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Old 08-11-2017, 01:46 PM
 
48 posts, read 59,277 times
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I frequent these forums quite often to read all the content and posts, this forum actually helped me quite a bit as well as visiting of course when my miss and I were trying to make a decision on moving down here to Sarasota. I figured I owed it to all the others in their 20's to give them an honest, unadulterated view after living here for a full year from MY VIEWPOINT. Both good and bad. This will also be a general overview of Florida life. I understand everyone has varying views, so use this as a basic guideline. I'm am going to put it in sections so it is relatively easy to digest and make each section pretty generalized for the most part. However there is a good amount to cover. Also understand that someone this may be far my interesting to someone who doesn't live here. Anyone who lives here should already have a pretty decent understanding of the area and yes, I know a lot this stuff applies anywhere but sometimes people need reinforcement to what the already assume and know.

Chapter 1
The Climate-
I figured I would start here considering this is a common denominator among all people and a large reason why people find themselves attracted to the idea of living in Florida and the Suncoast. Sarasota has a humid subtropical climate closely bordering a tropical savanna climate, with hot, humid summers, and warm, dry winters. There are distinct rainy and dry seasons in Sarasota, with the rainy season lasting from June to September, and the dry season from October to May. <-- That is Wikipedia's description of the climate but anyone could look that up. I'm here to explain living in it. So if you are from a climate with 4 seasons, you will be in for a little bit of culture shock. When you hear when everyone says the seasons in Florida are "hot, hot and hotter", I would go as far to say that there is a quasi-truth to this. While the coolest it will get is in the high 40's to 50's at night for about 2 weeks in the winter, while most people (from the north) would find this to be warm. You'll come to find that just like everyone says, your body gets acclimatized. After living here for a bit you will find yourself shivering in 60 degree weather and 90 degree weather will be a normal summer day. So the old saying describing " hot, hot and hotter" only applies if you don't live here, after living here for a bit you'll start looking at the vacationers out in January on the beach in 60 degree weather in bathing suits jumping into 70 degree water and be kind of chilly while watching them. You'll find the water mimics the air temperature. In the winter you will find it to be a mild 70 degrees where as in the summer it will basically be bath water. Mind you it still does not keep me or my miss out of the water or off the beach in the winter but you definitely feel the difference. For the most part from what I've observed Florida has two seasons, cool and dry or wet and hot. Over time without a calendar or clock you probably wouldn't even be able to guess the month aside from whether its cool and dry or hot and wet. While most natives will chew your ear off about how horrible summer is, you will find that you become relatively acclimated. The only time summer is unbearable is if you A. Don't have access to a body of water(pool or beach) B. You're at work (in slacks and suit or literally outside in it all day with no shade or water) or C. the a/c in your vehicle does not work. Aside from those three instances you'll come to find you'll look forward to both seasons. Even the dreaded summers. You get use to both over time.

Chapter 2
The People-
After being in Sarasota you'll find that it has a very strange mix of people and I am going to touch upon them all for the most part. Keep in mind that Sarasota is a beautiful beach city in Florida and and Florida is known to be a very transient state which contributes a lot to the strange mix here. For starters I will talk about the native Floridians.

The Natives-
For starters there is alot of discussion about what makes a person a "Native Floridian". Some state you have to be here 10 years while others say 20 years. Ask a born and raised Floridian and they will tell you it has to be on your birth certificate. But for the sake of this post we will consider a native Floridian being here year round for more than half your life. Generally from my experience you have two kinds of natives for the most part and please understand there are many differences in these groups and I'm not saying you in particular are one or the other, but this is what I have observed as an outsider coming in. In your first group you have the true and true southerners, generally they live inland and they will make it a point to tell you they are native Floridians and that their family has been "round these parts for a long, long time" almost to the point of borderline hostility. They are blue collar workers for the most part which makes up a large portion of the suncoast workforce. Politically they are very conservative and will make it a point to let you know with the 30 bumper stickers on the back of their jacked up truck with a dead hog in the bed, get the picture I'm painting?
The second group I've noticed out of your native Floridians are a little more moderate in most aspects of there life, these are the people that make up the majority of people that inhabit the suncoast and I would assume most of coastal Florida. Generally this group varies with people from all walks of life. Rich and poor, white collar and blue etc etc. Generally the political and social views of this group is moderate for the most part. Picture your typical suburban family with a decent sized house, boat and car in the driveway and generally just going about their day to day life. Pretty typical of who you would find anywhere else in america for the post part aside from subtle cultural nuisances.
As for the Florida natives as a whole, they are a group of people that live in a very unique place (Florida) so they are a very unique group of people. You'll find that unlike NY(where I'm from) people actually are genuinely nice. For example when you stop at a bar in NY for a drink and you turn the guy next to you to start a conversation you'll get a look like you're crazy. Down here people will make small talk for days, the general attitude towards strangers is different here. Almost as if there is no need to have your guard up. But as for making friends down here it is definitely different, I feel as though because the place is so transient to begin with. It is ingrained into the culture to not get close to people quickly due to the fact they might pick up and leave any day now. They tend to keep to themselves for the most part. It's hard to have a sense of community when 1/3rd of the people you know relocate every 12 months and the other 1/3rd are misc tourists. Among these two groups you have the people that generally love it here for the most part and then you have the people that generally think the grass is greener on the other side and generally couldn't less about where they are. All in all though the local Floridians are a very welcoming group of people. They seem to have their fingers right on the pulse of Florida after being here for so long, You can find them at the beach, on their boats, at the beach or generally outside enjoying one of the most beautiful states and cities in the lower 48. And the best part is, they all seem to have a mutual unspoken understanding of everyone else who isn't a native whether they like them or not. They get it, Who wouldn't want to live in beautiful Sarasota Florida?!?

