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  • Sarasota

Holidays in Sarasota

Sun, sea, sand and...symphonies is what Sarasota is all about. Home to some of the best beaches and one of the hottest arts scenes that Florida has to offer, it's a real cultural corner. That means long stretches of bright white sands, sparkling blue seas and endless sunshine - all backed up by the very best in museums, theatre, opera and more. So If you like your lazy beach days mixed with a little dash of something else, holidays in Sarasota make for the perfect cocktail.

Sarasota has more brilliant beaches than you could shake a conductor's baton at. The main stretch at Siesta Key has dazzling powdery sand lapped by the warm waters of the Gulf - but it's not quite as sleepy as its name suggests. Yes, you can kick back and simply soak up the rays or watch bewitching streaks of orange and pink spread across the sky at sunset. But if you're itching to take to the waves, you can go sailing, kayaking, parasailing, fishing, rent a jet ski, or choose from any other number of enticing activities.

There's plenty going on behind the beach, too. Funky Siesta Village is a tantalizing blend of outdoor eateries, bars, ice cream parlors and shops, and with its laid-back beachy vibe, makes for an excellent hangout day or night. St Armands Circle has a buzzy mix of shops, boutiques, restaurants and art exhibits, and is the perfect place for people watching - while if you fancy a slice of the high life, then head out to ritzy Longboat Key for cool cocktails.

And don't forget the vibrant local arts scene. There's productions aplenty all year round, meaning holidays in Sarasota won't just earn you a tan - they'll seriously up your cred in the cultural stakes as well. 

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Myakka State Park

Myakka State Park

Breathtaking vistas and captivating wildlife are the order of this glorious park, where the Myakka River meanders through mile upon mile of stunning wetlands, prairies and woodlands. Hiking trails abound, but there are plenty of other ways to drink in the scenery: by bike; kayak; on horseback; by air boat; or from walkways suspended eight metres above the ground.

Beach Life

There are plenty of beaches to explore, each with its own personality - but all with the same velvety soft sand and clear waters. Turtle Beach is quieter and ideal for families, with a secluded feel and picnic shelters. Venice Beach is abound with Fossilised Sharks teeth that often wash ashore, making for authentic souvenirs and Siesta Key Beach is voted among the best in America because of its spectacular beauty and sugar white sands. South Lido Park has nature and kayaking trails, and is the perfect spot for watching the sun set into the water through a ribbon of Australian pines.

Play Time

Sarasota's arts scene will have culture vultures drooling in anticipation. Two fantastic venues, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the FST Centre For The Performing Arts, put on top-class productions in theatre, dance and music. Plus there's the Opera House, the Ballet, a whole raft of theatres - and arts festivals galore.

Not Just Any Museum

The estate of circus magnate John Ringling provides a fascinating five-in one experience. First there's the extensive Museum of Art, with its striking collection of works including Rubens and Gainsborough; then there's the astonishing Ca' d'Zan Mansion, built in the style of the Doge's Palace in Venice; a circus museum with miniature models, real circus wagons, as well as an interactive circus area for the young and young at heart; an Asian art center and to top it off a vibrant studio glass collection for all to enjoy.

Mote Aquarium

At the aquarium branch of Mote's world-class marine research lab you can explore the secrets of the sea through touch pools, viewable working labs and high-tech interactive exhibits. Sharks, manatees, sea turtles and 100 other species are all on view, plus you can take an explorer trip by boat into the Gulf.



Our Top Hotels in Sarasota

Hyatt Regency Sarasota

Hyatt Regency Sarasota


Located on Sarasota Bay with a private marina and lush tropical gardens in the Theatre and Arts Cultural Centre. Minutes away from white-sand beaches and world-renowned shopping.

Find out more about this hotel >>

Best Western Plus Siesta Key Gateway

Best Western Plus Siesta Key Gateway


Experience it all, lounging on the beach, delighting in a great meal and having fun at the nearby attractions, when staying at this hotel in Sarasota, Florida.

Find out more about this hotel >>

Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach

Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach


Fronting 600-feet of private white-sand beach, this pleasant hotel offers the splendour of a tropical paradise, coupled with superb accommodations, fabulous services and classic amenities.

Find out more about this hotel >>

Fly Drive Holiday: Sunshine Trails

Miami - Key West - Everglades National Park - Naples - Sarasota - Silver Springs - St Augustine - Orlando

Take a whirlwind tour around the coast of Florida on this sun-drenched fly-drive holiday, starting in Miami and taking in subtropical swamps, unspoilt beaches, fascinating wildlife and phenomenal sunsets en route to Orlando, the theme park capital of the world. Don’t miss the chance to meet a veteran astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center or test your snorkelling skills at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
Click here for more details

Sarasota Jungle Gardens  
A tropical adventure awaits you in Sarasota’s popular jungle park. Payable locally from £9.50pp

You can add tickets for activities to your booking later.

Time Difference:
GMT- 5hours

Closest Airport:
Tampa International Airport, (approx. 9 hours and 20 minutes, direct flight) Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, indirect flights only (approx. 10 hours and 30 minutes, direct flight).

Getting around:
Hire a car and explore the surrounding areas. Check out the great selection of dining options, attractions and local excursions available. Car hire is available from £20 per day.

Tampa is only an hour away by car and Sarasota Bradenton international Airport is 10 minutes from the city centre and 15 minutes from the beaches.

Insider Tip:
Spend the afternoon at the fascinating Ringling Museum, the official state art museum for Florida. The Museum offers twenty-one galleries of European paintings as well as Cypriot antiquities and Asian, American, and contemporary art.

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.

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Deposits from £59pp 

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