Restaurants & Cultural Scene
Sarasota, one of the top cultural centers in Florida, is the home of Florida West Coast Symphony and its famous Sarasota Music Festival. It also hosts the Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, The Players, and numerous other musical, dance, artistic, and theatrical venues. John Ringling purchased an entire historic Italian theater, the Asolo which he had broken down and shipped here. Later, Stuart Barger designed and oversaw the construction of another Asolo – a multi-theater complex. The new complex provides several other venues for students of Florida State University’s theatre arts and film program. The beautiful Selby Library downtown is built to mimic a circus tent and has great resources and programs.
What Makes Sarasota Florida So Great
Walkability combined with a wide variety of businesses to visit equals zero boredom for seniors and retirees in Sarasota! Clean air, sparkling-white sandy beaches, and sun have made this town center for the good life. In fact, Forbes named Sarasota one of the best places for business and careers. And, Money Magazine recognized it as the nations best small city! They also say its one of the best places to retire and has the best healthcare.
Additionally, Sarasotas vibrant recreational and cultural scene offers activities for every taste and budget. Its a diverse area with big-city amenities and small-town ease of living. The top-rated schools and motivated workforce also contribute to why Sarasota is home to some of the most successful companies in the country.
Its A Haven For Nature Lovers
Do you love to spend time in nature? I do. Myakka River State Park covers almost 30,000 acres for bird watching, biking, kayaking, and walking. Youll observe palm trees, live oaks, alligators, and turtles on the winding waterway Floridas first state-designated wild and scenic river.
Oscar Scherer State Park offers all of this, plus its a hidden nature preserve that attracts kayakers, swimmers, and hikers. Enjoy any day at the beach and observe dolphins frolicking in the water or the sea birds darting in and out of the surf. You will love all the green space and shoreline. It truly makes for a relaxing life.
Pro Tip: Sarasota is now the most popular city in Florida to retire for the second year in a row. Im renting for the first year to experience the lifestyle. I also want to get a feel for the various neighborhoods that make up Sarasota County as they all have appealing qualities. Its important to know what you want in a home when you reach retirement. If you take your time before you purchase, you wont have buyers remorse.
For more retirement inspiration in and around Sarasota, check out these stories:
Also Check: The Complete Retirement Planner Reviews
Cascades Of Sarasota Adult Retirement Community
Price Range:Low $100s Low $300s
The Cascades is a beautiful resort style gated community with a guard house. There are 450 independent homes with varying floor plans. The models are called Harbour, St. Kitts, Antiqua, St. Thomas, and Grenada. The living designs include spacious living areas, fully equipped kitchens and breakfast nooks, walk-in closets, master suites and a two car garage. Many Cascade homes are surrounded by planned lakes. Other features encompass local cable and Internet connections, security systems, fitness center, screened in lanais, and free maintenance. Activities include private tennis lessons, indoor and outdoor swimming pools/spas, saunas, tennis/bocce courts, and walking paths. A large community center hosts birthday parties, anniversary parties and social clubs that come together to enjoy arts and crafts, reading, karaoke, dancing, yoga, cooking, card/board games and billiards. The Cascade residents can enjoy a van ride to the nearby beaches of Lido Key, Longboat Key, and Siesta Key.
Best Restaurants In Sarasota
Sarasota has long been a seafood haven. While most streets have at least one beach-themed restaurant and almost every establishment offers a catch of the day, you can also find many restaurants serving innovative dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The following are some of the best restaurants in Sarasota:
Don’t Miss: What Is Military Retirement Pay
Where To Retire In Daytona Beach
Latitude Margaritaville is a new 55+ community in Daytona Beach, inspired by the lifestyle and music of Jimmy Buffett.
Amenities include a fully outfitted gym / Spin Room, aerobics room with virtual personal trainer, indoor whirlpool spa and lap pool, Latitude Town Square where youll find the Bandshell with live music, The Last Mango Theater includes a banquet hall with stage for performances and dancing, Barkaritaville Pet Spa, Coconut Telegraph Business Center, Latitude Bar & Chill Restaurant, Changes in Attitude Bar, Paradise Pool with beach entry, cabanas, and tiki huts, plus, an amenity that you dont see every dayyour very own private beach club! Home prices start in the $200ks.
Where To Retire In Sarasota:
Lakewood Ranch is the #2 selling community in the country behind The Villages, and it owes a large part of its success to its proximity to Sarasota.
Though Lakewood Ranch is considered a multi-generational community, there are certain neighborhoods that are 55+, such as Cresswind at Lakewood Ranch and Del Webb at Lakewood Ranch. Another option nearby that some of my readers have already bought at is Del Webb Bayview.
Or, you can search all available Sarasota real estate here.
Don’t Miss: Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
Taste Of The Suncoast
Taste of the Suncoast is a food sampling event where dozens of local restaurants donate their delicious food to raise funds for the All Faiths Food Bank and to fight hunger in the community. You’ll get the chance to taste an extensive array of dishes, such as clam chowder, meatball sliders, grouper tacos, crab cakes, chili, gourmet dishes, and baked goods. Other than food, the event also features several alcohol beverage stations, a cigar station, two silent auctions, and live entertainment. Taste of the Suncoast is a six-day event and takes place at Westfield Southgate Mall.
