Destination Romance

Two sets of footprints in the sand, a stolen kiss as the sun sinks below the horizon and a luxurious breakfast in bed. These are the ingredients of a sweet romance, and Sarasota contains them all, whether you are falling in love or ready to make a lifetime commitment.


If taking a stroll along the beach at sunset with that special someone is what makes the heart patter, Sarasota offers miles of sandy opportunity. From the quiet beaches of Longboat Key to the quaint cottages off the coast of Englewood, the beaches of Sarasota Coast are a haven for lovers. Start a shell collection to last a lifetime on Casperson Beach. Snorkel off Siesta Key’s Point of Rocks or get lost among the mangroves of the countless barrier islands aboard a vessel built for two from Florida Fishing and Watersports. Enjoy a sunset cruise aboard a catamaran from Kathleen D. Sailing Catamaran.

If Old-Florida charm is what you’re after, check into Cypress Bed & Breakfast. Each room is outfitted with a cozy double bed, hardwood floors, luxurious linens and fresh flowers under vaulted ceilings sheltered beneath moss-covered oaks and mango trees.

Enjoy a day browsing the art galleries along Main Street in Venice, or the Italian elegance of the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art. Relish an evening of opera at the Sarasota Opera House, or a riveting play from one of Sarasota’s professional theater companies. Discuss the day’s cultural experiences over a bottle of fine wine and a romantic dinner at the Bijou Café.

Get your blood pumping on a world-class tennis court at Longboat Key Club and Resort or biking along the 10-mile Legacy Trail that stretches from Sarasota to the historic train depot in Venice. Take in the area’s breathtaking scenery from a cart driven across the links of any one of Sarasota’s 100 golf courses from the top of the trees on the Canopy Walk at Myakka River State Park.

Soak your worries away at Warm Mineral Springs’ nine million gallons of mineral-enriched waters followed by a wellness treatment at its spa. Or take a class at Mandela Med-Spa and Yoga Shala.


If nuptials are on your horizon, there is always the possibility of a ceremony on any one of the barrier island beaches—and Barefoot Weddings are experts at those. But if sand and sea is not the backdrop you are looking for on your special day, there are a myriad of other options.

Consider exchanging vows amid the statues and roses of a lush garden on a sprawling estate. Descend the winding staircase of Charles Ringling’s marble mansion, or amid the Italian art and architecture of the John Ringling’s manor—its museum courtyard, bay front mansion and statue-covered grounds are a wedding photographer’s dream. Other historic locations that provide beautiful wedding scenery are the Crowley Museum and mansion at Phillippi Estate.

The Schimmel Wedding Pavilion at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is breathtaking by day or night against the backdrop of Sarasota Bay. Couples can also exchange vows under shade of the gardens’ historic Bayside Oak, followed by a reception inside the Mansion’s Great Room by the Bay.

Historic Spanish Point provides the opportunity for an “old Florida” wedding inside Mary’s Chapel followed by a reception under the stars at the Pergola and Sunken Garden.

If whimsy is what you’re after, consider a candlelight wedding under Circus Sarasota’s gigantic big top, where you and your loved one can exchange rings in the center ring, followed by a performance from a European-style circus.

Luxurious destination weddings are elevated to art at Sarasota’s new Ritz-Carlton, where the  settings are endless. Marry on its private beach, in a rose garden, a terrace or a courtyard on the grounds of the hotel, which also can provide all other services. Catering, photography, lodging, entertainment and transportation can all be included in your wedding package, leaving you to simply show up on the big day with all other details taken care of. .

If a wedding at sea is what you’ve always dreamed of, set sail aboard a vessel at Enterprise Sailing Charters for an intimate sunset ceremony or step onto America’s only floating chapel, provided by Weddings On Water.

Whether your romance is new, or as seasoned as the sands of our beaches, Sarasota’s myriad romantic possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

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