Vacation Basics

By Su Byron December 1, 2009

asset_upload_file301_30554.jpgGetting Around

There are more ways to travel around our townthan you might think.

Sarasota Pedicab Company offers bike cab tours of downtown Sarasota. (941) 724-2244.

Florida Ever-Glides offers guided Segway Personal Transporters tours of downtown Sarasota. (A 

Segway is a scooter-like vehicle that is fun and easy to operate.) (941) 363-9556.

Sarasota Trolley features 34-seat, open-air vehicles with traditional oak wood interiors. (941) 346-3115.

Tootie's SRQ Trolley offers a variety of tours and special occasion uses, including city, bar hopping and holiday tours.

(941) 538-1414.

Siesta Island Trolley offers a 24-passenger, open-air trolley and a 32-passenger, air-conditioned trolley. Extras include catered trips, tours of holiday lights and pub crawling. (941) 915-3232.  

For more standard modes of transportation:

Sarasota County Area Transit: (941) 861-1234.

Yellow Cab of Sarasota: Servicing areas in Sarasota County only. (941) 955-3341.

Roxy's Airport Transportation: Servicing airports in Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Miami, and also offering other long-distance transportation options. (941) 906-1010.

Regal Transportation of Sarasota: Specializing in door-to-door limo, luxury sedans and SUVs to airports in Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg and Miami. Also featuring luxury stretch limos for other occasions. (941) 351-2547.

Cruise Transportation of Sarasota: Offering sedans and vans for transportation to regional airports and other locations. (941) 792-3400.

Boss Limousine: Specializing in group and corporate transportation (in 25- and 32-passenger shuttle buses) for special occasions and for airports in Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Tampa. (941) 924-5206.

Biking Around Sarasota: For a detailed map and information about Sarasota’s bike paths and lanes, call The Alliance for Responsible Transportation at (941) 726-8800 or visit

Cyclists delight in the recently opened Legacy Trail. This 12.4-mile-long, 100-foot-wide corridor stretches from just over a mile south of S.R. 72 (Clark Road) by Sawyer Loop Road in Sarasota to the southern terminus near Center Road in Venice.

Longboat Key is another pedal power paradise. Gulf of Mexico Drive runs north and south across the entire island, creating a 24-mile round-trip. There’s a bike lane for serious cyclists; less ambitious ones stick to the extra-wide sidewalk, as long as they stay below 10 mph and alert walkers when they approach from behind.

For an up-close view of the diverse and wondrous Florida landscape, try Myakka River State Park. It offers cyclers seven miles of flat, paved roads winding through shaded hammocks, along grassy marshes and around lakes. Bike path maps are available at: (941) 361-6511.

Bike Shops

Reale Bicycles: 478-B U.S. 41 Bypass North, Venice; (941) 485-3113. Ryder Bikes: 1530 Dolphin St., Sarasota; (941) 951-5480  Sarasota Schwinn Cyclery: 3800 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota; (941) 366-4144.  Sarasota  Bicycle Center: 4084 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota; (941) 377-4505.  Village Bikes: 6279 Lake Osprey Drive, Lakewood Ranch; (941) 388-0550; and 3898 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota; (941) 925-2241.

Where to Rent All the Vacation Stuff You’ll Ever Need

From Kiddie Karts to live bait, your vacation gear is here.

Siesta Sports Rental will rent you most of what you left behind at home. That includes every kind of bike (mountain, beach cruisers, children’s), 49cc motor scooters, children’s and baby items (the Kiddie Karts are fab for hauling your brood), tennis racquets, skim boards, snorkeling equipment—even all-terrain beach wheelchairs. 6551 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota; (941) 346-1797.

If you’re taking to the water to kayak, dive, or fish, Economy Tackle/Dolphin Dive and Kayak Center offers top-brand names in gear, clothing, footwear and sunglasses. Kayakers can choose from 350 varieties of their favorite craft. Divers will find loads of necessities, including wetsuits, masks, fins and snorkels. In case you forgot to bring your own, they sell live and frozen bait. 6018 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (941) 922-9671.

Are you a serious biker? Village Bikes is the place to rent high-performance road bikes and helmets. 3898 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota; (941) 366-7702.

