Sarasota is a popular city on the Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida and the county seat of Sarasota County. It is essentially known for its vibrant arts community, excellent restaurants, unique shopping, as well as its beautiful beaches. Sarasota, although a mid-sized city, is considered to be the cultural center of West Central Florida. And if you’re looking for rooms to rent in Sarasota, you’ve come to the right place!

Getting to know Sarasota, FL

The city of Sarasota is also renowned for its cultural and environmental amenities, beaches, resorts, and the Sarasota School of Architecture. It is located at the southern end of the Tampa Bay Area, north of Fort Myers and Punta Gorda. And its official limits include Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota, overall, has a humid subtropical climate. So get ready to experience hot, humid summers, as well as warm, drier winters. There are distinct rainy and dry seasons in Sarasota. Here the rainy season lasts from June to September and the dry season from October to May.

Ringling Museum SB, Sarasota, FL, USA

Finding rooms for rent in Sarasota, FL

Finding rooms for rent in Sarasota can be a treat for those that appreciate modern architecture. Otherwise known as Sarasota Modern, this is a regional style of post-war modern architecture (1941–1966). It also emerged on Florida’s Central West Coast, in and around the city of Sarasota, Florida!

These buildings are characterized by open-plan structures, often with large planes of glass to facilitate natural illumination and ventilation. These are essentially meant to address the unique indigenous requirements of the regional climate. Many of the architects who pioneered this style became world-renowned later in their careers. And several significant buildings remain in Sarasota today!

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Top neighborhoods in Sarasota

Laurel Park, Downtown:

Looking for history combined with walkability? If so, finding rooms for rent in Laurel Park in downtown Sarasota may be the answer! In 2008, this neighborhood was also named a National Register of Historic Places District. The neighborhood is filled with single-family homes, duplexes, and also small apartment buildings. Many of them date back to the 1920s, in styles such as a bungalow, Mission revival, Colonial revival, and Mediterranean revival. Residents also run the spectrum from professionals to artists and young families to retirees. And of course, not to mention the many pets that reside here.

Gillespie Park, North:

While it may not be for everyone, Gillespie Park is a neighborhood on the upswing. You’ll mainly find renovated 1920s bungalows here. But also ranch-style homes from the 1950s and 1960s, small apartment buildings, as well as a smattering of new constructions that make the neighborhood just north of downtown an interesting mix.

Named in honor of Sarasota’s first mayor, John Gillespie, the neighborhood’s centerpiece is a sprawling park of the same name. They also boast a lake with a refreshing fountain. The neighborhood has a diverse population base, thus bringing together renters and property owners. It’s also a quick walk to the shops on Main Street.

Lakewood Ranch, East of Trail:

This sprawling planned community east of Interstate 75 on the Sarasota-Manatee county line offers something for everyone, from townhouses to million-dollar-plus estate homes. You’ll find everyone from young families to empty-nesters living in the seven villages that make up Lakewood Ranch. You’ll also find recreation ranging from playgrounds to pools to polo, with half of the 8,500-acre community set aside for open space and recreation areas, including miles of hiking trails. Several village centers have been established, so there are plenty of shopping and dining opportunities close to home. Lakewood Ranch also has the distinction of being a green community, and since 2005, all new construction is required to follow Florida Green Building Coalition standards.

Average rent in Sarasota, FL

Before discussing rent prices in Sarasota, you might want to know what overall living in the city looks like, especially in terms of expenses. Sarasota’s housing expenses are 2% higher, and utility prices are 6% higher, than the national average. Transportation expenses like bus fares and gas prices are 8% lower than the national average, with grocery prices coming in at around 20% higher than average.

Rooms For Rent In SarasotaAverage Rent
1 Bedroom Apartment For Rent In Sarasota$762
2 Bedroom Apartment For Rent In Sarasota$1,974
3 Bedroom Apartment For Rent In Sarasota$3,063

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University life in Sarasota, FL

Living here offers anyone who finds rooms to rent in Sarasota an urban-suburban mix feel. While most residents own their homes, a lot of these homes are turned into student rentals. In Sarasota, there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and parks. But the highlight, of course, is the beautiful beaches that have become one of the many reasons why people choose to go to school and spend 4 years in Sarasota.

Here are the top universities in Sarasota!

How transit-friendly is Sarasota?

Sarasota, for a fairly small city, has a great transport structure. Traffic is almost always manageable but you might need an actual vehicle to get places, as walking and biking aren’t always convenient. Here’s everything else you need to know about how transit friendly Sarasota can be!


Sarasota (made up of 51, 917 residents) has an average Walk Score of 53 – it has some public transportation and is somewhat bikeable. The most walkable Sarasota neighborhoods are Main Street Merchants, Gillespie Park, and Rosemary District.

Roads & traffic

The traffic in Sarasota is not bad at all during the summer and fall. But when the snowbirds and tourists are here, which is January through mid-April — traffic can be heavy. However, traffic levels still don’t compare to the chaotic roads of bigger cities.


