The Ringling Museum
An exceptional art and museum collection housed in an equally remarkable building. The Ringling Museum of Art was the brainchild of John Ringling, one of creators of The Greatest Show on Earth – the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Designed in the early 1900s to replicate the palazzi of Venice, it’s home to an extraordinary permanent collection of art and sculpture from around the world, with regular exhibitions and performances held throughout the year. And of course, a museum created by circus legends wouldn’t be complete without a dedicated space for American Circus memorabilia.
Think the American Dream, the roaring Twenties and Italian elegance married together to create a romantic and palatial residence. This is Ca d’Zan, the palatial home of John and Mable Ringling. The name translates to House of John, in the Venetian dialect and was inspired by their love of the Venetian Gothic style and the grand palazzos of Venice. The home and splendid gardens are now open to the public and are highly recommended for lovers of architecture and history.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Mix a day of shopping or exploring Sarasota Bay with a trip to this tropical, urban oasis. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a horticulturalists paradise, with its bayfront setting, the gardens house an exceptional variety of species through the extensive gardens, conservatory and mangrove. Relax and enjoy a botanical bliss in the heart of Sarasota Bay.
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Culture, arts and performance rolled into one at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Performers from all over the world perform right here in Sarasota Bay. This season there are more than events to choose from. Broadway musicals, world-class symphony orchestras, international singers and popular comedians. Plus a diversity of dance troupes, from classic to modern and ethnic dance. The Sarasota Orchestra and Sarasota Ballet are also on the agenda this season.
St. Armand’s Circle
Our local marketplace with a wonderful continental flavour! St Armand’s Circle brings together the past and present in a gorgeous tropical setting. Pretty courtyards and patios combine antique and contemporary architecture, with gourmet restaurants, boutique shops and market stalls. Here you’ll find everything from gourmet treats and candlelight supper venues; to vintage trinkets and artisan gifts.
Siesta Key Beach
Recognized as one of America’s best beaches, with it’s sugar-fine quartz-white sand, Siesta Key Beach is a favourite with visitors to Sarasota Bay. The beach offers a whole lot more than just sugar-fine quartz-white sand and shallow waters. There is also tennis and volleyball courts, a shaded playground and picnic area, food and drink stalls if you haven’t brought your own. This is a great beach for the whole family, with year-round lifeguard protection and wheelchair access. Wheelchairs are also available to borrow if you or a family member or friend need help across the sand.
Asolo Repertory Theatre
Here in Sarasota Bay we’re proud to have Florida’s premier theatre on our doorstep. Asolo Repertory Theatre is one of the most important cultural centres in the Southern East United States. With around 15 productions per season and a diverse repertoire of contemporary and classical plays, and musical theatre, it’s worth checking out the agenda during your stay.
Myakka State Park
For a day’s adventure in the wilds, we recommend a trip to Myakka State Park. This is one of the oldest and most diverse natural parks; with the Myakka River flowing through – designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River. The park is home to a diversity of flora and fauna: wetlands, prairies, hammocks and pinelands. The Upper Myakka Lake is the place to view wildlife from the boardwalk, which stretches out across the lake. If you have a head for heights the treetop canopy walkway is a must. Enjoy boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and hiking and then head back to the comfort of our Scruffy or Pinky cottages.
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Get up close to a myriad of marine species at the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. There are two touch tanks and an incredible 135,000 gallon shark habitat. Visit the laboratory and see scientific research happening in the moment.
LeBarge Tropical Cruises
Courtesy of LeBarge Cruises
Head out into the bay for an unforgettable trip with LeBarge Tropical Cruises. With over 30 years experience they offer full and half day tours and cruises, such as the Dolphin & Manatee Watch, Sightseeing & Nature Cruise and the Tropical Sunset Cruise. Bliss! On board trippers can enjoy a light food menu and bar.