A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Islamorada vs. Sarasota for Families, Couples, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Islamorada or Sarasota?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Islamorada or Sarasota, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Islamorada

Islamorada is a relaxing, tropical, and adventurous village. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Sarasota

Sarasota is a underrated, relaxing, and entertaining city. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Islamorada and Sarasota: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Islamorada or Sarasota?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Islamorada. Although Islamorada and Sarasota are popular destinations, Islamorada has more sights and attractions for tourists. Islamorada is very popular for its food, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and impressive beauty, while Sarasota attracts visitors for its museums. Islamorada is famous for its sportfishing, state parks, and local vibe. It is also well known for Theater of the Sea. Sarasota is famous for its sandy beaches and its fun activities.

How is Islamorada different from Sarasota?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Sarasota and Islamorada. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Islamorada or Sarasota?

Islamorada
Sarasota

Sarasota is a great city for its historical sights. Also, Islamorada is not as popular, but is still a nice village for its sights and museums.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Sarasota can be an interesting and educational experience. There are some decent museums in town such as the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, and the Ca' da'Zan. Another highlight is the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

Islamorada offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are a variety of museums and aquariums in the area such as the History of Diving Museum, the Keys History and Discovery Center, and the famous Theater of the Sea.


Is the Food Better in Islamorada or Sarasota? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Islamorada
Sarasota

Islamorada is great for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Sarasota is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Islamorada has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Has a sports fishing destination, you'll find no shortage of seafood options in the area. There are cafes and bistros that have an old school Florida Key's atmosphere. Popular dishes include grilled fish and curry seafood.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Sarasota area. You'll find plenty of seafood around town, but there are also international restaurants and quirky local joints.

Is Islamorada or Sarasota Better for Nightlife?

Islamorada
Sarasota

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find nice options in both Islamorada and Sarasota.

If you're looking for night time activities Islamorada has a few options to choose from. The nightlife consists of mostly bars and restaurants that serve cocktails and frozen drinks. There are sports bars and casual eateries where you can enjoy a drink in a relaxed atmosphere.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Sarasota. You'll find beach clubs, live entertainment such as drum circles, and plenty of bars around town. There are also evening cruises and late night parties.

Is Islamorada or Sarasota Better for Resorts?

Islamorada
Sarasota

With a similar set of options, nice resorts can be found in both Islamorada and Sarasota.

Islamorada has a handful of resorts to choose from. You'll find plenty of resorts with spas, pools or oceanfront views in the area.

With a selection of resorts, Sarasota makes a nice vacation spot. You'll find beachfront resorts with pools and nice views.


Is Islamorada or Sarasota Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Islamorada
Sarasota

Islamorada is a good destination for its diving and snorkeling. However, Sarasota is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Islamorada. There are plenty of dive shops that offer snorkeling and dive trips to the surrounding areas. You could also grab a mask and head out into the water on your own. You're sure to see some beautiful marine life.

Sarasota is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Islamorada or Sarasota Better for Beaches?

Islamorada
Sarasota

Islamorada is great for the beache. Also, Sarasota is not as popular, but is still a nice city for the beach.

Many people visit Islamorada for it's beautiful beaches. Blue water and white sand make the beaches a true paradise. Favorite beaches in the area include Anne's Beach, which has a boardwalk and mangroves, Library Beach, which is small and well maintained, Holiday Isle Beach, which is near the hotels and restaurants, and Long Key State Park, which has camping and picnic spots.

Sarasota is a good option for a beach vacation. There's no shortage of beaches in the area where you can spend a relaxing day playing the water and lounging in the sun. Siesta Key, Sarasota Gay Beach, Crescent Beach, and Coquina Beach are some of the favorites.

Is the Shopping Better in Islamorada or Sarasota?

Islamorada
Sarasota

If you're looking to go shopping, Islamorada and Sarasota both offer plenty of nice spots.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Islamorada. You'll find a few jewelry boutiques as well as sporting goods shops and souvenir stands.

Sarasota offers some nice shopping areas. Upscale shopping can be found at St. Armand's Circle. There's also Sarasota Square Mall and the Mall at University Town Center. If you want to pick up some local items you can check out Sarasota Farmers Market.


Is Islamorada or Sarasota Better for Families?

Islamorada
Sarasota

Islamorada and Sarasota are both world-class destinations for the whole family.

Islamorada is an amazing family-friendly village to visit. Theater of the Sea is a highlight for kids and adults alike. You'll have the opportunity to interact with many types of sea life including dolphins, sea lions, and even sharks. Founders Park is another great place to take the kids. You can have a picnic, hang out at the beach, or hit up the playground. There's also plenty of snorkeling and diving in the area, particularly around Alligator Reef Lighthouse.

