From one of the “South’s Best Cities” to being named a “Dreamy Beach Town for Entrepreneurs,” Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties have been raking in some impressive national accolades in 2018.
When compiling the year’s list, we certainly noticed a number of themes. Consider us spoiled but it’s not so surprising to read that our region is an exceptional destination for beautiful beaches or an ideal hub for retirees. Still, other accolades may not have been so predictable to those who only recall the Gulf Coast of yesteryear – that we are a top spot for entrepreneurs, a mecca for millennials, or that one of our southern cities was named among the trendiest destinations for Spring Break (keep reading to find out which!). There’s also much for our region to be proud of, with our public schools ranked as foremost in the state of Florida. Read on for over 30 reasons we are, quite literally, the best!
The Best Cities in the U.S. | Sarasota
Conde Nast Traveler readers cast hundreds of thousands of votes in this annual national survey. Sarasota was named as one of the best of the best for small cities with this premier travel publication noting our wealth of cultural attractions, elegant new hotels, and a dynamic food scene.
2018’s Best Beach Towns to Live In | Sarasota & Venice
Wallethub.com compared 205 waterfront cities across six key dimensions: 1) Affordability, 2) Weather, 3) Safety, 4) Economy, 5) Education & Health and 6) Quality of Life and split the sample between ocean towns and lake towns. When looking at ocean towns (yes, someone should explain to Wallethub this is technically the Gulf), Sarasota ranked 3rd overall while Venice came in at 15. It should also be noted that Sarasota ranked in the top standings for most nightlife, most restaurants, and most coffee shops per capita.
The South’s Best Cities 2018 | Sarasota
Joining an illustrious list from Ashville to Austin and Savanah to San Antonio, Sarasota rounded out this compilation from Southern Living of “vibrant hubs of incredible regional cuisine, culture, music, and design.”
8 Dreamy Beach Towns for Entrepreneurs | Sarasota
“If you can work anywhere, why not work from paradise?” We quite agree with Livability.com’s sentiment as they named Sarasota No. 2 to this entrepreneurial list. They credit not only the region’s sugar sand beaches and business-friendly tax policies but its “long history of nurturing creativity and new, offbeat ideas.” (Ringling Bros. Circus, anyone?)
Best Golf Communities | Lakewood Ranch
Ideal-Living Magazine created their “Best of the Best” list searching for communities with multiple courses designed by the most respected architects in the business, that have active men’s and women’s golf leagues, and a variety of links and challenges for newbies and seasoned golfers alike. Lakewood Ranch impressed the jury with its wealth of courses, memberships, and the award-winning Lakewood Ranch Country Club.
100 Best Places to Retire in the USA | Sarasota
US News and World Report analyzed data for the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the USA measuring the happiness of local residents, housing affordability, tax rates, and healthcare quality and named Sarasota to the third spot.
10 Best Islands for Retirement | Gasparilla Island
Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island was recognized in the top ten of this retiree-friendly list from Coastal Living Magazine noted for its relaxed beach lifestyle with “no high-rises, chain stores, or billboards, just sweet cafes, bookstores, and an air of genteel bonhomie.”
10 Great Places to Retire for Your Health | Venice
Waterfront living, parks, yoga on the beach, culture, health care, tax-friendly…what’s not to love for active retirees? Kiplinger, a leader in personal finance news, compiled this list of slower-paced, budget-friendly small or mid-sized cities with quality healthcare with Venice rounding out the collection at No. 10.