For a city of its size Sarasota has an incredible amount of cultural venues and events. With a rich history of the arts and performances from the early days that includes the Ringling Brothers, the Sarasota Opera House and the Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota has been developing a diverse cultural landscape for years
The Mote Marine Aquarium is located just over the beautiful John Ringling Bridge off of Sarasota's main coast. Mote is dedicated to marine and coastal research and conservation. Offering a variety of sea life and hands-on experiences, an enjoyable and informative visit is guaranteed for all. There is also the opportunity to view the rehabilitation program at the Mote, where dolphins and sea turtles receive special care. Different types of boat trips are available, offering many learning experiences. There is a restaurant on site.
The Asolo Repertory Theatre offers up to 15 productions per year. It features award-winning directors, its resident acting company, and is often complimented by guest artists. It is located adjacent to the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.
Located on Sarasota Bay, and the homesite of one of Florida's pioneer families, Historic Spanish Point is a great place to learn about Florida history. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Historic Spanish Point 337 N. Tamiami Trail Osprey, Florida 34229 Phone: 941-966-5214
When you visit Sarasota, be sure to spend an afternoon at the beautiful Marie Selby Gardens. Located on over 14 acres along Sarasota Bay, the Gardens are filled with fascinating greenhouse and outdoor plants. You will be awed by thousands of unusual, exotic flora. The Gardens is also a center of research and education. On the grounds is the elegant former Selby mansion, now the Gardens' museum, where you can also enjoy tea tastings. Or you may want to enjoy lunch at the cafe in the Gardens. You can purchase a special plant, informative book, or a garden-themed children's treasure at the Garden Shop.
The Sarasota Ballet performs a diverse selection of classical ballets and world-premier ballet performances, and has received international acclaim. It is the only professional ballet company on Florida's Gulf Coast.
Sarasota Film Society is a nonprofit, member-supported organization, offering entertainment and education to the public from all areas of the film industry. The Sarasota Film Society encompasses two separate and unique facilities. One is Burns Court Cinemas, located in the heart of downtown Sarasota in quaint and historic Burns Square, and the other at Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, on Lakewood Ranch. Each of these locations offers its own style of films. The Sarasota Film Society hosts numerous festivals and programs, and gives people the opportunity to view carefully selected films, many of which are first-run, foreign, culturally diverse and independent films.
3701 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, FL 34234 Phone: 941-355-5305
The Sarasota Opera, now in its 53rd season, offers many exciting performances each year, and has received international attention. The Sarasota Opera House is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is known for its excellent acoustics. Beautiful sets, full orchestra, international soloists, gorgeous costumes--The Sarasota Opera continually enriches the lives of its audiences.
John and Mable Ringling made their home on a 20 acre site on Sarasota's waterfront. Visitors to this location today can enjoy the masterpieces of European and American artists, circus history and memorabilia in the circus museums, a theater, and the beautiful historic 56 room mansion John and Mable called home. A memorable place in a beautiful setting that visitors return to time and again.
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall presented its first performance in 1970. It has since delighted audiences with a variety of performance styles, from classical to modern, from symphonies to Broadway. Located along the shores of Sarasota's beautiful bayfront, and just a stroll to downtown Sarasota, the Van Wezel is one of the stars in the crown of Sarasota's cultural life.