Five Essential—and Cheap!—Sarasota Experiences Everyone Must Have
Take the Perfect Selfie
You can’t leave town without taking a selfie in front of the classic Siesta Beach sign, MTV’s famous Siesta Key house and the ode to classic Americana at the Unconditional Surrender statue at Sarasota’s Bayfront Park.
Browse Farmers Markets
Meander through local vendors and produce at the Sarasota Farmers Market every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Lakewood Ranch Farmers Market every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or the Newtown Farmers Market every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check out the websites for more information.
Take a Gallery Walk
It’s always free to browse work by artists on view at galleries in downtown Sarasota, along Palm and Main, in Burns Court and elsewhere, and it’s especially fun during monthly gallery walks. Palm Avenue and Bradenton’s Village of the Arts hold First Friday Walks from 6 to 9 p.m. Towles Court gallery walks start in the fall and go through May every third Friday of the month, 4-8 p.m. And don’t forget to explore Art Center Sarasota, Venice Art Center, Englewood Art Center and the galleries of Ringling College of Art and Design, too.
Get Your Thrift On
Treasures abound at our thrift stores and salvage shops. A few favorites for one-of-a-kind finds: Goodwill, SPARCC Treasure Chest, the Exchange, Sarasota Architectural Salvage and the Pines of Sarasota’s Fabulous Finds Thrift Shop.
Hit the Red Barn Flea Market
People-watching here on a busy Saturday is a blast. Don’t miss the tacos (four for $7) at El Tio Carlos, a stand that makes some of the region’s best. redbarnfleamarket.com
Tour Siesta Key Rum Distillery
Enjoy a free tour of Siesta Key Rum Distillery, stop by the tasting room to try some free samples or take a seat at a high-top table and enjoy original cocktails. 2212 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 702-8143, siestakeyrum.com
Meet like-hearted people as you volunteer at local nonprofits. Get involved in Sarasota County beach cleanup days, or be an usher at world-class live shows at the Van Wezel. Love animals? Lend a hand at Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue, or help your fellow humans at All Faiths Food Bank.
Have Some Eco-Freak Fun
Sign up for free, nature-led tours or learn to compost like a champ thanks to monthly eco-friendly activities organized by the University of Florida in Sarasota. Visit Sarasota County - UF/IFAS Extension.