SARASOTA COUNTY



Real Estate

2009 2010 3/2011
Median Price* Single Family Home $160,000 $158,000  $164,300
Median Price* Condominium $147,800 $138,800 $125,900

* Median Price of 101 homes sold would be that price which is lower than 50 of the prices and also higher than 50 of the prices. In other words, there are homes and condominiums available in every price range in Sarasota County. Median prices shown above are for the Sarasota/Bradenton MSA. The statistics are meant to give you a feel for the area as compared to others you may be considering and to show the direction of the market.

Taxes

Visit Buy a Home in Florida for comprehensive property tax information.

Weather 

Average High/Low in January 73/50, in July 90/72



Sarasota County is home to many well known towns including Sarasota, Venice, Englewood, Siesta Key and Longboat Key.  Beautiful Sarasota Bay separates the county’s barrier islands from the mainland.  With its 40 miles of beaches, Sarasota County is one of America's most desirable places to live.  The clean air, sparkling white sand beaches and sunny climate have made it world famous as a center for the good life. In fact, Forbes named Sarasota one of the best places for business and careers, and Money magazine recognized it as the nation's best small city, one of the best places to retire, and one of the cities with the best health care systems.

Sarasota County has a great year-round climate, expanding employment opportunities, abundant leisure time activities, first-class health care options and excellent schools that attract creative entrepreneurs, skilled workers and professionals who want to thrive in a community where life is fun.

Every year on Valentine’s Day, over 500 couples gather on Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota to renew their vows of marriage in a beachside ceremony at sunset. The event is open to anyone who would like to attend.

Events:

  • Tropical 4th of July Celebration   www.selby.org
  • Suncoast Off Shore Boat Party   www.LidoBeachResort.com
  • Friday Fest On The Bay – Rye Road  www.vanwezel.org
  • Third Friday Art Walk   towlescourt.com
  • Mixon's concert in the Grove   www.mixonevents.com
  • Holiday Night on St. Armands
  • The Venice Christmas Boat Parade
  • The Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade
  • Mutts on Main Parade and Party
  • New Year's Eve Street Party
  • Snowbirds Arts & Crafts Show
  • Sarasota Wine and Food Festival
  • 2nd Annual Venice Craft Festival
  • Women's International Film Festival
  • 6th Annual St. Armands Circle Art Festival
  • Free Yoga On Siesta Beach yogaonsiesatabeach@yahoo.com

Arts & Culture

Sarasota County is called Florida’s "Cultural Coast" for good reason. Cultural offerings include an opera company, two symphonies, a ballet, a performing arts hall to rival Broadway, professional theaters for every taste, and innovative architecture, and architectural seminars and programs. Visual arts lovers can roam through sophisticated galleries, antique shops, artists’ studios and fine crafts boutiques. The County’s acclaimed natural wonders include award-winning botanical gardens, natural parks and a world-class marine biology research center.
Here’s a sampling:

Visit The Sarasota County Arts Council to learn more.

Parks & Recreation

Sarasota County is home to some of the most in-demand beaches, trails, parks and recreation facilities. With more than 200 parks, 109 athletic fields, 16 recreation and community centers, miles of pristine beaches and more than 2000 acres of open space parkland Sarasota County Parks and Recreation offers something for everyone!

There are several state parks in Sarasota County including Myakka River State Park.
One of the oldest and largest state parks, Myakka is 9 miles east of Sarasota and protects one of the state’s most diverse natural areas. The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches out over the Upper Myakka Lake, and then take to the treetops with a stroll along the canopy walkway. The park’s river and two lakes provide ample opportunities for boating, freshwater fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; a boat ramp provides access to Upper Myakka Lake. Hikers can explore trails that cross large expanses of rare Florida dry prairie. Scenic lake tours are offered daily on the world’s two largest airboats. Safari tram tours of the park’s backcountry are offered from mid-December through May. Full-facility campgrounds and primitive campsites are available. Five palm log cabins, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, have been modernized for comfortable lodging.

Sarasota County is a world class fishing destination.  It lies between two ecologically rich estuaries, Tampa Bay to the north and Charlotte Harbor to the south. It’s this unique location, along with over 40 miles of pristine beaches, bays and passes, that has transformed this area into a remarkable fishing paradise. Sarasota has been host to numerous national fishing tournaments and is home to what is believed to be the oldest Tarpon Tournament in existence today. The Sarasota Sport fishing Anglers Tarpon Tournament has been held every spring since 1930.

You can fish the bays, flats and gulf coastal waters for tarpon, snook, redfish, trout, Spanish mackerel, kingfish, cobia, permit, jack crevalle, snapper, pompano, grouper and other inshore species that either make Sarasota County their home or migrate along our shores.

Florida is blessed with the richest diversity of birds in the nation. There are more than 480 species and about half of those can be found on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The Sarasota area is nationally recognized as one of the top birding areas in the nation. From numerous endangered species, including the wood stork and peregrine falcon to several threatened species, including the bald eagle, American kestrel and crane, you’ll find them in the wild and urban areas of Sarasota County.

Visit Your Florida Lifestyle for more information on fishing and our Guide to Establishing Florida Residency for Florida fishing license information.

