10 Things To Do In Sarasota – TheTravel

Sarasota is a completely underrated spot to visit in Florida. Here’s what you need to do when you go.
Sarasota is a beautiful city on the Gulf Coast, located south of Tampa, Florida. Often outshone by its neighbor, Sarasota deserves a little love from travelers for the many fun activities and scenic spots there. While it was previously the home of the Ringling Brothers Circus, today it's known for attractions like the Ringling Museum of Art and its many gorgeous beaches. Here are some of the top things to do in Sarasota, Florida, whether you have 24 hours in the city or a whole week.
This is a fun stop in Sarasota for adults and kids. They are an independent and nonprofit marine research facility. World-class marine scientists working there strive for sustainable use of the oceans and conservation efforts based on research and public education. Visitors can tour the aquarium near downtown Sarasota for $26 per adult. Kids under 2 enter for free.
Ringling is a famous name in Sarasota, so visiting the Ringling Museum of Art is a must-do during a trip there. It was built by John Ringling as a way to commemorate his business efforts and in memorial of his wife, Mable. The museum is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, with adult admission from $25 per person.
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With its prime location on the Gulf Coast, it’s no surprise that Sarasota boasts some gorgeous sandy beaches and crystal blue waters. Siesta Beach is named for its location on Siesta Key, and the sand is primarily made of quartz from the Appalachian Mountains. In 2020, Siesta Beach earned the top spot on TripAdvisor for US Beaches.
This unique building is an impressive mansion in Sarasota from the 1920s. For years, it was the winter residents of John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Venetian Gothic Architecture is sure to dazzle visitors exploring the 36,000-square-foot house. To tour the first floor only, adults pay $10 additional on top of their museum entrance ticket. For a complete tour of the Ca’ d’Zan, guests can pay $60 per person.
The Sarasota Jungle Gardens takes about 2 hours to explore at length, so it’s perfect for spending an afternoon in Sarasota. The gardens comprise more than 10 acres of plants, bird life, and animals. The garden was established as a tourist attraction in 1939 and is easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Sarasota.
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Located on the secluded Lido Key, Lido Key Beach has white sand that will transport travelers to the Caribbean right on the shores of Florida. It’s a bit of a hidden gem because it's far less crowded than Siesta Beach, despite being just as idyllic (if not more!).
Spend a full day exploring the beauty of Myakka River State Park on a trip to Sarasota. The park is just 9 miles east of I-75 and spans 37,00 acres. It’s one of the largest parks in the state of Florida and has tons to offer travelers. Rent a canoe and head on the Myakka River for a scenic exploration or go bird-watching and join a wildlife tour. The park is open daily from 8:00 am to sunset with an entrance fee of $6 per vehicle.
The Sarasota Opera House was first envisioned and brought to life by the original mayor of Sarasota, A.B. Edwards. Besides the exterior of the building by an exquisite work of architecture, it’s a wonderful hub for the performing arts in the city. Travelers can visit the official website to purchase single tickets, attend an Opera Talk, or purchase concert tickets.
The Bayfront Gardens are another one of the Ringling’s legacies in Sarasota and are the ideal pairing with a visit to the Museum of Art of Ca ‘d’Zan. The Ringling Estate spans 66 acres, and within the arboretum, there are 2350 trees of various species. Guests to the estate can explore the Bayfront Gardens at a leisurely pace, strolling among the greenery and appreciating the beauty of this living work of art. Walk the Millennium Tree Trail and breathe in the fresh coastal air. There is no additional admission fee to explore the gardens once already admitted to the estate.
St. Armand’s Circle is a gorgeous circular park in Sarasota that is home to a shopping mall. There are boutiques, salons, restaurants, spas, and more. St. Armand’s Key is an island and is removed from the bustling city center of Sarasota, offering a tranquil and relaxing shopping and spa day experience to visitors. Besides exploring the shops and restaurants, travelers should do the St. Armand's Statue Walk, which was imagined by John Ringling and inspired by his travels. This pathway is a collection of 33 impressive statutes to admire.
Robynne Trueman is a Canadian writer and traveller. She is always searching for her next destination and loves sharing travel information with others. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking with her dog, practicing yoga, or jet setting somewhere on her bucket list.