Sarasota Fall Vacation: Why to Visit, Things to Do and Festivals

With school back in session, families need a break. And autumn provides a perfect time to gather gear, pack up the car and visit the beach. One top spot for quick retreats, Sarasota features uncrowded beaches, small-town life in Siesta Key and Venice, and lots of local festivals. This period of calm between the summer vacation frenzy and holiday tourists is the perfect time for a Sarasota fall vacation. Read to learn more about the area and find things to do.

Sarasota Fall Vacation Overview

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During fall in Florida, the sun still shines bright, days reach warm temperatures and nights bring a cool coastal breeze. Best of all, the Gulf’s sparkling waters that lap Sarasota’s beaches are still warm enough for swimming. The area also offers several family-friendly events where everyone celebrates the changing seasons, food and good vibes.

If the weather and events aren’t enough of a reason to visit, accommodation prices may decrease during the off-season. Many destinations offer special deals for fall travel, saving guests time and money. They can then use that money for special souvenirs, romantic dinners or action-packed adventures. View Sarasota vacation rentals.

Sarasota Fall Events

Looking for something to do? Head to a fall festival in Sarasota — from Halloween festivities to competitions and concerts. Here’s a quick recap of the top events to attend during a Sarasota fall vacation:

Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival: Free and open to all ages. Rides and activities cost $2 to $7. Free things to do include a petting zoo, live music and decorated photo spots. The festival occurs every weekend in October.

Ringling International Arts Festival (RIAF): Occurs for four days in October. See contemporary performances, comedy, theatrical narratives and more. Meals are available on-site.

Manasota Pumpkin Festival: Enjoy a weekend of fun in October. Find hay rides, pie-eating contests, crafts, rides, games, pumpkin patch and mazes. Families can also purchase a ticket to the kids amusement area.

Selby Gardens Spooktacular: Take kids trick-or-treating, decorate pumpkins, and learn about nature. Families may enjoy grilled food from on-site restaurants. The event occurs the last weekend in October and is included with Selby Gardens admission.

Crystal Classic Sand Sculpting Competition: November welcomes over 20 master sand sculptures from all over the world. The four-day event includes massive sand art competitions, lessons, shopping, dining and kids activities.

Sarasota Chalk Festival: Known as the Garden of Wonders, this four-day festival showcases hundreds of sidewalk artists. Walk the streets admiring their art, meet locals and create custom masterpieces.

Sarasota Medieval Fair: Three weekends in November. See everyone in period dress, enjoy live entertainment, play games and try face-painting. Don’t miss the feasts, jousters and knights.

Find Sarasota outdoor attractions the whole group will love.