Sarasota is a destination that most gay travellers to Florida are likely to overlook, opting for nearby St. Petersburg instead. We'll be very honest, before coming to Sarasota we knew very little about it.
It is also home to an opera house, two symphonies, a world-class ballet company, many art galleries and even a fun gay scene. We visited Sarasota as part of our big Florida road trip and loved it. There are so many things to do here to keep you busy, whether you visit exclusively or as an 'add on' to a trip to Orlando, which is just a two hour drive away.
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By Andrew Collins. Located just south of picturesque Bradenton and fringed by the gorgeous barrier islands of Siesta Key and Long Boat Key, both of them famous for their white-sand beaches, downtown Sarasota has a growing number of hip and trendy restaurants, bars, galleries, and arts venues. Although Sarasota's only entirely gay club, the Throb Nightclub, closed down in after a fire broke out—which was later ruled intentional arson— a number of the other venues in the area cater to the LGBT crowd on certain nights of the week.
Sarasota County borders 40 miles of shoreline on the Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida and includes the City of Sarasota, several neighboring cities and a string of eight barrier islands. And it is welcoming to all. The popular gay beach with the locals, however, is North Lido Beach.
Outside, a rainbow flag flutters in a post-drizzle breeze. Inside, red and blue LEDs pulse behind lined-up bottles of booze. In the back of the bar, guys toss darts.
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