The state of Florida spends a fair amount of money marketing itself as a heavenly destination for tourists. One must wonder why, as Florida’s appeal speaks for itself. Most everyone already knows about the warm Gulf waters, picturesque beaches, and promise of a better lifestyle. But, the money is spent anyway.
Tourists themselves can be savvier and find ways to make their money go further. Sarasota is an excellent destination for travelers looking to save. Its airport, with regular service to many cities, makes it easy to reach, and the area has many great affordable accommodations.
Sarasota is a small city with art museums, an opera house, golf courses, and many exquisite restaurants. Even without the incredible beaches, there’s a lot to do in the city.
Who could forget the beaches? Sarasota is surrounded by barrier islands with beaches as wonderful as any in the state. These include Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Lido Key, and Siesta Key. All are driving distance from the city, though traffic can be an issue at times.
To help you on your way, here is a list of 10 Vrbo rentals to explore Sarasota. Each is comfortable and close to the beach. Best of all, everything on this list is affordable, less than $250 per night, helping you save so that you can take even more trips in the future.
Bungalow On Siesta Key$184/nightly avg
Situated between two very different bodies of water, this home on Siesta Key showcases Florida’s unique ecosystems. Heron Lagoon is on one side, an inundated tract filled with mangroves, and a great spot for relaxed kayaking. The Gulf is on the other. Turtle Beach, one mile to the south, is quieter than those closer to the local population centers and features “peppery” black and white sand. The pristine white home is great for couples looking for a more laid-back beach getaway. There is a private patio, communal garden, and swimming pool.
The Gray House$180/nightly avg
This 100-year-old home in Cortez is a remarkable find, a charming house rental in a great location available to rent at a low price. Cortez sits on a small peninsula which creates the northern limit of Sarasota Bay. A bridge connects the mainland to the prized beaches of Anna Maria Island. The home has a 60-foot dock jutting into the bay. Guests are free to use the kayaks and fishing equipment provided by the owners. The cottage is small, but not without luxuries. These include hardwood floors, marble countertops, and a fine king-size bed. The second bedroom is furnished with a fold out sofa bed.
Top Corner Oceanfront Apartment On The Key$302/nightly avg
Enjoy commanding views of the Gulf from this 5th-floor beachfront apartment on Longboat Key! On top of being above the fray, the apartment has a small balcony so you can take in that sweet ocean air even from your waterfront home. The unit has a kitchen that, although small, is equipped with all the standard appliances. The bedroom has two queen beds and the living room sofa doubles as a fold-out bed. Sleeping up to six guests, it offers great value for small groups.
Stand-Alone Lido Beach Villa$230/nightly avg
Hop off Benjamin Franklin Drive and prepare to get cozy at this stand-alone Lido Beach villa. With two beds and one bath, but room for six, this one-story Sarasota beach haven is the perfect size and price for a weekend getaway. Just steps from Lido Key Beach, this home comes with beach towels and chairs for your days in the sand. You’ll also have the necessary amenities, including TV, air-conditioning, internet access, and a washer and dryer.
Be sure to explore the many Florida activities nearby. Spend some time at St. Armand’s Circle, Coolidge Park, and the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. This cute little villa is the perfect mix of quaint and beachy. Make sure to book your summer stay here ASAP!
Beach Cottage In Sunny Sarasota$229/nightly avg
If you’re looking for an upscale Florida paradise with a spacious outdoor area, look no further. This Sarasota beach cottage near Indian Beach Park gives you perfect access to Sarasota Bay and even better access to the mainland. Featuring a spacious combined kitchen and living room, this one-floor cottage is perfectly updated to accommodate a beachy getaway. The 1,000-square-foot home sleeps four people and it even welcomes pets!
Just a short walk to the bay, this property is also close to several Sarasota attractions, including the Sarasota Opera House, the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy, Ca’ d’Zan mansion, and much more. This property is wide open for booking this summer, but that may not last long.
Siesta Key Cottage$209/nightly avg
This cottage on Siesta Key is your ticket to peace and satisfaction. Fully renovated in 2011, it comes with all the essential comforts. The building is a duplex conveniently located just across the street from a Siesta Key Beach access point. Moreover, it is just a short walk away from several eateries, including an oyster bar and pizza joint. However, there isn’t even any need to walk. The house has two beach cruiser bikes to help you get around the island with ease. On the whole, it is a cozy beach house with new furniture, a fenced-in deck, and a bright bedroom with a king-size bed.
The Alameda House$250/nightly avg
Surrounded by beautiful tropical plants and designed with flourishes of mid-century style, this Sapphire Shores home offers tremendous value to discerning tourists. Watery adventures await. Those keen to explore the bay need only travel two blocks to the nearest boat launch. There’s no reason not to explore, because two kayaks are provided. Downtown Sarasota is one mile away and the Gulf beaches are a few miles further off. The home has beautiful outdoor spaces, a mix of mid-century and contemporary furniture, and two bedrooms.
Freestanding Cottage In Northern Longboat Key$125/nightly avg
Live the high life at a low cost in this dreamy cottage a stone’s throw from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s in an ideal spot on Longboat Key, allowing guests to explore that island’s many beaches, head north to Anna Maria Island, or take the short drive to the mainland. Fine dining and drinking spots are within walking distance when you feel like staying closer to home, as are white sand beaches. The home is a cozy one with all essential amenities, plus a few extra (namely a private backyard with a hot tub). It has a king bedroom and a daybed in the living area.
Pet-Friendly Bungalow With Heated Pool And Garden$160/nightly avg
A great find, this home in Sagamore Estates is a terrific bargain that doesn’t sacrifice quality to achieve value. Take full advantage of the fenced-in backyard and tropical garden by bringing along your dog. Take a swim in the private pool or take a short drive to Anna Maria Island. Complimentary bikes make getting to the beach an easy thing (golf carts are also available to rent, a method favored by locals). The design of the home makes excellent use of the limited space, including such features as a rollaway bed.
Laurel Park Carriage Home$95/nightly avg
This well-furnished carriage home in Laurel Park allows visitors easy access to the dreamy Gulf islands as well as Sarasota’s mainland attractions. Downtown is just 8 minutes away on foot, so taking a morning stroll towards a hearty breakfast is easy. Discover that there is more to Sarasota than the beaches. The local botanical gardens are just blocks away. The guest house sits atop a garage, just a few hundred yards from a bridge that carries beachgoers to Longboat Key. It has a full kitchen, modern bathroom with a walk-in shower, and outdoor spaces.
To discover the best things to do while in Sarasota, check out: