2019 has been a good year for Sarasota Magazine—and for Sarasota.
At the magazine, we celebrated our 40th anniversary and feel proud and lucky to be entering our fifth decade of telling the stories of this place we love. We redesigned the magazine to reflect the look of our growing city and moved to a swanky new office in Bay Plaza, one of the coolest Sarasota School of Architecture buildings in town. We even have views of Sarasota Bay. We won 21 editorial, design and digital excellence awards from the Florida Magazine Association, more than any other magazine in the state. We also won four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.
We’ve reached 4 million page views on our website, and our social media is booming, with 33,241 followers on Facebook and 18,000 on Instagram at press time. These are huge numbers for a magazine in a small city. Our success could not have been achieved without our talented staff—but it’s also a product of the power of Sarasota, a city that draws accomplished and involved people (and readers) from all over the world.
Sarasota also won its share of accolades this year. Two of the most important: U.S. News and World Report named us one of the 25 most desirable places to live in the United States and the No. 2 place to retire in America.
We know there are plenty of reasons to feel despondent (national politics), anxious (the specter of climate change and sea level rise), and irritated (all those orange cones, barricades and detour signs as you drive around town). But you’re in a place that people all over the country admire and aspire to. Chances are the sky is a deep, joyful blue, and Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico waters are shimmering. And whether you are a first-time visitor or longtime resident, there’s always something informative, entertaining or inspiring to do. As you’ll read in this issue, a new museum—the Sarasota Art Museum is about to open, and our editors have put together an insider’s guide with 77 engaging experiences and activities.
My own personal insider tip? Walk the Ringling Bridge in the early morning before the traffic rush. To watch the sunrise while pelicans dive for fish and to pass all sorts of other walkers and runners greeting the day is an uplifting and distinctly Sarasota experience. You might even see “the joggler” (a man who juggles as he runs across the bridge—click here).
“I like to make people happy,” he told us. Here at the magazine, that’s one of our aims, too.
Welcome to our Visitor’s Annual.