The Weather Is Sunny And Warm
I love the outdoors. They call Florida the Sunshine State for a reason, and I am here for it. I lived in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and while those states are wonderful, winter and fall are cold and wet. Its not the best option for an outdoor lifestyle. I love to ski, so I will plan to visit skiing destinations to enjoy my sport, but I want to exercise every day outdoors at home. The average temperature in fall and spring is in the 80s, and in winter its around 70 degrees . As you head into summer, its balmy at 90 degrees. I enjoy hot weather, but I can travel if the heat is too much during the summer months. In the meantime, I can bike, kayak, play tennis, golf, and stroll on the world-class beaches every season throughout the year.
You May Like: Active Retirement Communities In Melbourne Fl
What Makes Sarasota The Best Place To Retire In 2021
Sarasota has the white-sand beaches and sparkling water that many people dream about in a retirement spot. The cost of living is reasonable, which means even retirees on a budget can consider relocating to Sarasota. This Florida beach destination also has the amenities retirees need, including nearby hospitals and job opportunities for those looking to earn a little extra income in retirement.
Sarasota ranks as the No. 1 Best Place to Retire in the U.S. for the second year in a row. The U.S. News Best Places to Retire analysis includes data about housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market and access to quality health care. The ranking compared the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S. as potential retirement spots.
Here’s why Sarasota ranks as the Best Place to Retire in the U.S. in 2021-2022.
A Desirable Beach Retirement Spot
Many newcomers are initially drawn to Sarasota’s world-class beaches. Located along the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota has miles of beaches that range from popular to secluded. Siesta Key has soft and powdery quartz sand that stays cool even on hot days.
“Sarasota offers many opportunities to live an active, healthy lifestyle,” says Kathy Black, a professor at the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida. “Many people love the natural outdoor living — the sun, the ocean and the award-winning beaches.”
Reasonable Housing Costs
No State Income Tax in Florida
Proximity To Major Vacation Spots
Even though Sarasota is everything you wanted and more, its still nice to take mini-vacations. Youll be close to attractions such as Disney World and The Kennedy Space Center.
If you wanted to, you could even drive a few hours down to Miami for a mojito or keep going past that to reach The Keys. South Florida provides plenty of options for vacations.
Orlando is one of the most exciting spots for people to visit in the entire country, and youre only a few hours away in Sarasota. Break out the Mickey Mouse ears because youre never too old for amusement parks!
Also Check: Does Tricare Cover Dental For Retirees
Where To Retire In Watersound
Most people headed to this area are probably going to be interested in Latitude Margaritaville Watersound.
The list of amenities coming to Latitude Margaritaville Watersound is very similar to what weve seen in other Latitude Margaritaville communities. Home prices range from the $200ks to the $400ks.
Moving To Sarasota Here’s What You Need To Know Before You Go
If you’re looking for a relocation destination with year-round sunshine, you should include Sarasota in your cross-country move shortlist. This charming city has long been a popular destination for retirees, and it has been attracting many younger people, middle-aged adults, and families with children in recent years. Find out why Sarasota is a great place to start a new life.
Don’t Miss: Semi Retirement Jobs With Benefits
Big Cat Habitat And Gulf Coast Sanctuary
The Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary on Palmer Boulevard in Sarasota is a shelter for big cats and other creatures. Kay Rosaire founded the refuge in 1987, and it became a non-profit corporation in 2005. Its mission is to rescue and care for exotic cats and other species such as bears and birds while also teaching the public about the necessity of preserving wildlife.
To provide a natural atmosphere, the sanctuary has three large indoor/outdoor habitats replete with swimming pools and vegetation. Visitors can learn about conservation and environmental protection by watching training routines with the big cats.
Things To Do In South Gate Ridge
Go hiking, fishing, or biking at Red Bug Slough Preserve. Spend an afternoon picnicking and getting some fresh air at Bee Ridge Park. Listen to live music and pick up fresh produce, food, or plants at Sarasota Farmers Market. Settle in for brunch with dishes like the Western Omelet, Russian Blintzes, or Banana Pancakes at Millies Restaurant. Order house-made pasta dishes like Gnocchi Al Pesto, Shrimp Scampi, and Pappardelle Alla Bolognese at Chianti. Dine on Fried Calamari, Fish Ceviche, or Tallarin Verde with Chicken at Peruvian Grill. Or kick back and relax with the craft beers, cocktails, and wines by the glass at Paddywagon Irish Pub.
Recommended Reading: T Rowe Price 401k Retirement Login
Pesky Insects Bugs And Critters
You should also know that people arent the only ones who like living in Sarasota.
So, be prepared for mosquitoes, biting midges, and palmetto bugs to name just a few.
And dont forget about alligators. Since Florida has the largest population of these critters in the country.
They live in freshwater. So, its always a good idea to be cautious in and around their natural habitat as you go about your business.
