About the Area

Close your eyes and imagine a place where a dream vacation destination meets a hub of arts, culture, education and business.

Now open them and take a look at USF Sarasota-Manatee…

Where are we?

USFSM is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida in Sarasota just south of Bradenton. To the east, just a stone’s throw away, is the Sarasota-Bradenton Area International Airport, and just miles to the west sits Siesta Key, which was designated the No.1 beach in the United States in 2011.

Did we mention that the major metropolitan cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando and Miami are all within driving distance?

Who’s next door?

Throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties, there are thousands of businesses that acknowledge the significance of USFSM being in the area. Each year, local business leaders reach out to find the brightest and best USFSM students to help elevate their businesses to the next level.

A buzzing tourism industry  thrives on our local beaches, entertainment, restaurants, shops, museums, eco-attractions and world-class venues like Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Selby Gardens and more.

At USFSM, you will experience the right mix of business and pleasure to allow you to enjoy your time here, while accessing the real-world experience needed to land a career.

What is there to do?

There is certainly no lack of fun and exciting things to do as a student at USF Sarasota-Manatee. Whether you are interested in the arts, history, science, sports, the outdoors or you just like to enjoy the spectacular restaurants and nightlife, Sarasota and Bradenton have it all. Here are just a few of the things you can do when you’re not studying, thinking, making, learning, doing, cramming, daydreaming, writing or sleeping.

Go art hopping. Galleries, studios and cafes are housed in a colorful collection of “Old Florida” bungalows in the artist communities of Burns Court, Towles Court, and Village of the Arts.

Take in the actionCatch a spring training game with the Baltimore Orioles or the Pittsburgh Pirates, or cheer on the local minor league team, the Bradenton Marauders. Or head up to Tampa to see the Rays, the Bucs or the Lightning take on the top competition from the MLB, the NFL and the NHL.

Get some sun. Siesta Key Beach, voted #1 beach in America in 2011, is 15 minutes from the university. Go camping at Turtle Beach, just a few miles south. If you’ve always wanted to try horse surfing, check out Bradenton Beach. Or go back in time and stroll the Old-Florida beach towns of Anna Maria Island and the quaint Cortez fishing village.

Get some culture. Enjoy the Circus Museum at the Ringling, or go up the road to the South Florida Museum to see woolly mammoths, planets and stars, plus the world’s oldest manatee, Snooty.

See a show. The Asolo Rep Theatre, The Players, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Manatee Players, Sarasota Opera, Florida Studio Theatre, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Circus Sarasota… Take your pick!

Cheer on the USF BullsFootball, volleyball, baseball, basketball, softball, soccer, sailing: if you’re into big-time college athletics, there’s a USF team that needs your spirit! Cheer on our very own local rowing club, or grab some friends and head up to Tampa.

Be one with nature. Find your inner gardener at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens or brave the 25-foot-high tree canopy walkway in Myakka River State Park. Grab a paddleboard or a kayak and hit Sarasota Bay or one of the many beaches in the area.

Go for a bike ride. The Legacy Bike Trail is a 10-mile trail built on the old CSX railroad corridor, and stretches along a scenic route from Sarasota to Venice. Or bike over the Ringling Causeway, past St. Armands, and on up to Holmes Beach (18 miles).