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Sarasota attractions

There is something for everyone is Sarasota. If you have any questions email:

Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau. The website has listings for many
local, restaurants and attractions, and often has links to visitor specials.
Rolling white-sand beaches and sparkling azure waters combine
with a sophistication and charm to make Sarasota the gem of Florida’s Gulf
Coast. The endless array of activities and the exhilarating mixture of
attractions, restaurants, shopping, and accommodations are a sure fit for
any traveler.  (The Visitors Bureau is located across the street from the
Hyatt Hotel.)

John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Circus Mueum, C d’Zan Mansion,
Historic Asolo Theatre and Rose Garden.
Located on a 66-acre estate on
Sarasota Bay, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art was established in
1927 as the legacy of John Ringling (1866-1936) and his wife, Mable (1875
to 1929). Recognized as the official State Art Museum of Florida, the
Museum of Art offers 21 galleries of European paintings as well as Cypriot
antiquities, Asian Art, American paintings, and contemporary art. The
estate features the spectacular C d’Zan (“House of John”), a waterfront
mansion that was restored in 2002. The Circus Museum displays costumes,
wagons, performance equipment, and other artifacts chronicling the history
of the Circus. The estate also features Mable Ringling’s Rose Garden,
completed in 1913, and beautifully landscaped grounds overlooking Sarasota
Bay.  (Located a few miles north of the Hyatt Hotel.)

Marie Selby Botanical Garden. A 15-acre tropical oasis on the sparkling
shores of Sarasota Bay. Here you will encounter the world’s most
spectacular living collection of rare tropical plants in open-air and
under-glass displays, including more than 6,000 orchids and 3,600
bromeliads in incredible living color.  (Within walking distance of the
Hyatt Hotel.)

The South Florida Museum, Bishop Planetarium and Parker Manatee Aquarium.
Located in Bradenton, the museum is the largest natural and cultural
history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast.  It houses over 15,000 diverse and
unusual objects.  The planetarium is a state-of-the-science, all digital
full dome planetarium/theater. It features astronomy presentations, sound
and light shows and wide-screen large format programming.  The manatee
Aquarium is  home of Snooty, the world’s most recognized Manatee. Born at
the old Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company, Snooty came to the South
Florida Museum in 1949 as Baby Snoots.

Sarasota Classic Car Museum. The Museum features a “living” collection of
over 100 automobiles, constantly being updated through acquisitions,
exchanges with other car museums, and through donations of vehicles from
collectors.  The collection spans over 100 manufacturing years.  Almost
every letter of the alphabet is covered: Auburn, Bentley, Cadillac station
wagon (one of only 5 ever made), DeLorean, Edsel, Ferrari, etc.  Vintage,
classic, muscle, exotic cars.they’re all here.  We have John Lennon’s
Mercedes Roadster, Paul McCartney’s Mini Cooper and a dragster belonging
to Don Garlits among our favorite treasures.

Historic Spanish Point. Who we are and what we do is a complex story and
to help our visitors understand it we have divided the narrative of our
site into four distinct parts. We call them the 4 P’s of the Point:
Prehistory, Pioneer, Palmer and Plants. Please take a moment to visit the
pages telling you a little about each one of our four important elements.
These four elements are connected to each other, and part of our mission
is to interpret the objects and traditions significant to our region’s
past. Historic Spanish Point’s Maritime Heritage Program celebrates and
interprets southwest coastal Florida’s maritime past. Traditional boat
building using techniques, tools and materials similar to those used by
the pioneers of the gulf coast is practiced today. Maritime Heritage
Tours: regularly scheduled docent-guided cruises on Little Sarasota Bay
onboard sailboat Lizzie G. and motor launch Magic will begin January 10,
2007. Members of Historic Spanish Point and he Historic Spanish Point
Yacht Club hold reservation privileges. Any remaining tickets are free of
charge, first come/fist serve, to persons paying general admission on the
day of each scheduled cruise. (Located in south Sarasota, approximately
10 miles from the hotel.)

LeBarge Tropical Cruises – Sunset Cruise. LeBarge offers a variety of
cruises:  a dolphin watch, a narrated sightseeing cruise on the bay and
the evening sunset cruise.  The sunset trip is an “island-style” event
with live entertainment featuring popular local entertainers.  There’s
dancing, good food, and your favorite cold beverage! During this two-hour
cruise, keep your eyes open for dolphins at play and see if you can catch
the legendary “green flash” as the sun dips below the horizon. Always an
enjoyable excursion.  (Located a few blocks south of the Hyatt Hotel along
the Bayfront Park.)

