8 Things to Do in Downtown Sarasota

8 Things to Do in Downtown Sarasota

Are you considering relocating and wondering if downtown Sarasota fits the bill? Hugging the Gulf of Mexico coastline, downtown Sarasota is filled with numerous cafes, shops, and attractions. Read this guide to find out the top eight things to do in downtown Sarasota. Interested in Downtown Sarasota Island Homes For Sale? Explore the vibrant real estate market with Becky Sirigotis, who brings years of local expertise to help you find your ideal property in this desirable area.

1. Selva Grill

Whether you are looking for a cozy oasis for intimate or large group meetings, the luxurious Selva Grill offers the perfect venue. Popular amongst locals, Selva Grill was even given distinguished recognition by The New York Times for serving the best food in Sarasota. As one of the best restaurants in downtown Sarasota, Selva Grill offers a fusion of Latin American cuisine. You can find many delectable dishes, such as traditional Argentinian empanadas and Peruvian spring rolls. What makes the Selva Grill truly a one-of-a-kind fine dining establishment is how it creates dishes that are artistic masterpieces. Whether you are trying their New York Strip or Selva’s Surf and Turf Special, you will be amazed at the Instagram-worthy presentation. Moreover, you will get to dine in a warmly lit oasis with reminisces of Vincent Van Gogh’s infamous Starry Night on the walls. You can find the perfect place for any meeting to enjoy delicious cuisine surrounded by the culture at this downtown Sarasota location next to the John Ringling Causeway bridge.

2. Bijou Garden Cafe

Located in the heart of downtown Sarasota is a warm and cozy cafe. The Bijou Garden Cafe is an upscale restaurant that offers rotating and seasonal French and Californian cuisine. You can find carefully curated options from local, fresh, and sustainable ingredients orchestrated by renowned and award-winning chef Christopher Covelli. The timeless classics have a creative twist, offering guests a unique experience. The building where this restaurant is housed is also distinctive, having been restored from a 1920s gas station. Whether dining outside in the charmingly lit courtyard or inside at white cloth tables, you can experience the ultimate enjoyment of life with world-class service and excellent cuisine.

3. BlueAloe Day Spa

If you are looking for a luxurious and comfortable oasis that will allow you to forget the stresses of daily life, consider the BlueAloe Day Spa. Located in the quaint cottages of the historic district, this is the best destination for all your spa needs. You can find various services at the BlueAloe Day Spa, from massages to body wraps. From head to toe, you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated. With serene and warmly lit spaces and attentive care, you will love getting a luxurious and full-body treatment at this excellent downtown Sarasota spa.

4. Sara Bay Country Club

Located north of downtown Sarasota, you can find a private country club that has been ranked as one of the top 100 golf courses in the state. The Sara Bay Country Club offers a championship golf course designed by renowned architect Donald Ross. With undulating greens, a wooded landscape, and tranquil creeks, it offers a golf course that is challenging and ripe for players of all skill levels. After a round or two of golf, you can head to the on-site, luxurious restaurant to enjoy cuisine prepared by the master chefs. You can find many culinary options that can satisfy many different culinary palettes. In addition, there is an extensive wine list that goes well with many of the dishes. Whether strategically navigating the hazards on the golf course or dining at a world-class restaurant, you will have a great time socializing with friends at this elite country club.

5. Sarasota Opera House

Housed in an old historic theater, it is a popular venue many locals love visiting for world-class performances. The Sarasota Opera House offers a variety of operas and concerts that are likely to enthrall many, from the casual observer to the avid enthusiast. Whether you are looking for an intimate date night or a beautiful place to watch award-winning cultural performances, you will want to visit the Sarasota Opera House again and again.

6. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

If you are wondering where the best family-friendly downtown Sarasota attractions are, look no further than the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. At the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, you can explore the forty-five acres of a large selection of regional air plants. In addition, it has the unique distinction of being the only botanical garden showcasing exotic botany, such as ferns and other tropical plants. At its downtown Sarasota location, you can explore the many gardens, listen to the tranquil waterfalls, walk the covered bridges, and sit in serene bliss under a gazebo. Furthermore, there is a luxurious on-site restaurant, so you can enjoy delectable cuisine while lounging outside, surrounded by natural beauty.

7. Bayfront Park

One of the many fabulous things about downtown Sarasota is its optimal location along the waterfront. Whether you wish to take a walk in scenic surroundings or need a place for your kids and pets to play, the Bayfront Park satisfies these needs. With picnic tables, playgrounds, walking paths, and dog-friendly amenities, the Bayfront Park offers a picturesque day you can spend with your entire family. In addition, you visit many sculptures and art installations for your viewing pleasure. With so many amenities in an ideal location, the Bayfront Park is perhaps one of downtown Sarsota’s best-kept secrets.

8. The Mall at University Town Center

If you desire to engage in retail therapy, you must visit the highly-coveted Mall at University Town Center. At this fabulous indoor mall, you can see many upscale brands. For example, some popular brands you can expect to find at this luxurious mall include Banana Republic, Chico’s, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and White House Black Market. In addition, many dining options can satisfy nearly every culinary palette, whether you are a vegetarian or have a sweet tooth. There is something for everyone, from casual eateries to more formal fine dining options. As for families with kids, there is an engaging indoor play structure that they will love. With many shopping, dining, and playing options, there is little surprise why locals love visiting the Mall at University Town Center.

Are you interested in buying a home in downtown Sarasota? Schedule a consultation with experienced real estate agent Becky Sirigotis. She can provide expert guidance on everything from exciting downtown Sarasota activities to searching for the perfect home. Interested in Longboat Key Island Condos as well? Becky can help you find a dream home in downtown Sarasota or a luxurious condo on Longboat Key that aligns perfectly with your lifestyle!


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