We are here to help answer your questions. If you prefer to talk to a visitor information specialist, please dial 941-706-1253 or visit us at our downtown Sarasota Visitor Center located at 1945 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34236 Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (check the webpage for exact opening days and hours). We also have visitor information specialists available at our other visitor centers in the County. If you like to receive additional information, sign up here to receive our e-newsletter.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

On June 25, 2020, Florida Health released a public advisory to wear masks in public and socially distance. 

The City of Sarasota

In accordance with CDC guidelines, the City of Sarasota now requires face coverings be worn in indoor and outdoor public locations and businesses located within the city limits. Face masks are not required within residences or places of lodging, or when proper physical or social distancing. The ordinance started on July 1. There are also FAQs that The City prepared for you to review. 

  • Other exceptions include: 
    • Children under the age of 18
    • Schools, daycares and non-City government agencies
    • People for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition
    • Those working in a business or profession who do not interact with others, who maintain physical or social distancing from others or where a face covering would prevent them from performing their duties
    • Those who are outdoors or exercising while maintaining physical distancing
    • Those who are eating or drinking
    • The requirement also doesn’t apply when a hearing-impaired person needs to see the mouth of someone wearing a face covering in order to communicate

The City’s enforcement efforts will focus on compliance and education. Violations of the mask requirement could result in a civil, non-criminal infraction with penalties up to a $500 fine.

Currently, there are no ordinances for Sarasota County, only for the City of Sarasota. Popular areas within City Limits are downtown Sarasota (including Selby Gardens), Lido Key (including St. Armands and Lido Beach), the Hillview area near Sarasota Memorial Hospital, North Sarasota along U.S. 41 (including Jungle Gardens and The Ringling) and more. To see a Google Map outlining the City Limits, click here.

The video below is a Q&A between City of Sarasota leaders and local businesses about the mask ordinance:

The City of Venice

On July 21, the Venice City Council approved a resolution urging the use of face coverings when indoors and outdoors where social distancing cannot be met. On August 25, the City passed an ordinance requiring face coverings

A note that there are 14 exceptions to the ordinance, including those observing social distancing, children under 6, those exercising, and persons whose compliance would be detrimental to their health, safety or welfare are not required to wear a face covering.

For more information about the City of Venice's COVID-19 response, click here

Effective June 5, 2020, the State of Florida entered into Phase 2 of the plan for Florida's recovery, in conjunction with Executive Order 20-139.

There may be restrictions or limitations in place, set by the Florida Governor. You can review that information and more from Florida Health: Information for Travelers.

The Department of Business & Professional Regulation approved the Sarasota County vacation rental re-opening plan which allows vacation rental reservations and the acceptance of arriving guests, effective May 22, 2020. This plan was updated on June 11, 2020.

Visit Sarasota County is not in a position to advise anyone regarding travel at this time. We defer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Florida. See more information below.

Learn about the CDC's Considerations for Travelers.

Read What you need to know now about COVID-19 in Florida from Florida Health.

There may be restrictions or limitations in place, set by the Florida Governor. You can review that information and more from Florida Health: Information for Travelers.

Visit Sarasota County has gathered a variety of resources that provide guidance and assistance to local businesses relative to COVID-19. View the COVID-19 business resources here

Please visit any of our Visitors Centers; locations, opening hours and contact information can be found here or view a selection of brochures online here.

Sarasota County has a variety of attractions for everyone's enjoyment, from art museums to natural science aquariums and other local must-sees. Learn more on our website here, or view our digital brochure here.

There are lots of great options. For a full listing of things to do with children, view our digital brochure here.

You can visit our event calendar, pick up the weekly Sarasota Herald-Tribune Ticket at our downtown Sarasota Visitor Center or read it online here.

The downtown Sarasota historical area is located near our Visitor Center located at 1945 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34236. It is the area east of U.S. 41 and west of U.S. 301 along Main Street. 

Sarasota County offers a variety of dining options and many of its restaurants are Zagat-rated, making it a favorite stop for foodies from around the world. Search restaurants on our website here. If you have the name of a restaurant, you can add it in the search tab on our website . The Visitor Centers carry a dining and culinary guide which you can also download here. Do not forget to check out local restaurants that participate in the Savor Sarasota which takes place June 1-14 every year since 2006!

This area is within walking distance to Lido Key Beach and the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Featuring distinct European flair and an eclectic variety of elegant dining and shopping options. You can explore the Circle with a self-guided history tour of its statutes or simply shop, eat and enjoy a drink in a beautiful setting. 

Please visit our website for a detailed list of our beaches. Beach wheelchairs are available at Lido, Manasota, Nokomis, Siesta and Venice Beaches courtesy of Sarasota County Government. Call 941-861-5000 for more information or visit their website here.

We have several vendors offering different trolley tours, including historical, culinary and architectural tours.