Celebrate July Fourth Weekend with Top To-Do’s Around St. Armands Circle


t’s tough to beat the purple and orange hues of our world-famous Sarasota sunsets, but this July 4th weekend will give those sunsets a run for their money. With fireworks painting the night skies over Sarasota Bay and the city abuzz with the revelry of celebrating the stars and stripes, St. Armands Circle is the place to be to enjoy a day of shopping, dining and the all-around merry-making locals and visitors alike have come to enjoy. Whether you spend the day, grab a hotel for the night or treat yourself to a whole weekend getaway, here is your ultimate guide to making your time on the Circle special this Fourth of July weekend.

Enjoy the dazzling fireworks show

With the state-of-the-art St. Armands parking garage, spending hours on the Circle has never been more convenient. Grab an elegant dinner from any one of the global cuisines represented on the Circle, then work off some of the calories with a walk to the top of the Ringling Bridge to catch the best fireworks show in the region. With the glittering lights of the Sarasota skyline as a backdrop and the picturesque view over the still waters of the Bay, the fireworks show definitely gives our famous sunsets a run for their money.

The perfect beach day

Enjoy the turquoise waters of nearby Lido Beach

Every perfect beach day starts with a hearty breakfast. Whether you’re a steak-and-eggs gourmand, a lover of fancy crepes, a health-conscious diner looking for juices and smoothies, or if you’re just looking for a quick cup of joe, St. Armands has you covered. On your way to the beach, pick up a nice pair of sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat from a locally owned retail shop or a comfy beach chair and umbrella to help you enjoy the sunshine in comfort. Then cool off with a couple scoops of ice cream in the shade or a tropical and refreshing piña colada.

A day out on the water

Looking at the water from a beach chair is nice but getting out on the water is even better. If you’re more of a biology buff, book a nearby eco-tour and come face-to-face with our native wildlife like manatees, dolphins, ospreys and more. Or, if you’re more adventurous and prefer self-directed exploration, book a kayak rental for South Lido and amble through the magical mangrove tunnels. Before heading out, grab yourself a comfortable pair of swim trunks, water shoes and an insulated water bottle to keep your water ice cold.

Don’t forget the sunsets

The Fourth of July fireworks might be your focus for July 4th, but every other day is the perfect opportunity to shoot the sunset photos that will make everyone jealous. Stroll the European-style shopping and dining district along the Circle and catch the surreal beauty of the sunset sky from a second-floor bar or restaurant. Or, if you want to see the sun make its glorious farewell into the sea, grab a dessert and walk over to the Lido Beach public access two blocks from the circle.

A song to celebrate your glorious weekend

If you’re lucky enough to live locally or to have booked an extended stay, you won’t want to miss the second installment of Songs of the Circle Summer Event on Tuesday, July 6, from 6-9 p.m. All around the Circle, solo acts and bands will offer a soundtrack to celebrate life in paradise. At every turn, catch a variety of genres from acoustic blues and country to jazz and R&B. This family-friendly and classy block party has something for everyone and is the perfect bookend to the holiday weekend, St. Armands-style.

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