Sarasota is an old colonial city located on the southwest coast of the state of Florida facing out onto the Gulf of Mexico. The state of Florida has been inhabited to one extent or another for over 15,000 years now and was first settled by Europeans when Spanish explorers arrived in the area in the 16th century. Unfortunately the arrival of European settlers brought a number of epidemics to the local natives which all but decimated their populations. The name Sarasota actually comes from the Spanish term "Zara Zote" which means "sheltered bay" and was basically anglicanized to be easier for the other Europeans in the area to pronounce. This city and county also has a strong Scottish heritage and there are still traces of the many pioneer families who arrived here in the 1840s. Read More...
Incorporated as a city in 1913, Sarasota is the seat of Sarasota County and the city limits extend to Lido Key, Siesta Key, Otter Key, St Armands Key, Bird Key and parts of Siesta Key too. Because of the balmy climate the area quickly developed as a favorite winter destination for wealthy families throughout the US - several Sarasota women were instrumental in making this happen. Because of this it remains a popular tourist destination to this day.
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As of the last census in 2010 the current population of Sarasota is in excess of 50,000 people with just over 20,000 households making up that number; this equates to about 1,800 people per square mile. The median income in the city and state of Sarasota is around $34,000 and the average age of a resident of the area is around 49 years of age - which is fairly typical for the Sunshine State.
The city and county enjoy a subtropical climate which offers residents hot summers, mild winters and high levels of humidity all year round. You can expect temperature highs of 100F and lows of 20F throughout the year with rainy season occurring between June and September each year. On that note the average rainfall in this part of Florida is 137.5cm throughout the year, but again this is very typical of any part of the world with this type of climate.
The city and county of Sarasota are served by the Sarasota Police Department which has 5 substations dotted around the city and offers the local populace the protection of a 24/7/365 professional police force. In terms of fire and other emergencies the Sarasota County Fire Department are on hand to take care of any issues in the city or county.
Healthcare in the city is taken care of by Sarasota Memorial Hospital, which can cater for the vast majority of any urgent medical requirements and there are also various cancer care treatment centers in the city.
Obviously the local climate will attract a lot of golfers to the city and there are plenty of fantastic golf courses in the area for you to enjoy such as Tatum Ridge Golf Links, OakFord Golf Club, University Park Country Club and Rolling Green Golf Club for example. Sports fishing is also very popular due simply to the abundance and types of fish in the gulf nearby. In terms of festivals there's also the Sarasota Chalk Festival and French Film Festival each year. Fans of the arts will enjoy the Sarasota Orchestra, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (the same Ringlings of circus fame), the Sarasota Ballet and last but not least the Banyan Theater Company. If you like going for strolls then you'll also enjoy the 30+ parks on offer in the city.
As a modern city with an active urban population shoppers are well catered for in the city of Sarasota. There are several large malls and open markets to choose from including Lemon Avenue Mall, Midtown Plaza, Beneva Marketplace, Westfield Southgate, Glengarry Shoppes and Sarasota Square Mall. These are just the main malls and markets in the city but you'll find pretty much anything you can think of within the city limits too.
The Sarasota County School District governs and guides the large number of schools in the area - Sarasota has over 50 schools spread between elementary, middle and high schools. If you have teenagers who are just about ready to go to college you'll be pleased to note that the following colleges are all within a short drive of the city:
Obviously a city in a location like this would need to be very well connected to the outside world and this is taken care of by Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport from which 5 different airlines operate. If you can't find the flights you need from this airport there are 3 other international airports within an hour’s drive of the city, ensuring that you'll be able to get to where you're going for business or personal reasons with the absolute minimum of fuss.
Sarasota gives you a sense of small town living with all the modern urban amenities you could need and a climate that millions of people living in other states would be deeply envious of.