Sarasota is renowned for its beaches, resorts, and cultural activities. The city's limits encompass Sarasota and several barrier islands, including St. Armands Key, Lido Key, Coon Key, Bird Key, Casey Key, and parts of Siesta Key. The Spanish were the first to settle in the area near Charlotte Harbor in 1513. Sarasota's bay was a seasonal fishing and trading location. At the time, it was known as Zarazote. When English-speaking settlers moved into the area, they referred to the city as Zara Zota. This city was incorporated in the early 1900s. Owen Burns was one of the early developers, building many of the community's houses, bridges, and buildings. Another notable resident was John Ringling. This circus pioneer had planned to establish his own community outside of Sarasota, but those dreams were dashed during the Great Depression.
Today, Sarasota is one of the premier Gulf Coast cities in the state. This city has something for everyone from fascinating cultural events to pristine beaches. Several museums date back to the early 1920s, including the Ca' d'Zan Mansion and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. While there are plenty of artifacts from the city's circus past, the museum is also home to the largest collection of Rubens canvasses in the world. If shopping and dining are your favorite pastimes, visit St. Armands Circle. This shopping and dining district is close to the Gulf Coast, giving you a spectacular view of the stunning water.
Sarasota Chalk Festival – This public art fest celebrates pavement art with displays and demonstrations during the first week of April.
Sarasota Shrimp & Music Festival – This annual festival occurs during the third weekend of May, and it is a celebration of live music and great food.
Suncoast Summer Fest – This festival benefits several local charities with a festival party, golf classics, fireworks, and plenty of food. It starts during the last week of June and runs through July 4th.
Two hours and 20 minutes to the southeast is Everglades National Park, one of the closest national parks to Sarasota. This tropical wilderness is home to many exotic and endangered species in the state. You could see a Florida panther roaming in the backcountry or spot a manatee in the coastal waters. Airboat tours are a popular way to explore the mangrove forest. Keep your eyes open; you may see an American crocodile.
Biscayne National Parkis another exceptional place to take in the beauty of nature. This national park is about three and a half hours southeast of Sarasota, but you will feel like you have ended up in a tropical paradise. Biscayne Bay is a popular spot for pelicans and bottlenose dolphins to bob in the waters. Most of the park is only accessible by boat. Biscayne National Park is known for its shallow-water shipwrecks, making it a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba divers.
Dry Tortugas National Parkis located 70 miles south of Key West and is only accessible by boat or seaplane. While you may be tempted to skip this national park, it is truly a hidden treasure in the state. In the early 19th century, Dry Tortugas was the location of Fort Jefferson. As time passed, the area became a haven for sea turtles. The park continues to be the home of a large population of these sea animals. Dry Tortugas National Park also has its share of shipwrecks, most notably the Windjammer wreck site.
Oscar Scherer State Park was originally designated to protect the local ecosystem. Today, it welcomes visitors to explore this natural oasis near Osprey, about 22 minutes southeast of Sarasota. You can hike over 25 miles of trails or swim in the warm waters. There are also a few spots to cast your fishing line into the waters.
Lake Manatee State Park is a part of the Lake Manatee area. This state park, 37 minutes northeast of Sarasota, is filled with seasonal flowers, beautiful waters, and plenty of wildlife. Visitors love coming here to explore on foot or play in the water. This state park is a must-see location if you want to visit a natural retreat close to Sarasota.
Myakka River State Park, which is 28 minutes southeast of Sarasota, has a diverse landscape, making it a unique place in the region. This state park encompasses acres of prairies, pinelands, and wetlands. Myakka River State Park is an exceptional place to spot wildlife. You may see alligators, native birds, or turtles roaming throughout the park.
If you want to see some interesting and historic places while in Sarasota, you can start with the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. These immaculate gardens are part of Historic Spanish Point.
St. Armands Circle is an excellent place to go if you want to spend a leisurely day shopping and eating in the city. It features more than 130 restaurants, specialty shops, boutiques, and galleries.
For something different, visit the Ca' d'Zan estate, the winter residence of John Ringling, the circus mogul. Based on the palazzos in Venice, the house was a love letter to his wife.
Just 25 minutes northwest of Sarasota, Sarasota Bay RV Park is a smaller park near popular tourist areas. It is a short walk to the nearby marina or several local eateries.
Citrus Hill RV Park, an hour northeast of Sarasota, is known for its spacious RV pads and other amenities.
Bickley RV Park, which is located an hour northwest of Sarasota, is a well-maintained campground within walking distance of the beach.
When renting an RV in Sarasota, FL, you can expect to pay about $200 a night for motorhomes and around $100 a night for travel trailers.What does RVshare Protection cover with my Sarasota, FL RV rental?
RVshare's protection plan standard package covers up to $300,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage based on the value of the RV. It also includes free 24/7 roadside assistance, towing and tire service. For more information on RVshare insurance, click here.What do I need to know before renting an RV in Sarasota, FL?
Sarasota has plenty of freeway access to make RV driving a breeze. This seaside town has beautiful beaches and parks to explore. Be sure to include time to see the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art.What are the RV rental requirements in Sarasota, FL?
There is no special license needed to rent an RV, but it never hurts to check state websites if you are unsure about traveling there. and any regulations they may have.What are some tips for first-time RV renters in Sarasota, FL?
Renting an RV in Sarasota, Florida means blue skies and endless blue ocean. Make sure you have plenty of gas and food before hitting the road, and check traffic reports to be aware of accidents and backups. Because of the warm climate, you'll find plenty of RV campgrounds with pools and other fun amenities. Busy season is in the winter and during spring break, so be sure to make campground reservations well in advance.What are the minimum age requirements for renting an RV in Sarasota, FL?
The minimum age requirement for renting an RV is 25.What is included in my Sarasota, FL RV rental?
You should find any amenities that are included with your rental in the listing details. But it never hurts to check in with the owner before you arrive at the RV or have it delivered to ensure you have everything that is needed to have a fun and enjoyable trip!Are there pet friendly RVs for rent in Sarasota, FL?
Looking for a pet friendly RV rental? Use the pet-friendly filter when searching on RVshare.com to find the perfect one for you!Can I have my Sarasota, FL RV rental delivered to a specified location?
Many owners on RVshare.com offer delivery, and will even set it up for you at the campsite. Choose the 'Delivery' filter to narrow down your search results to RVs that can be brought to your home or destination. Check the listing details for any information regarding extra fees for delivery, or ask the owner if you are unsure.Are there one way rental options from Sarasota, FL?
One way rentals can add flexibility to your trip, but there are typically costs associated with returning the RV back to the owner. Learn more about one way rental options at rvshare.com/one-way-rv-rentals.