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Found on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota is home to captivating museums, lovely gardens, daring restaurants, and a diverse choice of attractions, making it an enjoyable weekend destination for couples and families. Best things to do in Sarasota, FL include the Ringling Museum, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Sarasota Jungle Gardens, and the Big Cat Habitat. Theater, opera, and music fans can head to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Sarasota Opera House, and the Beatrice Friedman Symphony CenterHI°F. You can also travel Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, a magnificent 56-room Venetian Gothic palace and the Ringling’s’ old family home. Fine shopping is available throughout Sarasota, including St. Armand’s Circle close to the coast. Here is some fun things to do in Sarasota Florida.
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There was a period of decay after John’s death. But during the effort, A. Everett ‘Chick’ Austin, Jr. was selected as the director of the Art Museum. He opened the first Circus Museum using many artifacts and memorabilia from the circus. He also created a separate theater building that appointed with unique decoration from a theater found in Venice, Italy.
The settling of the Ringling’s estate took decades. Private donors served to keep the estate hardly working. Finally, as current as 2000, the state of Florida gave over governance of the museum to Florida State University. The University funded a considerable amount of money in restoring the original buildings and created four more: a Visitant Pavilion; The Circus Museum Tibbals Learning Center; David F. Bolger Playspace; and the Center for Asian Arts. The new buildings joined with the four notable buildings – the Historic Asolo Theater, and the Ca’ d’Zan; Museum of Art; Circus Museum; Historic Asolo Theater – make up The Ringling. For all the stir and thrill the Ringling Circus brought to town, it can now say The Ringling indeed is “the excellent show on earth” preserving artworks from the world over and a tribute to the first circus era.
The private home of John and Mable Ringling would be something directly out of the “palace floor plan magazine” if one existed. This mansion has each beautiful thing imaginable. Large ornate rooms stuffed with priceless treasures and decorated furnishings. Travels of the magnificent home are ready at the admission desk.
Special occasions are held throughout the year as well. For example, during the annual Holiday Splendor, the Ca’ d’Zan treats Holiday Nights on Thursday through December. Tour the mansion all decked out for Christmas
The Bayfront Gardens hold 66 acres adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. Stunning views amongst lovely plantings of trees, flowers, and shrubs! The garden separated into several distinct areas.
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Mable’s Rose Garden
Mable had a passion for roses, and this garden was one of her first tasks. The renovation of this garden includes roses introduced between 1867 and 2002. The beautiful garden is home to Hybrid Tea Roses, Tree Roses, Floribundas, Grandifloras, miniature roses and Old Garden roses. Mable would be proud of this greenhouse – 1200 plants to enjoy their attraction and their overpowering scents.
The Secret Garden
This garden began out with plants Mable received as gifts. Now the garden is the final resting area of John and Mable Ringling and Ida Ringling North, John’s sister.
The Dwarf Garden
Created after the German and Italian gardens of the 18th and 19th centuries, found there are a variety of little stone sculptures that to order from Italy. Placed next to the Visitor Pavilion, the garden’s small figures remain to charm and amuse visitors of The Ringling.
The Estate’s Trees
Mable had an enthusiasm for exotic trees. The 66-acre garden is appointed throughout with a different collection of trees including Shaving Brush, Banyan, Tiger Claw, Monkey Puzzle, Ear, Rainbow Eucalyptus and many types of bamboo.
The Promenade and Millennium Tree Trail
A broad promenade was built in 2010 to join Ca’ d’Zan to the Millennium Tree Trail. The trail sidelined by various trees including oak, citrus, holly, and magnolia.
Historic Asolo Theater
Recognized as the birthplace of showing art in Florida, the theater records back to the 15th century and the Queen of Cyprus! Decades later the theater was established in the great hall of the queen’s palace. Advance and the theater was finally dismantled and stored in Venice during WWII. Eventually, it was bought for the Museum of Art and went to Florida and reconstructed. It has been fully renovated and now housed in the Visitor Pavilion.