|Sarasota - A Pit Stop for Yachtsmen|
You can't quite capture Sarasota without going to see it for yourself. Now that I've been there, I know that's a fact.
The city - bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west, Tampa Bay to the north and Ft. Myers to the south - is a mecca for wealthy retirees, and with good reason. The city is one of the fastest-growing wealthy populations in the country - a point that can be seen and felt throughout the community. The would-be sleepy community is in fact a vibrant cultural center with a thriving arts scene, thanks in part to the nearby Ringling College of Art and Design.
The College - one of the few sources of youth in an otherwise geriatric community - is named after John Ringling of Ringling Brothers Circus fame. Hand-selected as the winter retreat for the circus, the city still bears his namesake in a variety of ways, including streets named after Ringling (that is, of course, when they're not named after tropical fruits, as is the endearing norm).
|Sunset over white sand beaches.|
Arranged in neat communities are tropical and Spanish-style homes, the likes of which are difficult to find elsewhere. Towering archways, paver-stone driveways, multi-car garages, fountains, beautifully manicured lawns, and yachts in the backyard are staples of these wealthy communities that make you feel richer just by driving the streets. In addition, St. Armand's Circle - a mere mile from the mainland downtown - is a circular arrangement of shops and restaurants reminiscent of Epcot in its cleanliness and exquisite city-planning-esque design.
|White Sand Beaches in Sarasota, Florida|
|Sarasota Farmer's Market|
The interesting thing about Sarasota is that it's a mix of everything a community could desire. When the wealthy community decides it needs something, it goes out and buys it - a luxury that makes for a better community to all of the residents at every socioeconomic level.
If you're looking for the type of community that only money could buy, look to Sarasota. It won't take long for you to start imagining your own retirement here, in what seems to be nothing short of Paradise.