Sarasota vs. Naples as THE gulf coast city

Old May 13th, 2004, 04:12 PM
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Sarasota vs. Naples as THE gulf coast city

I was under the impression that Naples is the chic and cultural center of the Gulf coast, but recently I was speaking to a friend who said that Sarasota was more upscale, trendy and elegant. I would love to hear people's opinion about which is "bettter", since we are considering purchasing there soon. Thanks,
Cindy
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Old May 13th, 2004, 04:57 PM
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Actually you've said it quite well. Naples is chic and a cultural center of the Gulf coast and Sarasota is also quite upscale, trendy and elegant.

Where are you considering purchasing at Naples or Sarasota? And why are you considering purchasing there? That's probably the same reason those of us who own in Sarasota or Naples purchased.
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Old May 13th, 2004, 06:02 PM
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We are looking for a 2nd home, 2 bedroon condo which would be our place to get away from NY in the cold. I was in Naples for the day, after spending a week in Cape Coral, and I felt like I went from yuk(C.C.) to paradise(Naples). THe thing that impressed me the most in Naples is the green, the Banyan trees and the tropical but affluent stores, and areas. Everything just looked so well kept and the people were SUPER friendly. We had a "tour" of Crayton rd. by the car in front of us. We haven't been to Sarasota for 30 years, so I can't compare them. When I was there the Far Horizons hotel was there.I think its a Hyatt now!
I also like that Naples was about as far south as you can go on the west coast. Where do you own? Naples or Sarasota? I would appreciate a comparison of the 2 cities!
THanks,
Cindy
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Old May 13th, 2004, 06:59 PM
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You should definitely go to Sarasota to compare. These days you can get round trip airfare for $150 or less at least to Tampa.

Personally, I prefer Sarasota. It has some of the best theatre in the country, the Ringling Art Museum, St. Armands circle for "chic" shopping, wonderful beaches, etc. Naples seems smaller and less cosmopolitan to me. Also, in terms of logistics, you can always fly right into Sarasota - I don't think Naples has an airport (although there's one at Ft. Myers).

These are just my impressions from several years back - haven't been to either in a while. They are both great places and neither would be a bad choice.
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Old May 13th, 2004, 07:03 PM
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OK, it's bad form to reply to yourself, but I thought of a few other issues. Sarasota is the older cultural center - it's definitely got more depth, for example, New College at Sarasota is one the absolute best liberal arts schools in the country and they always have lots going on. But Naples is the hot up-and-coming place - some might see that as exciting, some might see that as shallow.

One thing that would weigh heavily on me to prefer Naples is that it is so close to the Everglades. As a birder (I know, you would never know), I find the Everglades is just paradise. Hmm, come to think of it, that might just throw my decision the other way.... That just goes to show you, these choices are very personal based on what's important to you.
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Old May 13th, 2004, 07:05 PM
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birder, are there birds in the everglades that you can't find elsewhere in Florida?
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Old May 14th, 2004, 10:38 AM
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Hi

I also opted for the Sarasota/Longboat Key area for a number of reasons:

1st - the ease of getting from BWI to Tampa in 2 hours.

2nd - Sarasota has a lot going for it in the way of the arts; the theatre, ballet, opera, museums.

3rd - We had many good friends who already bought in the area and/or were planning to.

4th - We already had owned a canal front lot that we planned to build on but getting to it from where we live became a hassle. We sold it and bought on Longboat Key. We've been happy with our decision.
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Old May 14th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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mypyr,
I would advise that you go and spend a few days in Sarasota. Things have changed tremendously in the last three years in Sarasota, especially in the downtown area. The coming of the Ritz Carlton is part of the reason. The arts play a huge role and the plans are for more and more in all categories.

