Haven’t been to Sarasota, Florida, in a while? Here’s what you’ve been missing, from Lido Beach Resort’s all-new Drift Kitchen & Bar to a landmark modern art museum that has garnered attention from The New York Times.

New at Lido Beach Resort

Drift Kitchen & Bar Now Open

180-degree floor-to-ceiling windows, modern Italian cuisine, and eighth-floor views of the Gulf are just a few of the draws to Lido Beach Resort’s new Drift Kitchen & Bar. Opened in January of 2020, the brand new restaurant concept is inspired by Northern Italian cuisine and local ingredients and quickly becoming known around Sarasota for its authentic brick-oven pizzas and homemade pasta dishes. Not in the mood for an Italian feast? Stop by for breakfast or lunch and enjoy options like their Orange-Agave French Toast, the Lido Burrito, or one of their popular pizza flatbreads.

Handmade-Pizzas-at-Drift-Lido

Meeting of the Minds

Is your vacation more work than play? Make yourself at home in the newly renovated meeting spaces where you can comfortably tend to any of your pressing business needs, gather your team for a meeting, and host your upcoming conference. The resort’s Palm Building now holds a freshly redesigned 3,000-square-foot ballroom and five breakout spaces, all with stunning ocean views. The new sleek spaces go hand-in-hand with the resort’s on-site business center, a full-service spot dedicated to keeping you connected even while on island time.

Oceanfront Events

Ever daydreamed about saying “I do” with your toes in the sand and the gentle sound of crashing waves behind you? Now more than ever, Lido Beach Resort is best equipped to turn that dream into reality by holding your wedding ceremony just steps away from the resort along a secluded stretch of the powdery white sand beach. The best part? Beyond the myriad of wedding and reception ceremony sites to select from, everything you need is right here on-site, including catering, honeymoon suites, an on-site shuttle, and activities to keep your guests active and entertained the whole weekend long.

The Beach at Lido Beach Resort

© @thebrookedavis2, Brooke Davis

New in Sarasota, Florida

Clam Bar in St. Armands Circle

Introducing a new player by the playa: Speaks Clam Bar, located on St. Armands Circle, just a short walk from the sands of Lido Beach. Modeled after Italian-American clam bars, the venue specializes in raw and steamed shellfish and straightforward seafood pastas, like lobster-shrimp lasagna and oysters scampi. And the design is just a drool-worthy as the dishes, featuring a snazzy, speakeasy-themed bar (where the name “Speaks” comes from); silver, black, and white booths and high-tops; and a sprawling kitchen and a patio where you can sit and watch the sun go down.

Sarasota Art Museum

It’s been a long-time coming – 16 years to be exact – but as of the end of 2019, the old historic Sarasota High School has finally reopened as a world-class art museum. Renamed the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College, and a division of Ringling College of Art + Design, the venue’s outdoor installations invite young ones to climb and play, while the interior of the old Leo Elliott-designed building features a unique blend of paintings and 3D art from world-renowned artists. There’s also a boutique and indoor-outdoor bistro – meaning you can make a whole day out of spending time at this lauded attraction.

Courtyard at Sarasota Art Museum

© Ryan Gamma

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

The only African-American theater company on the west coast of Florida, and now arguably one of the most successful in the country, embarked on its twentieth season in 2020. So what better way to celebrate than with a newly renovated and expanded theater? That’s right, the theater building on North Orange Avenue in Sarasota just expanded its seating from 165 to 205 in the main theater, quadrupled the lobby size to 2,000 square feet, quadrupled restroom capacity, and added a 1,500-square-foot second stage studio, a 60-seat black box theater, new dressing areas, and more. Come see what all the fuss is about by taking in an upcoming show, including The Greatest Entertainer, Ruby, and Flying West.

Sage SRQ

You might feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you walk through the unassuming front door if this new trendy downtown Sarasota restaurant – that’s because the building was home to the original Sarasota Times Newspaper. They’ve kept genuine features like the high ceilings and brick walls while incorporating vintage-inspired lighting that brings Gilded-Age flair to the table. The cuisine takes its cues from all across the globe, featuring gems like French Terrine, Thai Bouillabaisse, and Indian Masala Crab Cakes. Grab a drink from the copper cocktail bar and explore the multi-level dining space before heading upstairs to the swanky covered rooftop lounge.

Where to Stay Lido Beach Resort