Your Guide to the 10 Most Popular Sarasota Neighborhoods | Sarasota Neighborhood Experts

Sarasota is bursting with great neighborhoods! It has neighborhoods within neighborhoods. How do you decide where to live and which one is best for you? Well, today I am diving into the 10 most popular Sarasota neighborhoods. Each has features and amenities that draw people to these popular places.

I always wonder how some of our neighborhoods end up on all the BEST lists that we can search online. Hence, I thought it would be great to chat about the 10 Most Popular Sarasota NeighborhoodsThese are all neighborhoods that my clients most request or inquire about. Here is your guide to the 10 most popular Sarasota neighborhoods in NO particular order. 

The Meadows:

The Meadows Neighborhood Sarasota, FL

The Meadows Neighborhood Sarasota, FL

First, let’s start with The Meadows.  It is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in all of Sarasota for its enviable location. Situated conveniently close to shopping, medical offices, beaches, and restaurants, it’s easy to see why this neighborhood has become so desirable. Within a 5-minute drive from Nathan Benderson Park and University Town Center, the Meadows offers unparalleled access to amenities like two 18-hole golf courses, and tennis courts as well as more dining and retail options than you could ever need! This idyllic locale will remain popular due to its unbeatable convenience; however, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do right on your doorstep too!

Established in the 1980s, The Meadows, is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood with something to offer everyone. From cozy condos priced between 150-250k to luxury villas at 300-450k; single-family homes at 300-500k or even 700K for some of those unique standouts – you are sure to find something that perfectly fits your needs! Most properties have seen updates as well as refurbishing over time, many with pools and stunning landscaping. Driving through this picturesque community will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired!

Palmer Ranch:

Palmer Ranch Neighborhood Sarasota, FL

Palmer Ranch Neighborhood Sarasota, FL

Moving on let’s check out an area of town that is big, really well known, and located in the south part of Sarasota, this is Palmer Ranch. When new to the area most people are surprised that this area is so large, so spread out and has such a variety of ages of homes. Located off of Highway 72, or Clark Rd. Unlike Lakewood Ranch, Palmer Ranch is NOT its city, just a large part of ours. Originally designed in the late 90’s it was started as a way to provide additional housing and a large draw for snowbirds and empty nesters. However today Palmer Ranch is a very diverse community and is home to residents of all ages. With over 60 square miles filled with homes, villas, condos, apartments, and numerous commercial and recreational opportunities everyone is always curious about Palmer Ranch.

Palmer Ranch is home to over 30 distinct subdivisions such as Wellington Chase, Hammock Preserve, Turtle Rock, Deer Creek, Villagewalk, and the illustrious Golf Community of Prestancia which is filled with Estate style homes and villas.  Palmer Ranch is a great option when wanting to stay closer to beaches and be in Sarasota AND want a new or newer home. 

Prices of homes in Palmer Ranch can be found at 400,000 for a few original and smaller homes. The average price is now over 500,000 in this neighborhood. And most new homes can be found between 650,000-750,000+.

Gulf Gate:

Gulf Gate like The Meadows makes just about every list out there when it comes to favorite, best, or desired neighborhoods. However, when you are new to Sarasota you may wonder what all the hype is. Gulf Gate is located South of Clark Rd. East of Tamiami Trail.  This 1980’s neighborhood is filled with very non-descript ranch-style homes that feature 2-3 bedroom, 1-2 car garages. And most homes are no larger than 2000 square feet. So what makes this modest neighborhood so popular. are 2 things, you are located very close to Stickney Pt. rd. which leads right over to Siesta Key Beach.  Being 10 minutes from the beaches is a big draw and also hard to find.  The home values have jumped significantly and today it is hard to find anything under 400,000 in this area.

Also, a charming feature of Gulf Gate is they have a small downtown village with bars, restaurants, coffee bars, and shopping for all those day-to-day items. There is Gulf Gate Elementary School so again, families, snowbirds, and empty nesters all find this area a go-to area in Sarasota.  

University Park:

Jumping around a bit let’s head north to University Park is one of my favorite neighborhoods on our list.  I am not sure if it is the homes, the community, the golf course, or just the people I know that live in University Park but this large gated golf Course community is one of the Most Popular in Sarasota.

It is the quintessential country club lifestyle at University Park Country Club. University Park is the premier semi-private club in Sarasota, Florida. Club members enjoy 27 scenic holes of championship golf, 11 lighted Har-Tru tennis courts, our fully equipped Fitness Centre, exclusive member events, and creative contemporary cuisine at The Park Grille & Café. The award-winning golf course welcomes daily fee players with three-day advance tee times. The Park Grille & Café is open to the public as well, for lunch daily and on Sunday for Breakfast and Lunch. Weddings, special occasion events, private parties, and golf tournaments are memorable here. We invite you to visit us and experience what makes University Park truly outstanding.

