OVERVIEW OF SARASOTA: Sarasota is a beautiful city in Florida that has a modern, classy feel to it. It has endless options for restaurants and lots of beautiful places to be by the water. It has amazing shopping and the beaches are often voted as the best in the country. There are plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.
SIESTA KEYS: This breathtaking beach is often on the Top Beaches lists for the US. The white powder sand stays cool so your feet do not burn as you take a stroll. It is a perfect place to look for shells and sand dollars. It has lots of amenities like outdoor showers, bathrooms, picnic tables, and easy parking. You can enjoy a game of beach volleyball, fly a kite, play Frisbee, build a sandcastle, and much more. There are great snack bars but watch out for the seagulls! They are more aggressive than we’ve seen anywhere else.
SARASOTA CHILDREN’S GARDEN: A family member gave us a pass to this garden so we thought it would be a nice way to spend the morning. It turned out to be pretty adorable. When you first get there you walk through a dress-up room and you can transform yourself into anything from princesses to pirates. My girls both chose to become fairies and they selected some sparkly wings to pull the whole outfit together. It is a great environment for children to use their imaginations and be in the outdoors while navigating a pirate ship, having a tea party, or going in an enchanted secret garden.
Open Tuesdays-Sunday from 10:00- 5:00.
Adults $10, Children (Ages 3-12) $5, Seniors $9
SHOPPING IN ST. ARMAND’S CIRCLE:
If you like boutique shopping, cute places to eat, small cafes, and a walk to the beach, you will love St. Armand’s Circle. It is a beautiful place to walk around, looking at the streets lined with palm trees, beautiful flowers, and statues. Most of the shops are upscale, but there are also some cliché souvenir shops mixed in. Kids will love the amazing ice cream shops and then you can walk to the beach to burn off the calories!
LIDO BEACH: Some people may say this beach is not as beautiful as Siesta Keys, but it is always less crowded and still has beautiful white sand. It is a short walk from St. Armand’s Circle where you can have lunch or go shopping. Again, there is easy parking and great shell collecting. We like to walk across the street to one of the hotels for drinks.
MARIE SELBY BOTANICAL GARDENS: If you want to get away from it all and relax in a tranquil setting, this is the place to go. Each area of the gardens has a different feel to it and there is lots to explore. At first I wasn’t sure if my girls would find it boring, but they loved it. There was lots to see and discover throughout the garden and we were all so happy to just be outside. There is a beautiful butterfly garden that features dozens of butterflies enjoying the colorful flowers year round. The Conservatory was beautiful because it felt like you were immersed in a tropical rain forest. One of our favorite areas is the Epiphyte Garden, with it’s koi pond, waterfalls, and Buddha statues. But the girls loved the Banyan Grove best because they were able to climb and crawl through the enormous root system of these gorgeous trees. It is a lovely way to spend half the day.
- Open daily from 10:00-5:00
- Adults $16, Kids (4-11) $6,
- For dining, there is the Selby House Café and the Carriage House Tea Room