The Transplants-
Ahhhh the transplants, Myself included. For the sake of this post my definition of a transplant is someone who lives and works in Florida who is from out of state under the age of 55. Just like the Natives I'm going to split them up into two groups. The Yayer's and the Nayer's. The reason I am doing this is so you can see the trends between the two.
The Yayer's are the group of transplants who have plans of setting roots here in Sarasota, FL. This group generally is from the midwest or northeast and for the most part. In their 20's to 40's for the most part and extremely happy to be out of the cold. You will find that you will almost bump into more of this transplants than locals due to the fact that transplants seem to flock together under the common banner that they are transplants and also due to the fact that native Floridians tend to keep to themselves(see above). These transplants tend to make up a majority of our friends. I'm going to talk about a couple of trends I've noticed with people in the 20-35 age bracket that I know that have moved here(Sarasota) and are happy and want to stay. Generally because you see a lot of people in these forums that are wondering if they would be happy in Sarasota or speaking negatively about it and I will continue to touch upon young people in there own section later, but I feel I need hit a few bullet points here. Understand these are not finite or limited too, this is just what I have noticed with the happy people I've met in this age bracket. For starters these people tend to have good jobs, good marketable degrees or are skilled in a trade. Why? you might ask. The number one complaint I hear from people is either they can't find a job or they can't afford to live here. Sarasota has plenty of work. IF you aren't an unskilled laborer. You might say "Well *****, I have a degree in and I still can't find a job" "Oh yeah? what's your degree in?" "Transgender studies in Primates"... Okay, maybe I made that one up but my point is you need a marketable degree! and good "degree-less" jobs are hard to come by so if you have one hold on to it. Your household income is important and if you are slaving in some minimum wage job to get by, you won't get by here and you won't enjoy being here. Take my word for it, Sarasota let alone Florida is not kind to entry level employees. The second thing I have found in people that are happy here in Sarasota are they are involved in outdoor hobbies conducive to being in Florida. Sounds silly, right? I mean you would think that everyone living in Florida would be be outdoors all the time considering the weather is absolutely perfect. Believe it or not a large portion of Floridians and Transplants rarely go to the beach or get on a boat, let alone participate in all the other activities you are able to. Having hobbies conducive to the area will also help you meet other like minded people, besides you can go get drunk in a bar anywhere! Not that that is a bad thing! and third and finally, the thing I find among people who are happy here is they plan to stay. That sounds weird, but you get a lot of transplants who stay in this mindset of they are just trying it out. After the half year mark if you don't find yourself talking about future plans here it's probably not working out for you. Plus you can't really enjoy the pool with your toes in. You have to jump in to enjoy it. I'm not going to write a paragraph on the Nayer's, From what you can see above you can probably figure out who they are, they already had one foot out the door before they even got in. These are generally the people that aren't happy anywhere, that's why they left where ever they came from and leaving Sarasota now. Whether its the economy, the weather, their social status, what's trendy . The grass is always greener on the other side for these people. Of course you also have the people who genuinely want to be here but it just couldn't work out for them.

