Last Updated August 26, 2022
If you are considering moving to Sarasota and aren’t familiar with the area, then you may be wondering which neighborhoods would be right for you? Perhaps you have a family and are looking for some of the best spots to raise kids, or maybe you are a young professional and are looking for some of the trendier neighborhoods in town? There are also many great golf course communities around Sarasota as well as some affordable neighborhoods that are even near the beaches! Here are some of our picks for the best neighborhoods in Sarasota!
If you’re looking for a family-friendly neighborhood with a variety of housing options, look no further than Sarasota’s wonderful Arlington Park. Bungalow homes, modern constructions, and mid-century houses are all available in this beautiful area of town that is just 15 minutes from multiple beaches such as Lido Beach and Siesta Key. Sarasota is known for its great school system, and Arlington Park offers fantastic schools for families in the neighborhood.
If you or your kids are the sporty types, playing tennis or basketball or swimming, the actual Arlington Park is located within the neighborhood and boasts acres of fun. There is an aquatic center, many sports courts, a wonderful dog park and lots of walking trails throughout. This is the kind of place where you will see people sitting on a bench and chatting in the park, and kids riding their bikes and skateboards down the street together.
The neighborhood of Laurel Park is perfect for those who love an authentic downtown ambiance while staying grounded at the same time. This single-family neighborhood, known to be one of the best neighborhoods in Sarasota, is a National Historic District that’s located between South Orange and Osprey avenues. The streets are marked by beautiful Craftsman bungalows and stunning revival cottages apt and appropriate for any age group with 270 homes from around 1920 making it an architectural treasure.
Even though this is a more urban neighborhood being so close to downtown, it has a peaceful and relaxed feel to it. So while it’s great for young professionals and singles, there are many families that live in this neighborhood too. There’s even a cute neighborhood park with a grassy area, gazebo, and playground equipment for the kids. When we visited, they also had all sorts of fun toys and trikes lined up for the community kid’s enjoyment in the park!
As a bonus, you can walk just a few blocks and be in the heart of downtown Sarasota with many cafes, restaurants, shops and galleries. There are also a ton of theaters in downtown Sarasota as well, so a wonderful night out on the town is really convenient here.
Indian Beach Sapphire Shores
The Indian Beach Sapphire Shores neighborhood is located along the bayfront near the Ringling College of Art and Design and New College of Florida. It’s home to both families and professionals, as well as college students and professors who are able to live a little bit more on the comfortable side. This is historically a higher-end neighborhood, and residents often gather at the lovely parks to watch the sunset as it’s a bay-front community.
Standing in the shadow of the Ringling estate, the neighborhood boasts of historic houses that date back to the 1920s, huge modern mansions as well as numerous moderate budget properties. The original Moroccan, Mediterranean, and Italianate architectural style homes constructed before the real estate crash of 1926 are still standing, while the rest of the houses along with the tree-lined Bay Shore Road range from the 1950s, 1960s to the modern times. With history engraved in this community, no one can deny that it deserves its spot as one of the best neighborhoods in Sarasota.
READ MORE: Living in Sarasota Pros and Cons
This neighborhood from the 1960s boasts homes in the classic ranch style and many also have the classic “Florida rooms.” Though some of the houses sport modern upgrades to keep up with the trends, all the structures here are so well-built that they might last forever. Perfect for small families and young professionals, the place is a quick drive to key areas in Sarasota. From Siesta Beach, Lido Key, St. Armands, downtown, and Sarasota Memorial Hospital– everywhere is within reach in just a few minutes.
The updated mid-century look and curving streets make some parts of this neighborhood quite trendy. It’s not just aesthetically pleasing. The houses are easy to expand so renovate and remodel to your liking. Most families who move in this sought-after neighborhood usually remodel and merge the kitchen, living room, and dining into one large space, making it a great location for family to hang out together. Some turn their backyard-facing lanai into a bright family room, while some homes still flaunt their 1960s bathrooms.
