What are the Advantages and the Disadvantages of Living in Sarasota in Florida?



Thinking about moving to Sarasota, Florida? Here are some facts and stats you need to know.


The city of Sarasota is located in Sarasota County, in Florida State, and on the southwestern coast. 


It has gained a reputation for the environmental and cultural amenities, for it’s beaches and resorts, as well as for its school of architecture – Sarasota School of Architecture


The City lies to the north of Punta Gorda and Fort Myers and to the south of the Tampa Bay Area. 


The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the population of Sarasota City in 2017 was 56,994.





Advantages of Living in Sarasota County, Florida


1  Housing options are almost limitless.

In greater Sarasota, you’ll find that housing options are boundless.


Townhouses, condos, historic homes, Florida-style villas, waterfront mansions, large estates – it’s all here in Sarasota.


In Sarasota, FL, the median home price is around $190,000. That’s a 14 percent rise on Florida’s average.


On the other hand, median rental prices in Sarasota are 8 percent lower than the Florida average, at $950.



2  Cultural activities. 

Sarasota is known as the “culture coast.”


The Sarasota Music Festival, which is among the best classical musical events in the country, lasts for three weeks throughout June.


The Historic Asolo Theater provides an array of theatrical productions throughout the year.


The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is definitely worth a look, too.



3  The great outdoors. 

You may enjoy fishing, perhaps hiking or kayaking is more your thing, or how about a spot of bird watching? You can get it all in the greater Sarasota area.


Head to the Sarasota Legacy Trail where you’ll be able to take in the natural surroundings at their finest.



4  Top-quality healthcare.

In Sarasota, Fl, residents are afforded top-notch healthcare.


There are four hospitals in Sarasota, each of them award winning.


Sarasota City has been recognized by Money Magazine as among the “Best Cities with the Best Healthcare Systems.”


Sarasota Memorial Hospital is on the “Best Hospitals” list according to World Reports and US News.



5  Great food.

Niche food trucks through to gourmet eateries, Sarasota, Fl has an eclectic choice of cuisine.


Here are some of the best choices of where to eat out.


Owen’s Fish Camp: 7030, 516 Burns Ct.

Caters to the avid fish-dish lover.


Selva: 1345 Main St.

Peruvian-style eatery plus inventive cocktail choices.


Yoder’s Restaurant and Amish Village: 3434 Bahia Vista St.

Amish and American-style cuisines, inclusive of homemade pies.


Fresh Start Cafe: 630 S Orange Avenue.

Frittatas through to sandwiches. Also offers a range of imported beers as well as sangria.


Indigenous Restaurant: 239 S Links Avenue.

Modern American-style cuisines.




Disadvantages of Living in Sarasota, Fl


1  Sarasota County is not the safest place. 

In Sarasota, criminal activity is 45 percent higher than that of the national average. Violent criminal activity is 47 percent higher than the national average.  And property crime is 45 percent higher than that of the national U.S. average.



2  Tropical storms.

Be sure to check your weather reports frequently between August and October because that’s usually when the tropical storms and the hurricanes begin to hit home in Sarasota, Fl.



3  Traffic congestion. 

For retirees, Sarasota is prime locale.


As such, the snowbird populace migrates to the city to spend the winter months there.


The population increases in Sarasota around the time of Thanksgiving, then tapers off just after the Easter holidays.


Of course, with the sizable increase in population comes traffic congestion.



4  It’s hot and it’s humid.

Throughout the summer months, the heat as well as the humidity have a tendency to make Sarasota somewhat suffocating.


From late May through early October, the temperature in Sarasota sees highs of between 86 F and 90 F.


Humidity levels become extremely oppressive at 100 percent humidity throughout the same months – late May through early October.


January is the most comfortable month, at least in terms of humidity, with average humidity at 14 percent.



5  Social scene is limited.

For some people that reside in Sarasota, the social scene consists of little more than beach and bar outings.




What do Residents of Saratosa, Fl, Like and Dislike about Living in Saratosa?

(Reference: Quora)


Shawn McBee says:

I lived in Sarasota for 32 years (from the time I was 5).

It is a beautiful city with a good amount of culture (Ringling Museum, Sarasota Film Festival, etc.) and literally the nicest beach in the world (Siesta Key Beach).

If you’re a retiree, I definitely recommend it. You’ll fit right in and have plenty of stuff to do, especially if you’re well-off.

Sarasota is geared specifically toward rich, white, old people.

If you’re young, you’ll find not a lot to do.

If you’re working-class, you’ll find it difficult (though not impossible) to afford to live there.

If you’re a minority… that won’t affect your experience there, just know that it’s a pretty damn white city.

It is a very accepting place. I’ve not known much racial tension there and there is a sizable representation of LGBT there, as well as an annual LGBT festival called the Harvey Milk Festival.

But it’s expensive and run by a committee of old people who have made it more and more restrictive for young people by passing noise ordinances and other laws that make driving out of town to St. Pete or Ybor or Tampa the best bet for young people to have some fun at night.


