Sarasota resides on the Gulf coast of the sunshine state Florida. There are innumerable things that can be done in Sarasota, from a traveler`s point of view. Museums to gardens, Sarasota is diverse in its tourist attractions. With its romantic restaurant options, it is an ideal getaway for couples.
Let's explore Sarasota points of interest and 15 best things to do in Sarasota:
1. The Ringling
Located on the Bay Shore Road of Sarasota, Ringling is a museum of fine arts that started in 1927. This is one of the most popular places that people visit in Sarasota, locals and tourists alike. It is a state art museum of the state of FL.Made of 21 galleries that contain a variety of artwork from America, Asia and Europe, it has an overall collection of around 10,000 artifacts. All forms of art can be found here, from paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures.
2. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
This research center was established in 1955, and its aquarium is open for public visits. The aquarium has more than 100 species of local marine animals. The aquarium is functional since 1980. There are narrated shark feeding sessions in this aquarium that is an interesting tourist attraction that should not be given a miss.
3. Siesta Key Village, Sarasota, Florida
This is a small island of Siesta Key that resides on the Gulf of Mexico. This place is just a few hours from downtown Sarasota. The island has some magnificent beaches. The Siesta Key Village in itself is a fun and happening beach village, dotted with bars, restaurants and spas. The village has a festive vibe all year round that tourists just enjoy. The Siesta Fiesta is one of the popular festivals that this village hosts.
4. Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
This beautiful sanctuary is for spotting some big cats and other wild animals. It is currently a non-profit organization that rescues and provides a home for exotic species of cats and other wild animals that include bears. They also have some pretty birds in their sanctuary enclosure. While conducting their tours, they also educate their visitors about wildlife preservation and the importance of a well-maintained eco-system in the world. The sanctuary has both indoor and outdoor habitats that mimic the natural environment of the animals with swimming pools and plants.
5. Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Sarasota, FL
A garden cum animal attraction defines Sarasota jungle gardens just right. Started in 1939, this place comes under some of the oldest attractions of the state that is still functional. The 1970s saw the first Exotic Bird Show cockatoos and macaws in this garden. Presently there are a bunch of animals shows happen here. From reptiles to primates, a variety of fauna is found in these premises.
6. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, Florida
The architectural beauty of this hall is one to behold the eyes and the soul. This popular spot in Sarasota is known for dance, music and theatrical performances. With a whopping 1,736 seating capacity and a majestic 6000 square foot Grand Foyer, this place welcomes guest with a big heart.
7. Central Sarasota Farmers Market
Farmer`s market in Sarasota comprises of a colorful mix of fresh produce gathered by the locals. Other than juicy looking produce, there are also freshly baked items like cheesecake that you would want to put your hands on. This bustling scene of vendors and customers is an every Saturday event in the Central Sarasota Farmers Market. Also present are musicians and artisan who display their talent to keep the customers happy in here. The farmers at the stalls also share their farming stories with the buyers who are interested.
8. Sarasota Paddleboard Company
If just relaxing is not your motto when you are on a beach, you can rent a paddleboard or a kayak in Sarasota Paddleboard Company to explore the waters of Sarasota. They will provide you with the best equipment and also will deliver it at your doorstep. For beginners, they also provide an instructor to come along with their kayaks, who will also act as a guide for the tourists and take them around.
9. Ted Sperling Nature Park
When on your kayak, you can venture to this place to explore the mangrove tunnels that it offers. You can also spot manatees and dolphins here. This place is ideal to just paddle around and take-in the beauty of the beaches and surroundings.
10. Drum Circle Distilling, Sarasota, FL
This distillery and its samplers are for all rum lovers. The still is small and made of shiny copper to give rise to smooth tasting rum. The rum is made with local sugar cane and natural local spices of the Siesta Key. Their tasting room gives out free samples to the visitors. You can also chat with the rum-makers who can give valuable information about the science that goes behind making the rum.
11. Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota, FL
This park has a huge man-made lake in its premises. A run, a dog walk, or just casual kayaking or paddling, are what locals come here for. The park is spread out over 600-acres land and the lake itself is 400-acre. The lake also has first class rowing facilities. Hence, regular regatta competitions are held here with complete pomp and show.
12. Myakka River State Park
Spread over 37,000 acres, Myakka River State Park is one other old parks in Florida. Its name comes from the Myakka River. There is also a boardwalk here along with a canopy walkway that makes it way above the trees. Kayak, canoe and fishing can be done in two of the lakes that are present here. This state park also has several hiking trails for your adventurous streak.
13. Legacy Trail
Talking about biking, legacy trail is a paved trail that was opened in 2008. Beginning at the Palmer Ranch and running through Oscar Scherer State Park, the legacy trail connects with the other trails around.
14. Sarasota Opera, Sarasota, Florida
This professional opera company is age-old but has been renovated again in 2008. The company conducts a winter opera festival in February and March. Their performances are quite a show that attracts crowd from in and around Sarasota. If you are a kind of tourist who would love to imbibe some local culture of the place that you visit, then you must get yourself a ticket to this opera house.
15. Sarasota Classic Car Museum
A car enthusiast or not, you will definitely appreciate this car museum. The entire facility is 60,000 square foot in total and it comes second in the list of oldest and continuously operating classic car museums in the entire United States. Their collection boasts of around 75 cars that range from everything vintage and exotic. Their collection is complete one of its kind and stays unique in your second visit since they rotate their displays quite often.