Beaches

Soft powdery white sand beaches are the norm in Sarasota County. They are some of the most beautiful in Florida and there are many of them!  Venice is a bit different in places with sand that is a bit crunchy, but still the beaches are wide and quite lovely.

For comprehensive information on all Florida beaches and gift certificates to the best Florida restaurants on or near them, check out The Florida Beach Book!

Golf

With more than 80 golf courses, Sarasota County has long been a golfing goldmine. Nine of Florida Golf News’ top 20 courses are in Sarasota County and four are ranked in the top 100 in the state.   The county’s most historic golf property is Bobby Jones Golf Complex, a municipal 45-hole layout owned and operated by the City of Sarasota.  Donald Ross designed the original 18 holes and nine of them remain untouched after several splendid upgrades in the 90’s.

Visit Your Florida Lifestyle for additional golf information.

Sports

In July, county officials reached an agreement with the Baltimore Orioles, clearing the way for a 30-year contract with the team and a $31 million renovation of Ed Smith Stadium. Both the city and county commissions approved a deal. Now the team and local officials have 150 days to reach a final agreement. The team is scheduled to start training in Sarasota next spring in the stadium as-is.

Hospitals

  • Doctors Hospital of Sarasota
  • Sarasota Memorial Hospital
  • HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota
  • Englewood Community Hospital
  • Venice Regional Medical Center
  • Bon Secours Venice Hospital

  • Visit Florida Medical Resources for comprehensive information including Florida hospital ratings.

    Colleges

    For comprehensive information on Lifelong Learning, visit Your Florida Lifestyle.

    Airports

    Sarasota Bradenton International http://www.srq-airport.com/  serves over one million passengers a year as a gateway to the southwest Gulf coast of Florida. Major domestic and commuter airlines provide daily scheduled service, as do seasonal international and domestic charter carriers.

    Venice Municipal Airport

    Shopping

    Traditional Malls include Westfield Sarasota, home to Macy’s & Dillard’s and the upscale Westfield Shoppingtown (Southgate) with the same anchor stores and Saks Fifth Avenue.  Downtown Sarasota has many shopping areas to explore.  You’ll enjoy Herald Square, Main Street, First Street, Burns Square and Southside Village.  Saint Armand’s Key in Sarasota has long been a favorite place to shop and dine with its upscale shops, outdoor cafes and galleries.  Lakewood Ranch is an upscale planned community 20 minutes northeast of Sarasota with a new “Main Street” for your shopping and dining pleasure.

    The Women's Exchange is the largest of the many consignment shops in Sarasota.   It carries art and antiques, furniture, clothing, fine china, crystal, collectibles and household items.

    If you enjoy antiquing, there are a variety of quaint shops, many of which are in a few-block radius stretching from Fruitville Road to Pineapple Avenue.

    The quaint city of Venice offers everything from tropical fashions to home décor in its boutiques and gift shops.

    Englewood’s historic Dearborn Street in the heart of Olde Englewood Village has shops that feature casual clothing, hand painted furniture, antiques and more. 

    When it comes to shopping, Sarasota County has it all.

    Sarasota County, Florida, Cities & Towns

    Incorporated Unincorporated

    Additional Resources

    Sarasota area Chamber of Commerce:  http://www.sarasotachamber.com/
    Sarasota County Government:  http://www.scgov.net/

    Featured Towns/Cities

    Venice

    A Letter from the Mayor:

    Welcome to Venice, a city that lures not only tourists and new residents but urban planners, who come to see the results of the much revered original 1920s plan by John Nolen, one of the nation’s first urban planners.  Nolen, an urban planner before there was such a specialty, learned from his association with Frederick Law Olmstead, the landscape architect who designed New York’s Central Park, about features that make cities “livable.” 

    Today, Venice is known for its friendly, small-town feel, its quaint shopping center of low-rise buildings that are primarily in a Mediterranean style, and its lovely boulevard shaded by giant live oaks that extends from downtown to the beckoning beach. The beach, starting at the northern edge of the city where the Venice jetties open a passage from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Gulf of Mexico, extends for miles. Much of it is undeveloped and merges into Sarasota County’s Caspersen Beach Park.  Prehistoric sharks' teeth (there is no problem with sharks) are found on the beaches at Venice and Caspersen. Venice has been called the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World.” 

    In addition to the lovely beach, a central park along Venice's main street, Venice Avenue, is the site of concerts, arts and craft shows, and various special events. Throughout the city are neighborhood green spaces and parks, many design features of which inspired architects and city planners working on what is called the "New Villages” concept of city planning. 

    The most common response of people who move here or who return each year to visit, is, “When we drove down Venice Avenue past the shops and parks and saw the beach, we knew this was where we wanted to be.”  I invite you to see for yourself. 

    Ed Martin, Mayor

    Venice is a small city with just over 20,000 people. The area offers a selection of housing, from Florida beach front condos to manufactured homes, to golf course communities to the most luxurious.

    If you would like to get a feel for home prices in Venice or Sarasota County, visit www.zillow.com and search for recent homes sold.

    If you would prefer to save precious time and would like personalized assistance, call or email us today to take advantage of our free Florida Relocation Services.  We’ll answer all of your questions and if the timing is right for you, we’ll introduce you to one of the best real estate agents in Venice/Sarasota County who can provide detailed information and professional assistance.  
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