2017 World Rowing Championships

Welcome, World Rowing fans, to sunny Sarasota, home of the 2017 World Rowing Championships. Let us help you make this your favorite rowing event ever.

Visit Sarasota County extends a warm welcome to all competitors and fans to the sunny Florida Gulf Coast! We encourage you all to enjoy beaches, attractions, great dining and much more. With so much to do and see, planning your visit can be overwhelming, so let us help you with a few to dos:

The Best Beach in America

Separately chosen as the best beach in America by TripAdvisor Reviewers and Dr. Beach this year, Siesta Key's sandy shores are truly something to enjoy. The Siesta Public Beach is a large beach with free public parking, multiple concessions, handicap accessibility, volleyball courts, a playground, several picnic areas and much more. While any time is a great time to enjoy the beach, catching a sunset before you leave is an absolute must-do.

Shop till you drop

The World Rowing Championship is just down the street from The Mall at University Town Center, but another great shopping district loved by locals and tourists alike is St. Armands Circle. Created by famed circus mogul John Ringling himself, this shopping district features high-end and niche retail, outdoor eateries and is walking distance from Lido Beach.

Enjoy the Venetian allure of the Historic Downtown Venice area further south in Sarasota County. Hunt for souvenirs, walk through Centennial Park or take a short jaunt to Venice Pier. Last but not least, nearby the natural splendor of Lemon Bay and Manasota Key is Dearborn Street in Englewood. Enjoy a classic "Old Florida" feel to this small-town hub.

Explore our nature in our parks

Our parks offer some of the best opportunities to see "wild" Florida up close and personal. Head east to Myakka River State Park for an adventure where you are almost guaranteed to see alligators, herring, ibis, storks, and more. Take a scenic lake tour on an airboat ride or paddle through Myakka River by canoe. In Osprey, just south of Sarasota, is Oscar Scherer State Park. This park's scrubby flatwoods make it the best place in town to spot Florida scrub-jays. This park also connects to the Legacy Trail, which is a 10-mile train from Venice, FL, to Sarasota.

The options for exploration are endless. Join a kayak tour and paddle through Lido Key mangrove tunnels. Take a short hike through Quick Point Nature Preserve and enjoy beautiful bay views from Longboat Key. Head south to North Port and go on a horseback riding excursion through Myakkahatchee Environmental Creek.

Eat and drink your way through town

Sip local beers from one of our nearby breweries, or enjoy a crisp, refreshing cocktail made with local rum. Enjoy delicious flavorful fresh fish at one of many restaurants or check out our Farmers Markets for local fruits and vegetables, meats and baked goods. Find out for what's in season or perhaps try a recipe on your own!

The Summer is Endless in Sarasota

Lido is for Everyone

Nature calls: Wild Florida in sunny Sarasota
30 seconds on Siesta Key Beach
30 seconds on Manasota Key
Beach Escape: Longboat Key
Snapshot: Nokomis Beach on Casey Key

Don't Miss Experiences

While visiting for the world rowing event, be sure to check enjoy these activities!

Sarasota Farmer’s Market

The Sarasota Farmers Market, held on Saturdays in downtown Sarasota, is considered the granddaddy of the local farmers markets, as it’s been around more than 35 years and features 70-plus vendors. The market is a major draw for residents and tourists looking to catch an early morning bite or a midday meal while they also stock up on locally grown produce and baked goods. Just about any type of food you want can be found there—barbecue, lemonade, seafood, crepes, raw food, sushi, and plenty more. The Sarasota Farmers Market also has a cool health-oriented bent with vendors such as Sarafresh Juice, which sells cold-pressed juice; and Simply Organix, which offers sprouts and micro-greens. It’d be hard to leave the market without visited Peperonata Pasta, where you can buy fresh-made pasta, focaccia, and empanadas.

Browse around downtown Sarasota

Enjoy the bustle of Main Street, the quaint bungalows of the historic downtown area, the art galleries at Towles Court, and the antique stores of Burns Court.

The city of Sarasota may be smaller than other metropolitan destinations, but there is plenty to do in this city. Flavors abound at local restaurants and eateries, such as the southern French and Mediterranean inspired Mozaic, the sushi and hibachi grill Tsunami, and the classic Italian staple Caragiulos. Relax at one of several nearby parks or take a stroll along the bayfront and over the iconic Ringling Bridge!

St. Armands Shop and Dine Around

Retail therapy at St. Armands Circle, wildlife viewing, gourmet dining and Gulf-side relaxation collide on the keys of Lido and Longboat. Powdery sand beckons sunbathers to dig for seashells and sand dollars. The food is deliciously diverse — from the famous 1905 Salad at Columbia Restaurant to the renowned lobster bisque at the upscale Café L’Europe. Explore the mangroves in a nature preserve, and play in a family-friendly park. Learn about indigenous birds and rescued sea creatures. Shop for accessories and art at local boutiques, all while soaking up the city’s circus history.

Micro Brew Experience

Florida and craft beer are a natural pairing any time of the year: refreshing wheat ales with Sunshine State citrus notes cool down summer days. Inventive IPAs and adventurous sours appeal to the Gulf Coast's creative culture. Even dark, rich porters and stouts are at home in Florida—where tropical ingredients like cacao, sugar cane and the coffee bean are key local flavors at every craft brewer's fingertips.

Sarasota, already a key player in Florida's culinary scene, is currently establishing a reputation as a craft pint paradise. Craft beer lovers can enjoy Florida flavors at hometown breweries, and keep up with other American craft breweries at local pubs—where variety is always on tap.  

Venice Regional AACA Collector Car Show

Venice, Florida, is a charming, ageless city on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Known as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World,” the city of Venice has a quaint, but vibrant downtown containing a collection of shops, parks, eateries and historic, Venetian-themed buildings. Enjoy an old-fashioned Sunday at an ice cream parlor, walk around Centennial Park and enjoy the Venice Regional AACA Collector Car Show. This annual show brings in classic cars from a simpler, bygone era.

Let's Eat Englewood Restaurant Week

Enjoy a culinary adventure without breaking the bank. Let's Eat Englewood Restaurant Week runs Sept. 15 through Sept. 29 and features three-course dinners for $23 and 2-course Lunches for $12. More than 20 restaurants in the southern area of Sarasota County participate in this event each year.