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Sarasota (3) - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Days Out

Sarasota is located on the south west coast of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. It is approximately a 2 hour drive from Orlando, 131 miles in total.

Having visited the Gulf Coast on many occasions, Sarasota was one of the places we had always meant to visit but never got round to. So in June, enroute to Naples, we decided to go and visit.

When we arrived in Sarasota, we decided to stay in Siesta Key and drove over the bridge which connects it to the mainland. We drove around the Key soaking in the atmosphere and admiring the proprieties and countless luxury cars, seen more Jaguars than in a Jaguar salesroom! Deciding we wanted to stay on the beach, well in a hotel on the beach, we drove down to the beach. Siesta Key is very beautiful and affluent. The properties are out of this world. Jerry Springer and Arnold Schwarzenegger are amongst the celebrities who have houses on Siesta Keys. It is a very popular beach location and gets very busy at weekends and holiday times.

There are many shops, bars/restaurants in the immediate area of the beach and we thought it would be a good location to stay. Unfortunately as it was Friday many of the hotels were fully booked and the rooms available were very expensive and ‘beside the boiler room’ sort of scenario. We decided to head back into Sarasota to a hotel we had noticed on the way. We managed to get the rate down to $55 for a king size room with a balcony overlooking the pool, breakfast included, which was $130 cheaper than the beach boiler room lodgings! The hotel was a Best Western and was adequate for a couple of nights. If staying for any length of time in the future I would consider renting a villa.

Sarasota itself is no different to many cities in Florida. There is a Marina with lovely yachts which is pleasant to wander around after dinner. Sarasota has all the normal shops and entertainment venues. We found a really great Thai restaurant using the phonebook took the chance and had one of the nicest meals I have had outside of Thailand. Especially good was the Thai ice tea, if you have a sweet tooth you should like this!

Something a little different is the Sarasota dog track. There is live racing in the winter and in the summer it is telecast from locations in the Northern States due to the heat. You can make a night of it and have a meal, or you can get in amongst the thick of it.

There are also plenty of Museums and art galleries.

Sarasota has a lot to offer if you want an escape from the hustle and bustle.

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