Sarasota Life

For more than 100 years, some of the world's finest creative minds have called Sarasota home. One was John Ringling, noted art collector, real estate developer, and circus impresario, who founded Ringling College of Art and Design in 1931. He recognized Sarasota as an ideal place for young artists to study and be inspired. Today, you can stay in touch with art history at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Wander through its galleries of internationally recognized paintings, or take in one of its changing eclectic exhibitions. Thanks in large part to the Ringling legacy, the greater Sarasota area has earned its reputation as Florida's Cultural Coast.

The area has cultural resources that exceed many larger cities. In fact, the March 2004 issue of Inc. Magazine included an article by Joel Kotkin, with rankings by David Friedman, which rated Sarasota as number three of the top 25 cities in medium metro areas for doing business in America.

The article stated "This may well be Florida's 'next big thing,' an affordable coastal region that attracts many skilled, middle-class emigrants from the north. A sizable tech force has made this among the fastest-growing areas for information-based industries. And there's always the beach."

Sarasota has a resort lifestyle that lures people from all over the world. It's the kind of place where you can catch a fish in the morning, view an obscure foreign film in the afternoon, and listen to cutting-edge jazz at night. It's a vibrant cultural landscape with the feeling of a small town. Go to the beach or to the ballet. Sketch pelicans or palm trees. Hear a live opera, orchestra, or a chorus of seabirds. Let the sunlight brighten your palette and illuminate your mind. It's all here.

Here's lots of information on where to go and what to do in and around Sarasota.

SPORTS AND RECREATION site lists attractions in Sarasota exclusively.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Ed Smith Stadium / Sarasox- Sarasota Red Sox

New York Yankees Spring Training

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

J.P Igloo Ice-Inline Fitness Complex
5309 29th St E
Ellenton, FL 34222-4116

Skate Park Sarasota

Sarasota BMX dirt bike racing

Sarasota Ski- A- Rees

Sarasota Lanes Bowling
2250 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL  34237


Mote Marine Laboratory

The Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary

Marie Selby Gardens

Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Parks of Sarasota include:

Jelks Park, Lemon Bay Park, Myakkahatchee Park, Arlington Park, and many others see for more and links.

Siesta Beach - voted world's finest sand. Multiple other beaches within an hour drive both north and south of Sarasota.

Myakka State Park - Canoeing, boating, fishing, hiking, canopy walk, nature trails available; can rent bikes for the day.


Van Wezel Performing Arts Center

John and Mable Ringling Art Museum

Asolo Theater

Florida West Coast Symphony

Sarasota Ballet

Sarasota Film Society

Sarasota Opera House

Sarasota Concert Band

Florida Studio Theatre

Circus Sarasota

St. Armand's Circle - Fourth Friday of the Month Jazz- Free live music.

Sarasota Arts Council - good web site for a listing of upcoming art festivals and craft fairs and visiting artists in the community.


Hollywood 20

Sarasota Square Mall - AMC theatre

Burns Court Cinema - Foreign film theater and film festival venue

Cobb Parkway 8 (Dollar Theater)
6300 North Lockwood Ridge
Sarasota, FL 34243


Thrift Stores

Goodwill Locations: (multiple locations around for those who LOVE to vintage/thrift store shop!)

Encore and More - Women's Exchange - 1439 Main St Sarasota 941.953.4222

The Salvation Army - 2280 17th St. 941.954.4549

Twice's Nice - 1480 Fruitville Road. 941.366.2188

Over 30 thrift stores within a 20-mile radius and Tampa is less than an hour away with tons of vintage clothing stores as well.  Vintage clothing is very easy to find down here for those people who enjoy the eclectic clothing look.


Westfield Shopping Center for store directory. 

Southgate Mall on Siesta Drive is also a Westfield Mall but they are not listed on their site yet for store listings.

International Plaza and Bay Street
West Shore & Boy Scout Blvd.
2223 N. West Shore Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607

Prime Outlet Mall
461 Factory Shops Blvd.
Ellenton, FL  34222
Local Phone: 941.723.1150
Toll Free U.S.: 888.260.7608
Fax: 941.723.9437

Countryside Mall
Phone:  727.796.1079
27001 US Hwy. 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sunday, noon - 6 p.m.

