Sarasota, Florida is a top tourist destination for people from all around the world, but for those coming from the United Kingdom, this artsy-yet-sophisticated beach town holds a special appeal. In a July 2012 article, Sarasota Magazine named the U.K. as the number-one origin of foreign tourists, with a total of 45,553 British visitors in 2011. So just what is it about Sarasota that is so attractive to those across the pond?
At first glance, comparing the warm Florida sunshine to a cold English rain might make this question seem a no-brainer, but the answer runs a lot deeper and has a lot to do with the large number of British expatriates who call Sarasota home. Not only do they tell their friends and family back home about the paradise they've found, but they've also recreated here in Sarasota much of what they left behind. Our little beach town has plenty of remedies on hand for a homesick Briton.
Join the club
Yes, Sarasota actually has its own British Club with over 160 family and single memberships! For anyone wanting to connect with the area's British community, there is no better place to start. The socially-oriented club holds gatherings, events, outings, and activities, and is open to anyone with an interest in British culture. The club can also be a great resource for those planning a visit or even a move here.
Fancy a spot of tea?
Sarasota has a number of tea houses. The most notably British of these is, as the name would imply, Tastefully British, which also serves food and houses a grocery store and gift shop featuring goods from the U.K. Other popular tea houses include The Tea House, home of the Sarasota Tea Company, and the Elixir Tea House.
Pop 'round for a pint
Of Sarasota's many pubs, The White Horse Pub is the area's most celebrated English pub. Have a pint while watching a rugby match; if you get a mite peckish, survey the full menu of English pub fare such as fish and chips, smoked British back bacon, steak pies, and Yorkshire pudding. A few other pubs in Sarasota worth checking out are Shakespeare's Pub and The Shamrock Pub.
Can you bowl a wicked googly?
If so, then the Sarasota International Cricket Club is the place for you. Founded in 1983, the club has quite a history and boasts a large and active membership. Their yearly Thanksgiving Festival is one of the largest cricket events in America.
Stomp a divot
Conveniently located across from the cricket fields, the Sarasota Polo Club features nine polo fields and a regulation-sized arena. During the winter months, reveling picnickers raise champagne glasses and stomp divots at the weekly polo matches. It's a great place for throwing a car boot picnic. Speaking of cars ...
Show off that vintage British motorcar
British car enthusiasts in Sarasota and Bradenton started the Suncoast British Car Club back in 1991. The club holds holds car shows, poker runs, and social events.
One last consideration for British drivers: growing accustomed to driving on the wrong side of the road. There is some good news, though -- you will have the last laugh while easily negotiating Sarasota's many roundabouts, which cause endless confusion for native residents.
Julian is a happy Sarasota resident and your go-to guy for information about the perks of living in paradise. For more, get in touch with Julian directly via the Sarasota Property Finders Contact Page.
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist