Located along the southwestern coast of Florida is the beautiful city of Sarasota, just two hours from Orlando. Some of the most beautiful beaches can be found in this part of Florida.
However, Sarasota has a lot more to offer the visitor to keep them coming back each year. There are plenty of attractions for all ages that are entertaining and exciting. Here are just a few to choose from.
John Ringling originally created the Museum of Art to house his personal collection of masterpieces. Today, it exhibits paintings and sculptures of the great old masters, including Rubens, Van Dyck, Velazquez, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, El Greco, Gainsborough, and artifacts from the Ringling Brothers circus. A visit to the Cà d'Zan Mansion is not to be missed. It features 56 beautifully furnished rooms, reflecting the splendor and romance of Italy.
Also located on the premises is the Circus Museum, celebrating the history of the American circus. Memorabilia and artifacts can be viewed illustrating the history of the Ringling circus family. It was here in Sarasota that "The Greatest Show on Earth" was filmed.
The museum provides one of the most unique experiences not found anywhere else. Visitors can actually ride the exhibits. The Museum is open year-round, with excursions every weekend from the train station in Parrish, Florida. Special weekend events are planned throughout the year, featuring themed train rides. If you ever dreamed of running a real locomotive, here is your opportunity to make that dream come true.
If you are a history car buff, then a visit to the Sarasota Classic Car Museum is a must-see. The museum is regarded as one of the oldest continuously operating museums of antique cars. Over 100 classic cars are on display showcasing antique, exotic and rare European automobiles.
Visitors are presented with 10 acres of tropical vegetation, winding jungle trails, exotic birds, reptiles and educational programs at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens. The American Flamingo is one of the featured animals that will eat out of a person's hand.
The Mote Aquarium is a marine laboratory capturing the imagination of all ages. Visitors can discover the secrets of the sea through the touch pools, watch laboratory work and high-tech interactive exhibits featuring manatees, sea turtles, artificial reefs and more than 100 other species of marine life.