Presentation of the destination
Sarasota is a cosmopolitan city with cultural landmarks and museums. Beautiful sun, surf and water sports await the visitor. This city is close to most of the interesting sights around Tampa Bay area. John Ringling made Sarasota his winter home in 1911, and this helped develop this city into what it has become today. His mansion and museums add intrinsic value to the city with his fine art collection and his infamous big top. The city of Sarasota enjoys a subtropical climate, with warm, sunny and humid days. The average temperature of this city is 22°C. Summers are extremely hot with July, August and September being the hottest months in the year. Temperatures could cross 34°C. Summers are the rainy season in Sarasota. January is the coolest month with temperatures around 23°C. Temperatures during winter drop to lows of 11°C. Currency used is the US Dollar.
Points of interests / things to see
This museum is a legacy of John Ringling. He was passionate about art and started his collection in the early 20th century. His Wife Mable shared his love for art and together they set out to buy a fine collection of paintings, tapestries and furniture from the New York art auction houses. Julius Bohler, the famous German art dealer helped him acquire many masterpieces. Traveling to Europe, they were exposed to Baroque art and Ringling hired architect John H. Philips to design and construct a museum that would showcase his growing collection in a great ambiance. In 1925, Philips designed a U-shaped pink building that resembled a palace. It had 21 galleries to display the art objects and paintings that included towards the later years, works of masters like El Greco, Van Dyke, Tiepolo, Rubens and Gainsborough. The museum and the courtyard was built in the Renaissance style. Beautiful long loggias flanked a central courtyard that showcased breathtaking early twentieth-century bronze and stone casts of famous Renaissance, Baroque and Classical sculptures. There is one of Michelangelo’s David, from the Plazzo Vecchio in Florence. Ringling created the museum with the hope of making Sarasota a educational and cultural city. He achieved his desire. Telephone: 941-359-5700 Opening time: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Mote Marine Laboratory was founded in 1955 and has been a leader in marine research since then. This is mainly a research facility, and a non-profit organization that has seven centers for research. It also operates an aquarium open to the public that has more than 100 species of marine life and special educational trips for all ages. Mote is a leader in shark study. They have a show during which you can watch as they train sharks in this aquarium. The sharks are displayed in a spectacular tank and there is a stingray touch tank too. Discover the secrets of the oceans through these touch pool and you can get a glimpse into their work area. and it is amazing to see just born seahorse fry. An exhilarating experience. Visitors will can get to see the preserved giant squid that was 37 feet long, when it was caught. They have a 'Save Our Seabirds' next to Mote. You will see many rescued seabirds in the outdoor cages. They organize eco-tours there, with their renowned Sea Life Encounter Cruise, Natural Safari and Guided Kayak Tours. The Miss Explorer offers a private tour of sea animals. A fun way to learn about the sea and it's creatures. Address: 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, City Island Telephone: +1 941 388 4441Opening hours: 10:00am-5:00pm
The Sarasota beaches are below the mouth of Tampa Bay, along the Gulf Coast barrier islands. The Bradenton beach on Anna Maria island is a beautiful beach with calm waters. Relax on the golden sands under the sun or spend time on the shore at the shops and restaurants. The Lido beach is west of Sarasota's St Armand Circle. A picturesque beach with a wide stretch of golden white sand. There are many food stalls and cafes dotting the shores of this beach. A mile down south from here is the South Lido beach, a scenic beach, but the strong currents that discourages swimming. A popular spot for a picnic on the grass Siesta Key Beach is the best beach in this area, soft sands that don't stick to your skin and glitters when the sun hits it is the highlight of this beach. Water sports fans will enjoy the jet ski, parasailing and kayaking that is offered at this beach. It is easy to rent them at this venue. There are eight volleyball courts and is well organized with snack bars and cafes. The Turtle Beach sees many sea turtles between May to October during the nesting season. A quiet and scenic beach, if you are lucky you could spot a dolphin!
