Sarasota Seafood and Music Festival Offers Early Taste of Summer

Many people flock to Sarasota in the summer to spend time on beaches and try new activities. However, in the winter things heat up at the Sarasota Seafood and Music Festival. This annual event takes place in January, welcoming snow birds and short-term visitors the chance to escape the cold. Perfect for a quick trip or extended vacation, this free festival ranks as a must.

Sarasota Seafood and Music Festival Overview

Held on the Gulf Stream between Main and McAnsh, the festival features seafood made fresh on-site and live performances. Head downtown to try dishes including grouper, mahi mahi, stone crabs, oysters and shrimp. Vegetarians and meat lovers will also find something just for them.

While chowing down on local seafood and goodies, hear performances in different musical styles. Listen to Caribbean, jazz, rock, rhythm and blues, and soul. The lineup changes each each, ensuring no two festivals feel the same. In addition to food and music, visitors also enjoy browsing dozens of vendors and arts and crafts.

Area Seafood Festivals

Those who can’t make the Sarasota Seafood and Music Festival have two other fun options. In December, Siesta Beach hosts a seafood festival on Beach Road. In May, Venice Beach welcomes visitors to the Venice Seafood and Music Festival in Centennial Park. Both events have local restaurants, fresh seafood, live bands and plenty of ways to enjoy the sunshine.

Although all events are free, all three festivals have special VIP tent pricing for those who want to splurge. VIPs receive all-you-can-eat access, an open bar with beer, wine and cocktails, close stage seating and on-hand staff. Tickets usually average around $130 per person.

Other Things to Do

Known among the best small cities in the U.S., Sarasota also has a rich arts scene, outdoor attractions, family-friendly activities and natural areas for relaxing. Even better, the city has a mild climate with winter highs around 72 degrees and summer highs reaching 90. If planning a trip, check out these Sarasota outdoors activities, and then book a beachside vacation rental in Sarasota.