Did you know Florida is the second most-visited state in the country? When visiting the Sunshine State, most people look for beautiful beaches, famous attractions, or water adventures.
After all, Florida has it all. However, another reason people of all ages love the Sunshine State is the nightlife and live music. Sarasota is one of the most popular destinations on the Gulf Coast because it offers live music and more.
Let’s learn more about where you can catch the latest local talent in Sarasota!
Where Is Sarasota?
Sarasota is the gateway to several beautiful beaches on the western side of the Florida peninsula. South of St. Petersburg and Tampa, Sarasota is home to Lido Key Beach, Sarasota Beach, Venice Beach, Siesta Key Beach, and more.
Highway 301 and Interstate 75 cut through the city for easy access.
Does Sarasota Have a Nightlife?
Because Sarasota is on the Gulf Coast side of Florida, visitors and residents experience stunning sunsets over the waters. Accompanied with those sunsets are cocktails, dancing, and live music. Popular spots like the Perspective Rooftop Bar at Art Ovation Hotel and Jack Dusty’s at The Ritz-Carlton are excellent locations to enjoy a view and start the night with drinks.
The upstairs Selva Lounge in Selva Grill and the Latin lounge Bombon are worth checking out for a night on the town. And because nice weather means nightly live music, Sarasota is a trendy destination for food, fun, games, dancing, and drinks.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Sarasota?
There isn’t a wrong time to visit Sarasota, Florida. Depending on the weather you want to experience, winter brings snowbirds and travelers from the north, while summer brings vacationers and spring break students looking for a fun time.
Hurricane season can ruin plans as Sarasota sits on the Gulf of Mexico, and the summers will see temperatures consistently in the upper 90s. But other than extreme weather conditions, Sarasota is a beautiful city to visit year-round.
Pro Tip: After dancing the night away in Sarasota, head to these 7 Underrated Florida Tourist Attractions.
7 Best Places to See Live Music in Sarasota
If you want to enjoy the nightlife in Sarasota with live music, dancing, and drinks, you’re in luck. There are also many places around town where you can kick back and relax. Here are the seven best places for hitting the town after sunset.
Address: 711 S Osprey Ave #3, Sarasota, FL 34236
About: From 5 – 8 pm on Sundays, Tamiami Tap has Sunset Sunday Jazz. From 8 – 10:30 pm on Thursdays, enjoy local talent at Open Mic Night. Every Friday and Saturday night, patrons listen to live local talent. So for four nights out of the week, you can visit Tamiami Tap for live entertainment, food, and drinks.
Address: 5580 Swift Rd, Sarasota, FL 34231
About: At Stragglers in Sarasota, guests enjoy indoor and outdoor seating, bar games, and live music in a casual, cozy environment. Open from 11 am – 2 am daily, Stragglers is bike friendly and has a smoking environment. Every weekend, patrons enjoy live music to end the work week. One guest writes, “Went and listened to Old Glory, talked to the owner and the band members, had a blast, did some dancing and listened to some good jams! A great Sunday after work evening!!”
Mattison’s City Grille
Address: 1 North Lemon Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
About: Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, Mattison’s City Grille serves American, Mediterranean, Asian, Caribbean, and Italian dishes. They use all-natural, antibiotic, and hormone-free ingredients from sustainable sources. Every day from 3 – 7 pm, guests enjoy Happy Hour specials, and nightly, guests can listen to live music.
Address: 2257 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34237
About: Whether you’d like to enjoy Dart Night, Comedy Night, or want to come in and watch the day’s soccer match, Shamrock Pub offers a fun atmosphere for locals and tourists. People know this local Sarasota hangout more for its relaxed Irish ambiance and soccer flair than live music, but you can check the events calendar for local happenings.
Address: 920 John Ringling Causeway, Sarasota, FL 34236
About: Every Saturday night, starting at 7 pm, Hart’s Landing is home to live music, beer, wine, cocktails, and snacks. It’s free to attend the events and fun for all ages. This location is a safe place to bring the whole family since it’s not a bar, lounge, or pub and has a small park on-site. This local Bait Shop and General Store is a favorite in Sarasota and a popular spot to hang out on the pier and fish for the day.
Salty Jim’s Island Bar & Grill
Address: 3655 Webber St, Sarasota, FL 34232
About: Salty Jim’s is a local dive bar where people come to relax and unwind, shoot a round of pool, and enjoy the weekly live music in this Sarasota gem. They serve breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It’s a local favorite where guests feel welcomed and appreciated. One patron writes, “Absolutely fun!
The food is fantastic, the atmosphere is great. Live music from time to time. The owner Dennis is such a great guy and so is his wife. Very cozy Island Bar. It seems like you are hanging out with family.”
Address: 7275 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231
About: If you’re looking for a more elegant experience, check out Mattison’s Forty-One. Newly renovated, the restaurant offers a Cocktail Masterclass and special events throughout the year. Guests can dine indoors and outdoors or rent the exclusive dining area, “The Galleria,” for private events. Savor a rack of lamb, rosemary honey-glazed salmon, or a slow-roasted prime rib. Enjoy live music on Monday nights from 5 – 8 pm.
Pro Tip: Spend the night at one of these 11 Best Campgrounds In Florida during your visit to the Sunshine State.
Enjoy the Sounds of Sarasota
Sarasota may be a beach city, but when the sun goes down, the party starts. From casual, fun environments to more elegant dining experiences, Sarasota has exceptional nightlife and live music. Enjoy drinks on a pier watching the oranges and pinks of a beautiful sunset, or go out on the dance floor with live music. Sarasota begs guests to stay out all night and have some fun.
The next time you’re in Sarasota, Florida, don’t head to bed early. Which location will you go to first to experience the Sarasota nightlife? Tell us in the comments!
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