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Safe, Affordable Suburbs in Sarasota

Thinking about living in Sarasota? This Florida Gulf Coast city is one of the best places to live near the ocean, offering great housing options, a strong job market, waterfront views, and excellent outdoor recreation. If you’re moving to the Sarasota area, here are five safe, affordable suburbs to consider settling down in!

Bee Ridge

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  • Home Price: $249,900 median purchase price; $1,477 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 70% of Florida cities
  • Perfect for: Families, retirees

If you’re looking for a great place to live in the Sarasota area, look no further than Bee Ridge! This suburb offers a quiet, friendly community about 20 minutes from Downtown Sarasota, with housing options that range from cozy cottages to coastal-style ranches. Dog owners will enjoy Bee Ridge’s sparse suburban feel, with lots of options for long walks or play—and if you need a relaxing getaway, you can quickly escape to Siesta Key, an eight-mile-long island that’s home to one of the best beaches in the world. Additionally, families in this area appreciate close proximity to several highly-rated schools like Ashton Elementary School and Sarasota Middle School, while commuters have easy access to Clark Rd and I-75!

Things to Do in Bee Ridge

Walk the dog or go on a scenic jog at Urfer Family Park. Take the kids on a bike ride through the Legacy Trail, starting at Ashton Trailhead. Book a saltwater fishing charter and try your hand at tarpon fishing near the coast of Sarasota with Hook One Fishing Charters. Play a game of mini golf or practice your swing at the driving range at Evie’s Family Golf Center before grabbing some Chili Cheese Fries or Chicken Tenders from Evie’s Tavern & Grill. Enjoy Mexican entrees like the Tacos Sudados, Steak Quesadilla, or Pancho Nachos at Mi Pueblo. Feast on delicious Italian dishes like Spaghettini with Pesto, Chicken Scarpariello, or Grandma’s Smashed Meatball Pizza at Cafe Barbosso. Start with a Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail followed by Chicken Mad Thai or Pan Seared Cod for dinner at Madfish Grill. Or meet up with friends for local brews like the Peach Berliner or Watermelon Seltzer and bites like Fish Dip and The PigFish Salad at Calusa Brewing.

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  • Home Price: $192,800 median purchase price; $1,158 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 28% of Florida cities
  • Perfect for: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Known as “The Friendly City,” Bradenton boasts a welcoming, close-knit community near the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Living in this Sarasota suburb offers an inviting combination of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and recreational opportunities where residents can enjoy the waterfront views and laid-back coastal lifestyle that Florida offers. Neighbors connect during frequent community events like the Bradenton Public Market, Music in the Park, and more, while Historic Downtown Bradenton—a vibrant social hub—lends itself to the suburb’s artistic culture. Additionally, parents can send their kids to great Florida schools like Manatee High School and nearby Freedom Elementary School. There’s also easy access to good healthcare at HCA Florida Blake Hospital, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Riverside Medical Center, and more.

Things to Do in Bradenton

Sign up for Gentle Yoga with Manatees, Sidewalk Astronomy, Backyard Science, or other engaging and educational events at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature. See exotic plants in the Hidden Garden Nursery, walk along the Rare Fruit Trail, or check out local artists during Art in the Park at the Palma Sola Botanical Park. Stroll through local art galleries or shop for new pieces during Third Saturday Markets at the Village of the Arts—known locally as The Village. Take the family to see pro drag racing at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Start your day off with a Raging Breakfast Burrito, Crab Omelet, or a Bananas Foster Waffle from Sage Biscuit Cafe. Stop for an Italian lunch and share a Bianca Pizza, Short Rib Ravioli, or Mix Cheese Platter at Arte Caffe Italian Bakery. Enjoy a plate of Asian Lettuce Wraps, Fish Tacos, or Chickpea Hummus for your mid-day meal at PIER 22. Or try fairytale-themed menu items like Happy End, Princess Island, and other authentic German dishes from Lucky Frog Restaurant.


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  • Home Price: $275,600 median purchase price; $1,639 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 64% of Florida cities
  • Perfect for: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Want to live in a safe, affordable area within minutes of Downtown Sarasota? Fruitville is the place to be! This large Sarasota suburb offers a little something for everyone—including coastal-style ranches and budget-friendly apartments, a variety of shopping and dining options, easy access to outdoor recreation, and great schools like Fruitville Elementary School and McIntosh Middle School! Residents also appreciate the Fruitville Grove Farm Market, which helps the community connect through frequent events like Goat Yoga and seasonal farmers’ markets. And with I-75 running right through the center of this Sarasota suburb, you’ll have no problem traveling to other parts of the Sarasota metro area.

