The baby was crying. The toddler was whining about his juice being in the wrong cup. The dog was barking. The clock was ticking. Do I even have to mention that the tension was mounting?
And just then, like an angel walking through the front door filling the living room with glorious daylight as a choir of cherubs sang her praises, my sister-in-law arrived to take over watching the kids.
Staycation Mode: Activated.
My husband and I knew we wanted to stay close when we decided on taking a night away from our two kids for our wedding anniversary. Rather than going north or south, we chose to take in the sights of our own city like temporary tourists. I can count on one hand the amount of times we have ventured out together, and I can count on a fist how many times in the last year we’ve spent a night away together.
If you’re in this same parenting boat, then grab an oar and let’s cruise around to some the best spots to help plan your own Sarasota staycation.
Where To Stay
Our accommodations for this night away were at the trendy Aloft located in downtown Sarasota. It had all the amenities of a hot destination hotel nestled just a few minutes away from our house — which were requirements for our personal staycation.
Fortunately, Sarasota has a cluster of convenient and luxurious hotel properties just around the corner from downtown, including Hotel Indigo, Ritz Carlton, and the Hyatt Regency.
Looking for a beach front stay? The Lido Beach Resort and Holiday Inn at Lido Beach are two other highly recommended options if a view of the beach is what you seek.
Where To Eat
Restaurants in downtown Sarasota range from casual to fine dining and picking a spot from the fabulous selection is something my husband always looks forward to as a die-hard foodie. Boca, Lila, and Indigenous are just some of the noteworthy spots to check out, while staples like Mattison’s, Caragiulos, and Louis’ Modern are always solid choices too. We actually gave The Coolinary restaurant a try, and I was smitten with their vanilla mule cocktail and crab cake appetizer.
What To Do
After dinner, we strolled around downtown and took in some of the art galleries that were still open. We happened to be out on a Gator Club block party night and Lemon Avenue was buzzing with live music and food truck vendors. In fact, a lot of the bars had live music playing which just added to the carefree atmosphere permeating down Main Street. We popped in to grab dessert and a drink at Lila and were almost tempted to start dinner all over again, but figured our time would be better spent back at the hotel, doing what every parent wants to do on a kid-free night…SLEEP!
Waking up blissfully well-rested without anyone jumping on us or crying was an amazing change of pace. We could have taken a walk around the marina at Bayfront Park or scoured the beach at sunrise looking for shark teeth, but apparently the insides of our eyelids were the only view we wanted that morning.
We continued our staycation by stopping by Kawha Coffee to grab some caffeine and then headed over to The Breakfast House on Fruitville for some delicious homestyle brunch with an island flair. Some of our other favorite breakfast spots include Shore on St. Armands Circle, Made, and Station 400. The Blue Rooster also has their lively gospel brunch on Sunday mornings that is a great way to kick off your day, if that’s your jam.
We couldn’t possibly come home without gifts, because parent guilt. So we wandered around the village shoppes near Gillespie, and picked up a stuffed animal for each kiddo at this great little consignment shop.
Best Decision Ever
Arriving home, we felt like rockstars. Minus the booze and groupies. The look on our kids’ faces were so warm and welcoming. The night away was just what the family needed to reset and truly appreciate one another’s company once again. The kids had a great time with their aunt and we had a great time just being a couple, if only for a night.
Feeling maxxed out? Consider tapping a family member and treating yourself to a little R&R right in your own backyard. Everyone else vacations here. Why shouldn’t you? Take advantage of the treasure that is Sarasota and plan your staycation sooner than later. You’ll be glad you did.