Need a boat? Cannons Marina offers Scout, Grady White and Hurricane Deck boats for fishing and pleasure. Rent them by the half-day, full-day or multi-days. 6040 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key; (941) 383-1311.

If yachting is more your style, try Chitwood Charters. Its fleet of seven Grand Banks yachts (36- to 53-footers) can be rented with or sans captain. (941) 383-5232.

Sailboat enthusiasts should check out Sara-Bay Sailing School, a top-flight sailing certification school. If you can demonstrate sufficient sailing skills, you can charter a Catalina 22' or Cal 24' for day sailing. Captained charters also available. (941) 914-5132.

Beach Basics

Winter in the subtropics is like summer everywhere else. That’s probably why you’re here, isn’t it? Let’s just do a checklist of what you’ll need to know.

Sun protection: Protect your skin from skin cancer (to say nothing about wrinkles and aging spots) by using sun-protective clothing and sunscreen on exposed areas. Look for a waterproof sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 rating or higher. 

Apply it generously 20 minutes before exposure to the sun, and keep applying it every two hours throughout the day—no matter what the instructions say. “Very water resistant” means you should reapply every 90 minutes when swimming; “water resistant” means you should reapply every 40 minutes when swimming.

Dehydration can be a problem in these latitudes. Bring along lots of water or sports drinks if you’re going out in the sun.

If you’re going into the water, do the “stingray shuffle” and slowly shuffle your feet as you move to scare off any stingrays. If you’re stung by a stingray—or a jellyfish—don’t panic! The sting, well, stings—but isn’t usually very harmful. Wash the area in warm water, use a topical antiseptic if you have one, and wrap it with something clean. Then get to a doctor, walk-in clinic, or emergency room. At the very least, you may need medication to help with the inflammation, infection and pain.

The glorious Gulf of Mexico hides strong currents and rip tides. What to do if you find yourself caught in one? Don’t panic. Don’t try to swim against the current. Swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current or float until the current dissipates, then swim diagonally to shore.

For detailed information about Sarasota’s beaches, visit Sarasota Magazine online at

Know your Beach Flags

Beach flags provide information on swimming conditions:


Good swimming conditions





Dangerous swimming


Double Red

Beach is closed to swimming


Hazardous marine life


When in doubt, ask a lifeguard. They are available at six beaches: Lido, Siesta, Nokomis, North Jetty, Venice and Manasota.

Tee Time

Golf is “flog” spelled backwards. But that doesn’t mean it has to be punishing. These public and semi-private courses offer a taste of golfer’s paradise.

Bent Tree Country Club, 4700 Bent Tree Blvd., Sarasota. (941) 371-5854. Eighteen-hole championship course. Private, with seasonal memberships and outside play available.

Bobby Jones Golf Complex, 1000 Circus Blvd., Sarasota; (941) 365-4653.  A 45-hole municipal public and semi-private facility. The original 18 holes were designed in 1926 by the famed course architect Donald Ross. Public.

Heritage Oaks Golf and Country Club, 4800 Chase Oaks Drive, Sarasota. (941) 926-7600. Eighteen-hole course. Private. Guest memberships are also available.

IMG Academies Golf and Country Club, 4350 El Conquistador Parkway, Bradenton. (941) 758-1466. Technically advanced 18 holes. Semi-private. Guest memberships available.

Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch, Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton; (941) 351-6514. This Arnold Palmer-designed, 18-hole course offers top-drawer service and conditions. The 360-foot-wide fairways add to the visual drama. Public.

Links at Greenfield Plantation, on S.R. 64 two miles east of I-75, Bradenton. (941) 747-9432. Eighteen-hole layout, golf club rentals. Public.

Oak Ford Golf Club, 1552 Palm View Road, Sarasota. (941) 371-3680. Twenty-seven-hole championship course, practice range. Semi-private.

Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club, 499 Derbyshire Drive, Venice. (941) 496-4653. Ted McAnlis-designed 27-hole championship course. Driving range, pro shop. Semi-private.

Rolling Green Golf Club, 4501 N.  Tuttle Ave., Sarasota. (941) 355-7621. Eighteen-hole course. Public.

Sarasota Golf Club, 7280 N. Leewynn Drive, Sarasota. (941) 371-2431. Eighteen-hole course, driving range. Public.

