17 Pros and Cons of Living in Sarasota, Florida Right Now

What To Know Before Moving to Sarasota, FL

It’s important to understand the top living in Sarasota, FL pros and cons.

Whether you are you thinking about moving to Sarasota for retirement living. Or, just for a fresh start in life.

So, no delays…

Pros And Cons Of Living In Sarasota, FL

In total, we have 9 pros. And 8 cons.

For a balanced view of the advantages and disadvantages of life in Sarasota:

  • Warm and sunny weather
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Access to quality health care
  • Plenty of cultural activities
  • Good food and dining options
  • Lots of outdoor activities
  • Convenient central location
  • Moderate cost of living
  • No state income taxes
  • Hot and humid summers
  • Hurricanes and tropical storms
  • Snowbirds and tourists
  • Heavy traffic during peak times
  • The rising cost of everything
  • Not many options for nightlife
  • Limited diversity
  • Pesky insects, bugs, and critters
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Beach time in Sarasota, Florida

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We are going to cover each of these points in greater detail in just a moment.

On the other hand, if the first glance at this list tells you the Sarasota lifestyle doesn’t fit your interests. Then, check out all of our…

City and State Lifestyle Guides

Perfect for finding your best place to live, work, or retire.  But now, as promised, the pros and cons of living in Sarasota.

Starting with the optimistic view.

Specifically, here are the 9 pros of living in Sarasota…

Warm And Sunny Weather

If you like warm weather. And need plenty of sunshine to feel your best. Then you will like Sarasota.

After all, this is at the core of Florida living.

For most of the year, you will experience pleasant daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Furthermore, November through April represents the best of times.

Because you will be heading to the beach. While your friends and family in the north pull out their winter coats. And deal with snow and ice.

Beautiful Beaches

After moving to Sarasota, you will learn you have easy access to some of the best and most beautiful beaches in the world.

Take note of the powdered quartz crystal sand as you visit and explore…

  • Englewood Beach
  • Lido Beach
  • Nokomis Beach
  • North Lido Beach
  • Siesta Key Beach
  • Stump Pass Beach
  • Venice Beach

Since you will find plenty of free access. To these lovely and spectacular outdoor spaces.

Next, another one of the benefits of living in Sarasota…

Access To Quality Health Care

Any of us can have a health issue at any time.

But, access to quality health care is especially critical for those in search of retirement living in Sarasota. Or, for families with young children.

Regardless, it is good to know that the Sarasota area is home to several highly-rated hospitals and care facilities.

Some of which include:

  • Sarasota Memorial Hospital
  • PAM Health
  • Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Plenty Of Cultural Activities

Furthermore, part of a healthy lifestyle includes access to the arts and cultural activities. To stimulate your mind and your creative side.

Here too, Sarasota does not disappoint.

So, be sure to consider some of these things you will have access to as part of your moving to Sarasota pros and cons…

  • Sarasota Art Museum
  • Asolo Repertory Theatre
  • Sarasota Ballet
  • Circus Arts Conservatory
  • Classical Music Festival (June)
  • Film Festival (April)
  • Sarasota Opera House
  • Sarasota Orchestra
  • SARTQ: Artist Collective

Good Food And Dining Options

There are hundreds of dining options in the Sarasota area. Ranging from food trucks, and casual dining, to numerous 5-star restaurants. Most of which are locally owned.

What you won’t find is a ton of fast-food franchises and restaurant chains. What you will find is high-quality fare. And enough diversity to please almost anyone’s pallet.

The fresh seafood is especially good. As a result of close access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean.

Next, I love being outside, so this item is top of my list of reasons to move to Sarasota…

Lots Of Outdoor Activities

You will find plenty of fun things to do outside as part of this list of living in Sarasota, FL pros and cons. So, most people find an active outdoorsy lifestyle here.

Consider the simple pleasures of strolling the beachfront, bird watching, or casting a line and enjoying a little fishing.

If you care to invest a little more time and money in your hobbies, golf is a popular option.

