together.

Any art aficionado’s night out will happily begin with Ringling after 5 at the stunning Ringling Art Museum. Admire art from around the world and watch as the sun sets along the bay from the Bayfront Gardens.

Shopping and art? My mom would say yes, my dad would say no way! And that’s why girlfriends are the best. The First Friday Gallery Walks on downtown’s Palm Avenue opens a plethora of art galleries to attendees during their after-hours. Meander the avenue and pop in and out at your leisure while admiring the various paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and antiques. Live music creates a gentle soundtrack to the monthly event.

Whenever I’m out to dinner without my husband, I intentionally order something he would never want to split, just because I can. And while I know he would actually love Lila, I know I love it more. A focus on vegetables, organic produce, and local fare feeds to my hippie soul. Meat loving friends can still sink their teeth in some beef, but still fit into their pants when it’s time to go out on the town later. Or, you know, grab some kombucha.

Sporty Spice

Time to try something new. Out with the old and in with the new. This gal refuses to sit still and wants to try everything life has to offer. No balconette here – this gal is all sports bras and yoga pants.

Just because you’re on vacation or out of the house doesn’t mean you necessarily want to sit down. Maybe putting your feet up is your ahhh. But for a smidge (I mean, you are on vacation) more, check out Pineapple Yoga’s evening classes. When the class is finished and you’re nice and centered, bop around historic Burns’s Court for a chill night out that won’t ruin your zen. Aerial yoga at CircuSoul gives that stretch a bit of adventure by incorporating aerial suspension. Grab a few limber and willing gals and give it a try.

Hey, the guys aren’t the only ones who want to keep an eye on the score while grabbing a craft brew. Old School downtown welcomes your sneakers and will keep the game on for you. Pop outside for a game of life-size Jenga or challenge your friends to a game of pool. Live music on select nights help you pretend you can’t hear that guy next to you. Ladies drink free on Thursday nights 10pm-1am.

A few blocks down from Old School is Evie’s Bowl, a downtown sports bar that just happens to have two bowling lanes incorporated into it for those emergency games. Make a team or make new friends to form one. There’s never a shortage of smiling faces at Evie’s.

For any activity or activities, save the worry of parking and driving by utilizing Uber, a limo service, or the always festive Sarasota Trolley.  No need to carry those keys and instead keep the party going.