What makes The Landings one of the best neighborhoods of Sarasota is its well-kept landscapes, a vivid range of houses, and a closeknit community. This is a private gated community along Sarasota Bay in the south part of Sarasota along highway 41 (the Tamiami Trail) and is quite centrally located to all essential spots in Sarasota.
The gorgeous trees and the winding streets add so much beauty to this neighborhood. Loaded with single-family homes, estate homes, maintenance-free villas, as well as luxurious bay-side condos make it a symbol of luxury and convenience for residents of all ages. But the most unique home here at The Landings and what makes it really special are the what are known as the “Tree Houses!” These multi-level townhouses were nicknamed ‘treehouses’ because of their positioning amidst lush landscaping and tall trees. When you are on the top floors, it feels as though you are in the trees! Surely, this is a neighborhood for nature-lovers!
But besides nature, there are many amenities here in the neighborhood including pools, fitness centers, tennis courts, and there’s even a dock and water access to the Intracoastal for kayaking and fishing.
Getting its name after the first mayor of Sarasota, John Gillespie, this neighborhood sports a sprawling park of the same name, charmed up by a lake with a fountain. This is a community on the upswing and features renovated bungalows dating back to the 1920s, ranch-style houses from the 1950s and 1960s. Adapting to modern times, it’s also full of numerous apartments and townhomes with a whole range of new construction too. With the blend of architecture of the past and the future together, this neighborhood located just a few blocks north of downtown really stands out.
Being so close to downtown, residents can easily walk or ride their bikes to shops, restaurants, as well as theaters and nightspots. There are biking and walking paths around the through the park, the centerpiece of the neighborhood, and there is even a quite nice fenced in dog park as well.
The Rosemary District
The Rosemary District is an energetic and lively neighborhood just steps from downtown (across Fruitville road). This downtown-Sarasota community is characterized by the huge new apartment buildings and condo complexes–including the famous Arcos, CitySide, and The District at Rosemary Apartments. It is an older neighborhood and you can find some older buildings; however, most of the area is being built up with new construction.
Right from amazing restaurants like The Overton and The Spice Station, to rich shopping stores and modern furnishing houses, the place is nothing but a haven for foodies and shoppers. The Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center organizes numerous art lectures and exhibitions, while also featuring local folk and bluegrass shows. Not to forget, there are great laid-back pubs playing live music and many recreational studios for yoga and kickboxing that make the street scene as alive as possible.
This is a really great neighborhood for young professionals and singles who want to be in the heart of Sarasota and all the things to do day and night.
Whether it’s charming townhouses, beautiful single-family homes to huge estate homes worth millions, Lakewood Ranch is one of the most sought-after areas of Sarasota. It’s not just inhabited by young families, it’s also a good spot for empty-nesters moving on to the next chapter of their lives. This sprawling planned neighborhood located east of Interstate 75 located on the Sarasota-Manatee county line, is so sought-after that it became the Best Selling Community in the US!
Lakewood Ranch is massive, spanning two counties and over 50 square miles! It includes more than 20 different neighborhoods or “villages” as well as multiple town centers. Speaking of recreation, the place offers numerous open spaces, including long hiking trails, large playgrounds, pools, and more. All the houses are in close proximity to several dining and shopping centers for days that you don’t want to cook. Surely in Lakewood Ranch, you’ll never have a dull day.
Honestly, Lakewood Ranch is SO big that we actually devoted an entire post to it! Click here to read everything you need to know about Lakewood Ranch.
Comprised of both historic and modern houses, Southside Village is just a mile south of downtown Sarasota. This “West of Trail” neighborhood actually consists of many different areas or sub-neighborhoods within. It’s known to have an amazing variety of homes; ranging from white-box homes to bungalows and classic Florida ranches. It’s a very family-friendly community that offers a comfortable surrounding for people from all walks of life.
