Sarasota, Florida is a city that has it all. From beautiful beaches and warm weather to enviable recreational and cultural amenities, it's no wonder why Sarasota is consistently ranked among the best places to live in the United States. Whether you're looking for a place to retire or raise a family, Sarasota has something for everyone. The cost of living in Sarasota is extremely affordable, with an index of 102.7.Plus, you can enjoy award-winning restaurants just a few miles from your home.
Owen's Fish Camp, Station 400, Michael's on East and The Beachouse are just a few of the local favorites. Sarasota is located on the southwest side of the Florida peninsula, where the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico are located. It's 60 miles south of Tampa and 75 miles north of Fort Meyers. The beaches here are some of the best in the country, especially Siesta Key with its miles of powdery white sand.
The city is also known as the “Cultural Coast” thanks to its many historic sites, museums, art galleries, music venues and performing arts centers. There's no shortage of artistic and cultural exploration opportunities here. For those looking to expand their education, Sarasota has many universities to choose from, including the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Ringling College of Arts & Design and New College of Florida. Plus, there are 29 golf courses in Sarasota that include municipal, semi-private and private golf operations. When it comes to raising a family in Sarasota, you can rest assured that your children will receive a good education.
The city has many good schools with a wide range of youth development programs. Plus, Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) has excellent ratings and is considered a high-performing hospital. One of the most appealing aspects of living in Sarasota is that you don't have to pay state income taxes, as Florida is one of the few states that doesn't have income taxes. With a total population of more than 600,000, Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties form Florida's seventh-largest market and third-fastest-growing market. About 14 percent of the population are snowbirds that live in Sarasota during the winter but head north during the summer heat. Times were tough during the recession of the 1970s, causing many businesses in downtown Sarasota to close.
But now homes appreciate faster than the national average - 7.6% faster according to Fortune Builders - and there's no better place to call home. Sarasota covers an area of 25.9 square miles, of which 14.9 square miles is land and 11 square miles is water.