In most neighborhoods university Park is broken into various communities and neighborhoods with University Park. You can find stand single-family homes, and stand-alone villas, starting at prices in the mid 400,000’s as well as Estate homes that feature 5000 square feet, indoor-outdoor living spaces, golf course views, and friendly neighbors. The Estate homes begin at around 1Million and go up in price.  This area is ideal for avid golfers, those that want to get involved in the community, professionals, snowbirds, and also for many commuters as jumping on Interstate 75 is just minutes away. Most homes were built in the early 2000s.

Downtown Sarasota:

Downtown Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota

Let’s head to Downtown Sarasota: What draws so many people to Sarasota in the first place or among the first visits is our illustrious downtown and living close to the beautiful Sarasota Bay. Downtown is Vibrant and offers activities and lifestyles for those that want to stay active. Downtown life is filled with condos.  From original condos built in the 1070s to today’s modern marvels downtown living is all about the ease of condo living. You can find a refurbished condo downtown starting at a price of around 500,000 and today’s new buildings are selling for well over 1 million dollars for the smaller units with the average price of new being close to 2 million. In the past 2 years, we have seen the completion of The Mark, The Vue, and the Epoch.  

If you are willing to be a few steps from downtown you will find single-family homes in Laurel Park, Gillespie Park, and the Rosemary District. Keep in mind however there are very few new homes in the area and if they are new they will come with a hefty price tag as do the new condos.  Downtown Sarasota is also home to mouthwatering restaurants with Bayfront dining.  The Sarasota Community Theatre, Sarasota Opera House, and  Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are all popular Sarasota attractions. It is costly to live downtown but the beauty and ease are exactly what many seek when moving to Florida. There are 2 other locations close to downtown that I want to talk about next:

The Landings:

The Landings, Sarasota, FL

The Landings, Sarasota, FL

The Landings is a rare gated neighborhood built along the Sarasota Bay between Siesta Dr. and Stickney Point and West of Tamiami Trail making this location ideal for beach lovers, those seeking privacy, canopied streets, and old Florida neighborhoods. 

In the Landings, you will find luxury condos, villas, townhomes, and a variety of housing styles. Townhomes and villas will begin in price in the mid 300,000. The condos that feature views of Roberts Bay begin in the 500,000’s and single-family homes can be found between 800,000 and 2 million dollars. The landscaping is immaculate and all homeowners do pay to be part of the Landings Home Owners Association that covers roads and guard gates. The villas, condos, and townhomes do have additional fees that cover landscaping, and building maintenance.

When looking for an illustrious lifestyle with convenience to so much of what Sarasota has to offer then the Landings is for you.    Don’t think the Landings is just for snowbirds though. There are many families inside the gates at the landings and the award-winning Phillipi Elementary school is just across Tamiami Trail.

West of Trail:

As I mentioned there is another stately and very, very coveting neighborhood close to downtown and it is affectionately referred to as West of Trail. Like Palmer Ranch, and University Park West of Trail is not just one large neighborhood but a mix of neighborhoods. You will Avondale, Cherokee Park, McClellan Park, Hudson Bayou, and a few others and they are all gorgeous. Located West of Tamiami Trail and minutes to Siesta Dr. which leads right over to Siesta Key, and minutes to Downtown Sarasota.  It is minutes to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Southside Elementary School, and the walkable downtown southside village home to Morton’s Deli, Veronica’s Fish and Oyster Bar, Perq Coffee house and so much more. 

This is where Sarasota began. With some original homes and cottages still lining the streets, you will also find the 1940s 2 stories that have been lovingly remodeled, and expanded, we have grand modern homes, we have bungalows, tutors, Mediterranean inspired, have it all West o frail and it is all gorgeous and desired.

You may still find a charming home under 1500 square feet and under 800,000 however, it is more common to find homes that begin at the price of 1 million and extend well into the 3 million mark, specifically if you are fortunate enough to be bayside with the ability to jump on your boat at any time and head out for a day on the water or to watch the sunset. Regardless if this is your budget or not most people enjoy meandering through the West of Trail Neighborhoods and taking a stroll, grabbing a meal, or a cup of coffee at Southside Village.

Palm Aire:

Alright let’s head back north to another stalwart location: Palm Aire, Palm Aire is located off of University Park and is ideal for everyone’s budget. From condos and villas to single-family homes Palm Aire will be ideal. Homes in Palm Aire are priced similarly to the Meadows. 2 bedroom condos begin in the low 200,000, villas in the 300,000s, and single-family homes between 400,000-600,000.

Palm Aire features 2 18 hole golf courses, tennis courts, community pools throughout many of the neighborhoods, walking paths, a community park, and bike paths. So ideal for those wanting to keep active without having to jump in a car to go somewhere. And if you do want to jump in the car you are 5 minutes to shopping at University Town Center. You can grab dinner, and drinks, or jump on 1-75 and head to St. Pete to take in a major league ball game. Palm Aire is a Sarasota address that just happens to be in Manatee County so your taxes are slightly less as well. Looking for an all-around great neighborhood without a huge price tag. Check into Palm Aire.

