Named ‘Zarazote’ by the Spanish centuries ago, Sarasota also used to be known as ‘Circus City’ when the Barnum and Bailey and Ringling Brothers circuses spent their winters here. More recently, it has become a famous destination for tourists and particularly for retirees. Families and young professionals also enjoy the city’s ambiance, white sand beaches and the employment opportunities, in addition to the festivals and a wide range of sports for people of all ages and abilities.

1. How big is Sarasota

The city of Sarasota is situated in Sarasota County, Florida, and it is also the county seat. With a population of about 55,000 and covering an area of around 24 sq. miles, it is not the largest city in the county — it is beaten by North Port — but it tends to punch above its weight in terms of reputation.
The city is part of North Port–Sarasota–Bradenton metropolitan area, which has a population exceeding 800,000 and an area approaching 1,300 square feet. Sarasota has a downtown and neighborhoods including Laurel Park, Bee Ridge, Avondale, Gillespie Park and Fruitville. There is also Longboat Key and other islands situated just offshore from Sarasota.

2. What is the weather like in Sarasota

Sarasota’s climate is tropical, typical of Florida’s Gulf Coast, with summers that are hot and humid plus winters that are also generally quite warm. Freezing temperatures are rarely seen. The high summer humidity, with temperatures that regularly exceed 100 °F can bring health concerns, so the sea breezes are welcome, though these can become storms as the season progresses. The rainy season in Sarasota lasts from March to November, with August being the peak month.

Rain Clouds Forming over Sarasota Florida
Rain Clouds Forming over Sarasota Florida

To avoid the problems caused by weather conditions, residents could rent a local self storage unit. While air conditioning will be run all summer in their homes, it most likely won’t be an option in their garages, so items there that are susceptible to heat and humidity — for example clothes and electrical tools — can instead be put in a storage unit with climate control.

3. Sarasota’s tourist-based economy

The industry employing the most people in Sarasota is health care and social assistance, while the hospitality sector is also thriving. Some of the top employers in the city are in the health care field, including Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Doctors Hospital of Sarasota. Then there are also the workers who help facilitate the entertainment and recreational activities in town.
Sarasota is growing as a result of its success as a tourist destination. Anyone looking to build here, or to renovate or extend property they already own in town, could make use of self storage to keep their tools and raw materials in. In this way, life can carry on as normal at home, without clutter, until the project is finished.

4. Universities and college life in Sarasota

Sarasota has several higher education institutions for both young people and older students. Founded in 1960, New College of Florida is a liberal arts college within the State University System of Florida. There is also the Ringling College of Art and Design and a branch of the private Fort Lauderdale-based Keiser University. For medical students, the Florida State University College of Medicine has established an internal medicine residency at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

New College of Florida Sarasota Florida
New College of Florida, Sarasota Florida

With students often having to get by in cramped rooms until they can go out into the world and earn a good salary, their living space can be limited. Renting a self storage unit is an ideal solution, so they can keep their rooms free from clutter and also keep all their possessions somewhere safe during the summer break when they return to their places of origin.

5. Outdoor recreation in Sarasota

Being on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota has a wealth of water sports that can be enjoyed by people with a range of abilities. Windsurfing is a big deal in this part of the world and kiteboarding is a new variant that has been gaining in popularity. For anyone not quite fit enough to get on a surfboard, boating, sailing and sea fishing can be enjoyed — there are moorings close to Downtown. On dry land, there is an abundance of golf courses in the area plus courts for tennis and other racquet sports.
Sports enthusiasts who live in small apartments can keep all their gear in a self storage unit. A small locker would be sufficient for golf clubs and fishing gear while a larger one would be needed for windsurfing boards or kayaks. Even boat owners in Sarasota can find storage space for their precious watercraft and a trailer.

6. Moving to Sarasota made easy with self storage

With many people starting a new life in Sarasota, the local self storage sector can help enormously with the moving-in process. Not only would hiring a professional moving company ensure the process goes smoothly — handling the move yourself, though it would reduce costs, can be stressful — but renting a storage unit near to your new home also reduces worries. You can move all your possessions in there at once, and then transfer them into your new residence gradually on your own schedule when the various rooms there are ready.
If you are moving from out of state, you only have 10 days to register your vehicle after establishing residence in Florida, which is significantly shorter than in some states, so plan your moving schedule accordingly. Consider keeping your vehicle in a storage unit to save parking it on the street or until you have a garage ready for it at your new home.

