A unique blend of the old and the new, downtown Sarasota offers small-town charm with cosmopolitan living, where classic buildings on tree-lined avenues harmoniously mix with the newer mid-rise structures near the waterfront, giving off a vibrant, progressive feel while still retaining the area’s pedestrian nature. It’s that distinctive quality and eclectic vibe that has attracted residents and visitors to the downtown area of this city through the years.
Downtown Sarasota housing options are diverse, ranging from single-family residences to vintage bungalows and historic estates in older established neighborhoods, to trendy studio lofts, newer energy-efficient homes and luxury condominiums on prime waterfront real estate. Homes fronting the bay and canals feature private boat slips, with most providing breathtaking views of Sarasota Bay and the nearby keys, as well as the Gulf of Mexico beyond.
Amenities and recreational opportunities are never scarce in downtown Sarasota. One can walk through streets with quaint boutiques, cafés, and restaurants, catch a performance at the Sarasota Opera House, wander the galleries at Palm Avenue, visit the studios at Towles Court, and perhaps even take a leisurely stroll at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens or any of the parks near the downtown area.
Downtown Sarasota Quick Facts
- The unofficial boundaries of downtown Sarasota are thought to be Fruitville Road on the north, Washington Blvd on the east, Mound Street on the south, and Sarasota Bay on the west.
- Major streets in the downtown area include Fruitville Road, Washington Blvd, Bayfront Drive, Mound Street, Main Street, Ringling Blvd, Palm Avenue, Pineapple Avenue, Orange Avenue, and Osprey Avenue.
- Main Street, Pineapple Avenue, and Central Avenue all culminate in a roundabout known as “Five Points,” which is located in the central part of downtown Sarasota.
- The Downtown Sarasota Historic District includes six historic buildings in the area: the American National Bank Building, DeMarcay Hotel, Kress Building, Roth Cigar Factory, Sarasota Opera House, and Worth’s Block.
- Laurel Park, a vintage neighborhood with homes built during the 1920s, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.
- The Sarasota Opera House was originally known as the Edwards Theatre when it opened in 1926.
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