Arts, culture, cream-colored beaches, and bath-warm seas all converge on Sarasota, making Sarasota rentals an unsurprising favorite among vacationers to the Sunshine State. Choose to come here and you can trace 500 years of conquistador history at Spanish Point, see ancient Greek relics in the John and Mable Ringling Museum, or laze on the shimmering sands of Siesta Key. Your trip, your choice.

Discover the range of Sarasota vacation rentals

First thing's first – you need to decide precisely what sort of Sarasota vacation rental you're looking for. Will it be a slick city flat near the art museums or a salt-washed cabana on the keys? Do you need space for the pooch? Extra rooms for the family?

A home that welcomes the pet

Some travelers simply can't imagine a vacay that doesn't involve the pup. Thankfully, Fido is welcome to see the masterworks of Sarasota's art exhibitions and chase sticks in the 17th Street Paw Park, so long as you score one of the homes that has a pet-friendly policy.

No shortage of luxurious rentals in Sarasota, FL

There are a select special few rentals in Sarasota that promise a real sanctuary where you can live the high life and be pampered on your Floridian escape. From sumptuous country houses built like French chateaux to modern ocean-view villas, these are the five-star stays that you'll never want to leave. And that's not even mentioning the indoor pools, the sprawling private gardens, the steaming Jacuzzi baths – it's irresistible stuff.

Sarasota beach rentals – right on the sands

From Manasota Key in the south to Longboat Key in the north, the coastline around Sarasota is nothing short of jaw dropping. The powder here is sugar white and talcum soft. The waters glint in shades of blue and green. And there are plenty of alluring villas and condos that pop up just meters from the shore.

A neighborhood guide for anyone booking Sarasota rentals

Knowing where to go in Sarasota is all important. This city ranges from a buzzing Downtown out to barrier isles that resemble the laid-back Caribbean, so different neighborhoods offer totally different types of vacation.

Siesta Key – the best beaches around

Ask any local where to head for the best beaches in Sarasota and they'll often go straight to Siesta Key. It's regularly hailed as one of the finest stretches of sands in the world, with rare turtle nesting areas and pink-tinged powder. You can get there on the 758 bridge straight from South Sarasota, and discover beautiful white-painted condo blocks that'll have you sleeping just steps from the palm trees.

Downtown Sarasota, where there's plenty to do

Citrus-themed blocks and colorful shopping precincts meet at Main Street, while verdant rainforest gardens tower over waxy orchids in the nearby Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and the vast John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art sits just up the road. Welcome to Downtown Sarasota, a place to grab a vacation home if you're on the quest for culture.

Anna Maria Island is worth a look, beach lovers

Seven whole miles of uber-clean public-access beachfront awaits on the western edge of Anna Maria Island. Less than 30 minutes from the heart of Sarasota, this is a great alternative to Siesta Key, with rentals that can often be a little more affordable and romantic – think low-rise cottages between orange trees and sea grapes.

Chasing cheap deals in Sarasota vacation home rentals

There's no reason why you should smash the travel budget when searching for amazing vacation rentals in Sarasota, FL. Follow the tips below and it's likely that the cost of your perch in this vibrant arts and beach town will drop to something altogether kinder to the bank account.

Sarasota vacation rentals on the beach – a no go

From Siesta Key to Anna Maria Island, there's lots to be said for Sarasota vacation rentals on the beachfront. But those ocean views, those fresh salt breezes, and those swimming pools by the shore all tend to crank up prices. You can save loads and still sleep a stroll from the Gulf of Mexico by opting for lettings just a block or two behind.

Seasonal spikes and dips

Like so many resort hotspots in south-central Florida, Sarasota sees considerable peaks in the cost of vacay homes around Christmas and spring break. Dodge those lively crowds and you might find a bargain, especially if you're willing to risk a few tropical storms in seasons like late summer and fall.

Book as early as you can

The name Sarasota is legendary for many a sun seeker and snowbird. That means this town's rentals are always in demand. To ensure you still have the pick of any great bargains, you'll want to try and get in there early, before the wallet-friendly deals are all snapped up.