The first thing I noticed when I stepped off the plane in Sarasota was the sunshine. I could feel the sun on my face and smell the salt in the air. It was a refreshing change from a rainy, dreary Birmingham I’d left just a few short hours before. I had stepped into another world—one that was full of sand, sunshine, and charm!
After a quick drive over the bridge, I found myself in Siesta Key, one of the many neighborhoods in Sarasota. It was charming—filled with beach bungalows, daiquiri bars, and bikes galore. After chatting with the friendly front desk clerk at Siesta Key Bungalows, I felt truly welcomed to the island. She filled me in on the quirks and secrets of Sarasota, as well as the best place to catch some rays on the sand!
It didn’t take me long to follow her advice. I made my way over to Siesta Key Beach—and she was not wrong. It really was the perfect place to lay down my towel and drift away into bliss. The sand was sugary white, and the sunshine warmed my skin and my soul.
My time on the beach was refreshing, and it left me ready to keep exploring. I journeyed down to Siesta Key Village. It was a lively place, and I picked a seat at the bar and ordered a bright pink drink. It was the perfect way to wrap up a perfect day!
The next day, I was delighted to see more of what Sarasota had to offer. The most surprising (and also one of the coolest) things I learned about Sarasota was the history it holds. The city’s tagline, “Beaches and Beyond,” is no joke! Who knew that John and Mable Ringling had a 66-acre estate filled to the brim with artwork?! That was just one of the many gems there were to discover.
Another interesting fact I learned is that Sarasota was a recent addition to the historic United States Civil Rights Trail. Sarasota pushed to desegregate beaches by participating in beach wade-ins. The history the surrounds Sarasota is extremely special and unique.
After staying up way too late, I was sad to wake up the next morning and realize that I was leaving Sarasota. My trip had been packed with sunny days, delicious drinks, and incredible food (I ate way too much at Miguel’s). The visit surprised me in all of the right ways! The city is undeniably filled with charm, character, history, and culture. Sarasota forced me to slow down for three days, while it worked to refresh and rejuvenate my spirit. It was worthwhile trip in more ways than one.