The Best Time to Visit Sarasota

Fly with Spirit Airlines to Atlanta
Here’s what you need to know about visiting Sarasota in every season.

It may be odd to think of Sarasota as being anything other than sunny. But Sarasota has four distinct seasons just like any other part of the country. Understanding the unique weather patterns. And when to visit Sarasota during each season can help you make the most of your trip. Whether you’re vacationing with family or staying for business reasons. Here’s what you need to know about visiting Sarasota in every season.

Sarasota, Florida: Why you’ll love it

A vibrant city on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota offers a variety of sights, sounds and dining experiences. Stay at a unique boutique hotel like Driftwood Beach Resort or Hyatt Place, both with stunning views of marinas and warm weather surf. Walk along St. Armands Circle for shopping, dining and iconic sunsets over canals. Take in some live music at local favorites like Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall or Lido Live on Lido Key. Check out WaterColor, an artist community that offers galleries, outdoor art exhibits and waterfront trails. Feel as if you are walking through a European village as you stroll past water lilies, turtles and other wildlife along Englewood Beach Park’s boardwalk. Head to historic downtown Venice for restaurants with ocean views and boutiques selling fine art and craftwork by local artists. How do I get there? While Southwest Airlines currently has no direct flights from Atlanta to Sarasota (or any airports in Tampa Bay). They do fly directly between Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) and Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW). Fly with Spirit Airlines to Atlanta this route is served by two daily flights. 

When is the best time to visit Sarasota?

Many tourists ask us when is the best time to visit Sarasota. While each season has its own special charm, fall and winter have a more laid-back atmosphere and are particularly pleasant if you’re looking for a slower pace of life. If you’re coming for one of our many arts festivals or other special events, spring is a great time because things are blooming, but summer can be stiflingly hot. If you’re visiting from abroad during our peak tourism seasons (December through March). We might suggest trying to plan your trip during another time of year. We’d hate for you to miss out on all that our wonderful city has to offer simply because you were expecting cold weather and found 90 degree heat instead.

What’s there to do in Sarasota?

Whether you’re looking for a family vacation, a romantic getaway or just an excuse to take in some seriously stunning scenery, there’s something in one of Florida’s prettiest cities for everyone. Summer is when things really kick into gear, with outdoor concerts and festivals like SunFest (May 25-June 1), Jimmy Buffett (July 10-12) and Ulele Festival (August 4-6). There are more than 60 miles of trails in Dunedin alone—try hiking on your next visit. After you work up an appetite with all that activity, stop by The Bull restaurant or Laishley Crab House. If you’re traveling without kids, make sure to check out Bayou Club Brewhouse & Grill as well as Topo Gigio Gelato & Espresso Bar. And if visiting in winter sounds tempting but you don’t want to deal with cold weather? No problem! You can still enjoy snow at John Ringling Causeway Snow Village or explore Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium.

How long should I stay?

If you’re going on vacation and not looking to set up roots, then consider planning a trip that doesn’t require you spend too much time in your destination. For example, a weekend getaway might be perfect for many vacationers. Instead of making plans with friends who are traveling and potentially having to cancel if your plans change, plan for yourself and just enjoy some relaxation. You could also book an extended staycation. This works especially well if you want to use your vacation as an excuse to finally get around to those chores or projects around the house that have been piling up. If there’s something you’ve been putting off because of work or other obligations, now is a great time to knock it out before next week rolls around. Lastly, if you can afford it (and have vacation days to spare), why not? Maybe go on a little mini-vacation even though you live right by your favorite beach. Consider taking advantage of airline miles and hotel rewards programs so that even an extended stay isn’t such a heavy hit on your wallet! You may find yourself relaxing at home more often—who knows?

Do I need a car?

When you’re staying in one place for a while, renting a car can come in handy. In some cases, it’s necessary (for example, if you plan on seeing more than just your neighborhood). You may also want to consider getting a bicycle or scooter (or using public transportation) so that you can really explore all of your new city. Of course, sometimes visitors don’t want (or need) a car and enjoy exploring by foot. The truth is there are great things about both options.

Where should I stay?

The Sarasota hotel and lodging industry is one of Florida’s most competitive. Thousands of tourists descend on town every year, but not all accommodations are created equal. Downtown and Longboat Key are home to some of our city’s finest hotels, many situated directly on gorgeous white-sand beaches. When it comes to attractions, top tourist draws like John and Mable Ringling Museum, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and Straz Center for Performing Arts are located in or near downtown. However, if you’re planning a beach vacation over Labor Day weekend or during spring break season (March through May), it might be worth exploring more affordable options outside of downtown.

How much will it cost me?

Here’s a simple guide for estimating costs for your getaway. If you’re planning to visit from out of town, and will be staying at a hotel or condo (as opposed to camping on local beaches), it might cost you around $100 per night in peak season and around $60 in off-season. You can figure lodging, food, transportation and activities like visiting museums or taking a boat ride. For example, if you plan to stay two nights and rent a car through sites like Expedia, I found room prices start at $250 per night and go up with each level of amenity as well as which part of town you stay in.

Is there good weather all year round?

The overall climate in Sarasota, Florida, is a tropical subtropical one. Temperatures are generally in a very comfortable range of 72–80 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. Warm summers and not too cold winters are just two reasons why many people prefer visiting at any time of year. For more visit Spirit Airlines Destinations. The temperature stays within a comfortable range. Because of the Gulf winds from May until October and frequent rain showers that happen during these months. These rains don’t last long and are great for rejuvenating your body and skin with Vitamin D as well as helping to keep your lawn green through each season. You will rarely see snow or temperatures much below 70 degrees Fahrenheit throughout all four seasons in Sarasota which makes it a popular choice for visitors every month of every year!

Should I bring my kids?

This can be a tough one, but it really depends on your kids and what you’re looking for in your vacation. If you want a low-key, relaxing stay by the beach, then by all means bring them! Traveling with young kids can also be good for families who have trouble scheduling time together. You won’t get that much alone time during normal life, so take advantage of time together when you travel. Just keep in mind that beaches tend to be busier during high season, which means more crowded conditions, bigger crowds at dinner reservations and things like that.


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