Things to Do in Sarasota, Florida
Visiting Sarasota, Florida can be an amazing experience. There are many things to do in this beautiful city, from exploring the museums and art galleries to the beach and water activities.
Ringling Museum of Art
Located in Sarasota, Florida, the Ringling Museum of Art is a world-class institution. It features a vast collection of European paintings and sculptures, as well as American and Asian works. It is one of the premier tourist destinations in Sarasota. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays and is free for the public on those days.
In 1925, John Ringling began to fill his museum with European paintings. He purchased four tapestry paintings from Peter Paul Rubens. He also acquired Cypriot art and American paintings. He wanted to establish a cultural center in Sarasota and had plans to make it a great city. His estate included a circus museum, a mansion, and the art museum. After his death in 1936, he left his estate to the State of Florida.
John Ringling also hoped to create an educational center in Sarasota. His endowment was lost due to mismanagement. He did not want his collection sold. However, in 1929, the stock market crashed. This slowed the purchasing of works.
In addition to the permanent collection, the Ringling Museum features a special exhibition every year. In the main gallery, visitors can view works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Velazquez, and other masters of European art. There is a large bronze cast of Michelangelo’s original white marble sculpture.
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art is open on Christmas Day. It is located five miles northwest of downtown Sarasota and is accessible by bus routes. There are free bicycle racks on the grounds and outdoor parking is available. The museum is a perfect place to spend a day.
Other highlights include the Circus Model, which displays four4,000 pieces of circus equipment. There are also benches to sit on and a Dwarf Garden with picnic tables. The Ringling Museum is free to visit on Mondays.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Located on the shores of Sarasota Bay, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a place to relax and enjoy nature. There are many activities to participate in. The park has a mangrove walkway, bamboo garden, butterfly garden, and orchid exhibits. You can also enjoy yoga classes.
The garden is open every day of the year. Guests can find parking in four lots with trolley service. It is a smoke-free campus. Visitors are not allowed to use amplifiers in the grounds. However, soft music from string quartets may be played inside during business hours.
The park is also home to a children’s garden. There are fun play areas, caves, and waterfalls. This is a great place to take the kids.
The garden’s library is available to the public. You can make an appointment to borrow books or journals. It is not a lending library, though. Those who wish to borrow material should plan to be there for at least two weeks. There are over 20,000 plants on display.
The garden’s master plan is based on the four driving principles of a healthy environment. The plan also focuses on implementing projects and preserving the environment for future generations.
The master plan also aims to develop the garden’s energy security with net zero certification. It also doubles the amount of open space on the property. It also brings diverse groups together to foster cross-pollination.
The park is also part of the Blue Star Museums program, which offers free admission to members of the military and the National Guard. It is a smoke-free campus, and it has a memorial to Marie Selby.
The garden has a cafe with outdoor seating. It offers a variety of fresh, live plants. The cafe also has a kid’s corner.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Located on the bayfront in Sarasota, Florida, Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a family-friendly tourist attraction. It features over 10 acres of botanical plantings and exhibits, along with the opportunity for kids to learn about animals.
The park is open most days of the year. It offers three animal shows daily. Guests can also enjoy a 1.2-mile paved path through the zoo.
Sarasota’s Jungle Gardens is home to more than 150 native and exotic animals. Some of the more exotic creatures include flamingos, snakes, and reptiles. In addition, the zoo is home to a number of birds of prey.
Some of the animals that visitors can interact with include macaws, parrots, and alligators. These are all supervised by caretakers. The zoo also features a petting zoo. This allows children to pet small mammals, such as rabbits, as well as exotic birds, including flamingos.
Visitors can also feed the free-roaming flamingos. This is a wonderful way to see the bird up close and take photos with it. Guests can purchase bird feed at the park.
The zoo is open most days of the year, but is closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving. The park’s admission fee includes entrance to all shows and the petting zoo. There are also yearly membership passes available.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens has been a family favorite since its opening in 1939. In fact, it’s one of the oldest continuously operating attractions in Florida. It’s also a great way to experience a “old-fashioned” tourist attraction.
Visiting Sarasota’s Jungle Garden is a wonderful way to introduce your kids to the exotic and beautiful animals of the area. You’ll also be able to enjoy up-close animal interactions, as well as live bird shows.
Siesta Key Beach
Located on a barrier island between Sarasota and the Gulf of Mexico, Siesta Key Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. The sand is white quartz sand, which is very smooth and soft. The water is crystal clear aquamarine.
The area is a popular destination for people from all over the world. The best way to reach Siesta Key is by driving. Parking is free, but parking is limited. The lot fills up quickly during the peak summer months.
The Siesta Key beach is great for families, and the surrounding areas offer many other activities. Visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, and parasailing. They can also play a round of golf at a local course. If they get bored of the beach, they can head into town for shops, restaurants, and other fun activities.
There is also a large playground on the beach. There are multiple slides and climbing areas for kids to explore. There is also a separate playground for older kids.
There are lifeguard towers placed at strategic points, and they keep a close watch on the crowd. The sheriff’s office is also on site to make sure the crowd behaves.
Some visitors believe that the white quartz sand has some sort of magical properties. The beach is also known for its great sunsets. There are also several pavilions on the beach, and the restrooms are kept clean.
The Daiquiri Deck offers a variety of drinks for you to enjoy. You can also take a yacht dinner cruise. There are also bicycle rentals available. The Adventure Tiki Hut is also nearby, and it offers paddle board rentals.
If you have a car, you can park for free in the large public lot. It’s a short drive from downtown Sarasota.
Marina Jack cruise ride
Located on the bayfront of Downtown Sarasota, Marina Jack is a fun way to spend a day. Not only is the site home to the best waterfront dining in town, it also boasts several watercraft to suit your needs. They offer fixed and floating docks with shore power and 25 boatlifts for boats up to 53 feet. If you don’t have your own boat, you can rent one from the property.
The marina has a full service fuel dock that offers free pump out stations and hi-flow diesel. They also provide around the clock access for local boaters. For more information on the facility, visit their website.
The Marina Jack restaurant has three dining options: the main dining room, the Blue Sunshine Patio and the Deep Six Piano Bar & Lounge. The latter has an impressive menu that combines live music with award winning wine. The restaurant also has a large outdoor raw bar patio.
The Marina Jack also has a ship store and a fueling station. They offer free Wi-Fi and cable TV and will even help you dock your own boat. They even have a 24-hour credit card terminal. You can also get discounts on special excursions.
They have a few fancies for a boat owner, such as an in-slip pump out and 85+ mooring balls for traveling sailors. In addition, they also have a shuttle service that can pick you up and drop you off at your destination.
The Marina Jack has a few other snazzy items, including an impressive fleet of watercraft, a small ship store, a small ship restaurant and a 24-hour credit card terminal. The marina is a good place to start if you want to explore the Gulf Coast.
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