Whether it’s day or night St Armands Circle “jumps” and is filled with music, piped in from outside speakers all over the Circle, along with wonderful aromas in the open air from the numerous sidewalk cafes and restaurants.
"The Circle," as it is affectionately called by locals, is truly a feast for the senses; eyes, nose, ears and heart.
It's a landmark gathering place for things to do for Sarasota locals, visitors and snowbirds alike.
With so much to see and do on “The Circle” you’ll have a hard time deciding in which direction to head first.
With about 150 stores and shops, what will be your goal; shopping at one of the quaint shops, one of the designer shops, one of the souvenir shops, an art gallery, partaking in a drink, a snack, or a meal at one of the hard to choose from indoor/outdoor gourmet restaurants, cafes or bistros and sandwich shops?
Hmmm. Tough choices, all!
The best way to enjoy St. Armands is to just set out on your adventure, unplanned, and let the day or night unfold and lead you where it may!
And, if you need to cool your heels while strolling around, there are conveniently placed park benches all around "The Circle’s" sidewalks. So you can set a spell and just do some crowd watching.
If your timing is good you may even find a weekend arts and crafts fair,
a custom classic car show or other fun outdoor event "on the Circle!"
For all of the events on the "Circle" and around Sarasota and the
Suncoast, check my
Sarasota Events Calendar.
It seems like there's always a special event of some kind going on and once a year, in January, the circus comes to St Armands Circle as it plays host to the annual induction ceremony for the "Circle's" Ring of Fame, complete with bleachers stands for the audience and a live circus band, all out doors, weather permitting.
But take your pick; there are lots of tasty places to grab a simple snack or a gourmet meal, inside or at an outdoor or open air cafe. There's even an old fashioned ice cream shop called "Scoop Daddy," a confectionery where they make candy and chocolates right before your eyes and an old fashioned Irish Pub.
Tips for enjoying St Armands Circle: If you’re coming to St Armands in the daytime during the warmer months, May – October, make sure to wear sunscreen, cool clothes, comfortable walking shoes and a hat or sun visor, as our Florida sunshine will toast you on the Circle quite quickly! But you’re never far from someplace to duck into for some cool air conditioning and shade.
To make things convenient for you there is public parking on St. Armands Circle, off the circle; A newly constructed 4 level, 500 parking spaces garage opened in February, 2019 at Madison Drive and N. Adams Drive (Gold Quadrant). Parking cost in the garage is 50 cents per hour. There's also bike storage and 5 charging stations for electric vehicles plus public restrooms and a tire inflation station.
There is an additional paid public parking lot at S. Adams Drive and Monroe Drive (Aqua Quadrant). (To identify the Color Quadrants look for the color banners on the lamp posts.).
There are 40 pay stations and six traditional single head parking meters for on street parking around St. Armands Circle. Rates are according to the color-coded zones around the circle and range from 75 cents to $1.50 per hour based on proximity and convenience.
There are 186 FREE unrestricted parking spaces located north of Madison Drive on North Boulevard of the Presidents and south of Monroe Drive on South Boulevard of the Presidents.
Metered on street parking: Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Free Saturday, Sunday and City Holidays.
Garage parking: Monday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Free Sunday and City Holidays.
You may use a credit or debit card, coins or the ParkMobile app.
Directions: From Sarasota, take Rt. 41 through the Bay front/downtown area of Sarasota and over the John Ringling Bridge (southwest) to "The Circle."