Sarasota County is located in the Southwest Florida region and a popular home search destination for retirees. It was formed in 1921 as one of the three counties carved from the then much larger Manatee County now neighboring Sarasota to the north. This county was purportedly named after Sara, the daughter of the famous Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto.
The county seat is the city of Sarasota and North Port is the county’s largest city. Sarasota County’s total area spreads at 725 square miles with water accounting for 23.4 percent of it or 169 square miles.
Several barrier islands or keys are part of the county’s territory, and all count as among the prime destinations of tourists as well as buyers of waterfront homes for sale. These communities could be found in Bird Key, Casey Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key, Manasota Key, Siesta Key and St. Armands Key. The Sarasota real estate market likewise covers Englewood, Nokomis, Osprey, and Venice.
The charm of the local waters revolves much on the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay that respectively borders west and east of the county’s barrier islands. Both bodies of water offers various pleasures from boating to fishing, as well serving as venues for special events such as yachting competitions and holiday parades.
Sarasota County’s extensive coast is a treasure trove of 13 public beaches and more than 35 miles of beautiful shoreline. The crown jewel among these is the Siesta Key Beach which has been consistently named one of the top U.S. beaches.
Arts and culture likewise shape much of the lifestyle in Sarasota County, so much so that its region is popularly known as Florida’s Cultural Coast. Much of this reputation is drawn from the heritage left by circus magnate John Ringling who also initiated development of many historic residential communities in Sarasota.
Sarasota’s cultural landmarks include the Ringling Museum and the the Van Wezel Hall of Performing Arts. The county also takes pride in the Ringing College of Arts and Design, as well as the campuses of the State College of Florida, Keiser University, University of South Florida, and State College of Florida.
Choices on commercial centers abound in Sarasota, with one of the most prestigious shops and restaurants located in St. Armands Key. Also within or around the county’s boundaries are two Westfield malls and the Mall at University Town Center. Healthcare in the county is ably met by several hospitals including the top-rated Sarasota Memorial which has several satellite clinics in the county aside from its main facility.
Two major road corridors link Sarasota north and south to major Florida urban centers: Interstate 75 and U.S. Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail). Air travel is efficiently facilitated via the Bradenton-Sarasota International Airport.
Choices of residential communities in Sarasota County are quite varied. Some of the preferred neighborhoods are those in master planned developments like Palmer Ranch, Lakewood Ranch, and West Villages that rank among the top-selling communities in the U.S. Picks of homes for sale in Sarasota include varying styles of single family homes, condos, villas, and townhouses.