If a small town lifestyle along the Gulf Coast filled with exposure to the arts is what you are looking for, it is alive and well in Sarasota and Bradenton. With a collection of excellent restaurants, beautiful places to stay (or live), and tons of cultural attractions to explore, you could allow yourself to get lost in either of these towns for as long as you like!
Of course, the best thing about eating, staying, and playing in Sarasota and Bradenton is that they are so close to each other. That means you actually have access to the features and benefits of both places while you are here.
Whether you are in search of the perfect retirement destination or just looking for a great place to hang out for the weekend, Sarasota and Bradenton have a lot to offer. These are some of our favorite places to eat, stay, and play in both towns.
Eating in Sarasota & Bradenton
For those who aren’t as concerned about their diets, there are some really great options over in Bradenton. Full Belly Stuffed Burgers has some of the best burgers you will find anywhere, including one with maple bacon and peanut butter. Wow. Delicious.
Another great spot in Bradenton is Cafe Havana, which serves fantastic Cuban food.
Staying in Sarasota & Bradenton
If your just looking for a clean place to sleep in Sarasota, Comfort Suites Sarasota offers one of the best values around. The rooms here are great, the breakfast is solid, and you’ll be close to just about everything.
Hotel Indigo Sarasota offers a more boutique experience that is located right along the beach. Everything about this hotel is unique, and don’t worry because your pets are permitted here too!
Two good options up in Bradenton are the Hampton Inn & Suites Bradenton and the Marriott Courtyard Bradenton. Both of these hotels are located right near the beach and provide all the basic amenities you are looking for…including great pools.
Playing in Sarasota & Bradenton
The must-see attraction if you are hanging out in Sarasota would have to be The Ringling Museum of Art. In addition to being a first-class art museum, there is also an enormous mansion that was once home to the Ringling family, the historic Asolo Theater, and the Ringling family’s beautiful Bayfront Gardens.
Another popular thing to do is to spend a day strolling through downtown Sarasota. Here you will find a wide range of boutique shops with more interesting products than you can imagine.
While Sarasota has the fabulous art museum, up in Bradenton there is a whole community of artists who are still producing their best work! The Village of the Arts in downtown Bradenton contains more than 30 different studios and galleries to explore.
Bradenton also boasts a fantastic Riverwalk that is filled with exciting entertainment, shopping, and dinning all in one place.
If you are a baseball fan, you get the opportunity to double-dip every spring with the Baltimore Orioles calling Sarasota their Spring Training home and the Pittsburgh Pirates setting up shop in Bradenton for the spring.
With the combination of cultural attractions, great places to stay, and fantastic restaurants available in both Sarasota and Bradenton, you really can’t go wrong with either destination. But since they are so close, why not spend some time in both places?