Florida is known all over the world as one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. The Sunshine State, as it is commonly known, has so much to offer, from theme parks to unique wildlife and wonderful weather all-year long. With one of the longest stretches of coastline of any American state, Florida is also home to dozens of world class beaches, attracting surfers, sunbathers, and beach-lovers from all four corners of the globe.

1. Venice Beach

Venice Beach
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This beach shares a name with the famous Venice Beach of Los Angeles, but it's not quite the same. Venice Beach in Sarasota is an extra special location and new visitors are blown away when they see what makes this beach so special. The nickname of Venice Beach is 'Shark Tooth Capital of the World' and this is because you simply can't walk along this beach without spotting some shark teeth that have been washed up onto the shore.

Many visitors end up taking a tooth or two home with them as unique souvenirs, and this beach is also fitted out with some great amenities like a boardwalk, concessions, and a picnic area. Outdoor showers can also be found here, along with restrooms, and lifeguards are always on duty to keep everyone safe.

2. Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach
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As the name suggests, Turtle Beach is a very popular spot with sea turtles. Many of them can be seen nesting on the shore, making for a truly incredible site, and it's not uncommon to see dolphins in this area too. This Sarasota beach is situated on the southern part of Siesta Key and features a lot of useful amenities like a playing area for the kids, picnic areas, boat ramps, a boardwalk, and restrooms.

There are a couple of great restaurants right nearby too, as well as the very popular Turtle Beach Campground for visitors who want to spend the night on Siesta Key. Kayaking is quite popular at this location, and Turtle Beach is actually one of the least-visited beaches in Sarasota, so it's a good pick for people who want to avoid the crowds.

3. Caspersen Beach

Caspersen Beach
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This romantic beach is located near the Venice part of town and offers direct access to another of Sarasota's top beaches: Venice Beach. Therefore, Caspersen Beach is one of the top spots to visit in Sarasota. It stretches out for over a mile and is a lovely spot to do some shelling, with a lot of pretty shells washing up on the shore.

You'll also have a great chance of spotting many species of seabirds at this Sarasota beach, as well as the possibility of spying some sea turtles too. As with Venice Beach, you can find shark teeth on Caspersen Beach, but not quite as frequently. This Sarasota beach is equipped with a lot of useful services like a playground, a boardwalk, restrooms, showers, and a kayak launch site.

4. Sarasota Beach: Longboat Key

Sarasota Beach: Longboat Key
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If you're looking for one of the purest, cleanest, most untouched stretches of beaches in all of Florida, Longboat Key is the place to visit. This is the northernmost key in Sarasota and offers a huge stretch of warm, sandy coastline, with a little over ten miles of beach in total. Several parking spots can be found along Longboat Key, but visitors shouldn't expect the same sort of amenities they'd find back in the city itself.

One or two public toilets can be found here and there, but this particular Sarasota beach has been left largely untouched, resulting in a calm, peaceful ambience and relatively small crowds. As with many Florida beaches, lots of wildlife can be spotted here including dolphins and turtles.

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5. Lido Beach

Lido Beach
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Situated over on Lido Key, Lido Beach is one of Sarasota's prettiest and most popular beaches. Unlike some of the other Sarasota beaches on our list, this one can get crowded sometimes, but there's plenty of space for every guest, so you never get the feeling that it's too busy. The white sands here are simply stunning and the water itself always seems to be warm, calm, and welcoming.

This beach offers easy access and a lot of great amenities like chair and umbrella rentals, concession stands, a nearby restaurant, and more. There's also a community swimming pool at Lido Beach which is open for most of the year. It costs a few dollars to gain access to the pool, but if you're interested in taking a swim and relaxing with family or friends, it's a great spot to do so.

6. More Info About Beaches in Sarasota, Florida

More Info About Beaches in Sarasota, Florida
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The city of Sarasota is one example of a wonderful beach spot in Florida. This city, located in Sarasota County, is situated on the west coast of the state, looking out over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and is well-known for being the home of several Florida Keys like Lido Key and Siesta Key, offering even more beautiful beaches to discover and explore. Whether you're looking to head out on the waves for some surfing and swimming, or simply walk or rest on the beach with a good book and some sunscreen, Sarasota is the perfect place to make some seaside memories.

Best Beaches in Sarasota

There are a lot of great beaches in and around Sarasota, with several dozen miles of coastline to be enjoyed in this area. Every beach is different, with some being better-suited to certain activities. So if you’re planning a trip to Sarasota and want to visit the right beaches for you, read on for some key details and overviews of the area’s best beaches.

Attraction Spotlight: Sarasota Opera

The Sarasota Opera is a professional opera company located in Sarasota, Florida. The building that houses the opera underwent a massive renovation project in 2008, restoring this 1920s theater to its original historic glory, while its decorative details, seating, orchestra pit, backstage systems, and public amenities were completed updated. The Sarasota Opera House can now seat 1,119 guests.

