According to Beautyphoon, Sarasota guarantees the perfect Florida vacation feeling . With its beautiful beaches, it is a real seaside resort where you can relax. However, this is not all Sarasota has to offer! Whether you like to visit a museum or you prefer to go out and about, you can do both in Sarasota. What makes Sarasota even more special are the Keys Islands that lie off the coast of the mainland. Here you will find even more beautiful beaches. And with cities such as Tampa and Saint Petersburg less than an hour’s drive away, Sarasota is also a good base for a possible fly drive or tour.
4 Sarasota attractions
There’s a lot to do in Sarasota! Sarasota offers the best of both worlds with a variety of laid-back activities like dining and shopping and adventurous outings like boating or kayaking in Myakka River State Park. Below you can read about the most popular attractions in Sarasota, including Ringling Museum, Botanical Gardens, Myakka River State Park and Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.
1. The Ringling Estate
If you are in Sarasota, a visit to the Ringling Museum is a must, if only for the museum’s unique story. In this museum you can admire the former art collection of John and Mable Ringling. John Ringling was part owner of the Ringling Circus and became very wealthy as a result. You will also find the Circus Museum on the same site. In this interactive exhibition, children can let off steam, while at the same time learning more about the most stylish circus of the early twentieth century. In addition to its art collection and the circus, you can also visit their former home, Ca’ d’Zan, on the other side of town. During a visit you can imagine yourself in a Florida version of Downtown Abbey because it feels so European.
The Marie Selby Gardens are a must-visit if you like to relax. On this former estate of the Selby family are several botanical gardens, right on the bay. In these gardens you will find more than 20,000 different types of plants! So be sure to bring your camera, but a sun hat is also essential because of the bright sun. Enjoy all the beauty around you in the shade. If you prefer rugged nature, a visit to Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a must. The name says it all: in this ‘garden’ you almost imagine yourself in the rainforest. Complete the jungle feeling by participating in a reptile show or posing with a parrot on your shoulder!
3. Myakka River State Park
Anyone who thinks that Florida is mainly known for its beaches is wrong. Myakka River State Park is a thirty-minute drive from downtown Sarasota. This park is one of Florida’s oldest natural areas and has a beautiful environment consisting of wetlands and prairies. The Myakka River flows through the park, in which you may discover an alligator from your canoe. But you can also explore the park by bike, on foot or even on horseback. Very popular is the so-called Birdwalk: a wooden platform that runs right through the park, from where you have a beautiful view of the area. It’s also a good place for bird watching, so bring binoculars! There is also an option to join a boat or tram tour.
4. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
If you have not yet managed to spot wild animals in nature, you can also look them up in the aquarium. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is home to many other marine life, such as sea turtles, manatees, sea otters and caimans. The large shark tank is especially popular. You can learn about these animals in the various exhibits of the aquarium. Research is carried out into the animals and their living conditions in the associated laboratory.
Sarasota Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top things to do in Sarasota?
Sarasota is best known for the Ringling Museum, Myakka River State Park, its botanical gardens, and Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.
What day trips are available in Sarasota?
Another great thing to do in Sarasota: take a trip to one of the Keys, a group of peninsulas off the coast of Sarasota. Here you will find beautiful beaches where you can get a breath of fresh air.
What outdoor activities are there in Sarasota?
For enterprising types, there is also plenty to do in Sarasota. You can take part in various boat trips or go for a walk in one of the botanical gardens. On the beach you can paddle board or parasail. Myakka River State Park is also half an hour away. Outdoor lovers can indulge themselves here: you can go kayaking, canoeing, hiking, fishing, cycling and horseback riding!
What can kids do in Sarasota?
There’s plenty for kids to do in Sarasota! The interactive tour in the Circus Museum is highly recommended, but the Sun-n-Fun water park is also great fun. In the aquarium they can look for different types of sea creatures.
What’s the weather like in Sarasota?
Sarasota’s weather is always nice due to its convenient coastal location. In the winter months it is most pleasant with a constant temperature around 25 °C. In the summer you have to take into account tropical storms and short downpours. The temperature is then around 35 °C.