pros and cons of living in sarasota fl

Along the Florida Gulf Coast, just south of Tampa, is a paradise city. Sarasota is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, a lively art scene, and a bustling business center.

This subtropical paradise has year-long sunshine and numerous nature reserves and parks to enjoy for free. Tourists can visit the annual Music Festival, and residents can bask in the eternal sunshine and the lack of state income tax.

There is so much to visit and return to in this golden city. Keep reading if you want to learn more about this paradise you might like to call home.

Pros and cons of living in Sarasota at a glance


  • Beautiful natural features and sites
  • Great hospitals and retirement conditions
  • Great business and art sector
  • No income tax in Florida State
  • Safe and secure city


  • High cost of living
  • Extreme and disastrous weather
  • The limited social and cultural scene

Pros of living in Sarasota

Now that you have an idea of what Sarasota might have to offer, here’s exactly what you can expect.

Beautiful Beaches and Natural Features

Sarasota is along Florida’s Gulf Coast, and it has the most picturesque sandy beaches. Every resident and tourist can enjoy the perfect coastline beaches for free whenever they can get out to enjoy the Florida sunshine.

But if the beach isn’t for you, Sarasota still has plenty of lakes and rivers to fish, boat, swim, ski, wakeboard, and sail. The range of outdoor activities is what makes Sarasota so desirable to retirees and other residents.

If the beach isn’t where you want to go, choose a hiking trail, go birdwatching, or visit the Everglades (since they’re not too far away) or visit the local food market.

Infinity seems to limit the number of environmental attractions in Sarasota.

Great Hospitals and Retirement Conditions

While everyone can benefit from great healthcare, many Sarasota residents are elderly and require better and more regular care. No problem! Sarasota’s four hospitals have all won prestigious awards for the high-quality healthcare they’ve provided.

Moreover, Sarasota is ideal for retiring and spending your later years. With incredible sunshine weather, gorgeous beaches and nature parks, a safe and secure community, and plenty of restaurants and activities to keep busy – Sarasota is an ideal place to spend the sunset of your life.

Great Business and Art Sectors

This city may be ideal for retiring, but it also hires plenty of young workers. The top employing industries here are medicine, grocery retail, and law enforcement.

There is also a booming restaurant industry in Sarasota; there are more than 1400 restaurants and eateries. From food trucks to seafood to fine dining, Sarasota has it catered and served for you.

This city is also known for its year-round cultural events, festivals, and activities. Sarasota has incredible art museums and the Also Museum curating wonderful visual and performative arts. The Sarasota Music Festival takes place every June to bring three blissful weeks of classical music performed by local musicians and guest artists.

No Income Tax in Florida State

Residents in any Florida city don’t need to pay income tax to the state, and so residents in a city like Sarasota Fl can have some disposable income for more fun and pleasure.

The fact that Sarasota is a tax haven is another reason it’s a great place to settle down and start a family. The property tax rates are also competitive and compare well with the rest of the country.

Safe and Secure City

Sarasota has a small-town feel and a low crime rate because of it. The Sarasota crime rate is significantly lower than the national average, and this might be because a large part of the population moves away during the summer months.

There is still a fair amount of property crime, and officials are working at fixing this. Some solutions to the property crime rate include passing laws on loitering and sleeping in public places. Sarasota also has many shelters and social service networks to support the poor and homeless population, contributing to property crime rates.

Because of the low crime rates, this area is excellent for starting a family. If you want a community where it’s safe for your children to play, learn and be active without your constant watching – this is it. (Not to mention Sarasota has about 90 public and private schools for its 55 000 residents)

Cons of living in Sarasota

This local community seems like an idyllic place, but what about the negative things? What makes living in Sarasota less than perfect?

High Cost of Living

Everyone wants a beach house or a condo with a view of the water, but it comes at a high price. The starting price on some condos in Sarasota is $600 000 or $1 950 per month in rent – which is definitely not in the budget for everyone.
But there are more affordable housing options further inland and away from Sarasota’s many beaches and water features.

Sarasota is a community of rich retirees, so the standard of living reflects that. Other costs of living may go up because of millionaire neighbors, which could make daily groceries or restaurant bills more expensive as well.

Many residents struggle to earn enough income to stay in this privileged city. 50% of American households earn between $30 000 and $48 000 per year. Between rent and groceries, a 30K salary may not be enough to provide the bare minimum cost of living in Sarasota.

Extreme and Disastrous Weather

Sarasota’s sunny and idyllic weather is one of its selling points, but during its hotter months, that humid and intense heat can be suffocating and unbearable.

Florida weather is subtropical, which means it’s hot all year round and even hotter in the summer months. But that’s why man-made air-conditioning and all Floridians know and love their AC units.

This region is also prone to storms and hurricanes, and so Sarasota will see a property damaging hurricane every couple of years. However, if you’ve ever lived in Miami or Jacksonville, these hurricanes are no comparison and just become part of the Sarasota charm.

Limited Social and Cultural Scene

As we’ve learned, Sarasota has a lot of retired residents, and they tend to have a preferred routine. Younger residents in the community have felt stunted by the cycle of going to the beach or going to the bar. The reality is there are not many recreational or creative outlets for 20 or 30 somethings to do regularly besides those summer activities. This has led many to leave Sarasota and find a social and cultural scene that’s more engaging and challenging.

FAQ Section

Why is the Crime Rate So High in Sarasota?

It isn’t! Sarasota’s crime rate has been lower than the national average since 2014. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, Sarasota has been lowering its property and violent crime rate consistently and ranks among the safest cities in America.

What is Bad in Sarasota?

The high cost of living, the occasional bad weather, and the limiting social scene are some of the negatives about living in Sarasota. Of course, each person has their subjective needs, and many won’t be bothered by expensive rent, heavy rain, and wind, or getting to know their neighbors a little too well.

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Filip Poutintsev, the Chief Editor of Honest Pros and Cons, is a long term business writer, who has been featured in various online publications such as Forbes, CoinTelegraph and HackerNoon. Now he writes exclusively for Honest Pros and Cons.