Sarasota is a city south of Gulf Coast Tampa on Florida. That was once the winter house of the Ringling Brothers Circus. Today, it hosts several cultural institutes, prominently the Ringling Museum of Art, which showcases old masters and modernized art. It’s including the gateway to miles of beaches with powdery sand and shallow waters, such as Lido Beach and Siesta Key Beach. A year-round holiday destination, Sarasota boasts a stunning string island tucked away into the Gulf coast of Southwest Florida. In the middle of the city, guests will find an excess of sporting and cultural events in addition to upscale restaurants, shops, and powder white beaches for visitors to enjoy. From admiring fine art to enjoying circus thrills, discover the top best things to do in the Sarasota area.
Four things to do in Sarasota Florida
Considered one of Florida’s earliest and largest state parks, Myakka River State Park extends across 58 square miles of wetlands, hammocks, pinelands, and prairies. The area also highlights a river and two lakes, making it a prime spot to enjoy water activities like kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Or, guests can travel the lakes via one of the attraction’s airboats, which are the biggest in the world. Land-based trips are offered seasonally as well. Though some tourists caution that finding the park’s entry and parking near the lake’s main activities can be a little of a challenge, several agree that this scenic place is a must-visit for nature fans. All sorts of animals – including roseate spoonbills, alligators, and armadillos – are identified to frequent the area. What’s more, the park allows nearly 40 miles of hiking trails – including one walkway suspended 25 feet above the ground – and many biking paths.
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which highlights thousands of Medieval, Renaissance, Greek, Roman and Cypriot antiques and works of art, is the main appeal on The Ringling museum campus. Many galleries showcase pieces from Ringling Bros. Circus co-founder John Ringling’s stock, including paintings by Velázquez, Rubens, and Veronese. And in the museum’s courtyard, 20th-century bronze and stone casts of iconic works like Michelangelo’s “David” are on exhibit. According to new visitors, everyone from art lovers to architecture and nature buffs will love searching this museum. The attraction’s art collection gives all sorts of masterpieces to ogle, while the pink building’s unique U-shaped design moves with its Renaissance-inspired facade. Additionally, tourists rave about the property’s courtyard and gardens, which highlight fountains, statues, many flowers and picturesque scenes of Sarasota Bay. Although photography not allowed in the museum’s special exhibitions, guests are more than welcome to snap some photos of permanent collection pieces and the property’s gardens and exterior, so be sure to bring your camera.
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Though guests have access to many beaches in Sarasota County, one of the comfortable to reach from downtown is Lido Key Beach. Located less than 5 miles southwest of the city center, Lido Key Beach gives more than 3,000 feet of white sand. Many recreation areas, with facilities like picnic tables and a pool (which can enjoy for a price), are also accessible. If you like getting for seashells, guests say you’ll admire Lido Key Beach. (But if you need to swim, plan on using shoes; the shells will likely hurt exposed feet.) Additionally, families will enjoy this beach’s calm water and ample space. What’s more, Lido Key Beach sits within walking range of St. Armands Circle, where many shops and eateries reside.
Once the house and grounds of amateur gardener Marie Selby, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens presented to the citizens in 1975 after the death of its namesake. The garden, which specializes in epiphytes (or plants that grow on other plant species) highlights thousands of families in its outdoor patios and more than 20,000 plants spread throughout its eight greenhouses. Flora found on-site include ferns, banyan trees, bamboo, and orchids. Most tourists appreciated the peaceful environment and scenic views of Sarasota Bay, though a few previous visitors said the attraction’s grounds were beautiful but left something to wanted. If you’re traveling with kids, check out the property’s kid-friendly spaces like the Butterfly Garden and the Children’s Rainforest Garden, where plants sit alongside swinging rope bridges, a field research station, and caves. Other unique spots include the Epiphyte Garden (which has a koi pond), the Banyan Grove and the mangrove-lined boardwalk.