Looking for a getaway in the Sunshine State? Sarasota, Florida is a vacationer’s paradise with beachfront views, beautiful mangroves and a vibrant downtown area.
It packs a lot of punch in a small area. Its stateside, tropical vibes will have you and your spouse feeling renewed from wedding celebrations in no time.
Where is Sarasota?
This beautiful destination is on the United States’ southwest Gulf Coast, in Florida. Honeymooners can enjoy the turquoise blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and great hotel options.
Sarasota FL in the Eastern Standard Timezone in the US, and observes Daylight Savings.
Getting to Sarasota
If you live on the east coast of the United States you may want to drive to Sarasota, Florida from your home. It’s just off of I-75. It’s about three hours south of Orlando and just over an hour south of Tampa.
Flying there is a great option as well. The closest airport is Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (code: SRQ) but you can fly to Tampa International Airport (TPA) as well. Tampa is a location that may have more airlines and direct flight paths available to you, depending on the region you’re flying from to Sarasota.
Here are some flight paths from three US cities and their associated costs to get to Sarasota’s SRQ airport:
- LAX to SRQ: $325 (with a stopover)
- NYC area to SRQ: $200
- Houston area to SRQ: $200
Airlines that fly to SRQ include American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Air Canada, Allegiant, JetBlue and United.
Here are flight costs/path examples to Tampa’s TPA airport:
- LAX to TPA: $350 (most paths have a stopover)
- NYC area to TPA: $150
- Houston area to TPA: $200
Airlines that fly to TPA include American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Air Canada, JetBlue and United, like at SRQ. But also includes other popular airlines like Southwest, Spirit, American Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, and Norwegian.
You can rent a car or arrive at your vacation destination with a car service from the airport, like Uber or Lyft. Some resorts may even offer complimentary shuttle service from Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.
Peak and Off-Peak Times of Year in Sarasota FL
Florida is hot in the summer so it’s considered off-peak time. Spring, Fall and winter are more desirable for visitors seeking an escape from the cold.
Temperatures generally range between 20 degrees of the daily high and low year-round. It can be 70 degrees in the morning in June and reach a peak of 90. Or, it could be 50 degrees in December and reach a high of 75 during the day. December, January and February are the coldest months of the year. If you want better odds for optimal weather to enjoy the city’s sand beaches, try booking your trip to Sarasota FL between April and October.
No matter the time of year you visit be sure to bring lots of sunscreen and your sunglasses!
Be aware of hurricane season as well, which is approximately June to November, peaking in summer months. The Gulf of Mexico is often prone to heavier rainfall this time of year.
COVID Information in Florida
Extensive information for Florida’s COVID-19 situation can be found online. It’s also a good place to remain aware of trip updates as it pertains to health notices. The site should answer all your questions and more about the status of Coronavirus in Florida. Generally speaking, however, the state does not currently have travel restrictions.
The LGBTQ+ community is welcomed. Couples will enjoy freedom to be themselves while vacationing in Florida. Not only does the state abides by federal laws regarding same-sex marriages, for instance, but the Visit Sarasota site offers this great, gay-friendly guide to the city.
Popular Sarasota Hotels for your honeymoon
The following hotels are designated as downtown or near Sarasota Bay, but they’re all pretty close to each other. The most important thing is to perhaps decide on the hotel type you are interested in for your honeymoon in Sarasota. Then go from there.
Downtown Sarasota area:
- Art Ovation Hotel: This hotel is part of Marriotts’ Autograph Collection of Hotels. It’s perfectly located in downtown Sarasota. You can walk a short distance to great dining, shops and art galleries.
- Sarasota Modern: This hotel features three different pools, all at different temperatures. It’s in Sarasota’s up and coming Rosemary neighborhood.
- The Ritz-Carlton: A resort for those who want the best amenities and an ultra-luxurious hotel for their honeymoon in Sarasota, including a spa. Guests also enjoy access to a beach club on Lido Key and a Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course. (You must be a guest of the resort to play the course.)
- Westin: This resort also offers a spa, a rooftop bar and beautiful waterfront views from their rooms.
For those who desire a tropical-islands, small-town feel, consider a hotel on one of the keys for your honeymoon in Sarasota. It will take you longer to get to central Sarasota from a southwest Gulf Coast barrier island. But if you want to get further away from the city center these options will provide a great experience:
- Lido Beach Resort (Lido Key)
- Turtle Beach Resort & Inn (Siesta Key)
- Zota Beach Resort (Longboat Key)
Activities in Sarasota
Sarasota, Florida is a great place to relax or pamper yourself. It’s also a fantastic destination for some water and land activities. Here are some suggestions of things to do:
Visit one of the Beautiful Beaches of the Southwest Gulf Coast in Sarasota
If you love beaches this is a great destination for you. There’s not only seashore from the coast of Florida but the keys provides even more beach options, including Siesta Key Beach (continuously voted best beach in the US by TripAdvisor).
Golf in Sarasota, FL
Florida is known for great golf courses and Sarasota is no exception. Play one of the courses open to the public, including Tatum Ridge Golf Links or University Park Country Club. If you’re staying at the Ritz-Carlton you are invited to sign up for a round of golf there too.
Treat yourself to a Wellness Day
Sarasota has spas for you to enjoy a massage, facial or even get a manicure or pedicure. The Westin and The Ritz-Carlton offer spas. The Inner Circle Spa services south Sarasota, while L Spa is more centrally located.
Visit one of Sarasota’s Top Attractions
Spend a day at The Ringling. It includes the Ringling Estate, Ringling Bayfront Gardens, Ringling Circus Museum and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Arts. It boasts one of the best art collections in the USA.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a wonderful option if you want to enjoy the outdoors but need a break from the ocean. There are two locations, one in downtown Sarasota featuring 30 acres of bay-front gardens. The other is 10 miles away and features 30 acres of gardens at Historic Spanish Point.
Have Fun with Water Sports
If you are craving a day on the water in Sarasota, FL considering kayaking or paddle boarding amongst the mangroves on Siesta Key or Lido Key. Parasailing is a fun activity too if you aren’t in the mood to get an arm workout and want an aerial view of the ocean. Or rent a jet ski! You can also charter a sailboat and enjoy a romantic sunset cruise.
Don’t forget to enjoy your hotel pool as well. Or have lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants downtown. Many restaurants in Florida offer happy hour specials. And winding down with a glass of wine on your honeymoon is the perfect remedy to recover from your wedding festivities.
Take a Tour of the City
Sarasota Suncoast Tours offers sightseeing trolley tours, food and drink tours, ghost tours and historical walks.
Shop ’til Your Heart’s Content in Sarasota FL
If you love shopping you’ll have plenty of options in Sarasota. There are 8 shopping districts, including:
- Downtown Sarasota’s Main Street
- Siesta Key Village
- St. Armands Circle
- Gulf Gate
Planning a Florida Honeymoon? Don’t forget to register for all your activities, resorts and dining on Honeyfund!
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