TravelRiz: Things to do in Sarasota, Florida

It had been two years since we were last on a plane. Our first trip, now that we’re feeling a little more comfortable, was a return to the Sarasota area of Florida. To be able to get out and travel again was such a feel good experience. Not to mention a joyous escape from the cold in New Jersey. Here are a few new places to visit in and around Sarasota.

(Downtown Sarasota Campus)
1534 Mound Street Sarasota, FL
Open daily 10-5p
Adults $25, Ages 5-17 $10, Age 4 and under FREE

Located right on Sarasota Bay is the Marie Selby Botanical Garden. A beautiful 15-acre oasis, perfect for a stroll. Enjoy nature or sit on a root of an 83-year old Australian Fig (banyan) tree. I highly recommend it!

Marie Selby Botanical Garden banyan tree
Australian Fig Tree

Current Exhibition: Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light. This is a real orchid framed as a painting. Gallery Exposed. The clean, crisp environment of the white-walled gallery is set in a lush, tropical landscape, in which plants have been framed as living works of art. 

Marie Selby Botanical Garden
Gallery Exposed


Take a walk around downtown. Take a picture at the Venice mural by artist David Lee, located on the sidewall of Celebration Corner at 303 W. Venice Ave.

Grab a bite to eat at one of the several restaurants (scroll down for one of my suggestions) and then have some ice cream at Kilwins.

Venice, Florida mural
Venice Wall Mural

Downtown Venice, Florida


1600 Harbor Drive
Venice, FL
Open daily 1145-10p

With a view of the beach and fishing pier, the atmosphere of Fins at Sharky’s is one of the best. Enjoy the cool ocean breeze of beachfront dining while filling your stomach with some delicious food. They’re known for their steaks and sushi, so we gave the Volcano Roll a try. It did not disappoint.

Sushi at Fins at Sharkey's Venice, Florida
Volcano Roll at Fins at Sharky’s
Venice Florida Fishing Pier
Venice Fishing Pier

117 West Venice Ave
Venice, FL
Sun-Tue 11a-12a, Wed-Sat 11a-2a

We had takeout from Made In Italy, so I apologize for no picture. I inhaled the dish that I ordered without taking a pause. You MUST try their Fiocci Di Pera! Homemade pasta purses filled with a blend of four cheeses and pear, served with a truffle cream sauce. I can’t rave about this dish enough. I’m still dreaming about it.


When you’re in Florida you must visit a beach or three. My favorites would be:

Siesta Key Beach – The white sand beach has been voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. You would think your’e walking on flour the sand is so soft. And yes, it’s where the Mtv show is based.

Venice Beach – 14 miles of beach and a cool fishing pier. Hide from the sun and grab a bite to eat at Sharky’s on the Pier or Fins at Sharky’s.

Manasota Beach – Venice is the shark tooth capital of the world. Take your chance out there with everyone searching for a souvenir to take home.

Manasota Beach Venice, Florida

Hope you enjoyed reading about some of my favorite spots from this trip. Have you ever visited Sarasota? You can also check out my other blog post with more Florida picture spots. TravelRiz: Florida

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