Sarasota, Florida- the home of the Ringling Museum of Art, extensive shopping, breathtaking bay, and the nation’s number one beach. I’m very proud to be able to call this town home, and fortunate that I live minutes away from the soft, white sand and gentle, turquoise waves of Siesta Key Beach.
Quarter Finalist 2013 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
While every tourist in Sarasota needs to visit the beach, there are many different and unique recreational activities that can please a visitor of any age. First and foremost, Sarasota is rich with history. John and Mable Ringling of the Ringling Brothers Circus owned a waterfront property that has been transformed into a museum that contains Mable Ringling’s collection of unique paintings and an elaborate Circus exhibition. Additionally, Bill and Marie Selby were a couple that moved onto a large estate in Sarasota during the 1920s, and impacted the community through the development of foundations to aid the environment and students. Since its inhabitance by the Selby family, the land has been preserved and transformed into an elaborate garden to honor Marie Selby, who had a passion for gardening.
After absorbing the lush greenery of Selby Gardens and viewing original works of art at the Ringling, tourists will come to understand that Sarasota also has an immense capacity for excellent shopping and dining. From St. Armand’s Circle to Downtown Sarasota, any person will not be seen without a satisfied stomach and several shopping bags in hand. There are stores to satisfy any eager consumer regardless of their stylistic preferences, and restaurants to satisfy any hungry palate. Dining options encompass cuisine from every ethnicity and includes many Zagat-rated establishments. While any type of dish is served, Sarasota is located on the Gulf of Mexico and specializes in tasty, fresh seafood; all through town, seafood is celebrated throughout the year in festivals like the Stone Crab Festival, Seafood & Wine, Taste of the Suncoast, Corks and Forks, etc.
Aside from the shops, food, and museums, Sarasota has even MORE recreational activities. Anyone has the opportunity to watch a live performance or listen to a lecture in the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, Asolo Theatre, or Sarasota Opera House. Distinguished individuals and rising stars constantly visit the area to perform in the artsy community. Also, with the multiple beach access points and calm waters, Sarasota encourages a healthy, active lifestyle. Tourists have the opportunity to share local enthusiasm for biking scenic trails, running along the beach, and paddle boarding.
Sarasota is a unique balance of a bustling and laidback town that gives tourist the ability to relax on vacation and enjoy the recreational activities that appeal to them. My advice to tourists intrigued by my home is to: come on down to the sunshine state and savor Sarasota!
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