20 Things to Do in Sarasota on a Budget

Things to do in Sarasota

Don’t let a tight budget stop you from having a great time in Venice or the rest of Sarasota County. Take the short drive over to Sarasota to find plenty of affordable things to do. You can have fun without breaking the bank!

Visit the Beach

It should go without saying that a trip to the beach is one of the most popular free activities in Sarasota. Just choose your favorite public beach.

Play a Sport

Bring your volleyball or tennis gear to the beach for a unique activity.

Swim at Lido Pool Instead

Don’t want to swim in the ocean? Lido Pool is right next to Lido Beach, and this public pool only costs $4 for adults.

Have a Beachfront Grill Out

Take a separate trip to the beach with a picnic or grill out. Both Lido and Siesta Beaches have their own picnic areas and grills.

Shop at the Farmers Market

The Sarasota Farmers Market is on Saturday mornings, while the Siesta Key Farmers Market is on Sundays.

Window Shop

You don’t have to spend money to have fun shopping!

Catch a Live Show at Siesta Beach

Go to Siesta Beach for live music. There is always music on Sunday nights.

Or at Friday Fest

One Friday per month through early fall, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has free live music by the water.

Take Advantage of Free Art Appreciation

Local art galleries open their doors for the public to enjoy. The first Friday of the month is the Palm Avenue Art Walk, while the third Friday is the Towels Court Art Walk.

Go to a Budget Movie

Movie tickets are definitely getting more expensive, but Parkway 8 Cinema still has amazingly cheap tickets. A matinee is just $2, and at night, the price is still only $2.50.

Read at the Library or Outside

Visit your local library in Sarasota or Venice to check out a book to read for free.

Go to the Museum on Monday

Visiting the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art doesn’t cost anything if you go on Monday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Camp at Myakka River State Park

Although it’s not free, camping at Myakka River State Park will only cost you $5 for each person. This is primitive camping with sites several miles from the trail.

Things to Do at Island Park

Don’t want to go so far from civilization? Bay Island Park has lots of free things to do, featuring plenty of grass and blue water.

Enjoy the Sunset

No matter where you choose to watch it, this will be a gorgeous sight.

Go for a Walk

Walk or bike throughout Sarasota. View the water, homes, or nature in general.

Take Advantage of Happy Hours

If you do your research, you can find a place in Sarasota to get a drink or snack for $5 or less during Happy Hour.

Split an App or Drink

Save money any day by sharing a larger drink or appetizer.

Get a Cheap Dessert

Some local places, like Heavenly Cupcakes, have amazing deals on treats.

Attend Festivals

Or just attend one of the many free or cheap local festivals throughout the year.

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