Serenoa Golf Course, 6773 Serenoa Drive, Sarasota. (941) 925-2755. Eighteen-hole course, driving range. Public.

Tatum Ridge Golf Links, 421 N. Tatum Road, Sarasota. (941) 378-4211. Par-72 Ted McAnlis-designed course; practice range. Public.

The Meadows Country Club, 3101 Longmeadow, Sarasota. (941) 378-5957. Two private championship 18-hole golf courses and one public 18-hole par 65 short course. The Meadows Country Club is private, but membership is also open to nonresidents.

University Park Country Club, 7671 The Park Blvd. (941) 359-9999.  An award-winning 27-hole championship golf course designed by Ron Garl. Semi-private.

Waterford Golf Club, 1454 Gleneagles Drive, Venice. (941) 484-6621. Eighteen-hole championship course. Public.

The Sarasota area is home to some acclaimed private courses, including these:

Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club: 7650 Legacy Blvd. (941) 907-4700. Two private, Palmer-designed courses surround a 44,000-square-foot clubhouse.

Longboat Key Club, 301 Gulf Of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key; (941) 383-8821. The two award-winning courses add up to 45 holes of championship golf that meander alongside spectacular bay and Gulf vistas. Both courses are consistently rated among the nation’s finest.

The Concession Golf Club: 7700 Lindrick Lane, Bradenton. (941) 322-1922. Named the 2006 “Best New Private Golf Course in America” by Golf Digest, this Jack Nicklaus signature course—520 acres of natural Florida woodlands—was designed in honor of the 1969 Ryder Cup match at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England.

The Founders Golf Club, 3800 Golf Hall Drive, Sarasota. (941) 378-0900. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the course includes more than 100 acres of picturesque lakes and spectacular natural landscapes.

The Oaks Club: 301 MacEwen Drive, Osprey. (941) 966-2161. These two championship-conditioned golf courses are bordered by Little Sarasota Bay.

The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club: 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota, Florida 34236 (888) 363-6237.  A Tom Fazio-designed, 18-hole championship course on 315 acres of lush, tropical landscape.

Venice Golf & Country Club, Center Road, Venice; (941) 493-3400. This 18-hole course wanders throughout the community's 26 lakes and 56 acres of nature preserves that grace the property.

Time for Tennis

If you want to get into the swing of things, Sarasota offers some great public courts.Here are some choices:

Arlington Park, 2650 Waldemere St., Sarasota. (941) 316-1346. Four courts with lights. Public.

Bath & Racquet Club, 2170 Robinhood, Sarasota. (941) 921-6675. Twenty-nine tennis courts, several racquetball. Private; weeklong memberships available.

Bollettieri Tennis Academy, IMG Academies, 5500 34th St. W., Bradenton. (941) 755-1000. Instruction for children and adults. Public.

Evalyn Sadlier Jones YMCA, 8301 Potter Park Drive, Sarasota. (941) 922-9622. This branch offers three racquetball courts.

Fruitville Park, 5151 Richardson Road, Sarasota. (941) 316-1346. Two lighted courts. Public.

Longboat Key Public Tennis Center, 590 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key. (941) 316-8367.  Ten soft clay courts. Public.

Longwood Park, 6050 Longwood Run Blvd., Sarasota. (941) 316-1383. Two courts with lights. Public.

Mission Valley Country Club, 1851 Mission Valley Blvd., Laurel. (941) 488-9683. Three Har-Tru tennis courts. Private. Summer and winter memberships available.

Newtown Community Center, 1845 34th St., Sarasota. (941) 316-1331. Two courts with lights. Public.

Payne Park Tennis Center, 2050 Adams Lane, Sarasota. (941) 861-8194. Twelve Har-Tru Hydrogrid tennis courts. Public.

Pinebrook Park, 1251 Pinebrook Road, Venice. (941) 861-5000. Two lighted courts. Public.

Serendipity Racquet Club, 3600 Torrey Pines Blvd, Sarasota. (941) 922-1591. Located at the Country Club of Sarasota; 19 Har-Tru tennis courts, fitness center, pool and pro shop. Private. Seasonal memberships available.

Siesta Public Beach, 948 Beach Road, Sarasota. (941) 861-5000. Four courts with lights. Public.