What strikes you or gives you the feeling that you belong somewhere is a very personal thing. It would be worth spending some time in Sarasota, so that you can compare and decide. Enjoy your search.
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Old May 14th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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I live in Sarasota. My impression (one person's opinion only!) is that more people in Naples have one foot in the you-know-what so it is much more sedate. Sarasota is growing; of course that means traffic is getting worse as well. I would still pick Sarasota over Naples; however, after 20 years, I want a different experience and want to move to Sedona, AZ. The arts scene in Sarasota is excellent and I was passionate about theatre and arts so loved it for many years.
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Old May 14th, 2004, 01:39 PM
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I grew up in Sarasota, so perhaps I'm a little biased (I'm actually a 3rd generation Sarasotan - my grandmother has lived there since 1941), but I would also chose Sarasota over Naples, for the reasons birder expressed.
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Old May 15th, 2004, 06:34 PM
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Tandoori Girl - I think there are some birds in the Everglades that you are not likely to find elsewhere in Florida. Two that come to mind are the Purple gallinule (a squatty duck-like bird that's really colorful) and the White Phase of the Great Blue Heron. Both can probably been seen outside of the Everglades but it's much easier to see them there. Plus the number of places to bird and the wonderous amount of birds makes it a truly fantastic experience for a birder. I also love Sanibel for birding, but the Everglades is one of the best spots in the world for bird watching.
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Old May 16th, 2004, 10:54 AM
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You've received many good reasons to support both Sarasota and Naples. However, you really need to go to Sarasota to decide. If you have never been to Longboat Key, please go-it's beautiful and upscale. The beaches there (and Siesta Key) definitely outdo Naples. I also agree that Naples tends to attract an older generation, so your age may influence you. Personally, I am 50 and will be heading to Sarastota in a few years to make my home. We have vacationed there several times and never grown tired of it. Best wishes!
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Old May 16th, 2004, 11:10 AM
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You might want to check into the average temps., rainfall, etc. When my in-laws were looking to buy they stayed a winter in both places.
They loved Sarasota and Naples, but they chose Naples because of consistent warmer temps. and less rainfall in the winter months.
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Old May 16th, 2004, 12:41 PM
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Finall! Someone who said something positive about Naples! I do want the consistency in the weather, and the farther south you go the better..since we won't be there during the awful heat of summer, I think we should be ok. Thanks to everyone for your input. I am more of a small-town person than a city person, so I think Naples is for me. We are in our 50's, 5 years from retirement, and we want to have a place from which to find our retirement dream house!
Cindy
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Old May 16th, 2004, 01:38 PM
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From the beginning we've said that Naples is a GREAT place - chic and cultural - no one has poormouthed Naples as there's no reason to -- at all.

You said you're from NY - before you make any decisions see how easy you can get from NY to Naples - that can be a major point. We were going to build south of Sarasota - in the Naples area and trip wise it was tooooo much.
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Old May 16th, 2004, 03:13 PM
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I love Naples...sorry I didn't see this or I'd have chimed in. If money weren't a factor, that's where I would go. IMHO, it's just a tad more upscale, a tad prettier, some of the restaurants a hair more "uptown". Shopping definitely is--I went there when I couldn't find The Perfect Dress in the Tampa Bay area and found it in the first store (knew which store to go to though).

Although they are warmer in the winter I'd be surprised if they had less rain. We have very very little.

It is cheaper to fly into Tampa and drive the hour south to Sarasota, than to fly into Ft Myers and drive the hour (+?) to Naples.

Our beaches are broader but theirs are beautiful and the water is gorgeous. I'm not supposed to be on the beach anymore anyway.......so maybe we should do our looking in...CO?
 
Old May 17th, 2004, 04:29 AM
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Mypyr, it sounds as though you were really looking more for a confirmation of your opinion that Naples is a great place, as opposed to an honest comparison of Naples & Sarasota. There is definitely nothing wrong with falling in love with Naples and wanting to be there! Had you asked if Naples is a good place for a second home or to retire, I think you would have gotten a chorus of "Yesses." If you had asked people to list reasons why they thought so, you would have gotten lots of positive reasons. We were just trying to answer the question we thought you had asked!
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Old May 17th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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Birder,
You are absolutely right, I was looking for affirmation about Naples. I did and do love it, but I have heard so much about Sarasota lately, that I began to question my decision, and looked to this board for info that would make me happy about choosing Naples. So, is Naples a good place to have a second home?? PLEASE tell me what you like/love about Naples!
Thanks!
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Old May 17th, 2004, 09:38 PM
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My parents moved to Naples two years ago from New England (though they are native New Yorkers) and I go down to visit them at every chance I get. I love Naples! I'm in my mid-forties and I don't consider it an old people place at all. There are great restaurants, fantastic shopping (especially the art galleries and antiques shops), a thriving cultural scene with the theatre and symphony, and beautiful beaches. The library system is excellent, as are the parks.

Naples has a glamorous look to it without having a snobby feel. People are genuinely nice and come from all over the US to settle in Naples. My parents like the fact that there are so many "snow birders" that come for the winter only and leave around Easter. That means lots of parties and activities in the winter and then, just when you think you're wiped out from it all, they go home, leaving you to enjoy the summer in peace and quiet until it starts up again next year! And yet, Naples has lots of year-round residents as well so it's not as if life comes to a standstill. Naples thrives all the time.

Have you guessed how much I love Naples? If you want to take a look at the housing for sale, go over to www.naplesarea.com. I visit that site nearly daily in the drab Midwest winter, longing to be in Naples, longing for a second home condo...

Good luck to you, Cindy.
 
Old May 18th, 2004, 05:12 AM
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Great website D!! I've spent the past half hour shopping and am adding it to my favorites.
 

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