2019 Awards, Accolades and More!

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From the “Best City for Vegans” to one of the “Most Desirable Places to Live”, Southwest Florida continued with its trend of national recognitions in 2019. We’ve compiled a list below so you can see them all in one star-studded place!

Superior Cities

The Best Cities for Vegans in America | Sarasota
Avocado toast, vegan mac and cheese, kale salads. The vegan lifestyle is on the rise and well-placed for the food revolution, Sarasota was named No. 1 by Rent.com in the top 50 cities for vegans with 25.98 vegan restaurants per 100,000 people.

125 Best Places to Live in the USA | Sarasota
Coming in strong at No. 18, Sarasota shined as U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on the quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there.

The 20 U.S cities where everyone’s moving to | Punta Gorda & North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (No. 5)
Using data from the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program, Business Insider found that people are flocking to Florida. Ranked at No. 5, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton had a migration of 140,889 people between 2010 and 2018 (or 20.1% of its 2010 population) and Punta Gorda clocked in at No. 3 with 35,551 people (or 22.8% of its 2010 population).

Top Master-Planned Communities for Housing Starts | Lakewood Ranch & West Villages
Lakewood Ranch was named the No. 1 master-planned community in the nation for housing starts with 1,561 new annual home starts as of the second quarter while West Villages ranked sixth nationwide with 876 annualized starts.

Best Cities to Live in Florida | Venice & Englewood
The US Chamber of Commerce ranked Florida cities by employment, housing, quality of life, education, and health, finding Venice (at No. 2) and Englewood (at No. 10) in the top ten. Venice was touted for its “thriving arts district, with the largest community theater in the country and a long stretch of beautiful coastline”.

25 Most Desirable Places to Live in the US in 2019 | Sarasota
US News and World Report cites Sarasota’s year-round warm weather and beaches contributing to its position in the No 20 spot in a compilation determined by affordability, job market and population growth due to net migration.

Best Wellness Environment | Lakewood Ranch
ideal-LIVING, a Southern living and real estate magazine named Lakewood Ranch to its “Best Wellness Environment” category recognized for its wellness-centered master planning, extensive recreational amenities, and health-conscious lifestyle program.

Ready for Retirement

Where should we retire? | Punta Gorda
MarketWatch.com rounded up a list of retiree-friendly warm-weather spots where the cost of living is below average and the housing is affordable. Other bonuses? A low crime rate, friendly vibes, and proximity to the beach.

7 great places to retire | Sarasota, Punta Gorda, Venice
Tax-friendly with no state income tax and permanent residents eligible for homestead exemption, our Florida cities of Sarasota (No. 1), and Punta Gorda (No. 5), and Venice (No. 7) were included in this illustrious list from Kiplinger.

10 Best of the Best Places to Retire | Sarasota
Singing Sarasota’s praises, topretirements.com credited the culture, a great downtown, and beautiful beaches among the reasons Sarasota took the No. 2 spot.

America’s 10 Fastest-Growing Retirement Hot Spots | Punta Gorda
A massive surge of retirees is reshaping real estate markets across the country and Punta Gorda nabbed the top spot on Realtor.com’s list with 47% of the population over 60 years old and a median list price of $275,100

50 Best Master-planned Communities in the United States | Lakewood Ranch
Lakewood Ranch is one of nine master-planned communities in Florida to be recognized by Where to Retire.

Beautiful Beaches

The Best Places to Live Near the Beach in the U.S. | Sarasota
Presenting the best places that offer access to the ocean, sand, and sunshine, Sarasota was named No. 3 in the nation by U.S. news.

Best Beach Towns to Live in | Sarasota, Venice
Wallethub.com shared many beach towns that are suitable to everyday life — and easy on the wallet, naming Sarasota (No. 6) and Venice (No. 10) among them.

The 50 Most Affordable Beaches in the U.S. | Siesta Key
Free parking and a friendly price for sunscreen, water, fish tacos, beer, cocktails, and accommodations were taken into consideration as Siesta Key was named to the No. 15 position.

10 Happiest and Healthiest Places to Live on the Beach | North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton
According to Coastal Living, Florida’s Gulf Coast is basically “Disneyland for happy grown-ups”, ranking North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton to fourth place.

Wanna Getaway?

10 Best Affordable Honeymoon Spots in the US | Sarasota
With an average nightly hotel price of $162, Liveability.com recommended visiting Sarasota instead of the Mediterranean, wearing something Lilly Pulitzer-esque, and making sure you stop by The Ringling.

Country’s best cities to make it a quickie getaway | Sarasota
To create the “America’s Best Cities for a Quickie Index,” Hotwire analyzed more than 10,000 internal and external data points across 250 cities based on value, convenience, and leisure scores. Sarasota faired well among those looking to make the most of a one, two, or three-day getaway.

14 Classic Southern Weekend Escapes | Boca Grande
A bastion of Old Florida elegance and relaxed sophistication, the Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande made a cameo on this list of beloved Southern getaways.

Best (Maybe Unexpected) Places to Visit in Spring & Summer | Sarasota
Livability.com rounded up seven picturesque cities, including Sarasota, where quieter seasons don’t take away from vivid attractions and activities to experience and reminisce about later.

Real Estate Recognitions

Top Markets to Watch | Sarasota
Unique Homes selected markets that are top-performing, transitioning, or emerging under-the-radar locations and included Sarasota to the mix, noting a reimaging of the waterfront (The Bay Sarasota), growing cultural programming, increasing median prices, new construction and interest from those living in high-tax states.

Destination Highlights

Top 25 American Film Schools | Ringling College of Art + Design
The Hollywood Reporter hands out the annual grades to the colleges and universities — from USC to NYU — that are molding the entertainment industry’s next generation of geniuses. Ringling College moved up 9 spaces in 2019 to No. 16 with the completion of its Studio Labs complex.

Best Botanical Garden Lights | Selby Gardens
USA Today compiled on their 10Best list a look at botanical gardens across the United States with the best seasonal light shows. Local favorite Selby Gardens was lauded for their more than 2 million lights during Lights in Bloom.

Worlds Best Hospitals | Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Recognized every year for its quality of care, Sarasota Memorial Hospital was named to this elite list by Newsweek.