T Nation

Vacation In Sarasota, FL Area


Hey I was going down here in a couple weeks and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations of places to go? Must-see sites? Maybe even a gym in the area as I'd like to get a workout or two maybe in while I'm down there too.

I'll actually be in the bradenton beach area moreso than sarasota florida, but they are pretty close.



Bradenton Beach has those sand-preserving piers that break up the beach and collect a stink. Walk or drive a few miles north to Manatee beach for some nicer sand.

There isn't much out-of-the-ordinary here except for beaches. I don't know anything about the gyms. What kind of stuff are you interested in?


Siesta Key, Longboat Key, Sanibel and Captiva Islands are all pretty cool.


Well I am kinda a nerd so I think that myakka park that is close would be something to check out...not sure what all would be there. Maybe drive down to the everglades...not totally sure..

One thing I'd like to do would to take some tour/airboat ride to see the alligators and wildlife.

Maybe some restaurants or bars that are cool? Interesting shops...good views of the ocean? beach volleyball? Things that wouldn't be in Michigan?

any snorkeling, deep sea fishing/diving, coral reefs or stuff like that around there? that is something I would like to do too.

Not sure if that helps, but maybe some of those would give an idea of something to do.

Thanks for the tips and recommendations too.


I am orginaly from right there in that area. Lived there before I enlisted in the military and got stationed here in Montana. If you want a hardcore rat gym, you have to go to MuscleWorks in Bradenton. I worked there for a couple years, and is the best gym I've ever been to by far. PM for some more ideas.


Myakka basically has fishing, hiking (if you can call walking through a perfectly flat landscape "hiking"), etc. For freshwater fishing I prefer Lake Manatee, which has less annoying bugs and less people.

Try Anna Maria Oyster Bar (more of a restaraunt than a bar) on 41 a mile or two north of the airport. Everything there is good. A lot of the restaraunts here are less expensive than you would expect because of the "old people effect".

The best fruit market I know of is on Prospect near Whitfield (small market and very cheap). Lots of citrus is in season right now.

There aren't any real views of the ocean - everything is flat. Some of the beaches here have kind of crappy sand because they've been pumping it in to compensate for erosion. That pumped-in sand just doesn't have the quality of wave-scrubbed sand. My favorite beach is Manasota, mainly because it has the most petrified sharks teeth. It's a bit of drive from Bradenton Beach though.

The aquarium on Lido key is not bad.

The water temps are a bit above normal right now, but still around 70 degrees. To me, that is "quick swim and get out" temperature (and only if it's a warm day), not snorkeling temperature.