Sarasota is like the Goldilocks city of the United States. During winter, the temperature typically stays between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, a.k.a. perfect beach weather. With the sun shining, it’s not too cold for a bathing suit, and the cool weather will keep you from sweating.
Sarasota is a luxury beach town that has award-winning beaches and a hot real estate market, but also some of the best views in the Sunshine State. Read on for the scoop on the best views in Sarasota as told by two prominent locals.
Views from the Ringling Bridge
When crossing the bridge on foot or by car, you’re in for a dazzling view no matter which direction you’re heading. Driving from Bird Key to downtown Sarasota, you’ll see the skyline of one of the top real estate markets in the city, where waterfront homes sell for over $3 million, like this one sold by the Loeffler & Rooks Morris Group. And yet less than twenty years ago, this view didn’t have half as many new condominiums and business centers—a testament to the city’s growing industry.
North End of Ringling Bridge: Downtown Sarasota
Ringling Bridge is one of the most popular treks in town, especially at sunrise and sunset. When living in Sarasota, you’ll frequently have friends ask if you want to “walk the bridge” and this is the bridge they’re referring to. Immediately to the right before touching the mainland, you’ll see two of Sarasota’s newest luxury condominiums, ONE88 and Aqua in Golden Gate Point. Love this view? Check out this stunning residence the Group sold in Aqua. With unobstructed views of the Bay and Ringling Bridge, the buyers loved the condos so much they bought two!
South End of Ringling Bridge: Longboat Key
As we said, there are many great views of the sunset, but none are quite as good as the view from 3612 Fair Oaks Place in Queens Harbour. Plus, it’s close to Mote Marine Laboratory, where you can get an up-close glimpse of marine life and Euphemia Haye—one of Sarasota’s most romantic restaurants.
Views from Lido Key
Lido Key delivers breathtaking beach views, along with sunrises and sunsets, and Lido Beach is walking distance to one of Sarasota’s main shopping areas—St. Armands Circle. If you prefer to live in the heart of this bustling, yet laid-back oasis, consider L’Ambiance Condos. Just a short drive to St. Armand’s and Lido Key, they have priceless Gulf to Bay views, private beach access, concierge and amazing amenities.
Lido Beach’s displays equally awe-inspiring views. Plus, if you head to the very southern tip of Lido, you’ll hit South Lido Key Beach—a beautiful beach and park the sticks right out into the Gulf.
Want to enjoy drinks right on the beach? Head to the Lido Key Tiki Bar right behind the Ritz-Carlton Beach Club for delicious cocktails and food. Many people do not know about this spot or think it’s only for Ritz-Carlton guests, but it’s open to the public!
St. Armands Circle
If you prefer dining and shopping, the Terrace at Surf Shack has $4 gourmet tacos (they’re seriously to die for) and Happy Hour is from 2-6 pm daily. Once you’re done there, just a few doors down, the smell of fresh peanut brittle and fudge wafting along the sidewalk will inevitably land you in Kilwins, both a local and tourist favorite for desserts. Once you’ve satisfied your appetite, stroll the circle browsing boutiques.
Views from Marina Jack
Most people get a glimpse of Marina Jacks’ views by simply driving past. As you round the sharp curve where Mound Street and Bayfront Drive meet, you’ll inevitably get a breathtaking look of the mooring field speckled with boats and Marina Jack Park poking out.
Bayfront Park & Marina
On arrival at Bayfront Park you’ll immediately feel the wind on your face and smell salt in the air. Sarasota locals tend to come to walk their dogs, or to exercise on the track that loops the entire park, or even for their kids’ playtime in the fountains. Bayfront Park offers a little bit of everything— You’ll see families in the grass with a full picnic, and hammocks hanging in the century-old Banyan trees. At Bayfront, you will feel the Sarasota wellness vibe.
Plan to come here for sunset and grab drinks at O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill right inside the park—You’ll have a front-row seat to sunset views over the bay. Or, if you’re looking for a fancier outing, make reservations at The Marina Jack where a wall of glass allows you to see the sunset and impressive yachts coming and going.
If visiting here simply isn’t enough, you could live in one of the most sought-after areas near downtown Sarasota: Harbor Acres. Just west of the Trail and five minutes from downtown, this listing has amazing views, top-of-the-line construction and incredible boating water.
Views from Siesta Key
Realistically, it’s hard to find a view that’s not postcard-perfect on Siesta Key Beach. The sugar-white sand, clear turquoise water and multi-colored umbrellas make the perfect backdrop for both locals and vacationers alike— Seriously, this beach is heaven.
Siesta Key Village
Most beachgoers don’t leave the key without a stroll through Siesta Key Village. You’ll find boutique shopping and plenty of delicious eats like treats made with liquid nitrogen at Sub Zero Ice Cream and delicious donuts at Meany’s Mini Donuts & Coffee House.
Siesta Key Beaches
In addition to the famous Siesta Key Public Beach with its iconic, colored lifeguard stands, there are a few lesser-known stops that offer endless ocean views and fun.
In the Village, just at the end of Avenida Messina, beach Access 2 - or “the Broken Pier” as locals call it - is a popular stop for watching the sunset, taking beach photos or walking on the beach. Or, off the South Bridge, Crescent Beach has the same powdery sand, plus impressive limestone rock formations just off shore. It is one of Sarasota’s most popular snorkeling spots. Further South, towards the end of the key, Turtle Beach offers a golden, rougher sand. It tends to garner less attention, making it a less-crowded beach for sunset views.
There is no better place to call your "beach get-away" than this west of the trail residence with a stunning waterfront location and proximity to both Siesta Key and downtown Sarasota.
Views of the City from the Westin Rooftop
One of the newer additions to SRQ, The Westin Sarasota may have the best view of downtown Sarasota and the bay. Come here for rooftop drinks, a romantic date or even a pool day. The new Sansara residences, located gateway of downtown and historic Burns Court, is within walking distance to the Westin and other Sarasota nightlife destinations. Plus it has its own Zen-inspired pool!