Is Sarasota a Safe Place to Live? (The Locals Weigh In)

Sarasota has many things to offer, from beautiful beaches to tons of activities and unique restaurants, making it one of the most desirable places to live in Florida. Many people often ask if it’s safe to live in Sarasota, though. In this article, we’ll hear from locals in Sarasota and find out what they think about their hometown’s safety. After reading this article, you’ll be able to decide if living in Sarasota is right for you!

people move to sarasota for beaches

Why people move to Sarasota

It’s safe, affordable, and everything is close by. You can walk most places or ride your bike! And let’s face it, when you live in busy states like California and you want to go anywhere in under 30 minutes—the traffic will kill you!

Florida is known for being home to many retirees. With great weather and lots of entertainment, it makes sense why people move here in droves. You want somewhere that’s peaceful and quiet, with nice weather so you can enjoy everything else Florida has to offer!

One of the locals’ favorite things about living here is how friendly everyone is. It really feels like home. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s like everyone knows each other and they’re all willing to help out when you need it. The beach is right around the corner, and there are plenty of great restaurants as well as shopping and things to do for families or single people.

downtown by marina

What is downtown Sarasota like

Downtown has its own neighborhood feel. Some people don’t know about downtown because it’s so different from what you would expect for a city of ours. There are so many restaurants and shops, as well as historical buildings that attract tourists every year. It is definitely much more like a small town atmosphere than any other part of Sarasota County.

In recent years there has been quite a boom in new restaurants opening up all around here. There are many bars and nightclubs within walking distance, so it’s a great place for singles or young professionals. The nightlife is not as extravagant as South Beach, but that’s not what we’re going for here in Downtown Sarasota! We know our audience and they love that it’s safe and affordable living right by Lido and Siesta Key.

How safe are the beaches

When it comes to your personal safety, there are small-town dangers like burglary and car theft, but crime rates in Sarasota are actually very low compared to other big cities like Orlando or Tampa. If you do encounter trouble, make sure you call 911 right away.

The biggest threat on any beach is of course swimming at night or during off-season hours when no lifeguards are on duty. There’s also a small chance of an ocean injury, make sure you know what safety precautions you should take before swimming in open water. When visiting barrier islands, it’s important to remember that river mouths and saltwater often hide dangerous riptides—again, not recommended unless you know what you’re doing or if there’s lifeguard supervision nearby. Nighttime is also “feeding time” for sharks so, don’t get mixed up in their dinner!

lido beach during the day

What about break-ins

I’ve heard it isn’t safe here, any truth to that? That isn’t really true. You may hear about it more on social media than in your day-to-day life if you live here because it is one of those topics that people love to complain about – and there is always room for improvement!

Nowadays, it feels more like an annoyance than something to worry about. Most break-ins happen when people leave their keys in their cars so be smart – bring them inside! People can walk into your house if you don’t lock your doors and windows. Make sure you lock up before leaving for work or for sleep at night.

If you’re a snowbird and leave your home vacant for part of the year, make sure you have lights on timers and have a neighbor check in on the house frequently. You can also install security cameras but most people don’t as the area is known to be fairly safe.

What about crime in general

For residents, crime is a concern. But, experts say statistics don’t necessarily show that there is an increase in violent crime. According to data from US News, both violent and property crimes have decreased over recent years. Compared with other Florida cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale, crime rates remain low in our neck of Florida. 

Violent crime rates have decreased by almost 50 percent since 2006 and property crime has dropped by more than 50 percent! That’s better than most cities across Florida and beyond. So, if you’re concerned about crime rates, take solace in the fact that we are safer than most other Florida locations.

view of SRQ from the sky


There’s more to Sarasota than just a safe location. The city has been named one of America’s top beach destinations, and there are plenty of fun activities in and around town for visitors. From outdoor adventures such as biking and snorkeling to nighttime attractions like bars and restaurants, there’s no shortage of fun options here! Tourism is also great for job seekers—there are tons of hospitality jobs that don’t require previous experience, but will look great on your resume.

Sarasota is also home to many festivals and events. There are also several performing arts venues offering live music shows throughout the year as well! And did we mention that it’s only a 2-hour drive from Orlando?!? Whether you’re interested in hitting up famous attractions like Disney World or Universal Studios, there are endless things to do around town. There are even several beaches within driving distance, so if you want to get away for a day or two, it’s not hard!

That being said, tourism may create more accidents and traffic in Sarasota in-season. So, be sure to drive carefully and be patient with other drivers.

Schools in Sarasota

With excellent public and private schools, as well as an abundance of charter schools, it’s no wonder that some of America’s best teachers flock to Sarasota. From stunning elementary campuses set along waterfronts to inventive secondary schools with a knack for encouraging creativity, there are plenty of reasons why living in Sarasota makes for an exceptional education experience.

If you’re considering relocating to Sarasota, it makes sense that one of your top priorities is finding an area in which your children will thrive. Fortunately, Sarasota city has some of America’s finest educational institutions—both public and private—for elementary through high school students. Perhaps more importantly, though, thanks to Florida’s minimal regulations on charter schools there are also plenty of additional options for those who want their children to get a customized education.

Even if you’re not planning on making Sarasota, Florida your home, there are always so many reasons to visit Sarasota. Check out our other blogs to learn more about SRQ!