Sarasota sometimes seems like a city made for twosomes in love with its romantic beaches, restaurants and parks. (We even just published a guide on four great Sarasota dates.) But luckily for its heartbroken and lonesome demographic, Sarasota is also a fantastic place to get over a breakup. Read on for what to do at each of the five phases of grief in the post-breakup path to healing:
For that period before you’re ready to accept the reality of the breakup, Sarasota boasts an impressive selection of coffee shops for frustrating discussions with your ex in a nice change of scenery. Doing this at a coffee shop is great because you’ll be more likely to maintain your dignity in public. You’re already on edge, so you might as well caffeinate with delicious craft coffee from one of the many specialty coffee shops in town for some good joe and good denial.
Your sulking has turned you into a shell of your former self, including physically. You know your ex made a big mistake, but maybe he or she just needs to see to believe. Show your ex what he or she is missing by getting as hot as a Sarasota summer. There are tons of great gyms in Sarasota where you can shape the best breakup body of your life while putting your anger to good use. Then, get shopping and slay. We recommend The Mall at University Town Center for any fashion taste. Just don't blame us if your anger makes you overspend—at least you'll look great.
The bargaining stage is the weirdest stage of the breakup, so you’re going to need some hippie healing for this one. Sarasota has an awesome selection of New Age shops for this. Check out Elysian Fields, Pixie Dust and OM Shoppe & Spa for services and items that feed your active inner dialogue and soul-searching. Think self-help and astrology books and precious stones like rose quartz to help you heal. Brokenhearted witches should visit Pixie Dust for ouija boards, spell books, detoxing candles and incense. At OM Shoppe, you can pay $30 to use the aura machine and find out the color of your vibe as you receive a 22-page report detailing your dominant chakra centers.
If you’re sad, you might as well be sad somewhere beautiful, like at one of Sarasota’s first-class beaches. Siesta Key Beach is an obvious choice for your depressing beach-combing adventures, but there are so many other great beaches. This is your chance to haunt the beach like a lost soul, sit in the shallows as the piteously tiny Gulf of Mexico waves knock you around for a good bit, or let children bury you. No one will be able to tell that you're depressed because you got a great tan, and you can even bring your dog to Brohard Beach and Paw Park, where you’ll be too busy stressing about your pet’s sensory overload to pay much attention to your feelings.
Hopefully, you're ready to reenter human society, so you might be in need of something social to do now that the worst is over. Gather your buds for gorgeous views and a fun evening feeling like a VIP at the elegant rooftop bar of the Westin hotel. If you desire a more intimate setting, go to Pangea Alchemy Lab at night for unique drinks like Fruit Loops with vodka-infused milk, or absinthe served the old-fashioned way. If you don’t have friends of your own or don't need to be tempted by the bottle, there are lots of Meetup groups in Sarasota where you can make friends who share interests besides alcohol.
We don’t want you to have to rinse and repeat the whole breakup process, so it’s important that you stick around uplifting people and, of course, dance. We'll always have The Beach Club—the eternal Sarasota staple for weekend clubbing.