Sarasota is an extremely popular village to visit for families. There's a huge number of hands on activities for kids and families in the area. Many families enjoy a visit to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. There are also botanical gardens, science museums, and outdoor adventure centers. Animal lovers will appreciate a visit to Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary. The city also has many performing arts and entertainment options for kids. And make sure you check out the museum dedicated to the Ringling Brothers Circus.

Is Islamorada or Sarasota Better for Couples?

Islamorada
Sarasota

Islamorada is renowned for its romantic activities. Also, Sarasota is not as popular, but is still a nice city for couples.

Islamorada is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. Couples will enjoy the resorts, spas, beaches, and adventures in the area. Head to Little Palm Spa for a little relaxation or hit up Florida Keys Brewing Company for some live music. There's also snorkeling, diving, and some good restaurants nearby as well.

Sarasota is a good village for couples to visit. A night out at St. Armands Circle is a fun way to spend the evening. There are also sunset cruises, nice restaurants, comedy clubs, and more.

Is Islamorada or Sarasota Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Islamorada
Sarasota

Sarasota is adequate for times when you don't have a car. However, Islamorada is not known for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Sarasota. There's a bus system around town but most visitors depend on their own car for transportation.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Islamorada. There's no real public transit in the area and you must have your own vehicle.


Is Islamorada or Sarasota a more walkable city?

Islamorada
Sarasota

Sarasota is adequate for its walkability. However, Islamorada is not known for its high level of walkability.

Sarasota is generally not a very walkable city. While the downtown has some walkable parts, you'll need a car to access most things around town.

Islamorada is not a walkable village. Like the rest of the Florida Keys, it's not very walkable and you'll need a car to get around.

For even more information, also check out Is Islamorada Worth Visiting? and Is Sarasota Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Sarasota or Islamorada?

How long in Islamorada or Sarasota?

In either Islamorada or Sarasota, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Islamorada than Sarasota because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 4-7 days is a good amount of time for Islamorada, and 2-5 days is enough time in Sarasota.

Families should spend more time in Islamorada than Sarasota. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Islamorada, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Islamorada than Sarasota. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Islamorada that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.


  • How many days in Islamorada or Sarasota? Ideal Length of Stay
    Islamorada 4-7 
    Sarasota 2-5

One day in Islamorada or Sarasota?

The beautiful village of Islamorada offers museums and nightlife. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

With museums and nightlife around the underrated city of Sarasota, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Islamorada or Sarasota?

Islamorada is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

With nightlife and food around the destination of Sarasota, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.


Five days in Islamorada or Sarasota?

Islamorada is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Islamorada, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Sarasota, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Islamorada or Sarasota?

Islamorada is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Islamorada has to offer. This village offers something for everyone.

Sarasota is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, and The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Sarasota or Islamorada?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Islamorada is $145, while the average daily cost in Sarasota is $249. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Islamorada and Sarasota in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Islamorada $79
    Sarasota $108
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Islamorada $158
    Sarasota $216
Compare Hotels in Islamorada and Sarasota

Looking for a hotel in Islamorada or Sarasota? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Islamorada


Hotels in Sarasota


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Islamorada Hotel Prices and Sarasota Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Islamorada $28
    Sarasota -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sarasota

Also for Sarasota, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Sarasota–Bradenton Airport (SRQ) to Sarasota Round-Trip Transfer: $97
  • Private Airport Departure Transfer To Sarasota (SRQ) Airport: $24
  • Private Airport Arrival Transfer From Sarasota (SRQ) Airport: $24

Is it cheaper to fly into Islamorada or Sarasota?

Prices for flights to both Sarasota and Islamorada change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Islamorada $47
    Sarasota $137

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sarasota

For Sarasota, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Taste of Downtown Food Tour: $105
  • Downtown Walking Food Tour in Sarasota: $110
  • Sarasota Kayak and Food Tour: $165

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Islamorada $19
    Sarasota $11

Tours and Activities in Islamorada

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Islamorada.

  • Sunset Cruise in Islamorada : $90
  • 1.5 Hour (20 miles) Waverunner Tour. See Mangrove Tunnels, 20 Islands & SandBar: $225
  • Day Tour Glass Bottom Boat In Islamorada: $80
  • From Miami: Key Largo & Islamorada Private Open-Top Bus Tour: $1,515
  • Islamorada Florida Keys Sunset Sightseeing Cruise Music : $86
  • Islamorada Sandbar and Sunset Tour : $94
  • 2-Hour Snorkeling Adventure on Pontoon : $80
  • Guided Tour with Local Highlights: $95
  • Snorkel Adventure & Sandbar Trip: $130
  • Snorkel Adventure & Sandbar Trip from Cheeca Spa: $140
  • Snorkel adventure & Sandbar Trip : $150
  • Snorkel adventure & Sandbar Trip : $160

Tours and Activities in Sarasota

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sarasota.

