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Main Street Sarasota

Sarasota is at the Top of Many Lists

| Sande Caplin |

Sarasota has been receiving a lot of noteworthy praise, and ranking high on a number of topics from hospitals to residents’ satisfaction.  Earlier this year, the Bradenton-Sarasota-North Port metropolitan area received the No.1 Well-Being Index score among the most populous communities in the U.S., according to the Gallup-Heathways Well-Being Index.  Criteria measured residents’ easy access to healthcare and healthy dietary options, opportunities to exercise and stay in shape, ways to use their talents and to learn new things and the safety of their surroundings.

Access to good hospitals and medical clinics is readily available in Sarasota and evidenced by the July ranking of Sarasota Memorial Hospital as the top hospital in the region by U.S. News & World Report.  They also tied for seventh place among all Florida hospitals for overall quality and care.  Sarasota Memorial Hospital has been overseeing improvements on its Waldemere Avenue campus as well as furthering expansions into North Port and Venice.

If you’re wondering how our colleges are doing, Sarasota’s New College of Florida was ranked as the No. 4 public liberal arts school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, in their annual ranking of the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges for 2016.  New College of Florida has received similar accolades based on their rigorous academic schedules, relatively low tuition, and level of graduates who go on to master’s programs or have success finding a career in their field of study.

Retirees are not left out of the ranking, as Sarasota made top billing on Kiplinger’s 10 Great Places to Retire in 2015.  Access to healthcare was critical to the assessment, and other criteria included climate, walkability, housing costs compared with the national median, tax-friendliness, culture, entertainment and access to outdoor activities.  For places that were not as affordable as others, the study used compensating factors such as amenities and location to base their decision on the top 10 places to retire.
Van Wezel Performing Arts CenterAnd we can’t let the millionaires off the hook in the rankings either.  Last week, Sarasota ranked 19th in the nation for home sales over $1 million dollars in Coldwell Banker Previews International’s Luxury Market Report.   They indicate Sarasota has 364 homes for sale on the market for $1 million dollars or more.

Seemingly, Sarasota residents are pretty happy and satisfied with their overall lifestyle and access to healthcare. That’s not to say there aren’t pressing social and economic issues that need to be solved, but there are positives, too.  Retirees love it here, no surprise there, for all the same reasons non-retirees love it here: Location, weather and amenities.  Kids have access to reputable schools that aren’t completely out of their financial reach.  And Sarasota has its fair share of mega-mansions selling for millions of dollars, and whether or not a mega mansion sells for a million dollars doesn’t affect the majority of us, it is good for the local economy when these transactions occur.  Besides, who doesn’t like to drive along Casey Key and house gawk?  We look forward to seeing how Sarasota shines in the future, in new ways, too.

Photos:  Main Street and Van Wezel, both credit of Roger W. on Flickr, commercial use allowed

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