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Old 10-13-2017, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Bettendorf, IA
59 posts, read 43,895 times
Reputation: 41

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We're 1-2 years away from selling our home in the midwest and moving to paradise. Sarasota is where we want to live, but after looking at homes in both counties are confused. We love Sarasota County for its closeness to Siesta Key, but really like the newer feel of homes in Manatee County. Looking for ALL pros and cons, understanding that everyone is different! Taxes in both counties are half of what we currently pay, so that's not a concern. We welcome ALL opinions! Help!
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:48 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,818 posts, read 6,542,956 times
Reputation: 8294
Siesta Key is not the only beach in town. Anna Maria Island, with beautiful beaches on both Gulf and bay sides, is in Manatee County.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
3,584 posts, read 5,143,536 times
Reputation: 3449
Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island........

https://www.yelp.com/biz/coquina-beach-bradenton-beach


Anna Maria Island.........

https://www.yelp.com/biz/anna-maria-...radenton-beach


Longboat Key has public access sites to the beaches, follow the parking signs carefully (stickers required for some parking spaces).......

Beach Access Addresses and Directions - Longboat Key, Florida



Lido Key Beach near downtown Sarasota.......

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...a_Florida.html
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:31 AM
 
15,840 posts, read 33,180,575 times
Reputation: 20042
You will get more bang for your buck in every way in Manatee - plus I think the beaches are better. To me, Siesta is too crowded and WAY overrated. By the way, I live in Manatee.
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Old 10-14-2017, 02:02 PM
 
176 posts, read 155,519 times
Reputation: 359
Manatee County gives you decent driving access to St Pete, Tampa & Sarasota. If you are not on the water directly, I would recommend Manatee county. Also, there is some beautiful waterfront on the Manatee river, which gives you good access to Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay & GOM.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
609 posts, read 403,383 times
Reputation: 798
There's new homes being built in both counties. Beaches all over, as previous folks mentioned. You really, really need to plan to rent the first year to give yourself time to explore all the various parts of both counties.
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Sarasota-Manatee, Florida
407 posts, read 713,325 times
Reputation: 181
I was in the same boat as you, except I was moving from Fort Myers. Both counties have pros and cons. I personally would recommend Manatee County. Siesta Key is nothing but a tourist trap, don't let that play into your decision. I have found many other beaches in this area which are far more beautiful (and less people) then Siesta. When I was looking at homes, I felt you got more for your dollar in Manatee compared to Sarasota. And you are right, Manatee has a lot more new construction compared to Sarasota. If you commute to Sarasota for work, I'll warn you it is a nightmare. 75 is nothing but stop and go and now that we are entering snowbird season, it slowing is getting worst.

Manatee Pros:
New development
Close to St Pete, Tampa, & Sarasota
More affordable

Sarasota Pros:
Schools are top rated for FL
Culture, entertainment, restaurants, in downtown district

Cons for both:
TRAFFIC- these areas are developing so much faster then they can keep up with. I spend more time in traffic here then I ever did living in New York.

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Bettendorf, IA
59 posts, read 43,895 times
Reputation: 41
Thank you all! I guess the most important thing will be to find a job (I'll need to work until I can get Medicare) and then decide so I don't spend hours on 75 driving to and from work!
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