Fun things to do in Sarasota

  • ca d'zan
    ca d'zan
    by doug48
  • mable ringling rose garden
    mable ringling rose garden
    by doug48
  • Exterior of Ca' D'Zan
    Exterior of Ca' D'Zan
    by 807Wheaton

Most Viewed Things to Do in Sarasota

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    ART CENTER SARASOTA

    by LoriPori Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Featuring a broad spectrum of workshops, exhibits, classes and arts eduction programming in the visual arts, ART CENTER SARASOTA is led by respected and nationally known professionals. Their goal is to increase awareness and appreciation of art in all its forms. Artists featured are from the local community.
    Gallery Hours:
    Tuesday to Saturday
    10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Art Center Sarasota
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • tampa_shawn's Profile Photo

    South Florida Museum, Aquarium and Planetarium

    by tampa_shawn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    South Florida Museum, Parker Manatee Aquarium
    and Bishop Planetarium

    the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida's Gulf Coast and a small aquarium and a planetarium

    Adults: $13.75
    Seniors (60+): $11.75
    Children (4-12): $8.75
    Under 4: Free (w/adult)

    Click here to regester for a coupon - http://sarasota.com/linker/linker.cgi?LOCATION=http://southfloridamuseum.org/

    January through April and the month of July: Open 7 days a week.
    Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Sundays from 12 noon to 5 p.m.

    All other months: Open 6 days a week.
    Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Sundays from 12 noon to 5 p.m.

    Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year's Day.
    The Museum is closed for annual maintenance the last two weeks in August, re-opening the first day after Labor Day.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Karaoke

    by JustAGuy941 Written Dec 3, 2009

    Kroaky's is Sarasota's ultimate karaoke venue (from the website!)

    the small but nice public lounge bar is the perfect place to sing to the crowd or just listen to great singers (free entry), while their nine private rooms let you party in private with friends, colleagues or family (only $5/hour per person which is very reasonable!) The private room concept is unique to the area and is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. Kroaky's is very family friendly and is a great place for a kids party!

    All rooms have a professional karaoke system with 17,000 songs, wireless mics and great sound.

    They serve beer, wine, champagne, cocktails, sodas, fresh-topped pizza, burgers, great sandwiches, finger foods and more...

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Music
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    aoslo theatre

    by doug48 Updated Nov 19, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    pictured is the entrance to ringling home and museums. just to the right of the visitor center and ticket office is the historic aoslo theatre. originally the aoslo was a 17 th century italian theatre that was acquired by john and mable ringling and was shipped to sarasota as part of their collection of italian art. the aoslo has evolved into a complex of three theatres, the modern cook theatre, the 1905 mertz theatre, an opera house imported from dunfermile scotland, and the aoslo. the aoslo repertory company was founded by the faculty of florida state university and began performing plays under the name of the aoslo theatre festival. today fsu students perform at the aoslo as well as professional theatre companies. for lovers of theatre this is a must do spot when in the sarasota area. check out their website for performances and dates.

    entrance to the ringling museums
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Theater Travel
    • Music

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    florida state theaters

    by doug48 Updated Nov 16, 2009

    located across the street from the entrance to the ringling museum and mansion is the florida state theater complex. the florida state theater includes the 1905 mertz theatre, the modern cook theater, and a opera house imported from dunfermile scotland. these theaters are operated by florida state university. for performace dates and times see the attached web sites.

    florida state theater
    Related to:
    • Festivals
    • Theater Travel
    • Music

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    mabel ringling rose garden

    by doug48 Written Nov 16, 2009

    the mabel ringling rose garden is once of several gardens located on 65 acre ringling estate. this 27,225 square foot garden was planted by mable ringling in 1913. today this traditional italian circle garden has over 1,200 varities of roses.

    mable ringling rose garden
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    tibbal learning center

    by doug48 Written Nov 16, 2009

    the tibbal learning center is home to howard tibbal's miniture circus. these miniture circus artifacts took over 50 years to build. along with the miniture circus is an interesting collection of period circus posters.

    tibbal learning center
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    ca d'zan

    by doug48 Updated Nov 16, 2009

    ca d'zan (house of john) is john and mabel ringling's venetian gothic style mansion located on sarasota bay. the mansion was built in 1924 and was designed by architect dwight james baum. the mansion is 36,000 square feet and has 41 rooms and 15 bathrooms. the mansion has architectural elements from the doges palace and the ca d' oro in venice. the ca d'zan is one of the most impressive "gilded age" mansions in the state of florida.