Several taxi companies service the Sarasota area, with all rides starting with a $3 drop charge on top of a per-mile rate of about $4. Cabs can be hailed at the airport, on the street, or arranged through your hotel concierge. Additionally, ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber are bookable in Sarasota County via their respective smartphone apps.

Some of the most used cab services, besides Uber and Lyft, in Sarasota include:

Public transport in Sarasota

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to travel in Sarasota is by bus. Known locally as SCAT, the Sarasota County Area Transit service costs $1.25 per one-way ride or $2.50 per ride on the Express Route 100x, which travels between the airport and downtown Sarasota. One-way fares are paid in cash on board the bus, but visitors can also purchase a one-day, seven-day, or 30-day bus pass for $4 to $60 each. All tickets are sold at the Downtown Transfer Station, the SCAT Transit Administration, or various Goodwill stores throughout Sarasota County.

Airports in Sarasota

The major airport in the area is Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport which is shared by Sarasota and Manatee counties. Before it opened in 1941 to become the major airport, Lowe’s Field functioned as the main airport for the Sarasota Area from 1929 to 1941. There are five airlines that offer service out of the airport to locations primarily in the United States and Canada.

St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and Tampa International Airport are located about an hour north of Sarasota. There’s also Southwest Florida International Airport in Ft. Myers, which is an hour and 45 min south of Sarasota. All three offer a wide range of national and international flights.

Cycling in Sarasota

If you don’t plan on venturing too far while in Sarasota, consider renting a bike. The city does not offer a public bike-share service, but several bicycle shops supply rentals, and many attractions provide free bike parking. Some bike stores charge by the hour, while others have daily or weekly rates. Expect to pay less than $10 per hour, $10 to $60 per day, or $40 to $250 for each week. Most bicycle stores include helmets, locks and chains in their rental rates. Some of the best places to find a bike rental in Sarasota include:

Best beaches in Sarasota, FL

Lido Key, Sarasota, United States

While the entire Gulf Coast is abundant with award-winning beaches, Sarasota’s 35-mile stretch of sand and surf boasts some particularly stunning gems. Six keys (barrier islands) hug the coastline, all with gleaming-white, sugar-soft sand and glorious sunsets, but each with its own distinctive vibe. And like many Florida beach towns, Sarasota’s keys quiet down quite a bit in late spring when the snowbirds head north for the summer.

Some of our favorite Sarasota beaches include:

Longboat Key:

This 12-mile island features resorts, beach cottages, and seaside hotels. But there are also established residential areas with lovely homes alongside the intracoastal canals that lead out to the open Gulf. This is a quaint downtown district, with an exciting buzz of restaurants, shops and beach bars.

Lido Key:

Easily accessible from downtown Sarasota, Lido Key offers three main beach areas. North Lido Beach is somewhat secluded, with limited parking and no amenities. Lido Beach is a popular destination for tourists and locals looking for a relaxed but lively setting, with restrooms, concessions, and a public pool. And at the tip of Lido Key, South Lido Park offers views of downtown Sarasota and the Gulf of Mexico, plus a picnic area and a nature trail.

Siesta Key:

Two bridges from the mainland lead to an 8-mile-long Siesta Key. Here you’ll find a bustling area of shops and cafes in the village area, and three beautiful beaches consistently rated as among the best in the U.S. and even the world. Siesta Beach has a park and tennis courts, along with a playground for the kids. At Crescent Beach, adventurers enjoy climbing along the Point of Rocks surrounding the tidal pools and coral reefs. And at Turtle Beach, boat docks and picnic areas make it a family favorite.

Festivals in Sarasota, FL

Since 1998, the city has hosted the Sarasota Film Festival annually. The festival attracts independent films from around the world.

Sarasota Improv Festival

Florida Studio Theatre produces the annual Sarasota Improv Festival. Founded in 2009 by Rebecca Hopkins, FST’s annual Sarasota Improv Festival brings together the best improvisers from across the country and around the world for a whirlwind weekend of spontaneous creativity. The Festival has become a destination event, drawing thousands of people from across the state of Florida and beyond.

Ringling International Arts Festival

In 2009 the annual Ringling International Arts Festival held its premiere and a closing event in the historic Asolo Theater. The historic Venetian theater now is housed in the reception building for the museum where it is used for special events as well as performances, informative purposes, and another seasonal film series hosted by the museum.

Sarasota Chalk Festival

In 2010, the Sarasota Chalk Festival that is held yearly in the historic area of Burns Square became the first international street painting festival in the United States of America. Celebrating the sixteenth-century performance art of Italian street painting, the festival hosted Maestro Madonnaro Edgar Mueller from Germany, who created the first street painting that changed images from day to night.

Harvey Milk Festival

It is also home to the Harvey Milk Festival, an independent music festival in support of civil rights, focusing on the LGBTQ community. It has been celebrated in May annually since 2010 on the weekend closest to Harvey Milk’s birthday. And it’s currently the largest independent music festival in Sarasota. Thousands of attendees attend the free, public, multi-day event, which also includes gallery showings, film, and other live performances.

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