If there were an award for “most charming neighborhood” in Sarasota, Laurel Park would surely be a top contender. Just south of downtown, its eclectic blend of homes and shady trees make this area a very special place indeed. Fusing creativity, community, and historical preservation along with contemporary architecture, Laurel Park combines the best of Old Florida with the latest amenities in the kind of neighborhood where we all want to live someday.
Its proximity to downtown makes it a great neighborhood for those who appreciate walkability and bikeability. Because of Laurel Park's charm -- from the refurbished houses and colorful palette, to its hidden brick roads and artist collective -- it's not unusual to see people out on strolls just to take in its essence. With the new paved path to the south and the little green sanctuary of Laurel Park itself, the neighborhood is ideal for people who seek an inviting place for an active lifestyle, and the playground in the park is wonderful for those who have young children and want a secluded place for them to play. Of course, a short walk east will take you to Payne Park, which includes the circus-themed playground for the kids, a skate park for the teenagers, a tree-lined path for runners and bicyclists, and a cafe with live music on Friday nights and great food throughout the week.
For those who like to eat out and walk it off on the way home, Laurel Park may very well be utopia. To the direct south is P.F. Chang's and Word of Mouth, and east Laurel Park features the Waffle Stop, a wonderful place to get breakfast (good enough for Elvis, anyway), and the delightful D'Corato Ristorante for dinner. In addition to the artist galleries and studios, Towles Court in Laurel Park's northeast corner features some incredible cuisine at Indigenous (where everything on the menu is locally sourced), Lavanda (featuring grand porches perfect for a glass of wine after dinner), and The Garden Room at Shoogie Boogies (quite possibly the cutest cafe in all of Sarasota). Of course, all of the great restaurants on Main Street are just two blocks north of Laurel Park, and to the west, the Burns Square Historic District includes the Burns Court Cafe, Owen's Fish Camp, Nancy's BBQ, and more.
Film buffs will also love Laurel Park for its proximity to both the Burns Court Theater and the Hollywood 20, and fashionistas will love the Women's Resource Exchange and the wonderful shops and boutiques throughout Burns Square. If Sarasota as a community has the country's greatest well-being (to quote TIME magazine), Laurel Park feels like it holds the greatest well-being in Sarasota. Join them for one of their regular neighborhood potluck dinners in the park and find out for yourself.
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist