Sarasota’s Staff Favorites

With so many choices, from a wildly vibrant culinary scene to the best beaches, it was hard to narrow it down to these favorites. But, after much deliberation, our Sarasota staff put together a list of popular places that make their home just that much more special. We hope you are able to experience the same joy these local spots have brought to our family.

selva grill

Favorite Dinner Restaurant

Selva Grill
As good as any restaurant you could find in LA or NY. The trendy bar is a main attraction, as is the beautifully plated food and exotic cocktails.

Favorite Business Lunch

Connor’s Steak & Seafood
A good business lunch doesn’t have to be expensive. Get the fine dining feel with specialty pricing at Connor’s Steak & Seafood. Be sure to make a reservation!

Favorite Waterfront Dining

Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant
A versatile spot that offers different experiences depending on what you’re looking for. Get dressed up for a nice evening dinner outside under the string lights, or pull up dockside during the day for a beachy lunch. Either way, it’s casual, classy and a local favorite.

Favorite Coffee Shop

A downtown hot spot for coffee and good conversation. A good environment that’s both cozy and comfortable.

Favorite Happy Hour

State Street Eating House + Cocktails
A hidden gem with a high-end lounge, where a mixologist will customize any drink to your particular taste. Lively spirits are found behind the bar and in your glass.

Favorite Animal Hospital

Forest Lakes Animal Hospital
The staff at Forest Lakes Animal Hospital are caring, attentive and professional. Feels like a family and has a very friendly neighborhood vibe.

Favorite Dog Park

17th Street Paw Park
Plenty of seating and shade for those hot Florida days at this paw park, along with an agility course for dogs into that sort of thing. People and pets are always friendly, and the lot is beyond big enough for everyone to enjoy.

Favorite Beach

Siesta Key Beach
Recently renovated with a modern appeal that offers dining, restrooms and showers, parking, and an attractive deck overlooking one of the most popular beaches in the nation. The sand is soft and never hot to the touch, even on the sunniest summer days.

Favorite Park & Recreation

Arlington Park
If any park has it all, it seems to be Arlington Park. Sign up to be a member and enjoy an indoor basketball court and outdoor Olympic size pool with swim lanes and diving boards. For free, anyone can enjoy the outdoor basketball court, multiple tennis courts, playground, brand new outdoor gym, fenced-in dog park, pond, and paved trail through scenic trees.

Favorite Children’s Attraction

Selby Gardens
Beyond the beautifully maintained gardens and orchid rooms, Selby has an attractive kids play area where children love to explore and use their imaginations.

Favorite Playground

Urfer Family Park
Two separate play areas, one for tots and one for bigger kids. The grounds also offer restrooms, nature trails, pavilions, and outdoor workout equipment.

Favorite Golf Course

Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch
Described as difficult, but fun. The course is well maintained, and the staff is helpful. Water stations are provided, and you can enjoy good food at the Clubhouse.
mattisons live music

Favorite Live Music Spot

Mattison’s City Grille
Right in the heart of downtown and an all-outdoor restaurant, Mattison’s hosts some of the best live music in Sarasota. Stay seated and listen while you dine, or get up and do a little dancing. Between the energy from the city and the patrons at the restaurant, everyone must experience it for themselves.

Favorite Spa

The Met Fashion House Day Spa & Salon
If you want to be treated like royalty, you must go to The Met. Highly sought after and sophisticated, located on the quaint St. Armand’s Circle, this is an all in one shopping, salon & spa experience.

Favorite Fitness Studio or Class

The workout everyone wants is fun, challenging and extremely rewarding; this is what you’ll find at Orangetheory. Trainers are knowledgeable and able to modify your workout for prior injuries but motivate you to reach your full potential.

Favorite Women’s Boutique

L. Boutique
A one-stop shop for everything from jewelry, clothes and shoes to even kids options. The staff has a keen sense of the latest women’s fashion trends, and give the best styling tips if you’re looking for something in particular.

Favorite Men’s Clothing Store

Brooks Brothers in UTC Mall
A wide selection of Men’s clothing, from business attire to business casual. Great selection that is worth the quality.

Favorite Hotel

The Westin
Soaring over the Sarasota Bay and downtown, The Westin is situated moments from top destinations such as St. Armands Circle, Mote Marine Aquarium, Siesta Key Beach and Lido Key Beach.