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Things to Do in Sarasota

Things to do in Sarasota: go to Siesta Beach

Getting near the end of my series on my beach road trip through Florida, but not before stopping at Sarasota. Sarasota is located on the southwestern coast of the U.S. state of Florida, south of the Tampa Bay Area and north of Fort Myers (which is my next stop).

What to see?

There`s plenty to do at Sarasota, but I wouldn`t be a beach girl if I didn`t check out Siesta Beach.

Things to do in Sarasota: going to Siesta Beach

Siesta Beach was named #1 Best Beaches by Dr Beach in 2011 (You can find these signs all over). There`s a big stretch of white sand on Siesta Beach decorated with different colored lifeguard stands. The sand found at this beach is known as the whitest and silkiest in the world. It`s made of 99% quartz, which not only makes it so powdery soft and white, but also cool under your feet on hot days.

Siesta Beach

A tip I got from a local in Apalachicola, was not to miss the Ringling Museum of Art. John Ringling brought his circus to Sarasota in 1927 to escape the cold northern winters. Now his legacy is felt throughout the city and Sarasota has become known as America`s Circus City.

Practical: Make sure you allow yourself enough time to visit here as there is a whole property to explore. Admission into the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art entitles you to visit the Circus Museum, the estate with a Rose Garden and Secret Garden, Ca` d`Zan and the Museum of Art. Opening Hours: open daily 10 am – 5 pm, Thursdays until 8 pm / Admission: 25$/adult* (For more info to plan your visit and special discounts, check Ringling.org)

Here`s a little tour of my experience:

Rose Garden at Ringling Museum of ArtMable Ringling Rose Garden

Inside the House of John, Ca`d`ZanInside Ca` d`Zan – House of John

Venetian Gothic Mansion - Ca`d`ZanOutside of Ca`d`Zan – Ringling Mansion

John and Mable fell in love with Mediterranean architecture. The Ca`d`Zan meaning House of John, imitates the Venice`s Doge`s Palace and the minaret of the Giralda Tower of Seville. This is one of the largest historical mansions on the west coast of Florida.

Museum of Art at Ringling estateJohn & Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Rubens collection at the RIngling Museum of ArtPeter Paul Rubens Collection

As a Belgian native, it`s great to see the masterpieces of the Flemish painter showcased. I`ve been surprised already a few times on this trip by finding another Dali Museum besides the one in Spain, at St Petersburg, the beautiful historical buildings of St Augustine and now the art collection at this museum.

Some Fun Facts

  • In 1925, John was named one of the richest men in the world. However the stock market crash in 1929 nearly bankrupted him. It was his extensive and expensive art collection that kept him wealthy.
  • Venice Beach is known as the “Shark`s Tooth Capital of the World”, as hundreds of sharks teeth have washed up onto the shore.
  • Several celebrities call the beaches of Casey Key home, including author Stephen King

If you want to read up on Florida, then check out my other stops on this beach trip: PensacolaPanama City BeachApalachicolaCedar KeySt Augustine, St Petersburg & Clearwater and Anna Maria Island.

*Prices were accurate at time of publishing.

This trip was made possible with the support of Visit Florida. Special thanks to Visit Sarasota.

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6 Responses to “Things to Do in Sarasota”

  1. ciki April 9, 2013 1:07 pm #

    the beach just goes on forever! lovely 🙂

    • Isabelle April 11, 2013 12:38 am #

      It does! And the sand is so soft and cool.

  2. Gayla LaBry April 11, 2013 9:44 am #

    Great photos. I was lucky to visit the Rubens house in Antwerp, but had no idea there was a collection of his work in Florida. who knew 😉
    The Ringling estate sounds like a very interesting place to visit. Thanks for this information!


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