Sarasota Journals

Treasure Of The Gulf Coast

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A January 2005 trip to Sarasota by Tolik

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Photo, Sarasota, Florida More Photos
Quote: Sarasota County, a beautiful region on the Gulf of Mexico, is our favorite area in Florida. She is known for her gorgeous beaches, wealth of cultural activities, and natural beauty. This part of the Gulf Coast is Florida’s best-kept secret.

Treasure Of The Gulf Coast

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Overview

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Photo, Sarasota, Florida
Quote:
Set in a subtropical landscape, Sarasota is just 60 miles south of Tampa. Legend has it that Sarasota was named after the explorer Hernando de Soto’s daughter, Sara (hence, Sara-sota). In more recent times, the town's most famous resident was circus legend and visionary John Ringling. He built a bay-front mansion known as Cà d'Zan, erected a museum to house his world-class collection of paintings, and constructed the causeway out to St. Armands and Lido keys. The area enjoys an average annual temperature of 75 degrees F (23º C). Sarasota's best-known feature is its powder white-sand beaches. Southwest Florida has the best beaches in the world (according to the Oceanographic Ins...Read More

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

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Attraction | "Ringling Museum of Art"

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Photo, Sarasota, Florida
Quote:
The John and Mable Ringling Museum Of Art is my favorite museum in Florida. Actually, on the 77 acres of lushly landscaped grounds of the estate, you will find not one, but three museums – the Art Museum, the Circus Museum, and Ca d’Zan mansion (your $15 admission includes it all). Believe it or not, it is the largest museum complex in the nation. Take a trip back in time as you stroll through 21 galleries of this world-class museum (allow 4 hours, at least). Housed in a pink U-shaped Italian Renaissance villa, Ringling Museum is filled with more than 500 years of European and American art. The collection contains now over 10,000 objects, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 4, 2005

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
5401 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, Florida 34243
(941) 351-1660

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

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Attraction | "Cà d'Zan"

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Photo, Sarasota, Florida
Quote:
The mansion is the part of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. We have been waiting for several years to visit the palace (it was closed for restoration). John was the youngest son of poor, hard-working immigrants. Ringling’s wealth was derived from a circus empire he built with his brothers in the beginning of the 20th century. The man behind the Greatest Show on Earth also built one of the most interesting palaces in the country. Reflecting Ringling’s love of Venice, Cà d'Zan was modeled after a Venetian palace (Cà d'Zan is Venetian dialect for "House of John"). To construct it, John Ringling imported materials from Italy, France and Spain. Built between 1924 and 1925, the Ringl...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2005

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
5401 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, Florida 34243
(941) 351-1660

Sarasota History 101

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Attraction

Sarasota History 101 Photo, Sarasota, Florida
Quote:
This area of Sarasota County was inhabited by the Native Americans who lived here millennia ago. Findings of the remains of prehistoric men at huge shell mounds, called middens, date early man to have lived, hunted, and fished thousands of years ago. South of Sarasota, at Warm Mineral Springs, 45 feet below the surface of the mineral-rich waters, the skull of a 10,000-year-old Paleo-Indian was found, representing one of the oldest finds of this type in this hemisphere. Archaeologists have discovered remnants of early architecture and lifestyles in the shell mounds of the Calusa and Timucuan tribes, who settled the coastlines more than 2,500 years ago. The Timucuans inhabite...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2005

Sarasota History 101
Sarasota County
Sarasota, Florida

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

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Attraction

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Photo, Sarasota, Florida
Quote:
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is an place you should not miss. This open-air museum on the shores of Sarasota Bay occupies 10 acres and is said to be the only botanical garden in the world specializing in the preservation, study, and research of orchids. Botanical Gardens is home to more than 20,000 exotic plants, including more than 6,000 orchids. You will see some of them in the greenhouse. The gardens comprise several distinct areas including the Tropical Display House, Waterfall, Hibiscus, Tropical Food and Butterfly gardens, Bromeliad, Cycad and Cacti collections, Shoreline Restoration and the Banyan Grove. Spend some time in the Garden Museum (housed in the Payne Mansion). Explore the sub...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2005

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
811 South Palm Avenue
Sarasota, Florida 34236
(941) 366-5731

Shark Tooth Capital Festival

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Attraction | "Shark Tooth Capital of the World"

Shark Tooth Capital Festival Photo, Sarasota, Florida
Quote:
Using Sarasota as your base, explore the amazing county. I would recommend making a daytrip to Venice, a lovely seaside town 15 minutes away by car. Venice’s historic district is filled with amazing Mediterranean revival and Northern Italian-style buildings, charming antiques stores, and good restaurants. One of the best-known events in Venice is the annual Shark’s Tooth Festival. This colorful event, which celebrates the area's natural bounty of fossilized sharks’ teeth, is held every spring. The 13th Annual Sharks Tooth Festival will be celebrated April 8–10, 2005, at the beach near the Venice Pier. The festival features live entertainment, educational booths, fossil vendors of cours...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2005

Shark Tooth Capital Festival
Venice Pier
Sarasota, Florida

Warm Mineral Springs

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Attraction

Warm Mineral Springs Photo, North Port, Florida
Quote:
The Springs is a sinkhole. But not a regular one, pretty common in Florida. It is a hour-glass-shaped, water-filled sinkhole. Warm Mineral Springs, around the sinkhole-lake, has been in operation as an international day spa since 1946. From the spacious parking, you enter the resort’s lobby. From here you walk towards the lake. The picnic area is on your left followed by the drinking fountains. Yes you can drink the water too. I would not say that I enjoyed it but it was interesting to try. Next come the facility rooms (massage, homeopathic doctor etc) and café. In the café, they serve healthy Mediterranean cuisine (the café called the Springs café, of course). Finally, from the terrac...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2005

Warm Mineral Springs
12200 San Servando Avenue
North Port, Florida
(941) 426-1692

Quote:
We found the place at the end of small Annex Road in South Venice (off the Tamiami Trail). There is ample free parking just to the south of the side road where the rookery is located. Walk across the street and you'll see the pond directly in front of you. There is no entrance fee. It's not the only bird rookery in Florida, but we like this one because the place is easy to access, and the birds are fantastic. The best time to visit it from November through May, especially during the peak wading bird breeding season January through March. The best time of the day to take pictures is early morning or late afternoon. The rookery is located on the small man-made island in the middle of the oval pon...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2005

Venice Audubon Rookery
Annex Road
Sarasota, Florida