Lakewood Ranch is a small but master-planned community in Manatee County that was assembled by John Schroeder. It was originally called the Schroeder-Manatee Ranch. In 1922, the land was purchased by members of the Uihlein family for ranch operations such as timber and cattle.

When the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority discussed an airport being built near the ranch in 1977, it was going to be built on what is not Lakewood Ranch. However, they decided to expand the existing airport facility. After learning about the canceled plans for the airport the board of directors wanted to pursue their idea for a planned community on the land.

The first neighborhood development, Summerfield, was built and completed in 1995. From then on, the community has expanded into what is now known as Lakewood Ranch. Lakewood Ranch is a community where 36,00 residents reside. The community features a vibrant town center with top-rated schools, a medical center, golf club, polo club, and a premier sports campus.

Top Restaurants in Lakewood Ranch

Station 400

The Lakewood Ranch location of Station 400 was inspired by the same quaint railroad depot building at the flagship location in Downtown Sarasota. The interior is a modern design with the same delicious chef-inspired cuisine as their other locations. The menu consists of seasonal and from-scratch recipes with organic and farm-fresh ingredients. Some of their most popular dishes are the cinnamon roll pancakes, fried green tomato benedict, and their open-faced turkey club. They are known for their large variety of mimosas like the elderflower, cucumber, and lemon or the spicy mango. Head there for breakfast, lunch of brunch for a spectacular meal!

Speaks Clam Bar

At Speaks Clam Bar they celebrate the end of the prohibition every day with some of Sarasota’s best craft cocktails. They are considered a speakeasy turned Italian clam bar with inspiration from clam bars in the Northeast. They serve fresh seafood, housemade pasta, lobster rolls (hot and cold) and much more. Stop by during their happy hour from 12 pm-6 pm daily for  $3-$6 drinks and bar bites. They enjoy showing the locals what Sarasota’s food scene is made of but they also encourage visitors to join them for a meal to discuss all of the amenities and things to do in Lakewood Ranch.

Hana Sushi

Located in the heart of Lakewood Ranch lies Hana Sushi, a Japanese Sushi restaurant and martini bar that offers fresh sushi, Japanese-inspired dishes, friendly service and some of the most unique cocktails in the city. Their chicken katsu is out-of-this-world good and will have you craving Hana Sushi again. And if you’re looking for sushi that doesn’t involve fish, they even cater to you! Check out their chicken teriyaki roll for a refreshing snack!

Main Street Trattoria

If you’re in the mood for simple, fresh Italian there is nowhere better to go than Main Street Trattoria. This centrally located restaurant serves classic Italian pies and plates in an art-lined space with a really cute outdoor patio. They have won over the hearts of the Lakewood Ranch locals by using uncompromising principles like only using the freshest ingredients possible and delivering constant and professional service. Try their classic bruschetta and chicken flatbread on your next trip down Main Street!

Top 5 Nightlife Destinations in Lakewood Ranch

Ed’s Tavern

If you’re from the northeast and you’re missing home, Ed’s Tavern will welcome you with open arms. Known as the Jersey joint in Lakewood Ranch, they have nightly specials and a kick-ass happy hour that anyone could love. Their daily happy hour includes $4 Tito’s, Jack and Captain alongside $3.25 wines, and $5 appetizers. They also offer 10% off to all veterans, law enforcement, firefighters and Lakewood Ranch Main Street employees.

Fine Wine & Tastings on Main

If you’re looking for a good spot for your next G.N.O and your girls love wine as much as mine do, Fine Wine & Tastings on Main is the perfect spot! They have over 400 different wines from all around the world and feature 30 wines by the glass which rotate monthly. If you’re a snacker they also serve build your own cheese and charcuterie boards.

Craft Growlers To Go & Tasting Room

Calling all beer connoisseurs! Head to Craft Growlers To Go & Tasting Room to taste some (or all) of their 45 rotating taps. The taps include craft beer, cider, wine and soda. Drinks are served in 4oz, 16oz, 32oz, and 64oz growlers. Their bar bite menu actually was planned to complement their beer selection. Head there soon to check out their beer selection in a stylish indoor tasting room and cute outdoor patio with covered seating year-round.

Truman’s Tap & Grill

The premier sports bar in Lakewood Ranch is Truman’s Tap & Grill. Many of its regulars head there for a game, a beer and some quality service! However, it’s not your typical sports bar because of the modern and unique design where they feature a sprawling custom made bar and modern decor including a curved rustic brick wall that separates the dining room from the bar. It is open for lunch and dinner daily with a unique selection of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, pastas, and hearty entrees. Devour a juicy Truman Burger or savor a plate of slow-cooked ribs. Whether you are a regular or an out-of-town guest, everyone is greeted with a warm reception, friendly service, and an inviting ambiance.

Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch Bahama Bar

Though the Bahama Bar is located within the country club, it has a full-service bar that serves up strong drinks with quality spirits. It’s the go-to spot on a late-night or weekend afternoon post-golf for a drink and a toast with those you beat (or those who beat you) on the course. The Bahama Bar is Esplanade al fresco dining with the feel of a casual island resort right in your backyard.

Top 5 Destinations for Things to Do in Lakewood Ranch

Heartwood Retreat Center

If you need more peace and quiet in your life, Lakewood Ranch has you covered. Check out the Heartwood Retreat Center, which is designed to promote individual growth and development through yoga-oriented self-discovery. They have over 7 acres of land dedicated to connecting their students to nature and their own inner world. With a holistic library, creativity center fully equipped yoga studio and chakra garden they are Lakewood Ranches premier spot for relaxation.

Lakewood Ranch Farmers Market

Every Saturday from 10 am-1 pm Main Street turns into the Lakewood Ranch Farmers Market. If you’re in need of fresh produce, local goods or just a nice stroll down Main Street, this is the perfect Saturday morning activity. This year is its 5th season and it’s just getting bigger and bigger each year. During strawberry season, they carry only the freshest and juiciest of berries. Alongside their fresh produce, they also have some of the areas most delicious honey.

Sarasota Polo at Lakewood Ranch

For 28 years now, the Sarasota Polo Club in Lakewood Ranch has invited the public to come out and watch the thrill of the fastest game on four feet each Saturday afternoon at 1 pm. However, there is much more to do if you don’t enjoy live sporting events like the Clydesdale wagon rides, exciting action, food and beverage, tailgating, half-time entertainment, divot stomping and plenty of fresh air. Bring the whole family, even the dog, to enjoy a nice day at the Polo Club. Back when Polo began, the farmhands would enjoy playing a similar game with one rule. Rule #1? The first rider to fall off their horse buys beer for the team, naturally.

Premier Sports Campus

Calling all Athletes! The Premier Sports Campus is an outdoor venue with 22 fields which hosts a range of sporting events such as soccer, lacrosse, football, and rugby. If you’re looking to rent a field or play a pick-up game with friends, this is the ultimate destination.

Fish Hole Mini Golf

Fish Hole Mini Golf is a beautiful miniature golf course in the heart of Lakewood Ranch, offering fun for all ages! Bring the whole family and come get hooked! Bring friends of all different experience levels to adventure through the 18 hole golf course.

For more information on Lakewood Ranch, stay tuned on, your free guide to things to do!