Whether unpacking at the Lido Beach Resort just a 15-minute walk from St. Armands Circle (where you’ll find name brands like Boston Proper and Tommy Bahama) or at The Resort at Longboat Key Club with its private balconies, Sarasota is full of cultural and thrilling experiences. Relax your first night by the sugar-soft sand with a drink in hand or a late night, followed by a sunset along the resort’s private beach.
Sarasota’s Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (open at 10 a.m. every day) makes a great morning stroll with 14 acres of exotic plants, many collected from the wild on more than 200 scientific expeditions. Unique buds, like the yellow succulent sesame (resembling a cotton plant) and the titan arum (corpse flower) can only be found at this research facility.
Take a 40-minute drive south along Tamiami Trail (Route 41) for an early-afternoon trip to Ideal Classic Cars in Venice – part museum, part dealership. The 27,000-square-foot showroom sees 200 visitors a day, showcasing vintage rides from the 1920s to the 1970s. How about a two-toned 1957 Bel Air or 1951 Ford pickup with whitewall tires? They’ve got both.
No matter the weekend, getting a ticket for a live Saturday night performance – be it opera, local theater, or live music – is a click away. Try an orchestra performance of modern-day music with Sarasota Orchestra, improv with Florida Studio Theatre, or La Traviata with Sarasota Opera.
All That Racket
The Resort at Longboat Key Club’s 20 Har-Tru tennis courts are a draw for professionals competing in the annual USTA Sarasota Open, hosted here each April. Take your swing at going pro with 9 a.m. round robin games Sunday morning; court fees are included in your room rate.