Pick a metric. Check statistics. Heck, the eyeball test in rush hour traffic even works. No matter how you look at it, more and more people are moving to Florida. According to World Population Review, 21.3 million people live in the Sunshine State as of December 2018 and we're the second fastest growing state in the country. All of those people need somewhere to live, to work and go to school. Meanwhile, more and more of them are choosing to plant their proverbial flags in the Sarasota area. And at MyArea Network, we've come up a local's guide to moving to or living in Sarasota with the hottest neighborhoods in the region to live, whether it's a move across the country or simply across town. So if you're looking for the perfect neighborhood, check out the beautiful homes in Sarasota and take our word for it that these are Sarasota's best neighborhoods.
John Ringling built a horseshoe-shaped boat basin as a turnaround for his yacht. The posh neighborhood which sprung up around that basin in the 1920's was filled by the well-heeled winter residents from the northeast and became Indian Beach and Sapphire Shores. The streets near the historic Ringling estate are now populated by wealthy professionals and families along with plenty of professors and college students who take advantage of the close proximity of New College of Florida and the Ringling College of Art and Design. Quaint cottages mingle with multi-million dollar estates to give it a special vibe. As an added bonus, The Thomas House in Sapphire Shores is on the National Register of Historic Places.
If the Indian Beach/Sapphire Shores area is old money, then Lakewood Ranch is nouveau riche - and in the best way possible. The second fastest growing Master Planned Community in the COUNTRY also happens to be number one in Florida in job growth. You want more numbers? How about an average household income of $117,229? 80 percent of the population is college educated and 16 percent of those have masters or doctorate degrees. A-rated schools, a burgeoning medical community with a strong hospital near the town center and the new Florida Cancer Specialists Research Institute headlining another medical area in the State Road 70 corridor means more jobs, more families and more strong demographics are on the way to this shining star of an area which is only a little more than one-third built.
Cool, hip, and definitely a sense of style. Located at the southern end of downtown, Laurel Park exudes charm, character and closeness. Home to just 1300 residents, in 2008 this 50-acre neighborhood was designated a National Register of Historic Places District. Once the site of Sarasota's County Courthouse, 85 percent of the population holds white collar jobs. A mix of high-end condominiums and apartments, along with 1920's bungalow, mission revival, Colonial and Mediterranean homes gives the artists, professionals, young families and retirees a nice quiet place to hang out on their porches or stroll the brick-lined streets.
You didn't think we'd forget about some of the best real estate in Sarasota with perhaps the best backyard in the city - the Gulf of Mexico, did you? The offshore barrier island of Longboat Key is in full bloom in the winter - excuse me, in season. With an average household income of $290,000, this town with just 4.1 square miles of land is a combination of condominiums and aircraft carrier-sized mansions, the most expensive of which was a 20,000 square foot behemoth priced at $26.5 million in 2017. And, just in case that's too many zeroes for the bank account, visitors can frolic in The Resort at Longboat Key Club, which was named the #2 North American Travel Destination by Conde Nast Traveler in a 2010 Readers' Choice Survey.
The MTV series "Siesta Key" may have put this beach town on the national map for 20-somethings, but the charms and notoriety of this 8-mile long barrier island between Roberts Bay and the Gulf of Mexico have been known for quite a while. Named the number 1 beach in the nation by Dr. Beach in 2011 and the number 1 beach in the world by the AARP in 2015, Siesta Key's sugar white sand clearly touches a wide variety of demographics. Bay Island is full of large estates with breathtaking scenery, the Harmony neighborhood features a number of canal-front properties and is home to some of the area's top architects and interior designers. Hidden Harbor, Point Crisp and Roberts Point are three more outstanding places to call home.
Cover photo from Pixabay