    ca d'zan ca d'zan ca d'zan
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Karaoke

    by Dory123 Written Oct 4, 2009

    My friends and I get together a few days every week and hit the places offering karaoke. Even if you don't sing (I don't) it is a blast! Most of my friends are actually really good singers but there is always that guy that's had a few too many who wants to sing 'Love me Tender' to his girl. Our motto has come to be 'you don't have to be good, just enthusiastic!'. We know most of the places offering karaoke and thought we would post them here. Anyway, it's a blast and I just wanted to let people know where to go...Mondays we go to Esca in downtown sarasota, Tuesdays either hit the Rendezvous Lounge or the Applebees on Main st, wednesday we go to Rico's pizzeria in Bradenton (Great food!), thursdays we go to the Banana Factory in Bradenton, Saturday is the Rendezvous again (The DJ on Saturday is a hottie!) and the Applebees on Clark road has Saturday karaoke also and now the Gator CLub has karaoke on sunday night. There are a couple of groups of us that get together to sing be we are always looking for new people!

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bunsch's Profile Photo

    The Ringling Estate

    by Bunsch Updated Jul 31, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    To borrow directly from Wikipedia a much more comprehensive description than I could possibly write, "The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is the state art museum of Florida. Florida State University assumed governance of the Museum in 2000.

    "The institution offers twenty-one galleries of European paintings as well as Cypriot antiquities and Asian, American, and contemporary art. The museum's art collection currently consists of more than 10,000 objects that include a wide variety of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, and decorative arts from ancient through contemporary periods and from around the world. The collection of Peter Paul Rubens paintings is world-renowned.

    "In January 2007, a $76-million expansion and renovation of the Museum of Art was finished. The new Arthur F. and Ulla R. Searing Wing was the final component of a five-year master plan that has transformed the museum from a decaying facility to the sixteenth largest in the United States.

    "In all, more than 150,000 square feet have been added to the campus, which includes the art museum, circus museum, and Cà d'Zan, the Ringlings' mansion, which has been restored, along with the historic Asolo Theater. Entirely new are the Visitor Pavilion, the Education and Conservation Complex, the Tibbals Learning Center, and Miniature Circus.

    "Cà d'Zan, (Venetian for "House of John"), is the waterfront residence built for Mable and John Ringling. The mansion was designed by architect Dwight James Baum with assistance from the Ringlings, built by Owen Burns, and was completed in 1926. It is designed in Venetian Gothic style. Overlooking Sarasota Bay, the mansion became the center for cultural life in Sarasota for several years. The residence was restored in 2002.

    "Mable Ringling’s rose garden was completed in 1913 while she and John were living in another house on the property. The rose garden is located near the original Mary Louise and Charles N. Thompson residence within the beautifully landscaped grounds overlooking Sarasota Bay. John and Mable are both buried in this garden.

    "The Ringling Museum of the American Circus, established in 1948, is the first museum of its kind to document the history of the circus. The museum has a colletion of handbills, posters and art prints, circus paper, business records, wardrobe, performing props, circus equipment, and parade wagons. The museum also contains the Howard Bros. Circus model, a ¾-inch-to-the-foot scale replica of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1919–1938, called the world's largest miniature circus."

    I like fancy houses, rose gardens, and art museums, but the Circus Museum was the best!

    John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art Ca d'Zan
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kayaking in Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida

    by Dawson50 Written Mar 10, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My family visited Sarasota, Florida in February, and had the most awesome experience kayaking with Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures on the South Lido Mangroves Tunnel tour. Even though we are all beginners, our tour guide gave us great paddling instructions and was very helpful in calming our nerves. He was also very knowledgeable about the local habitat and Florida eco system. So much so that my two teenagers and five year old are still talking about the experience. We highly recommend Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures. It was a must for anyone staying in the Sarasota/Bradenton area.

    Kayaking in Sarasota Kayaking in Sarasota
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Kayaking

    Was this review helpful?

