Some of us are lucky enough to call Sarasota “Home”, and it’s easy to see why those who live, work and play here are so passionate about it. Frequently gracing lists of the world’s best places to live, people from across the nation and around the globe have discovered the exceptional lifestyle the Gulf Coast has to offer. With this in mind, here are a few top reasons to make the move to Sarasota:
Sarasota is Actually Affordable
Because residents benefit from no state income tax, low property taxes, a variety of budget-friendly housing options, and low energy costs, Sarasota can be a very affordable place to live. Compared to larger cities like Boston, New York City, Chicago or Washington D.C. the cost of living in Sarasota is a bargain. If you elect to make Florida your permanent state of residence you will also qualify for the Homestead Exemption which results in an extra annual $25,000 property tax deduction.
Yes, it is hot and humid in the summer, but no hotter than a typical August day in Washington, DC. Happily, we live along the coastline that blesses us with a daily refreshing Gulf breeze and frequent afternoon rain showers that offer relief from the heat. The reward for making it through the summer heat is the promise of no snow. So, trade in your scary tire chains, noisy snow blowers, ugly mittens, and sloppy galoshes for some much-needed sunblock, swimsuits, sporty convertibles, and flip flops.
No matter what cultural and arts activities you enjoy, Sarasota has something for you year-round. Of course, the October thru May season in Sarasota offers the richest array of activities that include elegant Galas and Charity events, unforgettable Opera performances, a host of theatre options, musical entertainment, art walks and gallery showcases, a ten-day film festival, sand sculpting competition, and much, much more. Check out the Thursday Ticket in the Sarasota Herald Tribune as well as the multitude of social calendars available on line.
Award Winning White Sand Beaches
In 2011 Dr. Beach, a.k.a. Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, yes he is a real doctor and director of FIU’s highly respected Laboratory for Coastal Research, and considered America’s Foremost Beach Expert awarded Siesta Key as America’s Best Beach. The Intracoastal Waterway flows along the east side of the Key with the Gulf along the west. Siesta Beach is renowned for its brilliantly white sugar fine crystal sand that consists of 99% pure quartz, keeping it magically cool under your feet. In addition to Siesta Beach, you can enjoy the sun and sand on Longboat Key, Lido with its public pool, Crescent, Turtle, Nokomis, and Venice beaches. All are free to the public.
Multiple Housing Options
Greater Sarasota offers a vast array of housing options — from villas to townhomes, to condominiums, to humble historic houses, to mansions, to large acreage estates. Whatever your heart desires, the Suncoast has it. A four bedroom, three bath home with a refreshing pool, located behind the gates of Turtle Rock in Prestancia is currently priced at approximately $415,000, while a beachfront three bedroom, two bath condominium on Lido Key would cost around $500,000, and a single-family home on 3 acres in Northport is priced just under $300,000. Reason
Flourishing Business Climate…
We’re open for business. Forbes ranks Sarasota 11th in “Best Cities for Jobs”. Sarasota County consists of more than 20,000 businesses, of which 75 percent are considered small to medium size companies with fewer than 25 employees. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Sarasota’s unemployment rate in May, 2013 was 6.7 percent. That’s an impressive recovery from the 2010 unemployment rate of 11.9 percent and the 2012 rate of 8.7 percent. The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, The Economic Development Corporation, as well as the The HuB counsel entrepreneurs in developing new ideas and creating new businesses in our area. Since its inception in 2009, the HuB has supported over two-hundred entrepreneurs, launched twenty businesses and twelve major campaigns to support creative change on the Suncoast.
Fantastic for Foodies
When it comes to great food, Sarasota delivers. Sarasota is home to more than fourteen hundred restaurants from elegant gourmet eateries to fantastic food trucks. No matter what you crave, you can find it or find the fixings to prepare it. We have multiple fresh food markets, boutique/specialty grocery stores, weekly farmer’s markets, traditional butcher shops, fresh seafood vendors (of course) and Amish stores and restaurants.
An Abundance of High Quality Education Opportunities
We do a superb job educating our children. Our county has a higher percentage of high school graduates than the state of Florida and the nation. Over 90% of Sarasota County high school seniors graduate. Our dropout rate is just 2%. Sarasota County has a variety of education options for children and adults from traditional public schools, to charter schools, private and Montessori settings, adult education facilities, technical and specialty schools as well as universities. Almost 30% of Sarasota residents have earned a bachelor’s degree with science and engineering topping the field of study.
Parks and Wildlife
It’s easy and fun to enjoy native wildlife in greater Sarasota whether you love bird watching, hiking, observing alligators or swimming with the fishes. We have over 120 parks and trails encompassing over 3,000 acres. Among our favorites is the ever-expanding Legacy Trail whose recreational walking and biking trail stretches over ten miles along the former CSX Railroad corridor. Another terrific outdoor experience is the venerable Myakka State Park, once part of Bertha Palmer’s ranch. Its 60 square miles make it one of the largest parks in the state. Reason
Endless Supply of Things to Do
Sarasotans are never at a loss for something to do. Here’s just a tiny sampling of your options:
- Head to the ballpark and catch a Baltimore Orioles spring training game.
- Kayak through the mangroves surrounding our extensive coastline.
- Sip and savor the sunset on a booze cruise.
- Get your toes in the sand at a Summer Siesta Beach Run.
- View the masters at The Ringling Museum of Art.
- Learn about our marine life at Mote Marine Aquarium.
- Step back in time with a Sarasota History Alive tour.
- Kick off your shoes and enjoy a free concert at Van Wezel’s Friday Fest.
- Have a beer or glass of wine while enjoying a film at Burns Court Cinema.
- Shop till you drop and dine till you pop at St. Armand’s Circle…