After you’ve experienced everything that Tampa has to offer, the next stop on your Florida vacation should be Sarasota. This captivating city is only a short drive to the south, and it has a lot to do and see, from beautiful parks and gardens to interesting museums and galleries. If you visit, you won’t be disappointed! Here are some of the must-see views that Sarasota has to offer:
- Siesta Key Beach: One of the most well-known beaches in the world is Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida. The beach, with its fine, powdery sand and stunning sunsets, is a destination in and of itself. While in Siesta Key, you can partake in a number of exciting pursuits and visit fascinating attractions. Other than the main beach, the island also has several other beaches, such as Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach, each with its own character and amenities. Water sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing are also available to guests.
If you are interested in exploring the Gulf of Mexico, you can take advantage of the guided tours and rentals that are conveniently located right on the beach. And for those who wish to spend a day on the water can choose from a number of different fishing charters, making fishing another popular pastime in the region.
- The Ringling in Sarasota, Florida is a collection of museums and historic buildings that was once the home of circus magnate John Ringling and his wife, Mable. It is home to many different types of attractions, all of which are available to guests. The impressive collection of European and American art and a collection of circus memorabilia at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is one of the highlights of The Ringling. The collection of the museum features works by modern artists such as Warhol and Rauschenberg, in addition to classic artists such as Rubens, van Dyck, and Velázquez.
Ca’ d’Zan, a mansion designed in the Venetian style that belonged to the Ringling family, is yet another site you simply cannot miss. The mansion and the lives of John and Mable Ringling are the subjects of a guided tour open to the public. The Circus Museum, located within the Ringling, is dedicated to documenting and preserving the art and culture of the traveling circus through displays of historic costumes, props, and equipment. In addition to seeing skilled circus artists perform live, you can test your own mettle at juggling, tightrope walking, and other circus staples.
- Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida are a gorgeous slice of nature right in the middle of the bustling city. The gardens, which can be found on the shores of Sarasota Bay, are home to an extensive variety of plants and flowers native to tropical climates. Each section of the gardens has its own attractions. The Tropical Conservatory, a greenhouse with orchids, bromeliads, and other tropical plants, is a highlight. The conservatory has a collection of bonsai trees, miniature trees trained to grow in unusual shapes.
The Children’s Rainforest Garden is another part of the gardens, and it is a fantastic location for children to investigate and learn about the natural world around them. The garden’s waterfall, rope bridge, and other interactive exhibits let kids explore the rainforest. The Selby Botanical Gardens’ Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden teaches kids about rainforests and their inhabitants. The garden features a number of interactive exhibits, including a rope bridge, a waterfall, and others.
- The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium: Located at 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is an internationally renowned institution committed to marine research and conservation. The aquarium features sharks, sea turtles, manatees, and otters, as well as a number of educational exhibits and activities for people of all ages.
One of the best things about the aquarium is the Shark Zone, which is a big tank with many different kinds of sharks, like blacktip and sandbar sharks. You can watch sharks swim around in the tank and even feed them food. The Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program is another popular exhibit. It shows how the facility works to protect and preserve sea turtles. You will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with live sea turtles and gain knowledge about the life cycle of sea turtles.
- Myakka River State Park: A short drive east of Sarasota will bring you to Myakka River State Park, one of the largest and most diverse state parks in Florida. Spread across more than 37,000 acres, this park is home to a wide variety of ecosystems. These include wetland areas, prairies, hammocks, and pine forests.
The Myakka River, which can be fished, kayaked, and canoeing on, is one of the attractions that draws people to Myakka River State Park. The river flows through the park and offers a variety of recreational opportunities. Renting a kayak or canoe and paddling down the river is a great way for you to experience the area and keep an eye out for local wildlife. The park also features numerous hiking trails, from easy strolls through the park’s natural scenery to longer, more challenging treks. Hiking through the park’s various habitats, you will have the chance to see alligators, deer, and a wide array of avian species.
Canopy Walkway is another popular attraction found in Myakka River State Park that offers a one-of-a-kind and exhilarating way to view the park’s canopy of trees. The Canopy Walkway is an excellent location for viewing a wide variety of bird species, such as eagles and ospreys, among others.
The Myakka River State Park is home to a number of additional recreational opportunities and conveniences, such as camping, picnicking, and observing local wildlife. There are numerous picnic areas scattered around the park, and you can spend the night at one of the many campgrounds to fully experience the park’s natural beauty.
These highlights are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what this stunning Florida city has to offer. Sarasota is a destination that has it all, thanks to its thriving arts and cultural scene, delicious cuisine, and captivating downtown. Sarasota is a must-see for any visitor to Florida, whether you’re looking to kick back on its world-famous beaches, do some serious retail therapy, or experience the special blend of natural beauty and urban sophistication that defines the city. Don’t miss the chance to see all that Sarasota has to offer!