Things to Do in Fruitville

Take the kids to the playground or play a game of tennis at Fruitville Park. Kayak through restored wetlands and take in the sight of over 200,000 aquatic plants at The Celery Fields. Bring your pup to a dog play date, meet up with friends for a game of softball, or try your hand at archery at 17th Street Park. Meet a two-toed sloth up close, do yoga with a fox, or feed lions and bears at Big Cat Habitat. Get your breakfast food fix with a Biscuit Sandwich, Avocado Toast, or Chia Bowl at Buttermilk Handcrafted Food. Try the Shrimp Scargot, Fried Clam Strips, or Cod-Zilla Fish Sandwich for dinner at Kacey’s Seafood & More. Grab takeout dishes like Egg Rolls, Salmon Teriyaki, or Fried Pork Dumplings from Asian restaurant Ginza. Or unwind with a live show and a Circus City IPA, Hawaiian Lion Porter, or Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat Ale at Big Top Brewing Company.


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  • Home Price: $161,300 median purchase price; $994 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 24% of Florida cities
  • Perfect for: Families, retirees

Nestled near the waters of Terra Ceia Bay and Manatee River, Palmetto offers a blend of accessibility, community, and privacy—with housing options that include cozy cottages, modern condos, and charming ranches. The area’s waterfront views and lush green spaces make this Sarasota suburb ideal for Florida residents who want to spend time outside. You can get to know your neighbors during festivals and events like the Manatee County Fair, Palmetto Market, Children’s Parade & Party in the Park, and the Manatee Annual Taco Fest. And if you’re looking for historic charm, the Palmetto Historic District in the center of town is a quaint area dating back to the early 20th century!

Things to Do in Palmetto

Attend annual events like Palmetto’s Heritage Festival or learn about the city’s history at the Manatee County Agricultural Museum. Spot numerous species of native birds while strolling through the Palmetto Estuary Preserve. Go hiking through miles of trails or try kayaking through the Manatee River at Emerson Point Preserve. Beat the heat with a swim and watch your kids play on the waterslides at the Lincoln Aquatic Center. Sip on Lavender Moon Milk, Pineapple Whip, Purple Rain, and other signature drinks from Tenth Street Coffee. Fill up on the Farmer’s Breakfast, Popeye Omelet, or a Riverwalk Skillet from D’s Breakfast & Burgers. Get your seafood fix with Maple Miso Salmon, Caribbean Mahi Mahi, or Gulf Shrimp & Grits at Mila’s on the Manatee. Or celebrate date night with one of four different dining experiences while enjoying views of the water at Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant.

South Gate Ridge

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  • Home Price: $256,400 median purchase price; $1,375 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 60% of Florida cities
  • Perfect for: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Looking for affordable homes in the Sarasota area? South Gate Ridge is known for its budget-friendly bungalows, cottages, and Mid-Century ranches. But great housing isn’t all this suburb offers! South Gate Ridge is centrally located, providing residents with a quick commute into the city—and if you’re working in healthcare, you’ll find the Sarasota Children’s Clinic, Cancer Center of Sarasota-Manatee, Sarasota Medical Center, and more nearby. South Gate Ridge also offers access to well-rated schools like Wilkinson Elementary School and Riverview High School, as well as nearby parks and green spaces.

Things to Do in South Gate Ridge

Go hiking, fishing, or biking at Red Bug Slough Preserve. Catch high school baseball games with the family at RAMS Baseball Complex, or spend an afternoon picnicking and getting some fresh air on the softball pitch at Bee Ridge Park. Shop for hanging airplants, tabletop gardens, and figurines at the locally-owned Airplantation. Settle in for brunch with dishes like the Western Omelette, Russian Blintzes, or Banana Pancakes at Millie’s. Order house-made pasta dishes like Capellini Pescatore, Shrimp Scampi, and Pappardelle Alla Bolognese at Chianti. Choose from traditional Greek meals like Spanakopita, Moussaka, Stifado, and more at The Greek Taverna. Sample beers like the Red Bug Slough Amber, Mango Siesta, or Lazy Gator Lite Lager at Brew Life Brewing—”Sarasota’s smallest brewery!” Or kick back and relax with craft beers, cocktails, and wines by the glass at PaddyWagon Irish Pub.


Moving to Sarasota? Extra Space Storage has storage facilities throughout the Sarasota area so we can help with your transition. Find self storage near you!

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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.