Whether you are a longtime resident or weekend tourist of Sarasota, there are many dining, recreation, and entertainment options in the city. Here are some of the best things to do in Sarasota with friends, family, and kids:

Historic Burns Square

With charming bungalows, shops, and restaurants, cinemas, yoga studios, and galleries, there is something for everyone at Historic Burn Square.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens features over 20,000 plants, including some of the rarest orchids in the world. Stroll through the Tropical Conservatory or stop by the gift shop to purchase plants and trinkets. Little ones will enjoy the kid’s rainforest garden, which offers interactive opportunities for learning about rainforest plants.

The Ringling Bridge

The John Ringling Causeway bridge is a popular spot for runners, cyclists, and walkers hoping to take in the views of downtown Sarasota and Sarasota Bay. You can even fish from the T.J. “Tony” Saprito Fishing Pier.

Sarasota Opera House

The company is an internationally respected producer of the highest quality professional opera. They typically present four operas in winter, a fall performance, and various recitals and concerts throughout the year.

Art Center Sarasota

Art Center Sarasota is Sarasota’s oldest arts organization and provides opportunities for all ages and skill levels with art education, exhibitions and cultural programs.

Sarasota Children’s Garden

The Sarasota Children’s Garden offers a great opportunity for kids to get in touch with nature and play. It features two acres of fun installations including a pirate ship, fairyland, a tree fort, a woodland café, a rainforest, and a costume room.

Towles Court Art Walks

Towles Court offers art walks every third Friday. Here you can take a peek into local artists’ studios after hours while enjoying live entertainment and refreshments.

Payne Park

Payne Park is a circus-themed playground where kids can play. There is also a separate area for toddlers and a city skateboard park for older kids next door.

Florida Studio Theatre

The Florida Studio Theatre presents four main stage shows, three cabaret shows, a summer season and improv performances in the five theaters downtown. Check the schedule at floridastudiotheatre.org.

McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre

McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre is a popular comedy club that headlines a variety of well-known and up-and-coming comics.

Burns Court Cinemas

Lovers of international and independent films will enjoy visiting this little downtown arthouse cinema. Look for an upcoming movie time and take in a film in style with a cold beer or glass of wine.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Sarasota’s Bayfront hall presents a full season of touring Broadway shows, orchestras, dance, comedy, pop music and more.

Bayfront Park

This park is the perfect place to take in the sunset, walk your dog, play with your kids, or enjoy a picnic.

Want to fuel up with a hearty breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, or need a good spot for a drink after your Sarasota explorations? There are many excellent restaurants and bars on Main Street in Sarasota to choose from.