America’s Best Places to Live – Sarasota Florida

Sarasota, Florida

#34 in Best Places to Live | Overall Score 6.7 / 10

#3 in Best Places to Retire | Overall Score 7.4 / 10

What’s it like to live in Sarasota, FL?

Warm temperatures year-round, award-winning beaches and a thriving arts and cultural scene have made Sarasota a go-to place for retirees and families, not to mention a handful of celebrities. This southwest Florida region, which is about an hour from Tampa and two hours from Orlando, continues to attract new residents with great restaurants and plenty of shopping options.

Living in Sarasota has elements of what many consider paradise, mixed with some hints of reality. As the population grows, the area struggles to keep up with infrastructure needs. Traffic congestion is becoming more common. Those who live, work or visit downtown Sarasota will see their share of construction cranes as the region copes with an influx of residents and a record-breaking number of tourists.

However, as the Sarasota community flourishes, so does its economy. Sarasota offers a sizable job market for those working in health care, small business and tourism.


U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there.

Best places to live


What’s the cost of living in Sarasota, FL?

Sarasota is relatively affordable compared to larger Florida regions like Miami, though young families are finding it increasingly harder to buy a home at a reasonable cost. The continuing influx of wealthy residents has affected the cost of housing, as there has been more of a focus on upscale living.

Housing Costs this Year



What’s the weather like in Sarasota, FL?

Although heat and humidity are a regular part of life in South Florida, that doesn’t stop many people from enjoying the area’s outdoor activities, such as golfing, boating and fishing. Still, residents know to keep their umbrellas handy for the fierce rain storms that usually pass through from April to October.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)









What’s the best way to get around Sarasota, FL?

The majority of people in Sarasota get around by car, and traffic is becoming more of an issue as new residents and visitors come to town. Year-round residents will tell you it can take almost twice as long to get places during the winter tourist season.

The region has a bus system, the Sarasota County Area Transit, or SCAT, which is seeing an increasing number of users. The bus system is fairly extensive, but heavy traffic can cause schedule delays. Sarasota has some neighborhoods that are particularly pedestrian-friendly, such as downtown, the Rosemary district, St. Armand’s Circle and Southside Village.

The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport connects residents to destinations in the U.S. and abroad. Residents also have access to intercity bus service provided by Greyhound.

Who lives in Sarasota, FL?

Sarasota has a significant number of residents over the age of 65 and that population is predicted to increase; as you make your way around town, a silver boom is pretty evident. A retiree in Sarasota likely has a busier social calendar than someone half his or her age, as the area caters to its older residents by offering lots of activities, such as shopping and golf. This is especially true during the “in season” from October to April when snowbirds from colder climates come to enjoy Florida’s more temperate weather.

That said, families also feel at home in Sarasota, and there are plenty of good schools, clean parks and local attractions for them to enjoy.

Young single people won’t have the diversity or nightlife available as they would in a metro area like Miami. This could be advantageous for someone who likes things a little more low-key, and there still are millennials who take over Sarasota’s nighttime scene at local bars, clubs, restaurants and craft breweries.

What is there to do in Sarasota, FL?

Sarasota is a great place for those who enjoy the outdoors. There are a number of parks in downtown Sarasota, not to mention the massive Myakka River State Park. Golf courses also abound. And then, of course, there are the beaches. Siesta Beach has earned acclaim for its white sand and clear water. Lido Beach, just south of St. Armands Circle, is another wide stretch of shoreline that’s easy to access. If those get crowded (as they often do), beachgoers opt for Longboat Beach, Venice Beach, Bradenton Beach or the beaches of Anna Maria Island, all of which are a short drive from Sarasota.

Meanwhile, locals take advantage of the booming restaurant scene around town, which serves up everything from fresh seafood to farm-to-table specialties. There are also a handful of farmers markets open in the fall, winter and spring, with the Sarasota Farmers Market open all year.

What kind of jobs are there in Sarasota, FL?

Major industries in Sarasota include education, trade, transportation and, of course, tourism. Unemployment rates in the leisure and hospitality sector are several percentage points lower than the region’s overall rate (which is still slightly lower than the national average). Health care is also a prominent sector, with facilities like the Venice Regional Bayfront Health, the Englewood Community Hospital and the Doctors Hospital of Sarasota employing a large number of residents. There is also an enthusiastic small business community.

Because of a high volume of low-paying jobs in the service industry, the average annual income in Sarasota is lower than the national average.

U.S. News & World Report October 2018

Ringling College Expansion – New Art Museum

Ringling-Expansion-SarasotaRingling College begins major construction on new art museum in Sarasota

The adage, “If you build it, they will come,” has taken multiple meanings for the Ringling College of Art and Design’s ongoing construction of the new Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA facility. Today major renovation began in the historic Sarasota High School building. And the “they” for Ringling College are not only artists and patrons, but also an executive director.

“The Bash!” will be held on Sunday, Jan 18 on the high school grounds

The SMOA Board commenced a search in concert with the ongoing structural improvements of the space for an executive director to operate the space once the space is finished. Once announced, the new executive director will serve as the figurehead of the new institution.

Structurally, the completion and revamping of the historic Sarasota High School will not affect the architectural or structural integrity of the landmark high school building. The old high school will be transformed into a state of the art exhibition space. With approximately 60,000 square feet, 110-seat auditorium, sculpture court, cafes, classrooms and studios for Ringling College classes and various educational outlets. The Sarasota Museum of Art is projected to open in the first quarter of 2016 and aims to be an enveloping laboratory of artistic expression and learning. It will be an integral component of the Ringling College’s already extensive campus.

To showcase to the Sarasota community the renovation progress, celebrate donors and fundraisers, and to look at what lies ahead, SMOA announced today a winter celebration. “The Bash!” will be held on Sunday, Jan 18 on the high school grounds. “The Bash!” will celebrate the approximately $22.5 million raised and constant support for Sarasota’s future home for contemporary art. 11/2014

Sarasota February Events – Winterfest at the Mansion

Edson Keith Mansion - SarasotaThe 20th Annual Winterfest at the Mansion Arts & Crafts Show

February 1 – 2, 2014
10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m
Features artists and crafters from 12 states at the Phillippi Estate Park. Free admission and parking. 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.  More information


Great Outdoor Concerts

February 6 – March 27
Thursdays 12:00 – 1:00
Brown Bag Concert Series Schedule

Season of Sculpture – Opening

You’re Invited To The Opening:

January 22nd, Wednesday

5:30-7:00 PM

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

1741 Main St., Sarasota Florida

View Printable Version


The public is invited to experience the artists’ smaller works in a more intimate and indoor setting of the spacious glass-walled lobby gallery. The works presented will include wall hanging, pedestal and freestanding sculptures.

Featuring seventeen smaller scale works by seven of the eight artists whose monumental sculptures are on exhibit along Sarasota’s Bayfront Drive.