Warm weather, sandy beaches, and the Ringling Museum of Art are just a few reasons to live in Sarasota.

Living in the Sarasota/Bradenton area or its surrounding neighborhoods is a great way to experience gorgeous weather year-round, a relatively low cost of living, and embrace a sense of community.  

The Sarasota-Bradenton area has everything visitors and residents expect from Florida. There are dazzling beaches for sunbathers and swimmers, stores and shops for every budget, hundreds of restaurants that range from casual taco huts to fine dining establishments, and an undeniable sense that life is meant to be savored and enjoyed. This area is located along the Gulf of Mexico, and less than an hour from Tampa and St. Petersburg.  

LakeRidge Falls – Sarasota

Low $300s – High $300s

For the feel of a close-knit community, consider LakeRidge Falls in Sarasota. This is a gated 55+ community of 399 single-family homes and attached villas, built by Centex. There are three distinct neighborhoods and homes range in size from 1,391 square feet to 2,091 square feet. It may be a small community, but it’s also active. There’s a heated pool, a grand salon, and a clubhouse. Residents get together for monthly and holiday parties and attend bingo nights. There is also a travel group, a fitness center, and Zumba classes.

This community is located in Sarasota and gives residents an opportunity to explore the city. There is a lot to see, especially if you appreciate art. The Ringling Museum of Art will remind you of a European museum, especially when you admire the enormous Rubens on display in one of the main galleries.

Tidewater Preserve – Bradenton

High $200s – Low $700s

One of the newest 55+ communities in Bradenton is Tidewater Preserve. With 361 single-family and attached homes, it’s a place where residents find it easy to socialize and get to know their neighbors. Buying a home here means not having to worry about maintenance and upkeep.

The homeowners' association is tasked with taking care of the grounds, including lawn care. Carriage Homes have three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and the Grand Villas, Riverfront Homes, and Classic Homes come in a number of two, three, and four bedroom floor plans.

It’s hard for residents to be bored at Tidewater Preserve. Neighborhood gatherings, wine tastings, and exercise groups meet at The Lodge, which is the main clubhouse. There are tennis courts, walking trails, and access to the Manatee River. Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria Island are great places for swimming, snorkeling and fishing, and they’re an easy drive from Tidewater Preserve. During spring training season, you’ll have a chance to cheer on the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Stadium.

Indigo – Lakewood Ranch

High $200s – Low $400s

Lakewood Ranch is one of the newest and most desirable residential areas in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. Indigo is the latest 55+ community from Neal Communities, a builder known for resort-style amenities that fit perfectly with active lifestyles. Construction began in 2015, and once it’s complete, there will be 453 single-family homes in 15 different floor plans.

There’s a pool, spa, cabana, and polo fields for recreational or competitive play. Holiday parties and community events take place at the clubhouse, and the community’s gorgeous landscaping makes walking and biking pleasant and relaxing. Plenty of parks and trails are nearby, and it’s easy to get to Sarasota and Bradenton from Lakewood Ranch. The area is right off Interstate 75, making inter-state travel efficient.  

Esplanade at Artisan Lakes – Palmetto

Low $200s – High $300s

To enjoy a larger community of neighbors, consider Esplanade at Artisan Lakes. This 55+ community in Palmetto is home to 2,802 single-family properties. The homes are spacious and elegant, ranging in size from 1,689 square feet to over 3,000 square feet. Many of the homes have open layouts, gourmet kitchens, and splashy upgrades and fixtures.

With an on-site activities director putting together events, starting clubs, and offering classes, residents can always find something to do. There are group fitness classes like aerobics, as well as tennis courts and bocce ball. Swimming is particularly enjoyable in the resort-style pool. Residents enjoy the clubhouse, an event field, and the plentiful nature trails for strolling and biking. Palmetto is close to both Bradenton and Sarasota, as well as local beaches, parks, and preserves.