Aerial view of the blue waves along Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida

Active adults looking for beach-side living have some excellent communities to choose from in Sarasota, Florida.

Sarasota real estate is comfortable, classy, and well-located. Interested homebuyers can find a home close to downtown, near Interstate 75, or north towards Bradenton, but there are also homes available close to the beach. The city is right on the Gulf of Mexico, making it easy for residents to enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, and sunbathing.

Active adult homebuyers who want to live in a modern, accessible city that’s close to sandy shores should consider Sarasota. These 55+ communities are especially close to the water, and they offer a lot when it comes to amenities, space, and community.

1. Siesta Harbor

Low $300s - High $400s

Luxury condo living right on the Intracoastal Waterway isn’t a bad way to live. That’s what buyers have to look forward to at Siesta Harbor. Residents of this 55+ community have their own beach access, and there are boat docks to take them further into the Gulf when the mood hits. There are only 158 condo units on the property, and they range from 780 to 1,230 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Hurricane shutters are included in many updated units.

If being directly on the beach isn’t quite enough for entertainment and recreation, Siesta Harbor is rich with other amenities. There’s a clubhouse with an exercise room, an aerobics studio, a multi-purpose room, and a library. There’s also a pool and spa as well as a patio and a fishing pier. Siesta Key and its white sands are just minutes away, and neighbors get together for fishing parties and boat trips. There are also movie nights, dinners, and tailgating parties.

2. Whispering Sands

High $300s - High $1Ms

On Siesta Key and with 900 feet of private beach right outside the front door, Whispering Sands has some of the most beach-accessible homes in Sarasota. This 55+ community has a natural lagoon and a handful of freshwater ponds throughout the community. Two clubhouses include multi-purpose and meeting rooms as well as a library and an exercise studio. Two pools and an outdoor grilling area make this condo community feel like a beachside oasis. Also, Whispering Sands is close to shops, restaurants, and beachfront entertainment.

Two large high-rise buildings house most of the 267 condo homes, which offer 1,271 to 2,746 square feet with two and four bedrooms and two to four bathrooms. Balconies have panoramic ocean views, and parking is assigned. Inside resale homes, buyers will find upgrades and updates such as granite counters and spa showers. Hurricane shutters are remote control operated.

3. Woodside Terrace

Mid $100s - Mid $200s

Another small and intimate 55+ community with great beach proximity is Woodside Terrace, where 59 condos and attached homes are affordably priced. Siesta Key will be the closest spot for sand and surf, and other nearby beaches include Sarasota Beach and Crescent Beach. The neighborhood also makes sense for golfers. It’s close to courses like The Groves Golf Course and The Highlands Golf Course.

At Woodside Terrace, condos have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,128 to 1,340 square feet. Outdoor lanais and great rooms come standard with each model. Attached villas are offered in floor plans from 1,210 to 1,340 square feet. They have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Most floor plans include open layouts, cathedral ceilings, and Florida rooms.

Amenities include a clubhouse with multi-purpose space, a heated outdoor pool, a patio, and scenic trails that are perfect for walking, biking, and jogging. A social committee plans activities and events, and the HOA fees take care of exterior maintenance, landscaping, and pool cleaning. It also covers the cost of water and sewer bills.

4. Strathmore Riverside Villas

Low $100s - High $200s

Strathmore Riverside Villas is a 55+ community that’s exactly four miles from the beach in Sarasota. It’s located on a river leading to the Intracoastal Waterway, so there’s a marina with a boating dock and a fishing pier available to residents. Additional amenities include a community clubhouse, an exercise room, meeting rooms, a billiards space, a library, and a multi-purpose room. Outside, there’s a pool and shuffleboard courts. Aerobics classes, book club, and poker are popular activities at Strathmore Riverside Villas.

Condo homes are available on a resale basis. They were built in the early 1970s but have been upgraded and updated. Properties have one or two bedrooms, one-and-a-half to two bathrooms, and 864 to 1,810 square feet. If the local beaches start to feel ho-hum, it’s less than 20 minutes to more exotic seashores like Anna Maria Island or Coquina Beach.

5. Plaza De Flores on Palmer Ranch

Mid $100s - Low $200s 

Less than 10 miles from Siesta Key Beach, Plaza De Flores on Palmer Ranch is an ideal home for anyone seeking social activity and a sense of community. There are no age restrictions, which means residents can live with adult children or grandchildren and enjoy the benefits of multi-generational living. It’s part of the Palmer Ranch master-planned community, and one of the most desirable places to find Sarasota homes for sale.

Condos are between 950 and 1,319 square feet with one and three bedrooms and one or two bathrooms. Some units have cathedral ceilings and upgrades like granite counters. There are also screened lanais and open floor plans. Amenities in the private Plaza De Flores community include a clubhouse and pool, a fitness center, a catering kitchen, and tennis courts. Residents are also welcome to take advantage of all the amenities and opportunities available within the larger Palmer Ranch community. Siesta Key Beach is the most popular beach, but residents here are also close to White Beach and Point O’ Rocks, which are a little quieter and less traveled.