Since there are nearly 100 courses in and within a short drive of Sarasota. From public to private courses. For beginners to advanced.

You will be sure to find the perfect course in Sarasota to meet your skill level and budget.

Boating too is especially popular. Since there are plenty of options to get out on the water.

We are just getting warmed up. So much more to come about Sarasota living…

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Strolling a Sarasota beach

Convenient Central Location

One of the good things about Sarasota living is its convenient location. For living in the heart of Southwest Florida. And for getting beyond those boundaries.

First, know that you will have easy access to the Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport. It is best for no-hassle regional air travel.

Furthermore, consider these convenient options. When you want to take a road trip and get out of town to some of the best cities in this state.

Such as…


A 45-minute drive will put you in Tampa. For site seeing, the many festivals the city offers, or for attending a professional sporting event.

There too you will find more long-distance and international flight options. At Tampa International Airport.


Less than two hours will have you in Orlando.

If you are going there to enjoy the theme parks. When the kids or grandkids come to visit, it’s a great nearby entertainment option.

Also, the parks are mainly on the west side of the city. Making for a faster and more convenient trip from Sarasota.

Fort Myers

Then, head south down the coastline. Where you will find Fort Myers, just an hour away.

The city has the greatest concentration of historic buildings in southwest Florida.

And while you are there, checking out Fort Myers beach is a must. It is located on Estero Island. A barrier island just off the mainland.

Also, in the planned community of Cape Coral. Next door to Fort Myers. You should check out the nearly 400 miles of manmade canals that traverse the city.


Going a little farther south from Fort Myers and down the coast. You will come upon Naples here.

Home to a vibrant retirement community. And some of the most pristine beaches in the world. Including the beaches of nearby Marco Island.


When living on the Gulf Coast in Sarasota. It’s only a 3 hour’s drive across the entire state to the east. For access to Miami and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Ocean provides better waves than the Gulf for any surfers in the audience. And it’s a must to experience the city of Miami’s vibe.

Florida Keys

Finally, for a stay in a tropical island environment. Your new home will be a great launching point to visit the island chain in the Florida Keys.

Home to Key West. The southernmost point in the lower 48 states.

Moderate Cost Of Living

For being such a popular spot, the Sarasota cost of living is still manageable for most people’s budgets.

BestPlaces.net scores Sarasota’s average cost of living at just 3% higher. Versus the United States as a whole.

Groceries and housing tend to run a little more.  While savings can be found in your health care, utilities, and transportation budget categories.

Port Charlotte is a less expensive city in the area. In case you find Sarasota is out of your budget.

Next, is our final pro. Another one of my favorite reasons to move to Sarasota…

No State Income Taxes

Another area where you will save money when considering all of the living in Sarasota, FL pros and cons are income taxes.

Since the state of Florida is one of only a handful of states. That does not charge residents an income tax.

Depending on your income. And where you are moving from.

These savings can add up to thousands of dollars per year very quickly.

And just another quick note on taxes before we move on. Specifically, Sarasota County real estate taxes are quite reasonable too.

Finally, as long as we are talking about money…

If you are looking for a top-notch free financial tool to pull your spending, budget, and investments altogether in one place.

You should consider using Personal Capital.

Okay. That concludes all of the best things about Sarasota.

But, to be fair. I must cover the other view about Sarasota living.

Thus, we are ready to cover the 8 cons of living in Sarasota…

Hot And Humid Summers

By choosing to live here. You are selecting a location with a subtropical climate.

June through September are hot. With the temperature rising routinely into the 90s.

In addition, the humidity is high. Making it feel very uncomfortable at times.

It also rains frequently during this time of year. Turning the area into a bit of a steam bath.

Hurricanes And Tropical Storms

First of all, along with the rain comes lightning and thunderstorms.

These storms can come up quickly. Catching people in a dangerous situation when unaware.

Furthermore, hurricanes and tropical storms are a fact of life in Florida. These weather events must be taken seriously. Including the flooding that can result.

If you have your heart set on living in Florida. But want to reduce your risk of exposure to hurricanes.

