Profile: Sarasota, Florida

Brush up on the history of this beachfront Florida city.
By: Susan Ladika
Related To:

Population: 385,000 (Sarasota County)

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9B

Major Airport: Sarasota Bradenton International Airport

Major employers: Publix Super Markets, PGT Industries, Venice Regional Medical Center, Target, Wal-Mart, SunTrust Bank, Sun Hydraulics Corp., Longboat Key Club & Resort, The Ritz-Carlton of Sarasota, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Sunset Automotive Group, Comcast Cablevision, Nielsen Media Research

Talk about a county of contrasts. Sarasota might be best known as a city with a wealthy, elderly and conservative population base and for helping to send President Bush to the White House in 2000 thanks to Katherine Harris, then Florida’s secretary of state and a Sarasota resident. But the area’s also home to a thriving arts community and a stronghold for Florida’s burgeoning green movement. It’s a city where the major industries are tourism, recreation and real estate development, but it’s striving to diversify its base.

It’s a county with million-dollar mansions and towering condos along its beaches and bays, and a thriving, walkable downtown Sarasota filled with shops and restaurants. But head east past Interstate 75, and you’re back in old Florida, with acre upon acre of trees and scrub, where a visit to Myakka River State Park will bring you face to face with an alligator, armadillo or anhinga.

Sarasota County is made up of four municipalities with a combined population topping 135,000, plus large swaths of unincorporated areas with a population topping 250,000. It’s not unusual to include neighboring Manatee County in the mix and to talk about the Sarasota-Bradenton area. The vast majority of Sarasota County’s population is white, at 86 percent, and it skews much older than most, with 30 percent of the population age 65 and older. But don’t count out kids, who make up 16 percent of the population. 

Keep Reading

Next Up

Sarasota Essentials

Learn about the places Sarasota locals can’t live without.

Sarasota: Like No Place Else

These staples of Sarasota make the city stand out from the rest.

Profile: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

We've got the basics on the City of Brotherly Love.

Profile: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Brush up on Santa Fe basics with this overview of the city's history and stats.

Naples: Sarasota’s Opulent Neighbor

Naples, Florida is a coastal city of wealth as well as a city of philanthropy, and it’s about 100 miles south of Sarasota.

Local Life and Lore in Sarasota

Fit in with the locals by getting to know Sarasota secrets.

What It's Like to Live in Park City, Utah

Take a look at what it's really like living in a ski resort town.

Philadelphia: A City Rich With History

Philadelphians know their stuff when it comes to their place in history.

Santa Fe Essentials

Looking for things to do in Santa Fe? This list has the favorites for food, drinks, hiking, museums, and more!

Local Life and Lore in Santa Fe

Know key terms and learn how to speak like a local in Santa Fe.

On TV

Log Cabin Living

9:30am | 8:30c

Log Cabin Living

10:30am | 9:30c

Log Cabin Living

11:30am | 10:30c

Log Cabin Living

12:30pm | 11:30c

Log Cabin Living

1:30pm | 12:30c

Log Cabin Living

2:30pm | 1:30c

Log Cabin Living

3:30pm | 2:30c

Log Cabin Living

4:30pm | 3:30c

Log Cabin Living

5:30pm | 4:30c

Mountain Life

6:30pm | 5:30c

Mountain Life

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Mountain Life

8pm | 7c

Mountain Life

8:30pm | 7:30c

Mountain Life

9:30pm | 8:30c

Mountain Life

10pm | 9c

Mountain Life

10:30pm | 9:30c

Mountain Life

11pm | 10c

Mountain Life

11:30pm | 10:30c

Mountain Life

12am | 11c

Mountain Life

12:30am | 11:30c

Mountain Life

1am | 12c

Mountain Life

1:30am | 12:30c

Mountain Life

2:30am | 1:30c

Mountain Life

3:30am | 2:30c

Top GAC Shows

Flea Market Flip

Sundays at 8|7c

Living Alaska

Mondays at 9|8c

Top 20 Countdown

Consult Program Guide

Flippin' RVs

Wednesdays 9|8c

Get Social With Us

Let's explore this country together.