The allure of summer: white beaches, clear water and running? Ok, ok, so summertime in Florida is not exactly the ideal time of the year to lace up your sneakers and head outside for a run. Well, unless you are looking to add “heat stroke” to your summer to-do list.
For locals, we tend to spend our days tanning and sipping from an ice cold drink as we prepare to share our local hot spots with the flood of tourists set to arrive in the summer months.
Yet, for the avid runner or for those who are training, there are ways to still incorporate runs during the summer or while on vacation. The cool thing about the city of Sarasota (pun soon to be intended) is that it is bordered on the west by the Sarasota Bay which brings the city much needed respite from the heat with its cool and refreshing breezes. The twilight hour, right as the sun is setting, is indeed the perfect time for a run in Sarasota.
Enough of the romantic setting though, where should you head for your run should you find yourself vacationing here? We’ve listed the most popular places, as chosen by residents below!
Nathan Benderson Park
Address: 801 N. Cattleman Road
Distances: 3 miles: 1 loop around lake, 10 miles: 3 loops around lake
A recreational venue, the center of which is a large lake-turned-World Class Rowing facility. While the facility is often used for rowing regattas, the paved route circling the lake is often used for road races, as it’s an excellent 5k route.
Address: 948 Beach Road
Distances: 3 miles: Run along the sand from the public beach south and back, 6 miles: Run the entire length of Siesta Beach.
Voted one of the most beautiful beaches in America, Siesta Beach on Siesta Key offers seven miles of round-trip seaside paradise and, at low tide, provides a supportive and stable surface for runners and walkers. It also has accessible sidewalks and designed cycling/running lanes on roads.
Downtown Sarasota & Ringling Bridge – part of our Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay course!
Address: 2 Marina Plaza
Distances: 3 miles: Cross the Ringling Bridge and turn around, then run back to 2 Marina Plaza, 5 miles: Cross Ringling Bridge and continue around St. Armands Circle. Turn around and run back to the start.
A central spot for many local runners and walkers, the city of Sarasota has many running options, the best of which is a trip over the Ringling Bridge. Featuring one of the only inclines in the region, the Ringling Bridge offers an iconic view of the Sarasota Bayfront with options to extend runs and walks through St. Armands Circle and onto Lido Key.
Address: 303 E. Venice Avenue, Venice Train Depot
Distances: 3 miles: Run north 1.5 miles, turn around and return to the start, 5 miles: Run north 2.5 miles, turn around and go back to the start.
The Venice Train Depot, located near downtown Venice, serves as the trailhead for the Legacy Trail — a 10.8-mile paved road for walkers, runners and bikers. This trail runs through Oscar Scherer State Park and offers plenty for all levels of fitness. For nature enthusiasts, a run or walk along Oscar Scherer’s 15 miles of trails is possible with a nominal admission fee.