Sarasota County is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and includes four municipalities: The cities of Sarasota, Longboat Key, Venice, and North Port. The population is around 380,000. Visitors flock to Sarasota for its white sandy beaches, including Siesta Key Beach and Lido Key Beach.
The area also has a rich history of arts and culture. Known as “Circus City USA”, John and Charles Ringling developed heavily in the area in the early part of the 20 th century. The county is home to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the Asolo Repertory Theatre, and numerous art galleries. For sports fans, Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium is home to the Baltimore Orioles during Spring Training. Shopping, dining, and entertainment are also major draws. Downtown Sarasota and St. Armands Circle contain fabulous world-class restaurants and boutique shops. Both locations also host a variety of special events and festivals throughout the year.
Manatee County is home to the cities of Bradenton, Palmetto, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, and part of Longboat Key. The population is around 323,000. Residents and visitors enjoy the laid back atmosphere the area has to offer. Many rent quaint cottages in the coastal beach towns of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach. You can explore Manatee County’s Old Florida history by visiting its multiple museums, parks and preserves.
Popular attractions include, the Village of the Arts, the Bradenton Riverwalk, the Manatee Player’s Theater, and a growing number of breweries, including Motorworks and Darwin’s. Bradenton is also a magnet for baseball fans. The city is home to the oldest, still functioning Spring Training facility in the Major Leagues. LECOM Park, formerly McKechnie Field, is the home to the Pittsburgh Pirates during Spring Training, and the Class-A Pirates affiliate, The Bradenton Marauders.
Imagine sand in your toes and the calm sound of a tide brushing the beach; the splash of an oar as you row along any of our beautiful waterways; the roar of the crowd from a sporting event. Few places can match the beaches, the sunshine and the opportunities to explore in so many ways.