Sarasota is a bayside city dotted with Mediterranean Revival architecture and bordered by award-winning beaches on three picturesque barrier islands. The city and its county are known as “Florida’s Cultural Coast” and are home to 10 theaters, 30 art galleries, an acclaimed symphony orchestra and prestigious ballet and opera companies.
Downtown Sarasota has plentiful cultural attractions. Enjoy classical operatic performances at the Sarasota Opera House. See a diverse selection of acts at the striking Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Historic Asolo Theater or the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Dine at one of the restaurants in the area and enjoy the local seafood. Try Florida spiny lobster, crab and shrimp and finish off with a citrusy slice of key lime pie.
The 1920s millionaire circus magnate, John Ringling, and his wife Mable contributed greatly to some of the city’s most intriguing cultural features. Visit the Ringling Estate, a sprawling bayside complex that contains the Ringling Museum of Art and the couple’s own lavish Ca’ d’Zan mansion.
Discover the natural beauty of the tropical Gulf of Florida coastline at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and look for an iconic pink flamingo at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
Lido Key and Siesta Key, barrier islands just west of downtown, provide some of the most breathtaking beaches in the United States. Siesta Key Public Beach, with its crystal-clear water and sand that looks and feels like powdered sugar, is a favorite for locals and visitors for swimming, playing volleyball or taking long walks as the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico.
Sarasota is located on the central west coast of Florida, 60 miles (96 kilometers) south of Tampa. Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is a short distance from downtown and is served by major airlines flying from the eastern United States and Canada. Sarasota has a tropical climate with mild winters and hot, humid summers. Warm temperatures and diverse cultural attractions make this city a fantastic destination any time of the year.