Alright, thats all I have for today. So, allow me to wrap up with a few concluding thoughts
Things For Seniors & Retirees To Do In Sarasota
Sarasota has a lot of outdoor activities both on the water and on land. Residents enjoy year-round fishing, sailing, swimming, kayaking, and boating. Indoor activities range from museums and galleries to shows and even the opera. What else is there to do? Here are some of the best things for seniors and retirees to do in Sarasota!
Also Check: Sunset Retirement Communities Waterford Place
What Makes Sarasota Florida The Best Place To Live
If youre thinking about moving to Southwest Florida, chances are youll hear from many people that Sarasota is one of the best places to live. In fact, Sarasota recently ranked for the 3rd consecutive year as the best place to retire!
So, if you find yourself wondering what it would be like to visit Southwest FL and what makes Sarasota, Florida so great, take a closer look at the many reasons you should consider the trip:
Bobby Jones Golf Club
Bobby Jones Golf Club is a 45-hole municipal facility named for the legendary Robert Tyre Jones, Jr. Jones personally dedicated the club in 1927. The course features a practice range, chipping and putting greens, a pro shop, tennis courts, and tournaments and leagues. Mulligans Grille can be found on-site, offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and full bar service.
You May Like: Solvang Retirement Eugene Or 97402
Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary
Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary is another great place for a day out with the family. This facility is home to more than 150 animals, many of which have been rescued from unfavorable conditions and nursed back to health. Besides big cats such as lions, tigers, and ligers, you’ll also see bears, camels, apes, monkeys, huge tortoises, and birds. There’s a petting zoo where your kids can get up close and personal with sheep, goats, and donkeys. To provide additional entertainment, the sanctuary also hosts two animal shows every day: Big Cat Encounter and Parrots in Paradise.
Not Many Options For Nightlife
Even though more and more people have found Sarasota. It is still a small town.
Thus, outside of the cultural activities, dining options, and outdoor pursuits, this isnt New York City or Chicago.
Therefore, clubs, bars, and live music venues are in shorter supply. As compared to big-city options. As I said, this is still a relatively small town.
Next, we will stick with the big city versus the small city theme. Giving us another negative of living in Sarasota
You May Like: What Is A 404 Retirement Plan
Best Neighborhoods In Sarasota
Sarasota is made up of many neighborhoods with different characteristics and features. Some of them are more suitable for retirees and families, while others cater more to the younger set. However, certain neighborhoods have gained a reputation for offering an overall higher quality of life. Check out this list of the best neighborhoods in Sarasota.
Superb Healthcare And Assisted Living Facilities
Even if we dont like to accept it, aging comes with its share of aches and pains. This is why it is critical to select a retirement location that offers access to top-tier medical facilities.
Fortunately, Sarasota is home to several top-rated hospitals such as Sarasota Memorial Hospital as well as assisted living facilities. These assisted living facilities provide several advantages, such as a social atmosphere and dedicated personnel. Even if you can live independently, you and your family may rest assured that there are several well-trained doctors in the region.
Some of the best assisted-living facilities in Sarasota include:
Grand Villa of Sarasota
The Grand Villa of Sarasota has a 24-hour team on call, including licensed personal caregivers and a staff nurse. Medication management is available to residents for a nominal price in addition to the monthly room and board charges. Personnel at Grand Villa are on hand to assist residents with medical appointment scheduling and transportation, as well as medication ordering and delivery.
The monthly charge includes daily and weekly housekeeping, linen, and personal laundry. Group transportation is provided for organized expeditions to cultural and entertainment destinations in Sarasota and surrounding Tampa, as well as medical appointments, shopping, and banking visits into town.
DeSoto Palms Assisted Living Community
Heron Club at Prestancia
What Are The Pros And Cons Living In Sarasota Florida
Florida is a state thats both popular as a tourist location and a place to retire. Its easy to see why. Theres good food, entertainment venues, cool sights to see, and affordable pricing. Thats why Sarasota is becoming increasingly popular tooits a slice of classic Florida. But that doesnt mean that you should immediately move there. Like any other city, its a good idea to look at both the perks and pitfalls of this city before you move in.
Sarasota offers warm weather, high-quality healthcare, tons of attractions, and a surprisingly affordable cost of living. Oh, and it also has great schools. However, the risk of hurricanes and the terrible traffic during the summer seasons would be enough to make many people rethink their love of this city.
For the most part, Sarasota is hard to hate on. Its considered to be one of the best places to live in Florida. The cost of living in Florida is low and that makes it a great place to live and retire. But, what should you prepare yourself for if you want to move to this hot city?
Retiring In Sarasota Fl & Reasons To Love It
For those who live in and love the town of Sarasota, nothing brings us more satisfaction than seeing the rest of the world discover what weve known for ages. For the second year in a row, U.S. News & World Report named Sarasota the top spot to retire. Naturally, we couldnt agree more! Retiring in Sarasota, FL is a smart and deeply satisfying decision for people all over the country. Were taking an insider look into what makes our city the best place to retire right here!
Recommended Reading: How To Save For Retirement With Low Income