Explore all there is to do and enjoy when you visit or move to downtown Sarasota
Downtown is the epicenter of Sarasota and is one of the most vibrant neighborhoods along the Suncoast of Florida. If you are looking for a neighborhood that provides all of the fun and excitement of city living, along with the sun and sand of the Florida lifestyle, then look no further. Spend your mornings taking a peaceful stroll through the Marina Jacks or challenge yourself to run the Ringling Bridge to St. Armands Circle, Bird Key, and Lido Beach. In the afternoons, you can meander through the many shops and art galleries along Main Street. Watch the sun cast the city in pinks, oranges, and gold tones as it sets over the coast illuminating downtown Sarasota each night.
The real estate market in downtown Sarasota is exploding right now and there you have more lifestyle options than ever before. You have the ability to choose from efficient condos and townhomes, classic Floridian and Spanish cottages, or full-scale luxury residences. There is something for just about everyone, but the downtown area has the tendency to attract some of the more affluent members of Sarasota society.
Where To Eat In Downtown Sarasota
When you live in downtown Sarasota, you have an endless array of restaurants to choose from steps away from your doorstep.
Upstairs at Marina Jack, you can feast your eyes on Sarasota Bay while savoring Chef Dabney’s signature bouillabaisse or potato-crusted grouper. Downstairs, enjoy more casual fare at the open-air dining room with live music most nights. 2 Marina Plaza, (941) 365-4232, marinajacks.com
Locals love Pho Cali Vietnamese Noodle House, where the authentic fare includes an extensive appetizer and noodle soup menu with vegetarian specials. 1578 Main St., (941) 955-2683, phocali-sarasota.com
The Bijou Cafe enchants with romantic ambiance, and a menu reflecting chef/owner Jean-Pierre Knaggs’ French and South African heritage. Signature dishes include roasted duckling and a dreamy potato gratin. 1287 First St., (941) 366-8111, bijoucafe.net
Owen’s Fish Camp serves up exceptional Southern grub and seafood in a cottage beneath a banyan tree in Burns Court. The Low Country boil for two is a sure bet. 516 Burns Lane, (941) 951-6936, owensfishcamp.com
Selva’s Nuevo Latino cuisine pairs the zesty flavors and textures of Peru and Asia. Start with ceviche and progress to the Peruvian-style bouillabaisse. A sexy, happening lounge scene, too. 1345 Main St., (941) 362-4427, selvagrill.com
Shop & Have Fun In Downtown Sarasota
Downtown Sarasota is a paradise full of shops, theaters, and adventures!
Put your Amazon app away and visit a real bookstore. At Bookstore1, you can browse the aisles, curl up in a comfy chair and attend author talks and signings. 1359 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 365-7900, sarasotabooks.com
Circus City Architectural Salvage keeps hunters happy with aisles of furniture, sculpture, vintage toys, circus memorabilia, yard art and home accessories made from salvaged stuff. 1001 Central Ave., Sarasota., (941) 866-2500; circuscitysalvage.com.
Artisans’ World Marketplace searches out hand-crafted artisanal products from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania—the creations of fair trade partners under strict international guidelines. 128 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, (941) 365-5994, artisansworldmarketplace.com
At Rue SRQ, Natalie Rue Morgan has a discerning eye for hot new designers and trends, from python handbags to French bulldogs. Looking for a slim Jean Striped clutch, an emerald cocktail ring from Wild Lilies or a creamy Clu bomber jacket? They’re here. 1439 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 373-6333, ruesrq.com
Stroll Historic Burns Square. In this charming enclave of 1920s bungalows, shops and restaurants, you can take in a foreign flick at Burns Court Cinemas, enjoy jazz at Burns Court Café, and treasure-hunt in the boutiques, galleries and antique shops. burnssquare.com
Beautiful Marie Selby Botanical Gardens shelters more than 20,000 plants and some of the rarest orchids in the world. There’s a Tropical Conservatory and kids’ rainforest garden, too. The Garden Shop offers plants and gifts. 811 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-5731, selby.org
Downstairs at The Gator Club, the joint is jumping with live rhythm and blues, top 40 and reggae. The upstairs bar is more tranquil, with 180 varieties of whiskeys. 1490 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 366-5969, thegatorclub.com
Join the runners, walkers and cyclists making their way over the John Ringling Causeway bridge. This 60-foot-high span commands spectacular views of downtown Sarasota and Sarasota Bay. And you can get bait (and beer) at Hart’s Landing beneath the bridge and fish from the T.J. “Tony” Saprito Fishing Pier. 920 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 955-0011, hartslanding.net
Art Center Sarasota is celebrating its 90th birthday this year. This season features seven juried exhibitions and, with three separate galleries, there’s plenty to see. 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 365-2032, artsarasota.org
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