The Sarasota Lifestyle
Sarasota offers many amenities to its residents. With a population of about 434,000, Sarasota is large enough to afford a vibrant arts and cultural scene, abundant choices in restaurants, numerous parks and recreational areas, and - of course - miles of award-winning beaches, while avoiding the drawbacks that are often associated with densely populated urban cities.
Those interested in the arts can select from touring Broadway shows, professional and community theater productions, and comedy and performing art venues. Sarasota hosts critically acclaimed ballet and opera companies, a well-regarded symphony, and numerous film, fine art, and arts and craft festivals. There are frequent music concerts and festivals, and live performances at local restaurants and pubs, covering a wide array of musical styles. Additionally, a number of museums, art galleries and botanical gardens call Sarasota home.
Restaurant options range from fine dining at sophisticated establishments, to more casual eateries, to sports bars and breweries, to open air outdoor spots, and include several farm-to-table options. Menu choices can include “caught today” seafood and fish, as well other dishes deliciously suited to every taste, including a number of international cuisines, and traditional favorites. For culinary treats at home, grocery options include up-scale national chains offering many organic options, regional grocers who source many products locally, well known full-service grocery stores, local and specialty stores, and farmer’s markets.
Retail therapy is available to shoppers in Sarasota. Shops offer everything from luxury apparel to practical necessities. Persons can pursue open-air shopping by strolling between the stores located in the historic shopping district, find that special gift by patronizing any of the specialty shops run by local entrepreneurs throughout the area, or go on a spree by visiting one of the local shopping centers. Big box store shopping is also available in the area. Additionally, delivery services for on-line or local shopping are widely available.
In additional to relaxing at the beach and swimming in the beautiful blue waters of the Gulf, outdoor activities in Sarasota include private and public golf courses, boating, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, hiking, and birding, to name just a few. Sarasota boasts a number of nature preserves, state and city parks
just a few. Sarasota boasts a number of nature preserves, state and city parks (which host well-regarded regattas and other organized events), and recreational areas, where Sarasota’s exotic, native wildlife and migratory species can often be spotted. In some areas, there are maintained off-road trails dedicated to bikers, joggers and walkers. Wellness buffs can also patronize one of the many health clubs and gyms, or get pampered at one of the several local spas. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy baseball’s spring training at the local sport arenas.
Health care options abound. Sarasota has several hospitals, including a highly rated facility in downtown Sarasota. Urgent care clinics appear throughout the region, and numerous physician practices and health clinics attend to wellness, routine and specialty care.
A number of schools in Sarasota’s public-school system rank highly among their peers in Florida. In fact, the Sarasota school district has received an “A” grade rating from the Florida Department of Education for 17 consecutive years, and is ranked third best in the state. There are many opportunities for participation in sports, social and enrichment activities. At the collegiate level, there are several colleges and universities in the Sarasota area. Also, adult education opportunities are offered on a wide variety of topics, including both in-person and on-line programs.
While many consider Florida to be a lovely destination for retirees, and indeed Sarasota has been recognized on several occasions as one of the best places to retire, Sarasota’s population of persons aged 65 and up stands at about 37%. For those in the work force, Sarasota’s highways include easy access to the interstate system, spacious highways with “smart” technology to facilitate traffic control and alerts, and navigable city roads, resulting in an average commute time of about 20 minutes. And for those travelling by air, the Sarasota airport is conveniently located and easy to navigate to board a domestic or international flight.
With all that it has to offer, it’s no wonder Sarasota is well recognized as an exceptional place to live, work, play and enjoy. Sarasota will welcome you home.
Sarasota: Important Local Information
Fire (non-emergency) 941-951-4211
Sheriff (non-emergency) 941-316-1201
Sheriff (trespassers) 941-316-1201
Poison Information Center 800-282-3171
Sarasota Memorial 941-917-9000
HCA Doctors Hospital 941-342-1100
Venice Hospital 941-483-7421
Animal Control/Alligator Complaints:
Animal Services: 941-861-9501
Alligator Complaints: 401-965-2190
Frontier Communications 800-921-8101
Florida Power & Light Company 800-554-4375
Customer service 941-917-0708
Customer service (outside Fl) 800-226-3545
Report power outages 800-468-8243
Water & Sewer services:
Sarasota County 941-378-6100
General information 941-861-7237
Billing questions 941-861-6790
Water restrictions 941-861-6790
Waste Management services:
Trash Collection 941-924-1254
Disposal Instructions 941-493-4100
To Schedule a Pickup 941-493-4100
Herald Tribune 941-365-6060
Gulf Gate Branch 941-922-2339
Gulf Gate Library 941-861-1230
Fruitville Library 941-861-2500
North Sarasota Library 941-861-1360
Selby Public Library 941-861-1100
St. Pete - Clearwater 727-453-7800
Tampa International 800-767-8882
Tax Collector's Office:
Property Appraiser 941-861-8200
Homestead Exemption 941-861-8200
Property Taxes 941-861-8300
Vehicle Tags/Plates/Decals 941-861-8300
Drivers license information 941-361-6217
Vessel Titles/Registration 941-861-8300
Hunting and Fishing 941-861-8300
Disabled Parking Permits 941-861-8300
School Board 941-927-9000
Ashton Elementary 941-361-6440
Lakeview Elementary 941-361-6571
Sarasota Middle 941-361-6464
Riverview High 941-923-1484
Cardinal Mooney 941-371-4917
Sarasota Suncoast Academy 941-924-4242
Out-Of-Door Academy 941-554-3400
Chamber of Commerce:
General Sarasota area 941-955-8187
Mapping web sites:
Finding Real Estate Values: