Sarasota : Florida

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What Sarasota is like for active adults

Sarasota, Florida is a town of 52,000 (the Metro is much bigger) on Florida's Central West coast on the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. Development began in the 1920’s; the town has dozens of historically significant buildings and institutions. This popular retirement community is considered by many to be the cultural capital of Florida. Sarasota has one of Florida's best downtowns with many interesting neighborhoods. An impressive array of cultural facilities are gathered there, along with high-rise, luxury hotels.

The Ringling Brothers located the winter quarters of their circus here. Their philanthropic legacy has made Sarasota a cultural powerhouse. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, one of those institutions, is one of the most impressive museums in Florida. One of Sarasota's top attractions comes at the end of a bridge from the downtown harbor - St. Armand's Circle. This delightful circle is surrounded by elegant dining, shopping, and luxury housing.

For profiles on over 900 cities and towns go to reviews of the best retirement communities

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Where to Live & Real Estate Values

Some residents live in apartments right downtown, while others choose from a delightful array of housing options in various neighborhoods in town. Homes on exclusive keys such as Longboat Key and Siesta Key, where towering apartment houses and huge mansions overlook the gulf. An enormous array of gated golf and active adult communities tend to be nearer the Interstate (see link at right).
The median sales price of a home in the Sarasota/Bradenton/Venice area in late 2013 was $207,800 (NAR).

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What is special about this retirement community

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art; charming ambience with historical background to the 1920; the Cincinnati Reds has spring training here; Bobby Jones laid out the city golf course; many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places; something for every active adult 55+.

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What is not special about this retirement community

There are a lot of tourists and traffic in winter; hot summers.

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What kinds of people like retiring here
Sarasota is a growing, vital community with all types of people living there. It is an extremely popular retirement location because of its warm weather and access to the gulf. For more information about how to retire in Florida and top communities like Naples
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Local economy is driven by

Tourism, finance, hospitality, medical, education.

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Climate and Physical Environment
Sarasota is on the coastal plain. It is surrounded on most sides by water and is a tropical, flat environment with warm winters and hot, rainy summers. Islands called keys radiate away from the city and out into the Gulf of Mexico.
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Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Sarasota, arguably Florida's cultural capital, is the home of Florida West Coast Symphony and its famous Sarasota Music Festival. Also home to the Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, The Players, and numerous other musical, dance, artistic, and theatrical venues. John Ringling purchased an entire historic Italian theater, the Asolo—which he had broken down and shipped here. Later, Stuart Barger designed and oversaw the construction of another Asolo - a multi-theater complex. The new complex provides several other venues for students of Florida State University's theatre arts and film program.

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Crime

The crime rate in Sarasota is about double the national average. However, that does not report the entire picture, since there are big differences between the unincorporated area and the incorporated areas of the city. We are indebted to Judy for this additional information:

"You should include the unincorporated area of Sarasota as it would present a truer picture.  Most of us who have a Sarasota address live in the unincorporated area.  The crime rate in 2012 per 100,000 residents in the unincorporated area was 2893, while for the city of Sarasota is was 6326. (Figures available at fdle.state.fl.us.)  At least 65- 70% of residents with a Sarasota address live in the unincorporated area as opposed to the much smaller "City".  The larger malls and many parks are in the unincorporated area. Most of Siesta Key lies in the unincorporated area,  Most new home development is in the unincorporated area.  I really think you need to include the statistics for this area in order to provide anaccurate picture for your readers."

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Medical facilities

• Doctors Hospital Of Sarasota • Healthsouth Rehab Hospital Of Sarasota • Sarasota Memorial Hospital •  Sarasota has an enviable supply of doctors and medical resources.

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Transportation

Sarasota-Bradenton Airport (SRQ);  Amtrak offers a bus service in Sarasota that takes you to the train station in Orlando; Local bus service; Sarasota is about average in walkability when compared to other communities.

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Valuable Links
Sarasota Visitors and Convention Bureau
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What people are saying about Sarasota

Crime in Sarasota??
Please help if you know anything about the crime in Sarasota! My husband and I are down here looking for a place to retire and love everything we've seen here in Sarasota. However, we are concerned about the high crime rate here. Has anyone had a problem? Do you know if these statistics are for the entire metro, certain neighborhoods, etc.? It seems to be such a terrific place to be: climate, friendly people, the beach, great restaurants, cultural activities, etc. The crime problem bothers me, however. Am I being too paranoid, or is it something that those of you who live here are bothered by also? Thanks for any insights you can give.
Posted by Kimbee Jeanq on April 21, 2012
A Great time just outside of Sarasota
I'm a recent retiree,and moved to Sarasota. The theatre is wonderful. I was looking to find something fun to do,and maybe get a new hobby. I was invited to a concert at Fletcher Music Center in Osprey,my wife and I went,and had a great time. I'm now a member of there club,and am Learning to play music...and its easy. I would definitely recommend Sarasota,and Osprey as a Great place to live!!! There's alot of fun out there!!!
Posted by HowardMeyers on February 10, 2012
I was okay with reading about Sarasota, but not when the Ringling Brothers were mentioned. We love animals, especially elephants. You can figure out the rest.
Posted by BLDION on April 30, 2008
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Facts about SARASOTA
  • State: FL
  • Environment: Urban,Suburban,College Town,Coastal,Cultural Center,Singles,Resort Community,
  • City Population: 50,001-100,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 61 +
  • Avg July Temperature: 81+
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $100,000-$200,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 111-120 (high)
  • Cost of Living Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Culture Index: 121+ (very high)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: No
  • Name of the Guide: readytoplay

Alex Morel

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

Sarasota retirement communities
Vote on the Ratings for Sarasota
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1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 3.4/5 ( 38 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 3.2/5 ( 22 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 3.2/5 ( 23 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 4.2/5 ( 13 votes cast)

5.Recreation:
None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 4.4/5 ( 19 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 3.2/5 ( 14 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 2.3/5 ( 47 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 3.7/5 ( 19 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 2.8/5 ( 25 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 3.6/5 ( 16 votes cast)