The Tourists and the Snow Birds-
Like them or not, they are a fact of life here in Sarasota let alone anywhere in Florida for a good portion of the year. They crowd the roads, crowd the beaches, crowd everything for the most part. During the wintertime the make up a very large portion of the population, When visiting here you barely see them because you are on of them, but after being here for some time you can tell who is local and who is from out of town. They make day to day life a pain in the ass, but you learn to adjust your daily routines to the crowds. You will seldom have interactions with these people aside from when you are at work. Which brings me to the one major positive about them. Like them or not and no matter how much you wish they weren't here, it doesn't change the fact that they bring a massive amount of money to Sarasota and Florida. I believe I am not just speaking for myself when I say my paycheck is directly affected for the better when they all come in to town. So when your in traffic waiting to get to the beach in February and you're all pissed off that their the reason your wallet is feeling extra fat. It's a fact of life here in Florida.

Chapter 3
Sarasota

Traffic and infrastructure-
I'm going to come right out and say it. Sarasota's infrastructure is very likely designed for about 1/2 the population that inhabits the area a.k.a. the year round residents. In the off season you will generally not have a hard time getting anywhere and getting anywhere. Of course there is the exception of rush hour but that is to be expected. For the most part it is pretty easy to find parking where ever you go on mainland Sarasota. The keys are a whole other story but I am going to touch upon that next. However you will begin to see the real issues with Sarasota's road system when the on season starts, you have to add a minimum of 15 minutes on to around town commutes due to traffic. You will see lots of accidents because a lot of tourists and old people have no clue where they are going. As for supermarkets, department stores, doctor's offices, hospitals, parks etc. They are pretty evenly distributed throughout all of Sarasota. It is great knowing I can get anything or go anywhere within reason in about 20 mins on any of the major roads ( University, Fruitville, Bee Rigde, and Clark).

Restaurants-
My Miss and I are big foodies and we like to wine and dine quite a bit. Coming from Long Island, NY to Sarasota, FL we have actually been pleasantly surprised and continue to be. There is a large amount of choices scattered all over Sarasota and I can speak for quite some time about all my favorites, however I am just going to briefly touch upon the three main spots to send you in the right direction as I am not going to spoil the adventure of trying the spots out. Main St, A.K.A Downtown Sarasota has a diverse set of restaurants ranging in price and kind of food. You can also check out St. Armand's on Lido Key which is a little more upscale and has plenty of fine dining choices. If you are looking for something more casual Siesta Key has plenty of choices. I will touch upon bars and nightlife a little bit later.

The Keys-
Siesta Key-
The number one beach in America for a reason! The moment you step on the sand it is like walking in baby powder, The water is pretty clear and there is plenty of beach for everyone(depending). Open container is allowed on the beach as long as its not glass. Getting onto the key and finding parking during season and during holidays and weekends can prove difficult also which is why we always make it a point during these times to find parking off the car and taking an uber on to the key. The village itself is pretty small but has a lot of tourist shops and casual restaurants/bars/nightlife and is usually always pretty crowded. A lot our favorite spots are on Siesta Key and it has now become our families tradition to rent a house on the key during the week of Christmas. If you are into wildlife and marine life snorkeling and spearfishing point of rocks at the southern end of the key is definitely worth it. I go quite often. In retrospect, is the hassle worth going to the key? Yes, I'm there probably at least once or twice a week. Is it worth it every time you go to the beach? No. Which brings me my next topic..

Lido Key-
Lido key is just north of Siesta key is the beach I usually opt to go to when deciding to go the beach on a whim after work due to the lack of hassle with the traffic and crowds. Don't get me wrong, Lido Key can get just as crowded and congested as Siesta key but generally tends not to. You'll find the sand to be just a tad more coarse than Siesta but the water just as clear. I still consider it a slice of paradise. Open container is allowed on this beach also as long as it's not glass. The hub of activity on Lido Key centers around St. Armand's Square where there is a lot of fine dining and high end stores. It is nice after dinner to walk the square. You'll find even though both Siesta and Lido host the super rich, Lido Key tends to be a little more of an upscale atmosphere. Nightlife on Lido Key aside from dining tends to be non-existent.

Longboat Key-
Longboat Key being the northern most key which is technically an extension of Lido key which also connects to Anna Maria Island tends to be the most exclusive of the keys, to be completely honest I personally have not headed up there due to the fact there is not much up there that I know about aside from mansions and resorts.

