When on the topic of “top” places to live, move or retire, Sarasota consistently comes up in conversation.


We not only have highly ranked schools, but we are also very popular for our community’s love and involvement in the arts. And let’s not forget about the consistently top-ranked Siesta Key Beach! The unreal powdery white sands and clear water are, undoubtedly, the most popular attraction in the area.


#1 Small City for Art-

In 2012, Sarasota was named the #1 Small City Art Destination (out of 25 cities) by American Style Magazine. This comes as no surprise due to the popularity of John Ringling and the local Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Museum.


Sarasota has been described by Money magazine as the “best small city in America,” and by Fortune as the most romantic  city for well-off older singles. It is difficult to find a new downtown condominium priced below $600,000, but some units,  needing to be rehabbed, in older buildings along Gulf Stream Avenue can be had for about $400,000.


Best Waterfront View to Visit-

Thanks to our 40 miles of clean white-sand beaches, the 2013 title of “Best Waterfront View to Visit” was given to Sarasota by USA Today.



Dr. Beach, TripAdvisor and 10Best all agree – Siesta is the place to be. It was named the #1 Beach in the USA by Dr. Beach and was given the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Award in 2011. The year after, Siesta Beach received a 10Besties Best Beach Readers’ Choice Travel Awards. If you are looking for a clean, laid back beach with clear waters and soft (we mean SOFT) sand, Siesta Key Beach is the place for you.


Longboat Key

Longboat Key is one of the popular barrier islands of Sarasota alongside Bird Key, Siesta Key, Lido Key, Casey Key and Venice’s Manasota Key. In 2010, Longboat claimed the #2 spot in the Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards in the list of “Top Islands of North America”.


Best Place to Buy Real Estate-

In 2010, Global Edge named Sarasota as The Best Place to Buy Real Estate in the Western World. Barbara Corcoran (Today Show) also said that Sarasota is “…one of the top 10 places to buy a home…” Talk about accolades! We love Sarasota and are glad everyone else seems to as well.


Top Moving Destination–

Sarasota claimed a slot in the Penske Truck Rental’s Annual List of Top 10 Moving Destinations for 2012. Turns out that Sarasota is attracting not only retirees, but families and business men/women as well.



America’s Best High School-

Pine View High School is one of the main reasons that families all over the world move to Sarasota. This school provides gifted students with a world-renowned and competitive education that has been continually awarded by US News for “Best High School” and “Best Math & Science”.


Previous Awards:


  • Money Magazine named Sarasota the “Best Small City in the United States”.
  • gave Sarasota/Bradenton MSA 5 Stars (the highest ranking).
  • Employment Review and BestJobsUSA’s Annual Report named Sarasota the “#1 Best Place to Live and Work in the United States”.
  • Modern Maturity gave Sarasota the title of “3rd Best Big City in Which to Retire”.
  • Forbes Magazine titled Sarasota as the “47th Best Place for Business and Careers” out of 200 U.S Metro areas.
  • BizMiner Business Vitality Review ranked Sarasota-Bradenton MSA 3rd on their “Small Metro Business Migration Index”.
  • Expansion Management awarded the school district of Sarasota County the GOLD MEDAL (highest level of achievement). Sarasota was the only district in Florida to be awarded this medal in 2000.
  • Expansion Management titled Sarasota-Bradenton as a “Five Star Community for Quality of Life” (only 50 communities nationwide were awarded this prestigious title) and “6th Best Metropolitan Area for Standard of Living” in the country.
  • Money Magazine listed Sarasota as one of the “Top 20 Places to Retire” and “21st Best Place to Live in the U.S.” along with ranking Sarasota School District on the list of “Top 100 Schools in the United States”.
  • Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Sarasota “6th Best Medium-Sized City in the United States” and “8th Best City in the South” (regardless of size).
  • DRI/McGraw-Hill and the University of Arizona listed Sarasota County among the country’s best employment generators.
  • PC World and Money Magazine named Sarasota “23rd Best Place for Telecommuting”.
  • Time and Money Magazine named New College of Sarasota the “2nd Best College Bargain in the Country”.
  • The U.S. Housing Market has ranked Sarasota “20th in the United States for its Hotness Index”.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked Sarasota/Bradenton as”3rd in the Nation in Job Growth”.
  • The Economist Magazine listed Sarasota as “7th Best for Private-Sector Job Growth”.
  • The Kiplinger Letter reported a lifestyle study by Runzheimer International showing upscale of Sarasota 2% below U.S. average cost.
  • Two professors from the College of Business Administration at the University of Texas at El Paso performed a New Business Opportunity Index which ranked Sarasota “7th Among 316 Metropolitan Areas in the U.S.”



  • Institute ranked Sarasota and Bradenton as the “37th Best Place to Live” out of 294 metro areas.
  • Mothering Magazine names Sarasota one of the “Top 25 Places to Bring Up a Family”
  • Sarasota Memorial Hospital was given the “Governor’s Sterling Award” and “Role Model for Performance Excellence”.
  • Employment Review and BestJobsUSA named Sarasota as the “Best Place in Florida to Live and Work” and the “3rd Best Place in the Nation to Live and Work”.
  • Expansion Magazine chose Sarasota-Bradenton as a “Five-Star Community on their Quality of Life Quotient—Best Places to Live and Work”.
  • BizMiner Business Vitality Review said Sarasota was the “3rd Best Second-Tier Metropolitan City for Business Relocations Nationwide”.
  • Forbes Magazine ranked Sarasota “37th Best Place for Business and Careers” out of 200 metro areas nationwide.






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