Sarasota County at a Glance

Find out everything you want to know about our little coastal city of SRQ.

 Lynn Hobeck Bates, APR  |  Communications Manager

941-955-0991 Ext. 103


  • Sarasota and her string of eight islands are tucked into the Gulf coast of Southwest Florida, 60 miles south of Tampa and 75 miles north of Fort Myers.
  • Sarasota County, also known as SRQ, encompasses nearly 40 miles of shoreline and includes the City of Sarasota, Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key, Manasota Key, Siesta Key, Casey Key, City of Englewood, Nokomis, City of North Port, Osprey, and the City of Venice.
  • Siesta Key: In a nod to its namesake, Siesta Key beaches are an invitation for relaxation and rejuvenation. Enjoying the reputation as one of America’s Best Beaches, Siesta Beach is made famous by its sugar-fine, quartz-white sand.  A short jaunt from the public beach is a village of outdoor dining, coffee shops and shopping.  Turtle Beach sits beyond the sea grapes on the Key’s southern end and is a popular site for launching kayaks.
  • Longboat Key: Manicured and pristine, this long, narrow key boasts exclusive homes and elite resorts.  The Resort at Longboat Key Club is recognized internationally for its tennis facilities, challenging golf courses, dining, and waterfront oasis.
  • Lido Key/ St. Armands:  Once home to the Lido Beach Casino, Lido Key‘s reputation for marrying cosmopolitan life with seaside paradise continues today.  Within a short radius lies St. Armands Circle, a sophisticated outdoor dining and shopping area with distinct European flair, iconic examples of mid-century modern architecture and the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Downtown Sarasota:  Downtown Sarasota is bursting with trendy corner cafés and artesian shops.  The Aloft Sarasota, downtown’s newest hotel, will be joined by The Westin Sarasota, Embassy Suites, and Hotel Sarasota, all expected to open in 2017.  For years, The Sarasota Opera and Florida Studio Theater have held court in the center of town, keeping arts and culture at the heart of Sarasota’s charm.  Catch an independent film at Burns Court Cinema, shop art galleries along Palm Avenue, or grab a signature happy hour cocktail or a local craft beer at one of the city’s diverse watering holes and restaurants. 
  • Venice:  Aptly named one of Coastal Living’s “Happiest Seaside Towns in America” in 2015, this island town’s charming main street offers shopping and dining and meanders through stately 1920’s homes leading straight to the Gulf of Mexico.  Venice is also known as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.”
  • North Port:  North Port’s Warm Mineral Springs, with 9 million gallons of fresh water at a constant temperature of 87 degrees Fahrenheit, is a popular spot for visitors looking for the healing touch. 
  • Englewood:  Retreat to the tranquil shores of Englewood, a throw-back to Old Florida’s simple and idyllic lifestyle. Englewood surprises visitors with its antique shopping and collection of cozy restaurants in Olde Englewood Village.  Heralded for its natural abundance, fishing is a favorite pastime and Manasota Key is home to four beaches offering miles of unspoiled vistas of the Gulf of Mexico.


Arts and Culture

  • The epicenter of culture on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota County is home the Sarasota Ballet, the Sarasota Opera, the Sarasota Orchestra, The Ringling, and numerous professional and community theaters and dance troupes.  A prevalent visual arts scene rounds out the area’s arts and culture.



  •  Two state parks in Sarasota County, Myakka River State Park and Oscar Scherer State Park, offer bountiful opportunities to commune with nature. Camping, kayaking, and hiking can be enjoyed throughout the County.
  • The City of Venice was named a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community in 2016 and the Legacy Trail, a ten-mile rails-to-trails project, begins in Venice.
  • ·       Sarasota County is a Runner Friendly Community and offers several 5Ks and half marathons throughout the year.


Sarasota’s Circus Heritage

  • Thanks to the legacy of circus magnate John Ringling, Sarasota is known as the “Circus Capital of the World,” with many offerings designed to honor the past, present, and future of the circus. The Ringling, the Circus Arts Conservatory (home to Circus Sarasota), the Sailor Circus and youth and adult training classes, and the Circus Ring of Fame on St. Armands Circle are examples of the circus’s lasting impression on the area.


  • Every summer, Sarasota hosts “Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week,” giving patrons the opportunity to taste Sarasota’s diverse culinary excellence at bargain prices.  Visit for more information.
  • The City of Sarasota has one of the highest concentrations of 21 Zagat-rated restaurants in the state of Florida.
  • The Amish community of Pinecraft offers comfort food favorites and their homemade pies are legendary.


For more information on discovering Sarasota County, call Visit Sarasota County at 800-522-9799.  Information may also be found on smartphones and tablets by downloading the Visit Sarasota County©  app.