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.
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.
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:
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.
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: Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola, Cedar Key, St 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.