The Ringling Center for the Cultural Arts is located along the Sarasota Bay. This center is inside the magnificent house that circus tycoon John Ringling had built in 1925, during his career in the circus. He fell in love with this spot and decided to use Sarasota as a base for himself and his performers during the off season. A spectacular building with 56 rooms and a five level living accommodation. It has a 13,000 square foot marble terrace that leads down to the lower level. This has a gondola and during their days, there were several luxury yachts. This beautiful house has been built to a plan of the Palace of the Doges in Venice. He named it, Cà d'Zan, this is in the Venetian dialect and it means 'The house of John'. Take a tour of the house and see the beautiful period furniture, intricate woodwork, and stunning artwork. The Ringling Circus Museum showcases circus memorabilia. You will see ancient calliopes, colorful posters, and costumes used by them. Visit the breathtaking courtyard with it's rose garden and gift store. After the tour, you can enjoy a scrumptious meal at the Treviso, that serves authentic Italian cuisine. Address: Near Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, Sarasota, Florida FL, USATelephone: +1 941 359 5700Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:30Admission: charge
The city of Sarasota accepts it's circus heritage and it has incorporated it into it's school system. An exhilarating experience for the children of Sarasota County. These school children can opt for 'Circus' as an extracurricular school activity. This is also an after school activity for children, where it encourages them to get fit and sporty, while learning high-flying or tumbling. They could learn to be a clown too! They perform during the summer under a big blue and white circus tent just off the Tamiami Trail. A wonderful way to learn a new skill. Address: 2075 Bahia Vista St Telephone: +1 941 361 6350Performances: late December and March to April The Towles Court Artist Colony is a great shopping destination. You will find interesting houses in this colony, walk by the colorful cabins that have moss covered oaks in their beautifully sculptured gardens or the quaint little cottages with their tastefully done up windows. Many artists have set up shop and their studio-galleries offer intricately carved silver jewelry, watercolors and portraits. A beautiful ambiance that is calm and soothing. Sit for a cup of coffee at the restaurants in this colony and you could take a Tai Chi class on the outside lawn later in the day. The evening walks here are beautiful. Telephone: +1 941 330 9817Opening hours: 11:00-16:00 Tuesday-Saturday
The Children's Garden in the city of Sarasota is specially planned and designed for children. It offeres different attractions for children of all ages. The golden yellow brick road guides them to all the fun areas in this garden. Watch them enjoy themselves as they explore the three little pigs house or the pirate ship. The maze is intriguing and fun. There is a dress up room, a fairy garden and a secret garden. Boy will be fascinated with the tree fort and the slide is fun for the whole family! Address: 1670 10th Way, Sarasota, Florida FL, USATel: +1 941 330 1711 Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00Admission: charge, children under three years free
The Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a scenic well laid out garden that covers 10 acres. This garden was created in the 30's and it reflects the nostalgic atmosphere of time gone by. There are tropical plants that are unique to this region and many rare plants that were sourced from overseas. Walk around and notice the Australian nut tree and the Peruvian apple cactus. There is a petting zoo and a butterfly garden that children will enjoy. The a reptile and bird show are interesting and educational. Address: 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, Florida FL, USATel: +1 941 355 5305 Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00Admission: charge
The Solomon's Park is a unique and interesting landmark in Sarasota. This park has a massive castle in a manatee swamp that has been constructed by the sculptor Howard Solomon. He has used aluminum printing plates to create this masterpiece. Take a tour of this weird castle with Solomon and learn how he constructed the beer can chair, the coat hanger unicorn and the elephant that has been made with oil cans. The restaurant at this park resembles a Spanish galleon. An interesting visit. Address: 4533 Solomon Road, Sarasota, Florida FL, USATelephone: +1 863 494 6007 Open hours: September to June, Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 to 16:00Admission: By charge
The Historic Spanish Point features a collection of trails and houses on a 30 acre historical site. This site showcases over 5,000 years of history in this region of Florida. A window to the past exhibition narrates the history and traditions of this area. Take a tour of the houses of the early Spanish settlers to Sarasota, some of them are on the National archive of Historic places. Explore the trails and the art gallery to understand the life during those early days. Address: 337 North Tamiami Trail, Osprey, Florida FL.Telephone: +1 941 966 5214Open hours: Monday to Saturday. 09:00 to 17:00. Admission: By charge
Vacation rentals in Sarasota (Florida)
How to get there ?
Sarasota Bradenton international airport (SRQ)is a few miles away from downtown. It is a small airport that does not have many international flights. Car Hire: There are international agencies like Avis and Hertz that hire cars at this airport. Buses and coaches : Greyhound Lines buses travel to Sarasota from different parts of the country. There are several departures from major cities which go via Tampa, although direct buses are available to Sarasota. Trains: All Amtrak trains travel to Tampa to the north and there are bus connections to Sarasota from the station that are convenient. Taxis: The main taxi service provider from the airport to downtown Sarasota and the hotels is Diplomat Taxi. The other taxis that are popular are the Green Cab Taxis and Yellow Cabs . Getting around the city The Sarasota County Area Transit is the major provider of transport with the city. The bus service runs throughout the county and there are regular service. Tram: Three trolley systems operate within Sarasota and around the outskirts. The Sarasota Trolley runs a service around the city on weekdays at 20-minute intervals. It begins at 09:00 to 17:00. On Saturdays it runs every 40 minutes. The Street Trolley travels along Main Street from Island Park and through downtown Sarasota and the Scenic Loop Trolley travel to and from Island Park, and Bayfront.
Hotels in Sarasota (Florida)