Take A Day Trip To Sarasota During Your AMI Vacation

It’s hard to think of a better vacation destination than Anna Maria Island, with its sunny shores and white sand beaches. As you soak up the sun and enjoy the laid-back island atmosphere, you may crave a little adventure beyond the beautiful beaches. Well, lucky for you, just a short drive away is the lively city of Sarasota, filled with art, culture, and delicious food. Explore Sarasota and uncover the best dining spots, shopping destinations, and must-see attractions.

Start your next adventure today, and let us help you create memories that will last a lifetime. Our friendly team at Lizzie Lu’s Island Retreat is dedicated to making your stay exceptional, going above and beyond to turn your vacation dreams into reality. 

About Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota, known as Florida’s cultural coast, is a favorite destination for visitors who appreciate arts and culture. This entertaining city offers a variety of attractions and activities to suit every taste. Sarasota has something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie looking for the next new restaurant, a shopper searching for unique finds, or a nature lover seeking peaceful gardens. Experience the city’s creative energy and discover why it has become a favorite day trip destination for visitors from Anna Maria Island.

Dining in Sarasota

When exploring restaurants in Sarasota, prepare yourself for some exciting meals. The city has excellent restaurants with classic and cultural dishes that will expand your palate. 

At Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood, you’ll experience the authentic flavors of the Gulf Coast. This charming eatery sources only the freshest seafood, bringing you dishes that showcase the natural beauty of the ocean. Every bite celebrates the sea, from flavor-packed fish tacos to crispy crab cakes. The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make you feel like a part of the family.

Walt’s Fish Market Restaurant is where to be if you’re in the mood for a seafood feast. With its casual and lively ambiance, this restaurant offers many seafood options to satisfy your cravings. Dive into their delicious shrimp scampi or savor their famous grouper sandwich. 

Connor’s Steak & Seafood is a top choice for those craving a juicy steak. This upscale eatery prides itself on its prime cuts of meat and exceptional service. From perfectly cooked filet mignon to juicy ribeye, every bite is a tender and flavorful experience. And when it comes to desserts, you won’t be disappointed. Indulge in their irresistible chocolate lava cake or creamy cheesecake for the perfect ending to your meal.

Shopping in Sarasota

If you’re a shopaholic at heart, Sarasota shopping will not disappoint. From charming boutiques to shopping malls, the city offers a variety of options to suit every style and taste.

St. Armand’s Circle is a must-visit shopping destination. Located on the stunning Lido Key, this charming island hub has a unique collection of boutiques, art galleries, and specialty shops. Walk through the circle, browse unique finds, and treat yourself to a tasty ice cream cone. With its European-inspired atmosphere, St Armand’s Circle offers an exceptional shopping experience.

smiling woman with shopping bags
Photo from Shutterstock

For a more traditional mall experience, head to Westfield Sarasota Square. This shopping center provides various retail stores, from popular brands to specialty shops. Explore the different shops, indulge in a little retail therapy, and catch a movie at the cinema to unwind. Westfield Sarasota Square is the perfect place to spend a day splurging on your favorite things.

If you prefer a more intimate shopping experience, Crossings At Siesta Key is perfect for you. This open-air shopping plaza offers a collection of charming boutiques and specialty stores. From trendy fashion pieces to unique home decor, you’ll find many treasures to take home as souvenirs. 

Things To Do in Sarasota 

It’s time to explore the exciting attractions that Sarasota has to offer. Here are a few must-see destinations and Sarasota attractions that should be on your itinerary! The Ringling Museum should not be missed. This impressive cultural complex houses an art museum, stunning gardens, and a jaw-dropping mansion. Take in the works of art in the museum, walk through the beautifully landscaped gardens, and step inside Ca’ d’Zan, the breathtaking mansion built by circus tycoon John Ringling. Prepare to be swept off your feet as you step inside this architectural masterpiece and discover the extravagant lifestyle of John Ringling. 

For an underwater adventure, head to Mote Aquarium. Discover fascinating marine life, from colorful tropical fish to the cutest sea turtles. Explore interactive exhibits and learn about the vital research conducted to preserve our oceans. At Mote Aquarium, you don’t just observe from afar – you get to be a part of the action! Explore the interactive exhibits that will educate, entertain, and learn about the vital research conducted to protect and preserve our precious oceans. Don’t miss the chance to go behind the scenes on a guided tour and get up close with incredible sea creatures. It’s an educational and fun experience for the whole family.

Plan Your Trip

 Browse our full rental inventory, and contact us today to start your next Anna Maria Island escape!

Nature lovers will fall in love with Sarasota Jungle Gardens. This tropical paradise is home to various exotic plants and friendly creatures. Take your time walking through beautiful landscapes, enjoying the sights of flamingos and parrots, and watching entertaining wildlife shows. Sarasota Jungle Gardens is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and discover the beauty of the animal kingdom.

If you love botanical beauty, Marie Selby Gardens is a must-visit destination. This stunning botanical garden showcases an impressive collection of rare orchids, beautifully landscaped gardens, and breathtaking views of Sarasota Bay. Take a walk through the garden, breathe in the fragrant air, and enjoy the tranquility of this natural garden.

Directions To Sarasota From Anna Maria Island

Getting to Sarasota from Anna Maria Island is a breeze. Hop onto FL-64 E and continue straight until you reach the bridge. Cross over to the mainland and follow the signs leading to I-75 South. Take exit 210 and follow the signs to enter the city. It’s a straightforward and scenic drive that will have you in the heart of Sarasota in no time.

Book Your Anna Maria Island Rentals with Lizzie Lu’s Island Retreat

Step into the Lizzie Lu’s experience and book your Anna Maria Island vacation rental with us today! After a day of adventure and exploring Sarasota (or another day trip from AMI), there’s no better feeling than retreating to a cozy, comfortable place to recharge. Our wide range of AMI vacation rentals has something for everyone, including dog-friendly rentals, because we know that furry friends are part of the family, too! Imagine lounging by a heated pool in one of our luxury rentals, sipping a tropical drink as the island breeze flows through the palm trees. Or you might prefer the freedom of exploring the island on two wheels with our convenient bike rentals. For solo travelers, couples, and small families, check out our 1-2-bedroom AMI vacation rentals. For groups or large families, check out our 3-4 bedroom AMI rentals; you can find the perfect size and style to suit your needs. At Lizzie Lu’s Island Retreat, we want you to have the best experience, one that’s filled with warmth, comfort, and island charm. We can’t wait to welcome you with open arms and ensure your stay is perfect.