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Gulf Gate: A Mom’s Guide to the Best Sarasota Neighborhoods

As a Sarasota native, I feel so blessed to be raising my children in the city I grew up in. I was especially delighted when my husband and I were able to purchase a home in the Gulf Gate neighborhood, just minutes away from my childhood home. I have lived in a few different places in Sarasota over the years, but Gulf Gate will always have a special place in my heart.

What is your favorite part about raising kids here? 

Of the many incredible reasons I love raising my kids in Gulf Gate, my favorite part is how safe I feel living there. There is nothing more important than your family’s safety and Gulf Gate has given us a wonderful sense of security! I can comfortably pack the kids up and take them on a walk just about anywhere without any anxiety. Our neighborhood is filled with kids riding their bikes and families walking after dinner. It is truly picturesque.

What makes Gulf Gate family friendly?

I can’t stress this perk enough to families considering moving to the Gulf Gate area — you are five minutes away from EVERYTHING! Target (all the moms throw up the praise hands!), Publix, the beach, a brand new library with a fantastic kids section, top notch schools, and great restaurants.

When our boys were newborns and hated the car, this was an incredible blessing. But even as they grow older the quick commutes have really come in handy. Crabby toddler? You can pack ’em up and be at a park in 5 minutes! I promise you, this perk alone is totally worth the move! 

What are local attractions and events in or near Gulf Gate?

One of my favorite memories from growing up in Gulf Gate was the Sunday Night Drum Circle on Siesta Key Beach! We would pack up a picnic basket, head down in the afternoon and stay until the sun set! Nowadays, the beach pavilion is hopping with food, drinks and snacks which saves you the hassle of the picnic basket and the Publix run on the way in!

Tucked away behind the Westfield Sarasota Square Mall, is Potter Park — one of my favorite places to take the kids! When they are a bit older they will love the Water Park and Splash Pad (admission required), but for now, the playground keeps them occupied all afternoon and has ample shade! You can learn more about Potter Park here.


Why would you recommend it to other families?

I might sound like a broken record, but safety and peace of mind is my number one reason for recommending it to families. The incredible schools in the district make it an easy sell for tons of Sarasota families as well! If you don’t like moving every 3-5 years, you will be happy to hear that we recently reconnected with our next door neighbor growing up and we were pleasantly surprised to hear that everyone who lived on our street growing up still lives there! It just goes to show that people truly do fall in love with Gulf Gate and stay for a long time. 

What schools do kids go to?

You are right in the center of one of Sarasota’s best school districts! Gulf Gate Elementary, Sarasota Middle, and Riverview High School (their IB program is nationally recognized) are consistently given “A” ratings year after year.

You can learn more about each of these schools here:

Gulf Gate Elementary:

Sarasota Middle School:

Riverview High School:

Why would you recommend Gulf Gate as a best neighborhood in Sarasota?

Gulf Gate gives you the authentic Sarasota feel with all the comforts of your favorite stores, restaurants, and parks just a quick drive away. It isn’t overgrown, or over developed, the homes have so much charm and history, and your neighbors take pride and invest in the area. Unlike much of Sarasota, you see much less construction and the traffic doesn’t slow you down. If you love Sarasota, but don’t love cookie cutter neighborhoods, I would highly recommend Gulf Gate!

Where are your favorite places to shop in Gulf Gate?

Gulf Gate has all the Florida mom favorites like Publix, Target and Kohl’s just a few minutes away, but there are also some sweet mom and pop places too!  

Sarasota Trophy

If your sports team or business needs trophies or plaques, Sarasota Trophy is the place to go. I have used them personally and professionally and not only were they very pleasant to work with, but they also were conveniently located right in my back yard! I guarantee the end product will be beautiful and you get the personal touch that only a local business can give you. To learn more, check them out here-

Gulf Coast Model Railroad & Hobby Shop

Do you have a child who loves all things choo choo trains? Look no further than Gulf Coast Model Railroad & Hobby Shop. Their extensive selection and incredibly friendly staff are reason enough to check it out even if you aren’t a train enthusiast! They have a really sweet set up and our boys love going to see the model trains all set up. For more information check out their website here –

Sprouts Farmers Market

When I’m not shopping at Publix, “Where Shopping is a pleasure,” 😉 you can find me at Sprouts Farmers Market! Although they are the #newkaleintown they are quickly growing to be a local favorite. With their unbelievably low produce prices and high quality, Sprouts is a no brainer for this SRQ mom! I love it so much, I wrote a whole blog about it here –  You can also defer to their website here-

What are some of your favorite restaurants in Gulf Gate?

If you love Italian food, but can’t find an authentic place in town, look no further than Il Panificio! Once you finish there, get some dessert at Heavenly Cupcakes — aptly named I assure you! Take a walk about the Gulf Gate shops and fall in love even more with the area! 


Il Panificio:

Heavenly Cupcakes:

What neighborhoods in the area would you recommend?

From my personal experience, I would recommend both the Shade Acres and Colonial Terrace neighborhoods. Both give you security, convenience, and quaintness that Gulf Gate offers families. 

Moving to a new area can be stressful, especially if you are searching for you new home miles and miles away from your current home! I hope our neighborhood guides are helpful in your search! If you have any more questions, head to Sarasota Moms Blog and find our Neighborhood Mom Tribes and connect with moms who love raising their children in Sarasota!

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