Ray Loewe says:

There is a lot to like about living in the Sarasota area. I have actually lived here several times now having moved in and out for work reasons, but still ended up back here. Let’s go through the top list items:


Right on Gulf Coast an hour south of Tampa, about 40 minutes south of St. Petersburg, one hour from from Ft. Myers and just over 80 minutes to Disney.

Very central on the West Coast and a short drive to other areas. You can drive to Atlanta in about 7 hours and Miami in 5 hours.


Pretty temperate, considering this is Florida. Because it’s right on the Gulf, temperatures don’t change a lot.

During the summer you will have hot days, pretty warm nights. During the winter it can get cold, we do get freeze warnings ocassionally, but it’s rare. It’s more common to be in the 50’s or 60’s.

The hottest times are July and August and it’s quite humid then with rain an almost daily occasion coming in almost like clockwork in the afternoon.

Expect monsoon amounts but it’s gone in an hour. Better this than winters in Buffalo. Spring down here is just glorious.


It’s said that there are three sections to Florida.

The northern part of the state is more like Georgia and Alabama than it is the rest of the state.

The eastern side could be considered New York South or Northern South America, depending on what city you are in.

From Daytona down to Miami it is very crowded with congested roads, high price real estate and a very metropolitan vibe in the Miami area. You better be able to speak Spanish there as well.

Northern transplants tend to be from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New England states.

It also is a faster pace on that side of the state.

West Florida residents are more likely from Michgan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Ontario, Canada. It is more laid back over here with a slower pace and a distinct Midwestern vibe with a Latin infusion in the Tampa area.

While the Ft. Lauderdale – Miami metro area is a major population area, the cities of the Tampa Bay area are not as large.

Tampa/St. Pete is the larger of the Metropolitian Statistical Areas (MSAs) 2.9 million and the city of Tampa with 377,000, followed by St. Pete (257,000) and then Sarasota with 57,000 and 702,000 in the Bradenton/Sarasota/Venice MSA.

However, our “season” population just about doubles, so be prepared for that in the traffic it brings to the roads. Season is the height of Snowbird season when our winter visitors are here, usually from late October to around Easter-ish.

Even though we are smaller than Tampa, there is a very lively arts and entertainment and shopping scene here.

We have our own orchestra, ballet, live theaters, great restaturants and a booming shopping scene, although the latter is not yet on Bar Harbour level yet.

There are world class museums, great botanical gardens and the best beach in the world according to Dr. Beach. If you like sculpture, take a walk along the bayshore to see new installations every year by local student and resident artists.

Season is also high time for all the social fundraisers and is the time to see and be seen. And remember, Tampa & St. Pete are just a short drive up the interstate if you want pro sports or something else.

Sarasota has a lot of money in the area with more pouring in every year.

There are many new hotel and condo towers going up, and the downtown area is starting to remond me of a mini-Miami Beach, if that’s your thing.

For families with children, the Sarasota area public schools are very good.

There are also several very good private and charter schools as well.

For older students, we have New College of Florida, The University of South Florida Manatee/Sarasota and the Ringling School of Art and Design. The State College of Florida is in neighboring Bradenton. The Florida State University also has a performing arts outpost here with the Asolo Rep Theater.

Want famous neighbors? We have them! Joe Perry of Aerosmith, writer Steven King, Brian Johnson of AC/DC, wrestler Randy Savage, hockey great Scotty Bowman, entertainer Jerry Springer, musician Dickey Betts, actress Jane Lynch, and tennis champ Martina Navratilova all call the area home.

Others that have been here / come-and go include Woody Harrelson, Tom Cruise, Dick Vitale, the Smothers Brothers, Tom Selleck and Michael Jordan, among others.


For housing prices, they’re going up, there’s no doubt about that. It is not uncommon to spend $500K plus on housing down here with prices going up the closer you get to the water.

But there are still many affordable places to live with more new housing being built all over the area keeping prices somewhat in check.

Income is lower here than in many places in the country but take this with a grain of salt.

There is NO state income tax down here compared to many other states, and most cities in the state and none here have no income taxes.

There are also no taxes on most edible groceries.

Property taxes are considerably lower than northern cities.

Gas prices are higher here. You use the roads, you’ll help pay to build and maintain them through higher fuel taxes at the pumps.

If you visit a hotel, rent a car, use an airport or cruise port, you will face high useage fees and taxes.

This is really where the state gets the majority of it’s income through tourism.

Utilities are also lower here than what you may experience up north.

Because of the temperate weather in the winter, heating bills will be minimal. Your biggest bills will be in the summer for AC, but you can get creative with that and ceiling fans are a must to help with costs and comfort.

Overall, even though you may earn less here, you’ll probably come out even or even slightly ahead in the long run due to a lower cost of living.


I know that this is pretty long, but there is a lot I haven’t even covered. While it may not be for everyone, especially if you like a faster pace like Miami, it really is a great place to live.

Bonus item: one added benefit to living here, or anywhere else in Florida, is the ability to get Florida resident rates on annual passes at the big theme parks.

Yes, they cost a lot. However, if you figure out what it costs to go to them just once, adding up admission, parking and hotels if you lived out of state, you save big if you go to them just twice during the year with a resident pass, on average.

Being this close you could make it a monthly day or weekend trip for your family.


Image by Jason smith from Pixabay