Expand your horizons when you visit Florida and visit Sarasota….
As Sarasota was voted America’s No. 1 small city for art, it is the perfect destination for lovers of art and culture; visitors can choose from performing arts, opera, ballet, internationally acclaimed festivals and circus heritage. Award-winning white sandy beaches, jewel blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and an eclectic variety of cultural activities make Sarasota the perfect escape.Sarasota County is a beautiful subtropical destination and cultural hot spot located on Florida’s Gulf Coast 80 km south of Tampa. The city of Sarasota is on the mainland and the six beautiful barrier islands are easily reached by either a scenic walk or drive over Sarasota Bay.
There are an abundance of sugar white sand beaches to be found in Sarasota and the extensive coastline is lined by six islands, each revealing its own personality. Dr. Beach named Siesta Key Beach as the No.1 beach nationwide in 2011, and Trip Advisor Choice Awards 2015 awarded Siesta Key as the number one beach in the US. Lido Key has a variety of beaches including the unspoilt and secluded North Lido Beach or the family friendly Lido Beach. Longboat Key is a more manicured area with exclusive beachfront communities. On the extreme southern end of Longboat Key is Quick Point Nature Reserve offering scenic bay beach views and excellent bird watching opportunities surrounded by beautiful lagoons. Venice Beach is famous for the prehistoric sharks’ teeth and beautiful shells that are found along the shore, great for beachcombers of all ages; divers also love this area for its stunning reef.
Art & Culture
Sarasota County is known as Florida’s cultural coast and offers an assortment of cultural activities. The crown jewel of the Sarasota cultural scene is The Ringling Museums, John and Mable Ringling brought the circus to Sarasota in 1927 and created a legacy that continues to this day. The Asian Art Wing of The Ringling Museums, which opens in January 2016, will showcase a modern design in contrast to the rest of the estate. Visitors can also head to the 1926 art deco theatre to experience superb acoustics at the Sarasota opera, or The Gulf Coast’s professional ballet company for both classics and modern works. Sarasota Ballet will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this coming 2016 season. Sarasota hosts a range of cultural and arts celebrations throughout the year such as the Greek Glendi and Venice’s Italian Feast & Carnival in February, the Sarasota Film Festival in April and the Sarasota Music Festival in June. The Ringling International Arts Festival is a four day event held annually in October showcasing a variety of dance, music and theatre.