Pinellas Square Mall
Phone:  727.527.7241
7200 U. S. 19 N.
Pinellas Park, FL 33781

Tyrone Square Mall
Phone: 727.345.0126
6901 22nd Ave N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33710


Club Envy, 18+, 1927 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, 941.951.0335

Fandangos, 21+, 1266 Old Stickney Point Road, Sarasota, 941.346.1711

Daiquiri Deck, 21+, 5250 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota [Siesta Key], 941.359.8697

Gilligan's, 18+, 5253 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota [Siesta Key], 941.346.8122

The Beach Club, 21+, 5150 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota [Siesta Key], 941.349.6311

Gator Club, 21+, 1490 Main Street, Sarasota, 941.366.5969

JD Ford's 21+, 1925 S. Osprey Avenue S., Sarasota, 941.362.9463

Joyland, 21+, 6424 14th Street West, Sarasota, 941.756.6060

Howl at the Moon Night Club, 615 Channelside Dr., Tampa, 813.226.2261

Club Hedo 18+, 1510 E. 7th Avenue, Tampa, 813.248.4336

Amphitheater, 21+, 1609 E. 7th Avenue, Tampa, 813.248.2331

Full Moon Saloon, 21+, 1613 E. 7th Avenue, Tampa, 813.248.3309

Ybor City, Tampa, Entertainment district, 60+ clubs, restaurants, bars

Channel Side, Tampa, Waterfront entertainment district


Cantina Latina - 3800 Tamiami Trail South, 941.954.1330

Burritos - 2700 Stickney Point Road, 941.922.3888

Tijuana Flats - 1635 S. Tamiami Trail, 941.330.0989

Main Bar Sandwich Shop - 1944 Main Street, 941.955.8733

El Adobe Mexican Restaurant - 4023 S. Tamiami Trail, 921.7476

Il Panificio - 1730 Main St., 941.366.5570

Quizno's Subs - 1507 S. Tamiami Trail, 941.952.5113

Sahara Café & Mediterranean Food - 1121 S. Tamiami Trail, 941.954.1423

Two Señoritas – 1355 Main St., 941.366.1618

Tropical Thai Restaurant - 1420 Main St., 941.364.5775

Bangkok Restaurant - 4791 Swift Road, 941.922.0703


Starbuck's - Multiple locations around town

Sarasota News and Books - 1341 Main St., 941.365.6332

Barnie's Coffee House - St. Armand's Circle, 941.388.1195

GOVERNMENT - website to register to vote in Sarasota county - website for Sarasota county government pages, this will get you information about almost everything you could need in Sarasota county.

Tax Collector

The Tax Collector's Office can process driver's license renewals, address changes and out-of-state license transfers only.  There is an additional $5.25 convenience fee for licenses issued at this office.

Corner of U. S. 301 [Washington Blvd.] & Ringling Blvd.
101 S. Washington Blvd., Sarasota    941.861.8300
The office is open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Florida Driver's License Offices: Sarasota

This Driver's License Office is closed every Monday and open Tuesday – Friday from 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
601 Pompano Ave.
[Off Fruitville Road, near Sarasota County Fairgrounds/Robarts Arena]
941.361.6222  [For Appointments Only]

Just moved to Florida and need to get a driver license and your car registered? Here's what to do:

If you have an out-of-state license, and it has not expired beyond 30 days, you may be able to convert your license without taking a written or road test. You will need to have a vision screening. Please call your local driver license office and schedule an appointment.

Obtain vehicle insurance from a company licensed to do business in Florida -in other words, visit a Florida insurance agent.

Take your proof of Florida insurance and your original out of state title and verification of the motor vehicle's *vehicle identification number[(VIN], completed on form HSMV 82040 or HSMV 82042, to your local Florida county tax collector's office.

VIN verification is required for all USED motor vehicles not currently titled in Florida, including trailers with a weight of 2,000 pounds or more.

    *The VIN must be verified by one of the following:

  1. A law enforcement officer from any state.
  2. A licensed Florida or out of state motor vehicle dealer. If the VIN is verified by an out of state motor vehicle dealer, the verification must be submitted on their letterhead stationary.
  3. A Florida DMV Compliance Examiner/Inspector, DMV or tax collector employee.
  4. A notary public commissioned by the state of Florida.
  5. Provost Marshal [an officer who supervises the military police of a command] or a commissioned officer in active military service, with a rank of 2nd lieutenant or higher or an LNC, "Legalman, Chief Petty Officer, E-7".

If the out of state title is currently in the possession of an out of state lienholder, the tax collector's office will assist you in contacting the lienholder to obtain the title. The lien will be recorded on the Florida title when issued and will be mailed to the lienholder.