Saturday, May 20, 2023

Living in Paradise

Sarasota, Florida 

I'm sure everyone who follows Chinoiserie Chic has figured out how much I love it here. I am not alone. U.S. News & World Report has named Sarasota the #1 place to live in Florida and the #5 best place to live in the entire country. No argument here - I live in paradise. It is also #7 for the safest places to live in the country.

"Sarasota has a distinct vibe that’s different from Florida’s relative coastal cities, with its own vibrant arts scene, beachy atmosphere and burgeoning food culture. People who choose Sarasota as their home are generally called by its unique charm. This metro area of just over 800,000 people has a renowned opera house, a number of rooftop bars and the popular beach of Siesta Key. What makes the region special is its duality – downtown Sarasota boasts resorts and fine dining, but strolling Siesta Key Village or St. Armands Circle offers a more intimate, seaside ambience.

 There was once a time when Sarasota was dismissed as a playground for retirees, but that reputation is slowly changing as more young professionals begin to make it their own. One of the city’s up-and-coming neighborhoods is the Rosemary District, where eclectic murals decorate storefronts and modern condominiums and hotels sit near casual breakfast cafes.

Beaches line the Gulf Coast of Florida, so there’s no shortage of outdoor activities for residents. Sarasota has multiple popular outposts, including Lido Key Beach and Siesta Key Beach, which is known for its soft, white sand.

The region has a number of formal art opportunities, like the Sarasota Orchestra, the Asolo Repertory Theatre, the Sarasota Opera House and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The region attracts classic live music acts – think the remaining Beach Boys – but has a harder time attracting younger, more current performers.

The museum culture in Sarasota continues to build. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art offers modern art as well as an eclectic collection of work from Baroque artists like Peter Paul Rubens. There’s also a circus museum and Ca’ d’Zan, John Ringling’s lush, Mediterranean-style home.

Downtown Sarasota’s bayfront is a popular spot to walk and admire the extensive view without spending a day on the sand. The region also has a number of tiki bars and seaside restaurants for those looking to kick back and enjoy the Old Florida lifestyle – O’Leary’s Tiki Bar and Grill and New Pass Grill and Bait Shop are local favorites."

What is not mentioned is how happy and friendly people are. Everyone you meet loves it here and that joie de vivre is very apparent. People are very happy campers here.

My only concern is that the secret of Sarasota is no longer a secret. It is also the #2 most popular place to move in the country! When I found Sarasota 5 years ago, it was quite undiscovered.

Here are a few favorite places - 

The Ringling Museum of Art

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

My Community

Sunset at a Favorite Restaurant Fin's

Caspersen Beach

If you find yourself down here, give me a holler. A glass of wine at sunset feet from the ocean and you will be a goner.

Sunset at Sharky's on the Pier - Venice


  1. So glad you have found a beautiful place to live. That museum looks fantastic.

  2. I totally admire you for moving to a new locale and totally immersing yourself in the community. From previous info/posts - you were a single woman - and that takes total guts and fortitude. My sincere Blessings for a happy life. You deserve it :)

  3. So happy you found your little piece of paradise. Take Care. Ruth Gorenc

  4. It really is beautiful, and has a lot to offer. No wonder the cat's out of the bag. No wonder you love it there, no wonder so many people are drawn to it, and are so friendly. Being newcomers, they want to make friends and build a life in the place they have chosen to live. I am a lifelong Californian, and am extremely sad to see what has become of my home state. I have family that live in the Tampa/St. Pete area, and if I were able to leave CA and relocate to FL, I would do so in a New York minute. I'm glad you have found such a wonderful place to call home.

  5. The museum and the botanical gardens look just gorgeous.

  6. I moved here from Chicago in '08 after vacationing here several years.
    Love the beaches, variety of things to do and the friendly beachtown vibe. Settled in Southgate where we can bike to Siesta Beach or downtown in minutes.
    Feel blessed to live here in paradise.
    So glad I left Chicago!

  7. Suzanne.GabrielleMay 21, 2023 at 7:38 AM

    I live close by in Englewood but am in Venice all the time. If you ever want to grab a cocktail, it's on me.

  8. I have a vacation condo on Longboat Key - have been going to Siesta and then Longboat since I was a child. I’ll be back in the fall and would love to meet you sometime for wine or coffee!