Chapter 4
Living in Sarasota in your 20's

Job/Financial Outlook- Like I said above, as long you have either a good (degree-less) job, a good degree, or are skilled in a trade. You generally will have an easy time finding work and making a decent living. Do not be scared by all these people having a hard time finding work or decent pay, both are out there. Keep in mind Sarasota is not an unskilled worker friendly place, Many employers take advantage of bottom of the barrel employees. Probably more so here than anywhere else I've lived. That just might be the tend in Florida in general, who knows? Having a significant other makes things much easier but that applies anywhere in the U.S.. Sarasota is a city where it pays to be paid.

Day to Day(weekdays)- Depending on what you're into outside of slaving away at work, Sarasota is definitely not lacking in options. There are plenty of gyms around. Heading down to the bay or beach after work is always a plus here. Too many different happy hours you can catch. Like any other city there are options here for anyone. Many will state that there are not a lot of young people here. I feel comfortable saying those are the people who don't get out much or don't really have hobbies. There may be more old people here than normal, but by no means does that mean the pickings are slim for other young people. I have friends single and in relationships that have developed love lives and social circles relatively quickly because they were go getters about it. Like I've stated above and will continue to state, Sarasota is what you make it. You can either really have a good life here, or keep trying to find the green patch of grass.

The Weekend-
Here is where I will talk about the nightlife a bit as well as the day life, I will start with nightlife seemingly because it is a common denominator among most young people from anywhere that they like to go out for drinks on the weekend. I'm going to be a little more detailed here because the younger crowd tends to go to certain neighborhoods and bars on certain nights and I would love to point newcomers in the right direction considering I personally ended up in a lot of weird spots when I got here.

Siesta Key
For starters I will start with the obvious, Siesta Key. Head down there on Friday and Saturday night generally after 9:30 pm you will find the street bustling with activity, but the better night to go down there seems to be Saturday night because you will find a lot of younger people go to Downtown Sarasota Friday night.(which I will talk about shortly). You'll find that the age on the Key tends to cater to people on the younger side of their 20's generally being 27 down being the case. Not to say that there aren't a couple of other mellow spots to hang out such as S.K.O.B. aka Siesta Key Oyster Bar. On the Key you have 3 main bars. Daiquiri Deck, Gilligan's and The Beach Club. Daiquiri Deck is an open walled tiki bar that serves several different kinds of daiquiris in slush machines on the walls along with all the typical drinks you would find in a bar. There's usually a DJ after 10pm, you have clubs lights and so on. This tends to be the least crowded of the Siesta Key major bars however during holiday events such as the Turkey Trot or Santa Crawl, can become the most crowded during these events. Next you have Gilligan's which actually is my favorite of all the Siesta Key major bars simply because you have both a club and bar scene in there. On the outside when entering the bar you have a regular bar which has a tiki roof, it's nice because you can actually hear the people you came with. When you head inside it is dark and definitely like a night club. They hold special events on Sunday like bikini contests and so on. Finally you have the Beach Club which is the biggest of all the Siesta Key bars. I find I like to go to this bar earlier in the night because you tend to avoid the crowds and you can shoot pool. They also have a pizza stand inside, After 9pm it becomes exactly what the title states. It's a club. Cover Charge, Loud, Flashing lights, Dancing and absolutely packed. I can prove fun once every 6 months but aside from that, that is more than enough for me. I'm not really a club person to begin with but for those you like clubs, this will be one of your spots. Of course there's plenty of daytime activities on the key that I will talk about in a bit.

Downtown
Most of the nights I decide to go out for drinks, I will head downtown due to the fact that it is convenient to get to(not on the key), Plenty of choices in bars, and a bit more toned down than the major bars on the key. Friday night seems to be the night to head Downtown. Though there are a large amount of bars in Downtown Sarasota, There are 3 I feel are worth mentioning. The first being Smoking Joes due to the fact it is pretty casual. This is your typical bar, bar. No loud music or pulsating lights. Just a bar, music, pool table, a cigar shop inside(thus the name). All the elements of a good dive bar without being a dive. Just not that even though it is ventilated, it can get smokey inside due to the cigar smoke. The next would be Clasico. Clasico tends to be a little more upscale. There is a cover charge at the door and when you get there there is a borderline club vibe without it being a club, they have an indoor and outdoor area if inside gets a little loud. Dancing is called for here. The last of the downtown bars I will mention is the Gator Club which happens to be my favorite of the larger Downtown bars. Gator Club is a large brick building that use to be a brothel in the late 1900's. So the inside has the makings of being an old southern house. There is a cover at the door a when you get in there are two different vibes in this bar. Downstairs there is usually a band playing and has more of a rock venue feeling to it. Upstairs at the top of the stairs you have a bar and two pool tables and in the back of the upstairs you have a large room with a DJ that they outfitted like a club. The crowd tends to be mixed here. As far as the rest of downtown goes for nightlife, there is plenty to choice from. Notably there is a hidden speakeasy style bar which I will not reveal the location.

