I figured a good escape from our beach town with cool shops and trendy restaurants was to go somewhere with cool shops and trendy restaurants on the beach. That’s how we ended up spending a weekend in Sarasota. I found Lido Key and St. Armand’s Circle through a series of yelp match searches. To find a place that’s walkable there should be several shops on the same block. You also want a mix of shops and restaurants. St. Armand’s circular street network wraps around a park.
We had lunch at the Cha Cha Coconuts in St. Armand Circle, and explored the area. There are shops and restaurants, mostly cutesy knick knack stores and beach themed food . Why, yes there was a Tommy Bahama store attached to Tommy Bahama restaurant. But there was also Venezia, an authentic Italian restaurant and pizzeria with outdoor seating and a view of the park.
The resort I picked, Lido Key Beach Resort, had a tiki bar, adult only pool, and stylishly remodeled suites. We enjoyed the adult pool and poolside drinks the night we arrived. Before sunset we bought vodka and orange soda to make creamsicles and watched the sunset from our balcony.