Travel like a local.


Ringling Circus Museum, Marie Selby Gardens & Manatees in Sarasota, Florida

Best things to do in Sarasota Florida - Tracy McHugh - Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium by Robin Teng on Unsplash

A manatee at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. Photo by Robin Teng on Unsplash.

I’m really excited to interview Tracy McHugh of Chasing Wonderful about Sarasota, Florida. Tracy’s tips for the best things to do in Sarasota are awesome because she lived in Sarasota for a year while working remotely. She loves how the weather is so beautiful in the winter and how amazing the beaches are.

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Best things to do in Sarasota Florida - Tracy McHugh - Ringling Circus Museum by Tessa Edmiston on Unsplash

The Ringling Circus Museum and other attractions by the Ringling family are a must-do when visiting. Photo by Tessa Edmiston on Unsplash.

Sarasota, Florida

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Visit Sarasota, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Sarasota Florida - Tracy McHugh - Decorated ceiling at Ca' d'Zan Mansion by Brandon Griggs on Unsplash

The decorated ceiling at Ca’ d’Zan Mansion. Photo by Brandon Griggs on Unsplash.

Getting around Sarasota

The local airport is Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), which is about a ten-minute drive to downtown. You could also fly into Tampa International Airport (TPA), which is about an hour drive from Sarasota. Use our Expedia tool below to find flight, hotel, and rental car options.

Tracy says that it’s a good idea to rent a car since public transportation is not the best in the area. For the best rental car offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

Uber and Lyft are also excellent ways to get around.

When you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.

Best things to do in Sarasota Florida - Tracy McHugh - Marie Selby Gardens

Go for a leisurely stroll through the Marie Selby Gardens.

Places we talked about on the Sarasota, Florida podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Tracy McHugh about Sarasota, Florida. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Sarasota, Florida
  • Green dots = best things to do in Sarasota, Florida
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Sarasota, Florida

Who is Tracy McHugh?

Tracy McHugh has worked in the travel industry for over 8 years in addition to having traveled to 28 countries and 47 US states, most of which were traveled during solo trips.

When not traveling, Tracy has lived in some amazing cities such as Miami, Tampa, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sarasota. In the beginning of 2024, Tracy started her own event planning company, focusing on corporate travel and event planning.

Best things to do in Sarasota Florida - Tracy McHugh

Here are a few podcast episodes she has been featured in and an article that she’s written:

You can connect with Tracy on her website and social media on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.

We Travel There - Sarasota Florida - Tracy McHugh - podcast one sheet

Click here to download our one-page guide of Tracy’s tips for Sarasota.

Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – Acorns

With Acorns, you can invest spare change automatically on every purchase that you make. With your registered cards, purchases are rounded up to the next dollar and added to your investment account. When you shop at participating retailers, you can also earn bonus dollars, which are called “Found Money.” Acorns is a great way to build up your travel fund automatically.

I’ve been using Acorns for years, and I love how easy it is to use. For a limited time, when you sign up at, we’ll both earn $5.

Best things to do in Sarasota Florida - Tracy McHugh - Brunch at Rendez-Vous Sarasota

Enjoy a coffee and pastry during brunch at Rendez-Vous Sarasota.

Stay tuned for our next episode

Join us next time as we talk with another local expert about the best things to do, see, eat and drink in their city. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Sarasota? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

Please take a moment to follow the podcast on your favorite podcast apps, like Apple Podcasts, Google, or Spotify, so you don’t miss the next episode! While you’re at it, give us a rating and Tweet the podcast to your friends.

To see which cities we’ve interviewed and scheduled, please visit If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please submit an application at

Related episodes for Sarasota

To learn more about destinations in Florida check out our episodes below:

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