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Is there life for an active couple in their late 50's in Sarasota Fl?
June 25, 2013 4:59 AM   Subscribe

We are looking to live near the water and have tried Miami and LA and are now on the shoreline of Ct. The only problem is; we can't afford to buy a house here and the winter is a bit of a deal breaker. Thinking of moving to the West coast of Florida for the water and the warmth and would love to hear anyone's experience of this area. We have thought of Sarasota and would be open to other cities or large towns. We are both active, still working, (self employed) very liberal and interested in great food and a community of interesting people. We couldn't be somewhere where everyone is retired. Any thoughts?
posted by privatechef to Travel & Transportation around Sarasota, FL (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I can't speak to the politics (most of the folks I know in that area range are pretty conservative, but I don't know how much is sampling error), but I know some 60 year old (non-retired) folks who live part of the time just south of Sarasota and are quite grooving on it.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:11 AM on June 25, 2013


We are both active, still working, (self employed) very liberal and interested in great food and a community of interesting people. We couldn't be somewhere where everyone is retired. Any thoughts?

Sounds like you want to be near a college campus.
posted by jon1270 at 5:12 AM on June 25, 2013


By and large, Sarasota is very conservative, but there are liberal folk here. We're among them. They can be found around the Unitarian church, volunteering at Selby Garden and Mote Marine Lab and such places. We've met excellent folk at all of those venues. Most of them are retirees from the North. Older than you but relatively hip, considering.

Sarasota's a beautiful little city in many ways, with terrific "Sarasota school" contemporary architecture ( and Andres Duany is visiting just now and pontificating on the master plan). The beach is beautiful. Boating is terrific. Concerts and theater are just fine.

On the other hand we've been here about four years and are pretty tired of it. It just gets old, but maybe that's just us. Thinking of moving somewhere else where day trips and weekend trips can actually take you someplace interesting. Peninsular Florida doesn't offer that. And despite Duany, there's a lot of sprawl.

Email me if you'd like to chat more. Good luck.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 5:37 AM on June 25, 2013


Also, if you like to be outdoors, remember it's damn HOT here. That's a main reason we're considering flight.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 5:38 AM on June 25, 2013


One of my best friends lives in Cape Coral (Ft. Myers area) and she loves it there. I think I'd go a bit crazy there, but to each his own.

It is hot and muggy in the summer but you can't beat the winters.

One thing to be aware of is that the housing market went insane there. Then it went bust, then a bunch of foreclosures.

My friends lived in a new house for 6 years. The kept it up. Nearly EVERYTHING in that house is crumbling or falling apart because it was made-for shit. Also the owner went bankrupt and just abandoned the house. If they hadn't lived in it, the swamps would have taken over.

Also, Chinese Dry Wall.

Prices are rising again, both for purchases and rent.

If you do buy a place have it inspected down to the molecules.

Tampa may be more your speed, not so sleepy, and lots to see and do.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:17 AM on June 25, 2013


My parents moved to Dunedin in their 50s (they are now 61 and 60). They love it there. Now they live in Palm Harbor (right next door to Dunedin). They are a mile or two from the ocean, lots of beaches, the inter-coastal waterway, and lots of cute coastal towns to visit all the time including bigger cities like Clearwater Beach, Tampa or St. Petersburg if they feel adventurous. Mom works in Tampa and Dad works in Tarpon Springs (which has EXCELLENT AUTHENTIC Greek food and population). There are lots of bike/walking paths. And then easy access to three international airports (Tampa, St. Petersburg and Orlando) when they need to visit us kids.

These are two people who get bored if there aren't things to do and people to see and places to go. We moved around a lot when I was a kid and they have lived in this area for 9 years now - the longest they have lived ANYWHERE (other than when they were growing up).

I would recommend you check out that area. I believe there is a big artists' community in downtown Palm Harbor that maybe you'd be interested in visiting or being near.
posted by jillithd at 6:25 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I lived in Sarasota for 4 years during the early 2000s while attending New College (which is definitely a liberal bastion in an otherwise not always so liberal area). I can't speak to what it would be like for an older adult, but I actually think it's a pretty good place to live. Aside from the beaches (top notch) and unbearably beautiful sunsets every night of the year, for a town of it's size, SRQ has a pretty good culinary scene, as well as plenty of cultural events. There's music at the Van Wesel and sometimes through the College - a couple of museums - movies at Burns Court (a really nice independent cinema) and during the Film Festival. It has probably one of the more passable main street/downtown districts in all of Florida, and there are some really fun things to do on Key Islands surrounding Sarasota and Bradenton. And if that's not enough, its only about an hour's drive from anything you might want to do in Tampa/St. Petersberg. The only real con about Sarasota is that it's very car-oriented and much of the development is stripped along US 41, which makes it less walkable and takes away from the sense of place and makes town feel small because you're always driving the same way.
posted by voiceofreason at 7:24 AM on June 25, 2013


I was thinking along the same lines as jillithd- look further north up the coast. Dunedin is nice, Palm Harbor, the Indian Rocks/Indian Shores area, I'd stay south of Tarpon though, as it's the last stop before the area gets a little too 'trashy Florida'. If you look in those areas, you'll be day trips from St. Pete, Tampa, Sarasota and even Orlando. Lots to do and close to the St. Pete/Clearwater airport which frequently has great budget flights for a quick getaway.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 7:41 AM on June 25, 2013


One of the reasons I left SRQ is that I work in the tech sector, and in my particular field, there are only one or two employers who fundamentally own you if you do what I do. Didn't like that.

Did like everything else there. It's where I consider home, and I do miss the excellent weather (heat doesn't bother me so much) the water and the beaches.

It used to be a very small town with a seasonal populace, but that has changed. Tourist season is 365 days a year now, and as such, SRQ has gotten considerably more metropolitan than it used to be, especially closer to the water. Inland is still...well...typical Florida. From what you describe, I think you'd like it there. Houses are relatively affordable compared to where you are now.

Really, any of the smaller cities on the gulf coast are similar. I don't think you can go wrong with them.
posted by Thistledown at 1:29 PM on June 25, 2013


I could almost quote jillithd's answer. My mom and stepfather moved to Palm Harbor about 10 years ago, they just turned 60, and they love it. They now live in Oldsmar, but spend most of their time at the beaches and parks of Dunedin, Clearwater, and Palm Harbor. They adopted the Dunedin Blue Jays as their own and always have places to go and friends to hang out with.
posted by otters walk among us at 5:34 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I liked Sarasota when I lived there. But know many locals seem to migrate to the North Carolina mountains for summers. (Kinda the opposite of snowbirds.) It's HOT HOT HOT there. But the beaches were the absolute best!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:47 PM on June 25, 2013


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