Things to Do in Sarasota with Only a Few Hours

So you only have a few hours to be in Sarasota, what do you recommend?  Believe it or not, this question is actually asked a lot.  Some people may have an extended layover at the airport or maybe you are on your way to Miami and stopping in Sarasota for the night, sometimes travelers may not have a lot of time to experience all of the paradise we know as the Greater Sarasota area, but they want to do something.  Fortunately, there are several things to do in Sarasota with only a few hours.  Here are our favorites:

Search for Sharks' Teeth at Venice Beach

How cool will you be when you return to the Midwest with a plastic bag full of sharks’ teeth?  If you head to Venice Beach, it just might happen.  Just south of Sarasota, Venice Beach is known as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World”.  Many novice and professional sharks’ teeth hunters can find quite a few on an average day.  To increase your chances, aim to go hunting during low tide or after storms when the waves may have washed up new treasures onto the shore.  Look for areas with shells and gravel, especially along the waterline and near the jetties.  These spots tend to be hotbeds for shark teeth.  Keep your eyes peeled for small, dark, triangular-shaped objects.  Shark teeth come in various sizes, but most are relatively small and range in color from black to dark brown.

Of course, always follow local regulations and guidelines for fossil hunting.  Be mindful of sensitive habitats and avoid disturbing wildlife or damaging the beach.  Happy hunting!

Search for Hidden Gems at Red Barn Flea Market

The Red Barn combines a traditional flea market, plaza shops, food courts and open-air farmers market in a 145,000 square foot area, with over 80,000 square feet that is air-conditioned.  With more than 600 flea market booths and shops, there are literally thousands of hidden gems to be found.  Plus, there is a great variety of fresh Florida produce to choose from as well.

Enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday hosted in the main food court.  If you are in town, don’t forget to check out the Garage Sale Weekends where you can find even more treasures to bring back home.

Explore Pinecraft and Enjoy an Amish Meal

Pinecraft is a small working neighborhood within the Sarasota city limits that draws some very special snowbirds from up north.  These are members of the Amish and Mennonite orders.  These individuals are dressed in traditional plain clothing and prayer coverings, often riding adult tricycles with large baskets on the back – a replacement for the horse and buggy transportation that is normally found up in states like Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (horse-drawn buggies are not allowed within the Sarasota city limits).

Here in Pincraft, things go at a slower pace, which can be refreshing.  If you do stop by, be sure to have an Amish meal at Yoder’s Restaurant & Amish Village or at Der Dutchman.  Both of these establishments offer traditional Amish cooking

Head to a Rooftop Bar Downtown for Some Amazing Views

We can all agree that Sarasota is a picturesque city, and there may be no better way to enjoy Sarasota’s skyline and bay views than a rooftop bar from downtown.  Luckily, there are many to choose from, each offering spectacular views, cool Gulf breezes, and a variety of food and drink.  Our top choices are Perspective Rooftop Pool Bar, Evoq, Sage, and Raffurty’s Bar & Grill.

Stroll Along Sarasota Bayfront Park

Sometimes, the best way to spend a few hours is with a leisure stroll.  If that appeals to you, Bayfront Park is a must.  Here you can enjoy the stunning views of Sarasota Bay as you pass by lush greenery, manicured gardens, and public art installations.  If you have a keen eye, you may observe dolphins, pelicans, and various bird species that inhabit the bay.  Carry along some binoculars to enhance your viewing experience.  Bayfront Park is also the perfect spot for a picnic.  You can spread out a blanket on the grassy areas or utilize the picnic tables throughout the park.  If you are strolling along during the early evening, be sure to stick around and watch a breathtaking sunset over the bay.

Stay Longer.  We Won’t Tell!

Sarasota is indeed a beautiful place to visit.  A few hours may give you a glimpse of the city, but you will need much longer to appreciate all that it has to offer.  If you decide to vacation here, The Inn on Siesta Key is the perfect place to experience the old Florida charm that this area is known for.  Cozy, private, clean, and conveniently located near Siesta Key Beach – one of America’s best beaches – The Inn on Siesta Key still has personalized service with all the amenities of home.  Eat, play, and celebrate life in old Florida style on Siesta Key. 

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