The Keys  (Siesta KeyLido Key, and Longboat Key):

Before I get to the Number ONE neighborhood in the area I have to mention our Beaches and our Keys.  The water, the sand, and the sun are what bring hundreds of thousands of people to our area every year, and living on the beaches is a life dream for many.  Luckily, in our area, we have 3 beautiful keys that are all just a little bit different. 

Longboat Key:

town in Manatee and Sarasota counties along the central west coast of the U.S. state of Florida, located on and coterminous with the barrier island of the same name. Longboat Key is south of Anna Maria Island, between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It is almost equally divided between Manatee and Sarasota counties. The town of Longboat Key was incorporated in 1955 and is part of the BradentonSarasotaVenice Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town’s population was 6,888 at the 2010 census,[4] down from 7,603 at the 2000 census.

Longboat: is the most remote, the most elite of the keys. This 12-mile stretch along the Gulf of Mexico features hundreds of condos. Known for snowbirds and second homes some reside in the area year-round due to the luxurious lifestyle, privacy, and enjoyment.  On Longboat, there is a private golf course, tennis courts, pickleball courts, kayak launch areas, boat docks, and lots and lots of amazing spots to take in a cocktail along the water and watch the sunset.  Longboat is the most expensive of the keys with condos starting close to 700,000 and the average price of single-family homes over 2 million dollars.

Lido Key:

Lido Key is home to the famous St. Armand Circle. Which is the ideal Shopping location for visitors and locals. Most independently owned shops and restaurants bring uniqueness and charm to the area. Lido Key Beach is gorgeous and there is plenty of free parking or off-street parking. You will find a mix of condos and single-family homes on Lido Key. Prices for condos begin at 600,,000 and homes will start at 1 million and go up from there.

Siesta Key:

Finally, we have Siesta Key. If you have been watching my videos then most likely you have heard of Siesta Key Beach. Home of 8 miles of powdery white sands. And people relaxing and playing in the water.  Visitors come from all over the world year-round to take in this award-winning beach community. Siesta Key is also home to many year-round residents and it has several cul-de-sacs and canal-front homes to choose from. Or perhaps a cottage close to the village or a condo is more than what you are looking for.

Either way, remember we are steps to the water and prices will reflect this. You can find condos within the 500,000 price point but most homes will start at over 1 million. The ages and styles of homes vary and we have seen many of the old homes originally build in the 1970s removed and replaced with modern marvels. 

When you live on Siesta Key  you can find that you have the best of 2 worlds, award-winning beaches, and small neighborhoods. The only caution I put out is there will always be a tourist and local traffic can be especially dicey during the high season of January through April.

Lakewood Ranch:

Now, let’s discuss the most popular and fastest-growing neighborhood in the area – one that is even ranked as number one nationwide!

Lakewood Ranch has experienced remarkable growth since its conception in the late 1990s, garnering recognition as a distinct city. Located east of I-75 in Manatee County, this planned urban development is currently home to over 43,000 residents and 18,000 homes. Over the next decade, it is projected to include an additional 30 thousand dwellings! As you observe the advancements taking place at Lakewood Ranch, it’s no surprise that this is America’s #1 multi-generational community. Every Lakewood Ranch village boasts its own distinct amenities & features to make living here enjoyable for all ages.

If you’re searching for a lively, multigenerational community in Florida, look no further than Lakewood Ranch. This vibrant area is home to some of the highest-rated schools and high schools around. With many neighborhoods being just moments away from these educational facilities, you’ll often find students out and about exploring the local attractions. Waterside is an up-and-coming village with a lot of buzz in Sarasota County, located between University Parkway and Lorraine Rd. It’s becoming increasingly popular due to its desirable price point starting at 700K – but because of the current market frenzy, prices are rising quickly toward the million-dollar mark!

If you’re looking to purchase a new home in Sarasota, FL, We’d love to help.  Contact us online or call 941-373-5880 to schedule a consultation with one of our professionals at Sarasota Neighborhood Experts.

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Here you can find their complete list of neighborhoods in the Sarasota area. Click around each neighborhood and find the best fit for you.

Sapphire Shores

Laurel Park

Burns Court

Gillespie Park

Towles Court

Rosemary District

Downtown Sarasota


Kensington Park

Desoto Lakes

The Meadows

Lakewood Ranch

Lido Key

Longboat Key

Alta Vista


Arlington Park

South Gate

South Side

Phillipi Creek

Gulf Gate

Siesta Key

Palmer Ranch


Lakes of Sarasota


Celery Fields



Casey Key






North Port

Wellen Park




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