Florida Travel and Tourist Information
Sarasota on Florida's Gulf Coast Offers Fun, Sun and RelaxationBy Kirby Collins
Sarasota is a great place to take a few days and just relax. The west coast of Florida is known for it's waterways and sunsets and Sarasota is the best of all Florida's west coast has to offer. The Sarasota area consists of not only the city of Sarasota but the Island communities of Longboat Key, Lido/St. Armands Circle and Siesta Key, these are some fabulous vacation destinations. The beaches here are constantly being rated among the nations finest and there are 35 miles of white silky sandy ones to enjoy. Sarasota is culturally elegant, laid back and tranquil yet have adventure for those who seek it. This sun-drenched island community offers the chance for you to make unlimited discoveries of natural treasures starting with an unlimited number of trails both in and out of the water plus there are many water birds, land and water mammals to watch or take pictures of.
Longboat Key is between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico and it is north of Lido Key, the town has a total area of over 17 square miles and most of the gulf side is comprised of beaches. Much of Longboat Key is privately owned and developed land but there is still a good stretch of beach. Some of the people who live on Longboat Key are known as "snowbirds," meaning they only live there during the winter months, some people who vacation there or own second homes there. The earliest vacationers on Longboat Key were the Timucuan and Caloosa Indians and in 1539 Hernando DeSoto is thought to have visited here with his scout, Juan Anasco, manning the “longboat” as it went through the north pass, this may be how the key got it's name.
Lido Key is a beautiful little spot right near Sarasota. This is a place where you can shop in trendy St. Armands Circle, find fabulous Florida seafood, go fishing or boating or if you choose simply relax on the vast expanse of white sand beach. The beach here is divided in to three sections, North Lido Beach, Lido Beach and South Lido Beach all greta places to spend a day.
St. Armands Circle is one of the main attractions on Lido Key and has more than 130 shops, boutiques, salons and restaurants of St. Armands Circle, this location has been compared to world famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, you'll find many fine jewelers there along with Brighton and Fresh Produce shops just to drop a few names. In 1917 John Ringling, of Ringling Brothers Circus fame, bought the property and planned to build the circular shopping center and homes there. The real estate of St. Armands is still some of the most desirable to this day and homes there sell for well over a million dollars.
Siesta Key is a barrier island eight miles long just offshore of Sarasota. There are three main beaches on the island Siesta Beach is one the other two are Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach. Siesta Beach runs from a site named Point of Rocks north to the Siesta Village region. It covers 40 acres of land making it one of the biggest beaches in the area. Siesta Key's Siesta Beach has accumulated numerous awards in recognition of its soft, clean, pure-white sand and is consistently rated among the top ten beaches of Florida, the U.S., and the world. Unlike most beaches that are made up of crushed shells, rocks or lava, this sand is pure white and has a finer texture than most refined sugar and has been tested and found to be 99% pure quartz. This sand has been described as "dazzling" and it has been said that it never feels hot, which is amazing for summer sand in Florida. After a morning of building sand castles and playing in the surf, discover what gives Siesta Key it's name, stretch out on the powder soft sand and try not to succumb to the urge to nap....
Don't think you have to be a millionaire to be welcomed here, tourists and residents alike can be seen at the side walk cafes, boutiques and ice cream parlors because they have all uncovered the quiet charm of this area. So come and see what the locals know, this is one of the best places in the country not only to vacation but to consider either taking up permanent residence or escape the cold cruel northern winters.
About the Author: Vacation time is here and there's no better way to plan your getaway than by looking at pictures of Florida and finding cool places to visit. Make your trip one to remember and find plenty of fun things to do in Sarasota which is located just south of Tampa, Florida.
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