Sarasota is a city in Florida’s southwest region, just south of Tampa.
It is well-known for its link to the Ringling Brothers Circus and is a fascinating sight to visit with various vacation options.
What kind of tourist attractions can you find here, though?
What activities are available, and where are the best spots to see the sights?
The ten best and most enjoyable things to do in Sarasota, Florida, are listed below.
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art is located in Sarasota on Bay Shore Road. It’s named after the co-founder of the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus, which you’ve probably heard of — yep, that Barnum! The museum is unique and one-of-a-kind, which is why it is one of Sarasota’s most popular attractions.
Classical architecture and art – both copies and genuine originals – from many different eras may be found within the museum. Of course, this covers the Renaissance, but it also contains Greek and Roman works. When you walk in, you won’t feel like you’re in modern-day Florida — you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into another century! It’s a lot of fun, and 45-minute tours are available.
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art first opened in 1927 and was initially made up of artwork donated by its eponymous figures. It is now maintained by Florida State University and is regarded as the state’s primary art museum. Over 10,000 works of art, ranging from paintings to photography, sculptures to prints, are displayed in 21 galleries, each dedicated to a distinct location and style. There’s even a gallery devoted to ancient treasures from Cyprus!
Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
The Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary are located on Palmer Boulevard in Sarasota.
Kay Rosaire founded it in 1987, and it became a non-profit organization in 2005, and it is now one of Sarasota’s top ten tourist attractions. The sanctuary’s primary purpose, as its name implies, is to rescue exotic cats and provide them with necessary treatment.
Birds, chimps, and bears are among the other species that are cared for here. There are three big habitats on the site, some of which are indoor and some of which are outdoor. Native vegetation and swimming ponds help to recreate the animals’ natural environments.
Visitors to the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary are also educated about wildlife preservation. Shows, demonstrations, and discussions – most often with giant cats and birds! There’s also a petting zoo, which is ideal for bringing children because they can feed llamas and goats.
Feeding the lions, bears, and tigers, for a modest price, is also an option for the adventurous!
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is located on City Island in Sarasota, Florida, along Ken Thompson Parkway. It was first established in 1955 as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory, and it used that name until 1967 as a tribute to William and Lenore R. Mote and William’s sister, Betty Mote Rose.
The Sarasota location’s laboratory focuses on estuarine and marine research. The place in a large river where the stream meets the tide is referred to as an estuary. On the other hand, the aquarium is open to the public, with more than 100 species of marine animals, both local and international.
Rays, jellyfish, turtles, otters, manatees, sea horses, eels, sharks, and a slew of other creatures can be found. The shark tank is enormous, holding over 100,000 gallons of water! Shark feeding time is prevalent here, and it is one of the many things that attract tourists; the feedings are narrated.
There are several educational programs available, including summer camps, if you’re searching for something to keep your kids occupied while you’re here. Seasonal exhibits include the yearly reptile exhibition, which features crocodiles and alligators!
Expect to pay a lot for entrance, but if it’s something you can afford, it’ll be well worth it. There is free parking, and you can also get there by taking public transportation and walking a short distance.
Ca’ d’Zan Mansion
When it comes to tourist attractions in Sarasota, Florida, the Ca’ d’Zan Mansion is one of the best. It was the winter residence of John and Mable Ringling, who we previously mentioned. After a two-year construction period, the circus owner and his wife would remain here after it was finished in 1926.
The mansion is five floors tall and contains 36,000 square feet of living area. It is designed to resemble Venice, one of the married couple’s favorite destinations, and is located on the waterfront. It’s built in the Mediterranean Revival style, and it looks a lot like the Doge’s Palace in Venice. The Ca’ d’Zan Mansion is open to the public regularly for tours.
If you go on one, you’ll be amazed by the 16th-century Spanish tile roof, the game room, the marble terrace with views of Sarasota Bay, the domed ceiling of an 82-foot-tall tower, a crystal chandelier, and an Aeolian organ! It’s a beautiful look into the couple’s opulent lifestyles.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are located on South Palm Avenue near Hudson Bayou, on the outskirts of Sarasota Bay. It’s one of the most popular attractions in Sarasota, and for a good reason! The gardens are enormous, spanning seven acres, and each one is steeped in history.
Marie and William Selby originally owned the land where the gardens are now located. They are the proud owners of the world’s largest and most diverse collection of a category of flowering plants known as bromeliads. The gardens are home to over 6,000 distinct plant species spread across 20 ecosystems, with 20,000 plants thriving.
Mangroves, bamboo lands, succulent habitats, and other habitats are among them. A research library, a herbarium, and various greenhouses are among the resources accessible at this Florida destination.
The Rainforest Garden and Butterfly Garden are the most popular portions of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Still, everything from the goldfish ponds to the artificial caverns to the rope bridges is worth investigating!
Assisted Living in Sarasota
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