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: