Things to Do in Sarasota
The Ringling is one of Florida’s best museums. John and Mabel Ringling were avid art collectors and left their collection, as well as their seaside mansion, to the state. The Ringling is probably most famous for housing an impressive collection of Peter Paul Rubens’ tapestries and large, wall-size paintings (which were actually sketches for his tapestries, though they’re incredibly impressive in their own right), but the entire collection of mostly religious art is breath-taking.
In addition to the main museum, the grounds also contain a circus museum, sculpture garden (which contains an exact replica of Michealangelo’s David), and giant gardens of tropical trees and roses.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Marie Salby Botanical Gardens is a “must see” for serious plant lovers, this peaceful place on the Sarasota Bay is said to be the only botanical garden in the world specializing in the preservation, study, and research of epiphytes – that is, “air plants” such as orchids. This garden is home to more than 20,000 exotic plants, including more than 6,000 orchids, as well as a bamboo grove, butterfly garden, fernery, tropical food gardens, the Payne Mansion, baywalk along the mangroves (a native shore-plant community), a banyan grove and more.
Siesta Key Beach
The sand on this beach is like powdered sugar . Even on the hottest day its cool on your feet due to the fact that it’s made up of 99% quartz.
At the “Great International White Sand Beach Challenge” held in 1987, it was recognized as having the “whitest and finest sand in the world.” Everyone who comes to Florida has to see this beach at least once. The water is shallow near the shore and there’s always a lifeguard on duty, making it a truly safe family beach. It’s super popular so get there early for a parking spot!!
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Sarasota.