  • Lido Key Pedal Kayak Tour in Sarasota: $75
  • Parasailing Adventure above the Gulf of Mexico: $95
  • 2 Hour Guided Stand Up Paddle Board Tour along Upper Manatee River: $65
  • 2 Hour Jet ski Rental Fast And Fun Adventure Florida Thrill : $240
  • 2 Hours Guided Robinson Preserve Mangrove Tour: $55
  • 90 minute South Florida Jet Ski Adventure Fun Thrilling : $195
  • 90-Minute Parasailing Adventure Above Anna Maria Island, FL: $75
  • Adventure and Wildlife Watch Kayak Rentals in Sarasota: $50
  • Amish Experience: Bridges to Understanding: $68
  • Bradenton: Guided Pedal Kayak Tour: $999
  • City Sightseeing Trolley Tour of Sarasota: $62
  • Clear Kayak Ecotour at Robinson Preserve in Bradenton, Florida : $69

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Islamorada $15
    Sarasota -


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Islamorada and Sarasota, we can see that Sarasota is more expensive. And not only is Islamorada much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Islamorada would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Islamorada and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Sarasota would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Sarasota than you might in Islamorada.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Islamorada Expensive? and Is Sarasota Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Islamorada or Sarasota?

Sarasota has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Islamorada. When comparing the sizes of Islamorada and Sarasota, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Islamorada or Sarasota?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Islamorada or Sarasota in the Summer?

Both Sarasota and Islamorada are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Islamorada for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Sarasota in the summer for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Islamorada is around the same temperature as Sarasota. Typically, the summer temperatures in Islamorada in July average around 84°F (29°C), and Sarasota averages at about 82°F (28°C).

It's quite sunny in Sarasota. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Islamorada. Islamorada usually receives more sunshine than Sarasota during summer. Islamorada gets 328 hours of sunny skies, while Sarasota receives 265 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Sarasota. In July, Islamorada usually receives less rain than Sarasota. Islamorada gets 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Islamorada 84°F (29°C) 
    Sarasota 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Islamorada or Sarasota in the Autumn?

Both Sarasota and Islamorada during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Islamorada in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, most visitors come to Sarasota for the shopping scene during these months.

In October, Islamorada is generally around the same temperature as Sarasota. Daily temperatures in Islamorada average around 80°F (27°C), and Sarasota fluctuates around 76°F (24°C).

In Sarasota, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Islamorada. In the autumn, Islamorada often gets more sunshine than Sarasota. Islamorada gets 258 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Sarasota receives 234 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Islamorada. Islamorada usually gets more rain in October than Sarasota. Islamorada gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, June to November in Islamorada is the hurricane season. Also, June to November in Sarasota is the hurricane season.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Islamorada 80°F (27°C) 
    Sarasota 76°F (24°C)

Should I visit Islamorada or Sarasota in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Islamorada and Sarasota. Most visitors come to Islamorada for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Sarasota because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Islamorada is a little warmer than Sarasota in the winter. The daily temperature in Islamorada averages around 70°F (21°C) in January, and Sarasota fluctuates around 59°F (15°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Sarasota this time of the year. In Islamorada, it's very sunny this time of the year. Islamorada usually receives more sunshine than Sarasota during winter. Islamorada gets 252 hours of sunny skies, while Sarasota receives 200 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Islamorada usually receives less rain than Sarasota. Islamorada gets 1.7 inches (43 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Islamorada 70°F (21°C) 
    Sarasota 59°F (15°C)

Should I visit Islamorada or Sarasota in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Islamorada as well as Sarasota. The spring months attract visitors to Islamorada because of the beaches and the natural beauty. Additionally, the beaches are the main draw to Sarasota this time of year.

In the spring, Islamorada is a little warmer than Sarasota. Typically, the spring temperatures in Islamorada in April average around 77°F (25°C), and Sarasota averages at about 73°F (23°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Sarasota. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Islamorada this time of the year. In the spring, Islamorada often gets more sunshine than Sarasota. Islamorada gets 326 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Sarasota receives 299 hours of full sun.

Islamorada usually gets less rain in April than Sarasota. Islamorada gets 0.8 inches (21 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, the hurricane season in Islamorada is June to November. Also, the hurricane season in Sarasota is June to November.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Islamorada 77°F (25°C) 
    Sarasota 73°F (23°C)

Typical Weather for Sarasota and Islamorada

Islamorada Sarasota
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 70°F (21°C) 1.7 inches (43 mm) 59°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm)
Feb 71°F (21°C) 1.4 inches (36 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 74°F (23°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm) 67°F (20°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 77°F (25°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
May 81°F (27°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 78°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Jun 83°F (28°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm)
Jul 84°F (29°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm)
Aug 84°F (29°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm)
Sep 83°F (29°C) 5.7 inches (144 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm)
Oct 80°F (27°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 76°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
Nov 76°F (24°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Dec 72°F (22°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)