Sarasota’s Snowbird Season – Things to Do and Events You Won’t Want to Miss

When the winter months roll around, many people dislike having to suffer through the frigid temperatures. That’s why Florida sees a flock of snowbirds coming to enjoy their holiday season in the warmer weather. This year, why not plan to spend your snowbird season in Sarasota? Contact us today to learn more about our Lido Key rentals!

Our Lido Key accommodations provide luxury and privacy just 10 minutes away from Sarasota near all the essentials, so you can do everything you please and still have a quiet and comforting place to return to. If you’re planning an extended vacation to Sarasota this winter, here’s everything you’ll need to know.

wine drinking
via Unsplash

When is Snowbird Season in Sarasota? 

Snowbird season in Sarasota runs from the end of November (typically right after Thanksgiving) to around Easter. But many visitors won’t arrive until January, choosing to spend the holiday season at home with their loved ones. Snowbirds’ visits can vary in length anywhere from one to six months. 

Many of the snowbirds that visit Sarasota are from northern locales like New York or even Canada, but the locals will welcome you no matter where you’re from!

Where is Lido Key?

Lido Key is a barrier island located just 10 minutes away from the heart of Sarasota. It’s so close, in fact, that it’s considered part of Sarasota itself. You’ll find Longboat Key to the north, St. Armands Key and Bird Key to the east, and Siesta Key to the west.

To get to Lido Key from Sarasota, all you have to do is travel over the John Ringling Causeway bridge.

older couple walking on the beach

Lido Key Weather in the Winter

One of the biggest reasons people book Lido Key rentals in the winter is the weather. Many snowbirds are escaping unbearable temperatures far below freezing, but in Lido Key and Sarasota, you can continue wearing your flip flops and shorts even through Christmas!

For the winter months of December, January, and February, expect high temperatures in the 70s and low temperatures in the 60s. These conditions mean you can still enjoy sitting by the fire in the morning or evening while enjoying the outdoor activities throughout the day. It might be too cold to get in the pool or the ocean, but you can certainly enjoy a dip in the hot tub!

You also won’t have to worry about rain or snow during Sarasota’s snowbird season. The winter months only ever see around a 10% chance of precipitation, so you likely won’t even need an umbrella! It’s not very windy or humid, either, making for nearly perfect weather conditions every single day.

Things to Do

When you’re planning an extended stay in Lido Key and Sarasota, you’re going to need things to fill your time with! Luckily, the area has a little something for everyone, so you can pursue a hobby you already love or explore something new. The best part? You never have to be in a rush. Since you’ll be in town for a while, you have ample time to just soak up your surroundings and enjoy the local activities at your own pace.

Of course, when you’re in Florida, you have to spend time at the beach! It’s even more special being at the beach in the winter, since you get to take full advantage of avoiding the colder weather of home. For the best beaches in the area, you have to make the 15-minute trip to Siesta Key. The beaches here are world-renowned and have won countless awards. They’re also well known for their incredible shelling opportunities, so be sure to have your bucket with you when you come! You might also consider visiting Venice Beach for the chance to find a shark tooth!

For a night out on the town with the one you love, book a ticket to the Sarasota Opera! This historic location has been home to some phenomenal performances over the years, including Nabucco, Romeo & Juliet, Rigoletto, and more. When you enter, you’ll get to see the stunning décor of the 1926 building with its modern-day adaptations. As of 2020, the Opera is now in its 61st season and has been a staple of the city since its inception. If you truly love experiencing the Opera, you can even become a volunteer!

Shopping in the Sarasota area is abundant, so you can grab anything you’re looking for. St. Armands Circle is popular with locals and visitors alike, and it’s just minutes from your rental in Lido Key. You’ll find a wide range of national chains and local boutiques here, as well as several restaurants and dessert shops. Westfield South Gate is where you’ll find your big brand-name shops and department stores, and for those looking for a great deal, head to Ellenton Premium Outlets, where you can find a bargain on just about anything.

This is only the beginning of the things you can explore in the Sarasota area. Local farmer’s markets are abundant throughout the winter here, where you can pick up fresh product and meet the friendly locals. Bird watching is another popular winter hobby in the area, and the experience is best in places like Celery Fields and Oscar Scherer State Park. The Legacy Trail is great for pedestrians and bicyclists to get their exercise with a spectacular view, or if you want to relax with a hot drink, visit cafes like The Tea House or the Coffee Carousel.


Sarasota has tons of fun events happening throughout the winter, and while you’re in town for snowbird season, you can experience them all!

If you’re visiting at the beginning of snowbird season, you won’t want to miss the Siesta Key Crystal Classic. Expert sandcastle builders gather on the stunning shores of Siesta Key to show off their skills, building incredible sculptures that you truly have to see to believe. These aren’t your everyday sandcastles!

Early in December, Siesta Key also holds its annual Seafood & Music Festival. This is your one-stop destination to sample dishes from all the area’s best restaurants while listening to talented local musicians. Music selections run the gamut from jazz to Caribbean and everything in between. Maybe you can find a new favorite restaurant here, then continue to visit them as long as you’re in town!

You’ve got to experience a holiday festival during snowbird season, and the Lights in Bloom event at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the perfect thing. This location is stunning all year long, but there’s a new and exciting atmosphere when the lights illuminate the area. The landscape literally shines and brings in a warm and welcoming holiday atmosphere. 

Finally, for New Year’s, don’t miss out on the New Year’s Eve Block Party and Pineapple Drop! Even if you don’t want to stay out until midnight, you can still participate in the festivities all throughout the day. There are all kinds of vendors serving food and drinks, as well as live music to enjoy as you stroll through downtown Sarasota. There’s no better way to ring in the new year!

gorgeous view of lido key florida

Best Lido Key Accommodations

All of this and more can be found just minutes from our Lido Key vacation rentals. No matter how long you’re planning to stay throughout snowbird season, we have a long-term rental providing everything you’ll need. We are a boutique rental service that strives to treat every guest like family, so you can rest assured we’ll get to know you by name and treat you like one of our own.