Urban Living Has A Whole New Vibrancy in Downtown Sarasota

By | July 9, 2013

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Downtown Sarasota at NightFor those attracted by the convenience of being able to walk, ride a bike, or take a bus to just about everything, there is just about every type and style of housing imaginable from elegant high-rise condos along the bay front to more modest condos and town homes, the charming old bungalow-style homes you find in neighborhoods like Laurel Park, the cozy residences over retail spaces in Citrus Square and the loft spaces of the Rosemary District. But there is housing everywhere, so why has Downtown Sarasotabecome “the place to be and be seen?”

The Herald Tribune, in picking its “Best Sarasota Neighborhood” back in 2011 expressed the opinion that it was because so much is now happening in Downtown.  “Things have definitely been spruced up over the recent past.  When the sun goes down, they used to roll up the sidewalks, but now they put out patio furniture and sell you drinks and dinner,” the paper reported.  And, the excitement about Downtown Sarasotaas a place to live has gotten even more intense since then with new housing being built for the first time in years as we reported recently.

New dining establishments are popping up everywhere.   There are now more annual festivals and events — things like the Chalk Festival where artists create huge colorful illustrations on Pineapple Avenue, the Boat Show at Bayfront Park, the Sarasota Jazz Festival, and the Sarasota Film Festival to name just a few.  During winter months, the weekly Saturday Farmer’s Market at Main Street and Lemon Avenue brings all sorts of folks downtown who then venture into shops, boutiques, and the many sidewalk cafes along Main Street.

The Downtown Sarasotawaterfront is also a big draw.  IslandPark, situated on a peninsula right onSarasota Bay has water’s edge sidewalks all around it.  It’s a great place for a leisurely walk, rollerblading, or a bike ride.  Children love the water fountains and the playground zone and the park is pet-friendly so you’ll see numerous four-legged visitors as well.  With a light evening breeze, a evening walk along the Downtown Sarasotawaterfront can be a delightful way to spend an hour or so before venturing into a favorite or maybe a new cafe for some light fare or sumptuous dining.  Some Sarasotawaterfront developments like Condo on the Bayoffer both condominium and townhome options where you can berth your yacht right outside your door.

The Sarasota Arts and Cultural District also play a big role in the vibrant Downtown Sarasota lifestyle.  The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Asolo, the Sarasota Ballet, the Sarasota Orchestra and the Players Theatre of Sarasota and the Florida Studio Theatre all bring more people into the downtown area on weekday and weekend evenings.  There is a museum to please everyone’s interests from the Ringling Museumand Cà d’Zan mansion to the younger family-oriented GWiz hands-on Science and Technology Center.


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