With its miles and miles of gorgeous beaches and its amazing weather year-round, Sarasota, Florida is a hot destination for both visitors and new residents. But the city is much more than that. Home to an opera house and ballet, a contemporary dance company, as well as the Asolo Repertory Theatre, Sarasota has a vibrant cultural and art scene. Its Towles Court Artist Colony is the home base of many of the area’s artists and features a lovely mix of art galleries, studios and cafes.

The city also provides access to good education, with some of the best public schools in Florida, according to Niche.com. The job market offers plenty of opportunities, with the most in-demand jobs being in the health care field and business services.

All things considered, Sarasota is a good destination for many people – from retirees looking for a nice place under the sun where to spend their golden years to visiting snowbirds and young families with children that seek a quiet place to call home.

Now that you’re all set on making the move to Sarasota, here’s what you can do for fun in the area. Recreational possibilities are endless, and there’s something for everyone here. And what’s even better? Due to the city’s glorious weather, you can indulge in your hobbies year-round!

1. Golfing

If you’re passionate about golf, Sarasota is the place to be. There are almost 30 golf courses in the city and its immediate vicinity – plus more than 60 courses within 20 miles of Sarasota. All you need are your golf clubs and enough time to test the many courses in the area. If storing your golf equipment is an issue, don’t worry – you can easily rent a self storage unit in Sarasota to hold your clubs and other gear, as there are over 30 facilities in the area.

2. Kayaking

With unique ecosystems like the mangrove tunnels in the area, Sarasota offers amazing kayaking opportunities. You can practice the hobby on your own, or with friends and family. If you’re a beginner, there are local companies that specialize in tours, that can introduce you to this sport and help you decide whether it’s something you want to pursue further.

3. Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a top choice for children and adults alike and makes a great family activity (and shared hobby). With its miles of shoreline, sapphire blue sea and relatively current-free waters, Sarasota is a prime snorkeling destination. Siesta Key and Casey Key are just a couple of places near Sarasota where you can admire the diverse underwater sea ecosystem.

4. Birding

There are about 230 species of birds in the natural areas in and around the city of Sarasota, so it’s no wonder that birding is a favorite pastime for many residents. The Crowley Museum and Nature Center is located right in the city and is a great starting point for nature lovers who plan on turning bird watching into their main hobby. Carlton Reserve, an expansive 24,000 acres natural reserve just a 20-minute drive from the city, offers more than 100 miles of interconnecting trails, and you can spot various bird species in all seasons.

5. Hiking

If hiking is your jam, Sarasota certainly delivers – there are hiking trails in and around the city for all ages, ability levels or preferences. Heron’s Nest Nature Park Loop or Deep Hole Trail provide easy and agreeable trails, while others, like the Deer Prairie Creek Preserve, offer the full wilderness experience for passionate hikers and campers.

6. Exploring your inner artist

Sarasota has a very vibrant art scene, which is great news for people who are interested in exploring their inner artist – you’ll find classes and teachers for just about any type of artistic endeavor you might be interested in. From the Art Center Sarasota, where you’ll find all sorts of exhibits, events and classes, to the funky Artful Giraffe studio (and many others) there’s no shortage of places for art lovers.

7. Metal detecting

Metal detecting is permitted on Sarasota County beaches, and many locals are actually indulging in this hobby, sometimes with remarkable results. Even if you don’t manage to find a treasure or an historical artifact, you’ll still be able to dream about it – and enjoy long and refreshing walks on the beaches, with your metal detector.

8. Fishing

You can start by fishing from the beach or from piers. However, if you get the fishing bug and want to take your hobby one step further, you can rent a boat or go out on a fishing charter – there are plenty in Sarasota. And, if you’re planning on purchasing your own boat, you’ll be happy to know there are many storage facilities in and around Sarasota that provide vehicle storage (including boat storage).

9. Sailing

Sailing might not be the type of hobby that large masses of people are getting into, as it requires not only strong skills but also some serious spending. However, if you’re dreaming about learning to sail and maybe sailing your own boat, you’ll find clubs and schools in Sarasota where you can turn your dream into reality.

10. Tennis

Favorable weather allows for tennis to be played outside all year round in Sarasota – and the municipal Payne Park Tennis Center offers to all those interested the possibility to practice this sport. The city even organizes a professional tournament, Sarasota Open, which means you also have the chance to see champions playing live every year.



Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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