I have been to Sarasota a few times now. My first experience of going dates back to childhood when we would vacation there during school breaks to spend time with my stepdad's parents. I have fond memories of swimming in the pool at their retirement community, collecting shark teeth at the beach and going to dinner early.
Jump forward a few years and now I have been there as an adult to visit Dean's parents. Sarasota has a whole lot more to offer through the eyes of an adult. The city is rife with cultural opportunities, lovely museums and gardens. My favorite place that we've been to is the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. It is a huge botanical garden near downtown that is filled with all different sorts of plants, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and butterfly gardens.
You can spend hours wandering through and see new things each time. Halfway through the property there is an overlook that looks across the bay to downtown and, if you're there on a nice day, you will see painters and artists set up below big weeping willow trees working on their craft. Our most recent visit was in June when we were in Florida dog sitting. We took a weekday afternoon and wandered having almost the entire place to ourselves.