Reasons to Choose Sarasota Florida
Almost two decades ago I made my first trek to Sarasota and eventually made the move to the area. A decision I have never regretted. To this day, when driving out to St. Armand’s I am always reminded of that first ride across the John Ringling Bridge thinking I never realized there were places in the US where they water was this beautiful.
Many people will make a decision to move to Florida every year. Who knows how many people will visit Sarasota for the first time this year. There are a lot of places with their own special appeal. After all, Florida is a large state. Here are just a few reasons why I chose Sarasota.
Sarasota has all the features you might find in a large city but still retains a small town feel. As long as you have a Sarasota address, the longest travel is 20 minutes to the beaches, downtown, and just about everything else you can find here. There is a Ritz Carlton, a waterfront park downtown to walk, one of the top ten beaches in the US in Siesta Key, over 60 golf courses in the county, and if you are a boater, miles of intra-coastal and gulf territory to explore. There is a vibrant art and cultural component to the residents that really add to the charm in every corner of the town.
Well yea! Give up the cold and ice for year ‘round sun. Just about any place in Florida can do that for you. Watch the forecasts and you find that when one of those nor’easters come down from Canada, it can get chilly here too. It can get real cold in the northern cities like Jacksonville. There are times that just an hour north in Tampa can be 10 or more degrees colder than Sarasota. South is better. Places like Orlando don’t have their daily temperatures moderated like on the coast. The effect of the prevailing winds off the Gulf of Mexico helps to keep temperatures in a narrow range. For me, that meant Tampa and south was where I wanted to be.
Where do I start! There are countless opportunities and probably one of my biggest reasons for making the move. I had given a thought about Annapolis while in Maryland but it snows there too. I have always loved the water. Warm water! Sarasota also hosts the Suncoast Superboat Grand Prix races every year. There is nothing like watching the Budwiser and Geico super boats duke it out.
My native Maryland has seen countless 100+ days over the years. I don’t think we have had one yet. Of course, it does get warm quick here but there is always a breeze off the gulf which constantly moderates the temperatures. It sure beats those “dog days of summer” anytime. Expect summertime highs to be in the 92-95 degree range. Winter temps are 10 degees cooler for the most part.
Southwest Florida beaches tend to be made of quartz giving them a white color. They also tend to narrow and in many locations. You may also see beach goers wearing rubber footies to avoid stepping on the sharp edges of the shells in the surf at many southwest Florida beaches. One of the exceptions are the Sarasota beaches. Siesta Key beach is consistently in one of the top 10 rated beaches. One visit and you will know why. The sand is almost pure white and has the consistency of a fine powder. This world class beach is extremely wide by anyone’s standard. The beaches of Lido Key, Longboat Key, Casey Key and Venice have similar sand and lack the problems shell can cause on your feet.
There are several opera and theatre opportunities in Sarasota. National acts are here regularly and the venues tend to be smaller which offers a cozier setting. Sarasota also goes “Hollywood” with the Annual Sarasota Film Festival each year. There are “A” list stars in town like Tom Selleck, Geena Davis, Brooke Shields, Woody Harrelson, Chevy Chase and others are known to be in town for the five day event. There are numerous first run films to see and special luncheons or dinners to attend.
Someone explained to me the trade winds have a lot to do with how Hurricanes move. They head west and will generally make a northern turn getting caught north of the Tropic of Cancer and then begin to head east. Sarasota is in a sweet spot making it difficult to make the turn quick enough to come ashore here. Most of the storms that start this path end up north of Tampa and into the pan handle. That doesn’t mean there we don’t feel the effects. We do get storm surges from time to time. There is a big difference from the eye wall of the storm out several miles. There really hasn’t been anything here since 1960 with Hurricane Donna. The ninth costliest storm ended up coming ashore in Naples and came across the state back into the Atlantic just north of Daytona. It also came ashore again in North Carolina and again across Long Island as a Category 1. This was a rare storm indeed that lasted 17 days. Charley was also a threat to Sarasota and did a fair amount of damage in the Charlotte county area. How many storms would travel right up Charlotte Harbor like this one did? Fortunately, its small size was more like a large tornado. It had a small wind field and ended up following a similar path to Donna.
It is Florida and this is the tropics. At least, if something is heading this way there is time to prepare. I’ll take that over an ice storm any day.
In a Nutshell
For me, it was an easy choice. Some of my favorite leisure activities are spending the day out at Lido Key along with the other boaters and then catching a sunset. There is also a stroll around St. Armand’s circle with an ice cream cone or walking through the downtown area with the background of live music at one of the local restaurants. There are also wonderful sunset strolls down Siesta Key. For golfers, there are 60+ courses to choose from. There are top musical acts, first run films, and Broadway productions that can be seen up close without the hassle of fighting the huge crowds at stadium events.
Just remember to wear sunscreen during the day and something casual at night!
If Florida is on your future, Sarasota should be on your list. If you decide that this is the place for you, take a look at all if the Sarasota Real Estate on the market today. We have all the listings from all brokers including foreclosures and distress sales and our site is updated with the latest MLS listings.
I hope to see you in Sarasota!
John Woodward, GRI, CRS, SFR
Saraosta Real Estate Group