United States

Sarasota, FL

See Also our Running Guides for Tampa-St. Petersburg and Naples-Fort Myers

Sarasota is known for its great weather, sandy beaches, recreation, cultural amenities, and Italianate architecture influenced by Ringling’s Cà d’Zan.  Our guide to running in Sarasota highlights the beauty of Sarasota Bay and the barrier islands, several larger parks on the outskirts of the city, and a couple of routes in lovely Venice, which is 20 miles south.

The running highlight in Sarasota is the Ringling Causeway, with its spectacular views, and a nice jaunt to Lido Key. There’s great beach running on Siesta Key Beach. For water views and spectacular homes, we love Casey Key and Bay Shore Rd. For a quick 5k, run around the rowing lake at Nathan Benderson Park. For hills, the incline of the Ringling Causeway will get the heart rate going, or head to the unique Celery Fields. Just south of Sarasota, there’s the 11-mile Legacy Trail bike path, which runs into the 5-mile Venetian waterway trail at its southern end. Or, enjoy 15 miles of trails at Oscar Scherer State Park.

Sarasota features Florida’s famous sunny, warm weather, but it does get hot and humid in summer. There is a limited bus system in Sarasota and access to some good running right downtown, but anywhere outside that generally requires a car.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Sarasota, FL

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Sarasota has weather typical of southwestern Florida. It’s warm and sunny all year. The months from November through April are delightful for running, with average highs in the 70s (21-25C) and nightly temps in the low 50s (11C-13C) in winter. It’s also less humid and rainy. Summers are hot, wet, and humid. Average July high temperatures from May-October are in the 85-90F range, with high levels of humidity and near daily thunderstorms. Plan accordingly, re. hydration and possible deluges. Running in the early morning is best chance to avoid getting caught in a T-storm.

Sarasota is a popular tourist destination, so there are lots of hotels for all budget levels. If you stay downtown, there’s good access to good downtown running, the Ringling Causeway/Bridge, and Lido Key. There are also lots of hotels at Siesta Beach. Just north of downtown, there are nice hotels near the Arts district, which provides access to the Indian Beach/Bay Shore Rd. run. There are hotels at the northern and southern ends of Casey Key Rd.

Venice is another option. Staying in historic downtown Venice provides good access to running on Venice Beach, the Venetian Waterway Park trail, and the southern end of the 11-mile Legacy Trail.

There are several great running stores in Sarasota. We especially thank the folks at Fit2Run for their help with this guide!

Fit2Run. Two locations in Sarasota, one on Main St. and University Town Center. Group Runs: See calendar.

Fleet Feet. Also located downtown. Group Runs: Thursdays 6pm. Also other events. See calendar.

New Balance. Two locations in Sarasota. Group Runs: See calendar.

Running Event Calendar, courtesy of Manasota Track Club

Another great running event calendar.

January: Ringling Bridge Run, Sarasota

February: Sarasota Music Half Marathon & Rockin’ 4 Miler

March: Life in the Son 5K & 10K, Sarasota

April:  Run for the Turtles. Shark’s Tooth 10K & 5K, Venice

May: Doo Rag Run 5K, Manasota Key

June-August: Summer Beach Fun Runs, Siesta Key and Venice Beach

October: Bill’s Beer Run, Casey Key

November: SAL Half Marathon, Palmer Ranch

December: Sandy Claws, run on the beach  Jingle Jog 5K, Sarasota