Sarasota is a sunny city on the gulf coast of Florida. With its hip, trendy downtown lifestyle and renowned high-fashion boutiques, it is not known to have many cheap activities – let alone free ones! But I assure you that there are several things you can do in this Southwest Florida city that will put a smile on your face without emptying your wallet.
1. Go outside. Get out of the house and soak up some Vitamin C at Siesta Key, one of the state’s most beautiful beaches. Be careful not to soak up TOO much Vitamin C though; the sun’s rays can be harmful! Be prepared before you hit the sand…pack plenty of sunscreen and some water to keep you hydrated. If the beach isn’t your scene, try fishing from a pier, hiking through the woods on a trail or taking your favorite furry friend to one of the many dog parks!
2. Check out A. Parker’s Books in downtown Sarasota. A. Parker’s Books is a shop filled ceiling to floor with “scholarly, rare and antiquarian” books. You’ll spend more time here than you intended to; every corner you turn reveals another wall of old books for you to look through. The books are arranged by topic and then by author and there really is something for everyone in this quaint slice of heaven.
3. Visit the Ringling Museum of Art. You’re thinking, “Hey, wait a minute! I thought this was a list of FREE things to do!” Well, it is! Most people don’t know that per John Ringling himself, one day a week the Museum of Art is open to the public, free of charge! Regular admission prices apply if you want to see any of the other exhibits or buildings that the Ringling property has to offer, but visit on a Monday to see the priceless works of art in Mr. Ringling’s collection for free.
4. Taste some wine. A lot of people say that they don’t like wine – it’s either too bitter or too sweet. The fact of it is that they just haven't tasted the RIGHT wine! Why not head to St. Armand’s Circle at stop in at the St. Armand’s Gifts and Winery? They have so many wines to choose from that the flavors are dizzying. From watermelon to pina colada, you’re sure to find a wine that you adore. Now you can join the masses and enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.
5. Check out the Selby Library. The Selby Library, located on 1st Street in downtown Sarasota is renowned for its unique atmosphere and stunning architecture. Complete with a 3,200-gallon salt water aquarium and all the media you can handle, it’s easy to spend hours at the Selby Library.