20 Adventurous Things to Do in Sarasota

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While there are many fun things to do in Bradenton, Florida, sometimes you just want to get away for the day. 

A great way to do this is by visiting nearby Sarasota, a city full of parks, exhibits, and shows just waiting for you to experience and explore. One of the perks of independent living near Sarasota is the easy access you have to the vast number of Sarasota activities.

There are so many enriching things to do in Sarasota, Florida, you’ll find yourself visiting again and again. We’ve created the following list to serve as a starting point and help you begin your exploration of enticing Sarasota activities.

Experience Florida’s Nature and Wildlife

Florida is home to a wide array of plants and animals, and Sarasota offers you an assortment of opportunities to experience them.

Choose from sanctuaries and research laboratories where you can expand your knowledge of nature, or just relax and appreciate the Florida landscape with these outdoor Sarasota activities. 

  • Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary – Featuring a variety of animals, shows and events, and a charming petting zoo, this site makes for a fun and educational location to spend the afternoon. 
  • Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium – As an independent marine research institution, the Mote allows you to not only see its featured fish and marine animals, but also lets you witness research in action.
  • Myakka River State Park – As one of the oldest and largest state parks, the Myakka River State Park features 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands that are ideal for boating, fishing, hiking, and camping.
  • Legacy Trail – Discover local history and wildlife while getting in a great workout at the Legacy Trail. The trail runs from South of Clark Road (off MacIntosh) to Venice and the are currently working  on getting the trail extended to downtown Sarasota.
  • Sarasota Jungle Gardens – Perfect for a day trip with the grandkids, this attraction gives you the chance to hand-feed flamingos, catch a fun show, and learn about the various animals and plants on exhibit.
  • Sarasota Garden Club – Featuring both native and tropical plants, as well as a butterfly garden and more, this is one relaxing and beautiful way to spend an afternoon.

Enjoy Sarasota Art and Performances

Among the many things to do in Sarasota, Florida, you’ll find a plethora of shows and performances to satisfy your love for the arts. Whether you enjoy dance, comedy, music or theater, these Sarasota activities have something for everyone.

  • Florida Studio Theatre – Offering a wide variety of shows, including improv and children’s theatre performances, this contemporary theatre plays to every taste.
  • Sarasota Opera – Attend a performance at the beautiful, celebrated Sarasota Opera House. Renovated in 2008, the opera house was restored to its 1920s glory, making for a truly historic and cultural experience. 
  • Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall – Whether you like music, comedy, dance, speakers, or theater, this venue has something for you. Choose from a wide variety of performances and shows that are sure to keep you coming back for more.
  • Sailor Circus – Performed by students from the Sailor Circus Academy, this youth circus is a fun and entertaining way to spend time with family and support these hardworking students.
  • Sarasota Orchestra – With more than 100 shows a year, the Sarasota Orchestra performs a variety of pops, classical, and family concerts that will keep you coming back again and again.
  • Art Center Sarasota – Visit an exhibition, take a workshop, or attend a lecture at the Art Center where you can indulge your love for the visual arts. 

Revel in the History and More

Sarasota, Florida is rich with history and home to a number of museums and other activities you’re sure to enjoy. From farmers markets to baseball games, there are some great things to do in Sarasota any day of the week.

  • Crowley Museum and Nature Center – This 190-acre farmstead allows you to explore the pioneer history of the area, while also interacting with the Florida habitat and farmstead animals. 
  • Sarasota Classic Car Museum – Take a stroll through automotive history in this antique car museum. The exhibits rotate throughout the museum, making it a new experience each time you visit. 
  • Sarasota Farmers Market – Looking for a fun way to spend your Saturday? Check out the wide variety to vendors ranging from local farmers and businesses to native artisans.
  • Ed Smith Stadium – Spring training is coming up, so catch some Orioles baseball at this historic park.
  • The Ringling – Composed of museums, gardens, a theater and more, The Ringling is a tribute to the Ringling Brothers Circus and is filled with historical wonder. The venue includes:
    • Museum of Art – Featuring sculptures and artwork from around the world, this museum is truly awe-inspiring.
    • Circus Museum – With archives, posters, costumes and more, visitors get an inside look at the working of the famous circus.
    • Ca’ d’Zan – Stop by the home of the Ringling family and experience the dazzling décor in their ode to Venice.
    • Historic Asolo Theater – Originally built in Italy, the theater was brought to Sarasota in the 1950s. Discover all the history and beauty it offers
    • Education Center – Including an extensive art library with both adult and children programing, this venue is meant to encourage and enhance your love for art.
    • Bayfront Gardens – With works of art spread around the grounds, this site is a tranquil and gorgeous place to explore.

Take Full Advantage of Independent Living Near Sarasota

No matter what your interests or hobbies may be, there are plenty of things to do in Sarasota, Florida to make everyone happy. Start planning your next day trip today!