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Old 11-02-2010, 06:54 PM
 
2,203 posts, read 6,646,999 times
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I am considering Sarasota for a relocation. I lived in Naples in the early 80's and absolutely hated Snowbird season. It was like an invasion of extremely old people who drove huge cars and seemed clueless about everything. But, I was in my 20's then so I suspect that had something to do with it.

So, my question is, just how bad is Snowbird season in Sarasota? If we relocate, we'll be living downtown. Does it get packed with Snowbirds? Is it difficult to get to the beach due to traffic?

I guess I am hoping that downtown Sarasota is populated by a majority of full-time residents. No offense at all to any Snowbirds out there. I know Florida's economy depends on part-time residents and tourists.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,486 posts, read 20,713,074 times
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I don't think it's too bad during season but it depends on exactly where you're traveling to and from. If you're going to Siesta Beach in the morning or late afternoon, you're going to usually have a 30-45 min wait. Also over in from of Sarasota Memorial Hospital gets a bit congested at times.

I use I-75 more in the winter because the traffic flows better. I usually use 41/Tamiami Tr more in the summer.

You might want to take a trip down here in Jan/Feb and see for yourself. What's "not bad" to me might be horrible to someone else. It's all relative.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:45 PM
 
25 posts, read 75,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFLGal View Post
I don't think it's too bad during season but it depends on exactly where you're traveling to and from. If you're going to Siesta Beach in the morning or late afternoon, you're going to usually have a 30-45 min wait. Also over in from of Sarasota Memorial Hospital gets a bit congested at times.

I use I-75 more in the winter because the traffic flows better. I usually use 41/Tamiami Tr more in the summer.

You might want to take a trip down here in Jan/Feb and see for yourself. What's "not bad" to me might be horrible to someone else. It's all relative.
This is a great thread! I'll pose another question --- would one have better luck on beaches with private access over the public beaches? I'll be down for a visit in late November/ early December (and I don't remember what the beaches were like last time I was there in the winter).
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
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Do you mean private access or public access? If it's private access, you really shouldn't be there unless you have permission. You could always rent a place that offers private beach access. There are public access beaches that have postage-stamp parking lots and those can be really nice but finding a parking space can be totally hit or miss. And, of course, there are no public facilities or lifeguards. The large public beaches tend to fill up early, especially during season. However, we've found that there's usually a morning wave and an afternoon wave.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
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I really hate crowds and congestion in general (having grown up in a resort town and having cultivated just a smidge of misanthropy over the years), so I am always VERY leery of "the busy season."

I have found that it is never as bad as I remember it. For instance, last year (my first as a resident) I kept waiting for it to get really bad, and it never did.

Sure, there are some bad drivers in goofy cars around, and yes, you cannot always get a table exactly when you want it, but it really isn't nearly so bad as other places I have lived.

And yes, as you get a bit older it should bother you less.

Just like most things.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:59 AM
 
15,841 posts, read 33,191,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinTraveler View Post
I am considering Sarasota for a relocation. I lived in Naples in the early 80's and absolutely hated Snowbird season. It was like an invasion of extremely old people who drove huge cars and seemed clueless about everything. But, I was in my 20's then so I suspect that had something to do with it.

So, my question is, just how bad is Snowbird season in Sarasota? If we relocate, we'll be living downtown. Does it get packed with Snowbirds? Is it difficult to get to the beach due to traffic?

I guess I am hoping that downtown Sarasota is populated by a majority of full-time residents. No offense at all to any Snowbirds out there. I know Florida's economy depends on part-time residents and tourists.
Hi Austin. We lived in Sarasota twice now - the first time me and hubby were young and it was in the 80's and 90s, back then it seemed awful - I thought there was nothing but stuffy OLD people, and snowbird season seemed really bad. We moved away for quite a few years and now recently moved back (2 years ago).

This place has really CHANGED, and for the better. It is not just that we are older now, the city has become more cosmopolitan - during season it is NOT just the older set (although they are here, make no mistake!) but people from other countries of all ages visiting and staying. The downtown is now really beautiful, vibrant and alive. We neve visited all the time we were away and were blown away at the beautiful changes in this town. Downtown is a great place to live, and I believe mostly full-time residents.

Honestly, I don't find snowbird season that bad at all - it makes the place seem more vibrant to me. The only places that get crowded are the touristy places like beaches and St. Armand's. Sarasota has a much younger demographic than Naples - Naples is really a snowbird town where everything closes up half the year. These days, I can't think of a better place to live than Sarasota.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:42 AM
 
2,203 posts, read 6,646,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsychic View Post
Hi Austin. We lived in Sarasota twice now - the first time me and hubby were young and it was in the 80's and 90s, back then it seemed awful - I thought there was nothing but stuffy OLD people, and snowbird season seemed really bad. We moved away for quite a few years and now recently moved back (2 years ago).

This place has really CHANGED, and for the better. It is not just that we are older now, the city has become more cosmopolitan - during season it is NOT just the older set (although they are here, make no mistake!) but people from other countries of all ages visiting and staying. The downtown is now really beautiful, vibrant and alive. We neve visited all the time we were away and were blown away at the beautiful changes in this town. Downtown is a great place to live, and I believe mostly full-time residents.

Honestly, I don't find snowbird season that bad at all - it makes the place seem more vibrant to me. The only places that get crowded are the touristy places like beaches and St. Armand's. Sarasota has a much younger demographic than Naples - Naples is really a snowbird town where everything closes up half the year. These days, I can't think of a better place to live than Sarasota.

Hope this helps!
This helps SO much. Thank you, everyone.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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Sarasota is a nice place for the most part,
it has mild winters and mostly decent people
but like anywhere else it has downsides to things.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
1,647 posts, read 2,653,443 times
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I'm a snowbird, and I do live downtown. But its funny - I don't FEEL like a Snowbird. Maybe its because I own rather than rent.
But this year I was here on & off since July. I do notice some more crowding, and Rt 41 is definitely more crowded. But it also seems downtown is more Dynamic than in summer. There are lots of young people here, keeping things interesting. The biggest difference I see is that its harder to just walk into a good restaurnat - reservations are more necessary than in summer.

The great thing about being downtown is that so much is Walkable, so the traffic isn't an issue.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Rogers, AR
481 posts, read 859,517 times
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I've only lived in Sarasota for about 1 1/2 year and I really haven't found it to be all that bad. Lines are longer for restaurants and the traffic can be heavy to the beach on certain days and times, but how is that different then anywhere else? I'm from Miami, so the traffic here, Snowbirds or otherwise, is nothing in comparison. And what city would you not have a wait for a restaraunt on say a Friday or Sat. night? Atleast with Snowbirds they tend to eat early
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