Sunset Drum Circles. The community drum circles at Siesta Key Public Beach
plays every Sunday in Sarasota, and Wednesday and Saturday at Nokomis
Beach about 1 hour before sunset. Just follow your ears. This is not a
commercial event but a local phenomenon that began spontaneously and now
has a life of its own.  Come celebrate nature. and

Siesta Key Beach. Siesta Beach is located on Beach Road on Siesta Key.
Siesta Beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in the
world. At the “Great International White Sand Beach Challenge” held in
1987, it was recognized as having the “whitest and finest sand in the
world.”   Unlike beaches elsewhere that are made up mostly of coral,
Siesta Beach’s sand is 99% quartz. Even on the hottest days, the sand is
so reflective that it feels cool underfoot. It’s estimated that the sand
on Siesta Beach is millions of years old, and started in the Appalachians
and flowed down the rivers and was eventually deposited on the shores of
Siesta Key.

Myakka River State Park. The park is one of Florida’s oldest and largest
state parks. The “Florida Wild and Scenic Myakka River” flows through 53
square miles of wetlands, prairies and woodlands. Myakka is popular for
hiking, fishing, camping, and wildlife observation – including birds, alligators
and wild pigs.

Kayaking in Sarasota. With its many waterways, inlets, canals and rivers
providing accessibility to the Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is
no wonder that the Sarasota area is becoming obsessed with kayaking!
Imagine leaving the world of motors and crowds behind, and peacefully
gliding along silent natural water trails that immerse you in the natural
surroundings. Sarasota’s waterways offer mangrove islands and grass flats
that harbor snook, redfish and sea trout; the peaceful waters leading out
to Sarasota Bay are a haven for wading birds like the ibis, the sandhill
crane and the great blue heron; while the Myakka River is a freshwater
home to an abundance of alligators, and whose marshes, oak and palm
canopies offer shelter to Florida’s native species.  (Natalie Wiest will
be organizing a kayak adventure during the conference.Watch for

McCurdy’s Comedy Theater. Established 16 years ago, McCurdy’s is located
in a 4,000 sq. ft. showroom, surrounded by a gated courtyard. The theatre
– with no obstructed views – is the perfect size and shape for today’s
Stand-up and Improvisation performances. Even at the very back of the
room, seats are no more than 40 feet away from the stage.  The club is
located a couple miles north of the Hyatt Hotel. You can receive free
admission tickets online. There is a two item purchase minimum per person
in the showroom and a 15% gratuity is added to each check at the end of
the show.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Set along Sarasota’s beautiful bayfront,
the landmark Performing Arts Hall has been entertaining audiences with a
variety of music, dance, theater and comedy for more than 35 years.  The
Van Wezel’s seashell design was conceived by William Wesley Peters of
Taliesin Associated Architects of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. This
design actually came from two seashells from the Sea of Japan, which are
permanently displayed in the Hall. The lavender and purple color scheme
selected by Wright’s widow, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, has helped to make the
building a Sarasota landmark. (The Van Wezel is located across the street
from the Hyatt Hotel.  Check their website for scheduled programs.)

The Sarasota Opera and Sarasota Ballet. The Opera House is located in
downtown Sarasota and with only 1033 seats, there are no ‘bad’ seats in
the theater. Most opera companies perform in theaters four or five times larger.
If you were to drop our theater into the middle of one of those, every seat
we have would be considered a premium seat!  The Ballet performs in
various theaters around town including the Van Wezel and the Asolo and
boasts a repertoire that includes the great classics,works of internationally
recognized contemporary choreographers such as Alvin Ailey and Ben Stevenson. and

Sarasota Film Society. Spend a casual evening at Burns Court (downtown) or
Lakewood Ranch Cinemas to discover a new foreign-language or independent
film.  Sarasota Film Society has been contributing to the Sarasota-Manatee
community since 1983 by bringing the best in independent, classic and
international cinema to Burns Court and now Lakewood Ranch Cinemas.
Community enrichment and educational programming is a commitment of the
Film Society. Our goal is to cultivate an understanding and appreciation
of this international form of artistic expression.