Tennis Center at The Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, 8488 Legacy Blvd., Lakewood Ranch. (941) 907-4700. Eighteen lighted courts, 16 Har-Tru, two red clay. Members only, but open to non-residents. Sixty-day memberships available.

Total Tennis of Siesta Key, 240 Avenida Madera, Siesta Key. (941) 349-7742. Instruction for adults and children, racquet stringing.

Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota. (941) 861-9931. Two courts. Public.

The  Sarasota area’s private courts include these:

Longboat Key Club and Resort: 301 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. (941) 383-8821. Twenty Har-Tru tennis courts; five lighted. Open to members and guests only. Private.

Plantation Racquet Club: 500 Rockley Blvd., Venice; (941) 493-0047. Thirteen lighted Har-Tru courts, tennis shop. Private.

The Meadows Country Club: 3101 Longmeadow, Sarasota. (941) 378-5265.  Seventeen Har-Tru tennis courts. Membership is open to nonresidents. Private.

The Tennis Gardens at Longboat Key Club and Resort: 3100 Harbourside Drive, Longboat Key; (941) 383-8821. Twenty Har-Tru tennis courts. Private.

Where to Work Out

It’s a vacation, not a flabcation. Here are a few suggestions if you want to pump up.

The Sarasota Family YMCA's three Sarasota fitness branches offer state-of-the-art facilities, friendly staff members and a wide range of fitness programs.


Babe Weiller Branch: 1991 Main St., Suite 200, Sarasota; (941) 366-6778.


Frank G. Berlin Sr.: 1075 South Euclid Ave., Sarasota;

( 941) 955-8194.

South Sarasota:

Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch: 8301 Potter Park Drive, Sarasota; (941) 922-9622.

Sarasota also is also home to a host of other fitness centers, including 

Bath & Racquet Fitness Club, 2170 Robinhood St., Sarasota; (941) 921-6675. Best known for its tennis, Bath & Racquet also has free weights, group exercise classes, personal trainers, a cardiovascular center and junior Olympic swimming pool.

Curves for Women, 4438 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota; (941) 379-3385. Female-only weight and cardiovascular training.

Evolution Health & Fitness, 1990 Main St., Sarasota; (941) 955-9300.  An upscale private health club offering daily and weekly passes.

Gold's Gym Fitness & Aerobics Complex, 3762 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota; (941) 923-4653.

Featuring high-end exercise equipment and industry-leading fitness programs.

Healthplex Fitness Center, 5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota; (941) 917-7000. Run by Sarasota Memorial Hospital, this 44,000-square-foot health and fitness facility combines the amenities of an upscale fitness club with the medical expertise of one of the region's top healthcare systems.

Lifestyle Family Fitness, six locations: 8383 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 921-4400; 935 N. Beneva Road, Sarasota, (941) 953-5250; 4836 14th St. W., Bradenton, (941) 782-0420; 4901 Cortez Road W., Bradenton, (941) 794-2090; 7385 52nd Place E., Bradenton, (941) 758-6020; 1667 U.S. 41 Bypass S., Venice, (941) 496-4122.

Just for Kids

Kids just wanna have fun. And there’s plenty of that in Sarasota! To start, kids can’t get enough of splashing, swimming, skim-boarding, snorkeling and rejoicing in the sun ’n’ sand. The cost of all that magnificent splendor? Free. (Except for hats and strong sunscreen—two necessities.) But that’s only the beginning of the kid-friendly fun you’ll find.

▲ G.WIZ Science Museum. Located on Sarasota’s bayfront, this 33,000-square-foot, world-class science and technology center turns science into state-of-the-art, hands-on fun. Whiz kids—and their adult companions—can learn about wonders of electricity, magnetism, sound and light, spin in a Gyro Spinner, build bridges with magnets, create cool designs using pendulum motion with the Harmonograph, and learn their heart rate at the Heart Rate Station. 1001 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota; (941) 309-4949.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens features 10 lush acres of winding trails to explore, flamingoes that eat from the palm of your hand, and mesmerizing bird and reptile shows. Kids love the “Kiddie Jungle,” with its tree house, haunted tree, tiger swings and wooden train. 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota; (941) 355-1112.

At Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium, kids can investigate the sea’s secrets through touch pools, viewable working labs and high-tech interactive exhibits showcasing more than 100 marine species, including sharks, dolphins, manatees and sea turtles. 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota; (941) 388-4441.

Sarasota Bayfront Park, in downtown Sarasota, is a great place to spend a few family-friendly hours. Its wide, winding sidewalks are excellent for strolling, biking, and rollerblading. Kids and adults alike love the dolphin fountain; the Steigerwaldt-Jockey Children's Fountain lets kids scamper in delight through the water and play on its fanciful animal sculptures. Bring a blanket and a picnic—or order up some grouper sandwiches and fries at the two waterside restaurants, O'Leary's Tiki Bar & Grill and Marina Jack.

Hunsader Farms offers year-round activities for kids and families, including farm tours, hay rides, a petting zoo and playground. Depending on the season, you can also enjoy a Pumpkin Festival, a Country Christmas, a Spring Festival—and even Civil War re-enactments. 5100 County Road 675, Myakka City; (941) 322-2168.

The Ringling Circus Museums feature the world's largest miniature circus, a replica of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1919 to 1938, created over a 50-year period by master model builder and philanthropist Howard Tibbals. Other full-sized highlights include colossal parade and baggage wagons, sequined costumes and other memorabilia and artifacts. 5401 Bayshore Road, Sarasota; (941) 359-5700.

Adventures in Babysitting

You brought the kids along on your vacation. But occasionally, you need a little time to yourselves, and Mary Poppins isn’t available. These professionals are.

Traveling Nanny is owned by Dana Perez and features a staff of 10. Each nanny is certified in first aid and also in CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator). Each staff member is also thoroughly background-checked and drug-tested. The company offers hourly, overnight and vacation stay rates. Insured. (941) 518-0257.

Loving Arms is a great resource for babysitting. These loving people also offer senior companions, personal assistants, housekeeping and pet-walking. They’re certified in CPR and in first aid. (941) 359-4889 or (941) 552-8380.

Video to Go

Our area boasts a host of video rental outlets, including the following.

Video Renaissance is a veritable museum of cinema. This video rental library opened in 1985, long before the Netflix and Blockbusters took over the industry. Today, it offers more than 25,000 titles, including classic American, foreign, cult and mainstream. And the clerks are all masters of film trivia; ask them anything and they’ll know the answer. 2243 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota; (941) 925-2780.

Other Video Rental outlets:

Blockbuster Video: 4770 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (941) 921-5527; and 1427 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (941) 957-4983.

Key Video: 5360 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key; (941) 387-1700.

Movie Madness

If you feel like watching movies on the big screen, you can do that, too. Art house cinema is alive and well in Sarasota. (And we’ve got plenty of multiplexes, too.)

When Sarasota film enthusiasts aren’t renting DVDs from Video Renaissance, they’re most likely checking out the Sarasota Film Society’s latest selections. This nonprofit organization runs two movie theaters. Burns Court Cinemas, its downtown movie theater, features the first-run, hand-picked foreign language, independent, and art films. Its second theater, Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, offers six screens of mainstream, foreign and independent films.

The Historic Asolo Theater’s Monday Night Movies series showcases classic older and contemporary films. The setting is an 18th-century Baroque theater reassembled at the Ringling Museum of Art. They may not have had moving pictures back in the 1700s, but they sure did know how to make pure drama out of architecture.  

Movie Theaters

Burns Court Cinemas,

506 Burns Lane, Sarasota; (941) 955-3456.

Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, 10715 Rodeo Drive, Lakewood Ranch; (941) 487-5880.

Historic Asolo Theater,

5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota; (941) 360-7399.

Hollywood 20, 1993 Main St., Sarasota; (941) 379-6684.

AMC 12 Sarasota Square,

8201 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (866) 423-0764.

Parkway Cinemas 8,

6300 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota; (941) 360-6741.

Frank Theatres,

2101 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice; (941) 408-0011.

Where to Meet People

Sarasota is as famous for its eclectic and interesting people as its beaches.  Here are some good places to connect with locals.

Mattison’s City Grille, perched smack in the center of downtown, features a lively night scene with live music and a menu selection that ranges from sandwiches and pizzas to more formal entrées. On busy nights, it feels like a noisy party; if you like your personal space invaded, this is the place to be. 1 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota; (941) 330-0440.