Considering how open it is, a variety of businesses have settled in Southside’s commercial district. The main area along S. Osprey Avenue has small boutiques, restaurants, and a Morton’s Gourmet Market where you can spend your days shopping and savoring delicacies. If you’re concerned about quality education for your kids, the Southside Elementary School is one of the best public schools in town and is conveniently located within the neighborhood. In fact, each morning and afternoon you’ll see parents and kids walking along the sidewalks to and from school all around this charming neighborhood.
Meanwhile, some homes are located along the bayfront with boat access and the famous Siesta Key and beaches are just a few minutes away over the bridge. And you are just minutes from downtown – what else could you ask for?
McClellan Park is a marvelous blend of vintage Sarasota houses exhibiting old Florida architecture and nestled right in the area of Southside Village too. It’s a great place that honors its roots to a point that they’ve named their special streets Mietaw, Illehaw, and Wewa, after the Calusa Indians, the original inhabitants. The neighborhood features numerous 1920s cottages, some of which have been upgraded to meet modern standards, along with many newly constructed properties. Here you’ll find bungalows, Spanish-Mediterranean style homes, and even Tudor revivals, making a truly unique neighborhood in Sarasota.
The property prices here range from five-hundred thousand Dollars to over 3 million, so it is higher up on the scale when it comes to budget. Another plus is its proximity to the dining and shopping district of the Southside Village and it’s so close to downtown that it’s easy to spend an evening out at the theater. It’s also worth noting that McClellan Park is close to some of the best beaches in the world, making it one of the best neighborhoods in Sarasota for avid beachgoers too.
Consisting of more than 20 distinct neighborhoods, Palmer Ranch is another large planned community with various communities and homes styles and prices. Located just south of Sarasota just east of the Tamiami Trail (highway 41) Palmer Ranch also includes the famous golf course communities of Prestancia and Oaks Club, as well as Stoneybrook Golf and Country Club.
Palmer Ranch has a very diverse option of housing styles from maintenance-free condos to million-dollar estates like those in Silver Oak. As it’s one of the most well-planned and best neighborhoods in Sarasota, it’s a perfect community to build your family. Within Palmer Ranch, you’ll find Arbor Lakes, home to in-demand luxury homes and quality education having the top-rated elementary, middle, and high schools.
Palmer Ranch is also conveniently located near Potter Park, a local YMCA and the Sarasota Aquatics Center home to the famous “Sarasota Sharks” swim team! You also have easy access to shopping spots, restaurants, and entertainment centers. And the Legacy Bike Trail that goes from Sarasota all the way down to Venice runs right through the community, making walking and biking super easy! Meanwhile, in just a few minutes you could be in the heart of Siesta Key beach! This is truly a fantastic community in a great location of town!
Gulf Gate Estates
Last but not the least, we have Gulf Gate. Its tranquility, comfortability, and friendly atmosphere suits just about everyone. Ranging from young professionals to active retirees, singles, families with little ones and even those with teenagers. One of the things we love most about Gulf Gate Estates is the charm of the classic Florida Ranch style homes here. Many of them have been updated into adorable “beachy cottages” while others went for a more mid-centrury modern design.
But what is really great is that the homes here in Gulf Gate are quite affordable! Especially given the amazing location, just off highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) in south Sarasota. This neighborhood is wonderfully located near all kinds of shops and restaurants – in fact, Gulf Gate Villages right at the entrance to the neighborhood has all kinds of quirky little shops, tasty eateries and pubs, yoga studios and more. Plus, this is honestly one of the closest neighborhoods to Siesta Key — so you can literally be to famous beaches in just a couple minutes!
Which Sarasota Neighborhood is Right for You?
Everyone has their own unique needs when it comes to finding a home and finding the right neighborhood. We hope that this rundown of some of the best neighborhoods in Sarasota has given you some ideas of where to look and which neighborhood might be right for you and your family.
If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
We’re happy to chat with you more about each of these neighborhoods and which might be a good fit for you. And if you are not located in Sarasota, we can go out and film some video to share with you to help you out and even tour some homes too.