Sarasota Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Places to Visit in Florida
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Free Things To Do in Sarasota

Looking for free things to do? Here's our ranking of the best free activities in Sarasota. Popular attractions include Lido Beachand Sarasota National Cemetery.
  • #4
    Things to do in Sarasota
    View all Photos
    #4 in Sarasota
    Beaches, Natural Wonders, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Natural Wonders, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Though visitors have access to several beaches in Sarasota County, one of the easiest to reach from downtown is Lido Beach. Situated less than 5 miles southwest of the city center, Lido Beach on Lido Key offers more than 3,000 feet of white sand. Several recreation areas, with amenities like picnic tables and a pool (which can be enjoyed for a fee), are also available.

    If you like hunting for seashells, visitors say you'll love Lido Beach. (But if you want to swim, plan on wearing shoes; the shells will likely hurt exposed feet.) Additionally, families will appreciate this beach's calm water and ample space. What's more, Lido Beach sits within walking distance of St. Armands Circle, where various shops and eateries reside.

  • #6
    Sarasota National Cemetery
    View all Photos
    #6 in Sarasota
    Monuments and Memorials, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Designed to highlight Sarasota's background as a military post for flight training, the 295-acre Sarasota National Cemetery has served as the final resting place for thousands of fallen veterans since it opened to the public in 2009. Funerals are still regularly held at the facility, but visitors are more than welcome to pay their respects.

    Though this burial site isn't as well-known as Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., it does regularly wow travelers with its beautiful grounds and knowledgeable staff. Plus, this free cemetery offers a convenient locale near other top attractions like Myakka River State Park and the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, which are both less than 10 miles away. To make the most of your visit, reviewers suggest joining one of the complimentary guided tours of the on-site amphitheater (Patriot Plaza), which features artwork honoring veterans. Tours last an hour and are available at 10 a.m. every Tuesday.

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