Sarasota downtown or "nice walks" lodging with kitchen-type facilities?
December 1, 2014 7:37 PM   Subscribe

Sarasota Where-To-Stay: We want to stay in Sarasota, Florida, USA, Dec. 27-30 to visit with my dude's parents. Can anybody recommend a nice place to stay with kitchenette-type facilities (i.e., at least refrigerator/microwave - or maybe a friendly BNB) with _somewhere_ nice to walk, i.e., not located on a high-traffic road with nothing nearby but uninteresting industrial stuff, nail salons, or chain stores? I'm working with a travel agent, and have looked around a bit myself, so this is a long shot.

Hi there,

We're visiting with my Dude's parents, so we need two rooms, one for them, one for us. They need food storage/prep facilities also. A bed and breakfast would work, but I found only two extremely expensive B&B's (plus one with only one bedroom).

We also need somewhere nice to walk/talk, so I was thinking in the older downtown area, which also happens, fortuitously, to be near Sarasota's Whole Foods (restaurant dining is tricky for us).

Travel agent says, and my searching confirms, that lodging anywhere near that tends to be without kitchenettes.

The barrier island/key area is a possibility too, I suppose, but we don't want to be too far from the downtown area with the cool restaurants, galleries, and activities.

We're looking at "suites" type hotels, but the ones I'm seeing are on highways/shopping center roads, so not good places for walking out the front door to enjoy the scenery.

The place doesn't _have_ to be downtown; somewhere next to a park or pretty neighborhood would be great. I started looking at AirBNB, but am a little wary since the parents might be interested in predictability.

We're hoping to spend < $200/night, so probably not the Ritz-Carlton.
posted by amtho to Travel & Transportation around Sarasota, FL (3 answers total)
I think you are overselling the coolness of downtown Sarasota as well as the "hassle" of getting from the barrier islands to there. We AirBnB'd our last trip there and it worked out well - but its Florida - very selectively walkable. Stay by the beach. Drive to downtown. Also there is another little walkable area with a third wave coffee shop a bit south of downtown near the hospital.

I like Sarasota - this is not a dig at Sarasota at all. I just want to manage expectations. BTW good cheese shop right near the whole foods. Also make sure you do the Architecture Driving tour one day.
posted by JPD at 7:57 PM on December 1, 2014

Response by poster: My expectations for Florida as a whole are modest, really. I'm just trying so hard to find a way, given that our travel time is less than a month away, to

- get my dude some time with his parents
- keep his parents warm (hence in Florida, the state where they already live)
- keep everybody well-fed without dietary problems
- not have anybody get too bored
- without spending that much money, driving too much, or needing my passport which I keep meaning to renew.

Sarasota seemed the best option, but it's still a struggle. We have found some activities in Sarasota that look promising, but we don't want to just drive between places and do activities. Low pressure "hanging out" is important here, so walking seemed a good idea.

In case that helps... sitting in the sun isn't really the goal, but the beach might be OK.
posted by amtho at 8:30 PM on December 1, 2014

Have you looked at vrbo? Seems like renting an actual home is what you want. (We have done this on Anna Maria Island several times for family vacations.)

Also, it's Florida. You're gonna have to drive places. Sarasota is small and everything is pretty close, though.
posted by gnutron at 3:59 AM on December 2, 2014

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