We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Free/cheap things to do?

Concord, NH, USA
Level Contributor
21 posts
Save Topic
Free/cheap things to do?

Hello! I am going to be visitng a friend in Sarasota for a week at the end of May. I am looking for free/cheap things to do. I will have a bike to use for the week, but not a car.

Any ideas? What are your favorites?

sarasota, FL
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
Level Contributor
10,629 posts
157 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Free/cheap things to do?

What part of town will you be staying in and will you have a car?

There are lots of wonderful things here, especially the beach which is...FREE!

Concord, NH, USA
Level Contributor
21 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Free/cheap things to do?

I will actually be staying on a boat, oddly enough, so will be on the water. I have never done this before! Anyway, I won't have a car, only a bike to use.

I like musuems, being outside (hiking, biking, walking, horseback riding), and architecture, but I am not a big fan of "hub-bub" and the busyness of some cities. Any advice is appreciated!

sarasota, FL
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
Level Contributor
10,629 posts
157 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Free/cheap things to do?

The question still remains...where will you be staying?

Where is the boat docked? There are different parts of town with different things to do.

Very important issue if you have a bike to get around.

You can alos use the bus system etc.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2,185 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Free/cheap things to do?

May seem like a strange suggestion for a Florida getaway vacation, but...if you are a reader, make a visit to the Main Book Store. Thousands of items at huge discounts...many recent publications as well as older ones. I ended up buying about $250 (retail) worth of books for around $40 and then paid book rate to have them shipped to my home in Illinois. It's an interesting place.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
2,999 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Free/cheap things to do?

The Ringling museum, home and circus museum is well worth a visit. Check the web site - http://www.ringling.org/

Also the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens - http://www.selby.org

And Towles Court Artist Colony -

http://www.towlescourt.com/index.htm

(this one is free as long as you don't buy anything)

Concord, NH, USA
Level Contributor
21 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Free/cheap things to do?

Thanks everybody!

SRQgirl - I guess I'm not sure! I don't know where it is docked exactly, but I do have use of a bike for the week and (after accounting for the weather/humidity difference compared to New Hampshire!) I am comfortable riding about 10 miles each way to sights.

DonnaFL - Good idea about the Artist's Colony! I am a handweaver, so that sounds like fun to me.

GrandmaMac - Eek! A bookstore is VERY dangerous for me. I love books! At least now I know I only need to bring one for the plane ride down.

I appreciate any more ideas. Thanks, everybody, for your help!

sarasota, FL
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
Level Contributor
10,629 posts
157 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Free/cheap things to do?

All the suggestions are great places.

If you are further south, Siesta Key is a lovely bike ride and Historic Spanish Point in Osprey is very interesting.

Myakka Park is really wonderful, but too far east.

~SRQ girl

Austin
Level Contributor
168 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Free/cheap things to do?

Depending of where you are docked......

Main Book Store IS a must. Great, great bookstore and while you're there, Main Street itself is fun to walk around too. The park at Marina Jacks is nice. If you have never been to a Whole Foods grocery store and are into food, there is a nice one near Main Street. Ringling Museum USED to have a "free admission" day..but I'm not sure if they still do. IF they do, check it out. Beautiful works of art. Pelican Man Bird Sanctuary is fun, and relatively cheap. St Armands is a nice shopping area near Pelican Man. The area near Burns Court Theater is also a fun place to "bum around"....lots of old style Florida cottages, neat shops and some cafes. Very picturesque.

I no longer live in Florida, but these areas of Sarasota were among my favorites when I lived there. Have Fun! And don't be too afraid of the Spring/Summer thunderstorms/lighting(if you get any)....they are more "bark than bite" this time of year.