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Located on the southwestern coast of the state of Florida, the city of Sarasota includes Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. These islands separating Sarasota Bay from the gulf near the city, known as keys, include Longboat Key, Lido Key and Siesta Key, which are famous worldwide for the quality of their sandy beaches. Sarasota is a principal city of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the seat of Sarasota County. It is home to approximately 52,500 people. CNN/Money Magazine chose Sarasota as America's Best Small City and one of the nation's top eight Best Places to Retire.
Jobs in real estate development and tourism/recreation currently dominate the Sarasota County economy. Health care and retirement services also are major employment sectors, while manufacturing, technology, and financial service jobs continue to build strength into the local economy. The county has a high number of self-employed individuals with earnings well above the U.S. average for this sector. When looking at the past five years, trends in development of higher wage industries, such as professional and technical services, management, and health care demonstrate success in the efforts to diversify the economy.
The vibrant recreational and cultural scene offers big city amenities with a small town way of living. Sarasota cultural attractions include the Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, the Sarasota Players, the Banyan Theater Company, and many other musical, dance, artistic, and theatrical venues. Since 1998, the city has hosted the Sarasota Film Festival annually. It claims to be one of Florida's largest film festivals. In 2009 the annual Ringling International Arts Festival, held its premier and held its closing event in the historic Asolo Theater.
Sarasota is home to John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. It was built by John Ringling of circus fame to house his personal art collection, and was bequeathed to the State of Florida upon his death, along with the Ringling's personal mansion and circus museum. It houses one of the largest Baroque art collections in the world, and also features rare European antiquities, a considerable Asian art collection and special exhibitions. Sarasota is also home to Mote Marine Laboratory, a marine rescue, research facility, and aquarium; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens; G-Wiz Museum, a museum of science and technology; and Sarasota Jungle Gardens, which carries on early tourist attraction traditions. It also has many historic sites and neighborhoods.
Visit Sarasota, Florida
City of Sarasota
Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
Hotels, Restaurant and Real Estate
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport
Sarasota Ballet of Florida
Sarasota Herald-Tribune Newspaper
Gulf Coast Business Review
WWSB ABC Channel 7
University of South Florida
New College of Florida
State College of Florida