7. Housing options in Sarasota

You’ll find plenty of housing options in Sarasota, from waterfront houses to downtown apartment complexes. The city actually has a style of architecture named after it, ‘Sarasota Modern,’ developed here in the couple of decades following the second world war, and it features open planning and plenty of glass.

Single family living

There are plenty of single family houses to buy or rent in Sarasota, spread across the neighborhoods and out on the islands as well — where the most expensive areas tend to be. Fruitville is a family-friendly suburb to the east of downtown that has some cost-effective accommodation, plus a park that provides a wide range of sports. South Sarasota and Bee Ridge, to the southeast, are other places generally considered to be good communities.

Apartment living

Downtown Sarasota has many impressive towers that feature residential accommodation, from small one-bedroom apartments to much larger places. Other neighborhoods where apartments for rent or sale can be found include Ridge Wood Heights, Eastwoods and Rosemary District. There are even apartment blocks aplenty offshore, on the islands of Longboat Key, Lido Key and St Armands Key, and with great views of course.

Longboat Key Sarasota County Florida
Longboat Key, Sarasota County, Florida

8. Is Sarasota a good place to live?

Sarasota’s white sand beaches are still a hugely enjoyable place to relax, with the Siesta Key Beach being considered one of the best in the world. The city also offers 50 parks, as well as walking trails and picnic areas. Then there is the vibrant performing arts and theatrical scene, with the Sarasota Film Festival being one of the largest in Florida. Pinecraft Park is a place to visit, not just for its farmer’s market but also its Amish community and the restaurant they run there.

Moving to Sarasota from Boston

Bostonians might well be pleased by the weather in central Florida, especially during the winter. While Beantown gets its share of tourists, the range of hospitality and entertainment sector jobs on offer in Florida will be much larger, perhaps opening up new opportunities for incomers from Massachusetts. And while they might miss the glorious New England forests and the rolling landscape of the Berkshires, the Gulf Coast recreational opportunities would be considerable compensation.

Moving to Sarasota from New York

New Yorkers might find life considerably quieter in Sarasota, not to mention a climate that allows them to spend a lot more time outdoors. They can enjoy the Gulf Coast coastline and the recreational possibilities that provides, and they might not be too disappointed by some of the entertainment options in town — as well as the film festival and other such events, Sarasota even has its own opera and ballet companies and it is home to the state art museum of Florida.

State Art Museum of Florida (John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art) Sarasota, Florida
State Art Museum of Florida (John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art) Sarasota, Florida

9. What are the storage options in Sarasota?

The Sarasota self storage sector counts a dozen or so facilities within the city limits, and there are many more in communities beyond them. A small 5’x5’ storage unit could be rented to hold some sundry possessions and sports equipment such as golf clubs and fishing gear, while a 5’x10’ storage unit would be needed for windsurfing boards, and for the longer types of kayak a 10’x15’ storage unit might be necessary.

A small storage unit can be used to keep an apartment free from clutter. The very common 10’x10’ storage unit size does this and more, also providing a place for seasonal clothing and for items of furniture when a living space is being refurbished. A car can be kept safely in a 10’x20’ storage unit, the size of a regular garage, and renting one with climate control would ensure that summer humidity does not affect its performance. A 10’x30’ storage unit could be large enough for a motorhome or a small boat plus a trailer.

Are you now considering moving to Florida? If so, and if you’re asking yourself the question “What city should I move to?” then maybe you have now discovered that Sarasota ticks the boxes. Have a look at the self storage listings in Sarasota and the surrounding areas with StorageCafe’s search portal. You will surely be able to locate a storage unit that addresses your requirements, whether you need to find space for sports gear to keep your home free from clutter, or you need extra space temporarily while you are moving to Sarasota.


Francis Chantree is a writer and editor for Yardi, focusing on real estate and lifestyle content. He is a former programmer and researcher who exchanged computer language for his greatest passion, human language! When not writing and proofreading text, he can be found gardening and reading.

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