Best Places to Live

Sarasota, FL

Population: 53,583
Photo: sarasotafl.org

Beach Vacation

White sand beaches and calm blue waters mix with dozens of entertainment options to create one of the best spring break destinations – Sarasota, FL.

The city is located about halfway down Florida's Gulf Coast, which makes it the warmest of our picks for spring break spots. It's considered a more family-friendly destination than many other spots along the coast.

There are six distinct beach areas here, all offer a variety of hotels and rental properties, places to relax, natural wonders, great food and fun. In addition to a wealth of historic sites, such as the John Ringling Ca' D'Zan Mansion (yes, one of the Ringling brothers who started the Ringling Circus), Sarasota has a nationally recognized opera house, ballet company, symphony, theaters, museums and art galleries. Nature lovers have their pick of parks and preserves where alligators, foxes, tropical birds and other animals thrive. The more adventurous vacationers can rent kayaks, sailboats and jet skis. Sarasota is the home of the Baltimore Orioles Spring Training Camp.

Restaurants: 300-plus*

Shops: 500-plus*

Don't miss: The Myakka River State Park, where you can take an airboat tour and climb a wooden tower for a bird's eye view of local wildlife.

*Source: Yelp.com

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