- Boating is a way of life in Sarasota, Florida.
- Many annual festivals and events happen every year in Sarasota; many involve boating and time on the water.
- Nautical Ventures can help you with all of your boating and travel needs when you’re planning your trip to Sarasota.
Sarasota, Florida, sits on the sunny southwest coast with a fantastic view of the Gulf. With a population of just over 58,000 people, this little town is a paradise for people who want the benefits of living on the water without the big city crowds. Consistently ranked as one of the best places in the state to live and retire, the city of Sarasota draws in its share of snowbirds, but it’s also appealing to young families looking for good schools. The weather is beautiful year-round, and with an average of 72 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s a mecca for people who love spending time outdoors.
Things to Do in Sarasota
Sarasota offers an eclectic mix of things to keep you occupied while you’re visiting. From beaches to museums to restaurants, the city offers something for everyone:
- If you grew up anxiously waiting for the circus to come to town each year, you’re familiar with the Ringling Brothers. Check out the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art to see some of the costumes and other treasures from the shows, as well as the world’s largest miniature circus. The art collection includes Rubens canvasses and other works by Old Masters. No visit is complete without a Ca’d’Zan Mansion tour, the 56-room palace where the Ringling once lived.
- The Myakka River State Park is one of many places made for those who love to spend time outside.
- Golf is a favorite pastime; take your pick of the many world-class courses in and around the city.
- Sarasota beaches are legendary; Siesta Beach is known worldwide for the white sand and crystal clear waters. Lido, Longboat, Venice, and Bradenton are all within an easy drive.
- When it’s time for dinner, you can find everything from fresh seafood, of course, to farm-to-table establishments. If you prefer to do your cooking, the Sarasota Farmer’s Market is open all year.
Ways to Spend Your Time in Sarasota
No matter what time of year you’re visiting, you’ll find plenty of things to do this weekend in Sarasota. Here’s a 12-month sampling of what’s going on around town:
- January: Every year since 2004, Embracing Our Differences hosts an art show in Bayfront Park. This juried international display includes 50 billboard-sized art pieces with inspirational quotes. The art is chosen from more than 15,000 entries from all over the world.
- February: The annual Thunder by the Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival is in its 23rd year in 2021. This three-day event at the Sarasota Fairgrounds raises money for Suncoast Charities for Children. The festival includes live music, a motorcycle ride, bike show, stereo contest, burnout competition, and delicious food. You can even camp out on one of the available dry or full-service sites.
- March: Greek Glendi – A Greek Festival takes place in March of each year and features fantastic food, fun, and raffle prizes. The long-running annual event marks its 37th year in 2021.
- April: A fun celebration of history, the annual Gasparilla Pirate Fest happens in nearby Tampa and features a fully functioning pirate ship, a Parade of Pirates, and live music.
- May: Nothing says summer like the Siesta Key Volley Ball Classic, which rolls into town every year in May. Spectator admission is free, and all games take place on the Siesta Key public courts.
- June: If you love boating and speed, check out the Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix. Lido Beach offers the best place from which to catch all the action, but VIP Race Viewing is available as well.
- July: As America celebrates another birthday, you’ll find numerous fireworks shows in and around Sarasota. From the annual extravaganza at Nathan Benderson Park to the Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s 400 Firecracker race, you’ll find plenty of Independence Day activities for the whole family.
- August: Enjoy some time on the water while helping out a great cause with the Sarasota Slam at Marina Jack. Multiple divisions are available, including a junior angler classification, Wahoo, Tuna, Grouper, Snapper, and more. Afterward, enjoy a BBQ and party dockside. Proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
- September: Labor Day brings the two-week celebration of Sarasota SlamPioneer Days, a fixture in the community for more than 60 years. Enter the cardboard boat races, the car show, the fish-a-thon, and more.
- October: Get into the Halloween spirit with a Ghosts & Gruesomes Walking Tour. Sarasota Sunset Tours leads you on this spooky adventure that also teaches you about the history of the city of Sarasota.
- November: Sandcastles may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about November, but the annual Sandblast Sand-Sculpting Competition on Manatee Beach is a fun and unique event that you don’t want to miss. This fundraiser for Keep Manatee Beautiful features the namesake contest, but it also includes free clinics on the art of sand sculpture so you can carve out a masterpiece of your own.
- December: The annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Boats of all sizes get dressed up for the season. Centennial Park is an ideal place from which to watch.
Boating Clubs in Sarasota
Boating is a particular passion for Sarasota residents, and you find that reflected in many of the favorite activities. If you have access to a boat, you can experience the beauty of the Gulf in a whole new way through snorkeling, sandbar exploration, and watersports, not to mention the excellent fishing opportunities. However, not everyone can jump right into owning a boat. Storage, insurance, and maintenance can be expensive. Many people enjoy being part of a boating club instead. The club owns and takes care of the boats for members to use for monthly or annual dues payments. Sarasota has many boating clubs, catering to families and those seeking a more exclusive experience. Here are just a few:
- The Waves Boat & Social Club has five locations and more than 22 years in business.
- The Freedom Boat Club operates from Marina Jack on the bay. Members enjoy restaurants, shopping, and a choice of more than 20 boats for fishing and pleasure boating.
- The Baywater Boat Club is an exclusive operation with more than 60 clean and well-maintained boats.
Learning More with Nautical Ventures
Nautical Ventures is your source for all there is to know about boating and related events around Sarasota, one of the greatest places to visit in Florida. We offer the highest quality products for water sports, boats, tender, kayaks, and more. At Nautical Ventures, our friendly and professional team members take the time to understand what you want to experience, educate you on what is involved and making suggestions on possible products and services. Visit our Sarasota store location at 8050 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Fl, 34243. Contact us today and let us help you enjoy the fantastic Gulf Coast to the fullest.