Sarasota is located in the southwestern portion of Florida and its city limits include several barrier islands known as keys of which the most noted are Lido Key and Siesta Key. The keys are famous world round for their outstanding sandy beaches.
Europeans first explored the Sarasota area in the early 1500s and first encountered the native population in 1513. In the mid 1700s the area was known as Zara Zote when the area became a preferred harbor for fisherman and marine traders. After Florida’s acquisition by the United States in 1819, the army built Fort Armistead on the bay.
By the 1840’s the area was well populated by European settlers and early maps indicate the name had derived from