The rest of Sarasota(for nightlife)
I mention the two neighborhoods above as the primary watering holes in Sarasota, however there are plenty of good bars scattered all over Sarasota. a few worth mentioning are Oak and Stone for its self serve bar wall, Linkster's up in UTC, White Buffalo if you are a country fan considering its a large country venue. You will find that Sarasota doesn't really have a rave/concert scene, but you can always head up to Tampa for a night if that is what you are into.

Day life
Sarasota and I suppose Florida in general has a funny way of pulling you away from your nightlife and having you life for the days on the weekend. Where my miss and I are from Long Island, NY. 8 months of the year you are coped up indoors so your only option really is to go out and drink on the weekends during the evening. Otherwise on the weekend there isn't all too much outside of the summer during the day. You will find a large amount of activities to take part in whether it be just going to the beach, all the way until renting jet-skis and boats. You will find a lot of people like spend time on there boats or a friends boat "sandbarring". Sandbarring is hoping on a boat with all your friends and cruising around to all the different sandbars and catching some sun, The real way to experience Florida. Fishing and diving off the coast is an absolute must. I personally find my favorite activity to be spearfishing. Basically any outdoor activity you want to take part in you can because the weather is so damn nice most of the year. There are quite a few parks to experience and plenty of trails in Myakka State Park to the east to hike. There is just about anything for anyone here.

In Conclusion
To sum it up, Sarasota as a city gets quite a bit of flak for not being conducive to young people and this might be the case for a lot of young people. However all the tools are here to create a good life, you just have to pick them up and use them. My miss and I have full intentions of setting roots here. Again I understand this was kind of long and based for the most part on opinion, but hopefully others will use it as somewhat of a guide.
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:44 PM
 
15,952 posts, read 33,674,074 times
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Wow, that must have taken you quite a bit of time to put all that down. I am sure that will be helpful to other younger people who might be interested in moving here. Thanks for the effort!
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Bradenton/Sarasota FL
595 posts, read 430,074 times
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Very nice....I'll havbe to read the whole thing but I would love comparing dining notes as we are here 2 years and from New Jersey and slightly older (40)

Thanks for typing this....good stuff
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:52 PM
 
47 posts, read 42,079 times
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I moved here 10 days ago. I really hope I stumble on this in a year so I can compare my 1 year notes with yours. Its not really relevant to me as im already here, but for the sake of 2 year ago me thank you for writing this. It will defineately help somebody in the future.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,498 posts, read 8,924,529 times
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Helluva well written opinion overview!

Us Geezers write about 'where we are' frequently, but to have cogent commentary from a younger person, for this or any area, should be very helpful to the non retired younger people thinking of 'Sarasota' and SW FL in general.
Well Done!
GL, mD
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Venice, FL
704 posts, read 638,639 times
Reputation: 319
It's really nice to read a good opinion for a change. So many people come on here and grouse. Thank you for taking the time to write this. It was also well written.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:55 PM
 
3,588 posts, read 8,459,396 times
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A great guide for younger people who like to go to bars - good job!
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:11 PM
 
32 posts, read 42,036 times
Reputation: 49
This guy is so out of it he says you can find good pay in sorrysota. lol U need to lay of the green son. Have you even lived in a big city? People actually spend their money sorrysota old people complain over 1 dollar hahahaha
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Old 08-19-2017, 03:42 AM
 
Location: Florida
2,010 posts, read 3,169,657 times
Reputation: 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by sorrysota View Post
This guy is so out of it he says you can find good pay in sorrysota. lol U need to lay of the green son. Have you even lived in a big city? People actually spend their money sorrysota old people complain over 1 dollar hahahaha
Someone writes a well-written review of a place and then you lay a poorly written turd on it. It basically explains why you might not think you can find good pay there. Every building that isn't a residence is a place of employment. If you think all of those buildings are filled with low wage workers it is YOU that needs to lay off the green stuff, not the OP.
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:20 AM
 
48 posts, read 59,277 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by sorrysota View Post
This guy is so out of it he says you can find good pay in sorrysota. lol U need to lay of the green son. Have you even lived in a big city? People actually spend their money sorrysota old people complain over 1 dollar hahahaha
I'm starting to think sorrysota is a troll account lol
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