Sports in Sarasota County
Contact: Lynn Hobeck Bates, APR
941-955-0991 Ext. 103
Sports in Sarasota County
If being a spectator at sporting events is more a visitor’s speed than getting his or her heart rate up, then Sarasota County offers plenty of opportunities to cheer. The sidelines take many forms, from stadium seats at the Baltimore Orioles spring training games to posh tailgating at polo matches to watching beach volleyball on the cool, white sand.
MLB Spring Training
- The Baltimore Orioles' Florida spring training begins in late February or early March each year at Ed Smith Stadium. Catch home games three to four times each week throughout the month-long scrimmage training. Ticket and hotel packages are available.
- Sarasota's rich culture, world-class dining and luxury hotels have attracted polo enthusiasts from around the world. Matches at Sarasota Polo at Lakewood Ranch are open to the public each Sunday throughout the winter season. Themed tailgates, dress competitions and exquisite food and beverages round out the full experience.
- With the recent designation as host of the 2017 World Rowing Championships, the Sarasota-Bradenton area is quickly making its mark on the national map as a hub for rowing events of all kinds. Regattas typically take place February through April at Nathan Benderson Park and are open to the public.
- For various weekends throughout the year, beach volleyball enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels flock to Siesta Key Beach. From the annual Fiesta on Siesta college tournament to amateur youth events, pull up a beach chair and catch some sun during one of these exciting matches.
- The City of Venice is designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.
- The Venetian Waterway Trailhas bike paths along the water. The trail ends at the Venice Avenue bridge and connects to the Legacy Trail. While the views are gorgeous, there are breaks in the trail, so proceed with caution. The trail is just over 10 miles.
- Perhaps the most popular and impressive place to ride in Sarasota is the Legacy Trail. The Legacy Trail was opened in the spring of 2008. Extending over 12 miles, the Legacy Trail runs from just south of Sarasota, near Clark Road, down to Venice. Along the trail, you'll find 15 rest stops that include trailheads with bike access points and free parking. Trailheads can be found in Sarasota at Potter Park, in Osprey at Bay St. Park and Oscar Scherer State Park, Laurel Park and Nokomis Park in Laurel-Nokomis, Patriots Park and at the Venice Train Depot in Venice.
- Bike rentals are available at various locations throughout the county. Bike tours through Sarasota Bike Tours historic sections of downtown, arts districts, Siesta and Lido beaches, Ringling Museum's grounds, and more.
- Oscar Scherer State Park covers 1,381 acres of rare scrubby and pine flatwoods habitat and has fifteen miles of walking and biking trails. Frequent wildlife sightings in the park range from alligators and armadillos to eagles and egrets, just to name a few.
- Myakka River State Park is preserved within 58 square miles and features an 85-foot Canopy Walkway, a suspended bridge high in the trees with an adjoining 74-foot tower that provides panoramic views of the unique landscape.
Water Adventures and Activities
- The exotic mangrove tunnels of Lido Key are best viewed by kayak and are home to a wide variety of South Florida’s fish and bird species.
- There are more than 231 species of fish in Sarasota Bay, making it a fisherman’s paradise. www.visitsarasota.org/activities-attractions/fishing/boating/marinas
- A must-visit is Siesta Key, named TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award for the Best Beach in North America and No. 1 on Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Best Beaches In America in 2011, for its soft, pure-white sand.
For more information on discovering Sarasota County, contact Visit Sarasota County© at 800-522-9799 or visit www.VisitSarasota.com. Information may also be found on smartphones and tablets by downloading the Visit Sarasota County© app.