When my husband and I travel, we love to look for spots where we can enjoy live music and a local IPA. When I travel with my daughter, we enjoy looking for trendy restaurants that have creative cuisine and a cool atmosphere for dinner. When I travel with my grandchildren, I aim to find daytime activities that don’t interfere with nap time like a great playground and outdoor casual lunches.
By looking for these experiences we feel like we are exploring our vacation destination more like a local. Once we are then at the experience, we look to talk to those around us to figure out what other great things there are to do around town. Because of this cycle that so many consumers use when vacationing, we at Visit Sarasota County want to connect those visiting our website with just this kind of information. We’ve always had a “Deals” section of our website, but this summer we are working hard with our industry to ensure they get their offerings up on our website.
What is a deal? Historically our industry tends to look at deals more as hotels offering a percentage off, or buy three nights, get the fourth night free for a Florida resident. But to explore like a local, it goes so far beyond that. Right now we’re urging our hospitality industry to tell us what deals they have going on – and boy, have they responded!
First off, remember Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week? Oh, you know, the time of year each June when participating area restaurants offer prix fixe meals? Well, one of the best deals going this summer on our website are the restaurants that are extending that offering throughout the summer such as Amore Restaurant, Farlow’s on the Water, Bohemios Wine and Beer Tapas Bar, Chef Rolf’s New Florida Kitchen, Flavio’s, and Andrea’s to name a few.
Speaking of restaurants, Michael’s on East is offering lots of fun summer promotions and deals. For example this summer they have Wine Lover Thursdays, Give Back Tuesday’s and Double Points Saturdays! Like Happy Hour? Try Circo, a fabulous bourbon and taco joint in Downtown Sarasota offering specials daily from 2-6 p.m. on margaritas, poutine, chicharonnes, and chips and salsa – all ranging from $3 to $5!
Like to shop? We have offers for you too! Check out The Mall at University Town Center that is offering up a Passport to Shopping. Looking for an attraction to visit? The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is offering $2 off until September 30 for those noting this deal!
As you can see, deals are plentiful here on our Cultural Coast, and we want to ensure our visitors know how to explore and enjoy our home like a local. And we as locals know them – and love to experience them.
How can you help?
Tell your favorite area businesses to upload their deals to our website, VisitSarasota.com. Deals will be easily found on the homepage of our site, and we have an integrated campaign running this summer to ensure these area businesses and their deals will be highlighted on our website, content, social media channels, and more.
You also can help our visitors explore your favorite deal and area businesses by posting on Facebook or Instagram and using #FunInThe941 as a hashtag so we’ll see it and be able to share it to our audiences! By you sharing with us – and allowing us to share it – you’ll be helping our local businesses shine and thrive!
Let’s keep our businesses busy this summer with guests coming through those doors. Help other locals – and visitors – see the very best our community has to offer – and have Fun in the 941!
Virginia Haley is the president of Visit Sarasota County. She can be reached at 941-955-0991 or [email protected]