About the Area
Near the Heart of Everything
The Oaks Club is close to a wealth of natural and cultural amenities, sophisticated dining and shopping, centers of learning, and a thousand and one ways to enjoy the great outdoors.
A new report from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® ranks the 100 largest communities in the United States by their comparative well-being. North Port - Sarasota - Bradenton, Florida, has the nation’s highest well-being, followed by Urban Honolulu, Hawaii; Raleigh, North Carolina; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California; and El Paso, Texas.
Siesta Beach is the number one beach in America in the 21st Annual Top 10 Beach List, produced by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, Director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research.
Siesta Beach is seven miles from The Oaks Club, and boasts the whitest and finest sand in the world. With miles of breathtaking white beaches—from Siesta Key stretching north to Longboat Key— celebrated natural parks, botanical gardens, world-class cultural amenities, and a wide diversity of dining and shopping venues, Sarasota and beyond is the French Riviera of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The Oaks Clubs is a hop, skip, and a jump from all of the attractions and amenities that make our area so special. St. Armands Circle, with its outdoor cafes, award-winning eateries, stylish nightclubs, and boutiques, is also just down the road. And Siesta Key, with its pristine, award-winning white beaches stretching for miles alongside the sparkling turquoise Gulf waters, and eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, is a quick 10-minute drive. We’re just a short drive from downtown Sarasota’s dynamic mix of distinctive restaurants, boutiques, galleries, movie theaters, and performing arts spaces. Downtown’s Towles Court Artist Colony comprises more than 30 artists’ studios and galleries in restored 1920's bungalows, features a free art walk on the third Friday of every month. Drink in the view of the downtown skyline and Sarasota Bay at Sarasota’s Bayfront Park where there are expansive lawns to spread picnics on and a delightful fountain for kids to splash in. Fishing, sight-seeing and dinner cruises depart daily from the bustling marina. Stroll across Gulfstream Boulevard to enjoy drinks, dancing, and live music at The Ritz-Carlton’s ritzy Ca d’Zan Bar, named after circus magnate John Ringling’s mansion.
A few miles south, Venice’s historic downtown district boasts streets lined with towering palms, elegant plazas, cobblestone paths, art and antique galleries, sidewalk cafes, and chic boutiques. The Venice Symphony performs orchestral, pops, and chamber concerts, and Venice Theatre offers award-winning mainstage and cabaret productions. Venice’s Sharks Tooth Festival offers art and jewelry by more than 100 artists from around Florida, as well as live entertainment, displays of prehistoric fossils, area cuisine, and plenty of fun for kids. And, speaking of sharks, Venice Municipal Beach is a shark tooth hunter’s paradise. Divers love to investigate the coral reef, just a quarter mile offshore.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy our proximity to Oscar Scherer State Park. Fifteen miles of trails provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and wildlife viewing. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along South Creek, a blackwater stream that flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Anglers can fish along the shores of Lake Osprey, and the park offers full-facility campsites and a youth campground for memorable family campouts.
Historic Spanish Point is a 30-acre environmental, archaeological, and historic site just down the way from The Oaks Club. This land, once owned by Mrs. Potter Palmer, harbors the only museum exhibition in the world built inside of a prehistoric shell mound. Pioneer-era buildings connect visitors to a more recent time, and Mrs. Palmer’s colorful gardens delight the senses. The area's largest Butterfly Garden is a destination for nature lovers, trails wander through native coastal habitats, and a boardwalk affords stunning views of Little Sarasota Bay.
The Legacy Trail, which stretches 10 miles from Sarasota to Venice, offers the ideal opportunity to explore the area’s natural habitats. Walking, rollerblading, and bicycling on this winding path are just some of the ways you can appreciate our natural legacy. Even better? You can easily ride your bike to the trail from The Oaks Club!
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens sits on 13 acres of Sarasota Bay and maintains more than 20,000 accessioned plants. Eight greenhouses include the stunning conservatory where unusual flora can be seen year-round, and the elegant, historic mansion features ongoing nature exhibitions. Selby Gardens offers yearlong classes, workshops, and other educational programs.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is Sarasota’s crown jewel. Resting on a beautifully-landscaped, 66-acre bayfront estate, it boasts one of the world’s most extensive collections of Baroque art, John Ringling’s exquisite mansion, two circus museums, and a jewel-box of a theater, the Historic Asolo Theater. The museum offers social get-togethers, educational programs, festivals, a film series, and performances throughout the year.
The acclaimed Mote Marine Laboratory is one of the world’s few remaining private marine research laboratories. It also features a public aquarium that allows visitors to explore the secrets of the sea through touch pools, viewable-working labs, and high-tech interactive exhibits that showcase sharks, dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles, along with more than 100 other species of marine life. Parents and grandparents will enjoy the wealth of children-friendly programs, camps, and workshops.
Another great picnic spot is Ken Thompson Park on City Island, an 84-acre area with fishing piers, boat ramps, covered picnic tables, a nature boardwalk, and a playground. The park is also home to the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, a members’ sailing club that offers sailing courses, races, and daylong sailing expeditions.
Longboat Key is a picturesque, 10-mile strip where the glories of nature and civilization commingle. On the gulfside, long stretches of gleaming white sand separate the aquamarine waters from five-star hotels, resorts, luxe restaurants, and private homes. On the bayside, dense mangroves, canals, and clusters of sailboats are a visual treat. The Joan M. Durante Community Park offers 18 acres of unspoiled natural Florida, including hiking trails and a boardwalk. At the island’s northern tip, Longboat Key Village charms visitors with multicolored old Florida-style bungalows and historic homes. The art is always excellent at the Longboat Key Center for the Arts.
Feel like staying closer to home? Old Florida is alive and well at The Oaks Club. Respectful of our pristine environment, we protect the habitat of bobcats, egrets, sandhill cranes, turtles, blue herons, and other native species. We’re home to a 10-acre bald eagle preserve, which provides a safe nesting place for this noble bird. The shoreline of Little Sarasota Bay includes mangroves, beach elder, and sea myrtle growing in profusion. Inland, stately oaks and exotic palms of many varieties create a rich and colorful canopy. South Sarasota Bay still sparkles and teems with fish as it did in Mrs. Potter Palmer's day. Our corner of paradise has not been lost.