With its soft, sandy beaches and warm, calm waters, Sarasota is a dream wedding location. And whether you’re a local or you’re hosting friends and family for a destination affair, there’s plenty to see and do in town in between wedding festivities.
Images via The Resort at Longboat Key Club
Where to Stay
Tucked away on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico (Longboat Key), The Resort at Longboat Key Club offers you and your guests a private setting to enjoy Sarasota’s sugar-soft beaches. The resort’s accommodations feature traditional Old Florida design details and expansive private balconies and are outfitted with apartment-style amenities, including kitchens and dining rooms, which means everyone can truly feel at home while they’re here. And there’s plenty to keep everyone occupied, including tennis lessons at the resort’s state-of-the-art Tennis Gardens, yoga on the beach, golf, moonlight meditation sessions, and plenty of pampering services at the spa. Eight on-site restaurants give guests plenty of options for enjoying fresh Florida fish and seafood, and nearly anything else to please their palates.
Image via Lido Beach Resort
We also love Lido Beach Resort, whose bright and contemporary suites overlook the Gulf of Mexico and a stretch of pristine beach on Lido Key. The 222-room resort features amenities including kitchenettes, Gulf-view balconies, two pools that are heated year-round, a lively poolside Tiki Bar, and convenient dining at Lido Beach Grille. Conveniently for guests, Lido Beach Resort offers shuttle service to the popular shops and restaurants of St. Armands Circle, which means that they can explore Sarasota with utmost ease.
Where to Eat & Drink
If you care to venture offsite for a taste of Sarasota’s restaurant scene, head to St. Armands Circle for dinner at Shore Diner, which serves up everything from farm-fresh, flavor-packed salads to melt-in-your-mouth fish dishes, plus anything-but-average cocktails. Treat your guests to fresh Florida breezes by dining on the deck. To experience downtown Sarasota, head to Saluté for authentic Italian, or enjoy your eggplant parmigiana with beautiful marina views instead at Longboat Key Club’s Italian restaurant, Portofino. (You can’t go wrong with either.) For some casual fun, head to JDub’s Brewing, where you and your guests can take a tour of the brewery and sample crisp, tasty beers on an outdoor patio.
Where to Wed
Image via Ca’ d’Zan
Sarasota is home to one of Florida’s most spectacular historical and cultural sites, The Ringling, where you’ll find the jaw-dropping Ca’ d’Zan. The former home of circus magnate John Ringling and his beloved wife Mabel, Ca’ d’Zan perches right at the water’s edge and features a sprawling waterfront terrace. (We’re certain even Gatsby himself would gawk in admiration.) Of course, with their beachfront settings, ballroom spaces, and dedicated wedding teams, Longboat Key Club and Lido Beach Resort are spectacular spots in Sarasota to say “I do.”