Sarasota/Siesta Key trip for Spring Training

Jan 23rd, 2011, 03:33 PM
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Sarasota/Siesta Key trip for Spring Training


My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Sarasota to see the Orioles in spring training. We're only going to be able to go one game due to scheduling, but we thought we'd do a beach weekend as well. We've heard a lot about Siesta Key and how pretty it is, so we were thinking about spending our 3 day/4 night trip there. He's flying in from Baltimore and I'm coming in from Atlanta. We have a few questions:

1) Do we need to rent a car? I was thinking we'd go to a game in a cab since we're only heading out there once. But what about dining options? Are there enough places in the Siesta Key area for dining? I was thinking we'd do something pretty casual, but I wouldn't mind a couple of nice restaurants for dinner.

2) If we don't stay in Siesta Key, what areas are recommended? We're looking for beach and restaurants. That's pretty much it.
aparna921 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 04:05 PM
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You will probably want a car. How do you plan to get to Siesta Key from the airport? Flights are often less expensive out of Tampa and by the time you add up all the transportion charges, a car is better..
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 04:07 PM
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That's what I've been hearing as might just be worth it for me to make the drive from Atlanta. Are there nice restaurants on Siesta Key or will we need to go into Sarasota? Thanks for your help!
aparna921 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 10:00 AM
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If not staying in the Siesta key area. I recommend the Marriott hotels on University pkwy. It is a central location to the stadium, downtown, and lido beach. They offer a package for those coming to see the Orioles spring training. They are only a 15 min drive or less to the stadium and close to many great restaurants.
risrqmreis is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 10:11 AM
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Assuming you're both flying into SRQ there is a great public transportation option if you don't want to drive. It's 0.75 per ride. From the airport you go downtown and change to #11 bus to Siesta Key, total cost of $1.50 pp. To get to the game you take the same #11 bus to downtown and change to ? bus to the stadium, again one way cost of $1.50 pp.

Google "Sarasota County" and then search for the bus info. They have routes and times posted there.

Hope you have a great time here.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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I agree with AAFF that there are a lot of buses but you may want a car for mobility. Went past the Orioles complex in Dec and it is far from complete. They are aiming to have a majority done for Spring Training but it will still be under construction. Looks like it will be great when ready.

Did you check the other stadiums nearby (Port Charlotte, Bradenton) to see if the Orioles are playing there when you are down there?
tchoiniere is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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There are few upscale, beach type hangouts and breakfast/lunch type places on Siesta Key. Most are located either in the Siesta Key Village or at the South Bridge area, but there are few at the south end of the key(there is no public transportation available past the south bridge so you would need a cab if you decide to go to the south end).

There are some great restaurants in the Hillview, Gulf Gate areas (mainland) and downtown. If you're willing to go further, then visit St. Armands Circle on Lido Key or Long Boat Key. You can get to all of these places using the bus system.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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Wow, thanks so much for the replies! Very helpful. I think we've pretty much settled on driving. But the bus route information is definitely helpufl - I'm all about public transportation if I can swing it. We were looking at hotels/motels (seem to be more of those on Siesta Key), and we're deciding between staying at a Siesta Key motel near the village or a place on the south entrance (?) to Siesta Key, but it looks like it's not exactly on the island. Either way, we've heard so much about it that we thought we should stay as close to the island as possible.

Very excited about seeing the O's new stadium. I think they're playing the Rays at their stadium one of the days, so since we'll have a car, I think we'll take the trip to check that area out as well.

If we were to splurge on a really nice meal in the area (either on the island or in downtown Sarasota), does anyone have a restaurant recommendation? We're pretty open to most cuisines (but try to stay away from seafood due to a mild seafood allergy). Thanks again!
aparna921 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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There are not too many hotels on Siesta Key. There are many condo type places but in March they usually require at least a week or more to rent.

If you want a higher end experience for dining, I highly recommend Flemings Steakhouse right on 41 and Siesta Drive (north bridge route). Hyde Park Steakhouse downtown is also a very good one. For a quick lunch/dinner experience there are many good ones right in the village and/or Gulf Gate area (south bridge exit).

There are some great places on St. Armands Circle and wonderful high end restaurants on Long Boat Key.

Once you get here, try to pick up Creative Loafing magazine. It will tell you what's going, and also will have reviews of local restaurants, etc. etc.

Have a great visit in our wondeerful town.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
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