Whether you’re thinking about moving to Sarasota or you’re planning a vacation, the Southern town offers many fun attractions, and Sarasota real estate mogul Larry Starr is sharing the spots that should top your must-do Sarasota list.
1. Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
There’s nothing like seeing big cats in their element, and Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary allows visitors to watch cats enjoy life on their terms. The non-profit animal rescue organization offers many opportunities for visitors to interact with animals. Visitors can participate in a wallaby encounter, a yoga with tigers class, and a petting zoo with llamas and goats. Larry Starr of Sarasota recommends setting aside some time to attend one of the Sanctuary’s educational talks if you have little ones in tow — they’ll get to have fun and learn at the same time.
2. Larry Starr of Sarasota Recommends Myakka River State Park
Covering parts of Sarasota and Manatee County, Myakka River State Park is one of Florida’s largest state parks. Visitors can cross rope-suspended bridges and climb to enjoy expansive views of the area. For those who want to take a walk on the wild side, the park offers cabin rentals and welcomes those who want to camp. Visitors can also enjoy shelling, hiking, biking, rollerblading, snorkeling, and swimming. While enjoying the park, Larry Starr of Sarasota recommends keeping an eye out for area wildlife, including bobcats, alligators, and wild parrots.
3. Sarasota Opera House
Ready for a night out during your time in Sarasota? Be sure to check out a show at the Sarasota Opera House, a professional opera company located on North Pineapple Avenue in Sarasota. The theater was renovated in 2009, offering a new and modern setting for opera enthusiasts. Each season offers exciting shows, so be sure to check out the theater’s current schedule to snag tickets.
4. Siesta Key Beach
Ready to kick back and relax while you enjoy the Florida sunshine? You’ll find Siesta Key Beach just a stone’s throw from Sarasota, according to Larry Starr. Soft white sand and clear blue waters invite beachgoers to enjoy a refreshing swim. While you’re welcome to just enjoy the sand and surf, there are also many activities available to Siesta Key beachgoers. Free daily morning yoga classes allow beach visitors to relax and set a calm tone for the day. A nearby oyster bar gives you the chance to enjoy a delicious taste of the ocean, while local grill and bar restaurants provide the perfect chance to kick back with a beer and a burger. If you feel like getting your groove on, you can also participate in a daily drum circle that kicks off an hour before sunset each night.
5. Mixon Fruit Farms
If you’ve got a family in tow, Larry Starr of Sarasota says you’ve got to be sure to spend an afternoon enjoying Mixon Fruit Farms. The local attraction gives families the chance to explore tropical fruit groves, seeing how mangoes, grapefruits, and oranges grow. Tram tours give you the chance to check out the whole orchard, and a kid’s play place will let your little one burn off some energy. Be sure to show up hungry — there’s a market and cafe loved by locals that offers sandwiches, salads, pizza, dessert, and more.
Planning out some fun stops can be helpful for enjoying your trip to Sarasota, according to Larry Starr. He also recommends taking a day or two to simply explore the city, enjoy the weather, sample downtown eateries, and find your own favorite spots.