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.

Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

Which Sarasota hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
28 posts
73 reviews
Save Topic
Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

My husband and I are New Englanders sampling different areas of Florida. We've visited the Broward County area; Naples; The Key West area and Ft. Meyers. None of which would be suitable for us to spend much time in or move to when retired. We aren't into nightlife, boating, beaching, golfing, or tanning. We are foodies, like culture, nature, and a little adventure. Folks tell us we'll love Sarasota. Planning a trip in March 2015. So here's the problem. We have champagne taste and a beer budget. We like most of the nicer Hampton Inns. There are several Hampton Inns (and similarly priced) hotels in Sarasota but we don't want to wind up way away from anything. We stayed in a wonderful Hyatt hotel in Ft. Myers but had to drive 30 minutes to find a restaurant that wasn't fast food. And of course we couldn't walk to anything. Just highway all around.

I'd very much appreciate knowing what area I should look to stay in that will have moderate priced but decent lodging and not be too far flung. Also, I'd love to know which Hampton Inn would be closest to the St. Armands area. Thanks for any comments/suggestions.

sarasota, FL
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
Level Contributor
10,367 posts
150 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

How much did you want to spend per night? How long will you stay?? need more info.

You are planning to visit when rates are at their highest....and the area is the most crowded...Spring Break.

~SRQgirl

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
Level Contributor
45,733 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

You are looking at hotels, have you considered a one or 2 bed condo? If staying a week or more might work out cheaper?

If test driving areas to live in, living in an actual home with kitchen so you have to shop occasionally makes it more like when you will live there. but Sarasota is short on weekly short term rentals.

AS far as property costs, I love the sarasota area but it can be fairly pricy. So you might look all the way down towards Venice depending on your budget.

I would either stay out on lido key at the Holiday inn (right on the beach and walking distance to St Armands) or Downtown somewhere- I see that Hotel ranola and Net Suites are near some dining options. there is a best wester off rt 41 as well.

Level Contributor
28 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

I just saw your response to my question about travel to Sarasota and appreciate very much your suggestions. Thank you.

Level Contributor
28 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

Hi, I definitely want to avoid Spring Break. Do you know what weeks that will be? We will stay about 8-9 days and like to spend around $150-$160 per hotel night.

Thanks

sarasota, FL
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
Level Contributor
10,367 posts
150 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

Spring Break is different in different states/schools. Colleges and High Schools have break at different times.

The lodging rates will be lower in May.

Snowbirds are here from October -April to fulfill their 6 month residency requirements to be considered FL residents.

There are places to stay in downtown Sarasota like the Hotel Ranola (converted apartment building)

which is in walking distance to the downtown area. Since you don't care about the beach, this would be a good location.

You would not be far from anything.

http://www.hotelranola.com/

~SRQgirl

Edited: 22 September 2014, 14:44
UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
Level Contributor
45,733 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

Spring break is generally March to easter.

But this area is not a true Spring break desination.

"We aren't into boating, beaching, golfing, or tanning."

If you dont mind me asking, why florida if the above 4 activites dont hold and attraction for you? There are other areas of the Unites states you could move to that would attract you as foodies, yet dont focus on beach/water?

I consider myself a foodie, but I also like the beach, and boats and so Florida is suitable for me. What I will miss is good asian and other types of ethnic food.

sarasota, FL
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
Level Contributor
10,367 posts
150 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

The Hampton Inn is located off Bee Ridge Rd near I-75. (Cattleridge Rd.)

You can see other options under the "Hotel" heading.

~SRQgirl

Siesta Key, Florida
Destination Expert
for Siesta Key
Level Contributor
978 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

Spring breaks run from mid-Feb. to mid - April, or after Easter. Definitely the most expensive time of year. Your budget is low for March weeks here. If you travel in January or wait until after Easter, it will be easier to stay within your budget and have a larger choice of where to stay.

Sarasota, Florida
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Longboat Key
Level Contributor
4,177 posts
105 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

Lets go back to culture for a minute. Ringling Museum complex (world-class) -- just a bit north of downtown, open all year. Selby Botanical Gardens -- just a bit south of downtown, open all year. Sarasota Opera -- downtown, mostly in Jan-March. Sarasota Ballet -- mostly near Ringling, mostly November-March. Theaters -- mostly downtown and near Ringling, mostly November-March but some all year. Perlmann Music Festival -- near Ringling, mostly December-January. Van Wezel Concert/Show series -- downtown, mostly all year.

To experience the cultural aspect of Sarasota, you'll probably want to stay downtown (Ranola) or close by (Lido Holiday Inn) and probably during February-March period. Unfortunately that's going to end up quite a bit above your budget. Off-season will be much less expensive. You'll still be able to satisfy your foodie desires but you won't be able to fully explore all of the cultural options.

12 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Need Suggestions for a first time visit to Sarasota

Sorry for getting of topic.

Is Florida the only place you have considered?

I live in Charleston, sc. I have been to Sarasota several times since my fiance to be lives there. From the things you have described maybe you can visit Charleston.