Then, Jacksonville is a good choice for further investigation. Since direct hits from these storms are much less frequent there. When compared to other parts of Florida.

Next, one of the big disadvantages of living in Sarasota…

Snowbirds And Tourists

Tourists, snowbirds, and part-time residents are a fact of life in Sarasota. Since this is such a popular wintertime destination.

So, if dealing with the heavy influx of people. Crowding your beaches and your favorite restaurants during the peak season is going to get on your nerves.

Then, the Sarasota lifestyle might not be for you.

Heavy Traffic During Peak Times

Unfortunately, popularity has its costs. One of those is heavy traffic.

During the peak season from after Thanksgiving through the Easter holiday. And further complicated during daily commute times. Traffic congestion is significant in the area.

So, be prepared to tack on an extra 15-30 minutes to get around town. During the worst conditions.

Also, be prepared for nearby Interstate 75. Because when the congestion doesn’t slow traffic to a crawl.

Be prepared for racing-like conditions. With fast, aggressive drivers.

Next, this upcoming point is another one of the good reasons not to move to Sarasota…

The Rising Cost Of Everything

Yet another disadvantage of living in what has become a popular place. Prices have been going up.

It’s especially noticeable in the real estate market. And although there is a range of housing options here. Across a variety of price points.

Property values have been increasing. Pricing many people out of the real estate market.

Restaurant meals have been impacted too. And as the waiting lines at restaurants grow. It allows restaurant operators to raise prices. With minimal impact on demand.

Finally, this probably won’t make the difference in being able to afford life in Sarasota.

Nevertheless, we use the cashback app from Rakuten. To save money on everything we buy online.

Hang with me. Just a few more drawbacks to living in Sarasota before we wrap up…

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Retirement living in Sarasota, Florida

Not Many Options For Nightlife

Even though more and more people have found Sarasota. It is still a small town.

Thus, outside of the cultural activities, dining options, and outdoor pursuits, this isn’t New York City or Chicago.

Therefore, clubs, bars, and live music venues are in shorter supply. As compared to big-city options. As I said, this is still a relatively small town.

Next, we will stick with the big city versus the small city theme.  Giving us another negative of living in Sarasota…

Limited Diversity

Sarasota is not economically, racially, or age-diverse.

According to Sarasota Magazine, the population is older. With a comparatively high average age. And a significant percentage of residents older than 65.

Further, people of color have been growing. But the majority of the population, about 80%, is white.

Income equality is also easy to observe. Since Sarasota has a high concentration of millionaires.

Yet, these wealthy folks’ quality of life is dependent on lower-paid workers. In important service-based jobs.

Pesky Insects, Bugs, And Critters

You should also know that people aren’t the only ones who like living in Sarasota.

So, be prepared for mosquitoes, biting midges, and palmetto bugs to name just a few.

And don’t forget about alligators. Since Florida has the largest population of these critters in the country.

They live in freshwater. So, it’s always a good idea to be cautious in and around their natural habitat as you go about your business.

Alright, that’s all I have for today. So, allow me to wrap up with a few concluding thoughts…

Pros And Cons Of Living in Sarasota, FL

Now you know what we consider to be the most important living in Sarasota pros and cons. They are:

  • Warm and sunny weather
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Access to quality health care
  • Plenty of cultural activities
  • Good food and dining options
  • Lots of outdoor activities
  • Convenient central location
  • Moderate cost of living
  • No state income taxes
  • Hot and humid summers
  • Hurricanes and tropical storms
  • Snowbirds and tourists
  • Heavy traffic during peak times
  • The rising cost of everything
  • Not many options for nightlife
  • Limited diversity
  • Pesky insects, bugs, and critters

Hopefully, this discussion has helped you answer some important questions. Such as…

  • How is living in Sarasota?


  • Should I move to Sarasota?

Living In Sarasota And Beyond

And before you go, don’t forget to check out all of our articles…

About Where to Live and Why

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Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

The Pros And Cons Of Living In Sarasota Explained