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Sarasota Travel Guide


Sarasota Introduction


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Among the early tourists to be smitten by Sarasota, Florida, was circus magnate John Ringling in the Roaring '20s. He scooped up property all around the town, moved the circus's winter home there, and built himself a winter residence, an art museum, a circus museum and a college. All these years later, the city of Sarasota is still the undisputed cultural center of the Gulf Coast, but with the added allure of a string of barrier islands flanking its western side. Each of the keys maintains its own identity, with superb beach access being the central unifying theme.   Click here to see the full Sarasota travel guide on Travel42 »

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Sarasota Geography


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This part of Florida's Gulf Coast contains numerous deep-water bays, an abundance of rivers, harbors and a record number of first-magnitude springs. Thus, the fishing, boating, swimming and simple beachcombing in these parts are legendary.  Click here to see the full Sarasota travel guide on Travel42 »

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Sarasota History


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Although it was the first state to be settled by Europeans, Florida might be the last state to have entered fully into modernity. It remained more or less a Wild West-like frontier until the 20th century, with the first paved road not appearing until 1920.   Click here to see the full Sarasota travel guide on Travel42 »

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Sarasota Sightseeing & Things to Do


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The arts are so dominant in Sarasota—there's the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, the Sarasota Players, the Banyan Theater Company and many others—that it's hard to tear yourself away to do much else. Still, the city and its barrier island have world-class beaches, a top-notch botanical garden, an outstanding marine laboratory, an array of spectator sporting options and numerous activities for families with young children.   Click here to see the full Sarasota travel guide on Travel42 »

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Sarasota Nightlife


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Because Sarasota is so seasonal (snow birds flock in during the lovely December-April months), the nightlife is cyclical. Downtown Sarasota has few throbbing nightclubs at any time of the year, however. For a laid-back good time, head to the village on Siesta Key, with its cluster of margarita-and-Jimmy-Buffet-inspired cafes and bars. Many of the area's fine hotels have swanky hotel bars worth a linger (especially the Ritz-Carlton), and there are just enough dance clubs to get your groove on.  Click here to see the full Sarasota travel guide on Travel42 »

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Sarasota Restaurants & Dining


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In Tanzania they say jambo. In Papua New Guinea, it's moning tru. In Australia, it's G'day. But in Sarasota, the common greeting is, "Have you been to [insert name of red-hot new restaurant here] yet?" It's one of those cities where everyone jostles in line to taste the doings of the latest macaroni maestro, the newest sushi shaman. Dining at the latest big hot spot is a form of social currency, made more delicious in the retelling. In high season, this means some tough reservations to come by.  Click here to see the full Sarasota travel guide on Travel42 »

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