March to the beat of a different drummer? The Siesta Key Sunday drum circle on, natch, Siesta Key Beach, attracts drummers, jugglers, dancers, performers and onlookers from far and wide. Get there about an hour before sunset, grab the hand of the person next to you—and get into the groove. Siesta Key Public Beach Pavilion.

Try this. Spend 10 minutes at O'Leary's Tiki Bar & Grill at Bayfront Park. Met anyone yet? The answer will likely be yes. One of the friendliest places in Sarasota, this indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant offers an old-time Florida feel and plenty of friendly cheer. 5 Bayfront Drive, Sarasota; (941) 953-7505.

Whole Foods Market is a wholly natural and utterly healthy place to meet people. There are small tables outside and a utilitarian dining area inside; both are opportune spots for sharing a table—and your bowl of split pea soup. 1451 First St., Sarasota; (941) 955-8500.

Sarasota’s Saturday Downtown Farmer’s Market is a hot spot for meeting old friends and making new ones while exploring the bounty of flowers, plants, produce, foods, handmade crafts and art. Every Saturday, 7 a.m.-noon, corner of Main Street and Lemon Avenue, Sarasota.

How about a stroll down the avenue? The First Friday Art Walks on Palm Avenue, from 6 to 9 p.m., offer an aerobic opportunity to meet shop owners, gallery directors and art enthusiasts. The Towles Court Art Walks are every third Friday, from 6 to 10 p.m. This charming enclave of working artist studios, artist-run galleries, and restaurants is the ideal place to strike up a conversation with an artful stranger.


Main Street: If you’ll be downtown for a few hours and don’t mind walking, a good place to park is inside the parking garage at Main Plaza. The fee is $3 for the day; if you’re using Main Plaza facilities you can get your ticket validated for free. There’s also public parking behind the garage. 

The municipal lot at Lemon Avenue and State Street is free after 5 p.m.  A coin parking lot is located at the corner of First Street and Cocoanut Avenue—and it is free after 5 p.m. The Whole Foods Market on First Street and Lemon Avenue has a multi-level parking garage—space is tight, so put your headlights on and be careful! Other than that, diagonal street spaces are available all along Main Street.

Burns Court: Ample parking spaces are available up and down Pineapple Avenue, as well as along most of the side streets that interface with that street.

Palm Avenue: Parking spaces here do fill up during lunch hours, and can also be filled on theater or opera nights. A public lot behind Mac on Main Street News and Books Cafe at the corner of Main Street and Palm Avenue is usually available for free evening parking.  And don’t forget Gulfstream Avenue—just a block from the hullabaloo where spaces are available on both sides of the street.

Hillview area: Parking spaces line Osprey and Hillview avenues. There’s also a parking lot behind Morton’s Market for clients of that store and for some of the businesses across the street. And there’s a large parking lot behind Sam Snead’s.

St. Armands Circle: Parking on the Circle is free and convenient. For those who don’t mind a short walk to the Circle, two lots—accessible from Adams Drive as you come onto the Circle from the Ringling Bridge as well as Madison and Monroe drives—provide unlimited parking until midnight. St. Armands offers valet parking between Café L’Europe and Cha Cha Coconuts between the hours of 4:30 and 11 p.m. Parking beside the medians on John Ringling Boulevard is also permitted. Parking spaces in front of shops and restaurants allow up to three-hour parking. On weekends and after business hours, Wachovia Bank off North Washington Drive provides free parking, too.  

Emergency Numbers

We hope you won’t need these numbers, but if you do, here they are.


Sarasota Memorial Hospital, 1700 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (800) 764-8255.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, 5731 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota; (941) 342-1100.

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Lakewood Ranch; (941) 782-2100.

Emergency Clinics and Walk-Ins:

Sarasota Immediate Care, 7005 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (941) 870-4440.

Fruitville Walk-In Urgent Care, 3420 Fruitville Road, Sarasota; (941) 954-8686.

St. Armands Medical Center, 500 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota; (941) 388-4408.

Sarasota Family Medical Center, 6813 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (941) 923-5861.

Emergency Veterinary Hospital:

Sarasota Veterinary Emergency Hospital, 7517 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (941) 923-7260. z

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