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The Ultimate Destination Wedding Guest Guide: Things to Do in Sarasota, Florida

April 5, 2024

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Welcome to Sarasota: A Gem on the Gulf Coast

Nestled on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota is more than just a sun-soaked paradise; it’s a vibrant tapestry of arts, culture, and natural beauty. For guests attending a destination wedding in this enchanting locale, the city offers a plethora of experiences that promise to make your trip unforgettable.

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Embarking on Sarasota’s Cultural Journey

Art Aficionados Rejoice

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The Ringling: Dive into the opulence of the Ringling Museum, an ode to the circus magnate’s legacy and love for the arts. Beyond the circus history, it’s the state art museum of Florida, boasting a collection that spans centuries and continents.

Sarasota Art Museum: For contemporary art lovers, the Sarasota Art Museum presents cutting-edge exhibitions within the historic walls of the former Sarasota High School. A blend of the past and the present, it’s a space where creativity knows no bounds.

Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy: This museum stands out for its collection of whimsical and eclectic art pieces. Focusing on uplifting and colorful artworks, it offers a light-hearted and joyful experience to visitors.

Art Center Sarasota: An organization dedicated to providing Sarasota with opportunities to engage with contemporary art, it features exhibitions of local, national, and international artists, as well as educational programs and workshops.

The Performative Heart of Florida

Sarasota Opera House: Experience the grandeur of opera in one of Sarasota’s most storied venues. With a rich lineup ranging from classic operas to modern musical performances, there’s something to stir every soul.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall: Check the schedule for a chance to catch a Broadway show, a concert, or a comedy act at this architectural marvel, renowned for its purple seashell design and spectacular Sarasota Bay backdrop.

Nature’s Call: Exploring the Great Outdoors

Beaches Beyond Compare

Siesta Key Beach: Known for its quartz-crystal sand that stays cool underfoot, Siesta Key Beach is the crown jewel of Sarasota’s coastline. Whether you’re looking to relax under the sun or try your hand at water sports, this beach has it all.

Lido Key Beach: A quieter alternative, Lido Key offers serene waters, ample wildlife, and the perfect setting for a sunset stroll. Don’t miss the chance to visit nearby St. Armands Circle for exquisite dining and shopping.

Gardens and Sanctuaries

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: Immerse yourself in the lush, tropical ambiance of the Selby Gardens, where the orchids dazzle and the banyans tower. It’s a piece of Eden where nature’s artistry is on full display.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium: Encounter Florida’s marine life up-close, from majestic manatees to lively sharks. Mote Marine is both an exciting aquarium and a hub for important research and conservation efforts.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens: Home to a wide variety of exotic animals and tropical plants, Sarasota Jungle Gardens allows visitors to interact closely with Florida’s native wildlife, including flamingos, alligators, and exotic birds, in a lush, jungle-like setting.things to do in Sarasota Florida

Historic Spanish Point: A 30-acre museum and environmental complex offering a glimpse into 5,000 years of Florida history. Its gardens and nature trails provide a beautiful backdrop to explore the area’s past, including prehistoric shell middens, pioneer homesteads, and formal gardens.

Bay Preserve at Osprey: A waterfront oasis offering natural beauty and historic preservation. The preserve includes a beautiful bayside mansion surrounded by majestic oaks, lush landscapes, and a variety of native wildlife habitats.

The Children’s Garden & Art Center: A whimsical garden designed especially for children, featuring fairy-tale play structures, a butterfly garden, and a variety of plants and flowers to explore. It’s a place where children can learn about nature in a fun and interactive environment.

Myakka River State Park: While primarily known for its wild landscapes and abundant wildlife, Myakka River State Park also features beautiful natural gardens created by its diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands.

Culinary Delights: Sarasota’s Dining Scene

Sarasota’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its culture, with waterfront restaurants offering fresh seafood and downtown eateries serving global cuisines. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the local flavors, whether it’s a gourmet meal or a casual beachside snack.

Venezia – A staple for Italian cuisine lovers, Venezia offers a cozy atmosphere with a menu that boasts traditional Italian dishes made with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Their pasta, seafood, and authentic pizza options are local favorites.

Indigenous – Known for its commitment to sustainable seafood and locally sourced ingredients, Indigenous’s menu changes seasonally, offering innovative American cuisine in a charming historic home setting.

Owen’s Fish Camp – Bringing the spirit of Old Florida to life, Owen’s Fish Camp serves up fresh, Southern-inspired seafood in a laid-back, backyard setting complete with a tire swing and live music.

Selva Grill – Offering a unique take on Latin American cuisine, Selva Grill is renowned for its vibrant flavors, particularly its innovative ceviches and beautifully crafted dishes that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate.

Marina Jack – Located on Sarasota Bay, Marina Jack is not only known for its spectacular waterfront views but also for its seafood, steaks, and piano bar, providing a perfect setting for a romantic dinner or a special celebration.

Yoder’s Amish Restaurant – A Sarasota institution, Yoder’s is famous for its traditional Amish recipes, home-cooked meals, and especially its pies. It’s a casual spot that offers a taste of comfort food at its best.

Michael’s On East – This AAA Four-Diamond Award restaurant offers a fine dining experience with a menu that features American cuisine influenced by international flavors, an extensive wine list, and elegant decor.

The Bijou Cafe – Nestled in the heart of Sarasota’s Theatre and Arts District, The Bijou Cafe is known for its refined Continental-American cuisine, attentive service, and intimate dining setting.

Element: Modern Mediterranean Grill – Element offers a modern twist on Mediterranean cuisine, focusing on high-quality steaks, seafood, and pasta in an upscale, contemporary environment.

Sardinia Restaurant – Specializing in authentic Sardinian cuisine, this restaurant emphasizes traditional recipes and cooking methods, offering a robust menu of Italian wines, cheeses, and charcuterie to complement its dishes.

St. Armand’s Circle: A Culinary Gem in Sarasota

St. Armand’s Circle is a premier dining destination, offering an eclectic mix of culinary experiences that cater to every taste and occasion, making full of things to do in Sarasota, Florida. This charming shopping and dining hub, just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Lido Beach, is a gastronomic paradise, surrounded by lush tropical beauty and infused with an air of sophistication.

Capturing the Moment: Your Sarasota Wedding Photographer

As a luxury wedding photographer with a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity of Sarasota, I understand the significance of capturing every precious moment of your destination wedding. Whether it’s the intimate exchanges during the ceremony or the joyful celebrations at the reception, my lens is focused on preserving the memories that matter most to you.

Let’s Create Beautiful Memories Together

If you’re planning a destination wedding in Sarasota or attending one as a cherished guest, I’m here to capture the essence of your experience with elegance and creativity. From the sun-drenched beaches to the cultural heart of the city, let’s create a visual story that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

Contact me to discuss how we can bring the beauty of your Sarasota wedding to life through stunning photography.


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Hi there! Welcome to my blog about all things photography. Stay a while and say hello!

Learn more



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