Sarasota Beach Suggestions?

Old Mar 19th, 2001, 06:31 AM
Brian in Atlanta
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Sarasota Beach Suggestions?

We have tickets to TPA for mid-May and originally planned on returning to Clearwater Beach, but thought we might try something new.

The beaches around Sarasota look very nice, but I'm concerned that they may be too upscale and spread out. We like to park the car and walk to happy hour/restaurants/nightlife. And we also enjoy locals kind of places when we're at the beach.

Are my concerns warranted? Or is there a beach town near Sarasota that's walkable? Thanks in advance.
Old Mar 19th, 2001, 07:55 AM
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Siesta Key is a beautiful beach in Sarasota that I have been to before. I know that certain parts of it have more to do than others. I know there are restaurants and bars there; unfortunately I cannot think of names or locations. I think it is a beach that is great for couples, kids, everyone really! The sand is fantastic(sugary white), and the water temp is great in May (that is the last time I went). It's not too "bath waterish" in May, at least it wasn't last year at that time. I have been to website called should answer any other questions you may have. My husband and I will be visiting his sister in Sarasota in late June. We can't wait. Hope I have been helpful--have fun on your trip!
Old Mar 19th, 2001, 10:28 AM
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IMO, the beaches in Sarasota, although lovely, are spread out and tend to be more upscale. Lido Beach is a very nice beach, but is in the upscale St. Armand's area, which is in walking distance. However, St. Armands is fun. It has at least one bar for the beach crowd and a couple of casual restaurants. Other than that, it's upscale restaurant's.

I'd recommend Anna Maria Island just to the north near Bradenton. It's a very "old style" beach community with lots of little restaurants, shops and bars.
Old Mar 19th, 2001, 01:03 PM
Brian in Atlanta
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Thanks for the comments guys. Sal, Anna Maria Island looks interesting. It's kinda big. Which area would you suggest? The Bradenton Beach area? Thanks again.
Old Mar 19th, 2001, 01:48 PM
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Brian, Don't give up Sarasota/St. Armand's area! It's nicer than CWB, certainly, but not *all* upscale. There is something for everyone around St. Armands and I doubt you'd feel out of place.

The Longboat Key area is more upscale, but everyone ends up congregating around St. Armand's Circle, whether they stay in Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, etc, so there's quite a diverse group. That's the happening place. Anna Maria is cute, but limited dining (though one of the best in the area, Beach Bistro, is out that way)and I think you'll find yourself heading back to St. Armand's for dining and nightlife no matter where you stay.

I'll guarantee, you'll find Sarasota area far more visually appealing than you did CWB! We were down there yesterday afternoon, drove back home via Anna Maria Island from St. Armand's Circle and commented on how beautiful the flowers were all along the roadway, and how nicely maintained everything is. It's a whole different animal than CWB!.

Old Mar 19th, 2001, 04:00 PM
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Actually, we prefer Anna Maria at the northern end of the Island. One hotel that is centrally located on the Island is Coconuts. It's very nice and it's a beachfront property. Some people get a kick out staying at the Rod and Reel. It's a very small, rustic mom and pop motel right across the street from the Rod and Reel pier that has a nice little restaurant at the end of it. Resort 66 (located on same property as Beach Bistro) is nice also, as is the Harrington House B&B. The thing about the beach communities down here is that they are all spread out so it's impossible to be within walking distance of everything. However, the Manatee County island community is more compact than most. By the way, it's at least a 30 minute drive down to St. Armand's from the there, IF you hit the traffic right.

AM dining recommendations --in addition to the Bistro, which is IMHO, one of the best restauants anywhere ( very upscale), owner Sean Murphy has opened Bistro at Island's End which is casual, but the same wonderful quality. Right around the corner from Island's End is the Sand Bar which also has a great deck with live music. Duffy's is a hole in the wall famous for its burgers. The cafe at the public beach (Holmes Beach) has good food that you can eat at picnic table and watch the sunset--great pancake breakfast also.

There are lots of casual dining choices. St. Armands definitely offers more night life. But you will never beat the relaxed way of life on "the island" !
Old Dec 5th, 2005, 07:01 PM
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Hi, do you know anything about pelican post motel in bradenton beach or a condo thru vrbo called anna maria island house. Also I hear that the bridge causes major traffic problems and also that the beach access is very limited on Anna Maria because all the beach front properties are of course private. Any thoughts. i think i would really like to stay on the island but have a few concerns. Going April 19. Thanks
Old Dec 6th, 2005, 05:16 AM
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I don't think you'll be getting what your original post asked for in Anna Maria (city), although it is very nice. I would recommend Lido Beach, within walking distance to St. Armands Circle.
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Old Dec 6th, 2005, 05:35 AM
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Oops. Just realized you highjacked a previous post. Maybe Anna Maria is what you want.
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Old Dec 6th, 2005, 06:36 AM
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Yes it sounds like he does want Anna Maria Tandoori Girl.

My knowledge of Anna Maria is not really extended to the individual condos or motels. I have a home on the island just below. As to Anna Maria you have fairly easy access to beautiful beaches, wide, white talcum powder beaches. There are public access ways all along the road and many of the condos have their own access.

Yes, the bridges DO get backed up as our population swells during Jan, Feb, and March, but it's cleared out about 50% in mid-April.

It's a beautiful, wonderful island.

And Tandoori G I would completely agree with the advice on the OP Lido Beach would have been great for them to wander around on and then to visit St Armands Circle.

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Old Dec 6th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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The OP is from March 2001... you might want to start a new thread for info on your question to get better results.
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