Sarasota on a Budget: Spend the Day in Sarasota on a Dime

No doubt, you’ve heard it said that the prices of everything are going up. Maybe you’ve even said it yourself! Perhaps you’re pinching pennies in order to prepare for the closing on your Paradise Shores home, or maybe you’ve just splurged on decorating your new home. Or perhaps you’re just looking for something free or inexpensive to do with your children, grandchildren, an old friend, or all by yourself! Although you can certainly have lots of fun in Sarasota if you spend money, there are plenty of activities to enjoy if you’re on a budget, too. Here are some of them:

  • Hit the Beach  Not only is the parking on Sarasota County beaches free, but so are the seashells, shark teeth and sand. Whether you’re new to town, entertaining visitors, or have been a lifelong resident, going to the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico beaches really never gets old, does it? Bring along a ziplock bag to cart home your treasures. And don’t forget about the drumming circles: On Saturdays on Casey Key and on Sundays on Siesta Key, you can partake in or watch the drumming that begins about an hour before sunset, all year long. If you are hosting guests, they will not want to miss it!
  • Check Out Some Art  Sarasota offers quite the variety when it comes to art, and you can see it for free on certain days. On Mondays, there is no admission to the Ringling Museum of Art. Simply go in and get a wristband, and you’ll be admitted into the galleries for free! The grounds are also free, and Mable’s Rose Garden alone is worth the trip. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy, or grab an inexpensive snack at the Banyan Cafe. On the first and third Fridays of the month, you can enjoy free glimpses of the art galleries on Palm Avenue and Towles Court, respectively. There’s usually live music, too. Once per month during the hotter months, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall also offers live music for free.
  • Get in Touch With Nature  Do you enjoy camping? The primitive sites at Myakka State Park charge just a few dollars per person. If you’d rather explore nature and then sleep in your comfortable Paradise Shores home at night, there are options for you, too. Nature trails abound at Phillippi Estate Park, Pinecraft Park, Bay Preserve and many other parks and natural areas in Sarasota County. Of course, exploring the miles and miles of shoreline at any of the beaches or estuaries is also a great way to literally immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty!
  • Attend a Festival Sarasota is home to several festivals and cultural events throughout the year, and most of the time, admission is absolutely free. There’s the St. Armand’s Art Festival held in January and the Festival of the Arts in downtown Sarasota every February. There’s also the Artist Weekend Market held on Fruitville Road in March and October. The Sarasota Chalk Festival takes place every November; this has previously been held in downtown Sarasota, but is moving to Venice in 2014.
  • Enjoy Reduced Prices There are also some establishments in Sarasota that offer services at reduced prices, either all of the time or during certain hours. Parkway 8 Cinema on University Parkway offers movies for $2, and you can get a popcorn and large soda (with free or cheap refills) for about $10, which is a steal when compared with area movie theaters. Another way to enjoy usually-pricey treats on the cheap is to go to Happy Hour. Michael’s On East, located right off of Bahia Vista on S. East Avenue, offers delectable plates for just $5. You can also get $5 drinks and bites to eat at Bijou Cafe, which is across the street from the Sarasota Opera House.

While living in Paradise Shores, you’ll undoubtedly have the taste of the good life that goes along with your location on the Sarasota Bay. When you want to save money, however, there’s no reason to feel as though you have to sit at home. Sarasota offers so many things to do that will accommodate any budget.

If you are still looking for your perfect Paradise Shores home, please give me a call to schedule a showing!