Arts & Entertainment

The beautiful beaches tend to get the most press, but Siesta Key has long garnered attention as a haven for artists and writers, who need only to cross over the bridge to the mainland to enjoy downtown Sarasota's artsy attractions. Thanks in large part to the efforts of arts-minded developer and circus magnate John Ringling, Sarasota has long been considered Southwest Florida's "Cultural Capital". There is indeed still a circus in town, but the modern day scene is thoroughly sophisticated: a happening theatre district, world class museums, and scores of galleries keep visiting artsy types busy for days on end. The yearly Asolo Theatre Festival attracts thespians and theatre fans, and numerous blues and jazz festivals light up the streets of St. Armand's Circle and Siesta Village year-round.

Employee Pick

John and Mable Ringling Museum Complex
5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota
(941) 359-5700

Siesta Key

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota
(941) 366-5731

Mote Marine Aquarium
600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota
(941) 388-4441

Myakka River State Park
13207 State Road 72, Sarasota
(941) 361-6511

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
777 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
(800) 826-9303

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