  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo

    Tropical Gardens

    by easterntrekker Written Sep 24, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I just have to put one more picture in this review of the Selby gardens . For me the gardens were an education on what actually will grow in this area of Florida . the tropical plant life is amazing here.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo

    Coastal Walk at Selby Gardens

    by easterntrekker Written Sep 24, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This wonderful walk skirts the edge of the water. Here and there we see water birds and we walk through really tropical gardens. Its a world away from the city nearby . Once and a while we get a glimpse of the outside world but much has been delibertly and wisely blocked out by the huge stand of bamboo.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • tampa_shawn's Profile Photo

    Live Fish Pedicures in Sarasota

    by tampa_shawn Written Sep 9, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A.J. Salon and Spa is First in Florida Offering Ichthyotherapy

    This is an Asian therapy....During this 25 minute treatment you emerge your feet in water filled with fish that eat off dead skin and leave your feet invigorated and smooth. The treatment is fun...although a bit tingly and ticklish.

    Quote from article at: http://florida-travel.suite101.com/article.cfm/live_fish_pedicures_in_sarasota

    A.J. Salon and Spa's live fish pedicure service launched in early September 2008. The Sarasota day spa spent $40,000 renovating a room to accommodate fish pedicure customers. Located in a room tucked away in the back of the spa, lighting is subdued and flickering candles offer a warm glow. Prior to the treatment feet are sanitized in a saline-type solution. Cushioned benches offer comfortable seating and six freshwater tanks await rough and calloused feet.

    Water is slightly above room temperature, not hot but comfortable. Once feet are dipped into the tank, the hungry carp begin their duty as pedicure technicians. The sensation is a mix of tingly and ticklish as the 200 fish nibble away dead skin cells, almost as if the feet are placed in vibrating socks. After 25 minutes, feet feel fresh, smooth and revitalized. A standard pedicure follows the live fish pedicure including nail trimming, massage and toe painting. The service costs $35.

    Between live fish pedicure treatments, the carp are removed and the treatment tank is drained, scrubbed and filled with fresh water in preparation for the next client. A.J. Salon and Spa has 5,000 hungry fish on duty and the scaly technicians have a life span of about six weeks. The fish don't spread diseases

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bunsch's Profile Photo

    A horticultural paradise

    by Bunsch Updated Mar 14, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens were voted #1 of the top ten things to do in Sarasota by Sarasota Magazine. Of course, I love gardens, so it stands to reason I'd agree with them. Best known for the collection of over 6,000 species of orchids (a nice selection of which can be purchased in the well-stocked gift shop), Selby covers 9.5 acres fronting on Sarasota Bay. It has a number of greenhouses, as well as trails which lead you through a marvelous banyan grove, a canopy walkway which is ADA-accessible, an immense stand of bamboo (listen to the tall stalks click together in the wind), mangroves, hibiscus, a butterfly garden, palm grove, a fragrance garden, and a building devoted to "wild things" -- principally posion dart frogs whose colorful bodies seem to belie their deadly character. I'm told that a determined and uninterested visitor can cover the ground in about twenty minutes. Our two-hour visit felt just about right to me, though we could have visited the Christy Payne mansion (now a museum) and the Selby House, or grabbed a snack at the Cafe. Selby Gardens also features a variety of events, horticultural and cultural, as well as classes in gardening, conservation, nature painting and photography, foral design, and other nautral history subjects. Don't forget your camera -- and try not to park under any trees with large red flowers, because those "flowers" are actually heavy seed pods which will leave stains on your car!

    Orchids in the greenhouse Greenhouses at Marie Selby Gardens The banyan grove

    Was this review helpful?

Sarasota Hotels

See all 71 Hotels in Sarasota

Latest Sarasota Hotel Reviews

Suburban Extended Stay Hotel Sarasota
44 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 25, 2014
Suntide Island Beach Club
53 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 3, 2014
Comfort Inn - North Tamiami Trail
68 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 26, 2014
Hibiscus Suites Inn
167 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 8, 2014
Tropical Shores Beach Resort
801 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 8, 2014
The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota
904 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 7, 2014
Timberwoods Vacation Villas
23 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 19, 2014
Siesta Sands Beach Resort
60 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 11, 2014
Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel
686 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 8, 2014
Beach Palms Of Siesta Key Village
54 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 23, 2014
Sarasota Hotel & Marina
257 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 6, 2014
Sarasota Surf and Racquet Club
88 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 7, 2014
Residence Inn Sarasota Bradenton
89 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 21, 2014
Golden Host Resort
81 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 8, 2014
Quayside Inn
1 Review & Opinion
Latest: Sep 25, 2004

Instant Answers: Sarasota

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

73 travelers online now

Comments

Sarasota Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Sarasota locals.
Map of Sarasota