Your guide to a surprising epic spring vacation

Beaches, boats, great food, lively nightlife and much more. A Sarasota vacation can be an epic trip – if you know all the tips and tricks of planning your trip.

Tip 1: Get to the beach early and make the most of your day!

Spring vacations are too often characterized in popular culture two ways: a wild spring break trip with debauchery and mischief along the lines of American Pie, or a mild family vacation visiting unimaginative “tourist traps” sparsely sprinkled in a uncomfortably long car ride a la National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Break away from those expectations. A vacation should include adventure, relaxation, great service and unforgettable moments regardless age or budget. In Sarasota, they can be just that. Take some pointers in planning your guide for an awesome spring vacation. 

Take a birds-eye view

How long of a vacation are you planning? How much downtime each day is ideal? What’s most important in your budget? These are all important planning questions and critical things to keep in mind before and during your vacation. 

Beach plans? Consider the A.M.

We know vacation usually means time to finally sleep in. But hear us out: you can wake up early, find plenty of parking, enjoy smaller crowds and take a snooze on the beach with the excellent white noise of the ocean. Then, once the sand gets a little more crowded, you can leave feeling satisfied and enjoy lunch or another activity. 

Thrill seeking? Look both on and off the coast

Rent jet skis or go parasailing out on the Florida Gulf Coast with CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. Jet Ski rentals are available up to 4 hours, and feature the new Yamaha Wave Runner VX110 Deluxe. If you don’t have a need for speed, head out to the trees and swing into action on ziplines, hanging nets, bungee swings and much more at TreeUmph!

Know your emergency food plans

It’s easy to get caught up in the days activities, be sure to think ahead incase hunger strikes. Out at Siesta Key Beach? The concessions can provide a quick fix, but for a bigger meal, check out Siesta Key Village. Old Salty Dog, Siesta Key Oyster Bar, Daiquiri Deck and Café Gabbiano are just a few of the staples that have been appeasing the stomachs of visitors for years. If you are out near Lido beach, St. Armands Circle is just down the road and features The Columbia, Café L’Europe, Cha Cha Coconuts and much more. Check out more dining options here.

Attractions aren’t just for children

The Ringling, Mote Aquarium, Marie Selby Gardens, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Save Our Sea Birds and Big Cat Habitat just to name constantly have new exhibitions and shows that will delight and dazzle any audience. Many of these attractions are non-profit, research centers that are an educational resource as well. Admission for these attractions is affordable and you can enjoy hours of entertainment 

Shop for something special

Shopping in Sarasota include sizeable malls and outlets (see: The Mall at University Town Center, Westfield Southgate, and Ellenton Outlet Mall), vibrant unique boutique centers (St. Armands Circle, downtown Venice, downtown Sarasota) and off the beaten path hidden secrets such as Sarasota Architectural Salvage, Carlisle Gifts or Elysian Fields.

Hot nightlife spots

Sarasota might not be known for it’s nightlife, but there are several small but vibrant hot spots throughout the destination that can keep the party going well into the night. Classic locations include Siesta Key Village and downtown Sarasota, but other popular location among locals include Gulf Gate, Southside Village, White Buffalo Saloon and neighborhood dive bars such as Growlers and Shamrock Pub.

Some more light reading …

Don’t miss out on arts, eco recreational opportunities and much more the area has to offer. Check out more trip ideas from our list below:

Spring to the sunny Florida Gulf Coast  

2017 Sarasota’s Spring Training Season

9 Essential Steps to an Epic Sarasota Spring Break

Know your Sarasota County Beach

Spring vacations are too often characterized in popular culture two ways: a wild spring break trip with debauchery and mischief along the lines of American Pie, or a mild family vacation visiting unimaginative “tourist traps” sparsely sprinkled in a uncomfortably long car ride a la National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Break away from those expectations. A vacation should include adventure, relaxation, great service and unforgettable moments regardless age or budget. In Sarasota, they can be just that. Take some pointers in planning your guide for an awesome spring vacation. 

Take a birds-eye view

How long of a vacation are you planning? How much downtime each day is ideal? What’s most important in your budget? These are all important planning questions and critical things to keep in mind before and during your vacation. 

Beach plans? Consider the A.M.

We know vacation usually means time to finally sleep in. But hear us out: you can wake up early, find plenty of parking, enjoy smaller crowds and take a snooze on the beach with the excellent white noise of the ocean. Then, once the sand gets a little more crowded, you can leave feeling satisfied and enjoy lunch or another activity. 

Thrill seeking? Look both on and off the coast

Rent jet skis or go parasailing out on the Florida Gulf Coast with CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. Jet Ski rentals are available up to 4 hours, and feature the new Yamaha Wave Runner VX110 Deluxe. If you don’t have a need for speed, head out to the trees and swing into action on ziplines, hanging nets, bungee swings and much more at TreeUmph!

Know your emergency food plans

It’s easy to get caught up in the days activities, be sure to think ahead incase hunger strikes. Out at Siesta Key Beach? The concessions can provide a quick fix, but for a bigger meal, check out Siesta Key Village. Old Salty Dog, Siesta Key Oyster Bar, Daiquiri Deck and Café Gabbiano are just a few of the staples that have been appeasing the stomachs of visitors for years. If you are out near Lido beach, St. Armands Circle is just down the road and features The Columbia, Café L’Europe, Cha Cha Coconuts and much more. Check out more dining options here.

Attractions aren’t just for children

The Ringling, Mote Aquarium, Marie Selby Gardens, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Save Our Sea Birds and Big Cat Habitat just to name constantly have new exhibitions and shows that will delight and dazzle any audience. Many of these attractions are non-profit, research centers that are an educational resource as well. Admission for these attractions is affordable and you can enjoy hours of entertainment 

Shop for something special

Shopping in Sarasota include sizeable malls and outlets (see: The Mall at University Town Center, Westfield Southgate, and Ellenton Outlet Mall), vibrant unique boutique centers (St. Armands Circle, downtown Venice, downtown Sarasota) and off the beaten path hidden secrets such as Sarasota Architectural Salvage, Carlisle Gifts or Elysian Fields.

Hot nightlife spots

Sarasota might not be known for it’s nightlife, but there are several small but vibrant hot spots throughout the destination that can keep the party going well into the night. Classic locations include Siesta Key Village and downtown Sarasota, but other popular location among locals include Gulf Gate, Southside Village, White Buffalo Saloon and neighborhood dive bars such as Growlers and Shamrock Pub.

Some more light reading …

Don’t miss out on arts, eco recreational opportunities and much more the area has to offer. Check out more trip ideas from our list below:

Spring to the sunny Florida Gulf Coast  

2017 Sarasota’s Spring Training Season

9 Essential Steps to an Epic Sarasota Spring Break

Know your Sarasota County Beach

request visitors guide

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