Along with the Sarasota Opera House, the building houses the 390-seat Peterson Great Room – a pavilion with a large multi-purpose performance or banquet facility that also has private rehearsal rooms and a private meeting space. The building has yet another theater, the William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre, which can seat up to 1,174 guests.

Sarasota Theater Events

The theater's state-of-the-art acoustics and interior configuration gives the audience a feeling of sitting in the middle of sound and for this reason, the theater is a popular venue for community entertainment. The Sarasota Opera House serves as a place of congregation for several theatre events from opera, symphony, and popular music concerts to classical ballet, comedy shows, plays, and film festivals.

Sarasota Opera Tours

Sarasota Opera organizes public tours in the Sarasota Opera House. The tours are led by knowledgeable staff who go into the historic details of the building and also offer a complete tour of the backstage happenings. Private tours for a group of 20 or more can be organized by advanced booking at the box office.

Private Events

The Sarasota Opera House is open for the benefit of private events during the off-peak opera season. You can rent out the theatre space for private and corporate events, while the theater arrangements and the costumes are also available for rent at the theater. The opera house offers 6 types of theater facility rental with over 17 sets and more than 26 varieties of outfits from the theater. All private events bookings need to be made by contacting the director of theater operations.

Booking & Reservations

You can view a brief description of every upcoming event on the opera’s official website and tickets for these events can be purchased online by registering with the opera.

Support the Opera

The Sarasota Opera accepts donations via online payments and through fundraisers or special events. It offers donor benefits through special programs that are specifically open to donors. Public donations fund the opera's educational Apprentice Artist, studio artist programs, and Sarasota Youth Opera programs.

Sarasota Opera, 61 N Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236, Phone: 941-328-1300

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Attraction Spotlight: Sarasota Classic Car Museum

The Sarasota Classic Car Museum in Sarasota, Florida is the second oldest car museum to be operated continuously in the United States. Visitors are taken back in time to explore the history of the automobile through rotating exhibits of antique, classic and unique vehicles.


Brothers Herbert and Bob Horn decided in the 1950’s that Sarasota would be the ideal location for a classic car museum. The two brothers from Iowa had been collecting and restoring classic automobiles for many years and even made parts for the cars themselves. The Horn brothers opened “Horns’ Cars of Yesterday” in March of 1953 and had more than 70 automobiles on display including an 1897 Duryea Buggyaut.

Over the next decade, the Horns’ expanded their collection from a focus on antique automobiles and had to enlarge their museum show floor. The Horn’s offered rides in antique vehicles, and created a Music Box Arcade and Nickelodeon room for visitor’s. They also featured a cycle collection where visitors could see the first motorcycles, unusual bicycles, as well as an onsite blacksmith shop where their parts could be made and a livery stable with antique farming equipment and other artifacts collected out of old barns.

The museum was sold in 1967 to Walter Bellm, another antique and classic car collector from St. Louis Missouri. In 1997, the museum was sold again to Martin Godbey. The 50,000-square foot museum was then renovated and the collection was again expanded to include a significant number of celebrity owned autos and American classics.

The Collection

The Collection of cars and what is on exhibit at the Sarasota Classic Car Museum is constantly changing. The museum currently is working to expand its collection of 20th century automobiles. They are also dedicated to exhibiting the collection in an educational manner that will cultivate a new generation of collectors. Sarasota Classic Car Museum also works to educate the public on the history of the automobile and what the future can bring for the industry.

The museum currently holds over 75 automobiles including:

· Circus Magnate

· John and Mabel Ringling Rolls Royce Collection

· A 1965 Mercendes Benz owned by John Lennon

· A Mini Cooper owned by Paul McCartney

· Don Garlits dragster #2

· And cars from manufacturers such as Alfa, DeLorean, Ferrari, Bentley, and Cadillac to name a few

The Timeline Room tells the story of the car from invention in 1885 through present day and even what could be available in the future. This exhibit also highlights achievements in manufacturing of the automobile and significant people related to the evolution of cars.

Tours-While tours of the Sarasota Classic Car Museum are mostly self-guided, volunteer docent lead tours are available for school and community groups. Docents are also available to answer questions and can be found throughout the museum for all visitors to utilize.


The Sarasota Classic Car Museum hosts several concerts throughout the year with music relating to the classic car time. Most of the shows are by cover bands and impersonators and a detailed lineup can be found on the museum events page online. Some performances have included music from:

· Johnny Cash

· Elvis

· Patsy Cline

· Kenny Rogers

· Neil Diamond

· Broadway Showtunes

· Jazz Music

· Country Music

· Blue Grass Music

· And Las Vegas Revues

Renting the Museum- The museum is also available to rent for private events such as weddings, parties, corporate events, dinners, fundraisers, and more. Up to 300 people can be accommodated at the museum where the rustic feel of the building and decorative lighting in the outdoor atrium will create a natural and ethereal ambiance for any special occasion. The event planners at the museum also work with guests on creating themes and decorative styles for events, and will tailor an event to fit the renters budget.

5500 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34243, Phone: 941-355-6228

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